To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=148899
25 messages

London ballad chat

04 Jan 13 - 06:34 PM (#3461447)
Subject: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

I'm posting this on behalf of Bob Askew.

Richard

Bob says:
BALLAD CHAT.
Bob Askew: Chair.
A chance to sing (or play) a ballad, and talk about it with others. Or just come to listen and talk. The emphasis will be on the discussion e.g What you think the ballad is about, and what you like about it. We can also cover where the song came from and different versions etc.   
Venue: the bar at Cecil Sharp House 7-9pm
Wednesdays: January 23rd, February 20th and March 20th 2013 .
The first two ballads are:
The HOUSE CARPENTER/DEMON LOVER
The TWO SISTERS.


This is a free monthly discussion. I aim to run it very informally with opportunity for everyone to chip in. The structure can be adjusted to suit all present. We will start with two Child ballads each time, and two participants can each choose a ballad for the following session. The ballads can be sung, but bringing a recording is an alternative. Professor Francis James Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads should be the main source, but we can also consider some similar ballads that Child left out.

I particularly enjoy hearing what people like about each ballad (what the ballad means personally to them). I feel that folk songs and ballads mean different things to different singers, and to different listeners; and that there is no right or wrong about this. Different opinions add to the glory of the song.

Participants can decide whether to do any preparation for the discussion. I would value the opinion of someone who is hearing the ballad for the first time as usefully as someone who has read and listened to everything that they can find. I tend to value listening above reading, but I am aware that the ballads can be complex, and that written texts can aid understanding. Texts to every Child ballad are available on the internet. Child, Bronson and others have written much interesting material about them for people who wish to read more.

It is a free session, but it would be nice to hear from you if you intend to come, so that I have a rough idea of numbers.

Bob Askew
Bob_askew@hotmail.co.uk


05 Jan 13 - 06:30 AM (#3461628)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: doc.tom

Great idea Bob. Good luck with it. Pity we're not in the Mighty Wen those nights. TomB


05 Jan 13 - 08:02 AM (#3461646)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

I'd love to get down to it but midweek.............

It happpens that the annual Broadside Day is being held on Feb 23rd at C# House and I will be down for that. Doubtless many other ballad lovers will be in town and just as frustrated as me.

I don't suppose there's a cat/snowball in hell's chance of getting that particular date moved closer to the broadside Day?

The best of luck with the venture anyway. I know from personal experience how much one's appreciation/understanding/enjoyment of balladry can be deepened by such discussions.


05 Jan 13 - 11:54 AM (#3461734)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard from Liverpool

This is an excellent idea. I'm rarely in London, but I would love to take part someday.

Actually, something I'd really love is a systematic series of meetings that goes through the Child ballad number by number, with different people chipping in different versions of that number ballad.


07 Jun 13 - 03:29 AM (#3523691)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

The next Ballad Chat in the bar at "Cecil's place" (C# House) will be from 19:00 to 21:00 next Wednesday, 12th June, when we will hear and discuss some versions of The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington, Child 105, and Sir Hugh, Child 155.

I understand that the cafe will be closed because of lift installation work, so tea will probably not be available and you will need to bring the wherewithal to wet your weasands, or else wait till 8-ish when the bar should open. (The room is normally open all the time but not the bar.)

In previous months we have heard and discussed:
The Two Sisters
The Daemon Lover
Sir Hugh
The Farmer's Curst wife
Edward
The False Knight on the Road
The Cruel Mother
Captain Wedderburn's Courtship (with the discussion extending to some of the other riddle ballads)
Willie o Winsbury
Lord Randall

After this month's session there will be a break for the summer, but we are scheduled to start again on 25th September.

Richard


07 Jun 13 - 05:26 AM (#3523710)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Bloody hell, wouldn't I just love to be in London on the appropriate night, so that I could participate. The trouble is I never am, because everything else happens on a weekend.

Tell you what. If I'm ever knighted for my services to Jennings Cumberland Ale, I'll arrange to get it done on a Wednesday.


11 Jun 13 - 11:40 AM (#3525230)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

Refresh.


11 Jun 13 - 11:56 AM (#3525238)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Matthew Edwards

In the meantime, Fred, I hope you will come to the Belvedere in Liverpool this Thursday to deliver a repeat performance of 'Get Up and Bar the Door', unless you come to a sticky end beforehand!

I'd love to attend a Ballad Chat one day as well.

Cheers, Matthew


11 Jun 13 - 12:45 PM (#3525253)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard from Liverpool

Aha, which version of Get Up and Bar the Door is it? Alas, Fred will have to repeat it again when I'm next at the Belvedere...


11 Jun 13 - 12:53 PM (#3525255)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Glad to report sticky ends are off the menu until after Thursday. Alright I'll make a point of singing it on ........... AAAAGGHHH!!!! Sorry, scrub that bit about sticky ends being off the menu.

Richard. I got it off a Ewan MacColl LP. Can't remember where he got it, but it's the standard Scottish version which is taught in the schools up there. That's a fact I didn't realise until I sang it in front of some Scots people one time and wondered why I was getting such funny looks.

Ask your dad. He'll know which one it is.


11 Jun 13 - 01:44 PM (#3525275)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: GUEST,keith price

Who knows lads maybe a Northwest ballad chat one day.

Fred, I do the sassenach version John Blunt from Marrow Bones.

Might see you Thursday chaps.


11 Jun 13 - 02:02 PM (#3525286)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Matthew Edwards

I do hope you will join us on Thursday, Keith. While I don't want to hijack Richard Mellish's thread, I'd certainly like to start up a similar ballad forum either in Liverpool or somewhere in the English Northwest. I just have some qualms about approaching a venue manager to suggest a group discussing murder, rape, incest, paedophilia, terrorism never mind the talking parrots! However if anybody is interested in such a group either send me a PM, or join me at the Belvedere or the Lion this Thurday.

Matthew


12 Jun 13 - 12:11 PM (#3525644)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

I'd be all for getting a ballad discussion group off the ground in Liverpool. How about those of us are interested try to get there early tomorrow?

Matthew, I wouldn't be too worried about telling the manager that we're discussing rape, murder etc. In all the best pubs in Liverpool they talk of little else. But imagine the look on his face if we told him we want to discuss the Queen of Elfland.

BTW., your request for Get Up and Bar The Door. Would this have anything to do with the geezer who tried to enter while the singing was going on, and then complained bitterly because I asked him to wait?


12 Jun 13 - 01:59 PM (#3525677)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Matthew Edwards

Ah! I've been rumbled! Yes, I was indeed attempting a sly reference to the Sellotape artist who had been drinking at the pub for the last 50 years, but who felt extremely upset by the request to wait outside the room until a song ended.

OK I'll try to get to the Belvedere for around 1:30ish.

Matthew


18 Sep 13 - 03:02 AM (#3559493)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

The ballad chats resume this coming Wednesday, 25th September, as before at 19:00 at Cecil Sharp House.

The two ballads to be sung and discussed this time will be The Wife of Ushers Well and The Cruel Brother. Sheila Miller has a 'fairly unusual' version of the Wife of Usher's Well, and Martin Nail has a version of The Cruel Brother collected in Cornwall in 1823.


09 Mar 14 - 12:40 PM (#3608483)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

I've neglected to refresh this thread every time another ballad chat is coming up but I've remembered this time.

This coming Wednesday, 12th March:

Henry Martin/Andrew Barton Child 250/167

Sweet William's Ghost Child 77

19:00 in the bar at C# House as usual.

Richard


09 Mar 14 - 01:22 PM (#3608492)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Steve Gardham

If Wednesday nights in London are off your beaten track, as part of the Traditional Song Forum (TSF) Meeting in Sheffield 21st June the forum focus for about an hour will be Child and the Child Ballads, with the possibility of an evening ballad session run by Raymond Greenoaken. Fred and Matthew are already members so I assume you'll be there.

You don't have to be a member to attend sessions, but membership is only 8 quid a year anyway. About 4 meetings a year spread around the country.

I'd love to be at Bob's session but I've got train tickets booked for the next day. I know, bad planning!


01 Jul 14 - 03:30 AM (#3637960)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

Tomorrow, Wednesday 2nd July, 19:00 at C# House as usual, most likely in Storrow but possibly in a different room, so check at Reception when you arrive.

The ballads that we will be singing and discussing this time will be
The Elfin Knight/Sing Ivy/Scarborough Fair CHILD 2
and The Golden Vanity CHILD 286

Richard


06 Sep 16 - 09:55 AM (#3808633)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

We have wonderful discussions about folk songs here on Mudcat but we don't often get a chance to listen to them and then talk about them face to face. So a bit of good news is that Bob Askew's Ballad Chats at Cecil Sharp House start again this month. Dates arranged so far are 28th Sept, 2nd Nov and 14th Dec, 7-9pm. Usually we are in the Committee Room, but it can be elsewhere in the building, so enquire at the Reception desk. Newcomers are always welcome, to sing if they wish, and anyway to listen and join in the discussions.

This is a free session, and all are welcome, but it would be nice to hear from you if you intend to come, so that we have a rough idea of numbers. Contact: Bob Askew: bob_askew@hotmail.co.uk

See EFDSS Events List for details of next ballads.

These Chats are run very informally to encourage everyone to chip in. We discuss two ballads each evening; nearly always ones that are in Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, but an "almost-Child" one such as Long A-Growing can slip in occasionally.

We normally start with one of us singing a version of the first ballad for that evening, then we discuss it for a bit, then someone else sings another version, or we may listen to a recording of a traditional or revival singer.

The chat is free ranging, but covers what we think the ballad is about, and what we like about it. We particularly enjoy hearing what the ballad means personally to us. Folk songs and ballads often mean different things to different singers, and to different listeners; and we state that there is no right or wrong about this. Different opinions add to the glory of the song. We can also talk about where the song came from, and different versions etc. Sometimes we speculate about the back story. We appreciate all opinions: from someone who is hearing the ballad for the first time and from someone who has read and listened to everything that they can find about it. We value listening above reading, but are aware that the ballads can be complex, and that written texts and comments can aid understanding. Texts to every Child ballad are available on the internet, and comments on the ballads are also available there. Child, Bronson and others have also written interesting material about them.

We take a short break before moving on to the second ballad.

At the end, having aired our views, we go away with our personal response to what has been said.

The choice of ballads for the following Chat is normally made from suggestions of those present.

Richard Mellish on behalf of Bob Askew bob_askew@hotmail.co.uk


06 Sep 16 - 02:19 PM (#3808681)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson

Isn't it great that people are still intrigued by ballads?

Glasgow Ballad Workshop is still going strong after a good number of years -- slightly different format from yours in that we explore and teach a (less-well-known) ballad, maybe offering some alternative verses from other texts to make a more satisfactory version: but there's always plenty of discussion and we too stress that there is no one right way, just the hope of finding a pleasing end product.

And it's also reassuring that we have some young people in fairly regular attendance.


28 Sep 16 - 11:31 AM (#3811752)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

Tonight we will be hearing and discussing
Dives and Lazerus CHILD 56 ROUD 477
(with some reference also to Come all you worthy Christians ROUD 815)
and Mary Hamilton CHILD 123 ROUD 79.

After tonight the next Ballad Chat won't be till December, as EFDSS now have no room for us on the intended date in November.


08 Dec 16 - 03:54 PM (#3825326)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

There's another Ballad Chat next Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 7pm at Cecil Sharp House

The ballads this time are

Two Magicians / Hares on the Mountain Child 44 Roud 1350

Unfortunate Lass/Lad/Soldier/Sailor/Young Girl Cut Down in his/her Prime Roud 2


31 Jan 17 - 09:20 AM (#3835918)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

Next one tomorrow, 1st March at C# House.

Format as usual.

Sir Patrick Spens, Child 58, ROUD 41:
I have a version that is work in progress, not perfectly ready for performance but near enough for Ballad Chat purposes. I may also do the Bob Coltman remake.

Young Edwin/Edward in the Lowlands Low, ROUD 182:
Clive Woolf has a version but has been poorly lately and may or may not be fit to come out.

Richard


04 Apr 17 - 08:17 AM (#3848517)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

Next one tomorrow, 5th April at C# House, 19:00.

Format as usual.

Clive Woolf will sing a version of The Two Brothers, Child 49, Roud 48.

Our Ballad Chat boss, Bob Askew, will sing a version of Robin Hood and the Bishop of Hereford, Child 144, Roud 2338.

As well as these two particular ballads we will discuss Robin Hood ballads in general.


12 Sep 17 - 10:37 AM (#3876721)
Subject: RE: London ballad chat
From: Richard Mellish

The Ballad Chats start again next week, Wednesday 20th September, 19:00-21:00. This time we will be listening to and discussing
Sir Lionel and the Wild Boar / Bold Sir Rylas / Old Bangum (etc) Child 18, Roud 29
and
Lakes of Coolfin / Shilin Roud 189

After that there will be only one more Ballad Chat before the end of this year, on 25th October.