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Origin The Blackleg Miner

DigiTrad:
DADDY WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE STRIKE
THE BLACKLEG MINERS


Related threads:
Tune Req: Blackleg Miner (16)
The Blackleg Miner and FAF. (114)
Review: Blackleg Miner revisited (13)
Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner (19)
Lyr Req: Dirty Black Leg Miner (14)
Lyr Req: Blackleg miner (9) (closed)
Help: 'duds' in Blackleg Miner (15)


Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 11:26 AM
webfolk 21 Apr 08 - 11:41 AM
meself 21 Apr 08 - 11:48 AM
meself 21 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 12:04 PM
nutty 21 Apr 08 - 12:42 PM
webfolk 21 Apr 08 - 12:43 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 21 Apr 08 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 21 Apr 08 - 01:46 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 21 Apr 08 - 01:52 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catchers unplugged Apprentice 21 Apr 08 - 02:55 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Apr 08 - 03:02 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 03:09 PM
nutty 21 Apr 08 - 03:10 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 21 Apr 08 - 03:14 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Apr 08 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 21 Apr 08 - 03:18 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 21 Apr 08 - 03:25 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Apr 08 - 03:29 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Apr 08 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 21 Apr 08 - 03:39 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Apr 08 - 03:48 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 08 - 03:59 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Apr 08 - 04:06 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Apr 08 - 04:20 PM
Bonzo3legs 21 Apr 08 - 04:49 PM
Jack Blandiver 21 Apr 08 - 07:03 PM
Dave Hanson 22 Apr 08 - 02:37 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 03:20 AM
Artful Codger 22 Apr 08 - 03:38 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 04:22 AM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Apr 08 - 04:37 AM
MartinRyan 22 Apr 08 - 04:44 AM
Dave Sutherland 22 Apr 08 - 04:51 AM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Apr 08 - 05:40 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 Apr 08 - 06:01 AM
Ruth Archer 22 Apr 08 - 06:08 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM
Ruth Archer 22 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 22 Apr 08 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 22 Apr 08 - 07:18 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 07:21 AM
MartinRyan 22 Apr 08 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Phil in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 07:48 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 Apr 08 - 08:10 AM
Ruth Archer 22 Apr 08 - 08:21 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 08:27 AM
Santa 22 Apr 08 - 08:38 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 Apr 08 - 09:36 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Apr 08 - 12:46 PM
nutty 22 Apr 08 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 22 Apr 08 - 01:21 PM
r.padgett 22 Apr 08 - 01:51 PM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 01:58 PM
nutty 22 Apr 08 - 02:06 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Apr 08 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 22 Apr 08 - 02:18 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Apr 08 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 22 Apr 08 - 02:27 PM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 02:37 PM
nutty 22 Apr 08 - 03:57 PM
Dave Sutherland 22 Apr 08 - 04:21 PM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 08 - 05:46 PM
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GUEST,meself 22 Apr 08 - 07:52 PM
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Graveyard 24 Apr 08 - 04:08 AM
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Brian Peters 24 Apr 08 - 07:44 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Apr 08 - 08:56 AM
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meself 24 Apr 08 - 06:15 PM
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GUEST,RONNIE MACEACHERN 26 Aug 09 - 10:54 PM
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Subject: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 11:26 AM

Where did the song the Balckleg Miner come from?
^^
This looks like a related song:
For information:-
COAL DUST ON THE FIDDLE pp334-5

THE YAHIE MINERS (no tune given)

Text contributed by Stuart McCawley, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. "This 'come all ye' is sixty years old and still sung in District 26 (Nova Scotia)" - McCawley

Early in the month of May when all the ice is gone away
The Yahies they come down to work
With their white bags and dirty shirt,
The dirty Yahie miners.
^^
Chorus.
       Bonnie boys, oh won't you gang!
       Bonnie boys, oh won't you gang!
       Bonnie boys, oh won't you gang!
       To beat the Yahie miners.

They take their picks and they go down
A-digging coal on underground,
For board and lodgings can't be found,
For dirty Yahie miners.

Into Mitchel's they do deal,
Nothing there but Injun meal,
Sour molasses will make them squeal,
The dirty Yahie miners.

Join the Union right away,
Don't you wait till after pay,
Join the Union right away,
You dirty Yahie miners.

Mrs. McNab she keeps a hall
Where the Yahies they do call,
You'll see them flock around the hall,
The dirty Yahie miners.

Don't go near MacDonald's door,
Else the bully will have you sure,
For he goes round from door to door,
Converting Yahie miners.

Jimmie Brimick he jumped in
Caught MacKeigan by the chin,
"Give me Maggie though she's thin
For I'm no Yahie miner."

From Ricky Boston they do come,
The damnedest Yahies ever found,
Around the office they do crowd
The dirty Yahie miners.

The Lorway road it is now clear,
There are no Yahies on the beer,
The reason why they are not here,
They're frightened by the miners.

Anybody know any more?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: webfolk
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 11:41 AM

Blackleg miner is from the North East of England, it mentions pits like Seghill and Delaval.
The words you have posted are similar but I don't know which is older, I suspect the English one.

Geoff
www.webfolk.net


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: meself
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 11:48 AM

Les - Since I'm back in the bush and don't have access to the book, could you tell me what the term 'Yahie' is supposed to mean?

This song is similar to if not a variant of a song I mentioned on another thread recently, 'Dirty Yankee Miners'. It is one my father, from Sydney CB, used to sing. He said that it refered to Newfoundlanders who were brought from the Yankee Mine in Nfld as strike-breakers. I heard a bit of it sung once or twice as 'Dirty Newfoundlanders'.

The Cape Breton singer and folklorist Ronnie MacEachern used to sing a few of the same verses to Mussels in the Corner - but he too used a term more like 'Yahie' then Yankee. His explanation was it came from a Gaelic expression having to do with 'home' or 'going home' - which the miners in question were - understandably! - always talking about. However, Ronnie is not a Gaelic-speaker, and I was always a little skeptical of his explanation. Now I'm curious to figure out if one term was a corruption of the other, and if so, which, or if their similarity is coincidental.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: meself
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM

(Yikes - that should read "more like 'Yahie' thAn Yankee'. If some mudelf has nothing to do, perhaps the typo could be repaired ... )


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 12:04 PM

Sorry I can't help the passage above I copied from another thread on the origins of Bert Lloyd's 'Do Me Ama'.

That thread draws attention to Bert's tendency to add more than a bit to fragments of songs. I have always felt 'The Blackleg Miner' a touch too militant, but it's only a vague feeling.

How is it related to THE YAHIE MINERS, because it clearly is.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: nutty
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 12:42 PM

Googling for "Yahie Miners" brings up quite a bit of interesting info on the song.
Mainly -- that the Yahie Miners were strike breakers in Canada in 1910 and the songs is thought to be derived from Blackleg Miner which is believed to be older than that. Not sure if that is true but it gives a little more information.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: webfolk
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 12:43 PM

Les,
It's interesting you vaguely think Blackleg Miner too militant. I think it tells it like it was/is, and things where not much better in the 80's! Bloody Thatcher!

Geoff
wwww.webfolk.net


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 01:20 PM

It's not for me to disagree with the sentiments of the song. I think the main difference between the struggles of the 19C and those of the 1980s was the ruthless use of state power to surpress the Miners.

The problem is that Bert seems to be the only source of the song.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 01:39 PM

Seaton Delaval, presumably the Delaval mentioned in the song,
The Blackleg Miner, is about six miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Seaton Delaval

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 01:46 PM

Dick Gaughan, on his website, suggests that the origins of this song lie in the 19th century Durham coalfields and also says that any relevant information can be found in A.L Lloyd's Come All Ye Bold Miners
Dick Gaughan

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 01:49 PM

True enough Charlotte but the trail stops there.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 01:52 PM

Apologies for all the posts. :-)
I just checked the line notes on Steeleye Span's LP Hark! The Village Wait, and this is what is said about The Black Leg Miner, at least the version done by Steeleye Span.

'It is strange that a song as powerful and as singable as this should be so rare, yet it has only once been collected, from a man in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in 1949. Seghill and Seaton Delaval (presumably the Delaval mentioned in the song) are adjacent mining villages about six miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but it is difficult to date the song due to the innumerable mining strikes which have occurred. It is, however, interesting in as much as it illustrates the violent hatred felt by the "union" men toward the blacklegs.'

- sourced from the liner notes Hark! The Village Wait.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 02:00 PM

"It is strange that a song as powerful and as singable as this should be so rare, yet it has only once been collected"


How true, how true, though to be fair lots of songs from the mining industry exist in one form and in some cases the writers were known.

This is not the only example of songs "collected" by Bert that appear to be extant without other variants and with little or nothing known about the sources.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catchers unplugged Apprentice
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 02:55 PM

Wasn't Sir Walter Scott known to have included a few, shall we call them, imitations in his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border? Now I'm not saying (or am I? ;-) ) that Bert Lloyd did this.....but..

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:02 PM

I think it's quite well accepted that Bert Lloyd did a fair bit of fiddling with songs. Including making up sources. And new bits.

That doesn't mean we don't love him...


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:09 PM

Love is the sweetest thing, and so it is. But ................

Bert was committed to the idea of the industrial working class having a living tradition of songs which reflected the life,times and struggle of said workers akin to the living tradition,although fading, of the agricultural class.

Lots of songs exist that were written about the lives of industrial workers, miners, sailors, cotton workers etc. But it seems that Bert couldn't stop himself adding to that collection.

Nowt wrong with that, as others have said, but what was Bert and what was collected?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: nutty
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:10 PM

Here is the information on the song held in the FARNE archive

BLACKLEG MINER


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:13 PM

Thanks Nutty,

"The song 'The Blackleg Miner' has always been a favourite with it's heady combination of working class camaraderie and militant political conviction. It was first collected from a man in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in 1949. Seghill and Seaton Delaval (presumably the Delaval mentioned in the song) are adjacent mining villages about six miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The song is sung here by Pete Elliott."

Fair enoughski, but that takes back to Bert and his source but no further.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:14 PM

I don't have a problem with it at all..someone said, if you know all the words, you don't know enough words..Bert was giving us more of those words as far as I can see. :-)

but what was Bert and what was collected?

Something for the folk lorists, scholars and other folk to mull over in the years to come, I think.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:16 PM

"Nowt wrong with that, as others have said, but what was Bert and what was collected?"

We may never know. When we were at Glasson Maratime Festival, my partner was telling me about a particular song (I wish I could remember which one!) about a mining disaster. Bert Lloyd claimed the song had been written locally, but when, years later, the local paper was written to (it may have been by Roy Palmer) to see if the author could be traced, no one in the area even knew the song. Pretty convincing evidence of it having been written by Bert himself. That sort of evidence - trails going cold on particular songs - may be the best evidence there will ever be.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:18 PM

That wouldn't be The Gresford Disaster would it?

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM

I honestly can't remember. Perhaps he'll be along in a while and enlighten us. :)

He's forgotten more than I'll ever know about folk music, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:22 PM

Was that song the Blantrye Explosion by any chance?

The problem really concerns what we can believe and learn from Bert. He is clearly one of the most important people in the folk revival, but we keep finding songs that he claims to have collected from real people and they turn out to have been more or less made up by him.

I trust I have not overstated the case here?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:25 PM

I have a copy, thanks to my dad, of Bert Lloyd's book , Folk Song in England, inwhich talks about The Gresford Disaster. I have to admit I'm getting some fresh insight into Bert Lloyd from these last few postings...thanks to Les and the rest of the folks :-)

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:29 PM

I don't think you have, Les. In their approach to collecting, Lloyd and MacColl were flawed in many respects, as were many of the collectors that came before them. (You should have heard what Shirley Collins had to say about the pair of them at Cheltenham!)

But that doesn't negate the significance of the legacies they respectively left behind. IMHO, anyway.

BTW, has anyone else ever noticed the influence of Bert Lloyd's singing style on Peter Bellamy? Maybe it's just me...


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:30 PM

It's still a really good book, Charlotte. :)


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:39 PM

It is Ruth, it is.. :-)

The Only Bert lloyd recording I have is The Bird in The Bush, and the only Peter Bellamy recording I have is The Transports. I've a feeling I'll have to look for more comprehensive recordings of both artists to make a voice comparision.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:48 PM

I have to admit to having a limited experience of Bert Lloyd's singing myself (though I have a bunch of Bellamy), but it struck me, listening to the recordings Roy Palmer presented of Lloyd during his talk at Glasson, that there was something about the pitch, and the catch in the voice, that was reminiscent of Bellamy. I read later that Bellamy acknowledged Lloyd as an influence, but thought MacColl was the biggest influence on his singing.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 03:59 PM

Ruth,

"But that doesn't negate the significance of the legacies they respectively left behind. IMHO, anyway."

I think I agree. But how many doddgy song origins do we need to unearth before we have a real problem?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 04:06 PM

But Lloyd's songs don't exist in a vacuum - the people who engage so exhaustively in cataloguing and cross-referencing know when they smell a rat. I don't know enough about the research done on Lloyd's collected songs to say how much de-bunking has already taken place, but I'm equally not sure what would constitute a "real problem".


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 04:20 PM

My memory is shocking. It wasn't a mining disaster song at all - it was The Recruited Collier, and it was indeed Roy Palmer who wrote to the local paper looking for "Mr Huxtable", his family, or for anyone locally who knew the song.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 04:49 PM

It is about time there were songs written about accountants being made redundant in the 1990s, having been in that position after working for that hideous bunch of shits at Binder Hamlyn for over 20 years. How glad I was when that firm was swallowed up by Arthur Andersen which itself disintigrated!!!


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 07:03 PM

Seghill is famous for the ring, owing to the legendary single netty, being freshly creosoted each day for reasons of hygiene. They was also a factory making fibreglass domes & minarets for mosques back in the 70s & a graveyard where human bones used to stick out of the ground. The locals pronounced it sey-gell, emphass on the second syllable, with the occasional Sieg Heil thrown in by way of a laugh; I've also heard it pronounced sey-geel.

I grew up near there, and even went school in Seaton Delaval, but never heard The Blackleg Miner until I started going to folk cubs.

There's a couple of Peter Bellamy songs on Youtube, including my wee film The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate, which reunites Bellamy's legendary (& too long unavailable!) recording with the text & illustrations from the Randolph Caldecott picture book from which he got it. Have a look at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhQMsONIwng


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 02:37 AM

Ruth, Peter Bellamys version of the song ' The Bitter Withy ' and Bert Lloyds version are so similar it's eerie.

eric


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 03:20 AM

Just going with the drift for a while I thought Peter Bellamy was one of the most exciting singers I have ever seen and heard. Although I have enjoyed his recordings, particularly the non-trad Kipling stuff, his live performances were extraordinary.

Lots of people owed Bert and clearly said so, not least the young Watersons. No problem there.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 03:38 AM

One big problem with false or misleading attribution is the issue of copyright infringement.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:22 AM

I thought we were discussing songs with no copyright issue until in turns out some /many could be down to Bert!


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:37 AM

Very few 'traditional' songs as circulated in the Revival are free from copyright issues. People who assume that they 'must be' just haven't done the research.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:44 AM

Interesting. Robert Colls' book "The Colliers Rant" mentions blacklegs and Seghill, but not the song. He does quote two verses from "a printed broadside dated 31 March 1831" called "The First Drest Man of Seghill" describing treatment of a blackleg during a period of fairly ferocious dispute in the area.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:51 AM

Lloyd refers to the above in "Folksong in England" but I think he calls it "The Best Dressed Man in Seghill" - can't check at present as I'm at work.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 05:40 AM

Lloyd quotes a 15-stanza text as 'The First Drest Man of Seghill (or: The Pitman's Reward for Betraying his Brethren)' in Come All You Bold Miners (2nd edn, 1978, 218-220). 'From a broadside printed by J Marshall of Newcastle (nd, but a handwritten inscription -John Bell's?- on the Sheffield University Library copy indicates '31 March 1831') ... communicated by J S Bell, of Whiston, Lancs.' (notes, p 255).

Martha Vicinus (Broadsides of the Industrial North) apparently places the dated broadside at Sheffield City Library, so one reference or the other is presumably wrong.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:01 AM

Peter Bellamy live was one of the most exciting musical experiences of my life; easily up there with Gong, The Damned (supporting T.Rex at Newcastle City Hall, May 1977), The Fall (circa 1981 when they were easily the best band on the planet), This Heat, The Art Ensemble of Chicago and The Sun Ra Arkestra. Just one man and his anglo in the back room of the Bay Hotel, Cullercoats (now sadly demolished!) - apart from when he borrowed a guitar for the encore of the Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want...


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:08 AM

Stop it! He was tops on my list of "people you wish you'd seen live". I find his recordings so compelling and addictive - I am bitterly envious of everyone who got to see him perform.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM

Ruth,
Sorry - I got to see Bellamy perform on numerous occasions and found his ability to smash wineglasses at 30 paces with his vibrato both unpleasant and unhelpful to the appreciation of traditional song.
His excursions into the jingoistic world of Kipling I found totally offensive - but then again, that's me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM

having read Karl Dallas's evaluation of Bellamy's career, including the Kipling stuff, I'm not sure there was as much jingoistic intent as people often credit him with.

But I realise he had a Marmite voice - very few people are indifferent to it.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 07:07 AM

I was recently informed that the term blackleg came from those who worked in the pits coming out under cover of night and having a quick wash before heading for the pub. If the miner was suspected of being in the pit others would grab him and raise his trouser leg. His legs would still be black from the coal dust.

Anybody else heard anything about the source of the term?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 07:18 AM

George

Doubt if "blackleg" has ever been so specifically tied to miners for that to be the origin. Wonder how long it's been around as a term?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 07:21 AM

Kipling was a man of his times with views on the world many of us would not concur. But if you listen to "Tommy" the attitude towards soldiers by the general public expressed in that song makes interesting listening.

I would go with Sedayne rather than Jim, but you hear it and you either like it or you don't. I too saw him in a small room, the Grove in Leeds, at one point he borrowed a guitar to sing, I think, a Kipling song, I thought it was brilliant, but then again it was my guitar.

Are some of us avoiding the elephant in the corner that is Bertsongs, so to speak?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 07:35 AM

"Blackleg" is late 18 C. Originally used for a racecourse swindler. Origin unknown. Present meaning appeared mid 19 C.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,Phil in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 07:48 AM

I was thinking about Bert Lloyd the other week, when I was looking for different versions of "The trees they do grow high"/"Long a-growing". Bert Lloyd's version, uniquely, adds another verse between the narrator's change of heart and "At the age of fifteen". The interpolation drops into the third person, explains what doesn't need to be explained and adds a totally misplaced dose of nudge-nudge bawdiness.

This discussion reminds me of the recent thread about "Reynardine", which Bert Lloyd did rather more than tidy up, and in particular in Stephen Winick's fascinating essay. The Recruited Collier is in there; there's also some reassurance for anyone wondering if we can ever trust Lloyd's collecting:

"There appears to be no direct evidence, as far as I am aware, to suggest that Lloyd actually collected [Reynardine] from a Tom Cook of Eastbridge, Suffolk--or from any other individual in any part of Britain--as [Stephen] Sedley said he did ... It is not clear how Sedley came by that information and we can only conjecture that he might have got it from Lloyd himself, as Sedley thanks Lloyd for his expert help in the introduction to [The Seeds of Love].
...
in later years especially, Lloyd did try to separate his revival activities from his academic writings, and to leave the latter relatively free of embellishment. For example, despite Lloyd's 1952 claim that he collected The Recruited Collier from J. T. Huxtable, which would make it a fascinating piece of miners' culture were it true, and despite the fact that it was clearly one of his favourite songs in the genre, he never mentioned it in the ninety-five-page chapter on industrial songs in his 1967 book Folk Song in England. He probably omitted the song precisely because it was not a genuine example of oral industrial folksong, and he wished that book, his most important scholarly work, to be as accurate as possible. Similarly, the song he called "Reynardine" in the revival arena is given its standard title "Rinordine" in Folk Song in England, and none of Lloyd's fanciful connections to Mr Fox, or to Tom Cook of Eastbridge, is mentioned there.

In his dealings with revivalists like Sedley, on the other hand, Lloyd appears not to have considered himself a scholar bound by rules of academic integrity. He was instead an unrepentant revivalist whose goal was to make folksongs popular. In this he succeeded brilliantly"

So: is BLM in FSIE?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 08:10 AM

As much as I respect Bert, he did put his name, along with Ralphie, to the following piece of cultural misinformation:

'A search for the roots of jazz leads to American folk song, and a search for the origins of American folk song leads the astonished enthusiast back home to his own traditional music.'

(From the introduction to The Penguin Book of English Folk Song, 1959)

I dare say they would be astonished too, unless it was an African doing the searching, and it was African-American folk song they were seeking the origins of, in which case it might not be so astonishing at all; certainly not as astonishing as this piece of white mythologising which remains, I believe, in print to this very day.

Bert also came up with the insufferably bogus Jack Orion; as over-rated as it is over-long, but please note this is just my opinion which, in any case, I am no doubt welcome to.

Kipling jingoistic? Maybe so, but where's the offence in that? What emerges, and what Bellamy went a hell of a long way to show us, are poems that whilst being very much of their times are nevertheless rooted in a broader base of appreciative humanism that is even more astonishing to certain apologists for whom such poems as The Land and A Pilgrims Way somehow betray a left-wing bias.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 08:21 AM

Phil: It's certainly not in the index under that title.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 08:27 AM

So Sedayne, is Jack Orion another song "created from the tradition"?

Another Bertsong?

I like Martin Carthy singing it and have always fancied learning it, I just cant get my jaws around the words and the tune at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Santa
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 08:38 AM

Having seen Peter Bellamy perform his Kipling cycle - and bought the album - I have to say that his voice came between his music and my appreciation of it. However, I completely agree that his approach was to clear away the jingoism attached to Kipling, at least as far as RK's early work was concerned. The stories told in the songs were far from simple-minded imperial patriotism.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 09:36 AM

Les - People sing these things without thinking, which is fair enough; likewise Pentangle's setting of The Cruel Sister to the melody of Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom (aka Child #1, Riddles Wisely Expounded). I think it's fairly well known that Bert based Jack Orion on Glasgerion (Child # 67), although there are those still think of it as a variant rather than wholesale reinvention!

But who's to say just what constitutes Folk Process and what doesn't? Nice to think of these things evolving by way of a mysteriously occult mechanism, but maybe that's too romantic. Just as long as the creators remain happily anon, and perhaps less agenda driven than Mr. Lloyd, but ultimately each to their own. On the other hand - credit where credit's due!


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM

Thanks Sedayne, many good points.

Did he re-creat The Blackleg Miner because he wanted a more militant mining song than he could find?

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 12:46 PM

Penguin Book of historical slang
Black-leg, v. (Tailors') to boycott a fellow-tailor: ca 1870-1910. 2. v.i., or as black-leg it, to return to work before a strike has been settled: from ca 1885; coll.
Black-legged, adj. Swindling: c. of ca 1790-1850. (Anon, ballad, The Rolling Blossom, ca 1800.)
Black-leggery. Swindling: Maginn, 1832; coll; S.E. by 1850, but never very common.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: nutty
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 12:59 PM

Is this quest going a little off line?

Where is there any evidence that Bert LLoyd developed the song?

When was he first recorded singing it?

If he did develop it then he did so before 1949 when it was first
collected, and what connection did he have with the singer it was collected from?

The Elliott's were recorded singing the song in 1966 but how long had it been in their repertoire. (It might be worth contacting Doreen for the answer to that question).

It could be that , like A Miners Life, this song travelled across
the Atlantic with the miners themselves.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 01:21 PM

'If he did develop it then he did so before 1949 when it was first
collected, and what connection did he have with the singer it was collected from?'

Where's the proof 'that singer' existed in the first place? I quoted the liner notes from Hark! The Village Wait which state in the first line...

''It is strange that a song as powerful and as singable as this should be so rare, yet it has only once been collected, from a man in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in 1949.

a song this powerful should surely have more than one version, yet this one does not As Les stated it all dead ends in Bishop Auckland.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: r.padgett
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 01:51 PM

Very interesting 1949 being the FARNE reference in Bishop Auckland Co. Durham as being from a chap there!

Popularised by Jack Elliott of Birtley

FARNE researchers seem to have drawn a blank for earlier provenance!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 01:58 PM

Well, it looks to me as if Bert made it out of that other song around 1949


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: nutty
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 02:06 PM

You have absolutely no evidence to make such an assumption Les.

On that evidence we could say anything about anybody.

PROVE IT


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 02:18 PM

nutty - Les wasn't making a statement of fact, just stating an opinion. We'd need to know more about the man from Bishop Auckland - has anyone tried to track him down, as Stephen Winick did with Lloyd's supposed source for "Reynardine"?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 02:18 PM

"Did he re-creat The Blackleg Miner because he wanted a more militant mining song than he could find?"

a more modern more militant re-telling of the tale, perhaps? Very much like Ashley Hutchings's Street Cries and The Imagined Village? I'll re-iterate, there's nothing wrong with this! There's no finger pointing going on here.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 02:20 PM

There is always a danger on a topic such as this of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
I thoroughly enjoyed Bert's singing - though I know that on occasions he could go horrendously out of pitch. Every singer I have know, Bert, Ewan, whoever, took liberties at one time or another with texts of traditional songs, but Bert's problem was that he made claims for some of them that didn't hold water.
I went to every talk I possibly could that Bert gave, including the most inaccurate and pretentious one I've ever heard on Irish music.
I have no idea if his pronouncements on Eastern European music were correct; I do know that he instigated a life-long love of that music, particularly the singing, in me.
His radio programmes, such as Folk Music Virtuoso, The Lament, The Savage in the Concert Hall and Songs of the People, still get regular plays in this house.
As flawed as Folk Song in England is, I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anybody coming to the subject for the first time.
I found Bert's scholarship extremely contradictory at times; inspirational rather than informative, but inspirational it most certainly was.
I have some great memories of seeing Bert in action; like the night during a singer's Club 'You Name it, We'll Sing it' evening when a member of the audience sent up a slip of paper requesting the song about "the unpaid brickie who went berserk and slaughtered two" - it was Bert who sang Lamkin! Or the lecture he gave at Keele on 'The Ballad' with Fred Jordan beside him on the platform. The photograph of the two of them on stage made it into Dance and Song, Bert giving of his best, Fred behind him, fast asleep, illuminated by a sunbeam streaming through the roof window.
The last time I can remember seeing Bert was at The Singers Club. The evening was drawing to a close when he appeared at the door in a dinner suit, swishing an enormous brandy glass, with that cherubic grin on his face.
Ewan spotted him and asked him to come up and sing, and like a greyhound from the slips, he was half-way across the room when a voice came from the door - "Al--bert" - his wife Charlotte in a long frock. Bert promptly did a u-turn and was never seen again.
If you could bottle memories like that you could get rich.
Bert was a complex individual, sometimes very private, and occasionally economical with the truth - but you can't take away what he did for all of us,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 02:27 PM

"but you can't take away what he did for all of us,"

I don't believe most of us are, Bert Lloyd was who Bert Lloyd was, as I've already stated it won't stop me from singing the songs

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 02:37 PM

Nutty,

"You have absolutely no evidence to make such an assumption Les.

On that evidence we could say anything about anybody.

PROVE IT"

In a sense you are correct.

The problem is that more and more evidence is collecting to show that Bert made up lots of songs and passed them off as collected from somebody or other.

It is not his ability as a songwriter that any of us doubt but is honesty is coming moer and more into question


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: nutty
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 03:57 PM

Bert Lloyd wasn't alone in this. It is all part of the oral tradition. Many of the Scots tradition songs were rewritten by Burns and many Irish songs owe their popularity to people like Graves who rejigged them. Nick Jones was a more modern culprit.

My comments were regarding this particular song.
I can see no connection between Lloyd and the song other than the fact that he sang it.
But when did he sing it --- was it before or after the Elliotts?
Could he have learned it from the man in Bishop Auckland or vice versa.
Was Lloyd ever in the North East??
Was he ever in Canada?

I would suggest that for this type of enquiry a visit to Lloyds collection in Goldsmiths college Library might be a goos place to start.

A.L. Lloyd Collection
This consists of the library and papers of the folk-song specialist A.L. (Bert) Lloyd. The collection covers traditional music from around the world, but is particularly strong on East European folk-song. Lloyd, being a member of the Communist Party, had unprecedented access to Communist States during the Cold War period. The books are catalogued, but not the papers.
Contact: Peter Morris, Subject Librarian for Music.


I would also suggest that this article could offer some answers
A. L. Lloyd and the Search for a New Folk Music, 1945-49


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:21 PM

Phil - While Ruth is correct in saying that Folksong In England does not have "Blackleg Miner" in it's index the song is certainly in the book (pp 386/387 in the paperback edition)
I can only go back as far as 1966 when I first heard it sung at Birtley, by Pete Elliott - one of the first songs that I heard him perform, and I heard it from several North East club singers around the same time. Both Louis Killen and Bod Davenport had recorded it well before '66. Bert Lloyd had very strong connections with the North East and the Elliott family.
Charlotte- If you really want a millitant mining song couple "Blackleg Miner" with MacColl's "Daddy, What Did You Do In The Stike?"


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 05:46 PM

Nick Jones was a more modern culprit.


i doubt this.

Most of the second generation, Carthy, Nick and so on said what they were doing.

I think


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 05:53 PM

Speaking of Nic Jones.

The Albion Band, on their Acousticity CD, perform Flandyke Shore, the Nic Jones arrangement, however, Ashley Hutchings wrote a new final verse to give the song a happy ending. It's written right there in the CD booklet, if you own it.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:46 PM

And I guess they all said so, which is what Bert did not?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 07:52 PM

'If you really want a millitant mining song couple "Blackleg Miner" with MacColl's "Daddy, What Did You Do In The Stike?"'

But if you really want a militant mining song really written by a miner, it seems you may have to look further ...


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 02:44 AM

Not really; Ed Pickford is from mining stock as is Jez Lowe, Bert Draycott (with whose work Lloyd was very impressed, )Dave Mountford - all from the North East


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 03:54 AM

Charlotte - 'speaking of Nic Jones', I've just listened to Nic's version of Flandyke or Flanders Shore, and he sings it just as the Hammond Brothers collected it from Mrs Notley of Higher Woodsford, Dorset, in January 1907. The melody is the same and there are only a few (and probably inevitable) word changes- e.g. Nic sings 'just to let her know' in line three of the first verse whereas Mrs Notley sang ''twas to let her know'. (I have a photocopy of the Hammonds' mss.)


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:50 AM

And of course I am forgetting Tommy Armstrong, possibly the most millitant of them all! Also from the North East.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: pavane
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 03:42 AM

Phil, you say
Similarly, the song he called "Reynardine" in the revival arena is given its standard title "Rinordine" in Folk Song in England.

Have you looked in the Bodleian Ballad library? You can find it there under all sorts of strange names, but it is usually called The Mountains High. In this version, his name is Rynadine, which isn't far from Reynardine.

The mountains high


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Graveyard
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:08 AM

Just to get back to the point. In the 1800's there was one of the most bloody battles involving strike breaking miners and those on strike in the villages of Seaton Delaval and Seghill. The mine owners had imported Cornish tin miners to do the work of the strikers.
The Cornish miners were known for wearing black mole skin trousers, this apparently giving rise to the phrase 'Blacklegs'. Police and the army were involved and the riots were really bad.

Dave from Seghill


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Graveyard
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:32 AM

Further enlightenment.
After the resumption of work old scores were settled. Some Welshmen were particularly harshly treated. A riot took place at Seaton Delaval with the Welshmen coming off second best! Another riot took place at East Holywell where the miners took their revenge on strikebreakers who happened to be Irish. Writing in his book "Pit Life in County Durham" David Douglass mentions the neighbouring villages of Seaton Delaval, Seghill and Cramlington (all in the county of Northumberland). After the defeat of the miners in the great strike of 1844, they took in hand the task of disciplining the blacklegs. At Delaval and Holywell lines of cable were stretched across underground roadways to catch the heads, throats and bodies of the Welsh blacklegs as they rode past on tubs, with ponies or on man riding equipment. At Delaval, Seghill and Cramlington the tools of the blacklegs were hurled down the shaft. N.B. the above villages, together with some in Co. Durham were known as "red villages" because of their left wing activities in the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Santa
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 06:40 AM

"Of mining stock" isn't quite the same thing as having been a miner, and certainly the same goes to a North-East origin. Despite having grown up on the Durham coalfields I certainly wouldn't claim any direct mining links. Thinking about it, my maternal grandfather was down Kibblesworth pit, but as he died well before I was born I can't really claim him as much of an influence.

Tommy Armstrong has been mentioned, but a more recent example is Johnny Handle.

Not that a good song has to have come from direct experience, certainly not, but excessive claims should be resisted.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:12 AM

"Of mining stock" isn't quite the same thing as having been a miner" - quite, but were you to run that past any of the surviving older generation of the Elliott family in this context then you'd better be prepared for the onslaught.
While I don't presume to speak for Ed or Jez I'm sure I have heard them say that they were the first of their faimilies not to go down the pit for a living. Certainly Bert and Monty did - as did Tommy Armstrong. They all knew what they were talking about.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Brian Peters
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:44 AM

Bert Draycott (mentioned by Dave further up) was a pit deputy, wasn't he? I met him at a folk club the other week - what a great bloke. Mean spoons player, too.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 08:56 AM

Stray thought about this - in the context of joining the union, why would anyone talk about waiting till your dying day, other than to cue in the next line? The Yahie Miners line "Don't you wait till after pay" isn't half as dramatic, but it makes a lot more sense - that's a classic excuse for not paying up, after all.

It looks very much as if an earlier song that looked more like the Yahie Miners has been embellished along the way. Whether there was only one person doing the embellishing, and if so whether it was Bert Lloyd, we can't know.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: r.padgett
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 12:11 PM

Bert Draycott I saw last year at Saltburn ff and he's there again this year, he is quite a character!

Retired Pit deputy yes I believe so!

I had contact with him many years ago on mining songs

Impressed tho I am with the historical references to actual Blacklegs etc this doesn't help the Provenance to the song and its suggested manufacture to the present popular song lyrics ~ or does it??

Ray


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Graveyard
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 05:55 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: meself
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 06:15 PM

DaveS: I find it curious that you gave my post such a geographic interpretation. When I said "you need to look further", I did not mean to imply that was a shortage either of militant miners or militant mining songs in the "northeast"; rather, I meant that the two songs in question - Blackleg Miner and the MacColl song - do not seem to have been entirely composed by miners, so that one would have to look beyond those two songs for songs written by miners.

.........................................

I wonder if those Irish and Welsh strikebreakers knew that that's what they were before they arrived at the mines? I've heard about Ukrainian miners recruited to work in Cape Breton, then arriving in the middle of a mining strike, and discovering that they had been hired as strikebreakers. Some joined the strikers; some went down the mine ...


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: John Routledge
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 05:39 PM

As I understand it strikebreakers come from Cornwall Wales and Ireland. The last group to be forgiven were the Cornish miners as they knew exactly what they were doing.The Irish strikebreakers were relatively quickly forgiven as they had little if any knowledge of the reasons for the need for miners. Indeed 150 years later Tyneside now has a thriving Irish community adding to the music and song of the North East.

Perhaps fuller details will be forthcoming.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 06:11 AM

John, trust you are well and up for Wednesday 7th at the Beech.

When I read into the background of The Blantyre Explosion I came across the idea of the Irish as strike breakers, but perhaps forgiven as they were as exploited as anyone else, if not more so.


All sobbing and sighing at last she did answer
Johnnie Murphie kind Sir was my true lovers name

Twenty one years of age full of youth and good looking
To work at the mines of High Blantrye he came
The wedding was fixed all the guests were invited
On a calm summer's evening young Johnnie was slain

It suggests that Murphy had probably been brought to Blantyre to break an earlier strike.

The interesting thing is that Blantrye could be another song mostly down to Bert?

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 08:59 AM

No, I don't think so. The only person who has mentioned 'Blantyre' in these three discussions was you, though Charlotte guessed at 'Gresford' (wrongly, as that one was provided by MacColl, not Lloyd) and Ruth -I think- confused it with something else.

There are two sets of 'Blantyre' in CAYBM. The first, the one most commonly sung in folk clubs, is a collation. Tune and fragmentary text from R Greening, Glasgow (February 1951); 'additional text' from Mrs Cosgrove, Newtongrange, Midlothian (11 May 1951). Bert collated the texts in the normal way, and both named sources were real people.

The second set was provided by Robin Morton, who recorded it from John Maguire, Tonaydrumallard, Fermanagh, in August 1968. It also appears in Morton's Folksongs Sung in Ulster (1970) and there is no doubt as to its authenticity. Maguire had learned it in Blantyre in the 1920s. It differs a fair bit from the collated set, but is close enough to show that Lloyd's interventions in this case were no more than any editor of a published collection of folk songs at that time would have considered normal and acceptable; though nowadays I would expect at least that some indication of which bits of text came from who would be provided as a matter of course.

It would be a mistake to assume that songs published in Lloyd's books are necessarily inauthentic just because some (demonstrably) are. Each needs to be considered individually and in context. Authenticity should only be challenged when there are specific grounds for doing so; not just on spec.

Having spent a year attempting to deconstruct the songs in Lloyd's Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, with varying degrees of success, in the course of revising it for re-publication, I can assure you that this sort of thing is not always a simple matter, and requires time, effort, and serious research (mostly privately conducted, not just asking questions in public forums) before even casting aspersions, let alone making accusations.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 09:11 AM

Thanks Malcolm,

I thought their was a Lancaster connection with the collecting of the Blantyre Explosion? Maybe not.

"I can assure you that this sort of thing is not always a simple matter, and requires time, effort, and serious research (mostly privately conducted, not just asking questions in public forums) before even casting aspersions, let alone making accusations."

I assume everybody involved in these Bert threads would agree. Most posts have been thoughtful perhaps a little over-protective? This is not often the case with threads of this nature.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 02:33 PM

There are plenty of black legged accountants around.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 02:50 PM

Les,
I agree absolutely with your last comments on the quality of the several discussions on Bert.
I have to confess, when I saw the first one, my instinct was "oh no; there goes the baby and the bathwater", but this has proved not to be the case - a refreshing change.
It gives me hope that perhaps one day we can discuss MacColl's work without first having to clamber over the shit-mountain of name change, finger-in-ear, war record... and all the other nonsense that is instrumental in preventing us from finding out what the man was really about... that we should all live so long!
A warning; I'm off on holiday on Monday, so should anybody start such a thread they will be visitated by plagues of boils, and wake up to find eggs buried in their garden!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 09:00 AM

Have a good trip Jim.To where?


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 09:22 AM

Crete
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 09:36 AM

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, much to see and do there


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,RONNIE MACEACHERN
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 10:54 PM

HI FOLKS. I JUST WANT TO EXPLAIN THAT THE REASON I SUSPECT THE WORD YAHIE TO REFER TO 'home' IS THE GAELIC WORD FOR HOME IS dhachaigh which is pronounced very much like yahie if you remove the subtle gutteral roll. when i was in cape breton in 1973-1977 i was very interested in researching older folk songs. while learning this song for a union presentation concerning local mining songs i somewhere came across an explanation of the term yahie/yankee (as concerns the korson collection )as opposed to the songs appearance in another local collection where the same lyrics used the term dhaghaigh, which the author explained is his footnotes was pronounced yahie. i asked around about this (most of my searching for old songs was done with people as opposed to books) and i was told that the word referred to the gaelic workers who would come in from the country surrounding areas to work in the mines. back then when gaelic was a more commonly spoken language the gaelic workers who still had english only as a second language would talk among themselves and would be talking about going home to the country.and of course scotland was never far from their minds. and number one on the gaelic hit parade was you guessed it---mo dhachaigh---.i'm actually unclear as to how much this had to do with the extemely heavy scene that was going down at that time in the union versus coal company. i have always thought that the reason the dhachaigh miners were sung of in a negative context was because these were very independant country people who fished, farmed worked in the mines, even in some instances sold songs in ballad form to eek out a living and therefore had other work to fall back on and did not have to put their lives at stake to 'stand the gaff' because of the language barrier and itinerant nature of their presence in the mines they may not have been seen as the strongest supporters of the union cause by all the local songsmiths who were busy adapting the old songs they knew to their new situations. i would say that a very large portion of the songs composed at the time which were considered local were older songs which had a few words changed to make them local, or the same tune as a popular song of the day with local lyrics .this is certainly a device used by many as it makes the songs easier for the general population to learn quickly . an old fiend of mine who in 1925 walked in the may day parade in glace bay (beneath a red flag ) used to say 'a singing parade is a winning parade'. well i don't know if what i'm saying here is making any sense to anyone, and perhaps what i think is not the be all and end all anyway so i think i'll log out. i may be wrong but these are some of the thoughts which come to my mind when the question of the yahie miner rears it's noble head. and if you want to hear a good cape breton mining song check out charlie mackinnons 'ballad of j.b. mclaughlin'. i think it is on one of his records and also on one of the men of the deep cd'. also echoes from labours war, the poetry of dawm fraser is a great read.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,ronnie maceachern
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:04 PM

please forgive my interrupting the thread here but i just found an old booklet i have called the cape breton songster, compiled by alphonse macdonald, sydney,n.s.. there is no date but i think i saw a reference to 1935 in some other reading, possibly john c o,donnells the blackleg miner. this booklet is interesting as it has one song "the yahie miners"

don't go near macdonalds door
else the bully will have you sure
for he goes round from door to door
converting yahie miners

bonny boys oh won't you gang to beat the yahie miners

there are ten verses and a chorus

and it also has a song called "the canadian engineers"

we are the canadian engineers
we left our home in sighs and tears
but we're the boys that have no fear
for we are all dhachaigh miners

we left our camp at aldershor square
the sky was clear the weather fair
we're going boys to god knows where
this bunch of dhachaidh miners

there are 10 verses to the song. it ends with

and when this cruel war is over
and we see cape breton shore
they'll come fron louisburg to bras d'or
to cheer the dhachaigh miners


the compiler then notes.....the above song composed by a group of cape breton boys who went overseas with the canadian engineers battalion.


and one last note concerning my singing the yahie miners to the tune of mussels in the corner. i combined that lyric with that melody as i liked to play the tune and the lyric appealed to me and it fit so i sang it that way, although another melody such as along the shores of boulardrie was probably the way i heard it originally.


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:55 PM

Dachaidh (nominative) being the Gaelic for home, and in most grammatical cases being aspirated and pronounced yahie (more or less)


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: meself
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 08:19 PM

Hey, Ronnie, don't go away! Join Mudcat today - don't wait till you draw your pay, or your dying day, or --

Sorry, I was getting a little excited there.

Your old partner Jamie Snider showed up here a few years back, giving us some insight into When I First Came to Caledonia. Which, boys and girls, we can give Ronnie the credit for "collecting".

So - don't be a stranger!


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 09:17 PM

100


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: GUEST,Len Wallace
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 01:28 AM

Just a short added historical note. The time of the miners' strikes in "the black year" of 1844 was also the time of the Chartist movement in England and the great commotion amongst the working class for the vote, better conditions and shorter working hours.

Len Wallace


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Subject: RE: Origin The Blackleg Miner
From: meself
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 11:09 AM

Jeez, all my old sparring partners are showing up on this thread. C'mon, Len, put down that d*mned acc*rdi*n and sign up on the Good Ship Mudcat .... !


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