The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4029370
Posted By: GUEST,jag
21-Jan-20 - 05:24 AM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
I think what Brian Peters says about the Copper's trip to the big house relates to something that for me is the elephant in the room for many discussions of song collecting. Harker's political standpoint leads to his characters being largely regarded as of the bougoisie or of the folk.

The real world is made up of multitudes of subcultures related to type of work, geography, place of work, who people chose to hang out with etc. Some people interact awkwardly when even a little out of their comfort zone, others seem to me able to talk easily to anyone anywhere.

Never mind how comfortable to Coppers were in the drawing room, how would Mrs Lee have coped in the pub or their kitchen? That's a situation more common in most of the collecting. The source singers may have had more idea of life in a big house (from being related to the staff perhaps) than the posh folk did of life in the village. But then a concientious long-serving country parson might have a very good idea of what made his parishoners tick. Reading part 1 of Harkers book I was left with no idea of how good the collectors where at talking to the folk. Some might have been quite good, others a visitor from a different world.

This continues into the latest revival - stories of Fred Jordan wearing his Sunday best for first visits to folk clubs (why wouldn't he put on decent clothes for a trip out?) and the way Walter Pardon was described in that short film. Only few years ago at tunes session an oldish guy mentioning that some Irish travellers had set up in a layb-by just out of town resulted in some sucking in of air through teeth - followed by embarrased silence when he went on to say he was going to walk down to see if they had any tunes.

[was typing this during todays first posts]