The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110621   Message #2323124
Posted By: Rowan
22-Apr-08 - 07:04 PM
Thread Name: Bertsongs? (songs of A. L. 'Bert' Lloyd)
Subject: RE: Bertsongs?
It's always disappointng to find your idol has feet of clay, even if the clay only affects the toes; the rest of us (not being idols) can have as much clay as we like in our constitution and nobody fusses.

I've always liked Bert's singing and value the songs he (and others, since) have made important, but it's the possible taint of false scholarship that bothers me. That may well be just my problem but I come from and operate in a tradition where respectable scholarship is valued.

Without going into the veracity of Steve's Bert went out on a whaler from Hull and claimed to have learnt a version of the shanty 'Heave away my Johnny' from a seaman off Stoneferry in Hull it reminded me of Brian Peters' situation I perform from time to time for local schoolchildren a repertoire designed to tell them something about the history....

I've done similar classes myself and there are people who've made successful careers, in and beyond the folkscene, out of their ability to imitate Bert's apparent authenticity (even when their depth of scholarship extends no further than LP covers), while not similarly imitating his politics.

I suspect most of us would love to exercise the same magic as Bert's and would feel happy to be cast a bit in Bert's mould and that's where the possible taint of dodgy scholarship bites those of us who value that aspect.

Cheers, Rowan