The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4029304
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
20-Jan-20 - 06:28 PM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Hello All

@ Brian: "Any embarrassment they might have felt at being asked to sing in front of a lady in an elegantly furnished drawing-room instead of at home in the cottage or in the tap room of the “Black ’un” was soon dispelled …" Had there been no embarrassment, then for me it would have said 'would soon have been dispelled'. The determiner 'any' usually means 'some' or 'a bit' or some such. The fact that a large amount of whisky was required suggests that the discomfort was not insignificant. Yes, I am showing a pedantic streak here. For me Cole is trying to put across the view of the Coppers. These words are from their own account. Lady Lee's account does not even mention the whisky. The account continues that the brothers were not allowed to leave until the bottle was empty and the Lady's note book was full.

Did I dream making a post about Cole?

Somebody (Lighter?) said that this sort of work was supposed to make you think. Cole does make you think at the outset by setting out a challenging scenario: an eminent Jewish scholar and 'polymath', Joseph Jacobs, addressing the English Folklore Society in and advancing a view that a) too often discussions of 'the folk' as people spoke as if the folk was one whereas 'the folk' would have been 'many-minded' b) communities are never entirely hermetic c) therefore you cannot draw a hard and fast line between 'folk' and 'art' d) a focus on sorting out what is old and what new interferes with a full 'folkloric' description of what the folk now are doing (if I have this right).

I think I said before that Cole makes you think by starting an article about fin de siècle English folklorists by referring to a lecture given in the England to a Folklore Society by a well-travelled and highly educated Jewish person (ie precisely one of the groups often 'othered' or treated as 'alterior' to use the language of the piece) - a process he discusses later in his piece when he discusses the tendency within folklore to look for nationally innate differences in music).

For me it is as if he is sort of making you see the development of English 'folklore' from the outside, from another perspective. He has an outsider sort of 'telling it like it is' but people on the inside of the folklorist world not listening. I think he is also showing how there were other views on folklore way back in time: he says how strikingly modern Jacob's views sound.

I probably haven't expressed my thoughts clearly enough here: but there you go. But this is my first attempt to answer the interesting question of why Cole starts his piece in such an unusual way.