mudcat.org: Ewan MacColl's accent
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Ewan MacColl's accent

Related threads:
The Big Issue: Peggy Seeger (6)
Ewan MacColl - any first-hand anecdotes? (239)
Ewan MacColl ...Folk Friend Or Foe? (182) (closed)
Ewan MacColl on bandcamp (14)
Stage Play: Joan & Jimmy (March 2019) (10)
2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act (519)
Peggy Seeger biography 2017 (85)
New Books: Peggy Seeger / Billy Bragg (15)
Ewan Maccoll - Atheist or Religious? (23)
Lyr Req: Missing MacColl Albums (6)
Stop The Ewan Maccoll Bickering !!! (107)
Peggy Seeger- Again (5)
Ewan MacColl's trousers (110)
Peggy Seeger - In Her Prime (13)
What did you do in the war, Ewan? (297)
Ewan MacColl tribute-Maxine Peake/Joy of Living CD (15)
New book - Legacies of Ewan MacColl (80)
Ewan Macoll & Peggy Seeger Concert 1976 (4)
Peggy Seeger interview on Irish radio (3)
PEGGY SEEGER Folkways FP-49 (9)
Peggy Seeger on BBC R4's 'Loose Ends' (13)
Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not? (170)
BS: Who the hell is MacColl? (77)
Peggy Seeger, Desert Island Discs (16)
Obit: RIP Ewan MacColl (1915-1989) (8)
Ewan MacColl - real name? (78)
John Ross' discography of Ewan MacColl (19)
Folk 78 - Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger (5)
MacColl/Seeger LP-Identify? (9)
A new site: Ewan MacColl's discography (1)
Ewan MacColl autobiography - to be reissued (25)
Ewan MacColl and RTE (9)
(origins) Origins: Webnotes: Peg Seeger's newish trad album (1)
Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor? (109)
MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl (174)
Why did Ewan MacColl write new songs? (58)
Ewan MacColl Collectors E-Mail List (7)
Complete Ewan MacColl Songbook (13)
Ewan MacColl and Stalin (65)
Ewan MacColl's CDs (12)
Ewan MacColl Weekend 27- 29 Sept 2002 (23)
Who's Ewan MacColl? (60)
Ewan MacColl - Recommendations? (27)
Peggy Seeger (18)
Seeger and MacColl Books (3)
Peg Seeger, Si Kahn & Sorcha Dorcha... (20)
MacColl Tribute in Salford - Sunday (13)
peggy seeger on u.k. radio (14)
Peggy Seeger on Desert Island Discs (11)
June 17th. Happy Birthday Peggy Seeger (11)
Ewan MacColl songbook out? (6)
What Peggy Seeger did last week... (6)


GUEST,erictheorange 29 Sep 06 - 05:47 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Sep 06 - 05:54 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Sep 06 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,obie 29 Sep 06 - 06:03 AM
Paul Burke 29 Sep 06 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,obie 29 Sep 06 - 06:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Sep 06 - 06:09 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Sep 06 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 29 Sep 06 - 07:34 AM
Grab 29 Sep 06 - 08:02 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 06 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Jp 29 Sep 06 - 08:25 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 06 - 08:31 AM
Folkiedave 29 Sep 06 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 29 Sep 06 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Musicman 29 Sep 06 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 29 Sep 06 - 09:03 AM
Jeri 29 Sep 06 - 09:27 AM
Charley Noble 29 Sep 06 - 09:32 AM
Dave Hanson 29 Sep 06 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Bee 29 Sep 06 - 09:39 AM
Dave Hanson 29 Sep 06 - 09:47 AM
stormalong 29 Sep 06 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Coyote Breath (who stayed away too long) 29 Sep 06 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 29 Sep 06 - 10:50 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Sep 06 - 11:55 AM
Folkiedave 29 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM
Scrump 29 Sep 06 - 12:24 PM
Grab 29 Sep 06 - 12:46 PM
The Sandman 29 Sep 06 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 29 Sep 06 - 01:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 29 Sep 06 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha. 29 Sep 06 - 01:59 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 06 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,lox 29 Sep 06 - 02:03 PM
Les in Chorlton 29 Sep 06 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 29 Sep 06 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 29 Sep 06 - 02:26 PM
GUEST 29 Sep 06 - 02:36 PM
Wolfgang 29 Sep 06 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,erictheorange 29 Sep 06 - 03:07 PM
Greg B 29 Sep 06 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,Bee 29 Sep 06 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,lox 29 Sep 06 - 04:04 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 29 Sep 06 - 07:11 PM
Charley Noble 29 Sep 06 - 09:01 PM
Effsee 29 Sep 06 - 09:18 PM
GUEST 30 Sep 06 - 03:55 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Sep 06 - 03:59 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Sep 06 - 04:06 AM
The Sandman 30 Sep 06 - 05:42 AM
GUEST 30 Sep 06 - 10:55 AM
The Sandman 30 Sep 06 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,lox 30 Sep 06 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 30 Sep 06 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,lox 30 Sep 06 - 04:28 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Sep 06 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,lox 30 Sep 06 - 05:00 PM
The Sandman 30 Sep 06 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,lox 30 Sep 06 - 05:23 PM
Scoville 30 Sep 06 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 01 Oct 06 - 05:23 AM
BB 01 Oct 06 - 03:22 PM
Liam's Brother 01 Oct 06 - 11:39 PM
GUEST,lox 02 Oct 06 - 08:01 AM
Charley Noble 02 Oct 06 - 10:18 AM
Scrump 03 Oct 06 - 09:27 AM
BB 03 Oct 06 - 03:07 PM
Don Firth 03 Oct 06 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,memyself 03 Oct 06 - 06:28 PM
Don Firth 03 Oct 06 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,memyself 03 Oct 06 - 08:44 PM
Effsee 03 Oct 06 - 09:34 PM
Don Firth 03 Oct 06 - 10:15 PM
Don Firth 03 Oct 06 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Oct 06 - 04:20 AM
Effsee 04 Oct 06 - 07:32 AM
Joe_F 04 Oct 06 - 10:33 PM
DannyC 04 Oct 06 - 10:56 PM
Scrump 05 Oct 06 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 05 Oct 06 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 05 Oct 06 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,lox 05 Oct 06 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,lox 05 Oct 06 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 05 Oct 06 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,lox 05 Oct 06 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,lox 05 Oct 06 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 05 Oct 06 - 10:33 AM
Mary Humphreys 05 Oct 06 - 10:56 AM
Lighter 05 Oct 06 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,memyself 05 Oct 06 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 05 Oct 06 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,AFD 05 Oct 06 - 11:50 AM
BB 05 Oct 06 - 02:39 PM
Don Firth 05 Oct 06 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,memyself 05 Oct 06 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,lox 05 Oct 06 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,lox 05 Oct 06 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,lox 05 Oct 06 - 06:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Oct 06 - 07:18 PM
Desert Dancer 05 Oct 06 - 07:28 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 06 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,lox 05 Oct 06 - 08:22 PM
Joe_F 05 Oct 06 - 09:30 PM
Scrump 06 Oct 06 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 06 Oct 06 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,lox 06 Oct 06 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 06 Oct 06 - 06:32 AM
Betsy 06 Oct 06 - 08:44 AM
Don Firth 06 Oct 06 - 03:27 PM
GUEST 06 Oct 06 - 05:29 PM
Effsee 06 Oct 06 - 09:36 PM
GUEST 07 Oct 06 - 04:09 AM
The Sandman 07 Oct 06 - 04:54 AM
GUEST 07 Oct 06 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,lox 07 Oct 06 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,lox 07 Oct 06 - 09:02 AM
GUEST 07 Oct 06 - 09:23 AM
BB 08 Oct 06 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,lox 08 Oct 06 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 08 Oct 06 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 08 Oct 06 - 01:36 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Oct 06 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,memyself 08 Oct 06 - 06:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Oct 06 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,memyself 08 Oct 06 - 06:52 PM
Don Firth 08 Oct 06 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,lox 08 Oct 06 - 11:22 PM
GUEST,memyself 09 Oct 06 - 12:13 AM
Don Firth 09 Oct 06 - 12:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 06 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 09 Oct 06 - 05:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 06 - 06:02 AM
Scrump 09 Oct 06 - 06:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 06 - 06:45 AM
BB 09 Oct 06 - 03:47 PM
The Sandman 09 Oct 06 - 05:39 PM
The Sandman 09 Oct 06 - 05:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Oct 06 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,thurg 10 Oct 06 - 12:41 PM
The Sandman 10 Oct 06 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,lox 10 Oct 06 - 08:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 06 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 11 Oct 06 - 06:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 06 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 11 Oct 06 - 10:26 AM
BB 11 Oct 06 - 02:47 PM
GUEST 11 Oct 06 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,lox 11 Oct 06 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,lox 11 Oct 06 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,memyself 11 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 06 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,SPoll 12 Oct 06 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 12 Oct 06 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,lox 12 Oct 06 - 07:50 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 06 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 12 Oct 06 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,lox 12 Oct 06 - 09:04 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 06 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 12 Oct 06 - 10:11 AM
Lighter 12 Oct 06 - 10:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 06 - 10:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 06 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 12 Oct 06 - 01:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 06 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,lox 12 Oct 06 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,lox 12 Oct 06 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,erictheorange 12 Oct 06 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,lox 12 Oct 06 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,lox 12 Oct 06 - 08:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 06 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,erictheorange 13 Oct 06 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,lox 13 Oct 06 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 13 Oct 06 - 10:07 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 06 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,lox 13 Oct 06 - 10:40 AM
Lox 13 Oct 06 - 10:48 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 06 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,erictheorange 13 Oct 06 - 01:16 PM
Lox 13 Oct 06 - 03:13 PM
GUEST 13 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM
Lox 13 Oct 06 - 04:40 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 05:47 AM

Whilst getting involved in the Folk Britannia thread and the discussion regarding Ewan MacColl's army desertion in WW2, I came across another site that implied that his accent was an affectation (i.e. Fake!).

Being still very much a newbie to the folk world I had always assumed, from his name and his accent, that he was a Scot, and I always found it slighty strange that he was so heavily involved in English music.

Now being enlightened to the fact that he was originally James Miller from Salford before changing his name some of this makes sense, but can anybody explain how he came by his (to my ear) distictly (though slightly odd) Scots accent and new name?

I am aware that his parents were Scottish, but I've got quite a few cousins whose parents were Scots and they have the accent of where they grew up (London and Manchester) without any trace of north of the border except in some of the phrases they use.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 05:54 AM

Pretension....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 05:56 AM

eric, what a cunning disguise!

Jimmy Millar became Ewan McColl because he was an actor. He used a range of accents and some sound pretty strange today. What was he to do with songs he had collected and wanted to sing? Dialect does not translate rymes, well so I guess he sang in what he judged the original dialect. I don't think he was the only one to do that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,obie
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:03 AM

In a friendly way Liam Clancy described it as "the phoniest scottish accent that he ever heard." However, I think a Scottish accent is something rather hard to define. There are many distint ones in the Lowlands and Gaelic accents are very once again. I suppose Ewan developed one of his own.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:03 AM

I was once out on a job with another engineer. On the way back, he asked me if we could call in at his parents' house, near Derby where he was brought up. John spoke with a totally normal Derby accent, until the moment he walked through his parent's door- when he adopted a thick Glasgow accent. After a pleasant chat with his parents, and the inevitable tea and scones, we left- and he immediately reverted to Derby. I mentioned this to him- he told me he hadn't even noticed he was doing it.

McColl/ Miller's parents were Scottish, and it's quite probable that he spoke that way at home.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,obie
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:05 AM

"very different once again."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:09 AM

Hm one wonders if these people so free in their criticism could bear the spotlight on them. Of course he used different accents. so does BB KIng, so does Marin carthy - its an act!

I wonder if these people go to the circus and sneer at the clowns because they don't really have red noses.

I bet these buggers were doing all sorts of weird Irish accents a few years ago in the Irish theme bars.

i seem to rember a time in Cambidge hearing this student saying - How ya doin'? Frightfully well I hope!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:12 AM

So far so more or less reasonable, but will it last?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 07:34 AM

Surely, there are not many English singers - in any musical genre, who don't affect an accent of some sort! 60 years ago they were apeing Bing Crosby, then it was Elvis, and so on! Nic Jones, for heaven's sake, was VERY close to copying Martin Carthy; and where did Martin find his voice?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Grab
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:02 AM

What was he to do with songs he had collected and wanted to sing?

Had he been honest with what he told everyone else to do, he wouldn't have sung them. His philosophy was that you should only sing songs from your cultural background. I don't mind that (although I absolutely disagree with it) but I agree with Richard that *inventing* a cultural background is bogus. As I've read, he had a standard Mancunian accent when he was a kid.

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:02 AM

He picked up his accent from his parents - his mother had a broad Scots accent until the day she died; also he was surrounded by Scots people throughout his childhood and early youth.
While he had a Salford speaking accent, according to his contemporaries the one he used for singing was that he got from his mother Betsy and other members of his family (the fact that he was singing her and other family members songs in the 1930s was confirmed by D G Bridson in his book on the BBC, 'Prospero and Ariel'). He neutralised his accent in order to sing the songs he had heard from childhood.
I wonder why nobody ever challenges the phony mid-Atlantic accent which is used by many singers, folk and pop, on the scene today.
Likewise, why does no-one ever query Robert Zimmerman's change of name?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Jp
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:25 AM

"Likewise, why does no-one ever query Robert Zimmerman's change of name?"

People do, and Dylan often made up stories about his background - just watch 'No Direction Home' for an idea.

The difference is, Dylan never claimed to only be singing songs from his "cultural background", most people likened him in his early days to a sponge, soaking up influences from everywhere!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:31 AM

Wasn't MacColl singing songs from his cultural background (Scotland and England)?
MacColl was an actor - playwrite - director. I wonder how many of that particular profession retained their own names?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:40 AM

Had he been honest with what he told everyone else to do, he wouldn't have sung them. His philosophy was that you should only sing songs from your cultural background.

Except it wasn´t. Dealt with on numerous threads already. Go read.

Try here for starters:

http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/edtxt39.htm


Dave Eyre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:51 AM

Of course, if his mother was Scottish, Scottish songs are part of his cultural heritage!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Musicman
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:57 AM

Why have people got to make excuses for this creep?
He walked around pretending to be Scottish. My parents are both Irish and speak with a strong accent. I myself was born in Ireland and moved to England when I was 5. I don't this as an excuse to walk around pontificating at folk clubs in a stupid false accent. I also didn't steal loads of material from poor ignorant peasants and call it my own!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:03 AM

I recently heard for the first time the radio series "The Song Carriers". Is it actually MacColl narrating the programmes? The voice is very educated, with hardly a trace of either Scotland or Salford. Or was this perhaps an actor's take on a BBC accent?

Regardless of accent, the programmes are bloody terrific! I realise this may overlap with other current threads, but what happened to the source recordings used? Tanner, Tunney, etc. are familiar, but some of the source recordings of wassailers, for instance, I've never heard before. Fantastic. And very interesting to hear MacColl's analysis of the singing styles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:27 AM

It perhaps is a measure of his greatness that so many people seem to feed off attacking him. It also seems that when a subject gets thoroughly exhausted on Usenet, people who still want to keep going come to Mudcat to start things all over again. Tiny, toothless Lilliputian rats, trying to gum to death a huge, respected reptutation.

I don't care if he deserted, because he was conscripted. Some people can handle being put in a situation where they're forced to kill others, and some can't. I don't care. I don't care if he was putting on the Scots accent - he did it superbly. These repeated 'Attack MacColl' threads say more about the egos of those who use them to launch post mortem attacks than on MacColl.

This is a thread in uk.music.folk, and a post by Dick Gaughan which talks about his life a bit. If you scroll two down in that thread, there's another post by Gaughan quoting Peggy Seeger saying it was SHE who started the whole 'sing from your own tradition' thing, and why, and where (it was only ONE folk club).

I shouldn't complain about the toothless McColl attackers. All of the attacks lead to more truth coming out and do not one whit to diminish his legacy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:32 AM

"Creep"!

Very nice Guest Musicman.

Get a life.

Charley Noble (not my real name)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:35 AM

Jimmy Miller changed his name to Ewan MacColl because he was part of the ' Lallans ' movement and it was customary to change your name, another member was the poet Christopher Grieve changed who changed his name to Hugh McDiarmid , that is the fact of the name change.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:39 AM

Regarding accents of Scottish origin: can someone tell me how words written as 'tae', 'gae', etc. are actually pronounced? I grew up in Cape Breton, where the most pervasive rural accent up to the sixties was that of people less than a generation away from speaking Gaelic - quite a few still did (and do). Up until sometime in the seventies, when it became fashionable to say 'Scottish', any native would have called it a Scotch accent, and it was often thick indeed. But words like 'to' and 'go' weren't particularly accented. I realize an ocean divides, etc., but do enlighten me in regard to how these words should sound as spoken or sung when so spelled.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:47 AM

Tay and gay.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: stormalong
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:07 AM

Mid-Twentieth Century popular music in Britain was dominated by people aping American accents. A return to the vernacular (as advocated and practised by MacCol) was/is IMO certainly desirable. As with language revivals, a degree of conscious planning ("fakery" and "affectation" to some) was both inevitable and problematical.

This has certainly been my experience. I was born and brought up in the Westcountry but to a middle-class family. My maternal grandmother had a strong local accent as did my secondary school environment. This was the time (late 60s, early 70s) when I began singing traditional songs and it seemed natural to 'adopt' the local vernacular although my speaking voice at that time was undoubtedly 'posher' (less so now).

Since then I have lived in various parts of Southern England, including twenty years in 'neo-Cockney' inner-South London. For the past ten years I have lived in Kent and commute into London where many of my younger work colleagues 'up-speak' with the rising intonation of Australian/American soaps.

When I sing now I find it very 'comfortable' to slip back into the rolled Rs of my childhood environment. I have questioned the authenticity of this myself, but it does feel more 'natural' than any of the possible alternatives...

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Coyote Breath (who stayed away too long)
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:10 AM

So what!?

To me the sound of a song includes every aspect of it's presentation: Tune, accent, slang, poetry, intonation, cadence, pitch, etc. etc. It is the whole package. I am sometimes uncomfortable, though, when I realize I am conversing with someone who has a strong regional accent and I am mimicing them. It is unconscious, really, and it is the result of having trained my "ear" to pick up as much audio information as possible because I can't read music.

I think that musicians, especially "folk" musicians, are natural mimics. I don't think it is disrespectful or phoney.

Mike Seeger works to present the music he performs as authentically as possible, is HE a phoney? Maybe he should just haul around his huge collection of recorded music and sit on stage and play songs through a amplifier. He could have a display of various musical instruments on stage and point to each one in turn as the songs were presented.

I'd rather watch and listen to him. It is less cumbersome.

If you're not a moonshiner, gambler, murderer, outlaw, drunkard, hog farmer, heartsick lover, coal miner, dying cowboy, soldier, union organizer, or prostitute, you dassent sing their songs?

When you work to become an entertainer, you must develope a complete "package". Dylan, Sting, Donovan, Muddy Waters, Sleepy John Estes, and the music world is full of creative invention at all levels. Are the "Boys" really "of the Lough"?

CB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:50 AM

>> Jeri said
>>
>>It also seems that when a subject gets thoroughly exhausted
>>on Usenet, people who still want to keep going come to Mudcat
>>to start things all over again. Tiny, toothless Lilliputian
>>rats, trying to gum to death a huge, respected reptutation.
>>
>>These repeated 'Attack MacColl' threads say more about the
>>egos of those who use them to launch post mortem attacks

Jeri -
I have not posed this question before in any form anywhere.
I don't participate in Usenet.
I am not aware of this discussion in Usenet.
I do not have any agenda to push.
I was just asking a question - which is surely what this forum is for. I find your attack on me unwarranted, offensive and inexplicable.

I posted this question in good faith following on from the circumstances I described because I believe that to understand more about the man enables one to better put his actions and opinions in context.

With particular reference to the desertion issue, I don't really care except with regard to any relevance it might have in comparison with his stated beliefs - comparing his views to his actions.

In this case desertion of British troops might reasonably be considered to be beneficial to the Nazis - whose policy of "Germanization" would seem to be in direct conflict with any movement to preserve or promote indigenous folk traditions. The Nazi persecution of Communists and Trade Unionists would also seem to be in direct conflict with MacColls political beliefs.

In this context I think it is not unreasonable to question how his actions at the time can be reconcilled with all that he seemed to stand for later in his life.

It may be that it is not possible to reconcile these - people do strange things sometimes.


>> "eric the red" said
>>
>>Jimmy Miller changed his name to Ewan MacColl because he
>>was part of the ' Lallans ' movement and it was customary
>>to change your name.
>>that is the fact of the name change.

Thankyou! A simple answer to a simple question.


>> Jim Carroll wrote
>>
>>He picked up his accent from his parents - his mother had
>>a broad Scots accent until the day she died; also he was
>>surrounded by Scots people throughout his childhood and
>>early youth.
>>While he had a Salford speaking accent, according to his
>>contemporaries the one he used for singing was that he
>>got from his mother Betsy and other members of his family

Thankyou Jim - that answers that question.


>>"Les in Chorlton" said
>>
>>eric, what a cunning disguise!

I don't understand what you're saying. Please explain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 11:55 AM

I just challenged my wife's memory of Ewan - she saw his gigs as often as I did. She said 'educated Manchester' - so he wasn't a scally, he were never 'mad for it'.

Jim - our mid Atalantic accents are not phoney. Thats where we live. We don't live amongst 17th century shepherds, or 19th century fisherfolk. We live in an island facing the Atlantic and for at least the last 130 years we have been listening to American music hall singers, recording artists, an for the last 76 years we have been watching the talking films they produce.

Just because someone's nasty about Ewan, theres no need to scratch our eyes out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM

Jim - our mid Atalantic accents are not phoney

Well let me tell thee lad there int many in Sheffield. Has tha´never heard them Arctic Bears (or is it Monkeys?)

And Billy Mills who used to sing a solo or two at the carols was the only bloke I ever heard who could make three syllables out of "eye".

Dave Eyre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Scrump
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:24 PM

Oh ah, we duz after tawk proper moaster time mind like, or dey furriners dey coussn't unnerstan wass we'm azayin' zee.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Grab
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:46 PM

I wonder why nobody ever challenges the phony mid-Atlantic accent which is used by many singers, folk and pop, on the scene today.

Oh yes they do... :-)

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 01:04 PM

who started this. does it matter whether maccoll spoke with a chinese accent, he was an excellent songwriter. he speaks to us through his songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 01:22 PM

Without a shadow of a doubt, I would say that Ewan MacColl is the greatest talent produced by the English folk music revival! And, that's enough for me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 01:33 PM

Sorry Guest "eric the orange" I thought you might be eric the red in disguise.

I trust that neither of you will take offense as none was intended.

Perhaps a short taste of that Les Barker poem about the erics would help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha.
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 01:59 PM

It dosen`t matter a damm what accent he used, the man wrote great songs,
and stuff the nit-pickers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 02:01 PM

It's interesting that people seem to be able to sing in a variety of accents, much more effectively than they can speak in different accents. I heard a beautiful torch singer doing U.S. vocal "standards" in a swanky hotel in Warsaw last year, and I was sure she was from the U.S.
Nope, Warsaw native, she said, in heavily accented English.

I can't say MacColl is a favorite of mine. I have always thought of his accent as somewhat of an affectation, and it bothers me. That, and I think if he lived next door to me, he'd be a really fussy neighbor, somebody you could never relax and have a beer with. Maybe I'm wrong.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 02:03 PM

This is nonsensical grounds upon which to criticise him.

Was he pretending to be chinese?

No. He knew his roots and was able to understand their importance as the foundation of his personal history and subsequently learned a lot about himself and was therefore able to impart a lot about humanity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 02:13 PM

Good call lox, I think you have said it all but that won't stop some sad bastard going on about his trousers!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 02:13 PM

Ewan MacColl introduced me to the great ballad repertoire of England and Scotland - for that I will be eternally in his debt!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 02:26 PM

Ewan's accent was always on the correct syllable---although not always on the "right" one. Listen to his singing of "Shoals Of Herring" on the Prestige album devoted to Alf Edwards' concertina playing. It's the only vocal cut on the LP. To hear what I'm saying: There is a one-syllable word in there that he sings absolutely perfectly---but it contains three actual notes! I think it's quite amazing.

So there !!

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 02:36 PM

Brian Peters,
Yes, MacColl's BBC voice was an actort's take on it - personally, I couldn't stand it.
Glad you liked the Song Carriers. Many of the source recordings, apart from a few of MacColl's and Seeger's own, are from the BBC project and are part of the Peter Kennedy empire whicht is being debated elsewhere.
Weelittledrummer.
By Mid-Atlantic I am of course referring to the strange stab at the American accent that many of our singers, pop and folk, favour. I supose I have got used to it being used in pop and jazz, but somehow it never rings true to me in traditional song.
Joe Offer,
Yes, you are wrong, he was extremely entertaining company, though he was occasionally out of his depth with people who were not interested in traditional music, literature, politics or theatre. basically he was very shy.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 03:06 PM

I'm extremely glad that I heard him singing a few years before his death in a Londond club.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 03:07 PM

>>"Les in Chorlton" wrote
>>Sorry Guest "eric the orange" I thought you might be eric
>>the red in disguise.
>>I trust that neither of you will take offense as none was intended.

Ah I see. Nope different people. No offence taken, I just had the feeling I'd joined halfway through a conversation.


>>"Captain Birdseye" wrote
>>who started this. does it matter whether maccoll spoke
>>with a chinese accent, he was an excellent songwriter.
>>he speaks to us through his songs.

I started this. I wanted to ask a couple of questions and possibly get some answers, which I did thanks to some other posters. It matters to me because I was interested in knowing the answers. Is that OK with you Captain Birdseye or do I have to explain myself and get your permission before I post next time?

He might speak to you through his songs but he doesn't have that effect on me, possibly because I hark from a more recent generation than you? Definitely an excellent songwriter though I prefer his songs when covered by other performers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Greg B
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 03:21 PM

Accents are funny things, and they're an amalgam of what we've
heard through our lives.

I don't think one's accent is necessarily that of one's childhood.

I'm thinking about Steve Cauthen, the American jockey from Kentucky
who moved to England in his twenties. Before he'd been there a
decade, he sounded British.

My uncle, who grew up in Southern California but worked in the
oil business all his career, sounds like a Texan.

Though I'm from the same place, I inherited my grandparents' Lancashire
ambivalence with regard to 'put' and 'putt'.

After more than a decade in New Jersey, I found that some of the
local accent (not just dialect) had begun to rub off. (You actually
used to be able to tell where in New Jersey someone grew up
by their accent, but not so much any more as people drive
around from place to place. Bug's Bunny is from Jersey City,
one of the few American accents with a glottal stop.)

Accecnts may as easily be absorbed as they are affected. There
is probably some social adaptation in that process, such as
the case of my uncle with the drawl.

What may have sounded 'phony' to one commentator may have in
fact just been bits and pieces that are unconciously assimilated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 04:02 PM

Joe Offer, singing and speaking seem to involve different bits of the brain: I've known several stutterers who sang like birds, but couldn't get a three word sentence out intelligibly.

I've known people to pick up accents, lose them, and keep them for life. I'd bet ability to hear well is involved. I grew up near a tone deaf London war widow who never lost her accent, and whose church singing was painful to hear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 04:04 PM

GregB,

You have unearthed a point that is very relevant to me.

I am Irish, being born of Irish parents in Ireland and being brought up by them in a culturally Irish home with all the "normalities" of being in an Irish household ... In Hong Kong!

My family left Ireland to live in the seychelles for 2 years when I was a baby, where I spent the first two and a half years of my life.

We returned to Dublin for a year before heading off to Hong Kong, where I celebrated my 4th birthday and every subsequent birthday right up to my 17th.

I attended school there along with pupils of 35 - 40 different nationalities, but developed a very British colonial manner of speech as that was the character of the school (a very english comprehensive).

I am lucky to have been blessed with subtle hearing and as a consequence I am able to mimic fairly accurately most of the accents that I have the pleasure of hearing.

I can also mimic in accurate detail regional differences in Irish accents, be they belfast, donegal, dublin (north and south), cork, kerry, etc. etc. (not to mention English and a little scottish)

I find my accent changes naturally depending on who I talk to. I now live in Leicester in the UK and the same is true of the way I respond to the various different accents I encounter here.

Lately, I heard through the grapevine that a friend of mine had asked two Irish lads in Leicester if they knew me, what with me being Irish and everything. They acknowledged that they did, but stated that I wasn't really Irish but was more English as I had an English accent.

I intend to ask tem one day exactly what they think I'm supposed to be - chinese?.

When I was at school I was defined by my classmates as Irish in no uncertain terms, nor for that matter in necessarily pleasant terms (if you get my gist).

Who I am comes from my roots and they are a crucial part of my identity. My roots are not a matter of ancient history, but are in the conversation I had around the breakfast and dinner tables in my home throughout the entirety of my formative years.

Of course understanding who I am involves also understanding who my parents were - Thud - I am embedded in ireland, Irish history, culture, music etc.

I intend to ask them whether they view Oscar Wilde as having been Irish or not - something I am sure they will have no hesitation in confirming. This despite hm being as "english" as they come in his manners.

If Ewen McColl grew up in a Scottish home then that is all I need to hear. His soul, like oscar wildes and (dare I put myself in their company ... oh go on ...) mine, is born of his roots. He can neither escape them nor can he be denied them.

And for the record, when I sing Christy Moore songs I sound like Christy Moore - and the same goes for Luke Kelly etc etc. They just don't sound right otherwise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 07:11 PM

Jim Carroll wrote:
"Yes, MacColl's BBC voice was an actort's take on it - personally, I couldn't stand it.
Glad you liked the Song Carriers. Many of the source recordings, apart from a few of MacColl's and Seeger's own, are from the BBC project and are part of the Peter Kennedy empire whicht is being debated elsewhere."

Thank you for your response, Jim. Your posts on Mudcat are rays of light in their articulacy, no-nonsense factual content, and lack of personal vituperation. And I had a feeling the Song Carriers recordings might be tied up with the Kennedy collection.

I never heard Ewan MacColl sing live (I find his recordings very impressive, if sometimes austere and theatrical) but have been swayed in the past by the partial view of him as autocrat and didact. Song Carriers shows him to be a supreme enthusiast as well as a great intellect. Respect!

PS Is it possible to be simultaneously austere and theatrical? Before someone else pointed it out.......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:01 PM

Brian et al-

We are dealing with a complex person, with many dimensions. I, for one, am glad that he took the time to walk this earth among us. I did hear Ewan and Peggy sing once together at the Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan, back in the 1970's. I was delighted with what they sang and found them very responsive to the questions I had about the Unity Theatre in the late 1930's and early 1940's.

For some reason I wasn't concerned with determining what accent Ewan was singing in. I did note that he was wearing wide-cord corduroy trousers.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Effsee
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:18 PM

"wearing wide-cord corduroy trousers."...are you sure they weren't just normal as opposed to needlecord? It's a very important distinction you know! Tells a lot about a person.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 03:55 AM

Thanks for that Brian
A few of us are working on recordings of MacColl talking about his ideas on traditional singing which we hope to pass on to anybody interested, when completed. We hope it will lay some of the ghosts
Now - off on holiday.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 03:59 AM

Needlecord is very hard to spot on films of that vintage.... they just look like striped trousers.

Besides, it was't particularly fashionable until the late 1970's, when wide cord just smacked of rural pursuits and bailer twine gaiters.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 04:06 AM

Cravats


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 05:42 AM

To eric the orange.I am sure you started this topic perfectly innocently, so sorry. however it gives the maccoll bashers another oppurtunity to spout venomous vitriol.
I have many criticisms of ewan maccoll,but I prefer to keep them to myself and have some respect for the dead. I prefer to remember him for some of the great songs he wrote, as i am sure you do too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 10:55 AM

Guest – lox
Do you not think it would be an idea if you aimed to sound like yourself rather than the singers you mentioned?
I never understood the criticism of The Critics Group that those who didn't sound like Ewan sounded like Peggy – if that was true it certainly wasn't the aim.
I no longer sing, but when I did there was nothing more satisfying when I was on form and everything was working, than to hear my own voice coming back at me.
When we were working on technique (a part of Critics Group work), it was also very fulfilling to find that a song you were having trouble with, say the pitch on Flying Cloud or Sheffield apprentice, all of a sudden beginning to work for you.
MacColl always argued that the first job was to get a grasp of the technique of singing and when that was done you could relax and enjoy the songs.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 03:06 PM

yes Jim, the voice is an instrument and needs to be practiced like one.
in my opinion, the greatest interpreter of traditional songs was Tony Rose,.Peter Bellamy, was pretty good as well,
but liking a singer is very subjective. EWAN didnt do a lot for me personally, I find him lacking in emotion. you may not like Rose or Bellamy, they were all good singers ,its just one mans meat is another mans mustard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 03:51 PM

But it is my voice ...

... I hear what you say and I understand the point aboout authenticiity, however I also understand that there is much more to music than rhythm and tune.

Start it up by the rolling stones would sound ridiculous in a tralee accent, and "ride on" by christy moore would sound hammed up and embarrassing in ... well ... Mick jaggers singing accent (a mid atlantic drawl?)

There are some songs where my natural clipped and pompous diction are very appropriate.

Generally they are written by me and so they reflect my turn of phrase as well as expressions and sentence construction etc that are consistent with the accent in which I usually speak.

Being of an eclectic background though, and having been subjected to many cultural influences, I sometimes write in different linguistic as well as musical styles.

These may not always reflect my immediate life experience or indeed "who I am" (in the eyes of the ignorant judgemental observer), however it is often appropriate for the way I use my voice to be manipulated to achieve the most rewarding musical result. This includes a little "accent bending".

Ultimately though, I consider myself to be lucky as I see myself (despite the garbled nature of my posts) to be a gifted communicator. Perhaps it could be argued that insisting on using one accent and expressive style in either music or socially might be seen by some (more judgemental than me) as being a bit like going abroad and then just speaking louder when someone doesn't speak your language.

It depends - conversation and performance are seperate things - one is generally immediate and spontaneous, while the other is generally preprepared.

I could go on for ages trying to pin down the essence of my point but instead I will trust that the gist of it is clear enough for you to kinda see where I'm coming from.

Ultimately, in being myself, it is all something that happens naturslly - I wave no flag and adhere to no prescribed formula. Nothing is imposed on me. I am myself in as many possible dimensions as I can be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 04:13 PM

Some of the more thoughtful contributors to these various Ewan MacColl threads (and, before anyone pulls me up, the 'unthoughtful' ones are the 'trolls' - not those who don't necessarily share my enthusiasm for Ewan's contributions to the Revival - you're entitled to your opinion) seem to be coming to a concensus that he was a great songwriter. Well, I contend that he was much more than just a great songwriter - he was a great singer and interpreter of traditional song as well.

As someone pointed out, somewhere above, he could certainly be an "austere" singer. Some, like 'Captain Birdseye' may interpret this as "lacking emotion" but I think that he was, through the application of his art, trying to let the songs speak for themselves, rather than trying to impose his own personality on them; I believe that this is what the best traditional singers (like Harry Cox or Joe Heaney) did.

If you want to hear examples of what I'm trying to express just try listening to 'Sheep Crook and Black Dog' and 'The Bramble Briar' on the Topic compilation 'The Real MacColl' (TSCD463). The first song is about a shepherd deserted by his sweetheart and the second is about a bloody murder and the effect that it has on the murdered man's lover. I submit that both of these performances are masterpieces of understatement. They are both, certainly, austere performances but, I submit, they both convey perfectly the subject matter of the songs. When I first heard these two performances, nearly 40 years ago now (they were on an earlier Topic LP called 'The Manchester Angel') my first reaction was "what amazing songs!" - not "what a wonderful 'sound' this 'celebrity' singer makes!" - which, it seems to me, is the reaction most contemporary singers are after. I have always felt that what MacColl wanted, above all, was to share his excitement about the songs with his audience - not to impress with his cleverness (the fact that he was a very, very clever man is incidental). He certainly succeeded in conveying that excitement to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 04:28 PM

Yes

The excitement factor, or indeed love factor if I may be so bold as to embellish your point is crucial.

He seems to me to have had great humanity and appears to have loved "folk music" as much as he loved the "folk" from whom it grew. That is what I hear in all his music is this deep abiding empathy and care for his art and I believe he often captured the soul of the songs he samg very well.

Frank Sinatra is credited with having sung a "hard song book."

Pah!

The highland muster roll by itself is as daunting a challenge as I could ever face. Ironically, Frank sinatra is probably the only other singer I can imagine doing it, though it would sound less like the start of a battle than the entrance to the oscars ...

... Jane mansfields coming, marilyns coming ... they gloom they glower they look so big ...

It turns into innuendo in the end - with a twinkle in his eye and a flash of a smile to the girls in the back row ..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 04:42 PM

The first song I ever did in public was 'Dirty old town', playing harmonica with the school music group. And yes, the teacher said I could never bend that last note but I did:-)

Having said that I was never a big fan of Jimmy but I can apprecaite what he did. What you must remember is that those who can, do. Those who can't, critricise.

Cheers

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 05:00 PM

what if you can't criticize?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 05:06 PM

shimrod, I am entitled to my opinion,he is a great singer in your opinion , thats fine, but there are others I prefer.
1. we dont all have to share exactly the same viewpoint.
2. singing with feeling has got nothing to do with being clever, personally if I had a choice betwen a. l. lloyd and maccoll, it wouldnt be ewan, that doesnt mean that he wasnt a good singer, but just that there are others that do more for me.
    JEANNIE ROBERTSON, Thats my kind of singer someone who makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 05:23 PM

Would it be it presumptuous of me to suggest that it isn't really about who we prefer or not, just that different singers touch different parts of the soul.

Eva cassidy does things to me that Ewan MacColl couldn't ever have hoped to do, but it works both ways. My soul has a hunger for many different flavours. MacColl's flavour does not need to be compared to anyone elses to be appreciated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Scoville
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 06:45 PM

I have to admit I haven't listened to very much Ewan MacColl, but on the subject of adopted accents in general, I don't really see what the fuss is about. If he did, he was hardly alone, even among respected musicians who undeniably contributed a lot to folk music in general.

I've sort of got opinions on both sides of this--on the one hand, I hate a phony accent if it's not really needed. I saw the Old Crow Medicine Show last year and was sorely tempted to tell Ketch Secor that he needed to stop the fake Southern drawl because it was both embarrassing to himself and verging on insulting to his audience. I didn't like it about the New Lost City Ramblers, either. Just me.

On the other hand, sometimes a song doesn't come out right without its "native" accent. An old song in a Scottish dialect sounds really weird sung in an East Texas twang (I've heard it. It ain't pretty), even if that is what is most honest of the singer. Unless we want to translate everything into our own form of English, which would spoil the beauty of a lot of good songs, my personal feeling is that we can cut people a little slack on borrowed accents.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 05:23 AM

To 'Captain Birdseye' - fair enough! I respect your opinion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: BB
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 03:22 PM

My own feeling on the use of accents or dialects which are not natural to a singer is that it is better to 'translate' the words, and in most cases it need not spoil the beauty of the songs - much of the time, they don't require a great deal of translation and come out sounding all the better for that singer using their own natural accent. And perhaps those that don't translate successfully should be left to those to whom the accent/dialect *is* natural.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 11:39 PM

The ethics of affecting singing accents was a matter of considerable interest to me until I heard field recordings of some of the old lumbermen made by Helen Hartness Flanders. Most had learned their songs in lumbercamp shanties, which, like the bothies of Scotland or the bunkhouses of the Golden West, were isolated meeting places where people of a few cultures gathered and entertained each other, exchanging songs in the process. Some of the lumbermen assimilated the songs, i.e. sang them in their normal speaking voices, while others affected the accents and/or mannerisms (ornamentation, ending a song with a few spoken words, etc.) of the men from whom they learned the song. This was probably a form of respect either for the original singer or the song or both. So, in the tradition, there was flexibility in performance.

In New York City in 1860, 25% of the population was born in Ireland. Their children made up another 8% I'm sure. Those kids all heard Irish accents at home and on the street, and certainly most could do some kind of Irish accent without any trouble. Working class performers on the vaudeville stage, where ethnic characterisations were very commonplace in the 19th century, sang real life songs which later passed into tradition. "Drill, Ye Tarriers Drill" and "When McGuinness Gets a Job" would be a good examples. So, in the city as well as the country, affecting an accent was normal, not weird.

Few of us speak the same way on a job interview as we do when we are out for drinks with our mates or angry with other motorists. Most of us vary our way of speaking to greater or lesser degrees.

Getting back to Ewan MacColl, he was someone who existed on a number of different levels. Did he have working class Scottish origins? Did he grow up around Manchester? Was he an actor? Did he work for the BBC? Was he deeply interested in the plight of working class people? Did he want to sing as many great folk songs as he could? Was he opinionated? Did he ever contradict himself? Did he ever make a mistake? The answer to all, I believe, is "Yes." No mystery about Jimmy Miller. He was a complex person trying to excel at a number of different things, some of which were difficult to reconcile. He was very talented and very human too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 02 Oct 06 - 08:01 AM

bingo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Oct 06 - 10:18 AM

Liam's Brother-

Nicely put.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Scrump
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 09:27 AM

Interesting sub-thread here about whether to use dialect or accents appropriate to the song. My own view is that using the appropriate accent for a song is fine, providing the singer takes the trouble to learn to speak the accent properly. For many people, this isn't hard to do, it just takes time and study, just like learning to speak a foreign language does.

If a song is written in a local dialect, it uses dialect words and it would spoil the song if these were translated into 'standard' English (often it would be difficult to get it to scan or rhyme properly, as well). I think the accent and dialect help to provide the right feeling and atmosphere for the song.

I think it would be a shame if people were only encouraged to sing songs from their own part of the country. If that were the case many folk clubs and sessions would tend to get pretty monotonous as a result.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: BB
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 03:07 PM

You're right, of course, in that it can spoil a specifically local song if it is changed to standard English, and I suppose that's why I'm unlikely to attempt many Geordie songs, for instance. I suppose I'm thinking mainly of Scottish songs which are not necessarily localised, and which can often be 'Anglicised' without detracting from the songs. In fact, there are loads of songs within the tradition which are not dependant on local dialect, so no need for monotony!

Coming from the West Country, I have a real dislike of people adopting a 'Mummerset' accent when singing songs from this area! And again, unless it's a specifically dialect song, it's usually unnecessary.

Personally, I think it's a shame that people don't do more research into songs local to them, thus giving their repertoire a more personal identity, particularly if they're in sessions at festivals where maybe songs from their locality aren't so widely known. Far from being monotonous (and what is it when the Coppers songs are sung far and wide, by people from far and wide?), it would surely add to the variety.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 04:54 PM

I think I come by a bit of Scottish dialect more or less honestly. With a name like Firth and the fact that my great-grandfather came over from Orkney with the Hudson's Bay Company in the mid-1800s . . . and I find the dialect feels very natural when I turn it on. Ordinarily, though, I speak "standard" American English, fairly precisely because of the decade I spent as a classical music radio announcer.

I take a very dim view of young city-billys doing their damnedest to sound like they're eighty years old, toothless, and just fell off the turnip truck. A lot of people do it, and it sounds phony and pretentious to me. When I sing, except in certain specific cases, I don't use accents. I just sing my own natural way, and whatever comes out is what comes out.

But—there are certain times when I do use dialects. For example, I do a version of "The Frozen Logger" with a broad Swedish accent, which tends to crack people up—including the late James Stevens, who wrote the song (he hadn't thought of doing it that way and thought the way I did it was hilarious). Other times are with some Scottish songs, like McPherson's Farewell, Bonnie Dundee, and The Bonnie Earl of Moray. Check the links and look at the words. I don't see how anyone can do a decent job on these songs without affecting accent and dialect.

Considering the bulk of the songs that Ewan MacColl sang, I don't see how he could avoid doing the same thing, even if—even if—it didn't come natural to him.

Y'know, between this thread and the other one, I get a vague sort of picture:

A bunch of Chihuahuas yapping at a lion.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 06:28 PM

Sorry, Don (in relation to the accent thing, not your closing remarks) - you're trying to have it both ways.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 08:16 PM

Both ways? Please explain.

I think I stated my position pretty unambiguously. Nothing "both ways" about what I do.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 08:44 PM

Okay - how 'bout your affectations are acceptable because they're in good taste and necessary; other people's are "phony and pretentious"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Effsee
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 09:34 PM

Question is Don, can you do an convincing Orkney accent?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 10:15 PM

GUEST,memyself, that's not what I'm saying.

There is a definite, clear-cut distinction between what the "young city-billies" I spoke of do and what I—and many others—do regarding accents and dialects.

One singer normally sings in his or her natural accent, without putting anything on or trying to create a false impression. But then he or she might adopt a dialect for a specific song, especially when the song would sound weird without it. That's what I do. When I do "The Frozen Logger" in a Swedish accent or "Bonnie Dundee" in Scottish dialect, my audiences know perfectly well that I'm not Swedish, or they may deduce by my name that I'm of Scottish lineage, but they know I didn't just fly in from the Highlands with heather in my ears and haggis on my breath.

But we all know of singers (and a few of them are quite well-known) who were born and raised in big cities and whose main musical influences are Frank Sinatra or the Rolling Stones, who adopt "possum-up-a-gum tree" accents all the time—when they're singing, when they're talking between songs, and even when they're off-stage—and try to make people think that they're something they are not. They're seriously trying to create the impression that they learned the songs they do while growing up in the Ozarks or while hoboing around the country and picking apples in Wenatchee.   

One is a temporary thing and is used for effect on a specific song. The other is trying to create a false persona.

There's a BIG difference.

And Effsee, can I do a convincing Orkney accent? Not likely. Unfortunately I never met my great-grandfather (he died many several decades beforo I was born), and I don't think 've never heard the accent. I have heard a number of somewhat different Scottish accents, but I can't really distinguish them regionally. If I heard an Orkney accent enough, I could probably do a fair imitation of it. I'm a pretty good mimic

Is it true that Orkadians always lean toward the west because the wind off the North Atlantic never stops blowing?

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 10:20 PM

Sorry about that last couple of paragraphs. I've really got to proof-read before I hit the "Submit" button.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Oct 06 - 04:20 AM

Let's not forget that a certain Robert Zimmerman adopted a "city-billy" persona and seemed to be trying to persuade us that a strong gust of wind had just blown him in from an Oklahoma dust bowl!

Why does no-one ever criticise Zimmerman/Dylan for changing his name and putting on a phony accent?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Effsee
Date: 04 Oct 06 - 07:32 AM

No Don, they don't always lean to the West, that goddamned wind comes from all directions! Mostly they just go with the flow as it were. You must visit your ancestral land, if only to hear a genuine Orcadian accent. It's almost as bad as the Shetlander's! ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 Oct 06 - 10:33 PM

Singing a Child ballad with a put-on Scottish accent seems to me entirely sensible, involving no pretense at being Scottish, or at being a 16th-century border ruffian. Likewise, if I sing a German or Russian song, I will sing it in German or Russian as best I can frame my mouth to do it, and if there are any actual Germans or Russians present, they will probably manage to be polite.

MacColl's saying, or allowing it to be said, on his record jackets that he was born in Scotland was, of course, a pretense -- and to me, an utterly baffling one, as baffling as his letting the whole of W.W. II slip thru a crack between chapters in _Journeyman_. But then, a lot of what people do doesn't make sense to me even as foolishness. I still have the songs, anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: DannyC
Date: 04 Oct 06 - 10:56 PM

I reckon I oughter weigh in here (oooops, there goes the scales a tapsalteereeoo)... based on my limited experience...

MacColl is/was the greatest generator of folksong since Burns. I sing songs on their own merit. I could give a "fiddler's" about all the little details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Scrump
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:14 AM

I agree that trying to pass yourself off as a native in order to sing songs from there seems daft, but if MacColl did pretend he was Scottish it might not have been just for that reason. It was said he deserted the army, so changing his name and adopting a false place of birth and accent could have been for that reason, i.e. to remain undetected by the authorities, rather than just an affectation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:17 AM

"Singing a Child ballad with a put-on Scottish accent seems to me entirely sensible, involving no pretense at being Scottish"

Huh?? Try doing that in a folk club in Glasgow or Edinburgh! Assuming you mean those Child ballads collected in Scotland and containing Scots dialect, the only way for a English (or North American) singer to sing them convincingly is to rewrite the text with suitable English words. Anything else would sound ridiculous. Compare Martin Carthy's translation of "Willie's Lady" with Ray Fisher's version; although with due respect to Martin - whose recording first turned me on to that great ballad - I have to say I prefer Ray's, with all the crunchy words left in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:21 AM

The above is not intended as criticism of MacColl, btw.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 07:25 AM

I disagree wholeheartedly.

I cite "the maid gaed tae the mill" as an example.

It is arguable that a new yorker trying to wrap their tongue around those lyrics wouldn't sound as good as the original.

It would be redundant to point out that it wouldn't be convincing.

but it doesn't mean that it wouldn't be enjoyable, or that the performer was any less credible or honest etc for doing it.

It might be that that self same new yorker has scottish lineage and so he sings it with affection and not just historical curiosity, having personal reasons to be interested in the first place.


But it would annoy me intensely if he/she had the arrogance to extract all of it's flavour and charm and "translate" it into a "relevant modern form".

Am I meant to believe that by doing so he/she would be making it or himself any more authentic?

I find that point of view considerably less convincing!

Furthermore, if that New yorker were to state that he wasn't really into performing traditional songs from countries other than scoltland, as that is where his roots are, that would be a perfectly valid and defensible reason.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 07:33 AM

One more thing,

"Try doing that in a folk club in Glasgow or Edinburgh!"

I can't speak for the scots, but I have seen examples of what I have described in my last post, in sessions in Ireland, where Americans who are interested in their roots and culture have stood up to sing songs which have been lyrically very Irish by nature (if not in language).

I have yet to see such a performance be treated with anything other than respect and appreciation. If a "translated version were to performed I believe it would be tolerated but treated with a bit more scepticism, as I think prejudice sees Americans as believing themselves to be better, and it might be perceived that the "translation" was considered by the american to be an improvement on the original, which in turn would be seen as just another example of American arrogance.

I say give credit to someone who makes the effort to broaden their range and repertoire and challenge their limits.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 07:52 AM

"It might be that that self same new yorker has scottish lineage and so he sings it with affection and not just historical curiosity, having personal reasons to be interested in the first place."

I have no wish to offend New Yorkers with Scottish antecedents. I speak as an Englishman of Welsh extraction who plays regular gigs in Scotland, and I know how well a fake Scots accent would go down in those circumstances. I have, however, been known to sing one song in Welsh, (I learned it in Welsh from my Mum and Dad), so maybe that makes me a fake too.

"But it would annoy me intensely if he/she had the arrogance to extract all of it's flavour and charm and "translate" it into a "relevant modern form"."

Dear me, this forum does lend itself to undiplomatic language, doesn't it? Arrogant and intensely annoying I may be, but whether altering a few specific dialect words of a Child ballad in order to make it sit comfortably in my own mouth - whilst also making what is, after all, a STORY more intelligible to my audience is to "extract all its flavour and charm" is something I would challenge. It's the argument about the King James Bible again: which is more important, the content or the original language? I'd have thought my comment about "Willie's Lady" might have suggested that I realise it isn't a simple issue.

And nowhere did I say anything about a "relevant modern form", so why is that line in quotes?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:38 AM

Sorry About the undiplomatic approach Brian, no desire to offend - the old passion runs free in my blood and I am not ashamed of it.

Any accidental denigration along the way is more to do with the enjoyment of honing a well turned phrase than it is to do with any form of malice that might be perceived.

I saw "Anything else would sound ridiculous" floating in front of me and I bit.

The quotes around "relevant modern form" are there to highlight it as an expression representative of a particular perspective, though not necessarily your own, and not to put words in your mouth.

And I'll bet that if you sang your welsh song in wales it would go down a storm.

I also wonder where exactly in Glasgow or edinburgh this intolerant hostile audience is. Are we referring to a particular pub? are are we allowing ourselves to colour our judgement with preconceptions and generalizations of scottish people.

I've known a few scots, some from glasgow and none of them have ever given me a glesga kiss (head butt) and I have never been mugged in the toilets of an edinburgh pub.

The kind of people who would beat you up for singing a song are the same kind that would do the same if you were american full stop, or for that matter from another part of scotland where there was a different football team.

My impression of the scots that I have met is that they have been warm open friendly people who aren't generally so far up their arse that they would judge you poorly for singing a folk song of theirs in a non authentic way.

And if that really is what folk clubs up there are like, then I'm glad I've not been to one.

Am I not being realistiic?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 09:22 AM

Here is a Jamaican poem,

Sun a shine
and rain a fall
the devil an' 'im wife
cyan 'gree at all
Dem fightin' overone fish head
The devil call 'im wife bonehead
she hiss her teeth call 'im cockeye
lazy worthless and workshy
While dem bust cyalling name
de puss walk in say is a shame
to see a good fish go to wase
lef wit a big grin pon him face

What do I do if I want to relay that to any jamaicans I might know or to a jamaican audience.

Let's translate


Sun shines and rain falls
the devil and his wife can't agree at all
they are fighting over a fish head
the devil calls his wife bone head
she hisses her teeth and calls him cockeye          (cockeye? further
lazy worthless and workshy                              translation?)
While they're busy calling each other names
the cat walked in saying it's a shame
to see a good fish go to waste
then left with a big grin upon his face.

I don't know about you, but tome the accent and rhythm of it are essential parts of that poem. The story is kind of cute, but lacks any real character out of it's original context.

My jamaican accent isn't that good, but maybe it doesn't have to be. Maybe it's not meant to be translated. Maybe the author didn't want it to be sanitized. Maybe they wanted the "jamaicanness" of it to ring out even when read by non jamaicans, perhaps to give the reader a feeeling of what being jamaican can feel like.

And whether they wanted to or not, perhaps the poem does that anyway, which in turn is an essential part of it's charm.

Could the same not be said of child ballads (assuming I have used that term correctly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 10:33 AM

OK, Lox, let's agree to friendly debate - my "anything else would sound ridiculous" was perhaps not the most diplomatic or tolerant phrase either.

Lox: "The quotes around "relevant modern form" are there to highlight it as an expression representative of a particular perspective, though not necessarily your own, and not to put words in your mouth."

The reason I seized on that was precisely because that perspective is one I've fought against myself in the past. Attempts to make traditional songs jump through a hoop marked "relevance" (a highly subjective notion anyway) always make my own hackles rise.

I'm sure the poem you quote would sound better in Jamaican patois. I don't think I'd be the best person to perform it like that, but if you wanted to I wouldn't make a fuss. However, in the specific case of Child Ballads, what we're dealing with is not only regional dialect (though not always) but archaic language as well. I have a ballad on my desk right now that's in archaic *English* and which I'm trying to arrange in a way that makes sense. Some would maintain that, say, Chaucer sounds best in the language he wrote in, but my job here is to make the ballad understandable to an audience - one which is expecting musical entertainment - in such a way that a long and complex story grips them. A line like "When bale is att hyest, boote is at next" just has to go.

Presented with lines in heavy Scots dialect (I go for English versions where possible but some of the best ballads weren't collected here) I would likewise want to make them more understandable, but in undertaking my revision I'd be doing my level best to retain the "flavour and charm" of the original. A member of the Scots diaspora might consider the dialect to be a part of the flavour and charm, but that is not my perspective. Besides, if you look at what happened to the ballads as they moved around in oral tradition, between Scotland, England and Ireland, or over to the Appalachians, resetting the words in the local vernacular happened all the time. I can think of ballads collected in Scotland and later in North Carolina, in which much the same story is told, but scarcely a single line of the older text has survived.

Scots people are indeed open and friendly, and are generally better clued-up on their musical traditions than we are South of the border. They do, however, have a powerful sense of nationality, and for a visiting Englishman to adopt a phoney Scots accent, even in the cause of poetic authenticity, would be to invite ridicule or possibly worse. Believe me.

I have sung the Welsh song in Wales, but I can just about get away with that because I have the excuse of my family background. Even so, I have had a little friendly advice about my pronunciation....

During the 1980s I was resident at a club in Manchester run by the late and great Harry Boardman (at one time an acolyte of Ewan MacColl, to claw my way back to the original topic). Harry had done the full "sing from your own tradition" thing, and unearthed a large repertoire of old Lancastrian material, some of it in thick dialect. He was himself from Lancashire and, though not naturally a dialect speaker, could use it convincingly in performance. Harry also enjoyed Irish songs, and would on occasion sing one in a cod Irish accent. It might be argued that for him to adopt the Irish accent was no more phoney than singing in a dialect that had largely died out, but to me the former sounded bogus (and I would tell him so). Harry's more usual dictum was "sing in your own voice", and that's what's always made the most sense to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 10:56 AM

Just to put in my two-penn'orth here:
I agree with Brian. Part of the reason for singing old ballads is to tell the wonderful stories captured therein. If old Scots ( or English ) dialect words are used, many members of the audience may not quite get the gist of the song, so making the reason for singing rather pointless. ( I know, I may be accused of patronising audiences, but I often sing at Village Halls with totally non-folky audiences.)
I think it is essential to make sure that the words are understandable, and therefore I , like Brian, translate them into a more modern English idiom.
I loved Ewan's versions of Scots ballads, as they contained the original poetry and rhythm, but they took a lot of dictionary work before I understood the whole story.
Mary


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:22 AM

Sing however you want. That's why it's "folk music."

Paying listeners who don't like your approach will vote with their feet. But that's show biz.

Just how bad was MacColl's accent anyway ? Partly it depends on who's listening, but I mean really. As bad as Mick Jagger's African American ?

Does anybody criticize Mick (for that, I mean) ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:38 AM

I'm wary of "preserving the charm" - one man's "preserving the charm" is another man's "being patronizing or condescending" ... Perhaps "charm" just isn't the best term for what it meant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:40 AM

>>Just how bad was MacColl's accent anyway ? Partly it
>>depends on who's listening, but I mean really. As bad
>>as Mick Jagger's African American ?
>>
>>Does anybody criticize Mick (for that, I mean) ?

I don't mean to pick on Lighter, but I've noticed that generally on this forum there seems to be a tendency that whenever somebody gets a little defensive on any subject, they start to bring in comparisons with pop/rock performers and how they are viewed by the masses. Why is this?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,AFD
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 11:50 AM

I personally have a real dislike for people putting on 'fake' accents.
Think of a song like 'Sir Patrick Spens' – originally Scots, but still sounds great when sung by Carthy or someone with 'another' accent.
I also believe that people should try and find songs local to them, but I think people putting on accents really turns people off. I can't think of much worse than a Brit putting on an American deep-south accent (or vice versa).

Personally, I'm of the school that believes folk songs should evolve.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: BB
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:39 PM

GUEST, lox "But it would annoy me intensely if he/she had the arrogance to extract all of it's flavour and charm and "translate" it into a "relevant modern form"."

I'm with Brian and Mary here, particularly with the old ballads. The whole point is that they are stories. Stories need to be communicated. The best way to communicate is in your own voice, not someone else's. I don't want people in the audience thinking, 'Oh, that accent isn't very good', or 'That accent/word/whatever sounds strange'; I want them to be listening to the story.

That sentence of Lox's above got to me too - *if* all the song's flavour and charm was extracted, it probably *would* be arrogant. If I couldn't do the song without extracting all the flavour and charm, I wouldn't do it - at least, I don't believe I would. I'm not sure what he/she means by "relevant modern form". I try not to change the form, but I hope it would be understandable to whoever is listening. As to relevance, except that human emotions/morals are always relevant, I'm not sure a song/story has to be so. It doesn't stop it being enjoyable.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 02:51 PM

If I may insert another angle to this discussion:   

There is a reason that Italian opera is almost always sung in Italian and French opera is almost always sung in French and German opera is almost always sung in German, even when the singers are not Italian or French or German. The text was written in that language and the music for it was composed around the characteristic rhythms and inflections of that language. I have heard operas translated into English from their original language, and it always loses something. It simply sings better in the original language. I don't see that folk songs and ballads are any different in that respect.

[Note:   FYI, modern opera houses have a feature called "supra-titles;"   there is a long, narrow, flat panel above above the stage where they project an English translation of what is being sung—very much like the subtitles at a foreign movie—so you know what all the singing is about.]

No one, including Italians, object or are offended when Americans like Jerry Hadley (tenor) or Marilyn Horne (mezzo-soprano) sing Verdi or Puccini in Italian, or Australian soprano Joan Sutherland sings Donizetti. Can you imagine someone trying to sing a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera in Italian? And how much of the humor in the "patter songs" would be lost (much of it depends on goofy rhymes) because of the change of language?

The same idea pertains. There may be huge stylistic differences between opera and folk music, but in any form of song, the way words and melody fit and flow together is important and has a lot to do with the song as a whole. Switching languages or altering dialects, even changing a word or two (unless it is done very thoughtfully and carefully) can be like trying to stuff a size eight foot into a size six shoe or vice versa.   

Jerry Hadley and Marilyn Horne and Joan Sutherland learned how to pronounce the languages they sing in as best they can, and they just haul off and sing. But they don't change their names to something Italian-sounding and try to convince people that they are Italian.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:34 PM

Guess somebody forgot to tell those singers in the Ozarks how it's done in opera; most unfortunate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 03:36 PM

I think (and I believe that Brian might already suspect this) that he and I are in fact much closer together in our views than our chosen manner of expression would indicate.

In fact, reading through our discussion, I find a different perspective emerging that renders our disagreement obsolete and unsustainable.

I am starting to believe now that if we are to disagree, it must be along the lines simply of who is a good performer and who isn't.

The recurring worry is that if someone doesn't do their preferred option well, then it won't sound good or convincing to an audience.

Likewise though, if they do a good Job then it will presumably be both.

Folk music will of course evolve. Romeo and juliet became west side story, and thank god it did because it was a masterpiece in it's own right.

However, seeing shakespeares version as it would have been performed in his day, with the cultural context explained beforehand and even perhaps a little glossary of terms relevant to his era that are hard to relate to this day and age, when it is done well, is such a rewarding experience that to let it die out because we have west side story would be a great loss to us and a gaping hole in the riches of our cultural closet.

In the same vein, there was a bloody awful modernisation of the same story in the 80's called chinatown about gangs in an american city, (though which city I have forgotten). It would serve to support the argument that shakespeare should be left well alone.

Equally, many an amateur dramatics society has bored the hell out of their audience by fumbling through lines that clearly have no real meaning to them in a way that has as much real impact on it's audience as a speech in swahili would at a Conservative party conference.

"I don't like that accent" is balanced by "I don't like that interpretation"

"That singer simply doesn't have the ear to reproduce that dialect" is balanced by "That singer simply doesn't have the cultural understanding to translate that song as they have."

Both artforms, because they are clearly different, are equally valid. Both might need a little explanation beforehand for different reasons (unless updating also means recontextualising according to 21st century norms and metaphors etc, which might be an extremely tricky procedure).

One attempts to preserve the story so that its meaning isn't lost, the other to preserve the feel of the song as it might have been heard however many hundreds of years ago.

I would precurse a rendition of the original form with a synopsis of the story, and little reference to certain key words or phrases that might otherwise seem unfamiliar, before entertaining my audience.

They would hopefully go home having been entertained by the music, the unfamiliar sound, the story and that feeling of being a bit special because they knew something they didn't know before about the dialect of the song which not many other people are likely to know. They would probably forget what they had learned within a few hours, but it would be in their minds just long enough to make the performance just that little bit more magical.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 05:04 PM

I would also quickly like to differentiate between the Charm inherent in a poem or song and the "charm" of a cute cuddly little dialect (sarcasm intended).

If I say that a song or poem might lose it's charm due to its dialect being watered down or otherwise undermined, then I am not saying that the accent or dialect was the charming thing about it, but that as an ingredient it was essential to the poems charm.

If, upon meeting someone with a hebridean accent I comment "what a charming little accent" in the manner of Captain Haddocks arch nightmare Dame Biance Castifiore, then it would rightly (in my opinion) be viewed as a patronising and condescending attitude for me to have.

If however, someone informed me that a poem or song I had written had charmed them, I would feel greatly complimented.

As we are discussing the relative merits of songs and performance, and not the 'quaint' idiosyncrasies that make these jolly little foreign types so entertaining, it is perhaps a little off the mark to assume the worst without first acknowledging the depth of the discussion up till this point.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 06:41 PM

Couldn't you have said that in a more authentic way?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 07:18 PM

I'm fed up with all this crazy stuff.

he was a human being, and a pretty bloody good one

leave him alone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 07:28 PM

wld, if you'd been reading the thread before your posted, instead of just making assumptions about the subject line and the number of posts, you might have noticed that the discussion has come a long and thoughtful way.

~ Becky in Tucson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 07:35 PM

Ewan McColl's constant and sycophantic imitation of Bob Dylan's nasal twang and his mimicking of every obvious Dylan nuance and characteristic is what really puts me off! Why couldn't he just admit he worshipped the ground Dylan walked on and sing in his own real voice instead for a change?


(chuckle...)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 08:22 PM

LOL - a lot

why am I throwing away this god given opportunity to feign apoplectic fury and disgust at your affrontery.

As I say to my daughter, "It's just as well that I like cheeky monkeys!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Joe_F
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 09:30 PM

For me, the dictionary work is part of the fun.

When I sing "The Reel of Stumpie" in company that has not heard it, I prefix it with a spoken prose translation and little lectures about the caudle & that charming Presbyterian custom, the cutty stool. When I sing "The Second Front Song", I mention what I have learned from reading about the atmosphere of a time that is now passing from living memory, and the political overtones of the phrase "second front". People put up with it. After all, I haven't taken their money.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Scrump
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 05:33 AM

Some interesting views and food for thought in this sub-thread (which now has nowt much to do with MacColl himself).

If I like a song well enough to want to sing it myself, I will do my best to research its background, and if necessary learn to speak (as well as I can) the appropriate accent and dialect. As I said above, this is no more difficult than learning to speak a foreign language, which many people do and nobody questions it (although I recognise that not everyone finds learning languages easy). I will do this ideally by spending time in the area, but more likely I will talk to people I know who are from that area, listen to speech recordings or recordings of singers from the area, etc., and above all practice speaking/singing to get as near to the 'correct' pronunciation as possible. In other words, I work at getting it right, as much as I can.

If I then sing the song and don't get it 100% right, and someone from the area in question gets offended, I would regard that as their problem not mine. I've found that most people appreciate the effort I have made to 'speak their language', just as I find when travelling abroad that saying things like "hello", "please" and "thank you" in the local language (even when you don't know many other words in it) goes a long way towards getting along with the locals.

As for dialect words, I always explain them in the introduction (unless of course I'm in the area where the dialect is spoken), as well as other things like place/street/people names that might have a bearing on understanding the song.

I don't think that not actually coming from the area should be any barrier to singing a song from that area, providing you make the effort to get it right. As I said, most people appreciate this and if you get the odd person who somehow feels insulted and thinks I'm taking the mick out of their accent, then that's their problem. Again you can probably pre-empt this by saying something in the introduction to the effect that "I don't come from the area as you can probably tell, but I'll do my best... blah blah blah... as I don't think it would sound right any other way".

Yes, there is a case for "translation" but what you end up with is not the same song at all. And as others have said, if you do that then you might be accused of arrogance - you probably can't please everybody, but since when was that a reason not to do something?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 06:07 AM

Lox: Glad we're pals after all. Interesting discussion of R&J / West Side / Chinatown. I'm certainly with you in that my ultimate criterion for judging folk music (or anything else come to that) would be: "Is it any good or not?" That trumps high-flown principles and theories every time.

Don Firth: "I have heard operas translated into English from their original language, and it always loses something. It simply sings better in the original language. I don't see that folk songs and ballads are any different in that respect."

Well, Don, I love folk ballads and I can't stand opera. One of several reasons for this is that I like stories; ballads tell a story (as Barbara said), whereas at an opera you have to look it up in the programme. Clearly it's possible to appreciate vocal music without necessarily understanding it, otherwise I wouldn't enjoy Cajun music or get gigs in European countries where English isn't spoken widely. But in the case of a ballad the story comes first and the music is a mere servant.

Scrump: "Yes, there is a case for "translation" but what you end up with is not the same song at all."

So is Frank Proffit's "Love Henry" not at all the same song as "Young Hunting"? The text is substantially different but it's still recognisably that ballad. You can have more than one great version of the same song - that's what folk music is all about, isn't it? Besides, my most radical "translations" have been performed on old ballads that are scarcely ever sung, precisely because the texts aren't understandable. I'm not about to turn out a BBC English version of "For A' That", if that's what's worrying you.

Apologies to the MacColl -philes and -phobes for hijacking their slanging match. We should have started a new thread really but never mind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 06:23 AM

I don't see this as a hijack, more an application of lateral thinking to the issue of MacColl's use of different accents in different contexts.

I think to explore whether he was right or wrong to do it it is essential to explore whether it can justifiably and defensibly be done at all.

Seems to me that that is the consistent theme of this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 06:32 AM

as the original poster I think the current line of discussion is completely in keeping with the issues arising from my original question, I do not feel hijacked (Stockholm Syndrome?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Betsy
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 08:44 AM

I'm English and I love singing English Irish & Scottish songs.
I also like American songs - Tom Paxton type of thing.
I have sang Scottish songs in Scotland which is ridiculous , because I don't have a Scottish accent. I can do one, but can't maintain it for the entire length of a song , so I explained all this to my Scottish audfience , and said I just hope I you are happy that an Englishman is singing a Scottish song and that I do it justice.
The generous Scots as usual - held the opinion that so long as the song keeps as much shape as the Scots intended - then that was fine by them.
The phraseology in an English, Scottish or Irish or Paxton song almost demands that you take onbord some of the language root of the song ( I'm sure I must do it ) - how much is the difficult part, but you are setting a scene with the song , so I think it's appreciated if you give it some of the same root flavour - which is the difficult part for Ewan McColl - being the songwriter. Anyway,a bit late to be knocking him - NOW - surely.
Besides some people who have this affectation / over-doing the accent,do so by copying a contemporary, for example most people (seem to me ) aspire to deliver Dirty Old Town a la the greatLuke Kelly in an Irish affected accent , when the song is written about a place in England , by a Scotsman from England .
I'm stopping before I get in too deep, I'm getting dizzy.

Cheers

Betsy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 03:27 PM

I think some folks are taking this accent/dialect thing ("Do it!"—"Don't do it!") a bit too far.

First of all, when I say that I adopt, for example, a Scottish dialect when singing something like The Bonnie Earl of Moray, I'm not talking about stuffing my mouth with bannocks and crowdie before I sing and becoming generally incomprehensible. I'm talking about singing the line "Ye hielands and ye lowland, oh, where hae ye been?" that way, not "translating it into "English" by changing the words to "You highlands and you lowlands, oh where have you bean?" With that kind of song, switching to an "English translation" takes the song out of context, takes the starch out of the song, and is just plain silly.

I sing the words as indicated, and I've noticed (along with records of other Scottish singers, I have a lot of Jean Redpath records and I've heard her in person several times, including at a songfest when she visited Seattle a couple of decades ago) the way that Scots pronounce certain consonants, e.g., they tend to speak "Rs" with a little flip of the tongue and more forward in the mouth than English or Americans do (unlike the Parisian French, who tuck "Rs" into the back of the throat). Okay, so I do that, too. For the duration of the song. I am not translating it into another language. I really don't sing all that many songs in dialect, but with those I do, I'm sure my audiences fully understand what's going on, even though some of the words may sound a little different from what they hear every day. I'm just going with the flow of the song, doing what feels natural.

My point in bringing up opera being musically best when sung in its original language is to illustrate the tight relationship between words and music. Most opera buffs bone up on the plot before going to a performance, particularly if it's an opera they're not familiar with. Regular opera-goers are not as dependent on hearing and understanding the specific words. They already know what the plot is before the lights go down and the curtain goes up. At this point, the music and the individual performances are more important to them than following the plot word by word.

This is not the case with ballads. The music is important, yes. But the main thing is the story. So it's paramount that the audience be able to hear and understand the words. In a three hour opera, there is only one story (and possibly a sub-plot or two) to keep in mind. The audience at a folk concert may hear a dozen or more different ballads—stories—along with other songs over the course of the concert, many of which may be entirely knew to lots of people in the audience.

With ballads, the music acts as a vehicle for the story. In opera, the story acts as a vehicle for the music.

And no, GUEST,memyself, I don't really think that the folks Vance Randolph collected songs from in the Ozarks need to know much of anything about opera.

Hey, it ain't rocket science, folks.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 05:29 PM

The point, I think, is that MacColl wasn't very good at his Scottish accent. To most Scots he sounded very music hall.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Effsee
Date: 06 Oct 06 - 09:36 PM

Guest @ 05:29 PM, that's bollocks! As a Scot who grew up in Scotland in a mixed household of Scots & Geordie influences the accents are absorbed by osmosis! I myself don't have the accent of my home town, having travelled widely and been influenced by many others. I have lived in several different locations in the UK and have sung in several different dailects. Ewan was raised in a Scots household and a Mancunian environment, what's the problem?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 04:09 AM

There's no problem. It's just that as an actor, MacColl wasn't very good at a Scottish accent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 04:54 AM

sometimes its impossible not to sing with an accent to enable the rhyme.for example hame and came
a cockney rhyming slang song like TOTTIE ,also would nae work ,if you translated it into scottish dialect, so to some extent its unavoidable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 08:28 AM

I don't think with MacColl it's a question of translation, we're discussing his put on Scottish accent which was not very good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 08:59 AM

GUEST

You are right that this is what it comes down to at the end of the day.

Do you think it's any good or not.

There is no clear way of proving this point one way or the other, as it is mainly a subjective matter.

I personally think MacColl does a plausible job of songs such as "cam' ye o'er frae france", "the maid gaed tae the mill" and "the highland muster roll".

I think he sounds a hell of a lot more convincing than Mel Gibson did as William Wallace, yet for all his inadequacy, Braveheart had a fair few scots blubbering into their popcorn with nationalist pride and emotion.

I would also, however, like to add that Captain Birdseye didn't say anything about translation in the post you were responding to (4.54), so on that score I'm not sure that you are quite the authority on what "we're discussing" that you might think you are.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 09:02 AM

then again, maybe he did :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 06 - 09:23 AM

Yes, Lox, read Captain Birdseye's last post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: BB
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 10:21 AM

I may be wrong here, but I have yet to hear a traditional (source!)singer sing in any other than their own natural style, never affecting a different accent from their own. And certainly those revival singers that I admire, like Roy Harris, Pete Coe, Nic Jones - yes, and Brian - and many others who are noted singers of traditional, and in particular, ballad material, do likewise. There must be a reason for this.

Traditional ballads and songs have always travelled, and been adapted by singers from other areas to suit their own ways of singing, whether it be between the countries of the British Isles or the New World, and the same applies - look at Fellside's two Song Links projects. I'm sure that no-one would say that the songs are any less good for having travelled and being taken up in their own way by those singers.

It seems to me that it's all part of making the song your own, and yes, of course it requires a lot of work to make it so, but that is all part of learning a song anyway, or should be!

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 10:42 AM

Maybe Captain birdseye's point concerning inevitability cuts both ways:

1. it is inevitable that a certain amount of mimickry will be present, when a song whose lyrics depend on the dialect it is written in is performed.

2. It is also inevitable that the character and natural cultural bias of the performer will determine the overall colour and presentation of it.

There will never be a truly personalised rendition, nor a truly authentic rendition.

The debate isn't black and white, but once again a multitude of shades of grey.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 12:52 PM

I'd be embarrassed to sing a song in an assumed dialect or accent. That's not to say it's wrong for some people, just that personally I'd feel a fraud doing it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 01:36 PM

BB: Do we have one natural voice? Nic Jones' voice doesn't sound natural to me? He sounds too much like Carthy. And, surely, Carthy sings in a voice that he has invented!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 06:09 PM

Can I just quote from a recent review of one of my albums:-
"I must admit to feeling a twinge of trepidation on first hearing the opening track, a dialogue between the Guardian of the Pearly Gates and the notorious bank robber, John Dillinger.............. Lyrically quite hilarious, but the cause of concern was the apparent affected American accent, which was replaced by a Cockney one on the following track....."

Ewan wasn't trying to pass himself off as something he wasn't. No more am I. Its a performance....it requires suspension of belief. King Lear isn't really on the heath ...he's in a theatre. Marlon Brando isn't really.... a mafia Godfather. Johnny cash didn't really shoot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

Its not that I'm not following this debate, I just think its damn silly. I suppose there are some plonkers who have elected themselves as the 'authentic' voice of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, the North East, Ireland, Lancashire,etc.

All I can say is that they are mistaken and self deluding. And if you go along with their delusions, god help you. because for the last fifty years - probably even before then - we have been living in a small world. we are not living like a 17th century shepherd who never saw the next village down the road from him - never heard a radio with songs from other cultures. And if your view of art doesn't encompass some of this - it must be piss poor stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 06:26 PM

There you go, folks - we've been told.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 06:41 PM

yeh you're right sorrry!

I just think theres a degree of wilful misunderstanding going on here, of a bloke who was a playwright and whose roots were pretty obviously in the theatre.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 06:52 PM

And really there are two different discussions going on here; one concerning Ewan McColl, about whom some people have exceedingly strong feelings, and another on the use of accents generally, again about which some people have strong feelings. Some of us are thinking primarily of McColl; some of the accent business without reference to McColl. Lots of room for misunderstanding, wilful or otherwise!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 07:22 PM

On whether or not it's okay for anyone to use accents or dialects they were not born to when performing seems to be one bone of contention. The other is, is it okay for Ewan MacColl to do it? Well, it would seem to me that if it's okay for anyone to do it, it's certainly okay for MacColl. I would say that it's perfectly okay, as long as one is not deceiving one's audience as to what one is really doing. So, how does MacColl stack up by that criterion?

As to anyone doing it—on individual songs—I think I've made myself abundantly clear about my thoughts on the matter.

"It's a performance." Exactly so, weelittledrummer. I couldn't agree more. A good performance requires a bit of play-acting, and where some folkies may get bent out of shape when someone assumes an accent or attitude geared to enhance that performance ("but that's not authentic!"), it is part of the art of performing.

I put great store by authenticity, and take care not to overdo any of these little theatrical "enhancements." But I remember the words of a folk singer from whom I learned a great deal. I can't remember his exact words, but paraphrasing, he said, "On the one hand, by striving to be 'authentic,' one runs the danger of becoming nothing more than a musical stamp-collector, regurgitating only what can be heard more authentically on a field recording. On the other, by making indiscriminant and poorly thought out changes or additions to the song, you run the danger of losing the very quality that attracted you to the song in the first place. But it is possible to judiciously exercise one's creativity and present the authentic spirit of the song much more effectively than by merely parroting field recordings."

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 08 Oct 06 - 11:22 PM

GUEST,memyself 08 Oct 06 - 06:52 PM

"And really there are two different discussions going on here; one concerning Ewan McColl, about whom some people have exceedingly strong feelings, and another on the use of accents generally"

GUEST,lox 06 Oct 06 - 06:23 AM

"I think to explore whether he was right or wrong to do it it is essential to explore whether it can justifiably and defensibly be done at all.

Seems to me that that is the consistent theme of this thread."

GUEST,erictheorange 06 Oct 06 - 06:32 AM

"as the original poster I think the current line of discussion is completely in keeping with the issues arising from my original question, I do not feel hijacked (Stockholm Syndrome?)"
_________________________

Round in circles? is this one discussion or two? It's certainly a tricky stumbling block ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 12:13 AM

I think at this point both discussions are going around in circles that occasionally overlap. Seems to me that pretty much everything that's likely to be said has been said, and no new conclusions have been reached and no one's changed their opinion ... we're getting close to the dead horse phase ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 12:46 AM

Agreed.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 03:02 AM

absolutely - the other guys wrong. use whatever voice you want to sing. enjoy it. you're a long time dead.

the kind of people who give you a hard time for the accent you adopt when singing - probably their lips move when they are reading and they have difficulty with long words. I bet they go round congratulating themselves that Santa Claus couldn't get down THEIR chimney.

Am I allowed to be bitter? Yes its SO selective. these are the kind of people who have hounded Jack Hudson out of a living calling him a 'pseudo yank'. Drove the late Gerry Lockran away from our shores and our folk clubs.

Yet they have no trouble with the accents of Tim Hart, Martin Carthy or the gurning tones of Mike Waterson. Well they're traditional, ain't they?

Its the same kind of partisanship and unsophistication that has poor Salman Rushdie hiding in the cellar - the inability to distinguish between the voice of of a narrator of a work of art, and the artist.

And even given the parlous state of education in these islands, its a bloody disgrace.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 05:57 AM

"we have been living in a small world. we are not living like a 17th century shepherd who never saw the next village down the road from him - never heard a radio with songs from other cultures."

So what..... we should all aspire to sound the same? Yes, the small world we live in gives us great opportunity to enjoy distinctly different musics from other cultures than our own. But that's no reason to homogenize everything. Cajun music, to quote just one example, survived initially because of cultural isolation but now flourishes because folks there, whilst well aware of what is going on in the rest of the world, have decided they want to keep playing their own stuff regardless. Those of us who play English music have come to a similar conclusion. Doesn't mean we can't develop it or borrow ideas from elsewhere. Does mean we want it to sound distinctive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 06:02 AM

no Brian, but peoples right to sing in the voices THEY feel comfortable with, should be respected.

and that goes double for Ewan MacColl, who did his best.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Scrump
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 06:40 AM

Yes, if a person feels uncomfortable singing in an accent other than their own natural one (as some here have indicated), that's no reason to deny others the right to do so if they wish, IMO.

I'll continue to attempt to sing songs in the 'appropriate' accent or dialect, to the best of my ability, and risk the odd person objecting because I don't happen to come from the area in question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 06:45 AM

and the idea that everybody will sound like Gerry Lockran or Jack Hudson if we adopt American accents - if only.......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: BB
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 03:47 PM

GUEST, Tunesmith said:
Nic Jones' voice doesn't sound natural to me? He sounds too much like Carthy. And, surely, Carthy sings in a voice that he has invented!

Have you ever heard Nic speak? His singing is very much like his speaking in terms of accent and tonal quality. I think he may have been inspired by Carthy originally, as many were, but personally, I think he left Carthy behind very quickly. And you may have noticed that I did not quote Carthy as one of those using a 'natural' voice.

I have not got into the Ewan MacColl side of this discussion, as I was not familiar enough with him and his views when he was putting them forward. What I am interested in is 'traditional' style, and what we can learn from that.

As for WLD, you're just being unnecessarily rude and insulting, and I don't believe I have ever hounded anyone - I am merely putting my own point of view in what had been a civilised and interesting discussion.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 05:39 PM

the idea that Nic jones sounds likes martin carthy is laughable, neither vocally or as a guitarist, were they similar,. anyone that thinks so should get their ears tested.
   now that guy Dick Miles, was once described as singing with a clothes peg on the end of his nose, but if he had a fiver for every time hes been told what a great voice, he had he would be very rich,so ;;;; you cant please everyone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 05:50 PM

The most important thing is to enjoy singing.Dick Miles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 12:23 PM

whereas it alright to insult the memory of Ewan MacColl.

If these threads are thoughtful, they are only insomuch as they full of unkind thoughts. And the continued existence of the other thread under that title is a disgrace.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 12:41 PM

Agreed - that's why I stopped contributing to that thread (not there was any great demand for my contributions!).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 01:29 PM

Pooters of the world come forth and insult Ewan Maccoll,
all you nobodies,when you have done as much as Ewan Macoll ,you might be fit to wipe his boots, nonentities with 1 percent of his talent,pathetic little Pooters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 08:02 PM

I thought I'd had enough, but -

On a personal level,

I will never inhibit myself or try to inhibit anyone else for expressing their art any way they choose, be it in their own accent or in the manner of a Kling-on.

In fact, I'll bet that there are innumerable trekkies out there who are busy cataloguing a fictional library of Kling-on war songs and laments and who present them in as "authentic" a manner as poosible.

The lord of the rings radio adaptation might have been a little less entertaining than it was had the BBC not been so patronizing as to attribute different regional accents to the characters.

Sometimes of course, we derive greater entertainment from art based in non fiction than art based on fiction.

Songs about real wars, social unrest and other historical events, minor or major in tone or consequence have a deeper resonance as we are aware that they pertain to the lives of real people.

If we strip away the accent and/or vocabulary to make the story clearer, we risk seriously damaging the intended artistic character of the piece.

And if we insist on remaining true to the story to the detriment of it's original expressive form and we subsequently make it less of an art form and more of a historical tome, are we not therefore compelled, in the interests of consistency, to make sure it is accurate and told in a manner consistent with current historical understanding.

We may find ourselves having to edit songs to compensate for bias and the original authors lack of hindsight.

Many of these songs constitute source material. In some cases they constitute secondary evidence.

If we reinterpret them and by doing so they lose their value historically, then it follows that their story becomes less valid being further from testimony and closer to fiction.

So perhaps in respect of both art and history we would do well to leave them alone.

Ewen MacColl has done what the original authors of the songs were unable to do and that is record them. He tried to do this in a manner that left them as close to their original form as possible.

He is responsible for cataloguing historical documents in a form that meant that we might have the chance to experience them in a slightly less dry and rustly way.

He breathed life into a part of history which, in this era, might otherwise have simply disappeared in a puff of post modern apathy.

He has done the world a huge favour. We are a little bit richer for his contribution and I for one respect his efforts tremendously.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 06:07 AM

cock on! fox lox!

On top of that i would like to say that he and peggy made themselves accessible to everybody for years, going up and down the country doing gigs for not particularly high fees. they were always willing to discuss stuff with you. I never knew them to be anything except good humoured.

he may have been wrong about some things, but he did his best for us.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 06:24 AM

Lox, seems we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

"I will never inhibit myself or try to inhibit anyone else for expressing their art any way they choose"

Nor will I, but all of us have opinions about what is appropriate in terms of song choice and presentation. We use these opinions to govern (not 'inhibit') our own performance, and to discuss them on Mudcat is not to try to inhibit, prohibit or censure others from making their own decisions. Didn't the Critics Group do that?

"If we strip away the accent and/or vocabulary to make the story clearer, we risk seriously damaging the intended artistic character of the piece."

Surely the "intended artistic character" as perceived by any traditional singer of former times would have been to tell the story as clearly as possible to the audience they were performing to. Which, whether the singer was Scots or Appalachian or whatever, would mean using the voice that was their own and that of their peers. I have merely suggested that modern singers follow that precedent.

"And if we insist on remaining true to the story to the detriment of it's original expressive form and we subsequently make it less of an art form and more of a historical tome, are we not therefore compelled, in the interests of consistency, to make sure it is accurate and told in a manner consistent with current historical understanding."

I wasn't talking about historical accuracy. I only entered this discussion when someone was talking about the need to sing Child Ballads in a Scots accent. While some Child Ballads (although not necessarily the ones that interest me) have a specific historical background, many do not. They are ancient stories, not unlike fairy tales in their mythology and timelessness. Different versions of the same ballad collected in different places and maybe in different centuries can tell subtly different versions of the same tale. The modern singer has two principal alternatives: choose one field-recorded version as their source and remain close to that; or, collate versions to make sense out of what may be conflicting accounts, whilst remaining true to the essence of the ballad. Both can work.

"If we reinterpret them and by doing so they lose their value historically, then it follows that their story becomes less valid being further from testimony and closer to fiction."

I think you should give modern song interpreters more credit than to suggest that, by making their texts understandable, they are clumsily altering the factual content. Assuming that the song contains any factual content, which many traditional songs do not.

"Ewen MacColl has done what the original authors of the songs were unable to do and that is record them. He tried to do this in a manner that left them as close to their original form as possible."

This is simply untrue. I've no desire at all to join in the MacColl-bashing theme that has surfaced regularly in this thread, but there's no doubt in my mind he composed new tunes for traditional texts. His close colleague A. L. Lloyd regularly doctored traditional lyrics, whether simply to tell a more interesting story ("Reynardine") or gain political spin ("The Recruited Collier") - check the recent threads on this topic. One of the main points of the MacColl/Lloyd-inspired folk revival was to make traditional songs relevant to British society in the 1960s, not to preserve them in some antiquarian form.

What is the "original form" of a traditional song, anyway? Current thinking is that many more of them originated as broadsides than was once believed, but isn't the beauty of the traditional song canon precisely that the songs exist in countless variants, and in many dialects?

"He (MacColl) is responsible for cataloguing historical documents in a form that meant that we might have the chance to experience them in a slightly less dry and rustly way"

If you mean "bringing old songs to life", then I'm with you all the way, both as regards MacColl and what some of us are still trying to do.

"We are a little bit richer for his contribution and I for one respect his efforts tremendously."

Agreed (please note, weelittledrummer).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:28 AM

well so far in this thoughtful thread, all this cerebration seems to have led to the following:-

1) MacColl's Scotish accent was execrable, and he changed traditional material until he had something he felt he could make a powerful performance with, and this wasn't right. Not right at all.

2) everybody whose music is influenced by American diction or presumably guitar phrasing, they are all sound the same and they dreadful, with no right to be in a folk club - well they don't play folk music - presumably bert jansch, Al Stewart, derek brimstone, ralph mctell, etc.

3) Martin carthy and Nic Jones 'put it on' - so they ain't up to much.

4) there were some traditional singers - now conveniently dead who were all right.

One wonders at the climax of ths arse kicking frenzy, just who will be left standing and adjudged to be the winners - the true friends of English folk music. I can't help the sneaking suspicion just creeping up on me that it will turn out to be a load of middle class characters who carry their songs round in a professorial manner, in loose leaf folders, because they can't be arsed to learn the words and they frequently forget the tune.

The preferred vocal style will no doubt turn out to be something resembling Daphne Oxenford in Listen with Mother.

All I can see is If you've seen the Muffin man, tell him where he can stuff it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:26 AM

WLD - I think there's something weird going on in your computer that means you're reading a different thread to the rest of us. Some of us are *trying* to be "thoughtful". You're just being rude and ignoring most of the points others have made.

Your point 1): Nowhere did I suggest that MacColl's changes to traditional songs were "not right", I just pointed out that he made some. He could write a damn good tune if you ask me. A few MacColl-baiters complained about the accent in early messages, but I think we've moved on now.

2): Did anyone raise the subject of American diction and guitar style, Al Stewart, Derek Brimstone, et al, except you?

3): Three posts out of 146 - hardly the main thrust of the discussion.

4): Again, who said this or anything lke it?

"They can't be arsed to learn the words and they frequently forget the tune.... The preferred vocal style will no doubt turn out to be something resembling Daphne Oxenford in Listen with Mother."

Baseless nonsense.

Who's the one in the "arse-kicking frenzy" around here?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: BB
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 02:47 PM

Brian, I've come to the conclusion that WLD is incapable of reading this thread without deliberately mis-reading it, so I think we're probably best ignoring any contribution from him (or is it her?). His/her posts just have to be a wind-up, as surely nothing else would explain the outrageous statements made therein.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:11 PM

Perhaps it's worth clearing up a number of points about MacColl's accent.
His father, William, was from Camelon, near Falkirk, Stirlingshire and his mother Betsy from Aucherader, Perthshire. I have no idea how his father spoke, but I would guess it was in his native county accent; Betsy had a broad Perthshire accent until the day she died. MacColl had a good command of both of these, as can be heard in the handful of recordings of his storytelling and in some of the descriptions he gave us when we interviewed him in the 1980s. He also had a good command of a Hebridean accent, as witnessed by anybody who heard him re-telling some of the stories from there which he recorded for the BBC in the thirties, also from his 'Charlie Plenderleith tales, which he very occasionally told at The Singers Club. Those who heard him telling Alec Stewart's 'Jack tales' will agree, I'm sure, that he didn't make a bad fist of those either.
He sang Scots songs and ballads from an early age, a fact which was confirmed for me by this following quote about his first contact with the BBC in 1934 (from 'Prospero and Ariel' The Rise And Fall of Radio by D G Bridson (Victor Gollancz 1971)

"MacColl had been out busking for pennies by the Manchester theatres and cinemas. The songs he sang were unusual, Scots songs, Gaelic songs he had learnt from his mother, border ballads and folk-songs. One night while queuing up for the three-and¬sixpennies, Kenneth Adam had heard him singing outside the Manchester Paramount. He was suitably impressed. Not only did he give MacColl a handout; he also advised him to go and audi¬tion for Archie Harding at the BBC studios in Manchester's Piccadilly. This MacColl duly did. May Day in England was being cast at the time, and though it had no part for a singer, it certainly had for a good, tough, angry Voice of the People. Ewan MacColl became the Voice, a role which he has continued to fill on stage, on the air, and on a couple of hundred L.P. discs ever since".

Whether he sang in an 'authentic' Scots accent is a matter of opinion; I'm not sure I know what an 'authentic Scots accent' is. I think I know what an authentic Perthshire or Aberdeenshire, or Lothian, or Orkney, or Shetland accent is but……..
MacColl was not particularly interested in authenticity, either in accent or in reproducing a ballad sound (whatever that is).
He argued that traditional songs and ballads were every bit as important, skilful, creative, complex and enjoyable as any other poetical and musical form, and he decided to share that opinion with others. In order to pass on the Scots songs and ballads to as wide an audience as possible, no matter where they came from, and to maintain their 'Scottishness', complete with all the nuances and subtleties of the language, I believe he chose a modified Scots accent. I can only say it worked for me.
This isn't to say he managed accents every time. Some of his early recordings have never worked for me; (he often said he could not bear to listen to some of them himself). I still find his 'Nicky Tams', which he hams-up atrociously, rather cringe-making. He didn't make much of a job of Irish accents in his early days and as for his Liverpool accent………
Having said all this, it seems a little nit-picking to argue authenticity. He breathed life into 137 of the 305 Child ballads, many of them in multiple versions.
I will always be grateful for the fact that he introduced me to the Scots repertoire. Thirty odd years after first hearing it, his 'Bothy Ballads of Scotland' still ranks as a milestone in my interest in traditional song, despite its shortcomings. I suspect there are many like me who came to love the ballads through hearing him sing them. As far as I'm concerned that love has lasted me throughout the greater part of my life and will do for the rest of it.
Jim Carroll
PS Where the hell did the 'Bob Dylan' copying come from – come on, give us a break!
.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:31 PM

BB I'm not sure you're right about WLD

I think I understand how he feels, (though feel free to put me in my place for being patronizing if you like WLD).

I think that what you are seeing is outrage stemming from disbelief, that someone who had such a weight of positive characteristics, who had such an impact on the world, from "Irish Trad (?)" to Roberta Flack and Coldcut Dj's, could be diccussed in what could easily be perceived as a very arrogant snobbish and ruthlessly selective manner.

The analogy might be slagging off Bob Marley for being only half Black (another half scot incidentally for those who didn't know).

I may be wrong, but it strikes me that WLD may be a scot himself. Again I stand to be corrected, but if I'm right and he is as passionate as his prose would suggest, then who are we non scots to judge.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:38 PM

Well that clears that up then - it wasn't only his mum who was a scot.

Like me, his home, ie where he ate his breakfast lunch and dinner and learned his manners and identity, was culturally a microcosm of his parents cultural background His roots were solidly embedded in scotland.

In fact, this thread is complete.

The question has been categorically answered.

There is nothing more to add

I defy you

Oh god what am I saying ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM

"I think that what you are seeing is outrage stemming from disbelief, that someone who had such a weight of positive characteristics, ... "

No offence intended to WLD, and likewise no intent to be patronizing, but my impression was that he was at least as outraged by a critic's unfavorable comments about one of his own recordings. Which is understandable. But that seemed the logical explanation of his explosion of passion in the midst of what had become a civil discussion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 06:04 AM

I am not scottish - part irish/gypsy - but mostly english.

if that explains anything.

Ewan MacColl was a creative person, who did his best. Who did what seemed possible. Who made his performances as vivid as possible for his audiences. I am willing to concede that in doing that he may have altered material to his own purposes. But he did his damndest.

My point was that he was in there fighting for a place for folk music in our community. These nit picking denigrations of him - his accent, his war record, his failure to treat old songs as though they were some sort of thing in a museum not to be altered.....

If you really can't see why they piss me off, I hardly know what to say. these are accusations you could, and some people do, level at anyone in folk music - apart from the war record.

Look at the folk club movement. It is in a parlous state. The seeds of the destructive factionalism that has wrought so much damage, are in your approach to the subject of folk music. This mans accent is not pure enough, that man's guitar style.....there will be no end, unless you end it by not sniping at creative effort.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,SPoll
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 06:51 AM

I was born in Tyneside - I have no such accent and cannot reproduce it convincingly.
Moved to Glasgow when I was 4 - don't speak any of the several Glasgow dialects. (Many Glasgow accents, depending on home neighbourhood!)
Was sent toschool in Ayrshire (wartime) but didn't 'get' that accent either.
Moved to Hampshire (parental preparations there for D-Day) Sent to a 'good' school & after considerable malicious teasing I learned to speak "Standard English" i.e. cut-glass accent. But still had a Scottish lilt.
Married & lived in Derbyshire - didn't get that accent but some of my children speak with it. To some extent, anyway
Now live in Scotland - revetrted to scottishness to some extent.

BUT my father was Australian from New South Wales - so at home I spoke With an Aussie lilt -
BUT my mother belonged to Edinburgh - Accent referred to as "High Pan"
BUT my hisband, born in Belfast, of Welsh Father, worked mostly in London area - - -

Is it surprising that I speak to other people more-or-less with a similar accent as theirs ?   [Not Lanc-ey Dawsit or Burminum though]
I'm NOT trying to do this - it just comes naturally.   tough English people think I seak with a Scots accent and Scots think I speak with english...etc.
THE ACCENT UNCONSCIOUSLY USED IS THE APPROPRIATE NE FOR THE SETTING

This is what McColl/ Dylan/ McCarthy - - and SO many others do and did.

This thread is much too long and going nowhere now
Let's call a halt to it ??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 07:19 AM

"This thread is much too long and going nowhere now
Let's call a halt to it ??"

I think Jim has put the subject to bed as far as the narrow topic of Ewan MacColl's accent is concerned - thank you Jim. I entirely agree with WLD, and with Jim's contributions to the other thread, that personal (and often politically motivated) attacks on MacColl get us nowhere. But we *should* be able to discuss his *work* - hugely important and sometimes controversial as it is - impartially, without anyone throwing a wobbler.

The parallel sub-thread about how modern singers should interpret their material (particularly, but not exclusively, traditional songs)is something we should all be considering carefully for every song we sing, and something that MacColl himself believed was very important. There's plenty more discussion mileage in that one, and perhaps it will surface again sometime, in another thread with a less emotive title.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 07:50 AM

Thread title? "ewen MacColl's accent"

What was his accent? "Scottish"

Why? "Because he was Scottish, just like his parents and grandparents"

That's that.

_________________

I look forward to seeing you on the other thread Brian et al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 08:01 AM

I'm not outraged by the criticism of me using an American accent. I'm far too used to it to feel anything much - except mild annoyance.

Its the way I sing. I've been doing it for 30 years . its the way I think it should be done, and I am entitled not to be discounted because of it. as is ewan maccoll.

As Eugene Delacroix said, to be an artist at twenty is to be twenty. to still be an artist at forty is to be an artist.

I am 57.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 08:45 AM

>>GUEST,lox
>>
>>Thread title? "ewen MacColl's accent"
>>
>>What was his accent? "Scottish"
>>
>>Why? "Because he was Scottish, just like his parents and grandparents"
>>
>>That's that.

Not exactly true is it!

The whole point of the original question was that he wasn't Scottish, but rather of Scottish descent. He was born & raised in Salford, England. Despite this he sang in a Scottish accent and adopted a (seemingly) more Scottish name. I had seen remarks on the internet alluding to this being an affectation so I asked for clarification.

I also think that if you'd bothered to read this thread, the whole original question dealing both with his singing accent and why he changed his name was answered adequately about 2 weeks and 140 posts ago!

eto


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 09:04 AM

Likewise, if you had bothered to pay proper attention yourself you would have seen me contributing frequently to it over most of it's course.

You would have seen that Prior to my first post, it had only been clearly established that his mother was Scottish and spoke in a scottish accent.

">> Jim Carroll wrote
>>
>>He picked up his accent from his parents - his mother had
>>a broad Scots accent until the day she died; also he was
>>surrounded by Scots people throughout his childhood and
>>early youth.
>>While he had a Salford speaking accent, according to his
>>contemporaries the one he used for singing was that he
>>got from his mother Betsy and other members of his family

Thankyou Jim - that answers that question."

You would also have read my post:

"From: GUEST,lox
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 04:04 PM "

In which I explained, from personal experience, how I know that having 2 scottish parents and growing up in a scottish home makes any attempt to undermine his authenticity in this respect a crock of shit.

So yes, "exactly true".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 09:30 AM

Sure enough. But behind that is the bigger question.

If an artist feels thats the way he wants to express himself, why should some other character feel free to say - that's the wrong way to do it.

Its like if someone said to Van Gogh, sod that mate - you should be doing that sunflower as a clay sculpture.

Its like that annoying Harry Enfield character - I don't think you meant to do that,.... yes I did, and Ewan MacColl caertainly did it the way he meant to do it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 10:11 AM

GuestLox

With all due respect. My question was not should he sing in such an accent, nor whether he should regard himself as a Scot. Rather it how does somebody brought up in Salford default to a Scottish accent. Simple question - no agenda.

>>You would have seen that Prior to my first post, it had only been clearly established that his mother was Scottish and spoke in a scottish accent.

I think you'll find that my original post mentioned that BOTH his parents were Scots.

You may belive you provided some answers to this question but I think at best all you provided was some perspective from your life experiences. I asked some factual questions, and through Jim Carroll and Eric the Red got what seem to be decent factual answers.

For some reason you seem to have decided to revert this thread back to the original question for no reason, a question which has long been answered, while the rest seem to be having a reasonably intelligent discussion about decisions they make on how to sign regional songs. Do you have an additional point to add to the original question?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 10:31 AM

Back to "Ewan MacColl's accent." What I understand from the Scots on this thread is that Scottish opinion is divided about whether it sounded essentially believable or obviously fake.

I suppose that makes any opinion thoroughly subjective.

But be it noted that to non-Scots he sounded like the real thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 10:38 AM

Nationality affects you. Of course it does. You look to your parents for how to think about life, and if they come from somewhere different from where you live - they will look at it differently from the indigent population.

And even to the third generation.

I sometimes find myself asking why my parents and grandparents acted and said the things they did - how they arrived at certain attitudes.

Someone once said to me, two Irish grandparents .... of course you're bloody Irish, you're just in denial.....

Being Scottish was not something Ewan MacColl could avoid. whatever his place of birth and where he grew up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 11:53 AM

In actual fact, one's accent becomes stronger the more isolated you are in some cases. You become aggressive about how different you and your family are, than those surrounding you. Thats how it happens - did to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 01:23 PM

>>Lighter
>>
>>Back to "Ewan MacColl's accent." What I understand from the
>>Scots on this thread is that Scottish opinion is divided
>>about whether it sounded essentially believable or obviously fake.
>>
>>I suppose that makes any opinion thoroughly subjective.
>>
>>But be it noted that to non-Scots he sounded like the real thing.

Personally I wouldn't dream of singing in a Scots accent even though my mother was born there and her father was a Scot born and bred. I don't feel Scots. Then again I have a friend who was born in England of English parents and English grandparents who is most definitely Welsh because he spent from 6 months old until age 22 in Wales.

If Ewan MacColl thought of himself as a Scot then he was - and even if when he sang in a "Scots" accent it came out sounding Irish, Mancunian, Russian or Outer Mongolian I don't think it really matters.
I think that it is reasonable however to ask why a Salford lad would sing in such an accent and change his name to a "more Scottish" one (a question suitably answered).

FWIW I think his accent sounds "faux Scots" but then at that time there were quite a few born & bred Scots who modified their accents, mainly to sound more like an English or American view of what a Scots accent is.


>>weelittledrummer
>>
>>Nationality affects you. Of course it does. You look to
>>your parents for how to think about life, and if they
>>come from somewhere different from where you live - they
>>will look at it differently from the indigent population.
>>
>>And even to the third generation.
>>
>>I sometimes find myself asking why my parents and
>>grandparents acted and said the things they did - how
>>they arrived at certain attitudes.
>>

This is a bit of an over-simplification. Is your parents National identity the same as yours? Certainly your parents & grandparents have an influence on your cultural identity, but then so do your peers, your language, your economic situation, your religion, your politics, your education, the culture you grow up in, etc.

>>Someone once said to me, two Irish grandparents .... of
>>course you're bloody Irish, you're just in denial.....
>>

Of course, if you've got two Irish grandparents and two Japanese ones, but you grow up in Spain as a Spanish citizen, speaking Spanish with Spanish friends and a Spanish education, you're not necessarily going to act, think & feel very Irish at all - nor are you probably going to sound very Irish when you sing their songs. If you then changed your name from Akira Kurosawa to Cahir O'Doherty and started singing Irish folk songs in a Spanish/Japanese/Irish accent it's not really surprising if some might be a bit surprised ;-)

>>Being Scottish was not something Ewan MacColl could avoid.
>>whatever his place of birth and where he grew up.

I thought the Scots are notorious for "going native", unlike say the Irish? Certainly I've several cousins whose parents or grandparents were Scots but none of them have any noticeable Scots identity - even the two of them that lived near Falkirk for 4 years during the war.


On the issue of singing songs from other areas in assumed accents I think it depends on how you identify yourself as a performer. If you are "putting on a production" presenting songs from regions in a performance, then as with acting it's surely obviously appropriate to assume an accent. You are creating an illusion for the audience.

If however, you identify yourself as a singer of songs from your heritage/tradition learning them, prserving them & passing them on, then the situation becomes less clear & you run the risk of being accused of being a fraud. It's less a case of what you do, but rather how you present it.

In MacColl's case I think the accent/name things come up because perhaps some think that he was presenting himself as something other than what he actually was, and hence trying to deceive.


eto


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 01:28 PM

Eric

he was trying to give you something - an insight.
he did his best. there was no villainy involved.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 04:32 PM

He wasn't a salford lad


he was a scots lad living in salford

your culture comes from your home

My "experience" is exactly that.

I am a witness not counsel

___________________

As to other points, read other posts


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 05:19 PM

eric

you said of your first post:

1. " ...My question was ... how does somebody brought up in Salford default to a Scottish accent"

2. "I think you'll find that my original post mentioned that BOTH his parents were Scots."

Then you later quoted and commented:

">>While he had a Salford speaking accent, according to his
>>contemporaries the one he used for singing was that he
>>got from his mother Betsy and other members of his family

Thankyou Jim - that answers that question."

Inother words, his mum was a scot - something you already knew?

And what accent did you expect her or his father to speak in? Where's the revelation?

Just as well I (and others) had "an additional point to add to the original question" as you so very ignorantly have coaxed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 07:32 PM

>>weelittledrummer
>>
>>Eric
>>
>>he was trying to give you something - an insight.
>>he did his best. there was no villainy involved.

I don't understand your post. I didn't say there was any villainy involved.


>>GUEST,lox
>>He wasn't a salford lad
>>
>>your culture comes from your home

I think you'll find the home he lived in was in Salford, Lancashire, England ;-)

More seriously I think you're naive if you believe that your sole, or even your main, source of culture comes from your home environment.


>>GUEST,lox
>>
>>eric
>>
>>you said of your first post:
>>
>> etc etc etc etc etc
>>Inother words, his mum was a scot - something you
>>already knew?
>>
>>And what accent did you expect her or his father to speak
>>in? Where's the revelation?

Do I detect by your selective reading of my posts that you're deliberately misunderstanding what I say in an effort to prop up your argument? Perhaps you should read the whole post. I think it's clear enough where I say =>

>>I am aware that his parents were Scottish, but I've got
>>quite a few cousins whose parents were Scots and they have
>>the accent of where they grew up (London and Manchester)
>>without any trace of north of the border except in some of
>>the phrases they use.

to clarify =>

Just because you have Scots parents doesn't necessarily mean that you end up singing in a Scottish accent when you come from Salford (even if you learned the songs from them).

So did he get the accent from his parents, or because he went on lots of holidays to Scotland, or because he ate porridge, or did he acquire it later in life because he thought it might go well with his new name?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 08:09 PM

No - No attempt to be selective, and thanks for the respectful approach, plus respect back for not compromising at the same time.

Where You say I am being naive, I say you are underestimating the impact and power of the home.

We are all aware of the potential consequences on a persons life if their famiily home is dysfunctional and even of shallower concepts such as "like father like son."

Within the four walls of his home there was a little scottish colony. His two most influential teachers gave him an education in nuance, approach, humour, personality, moral values, interpretation and an infinite number of other subtleties.

They didn't even know they were doing it and neither did he becaause it happens in everything from "pass the salt" to "well done".

Rhythms of speech and manner of expression run deeper than the more obvious differences beetween different peoples accents. Who someone is, their soul, their heart and their passion come from their home.

His Identity was extracted ultimately from his roots and they were not wishy washy and back in the mists of time, but a real living part of his childhood and adolescence.

I would give a strong family home about 85% of the credit for shaping a person. The rest is adaptation and evolution.

This is why I so stubbornly and apparently unreasonably keep referring back to my second post. There is nothing about me that isn't Irish except for a little social camouflage.

I don't go round preaching on the subject of Irish politics, I don't pit prod against mick, I don't do many of the things that might fit the stereotype, but there is a fundamental and very deep core of me that goes back a long way and is Irish.

When I am with my cousins, be they in Ulster Munster Leinster or connaught, as I have them in each province, it shows, and though my accentt is not complete, noone feeels patronized because I speak from my heart and make no pretence about the things that I say.

I love to sing and I love to play my "instrument" (hold back on the innuendo please, I mean my voice). My accent changes for lots of reasons depending on the song, and when I sing Irish songs, a lilt comes out naturally. More than that though, something else comes through which is my character. It is the thing that identified with the song in the first place and that revels in it when I reproduce it.

There is an Irish Rhythm in delivery, and an Irish idea of spirit, humour,subtlety and melancholy. I got these things and more from my Home life and my parents. It wasn't something that they ever consciously taught me, but something that was imbued in me by spending my formative years with them.

I picked up on what got them excited. I picked up what made them upset, and how they perceived the world and what aspirations they had for it.

It's not about romance or naivety, its psychology 101 ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 08:41 PM

Which image is the romantic one?

A young salford lad sitting on his mothers knee learning scots folk songs hearing about the old country,

Or a young lad of 3 or 4 who is just starting to become aware of life (salford) outside his home for the first time having so far spent his time developing the foundation of his identity in the capable hands of his mother, mainly at home, who being scottish has imbued him with all her deepest characteristics, from speech to etc blah blah

you get the gist


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 08:48 PM

you said he was 'trying to deceive', that he was a 'fraud'. that sounds like villainy of some sort.

I think maybe I'm out of my depth.

I'd better give this up. I thought he was more than okay. I'm pleased I saw him, talked with him, proud that he published one of my songs. I thought he was a great man. He really tried to promote what he thought was important. worked hard to perform his songs and to present traditional songs.

I don't know what he's domne to incur so much emnity. I understand there was a period when he was dictatorial about folk music, but he wasn't when I knew him, and he accepted me for what I was as a writer of songs. something I can't say about many other factions and cliques in the folk music world.

he was okay, and so was Peggy.

my last post on the subject.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 04:16 AM

Well I get the feeling we're going round in circles here and I think the more general debate about whether or not to sing songs with an attempt at an original accent is a more interesting and productive thread, so I'll try to limit my responses to just a couple of quick points and then call it quits.


>>weelittledrummer
>>
>>you said he was 'trying to deceive', that he was a 'fraud'.

No I didn't. See what I said

>>In MacColl's case I think the accent/name things come up
>>because perhaps some think that he was presenting himself
>>as something other than what he actually was, and hence
>>trying to deceive.

i.e. You see a guy from Salford change his name to a "distinctly Scottish one", and sing songs in a Scots accent. If you don't know about his parentage and the Lallans thing it's not surprising people might think it's an affectation.

Another example could be what happened with the actress Gillian Anderson from the X-files. When she came over to the UK to live she got criticised for speaking in an English accent, some saw it as an affectation, because they were unaware that she had grown up in London. You get the full information it makes sense, without the full information it seems affected.



>>GUEST,lox
>>
>>Within the four walls of his home there was a little
>>scottish colony. His two most influential teachers gave
>>him an education in nuance, approach, humour, personality,
>>moral values, interpretation and an infinite number of
>>other subtleties.

You speak as if you were there. I accept what you say from your experience, I just disagree that you can extrapolate from that to a general rule. My experience of family members is the opposite. The wider societal influences seem to have been dominant.

If you take Psychology 101 I'm sure they'd cover the point that you can't make assumptions on human behaviour based on an extremely limited sample.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 09:01 AM

perhaps this is fodder for a second sub thread, more closely related to the original context and not inspired by the "ewen MacColl bashing" that some of the more sensitive folk here seem to be concerned the first sub thread was a response to.

I understand that one must try to be objective, but if my hypothesis is wrong, then
-what is the alternative?
-What else existed within the 4 walls of the MacColl household?
-How significant are such influences?
-how important are the first 3/4 years of your life in defining your identity?
-how significant are roots in defining ones identiity?
-if we compared ourselves to a PC, what influences would constitute an operating system and which would constitute tools and mechanisms?
-is that lad a salford lad on a scots mothers knee, or a young scot surrounded by salfordness?
-are identity and roots a load of pretentious twaddle?

From an objective academic perspective of course. ;-)

Isn't it at least a deeper more involved argument than you are seemingly giving it credit for?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 10:07 AM

>>GUEST,lox
>>
>>perhaps this is fodder for a second sub thread, more
>>closely related to the original context and not inspired
>by the "ewen MacColl bashing" that some of the more
>>sensitive folk here seem to be concerned the first sub
>>thread was a response to.
>>
>>I understand that one must try to be objective, but if my hypothesis >>is wrong, then => etc etc etc etc

Nice try Guest,lox but I've had my say on this and I don't think we're ever going to agree. You're not dragging me back into this topic ;-)


Now everybody. Should you sing in assumed accents or not?

eto


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 10:17 AM

Only when talking through your ass.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 10:40 AM

Eric, I promise, no attempt to drag anyone anywhere.

1. I do feel that there is potential for us to explore the question more deeply should we so desire, though if you don't that's fine no problem. I likewise am not so shallow as "nice try" might suggest.

2. Is it fair of me to suggest that you may be volunteering yourself as conductor of the thread a little? is this a class or a forum of discussion?

I understand your reluctance, I admit to a little heckle raising earlier, but I feel you could admit to a little "stage management" too. (and so have I at points ad infinitum) but I genuinely feel the psychological aspect of the question is valid and relevant to both the main thread and the first sub thread.

Call me the missing link if you will.

______________

Guest 10:17

we wouldn't know, we use our wit here. You are welcome to start another thread if you wish to inform us how it's done, but try not to hhijack this one if you are capable of understanding that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Lox
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 10:48 AM

by the way, I found my old membership from ages ago. I will no longer be GUESTlox from now on but just plain old lox.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 11:04 AM

No one is trying to hhijack anything here lox nor is a new thread necessary to inform how it's done. Just re read this thread and learn from the experts. I'm just amazed at the purile rubbish that is being spouted here.

Does it matter what accent he used?

What are the other hobbies of the prime posters - watching the grass grow or the paint dry?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST,erictheorange
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 01:16 PM

I'm not biting Lox

eto


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Lox
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 03:13 PM

Hello guest how are you are you having a nice day ... zzzzz ...

"No one is trying to hhijack anything here lox"

That's what I said ... zzzz ...

"Does it matter what accent he used?"

That's a point of view I've been advocating ... zzzz ...

"What are the other hobbies of the prime posters - watching the grass grow or the paint dry?"

The choice as I am aware of it is wider than that, and it is probably because I am aware of it that I never gained your expertise in "talking through your ass."

Having said that, both those options sound preferrable to reading the semi literate grunts that emanate from the putrid jelly you call your brain.
______________________

Sorry folks, couldn't resist. Matbe I shouldn't bite either.
______________________

Eric, :-)

No worries. You'll get to know me in time and maybe when you do you'll be curious to entertain the question "how significant is ones home environment in comparison to ones wider environment in the development of ones identity?".

I'll leave it in your hands, or anyone elses who cares to try it out. though probably best left to another thread at another time.

Till then, no stress. I'm out too, as I feel I've said everything I had to say on the question of artistic expression.
______________________


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM

Lox

"I never gained your expertise in talking through your ass"

Goldie, whos ass are you talking through here? Arstistic expression is definately your forte so stick to expressing it through your own.

Another thing, when you feel the need to insult someone always say what you mean, don't hold back.

As for "putrid jelly that you call your brain." At least we're on the same wavelength!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's accent
From: Lox
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 04:40 PM

"From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 10:17 AM

Only when talking through your ass."

"From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM

Another thing, when you feel the need to insult someone always say what you mean, don't hold back."

... ??? ...

zzzz ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

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


Mudcat time: 13 November 9:05 PM EST

[ Home ]

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