The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123801 Message #2734363
Posted By: Jim Carroll
29-Sep-09 - 03:07 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Devil and the Feathery Wife
Subject: RE: Origins: The Devil and the Feathery Wife
I was present when Bert 'premiered' The Devil and The Feathery Wife' at the Singers Club. I would have to check the recording of the evening (Charlie) but I'm pretty sure he said he 'made' the song from a folk tale - though he did mention Buchan's 'Secret Songs' first time I'd ever heard of it.
A word on behalf of Bert. There is a tendency in some academic and pseudo-academic circles to treat Bert's re-makes as if he had farted in church.
The fact that he was both an entertainer and a researcher tends to be forgotten, and quite often those roles became mixed up. He was on occasion irritatingly vague about some of his songs; but that in no way (IMO) detracted from his importance in both fields.
I went to hear Bert sing as often as I was able, and I attended every talk he gave that I could - the same went for those magnificent radio programmes: Folk Music Virtuoso, Voice of the Gods, The Lament, Savage in the Concert Hall, Songs of the People.
I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that it was Bert Lloyd (or "A L Bert" - as he is sneeringly called by some lesser folkie wannabes) who inspired me to lift the corner of folksong and peep underneath.
I don't know enough to contradict many of his claims, but I do know that you never came away from one of his talks with a head spinning with 'Freemasonic' gobbldygook that has made folksong studies the secret society that it too often is.