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Correct location for historical song?

Jim Carroll 18 Aug 19 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 18 Aug 19 - 12:37 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 19 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Grishka 18 Aug 19 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Grishka 18 Aug 19 - 05:20 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 19 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,Observer 19 Aug 19 - 04:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Correct location for historical song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 04:56 AM

I often wonder if too much attention to detail acts against the song
Oir traditional songs tended to deal with details in passing rather than make an issue of them where they occurred - I believe this is because the song were made locally for the local consumption and it was unnecessary to repeat something everybody already knew
As outsiders, it is necessary to have some knowledge of what you are writing about but overemphasis of detail brands you as a 'blow-in' - an outsider
In my opinion, MacColl best songs were those he made using the actual words of his subjects - Shoals of Herring, Tenant Farmer, Shellback, Rambler FRom Clare....
Their reality came directly from 'the horse's mouth'
Sometimes it's necessary to explain things in your introduction (or notes)
A perennial favourite of mine is Pete' Smith's 'Clayton Aniline' - a song I still sing and thoroughly enjoy after over fifty year of singing
A couple of the terms would be gibberish if unexplained, but apart from these, the song is so well constructed that the listener can fill in the gaps in knowledge for themselves   
The devil is not always in the detail
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Correct location for historical song?
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 12:37 PM

If one is going to write a song, or a play, or make a film drama or a documentary then do it like Tinseltown or theatreland. Ignore the facts and make sure your errors are in Spades. For example, it`s no good singing about a "disaster" when, in truth, hardly any poor souls were lost. That doesn`t get bums on seats. Make sure there are enough lives lost and people to blame. Your version will deceive but last for years. The only downside is when schools begin to use such "traditional" songs to teach history.


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Subject: RE: Correct location for historical song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 02:22 PM

"That doesn`t get bums on seats"
Not sure about that John - if all you want is to put bums on seats you may as well just book a popular group or star
The most moving and eternal poetry/song is that where the composer says what he/she has to say, croud-pleasers invariably don't
Jim


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Subject: RE: Correct location for historical song?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 05:14 PM

Jim, I think John was in irony mode, with a similar message to mine of 16 Aug 19 - 06:17 AM.

On the other hand, History Drama à la Shakespeare is a genre of its own, where indeed accuracy is not being claimed at all. The price to pay is that such a drama must derive its sense entirely out of its fable, without any accreditation from historical science.


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Subject: RE: Correct location for historical song?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 18 Aug 19 - 05:20 PM

In songs, the corresponding genre is the historical anecdote or legend, equally time-honoured. Invent a story and attribute it to, say, Jesus or George Washington. The audience will judge whether it is fitting, not true or even likely.


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Subject: RE: Correct location for historical song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 03:28 AM

"Jim, I think John was in irony mode, "
I thought he might be Grish, but I believe it was worth saying anyway
There are far too many people on the scene who have payed more attention to pulling in the punters than to the quality and importance of the music (in my opinion, of course)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Correct location for historical song?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 04:49 AM

So the song was about "transportation".

Best sources for information on transportation to Australia are Australian and there is a mass of information detailing names, numbers, crimes, the years they were transported, the Ports in the British Isles they sailed from [Note: NONE sailed from Galway, or Athenry, NONE sailed in 1803, let alone "out from the sweet town of Derry"], the names of the ships they sailed in, even the names of the Captains and Surgeons serving in those ships. Unfortunately Fyldeplayers song would appear to be about the First Convoy and that and the second were not so well covered.

In England those sentenced for transportation to Australia were gathered together in the prison hulks in the Medway and the convict ships sailed in convoy from Spithead. Latterly the Verne Prison on Portland Bill was build and convicts were assembled there prior to transportation. In Ireland the ports were Dublin and Cork. Instances of Scottish Courts sentencing people to transportation were few and far between due mainly to loss of population, particularly males, in the early to mid-1700s due to famine and clearance driven emigration - Scotland just couldn't afford the loss.

Would love to be able to listen to, or at least read the lyrics of your song Fyldeplayer.


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