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Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)

27 Oct 17 - 08:47 AM (#3885019)
Subject: Obit: Iona Opie (Childrens folklorist)
From: Nigel Parsons

Much deserving of an Obit thread at Mudcat, where she and he husband are often quoted.

Iona Opie (Telegraph 27/10/17) died 23 October 2017


27 Oct 17 - 10:51 AM (#3885058)
Subject: RE: Obit: Iona Opie (Childrens folklorist)
From: Steve Gardham

Wow!
The Opies awakened my interest in all things folk as a child and I'm now 70. I assumed they were both long-gone from this world. Just looked in my old copy of Lore & Language and it was first published in 1959 so I must have been 12 when I first came across it in our local library. I regularly consult the ODNR for evolutionary info.
They must have inspired a lot of people. I know they inspired Steve Roud as well.

We ought to celebrate their lives in some way.


27 Oct 17 - 01:50 PM (#3885116)
Subject: RE: Obit: Iona Opie (Childrens folklorist)
From: GUEST,DrWord

Indeed, Language & lore has been on and off my shelf often, over the years. Had the book added to the required reading of a course at university. Thanks for the OP, and the obit link

Keep on pickin
dennis


27 Oct 17 - 02:35 PM (#3885124)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: Joe Offer

One of my most-used books is the Opies' Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951). I don't always buy into the wild stories about hidden meanings behind children's rhymes. If it's not in Opie, I'm not likely to believe it.
The Opies always did excellent research, and their books were fascinating.
-Joe-


27 Oct 17 - 02:41 PM (#3885127)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: Steve Gardham

Absolutely, Joe. There are plenty of wild romantic theories out there but you won't find them in the ODNR.


28 Oct 17 - 09:03 AM (#3885264)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

The Guardian's obit is in today's print newspaper and is also free online. Telegraph's was in yesterday's paper (Friday) and can be seen online if you sign up (it's free). The Times obit was in Friday ... you have to pay to access that online.
(I didn't write any of them!)
The Opies produced a remarkable set of publications based on meticulous research.
Derek


28 Oct 17 - 04:31 PM (#3885313)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: Mo the caller

I remember seeing their Lore & Language when I was a student in the early 6os. I found it fascinating to compare the sayings that I remembered in the playground with those they had collected, and with those remembered by fellow students from different parts of the country.
Also fascination to see in the Mudcat thread "Child's Game: Elastics" Joe Offer's post quoting their research into the spread of the game. I hadn't played it, my sister called American skipping and searched for elastic bands to link together, my children played using knicker elastic and called it Elastics and later there were special elastic ropes sold for it. They traced its spread across the world.


28 Oct 17 - 05:46 PM (#3885323)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Thank you for the Guardian obit.


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

So much to still learn.


28 Oct 17 - 06:22 PM (#3885328)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: Nigel Parsons

Clearly worth adding as a link: Elastics

Nigel


29 Oct 17 - 08:00 AM (#3885400)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: Waddon Pete

The works of Iona and her husband Peter are very highly regarded. They form a fitting tribute to them both. I have added Iona to the "In Memoriam" thread. My condolences to all those who know and love her.

RIP

Peter


30 Oct 17 - 05:42 PM (#3885784)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar

A great lady, generous and kind as well as wise and energetic. One of my favourite books by her is The People In The Playground, her going fequently to her local school playground, being there and accepting what was given to her.


02 Nov 17 - 05:26 AM (#3886342)
Subject: RE: Obit: Children's Folklorist Iona Opie (1923-2017)
From: Mr Red

I don't always buy into the wild stories about hidden meanings behind children's rhymes.

Joe - the problem with that is interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.
The song may have originated in all innocence, but meanings become the property of the listener once it reaches them. And sometimes those meanings are the reason the song has survived into an era that it can be collected. Unintended meaning can appear when poetry is the driver. And the Folk Process drives too.

If it resonates it survives.
And collectors like Opie were there. Thank goodness.