The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109916   Message #2306331
Posted By: Brian Peters
04-Apr-08 - 08:04 AM
Thread Name: Our ghastly folk tradition
Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
I can't understand why the unexceptionable point that Tom's been trying to make has attracted such strong disagreement. I believe in folk music as community entertainment as much as anyone, but for all the years I've been attending folk clubs, singaround sessions and what have you, it's been obvious that a very large part of the material sung by floor singers has *originated* from professional or semi-pro performers, be it MacColl, A. L. Lloyd, the Watersons, Martin Carthy or - on the more contemporary side - Richard Thompson, Jez Lowe, Keith Marsden or Dave Webber. The Coppers have never been full-time professional musicians but their importance as a source depends on commercial recordings and publications ("the Coppersongs Empire" as Bob used to call it, tongue firmly in cheek). The give-away is when the version sung in the singaround is a Lloyd or Carthy collation some way removed from any archived source material. Wouldn't it be great if everyone learned their songs from VOTP, but thus far not many do.

And that's before you address the matter of inspiration. What attracted the people who like this kind of music to it in the first place? Was it a visit to the local folk club, or was it the Fairport or Kate Rusby record they heard on the radio?