The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110621 Message #2724549
Posted By: MGM·Lion
15-Sep-09 - 11:15 PM
Thread Name: Bertsongs? (songs of A. L. 'Bert' Lloyd)
Subject: RE: Bertsongs?
Mrs Gaskell presumably heard the song from one of her husband's Nonconformist congregation, whom she befriended on their having, to her initial distaste, to move northwards to heavily-industrialised Manchester [the subject of some obviously autobiographically-derived incidents in her later novel North&South], subsequently interpolating it into Mary Barton where it fits well thematically. Obviously she gives no tune, but she describes one - 'a kind of droning recitative, depending much on expression & feeling'. This description fits MacColl's Jon o Grinfilt's 4-Loom Weaver version much more, in fact, than Bert's Poor Cotton Weaver on Iron Muse, which is quite catchily tuneful, & whose text, as I have already remarked, is very close to Mrs Gaskell's Oldham Weaver. Bert, incidentally, in his Iron Muse note, expresses the opinion that this version excels the Grinfilt version, unlike most of many parodies of the latter which he doesn't adduce; adding the information [but without citing any authority] that his version is known as 'Jon o Grinfilt Junior'; but within the context of the theme of this thread, it may be begging the question to mention this, or to know how seriously to accept it as fact.