mudcat.org: New Book: Folk Song in England
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42]


New Book: Folk Song in England

GUEST,Pseudonymous 21 Aug 18 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Nemisis 21 Aug 18 - 09:45 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Aug 18 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 21 Aug 18 - 08:46 AM
GUEST 21 Aug 18 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 21 Aug 18 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,jag 21 Aug 18 - 08:03 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Aug 18 - 07:47 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Aug 18 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 21 Aug 18 - 06:39 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Aug 18 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Aug 18 - 05:51 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Aug 18 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,jag 20 Aug 18 - 01:12 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Aug 18 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Aug 18 - 12:43 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Aug 18 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Aug 18 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Aug 18 - 11:36 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Aug 18 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Aug 18 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Aug 18 - 06:54 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Aug 18 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,Harry 20 Aug 18 - 02:54 AM
Richard Mellish 19 Aug 18 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Aug 18 - 12:51 PM
Vic Smith 19 Aug 18 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Aug 18 - 11:16 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 18 - 10:58 AM
Richard Mellish 19 Aug 18 - 10:31 AM
Vic Smith 19 Aug 18 - 09:06 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 18 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Aug 18 - 08:04 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 18 - 07:45 AM
Richard Mellish 19 Aug 18 - 07:17 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 18 - 02:31 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 18 - 02:30 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 18 - 03:19 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 18 - 03:01 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 18 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Aug 18 - 02:29 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 18 - 02:24 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 18 - 01:51 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 18 - 01:51 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 18 - 01:41 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Aug 18 - 01:40 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 18 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Aug 18 - 12:58 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 18 - 11:46 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 18 - 11:41 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 09:54 AM

I am afraid that I have to join the ranks of those who in the past have asked Jim Carroll not to misrepresent what they have said.

It is disappointing that this interesting discussion is to be cut short because Jim had said he had researched this song, and I would have been interested in what he had found out about it.

The song has a Roud number: 98, and a ballad version of it may be seen on the VWML website, easily accessible by googling.

I have learned that it appears in Child because he took it from a collection by Jameson. The latter is online, and is the earliest example I know of assertions that the song is about real people. Jameson took the song down from a stall ballad.

I have learned that people in or on the edge of the folksong world have come up with all sorts of stories about the song, and about the 'true story' which it is sometimes asserted to tell. One example was that Lammie played his trumpet from the towers of Fyvie Castle; another is that there is a statue of him on the castle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 09:45 AM

Jim Carroll thank goodness a good thread spoiled by your arguments over irrelevant moot points


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 08:46 AM

"the one he referred us to) the actual Andrew Lammie was in fact a soldier"
It was poetic licence to make him a soldier - the ballad has hi as a servant
We are not discussing this as a factual representation but as a piece of creative invention based on living characters
That is what our folk songs have always done and that is what I have claimed
The main characters are a millers daughter and a servant - end of story
I am (or was - this is my last word n the subject) discussing this as a folk-made ballad not a piece of historical documentation

I don't know how you got the idea that upper class parents didn't object to their daughters running off with soldiers - ourtt literature is full of such plots - it even has a title "social misalliance"
A good looking daughter you could marry off well was money in the bank for a family wishing to climb the social ladder - it brought them power, influence and land
This is exactly what this ballad is about

"The "Shoals of Herring" deals with its subject matter with reality and sympathy"
Excellent example
"Shoals" is based entirely on interviews with two Norfolk deep sea herring fishermen, Sam Larner and Ronnie Balls - he words used are largely theirs and not MacColl's
His best songs were made using exactly the same method

THe Archers is about middle-class farming where working people are depicted, at best, in a patronising manner, but quite often as insulting caricatures - they out-Dibdin Dibdin

Radio writers get time to research their subjects - it's been pretty well established by all sides that broadside hacks didn't
Sorry - fell at the first fence, I'm afraid

I do hope Richard is watching this - making this a diversion from the main argument is exactly why I refuse to enter diversive blind alleys like this

Unless you intend to address my main points I'm finished here
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 08:46 AM

Sorry the last post was me. As this song is, apparently, so revered and 'respected' (for reasons that escape me), perhaps Jim could share the results of his research into it. That might explain the attraction better.

I love the sort of folk supported by Bert Lloyd toward the end of his life: the folk-rocky stuff. I think Aly Bain is marvellous. I enjoy lots of 'folk'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 08:33 AM

I also found a bit about the church, which mentioned a number of stones on it, but not one of these is about a miller. Happy to read info on this supposed stone to the miller on the church if the claim can be substantiated.

It really is interestesting how much 'lore' gets created about songs, much of which turns out to be fiction.

Incidentally, I have a book by Roy Palmer on British history through the broadsides and it is quite interesting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 08:26 AM

Slip of the finger while distracted by consideration of yet more pejorative question begging-remarks about the composers of broadside ballads. Miller of course: same point applies.

As Jim Carroll is fully aware, (or should be if he has actually read Amanda Maclean's article, the one he referred us to) the actual Andrew Lammie was in fact a soldier. By the simple process of googling I ascertained that these particular troops were made up of members of the gentry.

The word 'daft' was chosen for its mildness. I learned while googling about this song that some folk singers will not sing it because of the violence it portrays.

'at a time when tradespeople were replacing the gentry as leaders of the community'. Hmm. My knowledge of Scottish history is limited, a book by Neil Oliver, background to James Hogg, Walter Scott.

The late 17th century is often referred to as 'the killing time' in relation to the violent religious arguments of the time. So I'm not sure that it is quite accurate to refer to 'the community'.

Interestingly, the/a real Miller of seems to have been Presbyterian while those who held Fyvie Castle appear to have secretly been Catholic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 08:03 AM

They deal with their subject matter with reality and sympathy and their characters smell of tar and cordite and cowshit and have dirt under their fingernails

Proves nothing other than that writers did some research.

The "Shoals of Herring" deals with its subject matter with reality and sympathy.

Characters in the 'The Archers' have got cowshit and dirt under their finger nails.

Radio listeners may be a better modern analogy for the target of the broadside writers than the tabloids readers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 07:47 AM

I'm left with the impression that you don't actually like folk songs
You have little good to say about them
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 06:52 AM

Are we talking about the same ballad ?
THe father was a miller at the time when tradespeople were replacing the Gentry as leaders of the community
The lover was a herald in the employment of the local lord - a servant (he is referred to as such in the ballad) - he most certainly was not a soldier
If he had been a soldier, the fold tradition proliferated with songs about daughters who run off with soldiers and are pursued by irate parents
You appear not even to have read the text of the ballad
Nice to know that you consider one of the most important and respected ballads in the British canon "daft"
No wonder the broadsides are more to your taste
We appear not even to be excussing the same genre of song
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 06:39 AM

It's odd because the whole song strikes me as daft. The idea of this psycopathic blacksmith refusing to let his daughter marry one of the gentry (because the Royal Life Guards were drawn from the gentry) because he aspired to marry her to an scion of the nobility.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 03:15 AM

It doesn't matter how accurate this ballad is in detail - none of in any way contradicts the reason I used it
It is a piece of social history which reflected both the changing society and the effects that those changes were having on individuals and families from the poit of view of those affected - not from the point of view of a sensationalist hack writer
If the events will never be proved - why make an issue of it?

Our songs and ballads are full of details such as this which makes them far more likely to be the products of the people they are about rather than historical versions of our tabloid press.
We have never been trying to "prove" anything; the evidence for doing so is long gone
We are taking all the evidence we have and trying to arrive at a logical conclusion because a few people have chosen to turn past scholarship on its head - as far as I can see, with no grounds whatever for doing so
In order to do that, they have suddenly abandoned any detailed definition of the songs and included all songs - if the folk sang operatic arias, they become folk songs
That is unworkable nonsense

You - nor anybody else, have not attempted to challenge the points of my argument in any way
There is enough insider information in our folk songs to suggest that they came from the people they described - they are three dimensional rather than the flat caricatures and pastiches of the broadsides
They deal with their subject matter with reality and sympathy and their characters smell of tar and cordite and cowshit and have dirt under their fingernails
That is the stuff of our finest researching writers even better - not of provably poor poets wiking to a tight deadline.

It is precisely because of this diversive nit-picking that I see no point in taking this argument song-by-song
For someone who has examined these songs, as a singer or as an interested researcher, the unique reality (not factual detail) is self evident - you really do recognise the genuine article when you see it, even if you have never heard it before
That point has been made to us by every single singer we have interviewed

If you are not going to challenge, or even discuss the main points I have made, they remain as part of the argument to be put against any other that may arise
I don't see too many of them so far

"How do we know"
We don't "know" anything, but it is logical to assume that a body of songs on a theme that has persisted throughout our warlike history and including differing carrying a single piece of information that simply wouldn't make sense otherwise are related to a custom that has persisted for centuries
THe 'broken token' has always been treated as a 'folk motif' in both song and folk tale - there is no reason to challenge that view now, unless someone comes up with new evidence
I see no signs of that - do you?

"demonstrate just how valuable Roud's approach,"
The 'New age' "approach" does away with the need for evidence and reduces it to number-crunched statistics
The people in the songs become one-dimensional creations produced in a hurry - for profit rather than reflections of peoples' lives
That is contrary to every conclusion I have reached over the time I have been involved in folk song
Doesn't work for me, I'm afraid
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 05:51 PM

Interesting reference: nice to credit the researcher, Amanda Maclean. Folk Music Journal, Vol 11, No 1.

However, Andrew Lambie, or Lamb, of Edinburgh, was 'one of Her Majesty's trumpeters'. He also appears in the records of the Royal Life Guards. In 1684 he was described as trumpeter to a first cousin once removed to the Laird of Fyvie. Apparently he played trumpet at the funeral of the Duchess of Wemys.

It may be that this person was in the mind of whoever wrote the ballad. But there is no evidence that he was actually at Fyvie or that he was accused of witchcraft.

Whether the events described in the ballad ever happened is another thing, something that will never be proved.

But for me, none of this proves that the ballad demonstrates insider knowledge such that it must have been written by a member of the lower orders rather than somebody from another social sphere or, indeed, a ballad writer with some local knowledge. And this what the example was intended to prove.

The castle has reasonable reviews on TripAdvisor.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 01:12 PM

Incidentally
Got this from ana article in the EFDSS journal indicating that, while some of the facts may be slightly wrong, (poetic licence) the ballads was based on actual characters
Jim Carroll

The enduring popular appeal of the old Scots ballad 'Mill of Tiffs Annie* is due in part to the traditional belief that it tells a true story. Although scant, evidence from previously known sources supports the historical existence of five of the song’s six key characters. The sixth character, the trumpeter Andrew Lammie, has until now been known only from the ballad and its accompanying traditions. Archive documents, however, demonstrate that a man by the name of Andrew Lambie, or Lamb, lived in Scotland throughout the last quarter of the seventeenth century and on into the eighteenth, and that he had the right name, age, profession, and marital status to be the Andrew Lammie of the ballad. Furthermore, he was living in the right place, Edinburgh. But while the historical evidence supports the ballad story in one way, it contradicts it in another, for in most versions the trumpeter dies of grief soon after the death of his sweetheart in 1673. Rather than relating the bare historical facts, this ending can be understood to satisfy an emotional need for both singer and audience.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 01:12 PM

How do we know that these multiple 'broken token' songs are evidence of new songs about a common practice rather than borrowings of a theme that makes for a good story.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 12:55 PM

Stop being boorish - I have not been so to you
For someone who's knowledge of alter Prdon appears to be your dislike of upid the Ploughboy, i find your arguments extremely unreliable (to quote yourself)
We relly do have nothing to say to each other
And you have yet to make a single comment on the rest of my argument
I hope my protestations of being the sole culprit of my implied rudeness isn't falling on deaf eyes - so to speak
Finished with you
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 12:43 PM

For me, the various comments and suppositions about this song demonstrate just how valuable Roud's approach, with its emphasis on evidence, is.

It is all to easy to jump from 'is believed to be', or 'might be' to 'is'.

Let us take the idea that a statue on one of the finials on Fyvie Castle represents Lammie, a character from the song. I wondered whether this would come up. The idea that it represents Andrew Lammie is complete speculation. Yet on one website, a claim that it represents Andrew Lammie is said to be 'irrefutable evidence' that the story is true.

There are six such statues, and their significance is discussed on page 136/137 of an archaeological report on the castle.

https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/pdfplus/10.3366/arch.2015.0071

Let us take the gravestone of Agnes/Annie Smith: it is hard to find an account of what it says, but no account of it I have found states that she was murdered, the fate provided for her in several versions of the song.

My garden exists, but this does not mean that there are fairies at the bottom of it.

Otherwise, toys, pram etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 11:57 AM

"Mr Carroll "
Again
My unfriendliness was based on being called Agenda driven and untrustworthy
Up to then I had o problem with you
Joe appears not to have notice behaviour like ths from you and others
let it pass

" but there is nothing to prove that this is the case."
THere is everything to suggest it is based on actual facts - the ruins of 'Tifties Mill is a mile or so outside Fyvie, there is a huge stone in the exterior wall of the church mentioning the miller (been there-done that) and locals have uncover a
n cleared a marked grave for the daughter
For a newcomer who refuses to tell us who he/she is or what you've done, your dismissal of other peoples' opinions and knowledge is.... what's the word I'm looking for?
I've researched this ballad as have many others before me
I think we're finished here
JIM CARROLL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 11:44 AM

Statue not statute, obviously.
:)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 11:36 AM

Mr Carroll is of course free to complain to the moderators about excessive politeness on my part, but he cannot complain that I was addressing him excessively politely, as my post deliberately refrained from addressing him, partly as a result of suppositions to the effect of his unfriendliness.

The idea that the ballad refers to a specific woman appears to have become entrenched in people's minds, but there is nothing to prove that this is the case. The placing of a statute on a nearby castle says a lot more about Scottish romanticism than it does about history.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 10:04 AM

"Tifty's Annie is Scottish, not English."
So ?
Is it your (or anybody's) argument that it was only the English working people who had to go out and buy their songs rather than make them themselves?
It is not my sole evidence, nor was i=witchcraft my only point - it is part of the reality of the lenghths aa family would go to to prevent his (money in the bank) daughter from marrying out of her class
Taken as a whole, in its way it is a protest at the inhuman effects that such a social system had on many of the families
That fact that the relates relates to real historical figures who are commemorated by a plaque on Fyvie Church wall for the father, a neglected and almost hidden grave for the daughter and a statue of the trumpeting herald on the top of alt least one castle adds to its reality, though, as far as I am aware, there are no written-up accounts of the killing for a hack to draw upon as far as I am aware - it's all in the ballad

There are many dozens of similar songs
Harry Cox once sang 'Betsy the Serving Maid' for Alan Lomax and Ewan MacColl and spat out at the end of it, "And that's what the buggers thought of us"
You can't beat that for an artist's commitment to his art.
Why should a money-making hack care about an insignificant and commonplace event such as this ?
As this seems to be the only point you seem to wish to comment on, I suggest you go back and see if you can come up with some more

"which Mr Carroll"
I choose to be addressed as Jim Carroll (Jim even) - it's supposed to be me who is the unfriendly troublemaker here
Please don't try to unseat me from my position Mr (or Mrs) whatever your name is
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 08:57 AM

Tifty's Annie is Scottish, not English.

Having been published several times, it is a case where, as Lloyd comments, broadsides and the oral tradition are as mixed as 'Psyche's seeds.' Robert Jameson (1806) has a version of it taken down from a stall copy. It is sometimes said to be about a real woman who died in the 17th century, but nobody can know this for certain. What seems certain is that the ballad was taken up by Scottish 'romantics' as evidenced in the placing of a statute of one of the characters on the top of a castle nearby.

I cannot let Jim Carroll's analysis of this song pass.

1 If it is intended to support a view that this song is an apt example to answer Richard's request for an example of a song showing expert inside knowledge of life at the bottom, it fails. Witchcraft trials were common knowledge. The comment on 'changing' social structure in the Scotland of the 17th century is for me too vague. Most people have some social knowledge of their country.

2 The most striking thing about this song as 'social history', which Mr Carroll appears to be quite blind to, is that it is about extreme domestic violence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 06:54 AM

"All histories are revised by succeeding generations when people ask different questions of the sources"

This is an interesting point. Earlier on I quoted singer and writer Vic Gammon on how pure objectivity is an impossibility and how we always reflect our own context. So I agree broadly with the comment, while also having found Roud's book useful and interesting because of his focus on contemporary sources of information relating to the centuries he discusses. It certainly feels more 'objective' than some work on folklore.

His 'century by century' approach is useful partly because in each chapter you will find evidence of songs which we still know about and can identify being sung in that century. He starts with the 16th century, and provides evidence of people knowing 'Chevy Chase'. He then gives some background of that song. He points out that there is a version written from the Scottish point of view and one written from the English point of view. He says we don't know for certain which version came first.

The sixteenth century chapter has many 'gems', as does the rest of the book. For example, there were attempt to deal with the problem of vagrants roaming the country: you were supposed to stay in your own area, and the laws to deal with this focussed on musicians and singers as well as vagrants generally. (This system lasted a long time: if you were distitute you would get sent back to your 'parish of settlement' so that the ratepayers there carried the expense.) I think people were busking and seen as linked to pickpocketing and so on. And no doubt some were. Musicians (aristocracy apart) had to take care not to fall foul of the laws.

There were several cases of a man who ended up in trouble because he took a job playing the fiddle at a wedding a few miles away from his home.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 04:00 AM

"Now, please give us some examples of songs where you see internal evidence of familiarity with the lives of the subjects of the songs, familiarity that an urban person writing for the broadside press would be unlikely to possess."
I'll try though I have done this before and you have totally ignored the main bit of my question
Where to begin?

How many of them worked the land to become familiar with the working terms that appear in the songs, the problems of seasonal changes, the pressure of having to pay rent....?
The same with going to sea or to war
How many of them experienced the family life where it is necesary to preserve your good-looking daughter for suitable marriage in order to try and take a tiny step up the social ladder - how many of them experienced the family conflicts that causes?

One of the popular bodies of folk song are the Broken Token songs - I sing a few myself
It always bugged me - how do you break a gold ring or a coin in hald - I've tried it myself - you can't - yet this piece of apparently nonsensical information appears in dozens of songs
When we wre preparing the notes for our Traveller CDs Pat stumbled across 'the gimmel ring tradition'
It was common country practice of a man wishing to get his leg over to prove his fidelity by giving the girl part of a specially manufactured ring on the promise to marry her - it acted as a sealed agreement
The practice existed in Elizabethan times among the wealthy where a ring wa made to be divided in three parts - part for the man, part for the woman and a third part for a witness
It died out sometime in the 18th century among the wealthy, but was continued in the countryside, where you could purchase a cheply made, riveted together double ring which could be scratched in such a way as to identify the two pices as coming from the same source
Even Hardy refers to this obliquely in Far From the Madding Crowd
There's a full description of this in Chambers Book of Days, yet this has never been tied up with the songs - not even by song scholars - it was taken as read by the singers

AS early of the ballad, Tifties Annie, you got oblique references to the effects of a changing society where the power was beginning to pass from the land gentry into the hands of the rising tradesmen - with a few suggestions of the current witchcraft trials thrown in for good measure - a truely remarkable piece of social history
Mnay of the ballads use country commonplaces, vernacular and Popular folklore and superstitions as if it was an everyday part of the maker's life - which it possibly was

All these things were dealt with sympathetically from the point of view of the hard-working and often oppressed ordinary people - lawbreakers included -
Why - were the hacks all early social reformers?
   
Our songs are full of this sort of thing - the camp followers who traisaipsed after the armies during the war - women on board ships - vivid and realistic descriptions of the feelings of farm workers tricked into the army or the navy, the personal effects of the enclosures of country people who relied on common land to feed themselves - even sharp descriptions of transportation, or whaling, or other occupations or occurences that forced them from home

I've argued things like this in detail in the past and been met with nonsensical excuses - the hacks studied the subjects before they wrote them up - they went to sea or worked the land... a whole string of excuses to bend the facts to fit the theory

How did broadside hacks working under pressure become so familiar with vernacular and lore and practices that they could convince the singers from the backgrounds of the songs that ther were "real" or "true" - it takes a skilled novelist to even approach that level of reality and very few of them manage that - John Steinbeck just about managed it inthe US - Robert Tressell did in England - the former spent time with his subjects, the latter was a house painter.

You have not attempted to explain the obvious skill that went into the songs
If the hacks were that good we'd know who they were because the would have had the pride to put their name to their compositions - as it is we know hardly any by name, nor how they went about their work

There is no major plank of ny argument - none of it makes sense, especially how those scholars, from Child onward, many of whom were working at the time the braodside presses were operating managed to be totally ignorant that while they were doing their researching the authors of the songs they were working on were on their doorstep
It is utter and complete nonsense to suggest that a couple of twenty-first century desk-bound researchers researching more than a century later know more than all these people

Once again I have allowed myself to be grilled and once again my main questions have been passed over and ignored
Your turn now
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Harry
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 02:54 AM

All histories are revised by succeeding generations when people ask different questions of the sources. For me, Roud's book is a magnificent (revisionist) first step in making folk song studies relevant to the 21st century.

This doesn't negate what has gone before (shoulders of giants, anyone?).

Personally, again, it's the tunes and songs that I find most interesting, for their own sake, and the final sentence in Kathryn Hughes' review in the Guardian (here) sums up my views perfectly:

"These catchy tunes with their satisfyingly repeating choruses . . . . . are part of a landscape that is recognisably communal without being nationalistic. And as for the fact that many of them turn out to be as arriviste as Sharp himself, it’s not clear why it should really matter.".

Harry

P.S. I really enjoyed the book and I'm looking forward to a more leisurely read over the winter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 04:41 PM

Jim
> You appear not to be reading anything I write Richard try a couple of postings up

Oops. Mea culpa. I evidently failed to refresh the page before posting.

HOWEVER:
1. Who made our folk songs, what part did the 'folk' play in their making and what are the historical implications of the songs we have up to now described as "folk songs"

That is three questions, and you answered the first one yourself in that same post: "Let's face it - none of us know who made the folk songs - the evidence simply doesn't exist". In fact there is evidence in some cases, but hard evidence not for very many.

What part the 'folk' played varies from: wholly responsible, making the song in the first place, preserving and transmitting it, and possibly changing it (for better or worse); to passively taking up a commercial product and changing it little or not at all. For some songs we can compare the version(s) collected with the first known version and draw some conclusions as to what the folk did with it, but in very few cases can we tell for certain whether the first known version was the original: back to the first question.

Historical implications: again very varied, from eye-witness accounts of battles, through "as I walked out" scenarios that refer to no particular time and place but may illustrate an aspect of social conditions, to ballads set long ago and far away.

2. Is it acceptable to ignore over a century convention of accepting our folk songs as unique by lumping in the products of commercial song making

The distinction is not at all as clear cut as you (and indeed many of us) would like it to be. A few examples have been cited above of songs that were accepted by the old collectors as folk songs but that were definitely the products of commercial song making. You have cited Walter Pardon's distinctions, but as I commented above those seem to have been according to old and not-so-old rather than folk and not-folk.

Anyway I have had a go at answering, and I hope one or two others can also contribute.

Now, please give us some examples of songs where you see internal evidence of familiarity with the lives of the subjects of the songs, familiarity that an urban person writing for the broadside press would be unlikely to possess. That has been a major plank of your argument, so it deserves to be elaborated, even if we can seldom be certain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 12:51 PM

Hello, Vic

You make an interesting point.

I hadn't noticed that as a difference between that chapter and the rest of the book. In terms of the 'interview' sources you mention, maybe there simply aren't so many interview sources in the earlier centuries covered by the book.

I agree with you about tbe bibliography, and the index is useful though annoyingly mine has a lot of pages missing starting at about the ltter K. They don't seem to have been ripped out: they seem never to have been there. But I got a refund from the seller (2nd hand) so I can't complain though it is a bit of a nuisance if you are interested in a topic beginning L to Z


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 11:55 AM

Pseudonymous wrote:-
"One part of the book that caught my attention was towards the end of the section called Just Before and after the Battle, Mother."


One thing struck me about the forty pages of that chapter that made it different from the rest of the book was the number of quotations that Roud makes in this chapter. There are 22 quotations of song lyrics and 34 of prose comments either from written or transcribed interview sources; all of these are dove-tailed carefully to illustrate or enhance the points that he is making or the activity that he is describing. Perhaps there is more in the literature and in the songs about the lives of soldiers and sailors, but I'd like to know if he was making this chapter different consciously or whether it is just a coincidence. I must try to remember to ask him the next time that I see him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 11:16 AM

Vic

One part of the book that caught my attention was towards the end of the section called Just Before and after the Battle, Mother.

This is because one of my grandfathers was a military bandsman, and it would appear from the insignia he is wearing in the sole photo I have of him that he was a band leader. I know he played clarinet and other woodwind. He was in the Boer War and also WWI, as was a son who was killed at Ypres. The family was musical generally, with some playing in dance bands as well as public concerts of military band music.

This was by no means a middle-class family: it seems that the army provided musical training to suitable candidates and that this sometimes served people well after they left the service.

I should make it clear that Roud is not, of course, claiming that military band music was 'folk', but drawing on contemporary sources to give some account of what was sung in those contexts at the time.

Also, I will say that I by no means wish to justify the activities of the British in Africa! But my ancestor was there, and it interested me to read about what his musical experiences there were like.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 10:58 AM

You appear not to be reading anything I write Richard try a couple of postings up
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 10:31 AM

Jim
> Sorry Richard, if you can't be botheerd finding out after my putting them up half a dozen times, I really can't be bothered putting them up yet again

Please don't waste your time restating them at length, but please don't expect me to waste much of mine by ploughing through dozens of your posts, some of them very lengthy, to find the questions that you're concerned about. I have scanned the thread for about the first dozen question marks in posts from you (not counting ones where you were quoting someone else) and some of those were rhetorical.

If you have specific questions that you want answered please either restate them briefly or refer us to the relevant posts. I promise to provide answers if I can.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 09:06 AM

In that case, perhaps we can discuss Roud's book?
Now, that would be a really excellent idea! Let's hope that, for a while at least, we can keep the focus on the book itself.
There have been a number of reviews of it that have not been mentioned in the thread with all the other stuff that has been flying about. Now as Steve Gardham has pointed out, the number of people who are qualified to make a full critical assessment of the book are few, so this like one, like some others, reads as a synopsis of the book's contents, but Alex Gallacher's on the website at Folk Radio also makes important points.
I won't reproduce the whole review here as it can be read from the clickable link. The most important point, though Alex is not the only one to make it, is this:-
The book draws and a huge range of sources, the bibliography alone is very extensive. Most importantly, Roud succeeds at furthering our understanding by being objective rather than hindering it as others have maybe done before.

In his Afterword, he notes “As more and more historical sources are digitised and made readily available, we may even be approaching a golden age of folk-song research, if only we have the people to embrace it.”

Folk song research has been bedeviled by the lack of an unbiased clarity of though and approach. It is the fact that Roud assesses the material that arises from his vast amount of research in a way that is objective rather than hindering it as others have maybe done before. that makes the book seem so radical. The way that Roud sees such the possibility of such a positive future for folk-song research is very encouraging.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 08:31 AM

We have been discussing this book before you arrived and we have continued to discuss its implications since
What you appear to want is for us to pay homage to what I believe to be an excellent but basically flawed book

I shouldn't have reactad to Richard's request as shaply as I did - for which, I apologise
I heve become tired of the lack of response to this question, despite the fact that people apparently regard my opinions important enough to try to trip me up on other issues
I have also become tired of being accused of lying, distorting and insulting by people who have been less that onest and polite themselves
I believe that this whole debate boils to two basic issues
1. Who made our folk songs, what part did the 'folk' play in their making and what are the historical implications of the songs we have up to now described as "folk songs"
2. Is it acceptable to ignore over a century convention of accepting outr folk songs as unique by lumping in the products of commercial song making

The implications of this latter is, if the answer is yes, then we still have a living tradition and everything that is sung at a Karaoke session should have a Roud number.

Richard (sorry again) - this is my point again
Jim

>Let's face it - none of us know who made the folk songs - the evidence simply doesn't exist
At no time has Seve ever been able to produce one of our standard folk songs that he can prove to have originated in print - he has admitted that
So we are faced with two alternatives
On the one hand we have a bunch of bad urban poets working under extreme pressure to satisfy an urban market - despite claims, there is little evidence of how they composed, where they got their information and why they chose the subjects they did and dealt with them in the sympathetic, knowledgeable way they did

On the other you have a section of the population, largely non-literate (recreational reading didn't kick in till the latter half of the 19th century in the towns and in the countryside, very few working people could read fluently until the 1880s (less than one third
They lived in poorly lit, cramped homes and worked extremely long hours, sso the opportunity of learning from the printed word was minimal
Ireland has proved beyond doubt that people not only could make songs by the hundreds but it became a necessity to do so in order to describe what was happening to them
Also, the oral tradition has shown that the singers were capable of taking a song and remaking it into version after version to suit their on backgrounds and circumstances
If people were able to do this, it is far more likely that they made folk songs than the hacks did."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 08:04 AM

In that case, perhaps we can discuss Roud's book?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 07:45 AM

Sorry Richard, if you can't be botheerd finding out after my putting them up half a dozen times, I really can't be bothered putting them up yet again
Finished here until someone makes an effort to respond
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 07:17 AM

This thread remains very active yet makes minimal progress. There is much repetition in different words or even the same words. There is much criticism of others' opinions and, sadly, some personal criticism. None of that gets us any further.

Jim
> None of you are answering my questions yet you keep piling up yours

Please remind us of what specific questions you have asked and not had answered.

As for "piling up" ours; we have repeated one that we really would like you to answer, please nicely.

Fact: we know the authors of a few songs for certain.

Fact: we don't know and probably never will know for certain the authors of most of them.

However, on the basis of internal evidence of style and phraseology some of us believe that the bulk of them (N.B. most, not all) were made by broadside writers (or writers for the stage, the glee clubs and the pleasure gardens). That is not to say that bad poets made good songs. Poets of all sorts made songs of all sorts, most of which deservedly died while some (not always good according to our present-day aesthetics) survived to be collected.

Meanwhile on the basis of internal evidence of first-hand knowledge of the lives of the people that they deal with, Jim believes that a lot of songs were made by those people.

We have asked Jim to expand on that, picking some songs that he believes show such knowledge.

Apropos Child changing or not changing his mind:
Steve
> I'd say including a very large amount of these 'dunghill' pieces was tantamount to changing his mind, wouldn't you?
Jim
> Nope - I certainly wouldn't
He included everything bad and good and didn't let his own prejudices get in the way

He certainly included a much higher proportion of poor quality stuff as time went on. And he never did say much about his criteria for inclusion or exclusion. His statement cited by Steve, (Dover) Volume 5, p182, is as near as we get and does imply that he was deliberately being more inclusive towards the end than he had been earlier.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 02:31 AM

Now - are any of you going to respond to my points are we going to continue with the one-sided grilling
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 02:30 AM

I've just been warned for my over-enthusiastic langage you people, yet you depart with this despicable comment
I hope those in charge are viewing this - I find your behaviour... well, I'm sure you are well used to how I find your behaviour
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 03:19 PM

One last thing, Jim, when and if you find it don't forget to flag it up in full or produce a blue clicky. Don't want you up to your old tricks do we?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 03:01 PM

"I'm off to Whitby"
Lucky escape eh i I'll keep it warm for you
No problem. I'd say including a very large amount of these 'dunghill' pieces was tantamount to changing his mind, wouldn't you?"
Nope - I certainly wouldn't
He included everything bad and good and didn't let his own prejudices get in the way
What kind of excuse is that for a reasearcher
C'm - on
You should have left yourself the week to think of a better one
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 02:50 PM

You've got a week to dig it out, Jim. I'm off to Whitby FF for the week. I doubt I'll be near a computer. I'm relying on you to have provoked another 94 posts before I get back.

Sorry you've become bored, Tzu. I've enjoyed your contributions. Thanks anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 02:29 PM

Thee can keep whatever file thee larkes: I'm bored with this.

Bye


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 02:24 PM

Jim
No problem. I'd say including a very large amount of these 'dunghill' pieces was tantamount to changing his mind, wouldn't you?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 01:51 PM

No - it was Child
I have quoted your having said it several times - this is the first you've ever denied if
D o I detect the smell of screeching tyres again?
I'll dig it out when I have time - I should be able to find it, it's not far away from your 'seagoing and deeply researching hacks"
I'll have to start keeping a file of all thee excuses
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 01:51 PM

Jim,
To be honest I think you must be referring to my statement that Child gradually changed his mind about his all-inclusive policy, especially as he became ill and wanted to spend more time with the family. This culminated in the statement at Volume 5, p182 just before he died. I'm sure I've posted it before here but I'm pretty certain everybody here would have a set. If not I can post it easily. It's not that long. Perhaps you could post it for us?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 01:41 PM

1900?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 01:40 PM

>>>>you once told me that Child was rethinking his attitude to the broadsides<<<<
That would be Baring Gould, Jim, who did change his mind several times.

The only reference I made to Child's attitude to broadsides is that he used an awful lot of them considering his aversion. Almost all of the Robin Hood ballads for instance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 01:20 PM

"Personally, at present, I feel more like parodying Jim Carroll's questions rather than responding to them. "
I'm sure you do - it's far easier than answering them - though your Mona Lisa analogy, if aimed at untalented hacks making our beautifully thoughtful folk songs, is a perfect one - I wish I'd thought of it
The lot of you are running around like headless chickens, which, for me, is indicative that none of you have thought this through
You are very reminiscent of Billy Connolly's old joke "If you want to confuse a policeman ask him a question"
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 12:58 PM

The point in respect of Walter Pardon giving different information at different times is that working with tradition bearers is not an unproblematic activity. It isn't intended to be a critisism of Pardon or those enthusiasts who met him and interviewed him.

I find some of his other songs are more enjoyable.

But here, once again, Roud's book is invaluable, with its (or rather Bishop's) discussion of differing aesthetic values.

Personally, at present, I feel more like parodying Jim Carroll's questions rather than responding to them.

"How do you justify your claim that an untalented dauber like da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa?"

But, as will be clear, parody has never been my strong point, so here instead is a link to a page on 'begging the question'.

http://www.txstate.edu/philosophy/resources/fallacy-definitions/Begging-the-Question.html

And an example of question begging from this thread:

"You have never explained how bad poets could possibly have made so many good songs"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 11:46 AM

Incidentally Steve, you once told me that Child was rethinking his attitude to the broadsides
Can you link me to that please?
I asked once before but, as with many requests, I received no answer
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 18 - 11:41 AM

None of you are answering my questions yet you keep piling up yours
Enough is enough eh - how about making this a two way street rather than target practice ?
I'm becoming more and more convinced that your main driving force here is a desire not to believe ordinary people made folk songs - I know no way around suh dedication
Put up or admit that your brand new theory is full of holes and needs to be rethought (or thought through even)
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 15 September 8:02 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.