The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4031068
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
29-Jan-20 - 06:03 PM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Harker (p102-103) states that the early 1857-59 ESB had a slightly revised 2nd edition in 1861. He quotes from this in the following pages, citing comments on ballad style and content and then in the section on sources, giving some of Child's comments on these.

Harker says that Scott and Percy provide 25 % of the texts, 70% came from seven mediators: Scott, Percy, Ritson, Buchan, Motherwell, Jamieson and Kinloch. He says that Child quoted at length from Motherwell's notes and provides example comments on the material the mediators provided for him. 115 texts from the 1st edition were left out of the final one.

He says that once all of Percy's misdeeds came to light Child had to 'reconsider his trust in all the song-book makers on whom he had relied'. Grundtvig helped in this, providing advice and encouragement.

Harker quotes from the letters (in Hustvedt) showing that the two men discussed matters of taste and interpretation. So Child had called the Buchan texts 'prolix and vulgar' (among other things) but Grundtvig thought their vulgarity was proof of authenticity. Child's reply to this was that it was an 'artificial vulgarity' which made him fear that it came from "a man and not from a class of people", 'the vulgarity that I mean consists in a tame, mean, unreal style of expression, far from volksmassig'.

In the end Harker says Buchan's texts were used over three times as often in the third edition (ie the ESPB) as in the 2nd (ie the one of 1861) so Child Harker thinks gave way

I wish Child did not have so much German in him: I know this is because he got his doctorate from studying German philology in Germany but I cannot read or interpret the words.

But it interests me that Child at this point seems to want songs that come from a class of people and not from a man.