The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168730 Message #4077891
Posted By: Brian Peters
02-Nov-20 - 11:58 AM
Thread Name: BBC Radio4 - Morpurgo's Folk Journeys
Subject: RE: BBC Radio4 - Morpurgo's Folk Journeys
Just listened to episode three. Some nice music and interesting discussion, but where was the credit for Nic Jones, not just for the recording of his that was played, but for rewriting the version of 'Ten Thousand Miles' that was the centre-piece of the programme? The only reason that the line 'You've been a friend to me' - which was described as key to the song - is in there at all is because Nic took that verse from one Appalachian version in Cecil Sharp's collection, and spliced it into another version that he used as his template. I know it's not primarily a programme about the history of the songs, but really that kind of revival recreation should be acknowledged. I felt much the same about MacColl's 'Four Loom Weaver' in the previous episode.
There was some discussion of the reticence of modern 'folk' songwriters in composing love songs, which I think missed the point that old broadside ballads like 'Ten Thousand Miles' were not actually personal statements of affection, but generalised expressions of emotion based on formulaic metaphors which would appeal to as many buyers as possible. It's the songs that say things like 'my girlfriend dumped me, and I'm so miserable' that some people find self-indulgent.