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Mediation and its definition in folk music

Joe Offer 17 Mar 20 - 07:24 AM
Nick 17 Mar 20 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Derrick 17 Mar 20 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Mar 20 - 06:27 AM
Rain Dog 17 Mar 20 - 06:06 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Mar 20 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 17 Mar 20 - 05:47 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Mar 20 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,Big Al whittle 17 Mar 20 - 03:06 AM
Jack Campin 16 Mar 20 - 07:20 PM
Nick 16 Mar 20 - 06:11 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 16 Mar 20 - 06:07 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 20 - 02:21 PM
Brian Peters 16 Mar 20 - 02:03 PM
Brian Peters 16 Mar 20 - 01:00 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 20 - 12:46 PM
Brian Peters 16 Mar 20 - 12:24 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 20 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 Mar 20 - 09:56 AM
gillymor 16 Mar 20 - 09:01 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 16 Mar 20 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Mar 20 - 08:06 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 20 - 07:34 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 20 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 16 Mar 20 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 Mar 20 - 05:40 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 20 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Mar 20 - 04:55 AM
GUEST 16 Mar 20 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Mar 20 - 04:18 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 20 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Mar 20 - 04:00 AM
The Sandman 16 Mar 20 - 03:29 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Mar 20 - 08:39 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 20 - 08:33 PM
Joe Offer 15 Mar 20 - 08:22 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 20 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 15 Mar 20 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,jag 15 Mar 20 - 03:24 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 20 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 15 Mar 20 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 15 Mar 20 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 15 Mar 20 - 07:22 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 20 - 04:31 AM
Jack Campin 14 Mar 20 - 03:27 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 20 - 01:59 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 20 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 14 Mar 20 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 14 Mar 20 - 01:16 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 20 - 10:14 AM
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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 07:24 AM

As I said above, this thread appears to be coming to an end. I'm going to close it before it becomes unmanageable. No offense is intended. Feel free to start a continuation thread.
This thread is being closed solely for functional purposes.
Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Nick
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 06:45 AM

Hell hath no fury like a female academic scorned


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 06:44 AM

GUEST,Pseudonymous
Jim may not be perfect but we know who he is and what collecting he has done.
On the other hand your identity is unknown, all we know you are possibly female as your previous name was KarenH.
That means we cannot check your claimed qualifications on folk music,research or anything else.
This means to me your creditbility is zero.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 06:27 AM

"meanwhile, in the real world, Jim Carroll's work as a collector will continue to be respected and enjoyed by all those who care about traditional singing."

Fine. I have made a point of noting this contribution.

But the idea that he is an authority on everything to do with folk or on the 'literature', or a particularly good social scientist and most of all of all the idea that he has any abilities as a teacher are for me impossible to sustain.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Rain Dog
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 06:06 AM

Northern Fiddler with English subtitles - BBC iplayer

Northern Fiddler


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 06:00 AM

Can't disagree with Breatnach Peter - (who would dare) but he almost certainly base his judgement on having read beyond the introduction
I seem to remember Jack having some scathing comments of what Breathnach's researches of the air '?An Cailin Deas Cruite Na MBo' and its links to Mary Queen of Scot's secretary/lover Rizzio
Jim


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 05:47 AM

"I hope it gets better after that godawful introduction."

Breat5hnach in his 1982 review of the book wrote :

'Feldman, responsible for putting down their findings, graduated from the New School of Social Research in Boston and one suspects that these and similar sentiments expressed in words of learned length and thund'ring sound owe more to studies in the United States than t observation in the fieldi n Ireland'

and went on to maul the whole thing.

But, forty years after its publication, would we rather have it flawed as it is, warts and all than not have it at all?

I have had it on the shelf for the best part of those forty years and I, for one, am glad to have it. And so are the musicians featured in the documentary. Perhaps that counts for something.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 04:32 AM

Not sure what you mean Al - I'm no victim
I got a great deal of pleasure I would not have had had we not met the people we did and heard the music and songs we heard, and been given the opportunity to sing them
I often wonder what I would have done with my life otherwise
I'm pretty content with the fact that people will (hopefully) still be listening to and enjoying Walter, Tom Lenihan, Martin Reidy, Mary Delaney... and all the rest, long after we're gone - it makes you realise you part of a humanity that otherwise would have otherwise passed you by

A number of events stand out (If Jack can bear to endure them again)

Martin Reidy was a toothless old bachelor who lived with his dog on the slopes of Mount Callan
When we met him, he had no electricity or running water and lived in a three room traditional cottage roofed with Moher flagstones, part of which (over what used to be his bedroom) had collapsed, so he moved to the other end of the house
Up to the time he became known as a local singer, he'd never travelled further than our County Town, Ennis (about ten miles away)
When he was taken to perform at The Cork Folk Festival, he stepped out of the car, looked up and down the busy main street and said "A fine bit of a village"
He had the longest songs I'd ever heard - one lasting over fifteen minutes
We'd been recording him one afternoon when he turned and said, "You know, I was delighted when you people started to record my songs - I was so worried they were going to die when I did I tried to teach Topsy (his dog) to sing them"
MARTIN

Pat MacNamara was a singer and storyteller from North Clare, not a great singer, but with many dozens of songs, and lon, long stories which he told superbly - mainly wonder tales
We recorded him over three years and came away with a goldmine each time
The last time we visited him, the afternoon before we left for home, he gave us a list of songs and stories he said he hadn't sung for us yet and would "tell to us next time you come over"
He said, "If I'm not here, come up to the graveyard and I'll tell them up to you"
At Christmas, we received a Mass card from the local publican, Mrs Considne, telling us Pat had died
PAT MACNAMARA

Also from North Clare, Martin Howley was a singer and old-style concertina player with a fascinating repertoire of rare songs, including the only version of 'Fair Margaret and Sweet William' (Child 74) to be found in Ireland (or anywhere else for a very long time) which he'd got from a heavy-drinking local Travelling woman - he confused everybody by referring to it as "The Old Armchair"
On our last visit to him, he had been ill so we didn't expect him to sing for us
After five minutes he said, "Have you the tape recorder"
Pat said we'd been told he was ill and didn't want to bother him with that; he replied: "I'm a poor man (a road labourer); I have nothing to leave but my songs - I want you to have them".
Martin died the following winter of cancer of the eye which could have been easily cured, had he not preferred to put his trust in St Joseph's Holy Well at Liscannor, which had 'the cure' for such things
MARTIN HOWLEY

It's when you meet people like these, who have loved and cherished these songs all their lives and for some strange reason have been "grateful" to those who disrupted their lives and took advantage of their hospitality to record them, that you realise how important they were to them - it is a betrayal of their trust not to treat them and their songs with respect and not to pass on their precious legacy

"I hope it gets better after that godawful introduction."
Always the Spectre at the Feast Jack
I'm sure you could have done a hundred times better job of it (couldn't we all have !!)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Big Al whittle
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 03:06 AM

in many ways we are all victims of the era in which we live. And surely this applies to singers as much as anybody else. You mention yourself Jim, the vocal affectation of American country music many of us have acquired.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 07:20 PM

Had a first look at that Northern Fiddler pdf - I hope it gets better after that godawful introduction.

It reminded me of Cooke's very different book on Shetland fiddling, which brings up an issue mentioned a bit in this thread - unreliability of what performers say about what they're doing. Quite a bit had been written about the intonation systems of traditional fiddling in Shetland and related idioms, but nobody until Cooke had taken the trouble to actually check these assertions against acoustic reality. Cooke used a Stroboconn, and found that the pitches fiddlers were producing were WAY off what they said they were doing.

You find similar discrepancies between theory and practice in Arabic music, but the performers usually do know there's an issue, even if they can't notate their way out of it.

And outside intonation issues - some traditional singers from Scotland claimed their ornaments were directly taken from the bagpipe idiom - no they certainly weren't, except in the singers' heads. (Allan Macdonald's PhD thesis tries to make sense of this - he says the transmission mostly went the other way, but mostly not in living memory).


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Nick
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 06:11 PM

Thank you for the Northern Fiddler tv programme and book. Had a quick speed read through the book and looking forward to watching the programme after the news.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 06:07 PM

An aunt of mine contributed to the Irish Schools project, approximately 1940 to judge by her age (14) on the first manuscript page. She didn't have far to go to get a lot of material, just around the neighbours and family. Every pupil, it seems, received a pencil and a little brass ruler for their participation. I don't know if the lengthy manuscript, in a local library, is among those already published ( so far I've only glanced at the Link ), but I read it through three years ago. Among the sayings, rhymes, traditions and riddles she had noted (together with information about historic sites of the locality), I recognised many which had been told to me by my mother, grandmother, grand-uncle and others. They passed them on orally, of course.

ABCD.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 02:21 PM

And you Brian
Jim


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 02:03 PM

Oh, and, look after yourself Jim. And everyone else!


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 01:00 PM

I'm OK, thanks, though like many musicians I'm expecting engagements to be cancelled.
At least my concertina workshops over the weekend survived. I think I've said everything I wanted to say on the thread topic - though points have been raised that are worthy of discussion, perhaps in more specific threads.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 12:46 PM

Nice to have you back Brian - thanks for the blast of fresh air
I hope this strange world is treating you well at present
Jim

My favourite quote, from one of my favourite books, the first of five novels based on the life of Robert Burns

“When trees did bud and fields were green
And broom bloomed fair to see
Gang doo the burn, Davie love,
And I shall follow thee”

He listened to his mother singing. Agnes Brown sang not only because she liked to sing and had a fine voice for the songs and ballads of the Scots people. She sang as a bird in captivity will sing. Her life was hard; the conditions of her labour were inexorable. She sang as most of the Scots peasants did: to remind herself that life should not be a treadmill of toil.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (p. 35) James Barke (1946)"


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 12:24 PM

"JC has undermined his own credibility and I for one would never take anything he said as reliable."

And meanwhile, in the real world, Jim Carroll's work as a collector will continue to be respected and enjoyed by all those who care about traditional singing.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 10:42 AM

Thanks Peter - you remain a star
Jim


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 09:56 AM

To add to Jim's post:

The Schools Collection, undigested


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: gillymor
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 09:01 AM

Thanks for that link to The Northern Fiddler, Peter Laban, it is fascinating and beautifully filmed.
I was able to download a pdf of the book here-The Northern Fiddler
Full of music and wonderful photos and illustrations to go along with the text.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 08:44 AM

Apropos the issue of any effects literacy and the printing-press may have had on singing of the various songs and kinds of songs mentioned, I think of the recent practice of (often younger) singers glaring at little screens on their mobile phones and "scrolling down" as they sing the latest recommendation. What effect on "mediation" might the curse of Predictive Text have? It seems to cause numerous mis-spellings in all kinds of places.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 08:06 AM

JC had a go at Atkinson, possibly on the Harker thread that came before this one, for the sin of writing stuff including words JC did not understand (or the associated concepts presumably), which put off people who bought a festschrift-related collection of pieces and found Atkinson's at the front. JC seems to regard this use of big words as an insult to the source singers and at one point if I remember aright stated he never read such stuff in solidarity.

Unfortunately, as explained previously, by more than one poster, JC has undermined his own credibility and I for one would never take anything he said as reliable.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 07:34 AM

Thanks Derek - I am a bit, I, afraid - I knew that - I actually had to look up the authors on the shelf as I couldn't remember Dave Atkinson's name
Hope you are all well over there
Jim


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 06:18 AM

Thanks Peter
" JC spells his name in these two ways in one single thread so not sure which if either is correct) "
Not picking again - Mikeen wasn't a great writer due to his not being allowed to camp long enough to get an education, but he spelt it in two different ways so I'm not sure which was correct
His father learned wo write when he worked in the South Wales mines but he had learned all the songs and stories he knew before he left Ireland

Michael senior was extremely unusual in baeing to read at all - an exception That doesn't alter one iota the fact that the Travelling communities are still regarded as 'non' or 'pre literate'
Liteacy is a complex issue when discussing singing - becase people were able to read doesn't necessarily mean they used that to learn ballads - certainly in the early days of literacy
There were other factors, particularly poorly lit and extremely cramped housing conditions, o, in Ireland's case, pressures by the church to use your limited leisure hours reading the scriptures rather than diverting frippery - the church reacted badly to they it couldn't control and self-expression was one of those
We found amond sources singers that they had to distinct and opposing attitudes to songs in print
They wee either mistrusted as 'getting it wrong' and used to fill in blanks or viewed as sacrosanct and not to be interfered with, which would rule out remaking
The simplistic approach to this subject has given rise to whole shoals of red herrings, in my opinion
We recorded a magnificent long Fenian legend from a local man in Clare once - 'The Gille Dacker and his Horse'
When we found it had been published in Joyce's 'Old Celtic Romances' we went back and asked him if he had seen it
"Yes", he replied, "but he got iw wrong"
His father's much longer version was the right one
Jim


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 06:06 AM

Jim … you're too fixated on Dave Harker... the book you quote at 5.04 was edited by David Atkinson and Steve Roud!

Derek


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 05:40 AM

Just as some light relief, the Northern fiddler program Jim was referring to earlier was broadcast on TG4 last week and has been online since. Highly recommended :

An Fhidil Bheo - Ceol an Northern Fiddler


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 05:04 AM

"I was referring to his PhD thesis which I downloaded and read some time ago."
I know you were - he sent me a copy some years ago - it's far from an easy read which is why I'm convinced you haven't read it
Nobody who has read it can possibly describe it as you did - I had problems and I've been reading such works for at least forty years
I was referring to "Street Ballads in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and North America" edited by David Harker and Steve Roud, with a chapters by John Moulden and others - easier to read but still not easy - and the exorbitant price is quite likely to restrict its circulation to 'academics' unfortunately
I was lucky enough to be sent a copy

You are welcome to respond to me and hopefully others comments on what I believe to be the real meat of folk songs - the songs and the singers
Personally, I hope you do - you have much to learn, as we all have - all you need is the desire to, which you appear to lack at present
You stay safe too - dy' hear now (as they used to say in Hill Street Blues)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 04:55 AM

Just to round off this Mikeen MacCarthy/McCarthy stuff ( mentioned several times in this thread, JC spells his name in these two ways in one single thread so not sure which if either is correct) it seems his father was not non-literate, and in fact wrote down songs for him, one of these was 'The Blind Beggar', some of the 'best sellers' were not traditional songs but popular ones. In the same post stating that the father wrote the songs down Travellers are described as a non literate group. That detail seems to me worth considering in terms of mediation within the world of writing about folklore.

So much for intelligent informed debate.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 04:28 AM

"If it closes, I shall complain to Max"

Thus speaks the great one. I am sure the mods are quaking in their shoes. Some people might consider getting over themselves.

Have a lovely day everybody. Stay safe.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 04:18 AM

"Johh is fully aware i=of the sugnifu=icance of 'Ballads' - (song sheets sold at the fairs and markets) - John and I are fiends by the way, so I don't have tor scratch around his thesis to find snippets, as yo are doing"

1 'fiends': no comment

2 'snippets': not really. I quoted Moulden's own summary of the content of his doctoral thesis, as Jim will no doubt know due to his excellent grasp of all relevant documentary evidence, and I did it for the benefit of posters to this forum who might be interested in reading it. It is relevant to the topic. Nothing that I said about this merits a post from Jim which appears to me to be abusive and belligerent.

3 "I know a million times more about it than you ever will". If I may comment on this: a) plainly exaggerated b) so what? Yes, so what?

4 "John's study and the others in the book" Which book? I was referring to his PhD thesis which I downloaded and read some time ago.

5 Jim's repeated insulting of my intelligence and understanding are just funny. I think he probably dislikes me so much because he knows I have a good understanding yet disagree with him. I feel that he sees himself as some sort of guru who must not be disagreed with as evidenced in his appeals to the mods to prevent people from 'undermining' him. From my perspective unfortunately he does that himself and again equally unfortunately egged on by a claque of hangers on.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 04:12 AM

This subject, far from being over, hasn't even begun to scratch the surface yet - we have so far not been allowed to discuss the effects of this so-called 'mediation' on our folk song traditions thanks to the side-lining and diversions
If the first revival was based on "Fake Folk Songs" as Harker's title made obvious he was claiming the second revival, based largely on the BBC project and put into motion by the collecting of Henderson in Scotland, Shudham Shaw in the Shetlands, Mike Yates and Fred Hamer in England and Tommy Munnelly in the Tepublic of Ireland..... and all the other collectors who took up the baton and continued to run with it
The revival, based on the 'Folk Songs' that had been collected by Sharp and his collegues and the ballads identified ran for many decades until it finally ran out of steam
One of the reasons that happened wasn't because the Harkerites lifted the scales from all our eyes regarding the 'fakeness' of the songs we had come to love - on the contrary
It was when too many people abandoned those songs and created a situation where we found ourselves in a situation where people were caiing that "folk" wasn't folk any more and had become something different which they couldn't explain
Our clubs began emptying as if they had been hit by an unnamed virus (analogy intended)
The refusal of some to discuss the effects of having "fake folk songs" in terms of what the singers sang and had had to say about their songs is pretty indicative that this infection has spread (or has been spread) to parts of the research side of folk song
Not all, by any means
Despite the fog that lies over the club scene at present, work continues on real folk song
Lately I have been bombarded on-line by freely downloadably papers on Sharp, Child, Ritson, Scott, on Chartist songs, Worker poets, collecting in Newfoundland, research in Ireland
Last night Pat and I spent a wonderful hour watching a terrific programme on Northern Irish fiddle playing - full of clips of young and old (mostly long dead) musicians talking about and playing this "fake" music
LOOK FOR THIS IF IT COMES ON LINE
This is only one of the many we are being offered by the Northern and Southern Irish media
It seems that a health and extremely active and determined resistance to the present malaise is alive and kicking among our true and clear- thinking folk devotees, despite efforts to quash it from behind the desks
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 04:00 AM

It's odd but I have a screen print of a post in which Jim Carroll actually names a song that his pal supposedly sold to a ballad printer and it was one already available in printed form, and one that nobody is claiming originated with the family, though of course they may have put their own spin on it. For me, the story without that information is another example of mediation within the world of folk, and rather a good one as you could interpret it in terms of the ideological position of the person who tells the yarn.

By the way, SHOCK HORROR.

*Lifelong musician reads books about music*


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 03:29 AM

Ithink the thread should continue ,but wind up trolling aimed at anyone need to be modertated ,, please do not attempt to wind, Jim, up.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 08:39 PM

Bullshit, Joe Offer. You are solely responsible for letting this worthwhile thread go by allowing a book-reading, verbal-diarrhoea idiot to dominate it. You could have cleaned it up but you prefer to see Jim demonised. You have plenty of form on that. You should be bloody ashamed of yourself, mate. Worst piece of non-moderating I've ever seen. I tend to shrug on this board, but just for once I'm bloody annoyed. Look to yourself, Joe. It's about time you did....


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 08:33 PM

"Don't be offended when it happens."
It is the only thread of any worth for those involved in research and it is wide ranging enough to continue for some toime yet
Threatening to close it because you have lost interest in it doesn't mean the rest of us have
If it closes, I shall complain to Max - I have been around long enough to remember the time when the members decided what was worthwhile debating
As this message will probably be deleted I will make sure it reaches thiose who I know to be still interested - as is my practice
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 08:22 PM

This thread has kinda started to go around in circles, so its time for closure has almost come. Don't be offended when it happens.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 08:20 PM

Johh is fully aware i=of the sugnifu=icance of 'Ballads' - (song sheets sold at the fairs and markets) - John and I are fiends by the way, so I don't have tor scratch around his thesis to find snippets, as yo are doing
I live in an area whare these 'ballads' were still being sold into the 1950s, we recorded a ballad seller at great length, who described to us in great detail how they were produced, how he got them printed from his father's songs, how he went about selling them - even to the extent of how his singing in order to sell them differed from what he described as "fireside singing"
I have already put up the article based on my talk on ballad selling on one of these threads - (Mikeen McCarthy, Ballad Seller) bug if you wish, I'm happy to put it up again
Whatever I may have missed about the ballad selling in Ireland, on thing is certain - I know a million times more about it than you ever will

Your arrogance and unwillingness to debate intelligently with those of us who have been around far longer than you have and who have decades more experience than you is creating a situation where people will no longer be preapared to share information with you
Your choice, of course
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 07:58 PM

To be precise, since I think the topic was raised, John Moulden discusses various definitions in his 'definition' section and uses the term 'ballad' to refer to a piece of paper that carries song texts. (See page 45). This would include a broadside as a sub category, but he finds the term used ambiguously and does not regard it as synonymous with 'broadsheet'. He defines the terms he intends to use in a definitions section. Interestingly, he decides to avoid the word 'folk'.

Steve Shaw's charm and his many constructive contributions above the line are both legendary. I hope he has a lovely day and that he stays well.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 03:24 PM

"The second section considers trade practices, production and distribution, and examines the careers of some of the personnel."

Thanks, I'll have a look, it might help with my off-topic(ish) question ofa few days ago. The reason I asked is because if what is in the broadsides matters then I think who knew what the broadside buying public wanted, and who may have tried to influence that might matter as well. And I wondered if the 'mediators' told us.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 07:45 AM

"You have, of course, pointed out one flaw in Jim Carroll's illogical and factually incorrect assertion,"
No incorrect assertion - Jack was referring to Matt McGinn who was not a traditional singer
Why do you try to find flaws by using examples you obviously do not understand ?
Will you please give your vendetta a rest - you are humiliating yourself
Please explain the logic of traditional singers taking tunes for their songs from broadsides
Of course they used a tune they knew - in the latter period of the tradition tunes were portable and moved from one song to another
Much of the reast of what you wrote was "nonsensical"
When the song making industry began to call the shote the readition died and the audiences moved from being creative to becoming passive recipients
R.I.P. the tradition

John's study and the others in the book (which you obviouly haven't read, deal largely with the 'borroadside' trade and, if I remember rightly, hardly touch the 'ballad-selling' trade, which was the main influence on the rural repertoire - apart from the locally made songs which have yet to be studied in full
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 07:28 AM

Regarding broadsides in Ireland, I found a thesis by John Moulden online. Here is his summary of the piece. For those interested, it is findable by googling. I found it readable.


The first part presents a guide to all the known collections in Ireland and to the most significant in Britain, and lists their contents. The listing approaches a comprehensive survey of the corpus.

The second section considers trade practices, production and distribution, and examines the careers of some of the personnel.

The third outlines the nature of the oral song culture into which songs were introduced, how trade considerations conditioned what was produced; describes interactions between songs and the people and considers the effects of literacy and how the form and language of certain songs militated against their absorption. Finally in this section attempts are made to gauge the influence of the ballad trade upon the oral tradition and how the ballad trades of Britain and Ireland interacted.

The last part discusses a range of methods of using ballads in historical and cultural study and exemplifies them using a range of case studies. It also assesses the state of scholarly study of the ballad trade and scholarly use of ballads as evidence in Ireland, Britain and North America.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 07:23 AM

I should have put 'telling people what tune to sing' not 'what song'. Woops.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 07:22 AM

@ Jack. You have, of course, pointed out one flaw in Jim Carroll's illogical and factually incorrect assertion, which was:

"As it is, unless songs were learned orally a singer took a tune that fitted - fact"

You have provided one example showing that it the dichotomy set up in this assertion of 'fact' is a false one. However, it wasn't only a matter of telling people what song to sing: some earlier printed lyric sheets stated in writing the tune to be used.

So I stand by my point that the statement was nonsensical. The fact that the person who wrote it had for many decades a hobby of recording himself chatting to singers makes it no less nonsensical or in any way means that that person has a right to be viewed as an 'authority'. Though I accept that the resource bank of sung material compiled may be of value to future revival singers looking for inspiration and that the collector has been generous in supplying digitised versions of the material on request.

Your point about tunes having connotations is a good one, though how far the various folk tunes collected by Sharp had connotations that distinguished them is something I don't know about. Perhaps these might have varied locally depending on which tunes were used for various songs?


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 20 - 04:31 AM

"A heck of a lot of songs started out as some kind of parody using an existing tune "
Of they did, that was regular practice, particularly in the latter days of the tradition
Ther 'audiences changed when the singing moved from the farmhouse gatherings where the songs were (apparently) shadings of common and often everyday experience, to 'performances', often to strangers
The ballad sheet-tradition was far more influential in rural Ireland than was the town-based broadside one - the former represented the oral tradition in print
Singers like Matt McGinn (in particular) seemed far nearer to the people and the subject matter he wrote about that did the composers of unsingable songs - the aptly-named "hacks"

MacColl did exactly what Jack described McGinn doing with his tunes, only he did it as a common practice, choosing a tune form and experimenting with it ntil it became something else
'Sweet William' ('Famous Flaower of Serving Men'), which he got from 'Last Leaves' was a favourite and can be found in different forms in several of his own songs, Including 'Shoals of Herring' and 'Freeborn Man' - two different tunes from the same source
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Mar 20 - 03:27 PM

unless songs were learned orally a singer took a tune that fitted
Anybody who has spent an afternoon looking at the history of printed songs will be able to spot the flaw in this so-called assertion of fact.


A heck of a lot of songs started out as some kind of parody using an existing tune - the tune came first, and often the audience was meant to recognize it and react to the connotations it had acquired. (Jim Maclean is a master at that).   Getting printed or not was irrelevant at the point of creation, though it was mostly easier to get a song sung if you told the purchasers of your sheet what the intended tune was.

It gets interesting when a specified tune starts drifting away from the writer's original idea. Matt McGinn habitually did that to his own songs, so it wasn't always obvious what was being parodied by the time he first sung it. "Chi mi na mor-bheanna" drifted quite far and fast from its author's explicit choice, but the (undocumented) process was still an evolutionary one, not a matter of picking any old unrelated tune that "fitted".


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 20 - 01:59 PM

Should read "bet" - it went before I could correct it
You still don't understand "meditated" do you! ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 20 - 01:57 PM

"Well, perhaps somebody will come up with another example to fit Steve's suggestion, "
Why should anybody want to "fit" his description ?
Despite attempting to make it a "fact" he has been forced to admit it's only a theory for which he has no proof
You really haven't been paying attention, have you ?
This has gone on for years
Simple statement to repeat - once you accept that the rural working people could have made their songs, you have to accept that they probably did
That was the accepted belief for over a century - nothing has happened to reject it
Hope you don't bey on horses !!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 14 Mar 20 - 01:26 PM

Well, perhaps somebody will come up with another example to fit Steve's suggestion, though I think we will probably end up with doubly mediated/interpreted material. I could speak from experience of being collected from, but it only happened once, so even I cannot say how far it would be fair to draw generalisations about 'self mediation' from it.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 14 Mar 20 - 01:16 PM

Considering the way some people refer to the research of the last hundred years and moan about alleged attempts to overturn it, those same people appear to have an astonishing lack of awareness or understanding of what was said in that research. No names, no pack drill.

"As it is, unless songs were learned orally a singer took a tune that fitted - fact"

I repeat: anybody who has spent an afternoon looking at the history of printed songs will be able to spot the flaw in this so-called assertion of fact. To be clear, it isn't a 'fact', it's nonsense.


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Subject: RE: Mediation and its definition in folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 20 - 10:14 AM

"Anybody who has spent an afternoon looking at the history of printed songs"
A whole afternoon - bats my thirty years of interviewing singers and twenty talking to Irish singers from a song tradition that was still warm anyday
You support Steve in his theory that these songs came from print - how on earth could tunes be constant in such circumstances ?
Jim Caarroll


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