The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110621   Message #2327620
Posted By: greg stephens
28-Apr-08 - 10:30 AM
Thread Name: Bertsongs? (songs of A. L. 'Bert' Lloyd)
Subject: RE: Bertsongs?
Pete Standing says:

"If Bert did adapt rural songs to make them industrial, I for one think that was a valid thing to do, however, if it was at the expense of the original song being lost, then that is lamentable".

Pete, I think you are missing some of the point a bit.Bert (or anyone else) can adapt songs from rural to industrial, terrestrial to Venusian, what does it matter? We all have total artistic freedom. His changes may make original songs get lost: well, fine, the world would get clogged up with songs otherwise. These are not problems. What people are objecting to is that Bert appears to have faked historical evidence. And because he was so good at it, it's very difficult to spot.
Most people are incapable of writing an old song that is convincing: Bert was the only bloke who could do it consistently. And faking historical evidence is a sin, becaue it can lead people to base their lives and philosophies on a total lie. He really should not have done it, it was a disgrace. Rewrite a song fine. Rewrite a song, and claim it was collected in 1936, or it was discovered in an old manuscript, and you've stepped over the line.
   The big question is, did Bert do this? And if so, how often? And when, exactly? That is what people are trying to find out. My impression is that he did deliberately fake from time to time.And when he wasn't deliberately concealing, he sometimes ommitted to explain what he was up to, even though he knew people were being deceived.
    I have a huge admiration for the man. But he was seduced into conning people because he wanted so hard that people should believe that the proletariat had always shared his particular political opnions. So if the proletariiat had ommitted to leave evidence to this effect, Bert was prepared to fill the gap. You can understand his motivation, on the scale of sins it's not very deadly, but it was a bad thing to do.