The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46310   Message #3889283
Posted By: Jim Carroll
19-Nov-17 - 08:55 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Subject: RE: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
"Although Tom was a deep well of all sorts of folklore, he was primarily known as a singer. ?In addition to songs of Irish origin he performed old ballads derived from European tradition, along with local ditties and music hall songs; all were grist to his unbiased mill.? (Munnelly)"
I defy you to find a single song he learned from an American singer in repertoire
This is arrogance in the extreme Karen
I knew Tom for over twenty years - I recorded him at length talking about his songs, where he got them and how he regarded them
You were not criticised for claiming Clare was not a musically isolated community - it was far from that
The repertoire here was full of songs from Britain which were absorbed into the local oral tradition
You won't find John Henry or Big Rock Candy Mountain or Grand Coulee Dam or Wreck of the Old 97.....
You are virtually calling me a liar to make an academic point
Tom did not learn or sing St James' Infirmary - he learned St James's Hospital which is one of the oral manifestations of 'The Unfortunate Rake'
I ask again - does Tom's rendition sound anything like an American song?   
This is a repeat performance of the John Reilly campaign that set out to claim that a non-literate Traveller must have learned The Maid and The Palmer from print.
It's little wonder that academics have such a bad press.
If you think I am being insulting, I suggest you work out how insulting contradicting 20 years research work is
"old ballads derived from European tradition"
I don't know how conversant you are with the oral tradition but many of our Child ballads can be traced back to Scandinavian and other Europesn sources - it doesn't mean their singers learned them from a visiting Canto-Hondo singer
Give us a break!
Jim Carroll