The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4029546
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
22-Jan-20 - 01:17 AM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
I was reviewing the thread and found this in one of Brian's interesting posts on discussion of the Copper family in Cole:

"However, when Bob wrote up the story in 'A Song for Every Season', he clearly used his mastery of story-telling to embroider the tale with some speculation of his own about how his forebears might have felt … "

I cannot remember where but I have come across the phrase 'self mediation'; I think the example was early 20th century informants holding back stuff they did not want to sing to collectors or did not think collectors would want. But it might apply to a person with a mastery of story-telling, with a tendency to embroider a tale.'

Without any disrespect to the Copper family, they do have a talent for self-presentation, and this will be partly linked to broader projects such as a book launch (in the example from Vic Smith) or CD releases etc. So this is a source of potential 'bias' in their accounts. In saying this I am just taking a step back and trying to see how their words and written prose may be viewed in later times by music historians trying to get to grips with it. I am not criticising: as I have said, I like what I know of them.

It seems that some people who sing folk and are collected from, and who are asked about what songs mean to them, are also good story tellers; this in itself casts doubt on how far one can rely on their accounts of the origins of songs, family lore, does it not? Please don't tell me I am calling people 'liars': this isn't what I mean at all.