The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4031480
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
01-Feb-20 - 02:34 AM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
"I don't believe Harker was the first to discover this."

Nor would I believe it.

I would be interested to know who had made the same point before.

I seem to end up looking as if I am justifying Harker, which isn't my intention, and I certainly don't want to seem to have a go at Gammon, as I have read and enjoyed a whole book and several articles he wrote, but to be fair (which seems reasonable) I will point out that Harker cites two pieces of Gammon, both on collecting in Surrey, with approval.

I think Brian is referring to the Gammon piece called 'Two for the Show'. I found this interesting and have quoted from it before. It can be downloaded free using JSTOR and may be available elsewhere online. Worth mentioning again though, as Gammon writes well and for me is always interesting. On a trivial point, I agree with Gammon that Harker's paragraphs are too long.

Gammon finds Harker's view of the revival too undifferentiated because his main focus is on A L Lloyd and Gammon thinks that Lloyd was not as influential in that as Harker suggests. Interesting, since I had been almost getting the impression from some Mudcat posts that MacColl and Lloyd were more or less single-handedly responsible for it all (with a bit of help from Lomax and the US 'left' as embodied in Peggy Seeger, and the only people whose views were worth quoting.

Regarding Beaman, a detail I got from Sharp from him interested me: hope I've go this right: Sharp produced dance steps based on 'trad' for a production of Midsummer Night's Dream (wonder what he made of Bottom's comments on ballads) and wrote a 'classical' piece incorporating tunes, ie he was in effect trying to create national classical stuff incorporating bits of what he say as 'folk' rather like people did on the continent. Beaman seems to approve, being rather opposed to the 'authentic' renderings he is sarcastic about. So maybe a desire to do this with folk was part of the motivation for Sharp's collecting (we were discussing motivations for collecting before) and this would link with the comment Atkinson made about Sharp being influenced by Wagner.

On the other hand, Beaman's research into Sharp's informants was interesting and show just what you can do with the census (which I used to trace some of Walter Pardon's family history). His piece made me curious about 19th century Somerset.

On the other hand, Beaman can be just as irritating as Harker and in similar ways.