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What is Happening to our Folk Clubs

Jim Carroll 02 Nov 17 - 10:37 AM
Raggytash 02 Nov 17 - 09:48 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 17 - 09:42 AM
Raggytash 02 Nov 17 - 08:27 AM
Vic Smith 02 Nov 17 - 08:22 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 17 - 07:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Nov 17 - 07:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Nov 17 - 06:46 AM
Howard Jones 02 Nov 17 - 06:45 AM
Iains 02 Nov 17 - 06:04 AM
r.padgett 02 Nov 17 - 05:25 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 17 - 05:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Nov 17 - 04:54 AM
Raggytash 02 Nov 17 - 04:49 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 17 - 04:33 AM
Iains 01 Nov 17 - 05:27 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 17 - 05:08 PM
Raggytash 01 Nov 17 - 04:49 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 17 - 04:22 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 17 - 04:16 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 17 - 02:54 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 17 - 02:31 PM
TheSnail 01 Nov 17 - 02:18 PM
TheSnail 01 Nov 17 - 01:41 PM
Jack Campin 01 Nov 17 - 01:39 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 17 - 01:37 PM
Vic Smith 01 Nov 17 - 01:33 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Nov 17 - 12:59 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 17 - 12:59 PM
Vic Smith 01 Nov 17 - 12:49 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 17 - 12:26 PM
TheSnail 01 Nov 17 - 11:45 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 17 - 11:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 17 - 10:38 AM
Raggytash 01 Nov 17 - 10:18 AM
Raggytash 01 Nov 17 - 10:16 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 17 - 10:13 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 17 - 10:00 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 17 - 09:52 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 17 - 09:49 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Nov 17 - 09:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 17 - 08:59 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Nov 17 - 08:50 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Nov 17 - 08:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 17 - 08:40 AM
Howard Jones 01 Nov 17 - 08:29 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 17 - 08:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 17 - 07:41 AM
Raggytash 01 Nov 17 - 07:37 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Nov 17 - 07:32 AM
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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 10:37 AM

"Just stating fact Jim."
No you're not Raggy - you're mixing it
MacColl changed his name officially and was only referred to as Miller by the 'lower echelons'
If MacColl is Miller then Dylan is Zimmermann


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 09:48 AM

Just stating fact Jim.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 09:42 AM

No- it isn't Vic - It was written for Phillip Donnellan's film, The Irishmen, nver released in Britain as the Beeb didn't like what some of the Navvies said about the conditions on English sites
It was shown on Irish television when Donnellan died in 1999 and is due to be shown at our local History Society next month, if you're around
It's a superb film and the soundtrack includes Joe Heaney, Bobby Casey, Tom McCarthy, Martin Burns and Seamus Ennis
Some of MacColl's best songs were used, but never sung around because they were never released elsewhere, apart from Tunnel Tigers

THE RAMBLER FROM CLARE (1966)
I had to sell my bicycle to get me fare over. The missus had to borrow from the neighbours, a pound here, ten bob there, to get me fare. I'll try and get my wife and family over here this year if I make a go of it, for there's definitely nothing back in Ireland for a poor man. Nothing! (John Foran, recorded in London, 1965)

There's Johnny Munnelly, a Mayo man, was the greatest man that ever came out of Ireland, and he slaughtered himself for John Laing, took TB and died. And the sinker, Jim Heeley ... slaughtered himself upon piece-work that tore that man's heart and guts out. The man's walking around now with one lung and there's not a man to walk up and say, 'Well, Jim, you've done good work! Here's a pint! Here's a pound, here's a feed.!' They're finished for life. They're finished for life! ' (County Offally man, recorded in London, 1965)

         
tune: traditional Irish ('The Rambler from Clare')
new words and trad arr.: Ewan MacColl
? 1968 Stormking Music, Inc.

I am a young fellow that's very well known;
I've travelled through Galway and the County Tyrone.
For work I've been searching through Cork and Kildare,
There was never a job for the rambler from Clare.

Through Kerry I searched with no brogues to me feet,
I was stranded in Sligo with nothing to eat;
Till in desperation I borrowed the fare,
And 'Goodbye to old Ireland,' said the rambler from Clare.

On the boat leaving Ireland I stood in the bar,
And a big red-faced agent he stood me a jar.
Says he: 'Up in Scotland they're building dams there
And there's plenty of work for a rambler from Clare.'

I made for Argyll where I dug a big hole;
It was half-a-mile deep and I felt like a mole.
It held ten million gallons of water, I swear,
And the most of it sweat from the rambler from Clare.

The next job I worked on was digging a drain;
I moved up the trench like a big diesel train.
They laid off the rest of the gang then and there,
For the equal of ten was the rambler from Clare.

One day they was moving a bridge into place
And a thousand-ton crane it falls flat on its face.
Like Ajax that bridge on me shoulders I bear -
There's no crane in the world like the rambler from Clare.

They'll tell you my equal was ne'er to be seen;
They called me 'the horse' and 'the digging machine';
The gangermen loved me, the agents would stare,
All admiring the strength of the rambler from Clare.

But now I am bent and me fire is turned cold;
In another four years I'll be fifty years old.
I'm worn out and finished, but what do they care?
For they've had all they want of the rambler from Clare.

MacColl always spelt his name this way - that's the way the family spell it now - typo on my part
I'm never sure whether Dylan spells Zimmermann with on N or two Raggy - don't be petty
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 08:27 AM

Neither Vic, his name is Jimmy Miller !!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 08:22 AM

Two questions for Jim -

* Is "MaColl's neglected navvy songs, Rambler From Clare" a different one from the well known song "Johnny Patterson, the Rambler from Clare" that Harry Bradshaw writes about at http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/music/johnny_patterson_bradshaw2.htm Bradshaw calls him not a navvy but "the 19th century Irish circus clown".


* Is the spelling of Ewan's surname 'MaColl' as you have just posted or is it 'MacColl' as you posted at 17 Oct 17 - 08:51 AM. It's not just you. I see that surnmame given in both these ways as well as sometimes 'McColl' that I find it confusing.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 07:22 AM

Jim. I do not think you will find anyone on this forum trying to "junk"
either the material, the existing definitions,
You have done both Ians - you have described the music as an irrelevance of the past and have consistently challenged the definition
"But in your definitions it is now a sterile ,fossilised body of work,"
I did not say this - I pointed out the uses it has been put to in both creating new songs and being used to display workers lives, particularly in the form of the Radio Ballads
The songs themselves are no more "corpses" than are the plays of Shakespeare or the literary creations of Dickens and Hardy - they continue to entertain, inspire and move   
All have the similar problem of the dumbing down of our culture via technology - the beauty of our language is being debased, literacy is being destroyed by misuse or non-use, the general attention span has lessened and the commercialisation of our culture has made it subservient to the market rather than the needs of people in general.
Today's music is created with a sell-by date and it comes into the world still-born - fixed in its conceived form and belonging to the creator - that is why it can never belong to 'the folk'
You can sing it in your bath, but is you attempt to pass it on to the general public you pay for the privilege.
Ye can no longer pass on, receive and remake the songs in our own image, which was an essential feature of folk creation
The essential creative asset of folk creation was its narrative quality and its universality was based on the fact that the depicted characters generally were named and had real occupations - we could identify with and adapt them to meet our own situations.
We could even revisit them a century or so later and continue to do the same.
That is not the case with commercial modern composition, though it can work with newly made songs using the old forms
As with Al's background, my dad was a navvy - when I restarted singing I took a look at MaColl's neglected navvy songs, Rambler From Clare, Indeed I Would, Farwell to Ireland and Tunnel Tigers - I had n problem in identifying with them and neither do those I now sing them to here on the West Coast of Ireland.
They reflect their lives as they resonate with my family background
No pop song could ever do that in a million years as they are rooted in a fantasy world of nameless non-people (with very few exceptions)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 07:03 AM

Agreed, Al. Shame we had to get to nearly a thousand posts before someone actually came up with what are probably the best set of reasons for folk clubs closing! I think what would now be a positive step is if we were to discuss what can be done about it. Although that may get to another 1K ;-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 06:46 AM

This is a very rewarding thread.

My own family were descended from the navvies that were working on the canals round Liverpool in the early 1800's. My grandfather was sold as an infant for a quid to the Whittle family - by an Irish gypsy lady called Travers. The sale was effected in a pub in St Helens.

As Jim's post had relevance to me personally. it was interesting. not that i like to get bogged down in the past. the grandfather became an english soldier who had no truck with the Irish republican cause. THe Irish branch of the family were doing physical jerks with some sort of IRA youth organisation in the 1930's - preparing to fight with the English! I can see how they wouldn't get on. history isn't a tidy business.

however , Ray Padgett's hard headed analysis is probably the most interesting set of propositions to people who actually do the business of organising folk clubs. I won't say Jim's turf war isn't interesting, but one suspects its really neither here nor there. When folk clubs were doing well. The Grey Cock and The Star Club and The Old Crown in Digbeth were packing in the traddy crowd and Les Ward and Jim McPhee were running very successful contemporary folk clubs during the 1970's. When folk clubs were doing well. Everyone was doing well.

My own recollection of the period was that I had a folk club in the wilds of Staffordshire that I took over from Andy Dwyer. I can remember when petrol went up to 30p a gallon , I thought - people won't be able to afford to come out this far. Though it went on another couple years and OPEC kept the pressure on.

Also the breweries got very greedy . Landlords were paying so much rent, they had to charge a lot for drinks.

The tightening up of the breathalyser laws were beneficial for road safety. Neverthe less I suspect there are many of whose heart sinks at the thought of buying diet coke all evening at three quid plus a pint. And the stuff running through you like a bloody tap.

Other considerations are the differing attitudes to disability. You can't really expect an upstairs room in a pub to be an acceptable venue any more. MOre pubs are geared towards being 'food' pubs nowadays. Families eat out more.

Those pubs that want to be drinking holes - the chairs are often bloody uncomfortable and sometimes non existent

Realistically - don't you think these factors have provided more problems for folk clubs than disagreements about what a few intellectuals cooked up in 1954.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 06:45 AM

When I go to a folk club I expect to hear music performed in a certain style. I struggle to describe this with any precision, but I know it when I hear it, more or less. I also acknowledge that the term"folk" as a genre in general usage goes way beyond traditional music or even music based on traditional forms, even though those are my principal interests, and that I am likely to hear this sort of folk as well. That is simply how it is, unwelcome though it may be to some.

I don't expect that everything I hear, even if it is trad, will be to my liking. Likewise I don't always agree when some artists have the folk label attached to them. However, assuming the bulk of material performed is "folk style" then to me it seems reasonable to call itself a "folk club". If I regularly find that too much is not to my personal taste then I won't go, but that is my problem rather than the club's.

The term "folk" is sometimes regarded as toxic, and some suggest dropping the word to avoid putting people off. If a venue is really an open-mic I would expect it to be more successful describing itself as that rather than masquerading as a folk club. However I wonder how many such "folk clubs" really exist? I'm sure there are some, but are they really a widespread problem?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 06:04 AM

Unless there is some degree of agreement it is difficult to describe what occurs within a folk club, let alone being able to categorize the material performed(I am sure there is a better word-but it escapes me)

Jim. I do not think you will find anyone on this forum trying to "junk"
either the material, the existing definitions, or the existing body of research on traditional folk. I cannot see where you get that idea from - certainly not from me. Instead of cherrypicking the bits of a post you do not like and immediately firing off the hip, try and read the entire post and make a reasoned case as with your extensive, thoughtful post above.
I think many of us here are trying to find a way of making the 54 definition encompass "contemporary folk"
As I said above Dave the Gnome made(for me), fairly unique wider interpreation of the 54 definition that allows for "modern contributions" to the genre.

I will   try and explain my problem in terms of what you have previously posted and if I misquote you please correct me.
You say the traditional creative process is dead(the travellers all purchased TV's) Undoubtedly true! Work songs largely if not entirely gone the same way. Hard to sing or create a shanty when one person operating a couple of spool valves does the work of fifty. Similarly I never heard roughnecks singing, only a lot of grunting- until topdrives and iron roughnecks reduced some of the hard graft required.

Undoubtedly there is a huge body of collected work and many performers draw on it. But in your definitions it is now a sterile ,fossilised body of work, with no fresh input, as the traditions have died.
That is why I referred to it (using your definitions)as worrying a corpse. I am not trying to belittle the traditional works in any way, or rejecting them. I suppose in essence what I am trying to say that as the performers/audience get further from the traditions that created them then I suspect the attraction to the genre will diminish over time. MY PERSONAL VIEW! However if you accept that a modern tradition exists then it enables a continuous link with the past and broadens the appeal. If you restrict the definition then I think you do the genre a great disservice.

I would be interested to know what you would describe the transatlantic sessions as - it certainly gathered a wide audience and interest.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: r.padgett
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 05:25 AM

What is happening to our folk clubs:

Folk clubs needs a definition ~ in my view folk clubs were extremely popular through the 70s and 80s and was an often weekly or indeed monthly etc gathering of people who met on a social outing usually in a pub or other quiet ish venue ~ some folk clubs presented the music of the day pop music or an alternative to THE pop music of the time which had a different following

So what is happening to Folk clubs?
My pet word ~ audiences are or lack of is what is missing ~ and I think many will recognise that the world has turned a time or two:

Pubs mismanaged to make pub managers turn them into cash cows and sell the over priced beer to make more profit (or not?0

Country pubs ~ travel by car drinking laws

Venues in general more difficult to find as pubs demolished

Younger potential folk not finding folk their music ~ with exceptions of course

Folk not being really mainstream and loud pop music being the norm

Folk being largely followed by an ageing population on a day to day basis

Clubs being fractionalised into traditional, contemporary ~ musicians sessions, mixed sessions etc ~reason for this is generally to do with the funding issue and audiences which are followers of a certain type of music/song and will stay at home if they are not content

Club organisers who fail to book except to their own tastes

Lack of committees (or not!!) people are people and have their own tastes whims and fancies (an awkward bunch!)

Folk clubs generally being not as dedicated and professional as very many folk club guests would like

Too many would be guests who are not doing their bit to run clubs as they should be doing (in my view)

A diminishing following of floor singers singing and playing (many people and followers are dedicating time and talent still to their branch of folk I would add)and time being of essence

SO are folk clubs being taken over by Folk festivals? Are singers and players spending more time with their fellow singer and players?

What then of folk club guests and folk festivals ~ I have no doubt that folk clubs are still very much in existence and I certainly know of many, many that do book guests regularly

Clubs are made up of disparate individuals each with their one views and aspirations as to what they want from a folk club and indeed what they are prepared to GIVE to the folk club to ensure its success ~ do clubs exist solely to provide a living for the booked guest I would ponder also!

I leave it there for now ~ these are questions to ask mebbe ~ so no personal comments please!

Ray


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 05:00 AM

Folk clubs is the operative word dave - that should be a guide to what happens in folk clubs not a definition
Take on the name and you take on a responsibility
Why call them folk clubs otherwise - nobody is forced to?

Thank you Raggy
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 04:54 AM

We must not become confused with a definition for doing research and a definition of what should happen in folk clubs. Definitions are definitely very relevant for the former but no so much for the latter as has already been discussed. In my opinion.

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 04:49 AM

Thanks Jim, a clear, legible and very interesting post.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 04:33 AM

"Definitions are irrelevant here, or at least not helpful."
Sorry Steve, I'm going to treat this as I feel it deserves - I don't know a single researcher who doesn't use a definition to guide their work - especially one who deals in definitive statements as you do

"Jim. In your last couple of posts it seems to me that if you allowed a slight flexibility in definition"
No Ians - I have never suggested that any club should have a rigid policy of just folk songs, but they remain as defined and researched - at least until someone comes up with something better - nobody has.
As far as using tones, traditional songs were largely descriptions of what was happening at the time they were made, usually emotional based reactions
English songs are dominantly narrative (with some exceptions)with a start, a middle and an end, and a chronologically related plot
The older singers performed them as stories with music - they pitched their voices around speaking tones and they seldom broke up words or sentences (unless old-age forced them to do so)
Every singer we asked told us that the story was far more important than the tune - without fail.

In the healthiest of traditions we worked in, the singers interpreted the songs, where the traditions had died, they tended to remember the words, but tones and speech patterns remained a feature of the singing
If you interpret songs carrying different emotional messages, you do so in different tones as you do in everyday speech
The Critics Group evolved exercises to do what traditional singers did naturally

As far is definition is concerned, it is unbelievably arrogant to suggest that you can dismiss over a century of extensively documented research and replace it with something that happens in a tiny number of clubs who can't even agree among themselves
You want a new definition - put one up and argue for it

Now - what you are attempting to junk
So far, the insistence by some people here on centring this argument around the '54 definition has meant that we have dealt with the songs at arms lenghth
I have become convinced that Folk Songs proper are the products of the working people of Britain - the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution finally placed the making of those songs in the rural areas or in occupations such as soldiering and the seagoing trades
People made songs to express their lives and experiences.
Some were work songs but most were for entertainment, but the circumstances in which they were made make them vital pieces of oral history which was quite often never officially recorded.
That is why, as far as I am concerned, any organisation which calls itself "folk", takes on the responsibility of preserving those songs - the earlier revival pretty well did right up to the 80s - large sections of the clubs no longer do so - hence arguments like these.

There's no question of the job of keeping the songs alive being an 'onerous duty' - thousand of people got a great deal of pleasure singing them for over three decades - ballads, sea songs, lyrical songs comic, tragic, ritual - even kids songs
I see no reason why that still shouldn't be the case

During our research work we went into the backgrounds of the songs in some depth and came up with what we believe were socially important aspects of the songs, which, make them an important part of our social history
I'll put a few up with some of the findings to try and make my point
Some will be Irish, but I feel they are equally relevant, wherever they come from

I'm from a Irish background - my family left Ireland during the evictions following the Famine
This period produced many hundreds of songs reflecting the immigrants' experiences when landing in Britain and America
This is one of those song - in my opinion, both very singable and socially/historically important - I'd be delighted to her that this wasn't the case
It can be heard on The Clare County website listed under 'The Carroll Mackenzie Song Collection

The Sons of Granuaile sung by Michael ?Straighty? Flanagan, Inagh

You loyal-hearted Irishmen that do intend to roam,
To reap the English harvest so far away from home.
I?m sure you will provide with us both comrades loyal and true;
For you have to fight both day and night with John Bull and his crew.

When we left our homes from Ireland the weather was calm and clear.
And when we got on board the ship we gave a hearty cheer.
We gave three loud cheers for Paddy?s land, the place we do adore,
May the heavens smile on every child that loves the shamrock shore.

We sailed away all from the quay and ne?er received a shock,
Till we landed safe in Liverpool one side of Clarence Dock.
Where hundreds of our Irishmen they met us in the town;
Then ?Hurrah for Paddy?s lovely land?, it was the word went round.

With one consent away we went to drink strong ale and wine,
Each man he drank a favourite toast to the friends he left behind.
We sang and drank till the ale house rang dispraising Erin?s foes,
Or any man that hates the land where St Patrick?s shamrock grows.

For three long days we marched away, high wages for to find.
Till on the following morning we came to a railway line.
Those navies they came up to us, and loudly they did rail,
They cursed and damned for ould Paddy?s lands, and the sons of Granuaile.

Up stands one of our Irish boys and says, ?What do you mean?
While us, we?ll work as well as you, and hate a coward?s name.
So leave our way without delay or some of you will fall,
Here stands the sons of Irishmen that never feared a ball.?

Those navies then, they cursed and swore they?d kill us every man.
Make us remember ninety-eight, Ballinamuck and Slievenamon.
Blessed Father Murphy they cursed his blessed remains,
And our Irish heroes said they?d have revenge then for the same.

Up stands Barney Reilly and he knocked the ganger down.
?Twas then the sticks and stones they came, like showers to the ground.
We fought from half past four until the sun was going to set,
When O?Reilly says, ?My Irish boys, I think we will be bet.?

But come with me my comrade boys, we?ll renew the fight once more.
We?ll set our foes on every side more desperate than before.
We will let them know before we go we?d rather fight than fly,
For at the worst of times you?ll know what can we do, but die.

Here?s a health then to the McCormicks to O?Donnell and O?Neill,
And also the O?Donoghues that never were afraid.
Also every Irish man who fought and gained the day
And made those cowardly English men - in crowds they ran away.


?Irish immigrants fleeing the Famine and the mass evictions were met with prejudice and violence in many of the places they chose as their new homes. This account from Terry Coleman?s ?Railway Navvies? gives a vivid description of the reception many of them received when they landed in Britain. It describes the plight of the men who took work as railway navvies in the English/Scots border country:

?Throughout the previous year the railways had been extending through the English border country and into Scotland. A third of the navvies were Irish, a third Scots, and a third English: that was the beginning of the trouble - easy-going Roman Catholic Irish, Presbyterian Scots, and impartially belligerent English. The Irish did not look for a fight. As the Scottish Herald reported, they camped, with their women and children, in some of the most secluded glades, and although most of the huts showed an amazing disregard of comfort, the hereditary glee of their occupants seemed not a whit impaired. This glee enraged the Scots, who then added to their one genuine grievance (the fact that the Irishmen would work for less pay and so tended to bring down wages) their sanctified outrage that the Irish should regard the Sabbath as a holiday, a day of recreation on which they sang and lazed about. As for the Scots, all they did on a Sunday was drink often and pray occasionally, and it needed only an odd quart of whisky and a small prayer to make them half daft with Presbyterian fervour. They then beat up the godless Irish. The Irish defended themselves and this further annoyed the Scots, so that by the middle of 1845 there was near civil war among the railway labourers. The English, mainly from Yorkshire and Lancashire, would fight anyone, but they preferred to attack the Irish. The contractors tried to keep the men, particularly the Irish and Scots, apart, employing them on different parts of the line, but the Scots were not so easily turned from their religious purposes. At Kinghorn, near Dunfermline, these posters were put up around the town:

"Notice is Given
that all the Irish men on the line of railway in Fife Share must be off the grownd and owt of the countey on Monday th nth of this month or els we must by the strenth of our armes and a good pick shaft put them off
Your humbel servants, Schots men."

Letters were also sent to the contractors and sub-contractors. One read:

"Sir, - You must warn all your Irish men to be of the grownd on Monday the 11th of this month at 12 o'cloack or els we must put them by forse FOR WE ARE DETERMINED TO DOW IT."

The sheriff turned up and warned the Scots against doing anything of the sort. Two hundred navvies met on the beach, but in the face of a warning from the sheriff they proved not so determined to do it, and the Irish were left in peace for a while. But in other places the riots were savage. Seven thousand men were working on the Caledonian line, and 1,100 of these were paid monthly at a village called Locherby, in Dumfriesshire. Their conduct was a great scandal to the inhabitants of a quiet Scottish village. John Baird, Deputy Clerk of the Peace for the county, lamented that the local little boys got completely into the habits of the men - "drinking, swearing, fighting, and smoking tobacco and all those sorts of things". Mr Baird thought that on a pay day, with constant drunkenness and disturbance, the village was quite uninhabitable.

A minority of the navvies were Irish, and they were attacked now and again, as was the custom. After one pay day a mob of 300 or 400, armed with pitchforks and scythes, marched on the Irish, who were saved only because the magistrates intervened and kept both sides talking until a force of militia came up from Carlisle, twenty-three miles away.'

The writer goes in to explain that the worst of the riots were to follow. This song describes the situation in Britain, specifically in Liverpool; we have never come across it before and can find no trace of it. A similar song ?Seven of our Irishmen? (Roud 3104), sung by Straighty and by Pat MacNamara, deals with those who landed in America and were targeted as possible recruits for the U.S. army."

Reference:
The Railway Navvies, Terry Coleman, 1965.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 05:27 PM

"I believe the tradition has died but I believe that a mix of those songs and new ones made using them as a template is a perfectly acceptable way of presenting both under one roof - they don't have to be the same to be complementary to one another"

Jim. In your last couple of posts it seems to me that if you allowed a slight flexibility in definition you would find a lot of support for your viewpoint. I will try to amplify what I an getting at:

I would say in the western world ir is not so much the tradition has died, more the way of life that gave rise to the tradition.
Instead of saying new ones made using the old as a template, rephrase it to say contemporary folk is the new tradition that has evolved as old ways have become extinct. If we can agree on this much of the dispute evaporates(Ithink)


The idea that singing in different tones expresses different emotions is a very old idea and those clever enough to compose utilise it either knowingly or instinctively, with great effect. It is this device that raises the hackles, or possibly lyrics can do it by themselves or maybe it is the combination. There has to be some key aspect of a song that makes it memorable enough to be subjected to the
process by which it is recognised as being within the folk genre.This obviously does not include shanties, worksongs etc for the sake of argument let me loosely define them as big ballads. I think the middle ground of what is folk can be accepted by most, but trying to define the end points is a minefield best not entered.
   I think there has been too much emphasis placed on the role of Ewan MacCol, there were others about in the same time period, Derek Sarjeant for one. What actually created the folk revival of the 60's,
was it the critics who few had heard of, or the amount of contemporary folk played on the radio and tv? Top of the Pops even starred the Dubliners in the 60's.

I think most of us going to a folk club expect a variety of material, whether it old new or a mix is I think less important. I think most look for variety either through the genre or through the ages, or all of this.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 05:08 PM

Okay, this has gone on going round and round in circles for far too long. It's taken far too long but you are all not far from being in agreement despite the invectives.

Definitions are irrelevant here, or at least not helpful.

What do we all feel is acceptable to be heard in folk clubs? Jim has clearly stated that it must surely include traditional folk songs and songs that have been written since this revival started that are 'in the style of' those traditional songs. I am not excluding anything at this point, but before continuing let's see if I am right over this and that we can all agree on this.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 04:49 PM

Jim .............. if you are trying to communicate with numerous people on an open forum it is up to you to make your argument clear.

You cannot expect people to make strenuous efforts to decipher your posts.

The onus is on you to post clearly and legibly so that the readers of your posts can understand the points you are trying to make.

The way I am posting now, as I often do, clarifies I hope, the points I am trying to make.

If people do not comprehend what you are trying to say, the problem is largely yours not theirs.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 04:22 PM

One last point - THis seems to be based on the idea that sll folk songs are the same

That came completely out of left field for me. No such thing was implied or intended and having re-read I cannot see how that conclusion was reached. But, if that is how you saw it, I can assure it was a only comment about differing views.

D.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 04:16 PM

Ok, Jim,that was different enough to warrant attention. I can see you are trying to understand my point of view as much as I am trying to understand yours. Thank you for that. I shall try to make my point clearer.

Sorry - I don't understand your point
An evening of any type of song cannot be a definition of a fol song


That is not the point I am trying to make at all and I shall take responsibility for not making it clear. You are quite right. One cannot be the other but if we go back to one of your early points, IE you go to a folk club to listen to folk music, then that is how the two become meshed.

1. You go to a folk club to listen to folk music.
2. If you are satisfied that the folk club has fulfilled your criteria then the songs presented must have been folk music.
3. If the music presented is a mix of traditional and traditional style contemporary songs then...
4. A mix of traditional and traditional style songs must your idea of what folk music should be.

To me that seems a logical conclusion to a clear thought process. You may disagree but rather than suggest I being dishonest in some way, how about testing my logic and disproving it?

BTW - I would be more than interested in your views on whether the song I learned from my Dad is a folk song. Particularly as he learned it from Gypsies and your particular forte is the music of travelers.

Common ground?

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 02:54 PM

" your constant attacks aren't going to do any harm to English folk clubs."
You really do need to look at your own behavior Bryan - but it shouldn't be about us, should it?
Sorry - I don't understand your point
An evening of any type of song cannot be a definition of a fol song
Apart from that, a mix of types of song, as I have always preferred and proposed cannot be a definition of a type of song.
"although I find a little odd,"
Why odd
I believe the tradition has died but I believe that a mix of those songs and new ones made using them as a template is a perfectly acceptable way of presenting both under one roof - they don't have to be the same to be complementary to one another
I reapeat my point being a perfect mix of traditional songs, newly composed ones and vernacular speech
I saw works of playwrights like Alex Glasgow and john McGrath doing exactly the same.
"Life would be very boring if we were all the same."
THis seems to be based on the idea that sll folk songs are the same, which tey most certainly are not - shanties, lyrical songs, narrative songs, big ballads, bawdy songs, rural encounters, humorous songs - throw in a smatter of kids songs and mouth music and, well done, you can let an audience leave walking on air - seen it happen often
The Critics experimented with singing in different tones based on the fact that a human voice alters tonally when it expresses different emotions - try it sometime
British traditional music is basically unaccompanied, but MacColl and Seeger constantly experimented with accompaniment all the time - I have a recording of a two hour lecture Peggy gave on the uses of accompaniment
A standard work evening at the Critics Group was half a dozen varying songs for criticism - oene of the criteria was "did the sameness of yothe songs make your "ears fall asleep"
The more I examine the song tradition, the more surprises I find
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 02:31 PM

If what I say is totally incoherent - as you and Dave have claimed

But I have never claimed such a thing, Jim. I said I had difficulty understanding what you were saying and accepted that I had partial responsibility for that.

He asked
"Do we take it then that this is your definition of folk music?"
I responded that it is not my definition - it is what I expect of a night at a folk club - a mix of folk songs and contemporary song based on folk song styles


But that is not true either is it, Jim. I asked "Do we take it then that this is your definition of folk music?" and you responded No (if your question made sense) how can an evening of songs become a folk song? which, I'm afraid, went over my head.

Still, you have now clarified that what you expect at a folk club is not your definition of folk music which, although I find a little odd, I can accept in the context of this thread. If I go to a folk club I do expect an evening of what I believe to be folk music, which is a mix of traditional and contemporary songs. Life would be very boring if we were all the same.

We are both agreed on what we want from a folk club at least and I admit I will never understand what your definition of folk music is. That is enough for me and as you do not seem to be interested in finding common ground I will also withdraw to the sidelines unless anything other than repetitive argument and invective happens that catches my eye.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 02:18 PM

You're too kind, Vic (much too kind).
I excuse you the typo but as for pre-empting my venomous snail joke...Hrrrmph!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 01:41 PM

Jim, I think you've just about destroyed any credibility you may have had so your constant attacks aren't going to do any harm to English folk clubs.

Because cone snails are slow-moving, they use a venomous harpoon (called a toxoglossan radula) to capture faster-moving prey, such as fish. The venom of a few larger species, especially the piscivorous ones, is powerful enough to kill a human being.

You have been warned.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 01:39 PM

Californiconus californicus is defined by its type specimen - I'm not sure where that is. The analogous way to settle "what is folk?" would be to have the body of Joseph Taylor kept in a glass case at Cecil Sharp House, just down the road from Jeremy Bentham at University College London.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 01:37 PM

Apologies Vic - knee jerk again
Hope I'n not too old to learn
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 01:33 PM

Jim wrote:-
No idea Vic - just had to look it up - I suggest you do the same.
I already have Jim, and it was not as you suggest a "facetious posting". You see, Californiconus californicus is a Venomous Snail! If you look at this website you will find that this snail is the most venomous animal on Earth! I just thought that you ought to be warned what you are up against.
Oh and one more thing.... You posted on 24 Oct 17 - 03:49 AM
I get angry and frustrated occasionally, but it is usually in response to being insulted
Yes, I agree with you, it is pretty horrible being insulted. Perhaps that is why you are always so careful to in your posts not to insult others.
Now, I need to add that you are pretty safe over there in the West of Ireland.... but I am not! I see Bryan pretty frequently and if you look back through these fascinating exchanges you will find that I have had cause to enrage Bryan, so to Bryan I say:-
Bryan,
I would like you to know that I have admired and been in awe of you all these years since I first got to know you in the early 1970s when we were in the Chanctonbury Ring Morris together through to our many meetings when we have been on the organising committee of last month's Lewes Folk Festival.
I would like to apologise profusely once again for the one letter slip in spelling your name which caused you to complain and I seek assurance that you will not use your highly specialized teeth, known as radulae which work like a combination hypodermic needle and harpoon to skewer and poison its prey on me.


That's all. I'll retire to the sidelines again, but will continue to read the discussion which, in the end, is going to make our world a much better place.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 12:59 PM

i think maybe it would be a kindness to precis what Ian and Shirley said.
otherwise we'd have to ferret about in all these posts.

Ian was pretty eclectic from what I remember - he used sing some bits from a Britten opera , was it Peter Grimes I dunno, a bloody long time ago now. A great bloke. i really liked him.

I told him his kids were wasting their time stating a reggae band, which gives some idea of my powers of musical intelligence.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 12:59 PM

No idea Vic - just had to look it up - I suggest you do the same
I assume your facetious posting had a point (apart from the fact that you seem to no longer have an interest in this subject but don't wish to be left out!)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 12:49 PM

At this stage in the proceedings, we need to pause for a moment and leave aside our attempts to define folk song and what is wrong with folk clubs for just a short while. The fact is that we need to be able to define Californiconus californicus. Do you think that you could help us with that, Jim? or others? Then, we can return to the absorbing, engrossing cut and thrust of intellectual discussions that have characterised so much of this thread.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 12:26 PM

"Nope. Totally incoherent."
If what I say is totally incoherent - as you and Dave have claimed, why do you all run round like headless chickens trying to contradict it?
You are truly one of the most disturbingly venomous posters on this forum Bryan
What I put up (in a hurry) was a list of my own quotes repeating what I would expect to see at a folk club
I accompanied it with a list of direct quotes from Dave showing that he was not telling the ruth when he said I had not made my position clear
Daave said:
"You say you expect a folk club to have "reasonably performed traditional songs coupled with new songs that have used traditional forms in their construction"
Then he goes on to accuse me that I had not given an explanaion of hat I expect of a folk club
A contradiction.
He asked
"Do we take it then that this is your definition of folk music?"
I responded that it is not my definition - it is what I expect of a night at a folk club - a mix of folk songs and contemporary song based on folk song styles
You know my opinion of what I expect from a folk club yet you continue to insist that I have not given it
That is maliciously dishonest
You are entitled to say you disagree with it but you are simply lying when you say I haven't given it
Venomous is the word that springs to mind
Jimm Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 11:45 AM

can anyone decipher that for me ..........

Nope. Totally incoherent.

In the same article in the Journal of the International Folk Music Council in which he refers to the simple-minded public, Ralph Vaughan Williams says -
It was, I think, Lord Haldane who said that he could not define an elephant but that he new one when he saw it. I feel the same with folk song, and for the moment we will leave it at that.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 11:45 AM

"can anyone decipher that for me ."
Sighhhhhhhhh!
I very much doubt anybody can decipher what you don't wish to understand Raggy

Just a reminder - most of you have refused point blank to listen to actual examples of my researchers definition of what folk song is 24 programmes worth of them
Most of you have totally ignored Shirley Collins' explanation of what folk song is
You continue to ask what I expect in a folk club yet have refused to comment on Ian Campbell's comment on the importance of contemporary song which I have put up as an example of part of I wish to hear at a folk club
Do you think there is room for a new sports team called 'The Mudcat Dodgers"?
JIm Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 10:38 AM

Yes, Jim, I did indeed say "You say you expect a folk club to have "reasonably performed traditional songs coupled with new songs that have used traditional forms in their construction". and I followed that with Do we take it then that this is your definition of folk music?

To which you replied (01 Nov 17 - 05:25 AM) No (if your question made sense) how can an evening of songs become a folk song?

You say on the one hand this is what you expect at a folk club and on the other say that it does not define what you believe is folk music. Is it any wonder that I am confused as to what you believe?

You ask What is your definition if I have it, bearing in mind that nothing becomes a definition until it is generally accepted?

And I have already said, on numerous occasions, that it is the generally accepted bit that is important. If the right music is playing at a folk club it stands to reason that they are playing folk music as generally accepted by their audience.

You go on to ask What do you offer the punters who turn up at your "folk club"?

Not sure why you feel the need to put folk club in quotes but I shall let that pass and answer anyway. In the 35 years I ran a folk club and festival I offered well performed traditional and contemporary folk music. I do not want to provide a full list of names as that smacks of boasting but it includes

Martin Carthy
Nick Dow
The Wilsons
Vin Garbutt
Anthony John Clarke
The Oyster Ceilidh Band
The Orlyk Ukrainian Dancers
Tu'up (Ghanaian story teller)
And, as the posters say, many more.

So, I have defined what I believe to be folk music (again). I think you have confirmed that you believe folk music is a mix of traditional and contemporary songs. It seems we are in agreement as to what to expect at a folk club.

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 10:18 AM

Cross posted I stand corrected .............

can anyone decipher that for me ..........


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 10:16 AM

Well Dave, you were supposed to respond within fifteen minutes and Jim's now had almost 4 hours to answer your simple question



................. I don't think you're going to get an answer !!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 10:13 AM

"Not on anyone's side Jim, just relating an incident that took place when I was present."
And I'm telling you what I've got on record Hoot
MacColl was never a violent man in my experience and he put up with a load of garbage in the form of slanderous and largely dishonest abuse - that is often forgotten
Dont know if you were around at the time the Travelling People was being made when they put out a last minute appeal for Traveller Made songs
One hero sent a tape of such songs which the team became excited about and agreed to include in the programme - the quality of the recordings were such that it became necessary to farm them out to other singers - Sheila Stewart being one of them
The were scripted in until, at the last minute the donor, Mervyn declared them to be fakes sung by him - a deliberate attempt to sabotage the most influential programme on Travellers made up to then
The same hero later made his name by "correcting" the Alfred Williams manuscript collection with a felt-tipped pen

"So, Jim, after all that, are you going to give us how you define what type of music you expect to hear at a folk club? "
This has ben repeated enough to have movd from being a mistake to one of deliberate distortion
One more (last, I hope) time
30 Oct 17 - 05:52 AM
""Folk clubs since their inception have always had a mixture of traditional and contemporary songs "
Which is wahat I have suggested throughout"
" new songs based on folk forms"
Yoyur own words Dave
"You say you expect a folk club to have "reasonably performed traditional songs coupled with new songs that have used traditional forms in their construction".
Now you have said
" Jim has repeatedly told us that we need to provide a definition, which I have, and has then repeatedly refused to let us know what his definition is."
Is it yourself you can't understand maybe?
Which is the real you that said what?
I have stressed over and over and over again that I do not want n evening of just traditional songs - I have even said that I have never attended one
I have also said I don't believe a club doesn't need a definition, just a consistency related to what it calls itself
Ignoring this is either mass dyslexic or simple dishonesty.
You are either lying or have missed the point that no definition exists and keep referring to it as mine.
Ther is an existing dentition used my most researchers and academics to inform their work - I use it as a researcher, not as a singer.
If I was just a singer I wouldn't need a definition, but I would expect to hear a song as advertised when I set out to a club - that is not pedantry or purism - it is the right every single one of us has to choose our music - take that away and it is you who are imposing your own tastes on others.
What is your definition if I have it, bearing in mind that nothing becomes a definition until it is generally accepted?
What do you offer the punters who turn up at your "folk club"?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 10:00 AM

Are you feeling in the pink, Steve. Or should I call you Floyd?

All in all, it's just another kick in the balls...

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 09:52 AM

I don't need a definition either.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 09:49 AM

broken record or tunnel vision or both- for God's sake will Mr Carroll just stop going on ad nauseam about MacColl & Davenport- it's not black or white and is pointless and boring- whats happening to our folk clubs, well pillocks like Mr Carroll are probably one reason for their decline.....


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 09:35 AM

I suppose we've all been in a folk club, heard songs accompanied by strumming, a mouth organ, a squeezebox of some sort, a tinkly mandolin, bones, spoons or a bodhran and thought we were listening to folk music. Or we've been to a "folk gig" replete with 150-decibel PA. Ha! Every genre of music I'm familiar with is subject to a load of mucking about with. Call it experimentation if you like. The mucking about is either to your taste or it isn't. I love classical music but I can't stand that 12-tone stuff. Trying to define folk song is like trying to put the damn thing in aspic. The very concept of a definition requires that you delineate boundaries. In simpler times when recording was difficult and those instruments were either not used or even invented, and singers weren't roving around the country doing "gigs" as much as they do now, there was perhaps a real heart-of-the-matter folk music that lived in communities. With the best will in the world, you're not getting that back. Like classical, pop or jazz, it has to move on. Instead of lamenting that inevitability, we should be grateful to the Vaughan Williamses, the Bert Lloyds, the Alan Lomaxes and the Ewan MacColls of this world, no matter what their flaws, for recording it, writing it down and archiving it for us, or just putting it to the fore lest we forget. As it's Wednesday, and as such I'll be cracking open a bottle ce soir, I'll raise a glass to Jim for his part in that. Maybe folk music is just a sort of spirit or a sentiment hovering over our kind of music. Indefinable...

I know what I like.

I don't need no definition.

I don't need no thought control.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 08:59 AM

am i alone in not needing a definition?

Not at all, Al. I have never needed one either - this is all academic because Jim has asked us for our definitions. The nearest thing I can come to it is what Howard Jones said at 01 Nov 17 - 08:29 AM. Clubs were driven by the preferences of their audiences. It was always a question of finding a club where the balance most suited one's own taste Yes, I know that is only part of what was said but it comes back to my populist approach earlier. If a club advertises Folk music and is thriving with a good audience most weeks, it is getting something right. It is providing what a lot of people believe is folk music. If a folk club is failing, with dwindling audiences, then it is doing something wrong and is not providing what a lot of people believe is folk music.

Seems pretty straightforward to me but I know not everyone will agree.

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 08:50 AM

am i alone in not needing a definition?

i think its nice to hear all sorts of weird stuff, and its interesting to hear the songs that have interested people enough to have a go at singing it.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 08:48 AM

I don't think there is a definition.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 08:40 AM

Where do I start with the 01 Nov 17 - 06:43 AM post?

Let's see.

I have asked what you haven't understood - with examples - you fail to reply

You said, at 01 Nov 17 - 06:09 AM, a mere 15 minutes before,

What exactly have I written that you don't understand?

Which does not ask for examples and even if it did a 15 minute wait is hardly a failure to reply. If you want an example of what I don't understand it really is quite simple. I don't understand what your definition of folk music is.

Now, let us go on to

I refuse to regard any of you as the lowest common denominator

Please feel free to regard me as such. It is not derogatory, it just provides a measure of where you should be aiming your explanations.

Then how about

One of your number resorted to my being a mental deficient, another to a "boring old fart"
You lot responded to that with silent acquiescence - and you're hurt because I call you stupid!!!


I did not respond because your conversations with other people are not really any of my business. And, no, I am not hurt. I said to be accused of being stupid is rather hurtful. Which it is. I did not say I was hurt and the phrase, if you would care to read it again, is obviously in reference to the anecdote about training people to the lowest common denominator. Being the lowest common denominator is not insulting, which is why I used the term, being accused of being stupid is, which is why I did not say that.

But as this seems to be turning into a discussion about how to discuss rather than about folk clubs and their music I think I will leave it at that. Unless of course you are willing to provide me with a definition of folk music to get us back on track?

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 08:29 AM

The "1954 definition" was for academic study, it was never intended to define what should or should not be played in folk clubs. We have tried countless times on here to try to define what is meant by "folk" but without success. Like it or not, it has spread to encompass more than 'traditional' but where the boundaries lie is inevitably vague and open to dispute.

Folk clubs have always encompassed a wide range of music, often traditional or based on traditional forms but also more modern material. I've heard music hall, early music, ragtime and jazz guitarists, and who knows what else in folk clubs. Even pop songs - surely Swan Arcade's magnificent 3-part harmony version of the Kinks' 'Lola' should not be excluded? Clubs were driven by the preferences of their audiences. It was always a question of finding a club where the balance most suited one's own taste, but back then we often had the luxury of plenty of choice.

I would agree that a venue where people are mostly playing fairly modern pop songs might struggle to justify calling itself a folk club, but is that really a fair representation of clubs now? I admit don't get to many these days, but in my now limited experience I would say that is not the case, and most are largely based around 'folk' as broadly understood and often with a strong emphasis on traditional.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 08:24 AM

"I hate to say it, but repeatedly asking someone to define a folk song in a very polarising 900-post thread looks suspiciously like a booby trap...

It's all about outcomes, chaps..."

I think it's more that it can't be done. I've moved over time here from "if sounds like folk to me, it" is to more favouring (as a second time in this thread) seeing if we can adapt the 1954 type idea to reflect the way some songs or tunes become part of a wider (at least for much of the UK) scene that can not be pinned to local communites.

Opinions will differ of course. And at the end of the day, most of us find what we want (some even starting something new)..


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 07:41 AM

No Steve, it is not a booby trap in any way, shape or form. Jim has repeatedly told us that we need to provide a definition, which I have, and has then repeatedly refused to let us know what his definition is. I have been accused of purposely misunderstanding, which I have not BTW, so I would really like to try to understand what Jim classes as folk music. Without that definition how can I ever understand?

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 07:37 AM

Perhaps it should have been answered at the first time of asking.





Prevarication is such an ugly word.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 07:32 AM

I hate to say it, but repeatedly asking someone to define a folk song in a very polarising 900-post thread looks suspiciously like a booby trap...

It's all about outcomes, chaps...


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