The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152354   Message #3568190
Posted By: Jim Carroll
19-Oct-13 - 02:59 AM
Thread Name: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
There's nothing better than a good joined-in chorus, or a sensitively participated-in refrain when it's welcomed by the singer.
MacColl and Seeger used to come in for a lot of stick because of the time they took teaching choruses.
I remember particularly the first time I ever heard 'Sweet Thames' at The Singers Club; I had arrived late and couldn't find a seat, so I sat on the edge of the stage facing the audience.
I swear they breathed in time with the singer, and that beautiful refrain..... still sends shivers.
Peggy sang a ballad entitled 'The Baron of Lys' - a young woman is seduced by a nobleman, she tries to find the identity of her seducer, who prevaricates.
The choruses fall into two halves, her question - his responses/prevarications.
Peggy divided the listeners into two sections, the women joining in the woman's part, the men, the Baron's
When it worked, as it usually did, it was truly memorable.
Ewan and Peggy had stock 'finishers' to their evenings, chosen by the fact that they had longish choruses 'I'm a Rover' and 'Leaving of Liverpool' were among the most popular.
They always left me with the feeling that I had been part of something rather than merely a bystander.
Which is all a far cry from something which (I understand) has become standard practice in many clubs - an audience being allowed, even encouraged to join in anything, anywhere.
It is totally unfair of club organisers to put the onus on singers by suggesting that they should have to "ask their listeners not to join in" It's difficult enough to stand up in front of any audience, without adding a further complication which can quite often throw up barriers between performer and listener.
Simple bad manners, at the very least - artistic vandalism equivalent to painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa "because somebody told me I could" at its most extreme.
Jim Carroll