The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80784   Message #1477172
Posted By: shepherdlass
03-May-05 - 01:25 PM
Thread Name: Why did Ewan MacColl write new songs?
Subject: RE: Why did Ewan MacColl write new songs?
GregF - there's no need to be so grudging. If you want to research something but have no idea where to start, why not ask people who may have a bit more experience than you?

Anyway, I'm with DaveS on this one - MacColl wrote lots of truly great songs and he wrote some poor ones. Ditto Dylan. Here we come to the processes of tradition again - it tends to be the good ones that get picked up and reworked again and again, and both MacColl and Dylan are responsible for a large number of these.

MurkeyChris - I'm wondering if you are querying why the self-appointed arbiter of things traditional chose to write new songs? That's an interesting debate. MacColl is so fascinating because of this - you can love the songs and the radio ballads but dislike his prescriptive approach to authenticity. The contradictions in his various approaches might make a dissertation in itself. There's an online resource called the Working Class Movement Library that has loads of info on MacColl. And to reiterate previous comments – you should definitely get hold of MacColl's autobiography, "Journeyman" if you haven't already done so - one trip to the library could save you loads of time online.