The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4029647
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
22-Jan-20 - 02:06 PM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
It is a shame that Brian feels the way he does; I for one do respect his love for and knowledge of his subject and I have said so. I hope he will continue to share his views and experience. I do agree that perhaps 'hooey' was too strong a word, though I won't back down on my view that Copper is presenting himself and his family and is likely to leave out stuff that for various reasons he might not want people to know or which might not suit the impression he seeks to make, or which might not be what he thinks the interviewer wants. Indeed, at one point in the interview with Vic Smith he says something like 'I suppose this is the sort of thing you want'.

Personally, the Copper family do appear to me to be consummate performers. Not least because I like to hear harmonies sung and you don't often find it in English folk music. Moreover, I think it is fair to say that they do run a sort of 'cottage industry' relating to their own heritage and skills. I think that people with such skills have probably used them in this way from time to time through the ages. And good luck to them: they are talented!

Indeed, Vic Smith in his article said that with hindsight the interview with him might have been good practice for Copper who was about to engage in media interviews in connection with his book. And the book, as Copper explains, was to come out earlier but was delayed to hit the Xmas market. I seem to remember that there was some sort of local connection, which Copper explains, to the publishing firm?

I take Vic Smith's interesting point about 'oral history', which is part of an interesting post. This area is sort of linked to the themes raised by Harker and Cole about mediation. But it isn't, I suggest, quite as simple as could be assumed. When faced with historical sources, even at GCSE pupils are asked to evaluate these sources, analysing potential sources of bias. In pointing this out, I don't think I am being 'contrarian'.

Here is a web site about 'oral history' which makes exactly this sort of point. See the section on narrative and memory.

My point isn't 'contrarian'; it is mainstream.

Finally, I come back to Cole, which is where Copper comes into the discussion. Cole offers us two different perspectives on the same incident, one from the lady and one from Copper and invites us to consider how they differ. In one there is no mention of whisky; in the other Copper states that the brothers were not 'allowed' to leave until the bottle was empty and the lady's note book is full. Vic's Cole's point is that the voices of the 'lower other' (presumably including the Coppers) has too often been missing from discussions of folklore. What I am saying is that this still leaves those looking at the differing accounts in future years the problem of evaluating the evidence that they have from the past.

Have a nice evening everybody.