The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12454   Message #98453
Posted By: PKD on Teesside
23-Jul-99 - 09:34 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Tune Req: The Green Fields of Canada
Subject: RE: The Green Fields of Canada.
This is one of my favourite, all time great songs. It is on more than one of Paddy Tunney's recordings.

A funny little foot-note. The sleeve notes of one of Paddy's recordings gives the lyric as "pack up your sisters" rather than "pack up your sea-stores". Paddy doesn't sing this - it is in the ears of whoever transcribed the lyrics. However, I have heard more than one singer who learned the song from this source packing up his sisters. What do they mean, I ask myself?

I find this very interesting as it illustrates how the advent of the written word and "mass-entertainment" has distorted the folk process. By which I mean that everyone mis-hears and mis-sings the original lyric, but the written word, and the availability of "definitive" versions, frozen in time, gives a disproportionately wide affect to a single performance.

And I do recognise the conflict between the need to disseminate songs and the need to let them evolve.

Hobby-horses to the fore !