The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123431   Message #2718685
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
08-Sep-09 - 05:58 AM
Thread Name: What is The Tradition?
Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
(Cut & Paste Deja-Vu warning: As MtheGM repeats the statement he made here on The Folk Process thread, I'm repeating my response, with an addition...)

I don't think we can entirely escape the 1954 statement,

Not around here you can't anyway, MtheGM - a not altogether unexpected state of affairs given the autistically intransigent Cultural Fundamentalism that is is the defining factor of the Folk Revival. What is The Folk Process anyway? Or rather - what was it? What were its laws? What were its mechanisms? Sure the evidence is there, but the interpretation of that evidence seems to overlook the fundamentals, seeing humanity in terms of its collective objectivity rather than its individual subjectivity.

This is a fundamental flaw of not just TFP and the 1954 Definition but also the foundation of the folk song revival as a whole - in effect a social condescension which saw these grubby rustics as passive carriers of a cultural phenomenon they couldn't possibly understand, rather than the active determinators of that phenomenon that they most surely were. Could, therefore, our entire concept of The Folk Process (and the 1954 Defination) have its roots in the sloppy, selective & agenda driven field-work on the part of the early collectors who saw the songs as being of greater significance than their lowly, ill-educated singers? Perish the very thought!


But that is an absolutely standard song that everybody knows

First published, I believe, in Bruce and Stokoe's Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1892)