The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469 Message #3285609
Posted By: ollaimh
05-Jan-12 - 11:49 PM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
amos discussed the "elected"identity of dylan that was so despised by mccoll.
well the long and the short of it was mccoll's identity did not grow from the heather. he aqdopted a highland scotts gael name. a name from a culture he had less part in than dylan had in the hobo railriding culture. dylan did actuallt ride the rails with rambling jack elliot for quite a while, even if he was a lower middle class jew from northern minnesota.
mccoll was engaging in the last stage of british inperialism. its called cultural appropriation. for him to have pretense to legitimacy just shows what total and comptete hypocrites his crowd were. when i was young there were anglos ready to teach me "irish" or "highland scottish" culture evrywhere. there are afew still around but when i encounter one at a folk sessiun i just sing a gaelic song and they stop lecturing.
they can own our culture and get rid of us. its bigotry and racism.
now as show biz i have no problem with mccoll. ebery one needs to make a living. whatever the schtick is as long as it works.
they both wrote great songs,dylan wrote a lot more and wasn't instrumentally challenged like mccoll.
the bottom line though was mccoll was appropriating a culture he knew nothing of and which he was no part of. in canada i used to go to folk circle that were his followers, even knew him well, same shit new locale. i got shown the door at the vancouver folk back in the seventies as i offered to sing a few nova scotia and newfoundland songs. their fearless leader and mccoll follower told me no country music here, we do folk music. when i peeked in the door a few hours later all the bourgeoise white folks were singing day oh day oh--the banana boat song by belefonte. but no east coast folk. when i went to the singers club i was lectured that we should sing the songs from our own culture when i sang the verses to chi me na mhorbheanna(dark island) in gaelic. the guy singing it in english had a pure oxbridge accent.
these early folk "purists" were engaged in the last stage of imperialism and were completely unconscious to theie real palce in the world. they had that entitlement attitude the anglos bring when they come to lead you.the folk movement came from the poltical left that mirrored the right wing early appropriation of folk.none of them were in any way traditional. and they marginalized the actual traditional musicicians, who were usually ethnically unacceptable.
dylan had no such pretensions. he was an artist looking for an audience--wherever it led him. and he was a skilled instrumentaslist as well as a good song writer. he wasn't my favourite songwriter but i sing two or three dylan songs, and only one mccoll--shoals of herring.dylan saw the hypocracy of the traditional pretensious folk people, that's why he went his own way. hewas nothing if not honest. there is nothing honest in most of the folk collecting tradition. i sugest people read douglas harkness' book "fake song" or mackay's book on helen creighten:"the quest of the folk".
frankly i will try folk get togethers but if i get any door slamming i just bug out now. there is a whole world of celtic and early music to play in. pretensoius traditional folkies usuaslly also make a virtue out of necessity by slagging anyone who can play an instrument with skill. they aqre instrumentally challenged and try to pretend thast thast's the real folk. well i'm here to tell you the traditional musicians i have played with, celtic, portuguese and greek mostly(in big cities i have gone to greek and portuguese clubs as they invite me to play occasionally) in those worlds the musicianship is stupendious--absolutely the highest skilled miusicians you will ever meet. those old farts at the singers club could barely croak a tune. a gagle of basil fawlty's lecturing others because they can't perform well enough to hold an audience.
so get it straight. mccoll and his folk philosphy was cultural appropriation. the last stage of empire. he wass from the entitled people kindly ready to lead us poor ignorant savages in folk. even though they had lost their military political and economic tyrany, they can still lead others in tradition and show us the moral high ground--provided of course we follow obidiently and tug out forelocks