The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162777   Message #3879178
Posted By: Vic Smith
28-Sep-17 - 04:17 PM
Thread Name: Ballads on the brain (science)
Subject: RE: Ballads on the brain (science)
Pamela wrote -
"collected by Seamus Ennis in 1952 from Jean Elvin in Turriff."
That would seem to be right and is the date given in the booklet notes of Good People Take Warning (Topic TSCD 673T) which may be Pamela's source.In his Folk Sound Index, Steve Roud gives the recording date as 16 July 1932 but this must be a typo. On this album set, she also sings another song much sung in Aberdeenshire - The Boston Smuggler (Sometimes he is a 'Burglar'). I suspect that many of the collected versions of the 'Boston' song derive from the popular recording by Delia Murphy. Jean's tune is very similar to Delia's Most of the versions of both songs in Scotland were collected from singers from the Traveller community but I have never heard of a Traveller singer with 'Elvin' as a surname.

Brian wrote:-
I (usually!) find no difficulty in remembering long ballads
... and this is my experience also. I can come back to a traditional ballad after 5 or 10 years and find that I can sing in straight through and I certainly cannot do this with most other songs. I have also found that I have learned one or two ballads unconsciously, just by being around people who sing then quite frequently. Repertoire extending made easy!