The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168688   Message #4074779
Posted By: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
08-Oct-20 - 03:38 PM
Thread Name: Twisted roots of John Barleycorn...
Subject: RE: Twisted roots of John Barleycorn...
Cheers Brian - it's John McMahon - I'll fix that link;

I actually just received Lloyd's Folk Song in England at the weekend, but haven't delved into it yet; I also followed a link yesterday eve to The Singing Englishman on Mustrad, but have only read Georgina Boyes's intro.

To emphasise - I agree with you, Roud and Wood totally on the origins of the song; the perspective I put forward is that perhaps the song has gathered those other meanings and associations over time, through different iterations, lyrical evolutions and in the hearts and minds of later singers; and perhaps such re-interpretation is now bound into its DNA.

I also agree with you on Bob Stewart - very speculative and factually shaky - but he has an interesting knack for driving at the feelings, atmospheres and associations that songs evoke - and this has value, too. Its a bit like the quotes attributed to Robert Graves as he received criticism for the highly questionable historical detail of The White Goddess - he tetchily emphasised his 'poetic' interpretation of myth and ritual, beyond 'mere scholars'.

Re: D&L - you'll know far better than me on this. I did intend to write 'a variation on', but that detail got lost in an attempt to not fall too far down the rabbit hole (similar situation with not name-checking all the paired Goddesses that Fraser invokes). I'll make that tweak, too.

The version of Dives & Lazarus I'm most familiar with has a very similar tune to Shepherd Haden, but I won't link to it here as I subsequently discovered that the artist in question is widely thought to have a pretty dark political outlook.

Thanks for the Andy Letcher tip - I'll check that out - and I hope you and Margaret are keeping well