The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878 Message #4033523
Posted By: Jim Carroll
11-Feb-20 - 03:21 AM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
"To the best of my knowledge nobody on this site can claim to be either a peasant/member of the common folk"
Can't speak for anybody here, but though the terminology might have changed somewhat down the years, I doubt if there are many here who woudn't be happy to hold their hands up to coming from "common" origins - some of us wear our background as a badge
For all Sharp's problems in coming from the age he did, one of the things that distinguishes him from Harker and his disciples is the respect he had the older generation of singers, and for the songs they sang, or that's the impression I get from reading 'Some Conclusions' or that highly respectful but analytical biography by Fox-Strangeways
We chose the title for our article on Walter Pardon from a conversation we had with a well-known folkie who insisted Walter Pardon and other source singers couldn't tell the difference between 'Broomfield Hill' and 'When the Fields are White With Daisies" - "why should they, they were simple countrymen"
That attitude persists, and while it does we will never begin to understand the uniqueness of folk songs and how they resonated among the people who sang them
That is the point that Harker overlooked or ignored when he embarked on his crusade to prove 'folk song' was 'Fake News'
From an interview with Walter:
J.C. If you had the choice Walter... if somebody said to you one night they were going to ask you to sing say half-a-dozen or a dozen songs even, of all your songs, what would be the choice, can you think offhand what you would choose to sing?
W.P. The Pretty Ploughboy' would be one, that's one; 'Rambling Blade' would be another one, 'The Rambling Blade' would be two, 'Van Dieman's Land' three, 'Let The Wind Blow High or Low', that'd be four, 'Broomfield Hill', that's five, 'Trees The Do Grow High', six, that'd be six.
Despite claims to the contrary, in our over thirty years experience of collecting, Walter appeared to be the rule rather than the exception