The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134256 Message #3056375
Posted By: Jim Carroll
18-Dec-10 - 09:34 AM
Thread Name: Ballad Singing: A Dissenting Opinion
Subject: RE: Ballad Singing: A Dissenting Opinion
Ballad selling - singing was a common feature of Irish life right up to the mid 1950s.
Our collection includes over 100 tapes of singing, storytelling, folklore and information from Kerry Traveller, Mikeen McCarthy who sang and sold ballads on the streets in Kerry right up to 1950 when he moved to England.
He describes at length the voice production necessary to be heard at, say a cattle market, or in a traffic-filled town. He made a definite distinction between street, pub and 'fireside' singing - three distinct styles quite often adopted by the same singer.
I'm convinced that the myth of 'the tinker's style' (sometimes referred to as The Tinker's Whine') arises from a combination of singing in the open air over background noise, and a breakdown of traditional singing style, when singers took on characteristics of pub crooning.
The 'Big Issue' voice (I've yet to hear one sing, but would love to do so as many of them are, certainly in Dublin, from Eastern Europe, some from the Roma communities) is a universal one used in begging throughout the world.