The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #21125   Message #3579982
Posted By: Steve Gardham
29-Nov-13 - 01:25 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
'Child himself never declared definite criteria, possibly changing his mind over the years, and certainly admitting that some of the ballads that he DID include had a very poor claim.'

Absolutely, Richard. I'm pretty certain he became more dejected at what he felt obliged to include as he went along. We know he had misgivings about some of the material before he started on ESPB.

There are plenty of ballads that go back at least to the 17th century and have been found recently in oral tradition. I'm giving a presentation on these in a couple of weeks' time in London. I've split them into 3 groups for convenience, well-known folk songs, scarce folk songs, Child Ballads. Child might not have thought very well of broadside ballads but the fact is that the earliest known version of at least a third of them came from a broadside or similar cheap print. In fact most of the Robin Hood ballads only existed in cheap print and have never been known in oral tradition.