The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23445   Message #260851
Posted By: pastorpest
19-Jul-00 - 01:34 PM
Thread Name: Distortion of History in Folk Song
Subject: RE: Distortion of History in Folk Song
I have found folk songs a way into history that I might not otherwise know. The powerful and victorious write history. It is true that Bonnie Prince Charlie was a drunk, a privileged and unfaithful playboy, and a fool to general his own troops at Culoden where the decisions he made and failed to make, made defeat certain. But as a symbol of a people struggling to maintain the Scottish identity that was threatened then and still continues to be threatened he is important. Prince William who lead the winning side was a hero to the English. Now he is better known as Billy the Butcher for his systematic destruction of highland clans and highland life after the battle.

It is today impotant to many historians to recover and write history from the perspective of ordinary people. Folksongs, regardless of accuracy concerning events are important sources.