Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??

DigiTrad:
ALABAMA BOUND
BILL MARTIN AND ELLA SPEED
BRING ME LITTLE WATER, SYLVIE
COTTON FIELDS BACK HOME
DUNCAN AND BRADY
DUNCAN AND BRADY (2)
GOOD NIGHT IRENE
JUMPIN' JUDY
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF HER
KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
LININ' TRACK
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
ROCK ME ON THE WATER
SKEWBALL
SO LONG IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YUH
SONG TO WOODY
TAKE THIS HAMMER
THE GRAY GOOSE
THE ROCK ISLAND LINE (is a mighty fine line)
WE SHALL WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY
WHOA BACK BUCK
YOU DON'T KNOW ME


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Tight Like That (Leadbelly) (11)
Leadbelly and the Gallus Pole / Gallows Pole (24)
Lyr Req: Daddy I'm Coming Back to You (Leadbelly) (8)
Req: Tell Me Baby & Sweet Mary Blues (Leadbelly) (4)
Lyr Req: Pigmeat (Leadbelly) (33)
Tech: Leadbelly Discography (9)
Lyr Req: Jean Harlow Died the Other Day (22)
The Leadbelly Songbook (33)
Lyr Req: We're in the Same Boat, Brother (25)
Lyr Req: Ha Ha Thisaway (Leadbelly) (9)
Lyr Req: He's Just the Same Today (Leadbelly) (6)
Lyr Req: songs by Great Big Sea (17)
(origins) Origin: Bring Me Little Water Sylvie (Leadbelly) (39)
Lyr Req: Pigmeat (Leadbelly) (6)
Chord Req: Scottsboro Boys (Leadbelly) (4)
Lyr Req: Haul Away Joe (Leadbelly) (22)
Lyr Req: I'll be down on the last bread wagon (8)
Leadbelly's birthday (20 January 1889) (9)
Lyr Req: Ain't Goin' Down to the Well No Mo' (18)
Lyr Req: Jolly of the Ransom (Lead Belly) (2)
Lead Belly's autograph (20)
Lyr Req: Fannin Street (Leadbelly) (14)
Lyr Req: I'm on My Last Go Round (Leadbelly) (7)
Lyr Req: Relax Your Mind (Leadbelly) (15)
Leadbelly chords (21)
Lyr Req: Titanic (Leadbelly) (34)
When I was a little bitty baby (Cotton Fields) (51)
ADD: Huddie Ledbetter Was a Helluva Man (L.Wyatt) (9)
Lyr Req: Blues I Got Make a New Born Baby Cry (7)
Lyr Req: Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Leadbelly (8)
Why doesn't anyone talk about Leadbelly? (75)
Lyr Req: Corn Bread Rough (Leadbelly) (5)
Leadbelly & accordions (25)
Leadbelly or Lead Belly? (52)
Lyr Req: I'm Sorry Mama (Leadbelly) (7)
Lyr Req: Looky, Looky, Yonder (Leadbelly) (31)
(origins) Origin: Good Morning Blues (Leadbelly?) (14)
Lyr Req: Yellow Gal (Leadbelly) (6)
Lyr Req: The Hindenburg Disaster 1 & 2 (Leadbelly) (13)
Lyr Req: Git On Board (Leadbelly) (3)
Lyr Req: 25-Cent Dude (Leadbelly) (4)
Lyr Req: Backwater Blues (Leadbelly) (4)
Lyr Req: Queen Mary (Leadbelly) (3)
Tune Req: Cotton Fields (Lead Belly) (7)
Lyr Req: Daddy I'm Coming Home to You (Leadbelly) (12)
Leadbelly's strings (40)
biopic: Leadbelly (1976) (15)
Lyr Req: On a Monday / I'm Almost Done (Leadbelly) (24)
Leadbelly Film stars-where are they now? (17)
Lyr Req: Jim Crow Blues (from Leadbelly) (17)
Lyr/Chords Req: A few Leadbelly songs (12)
Anywhere to get Leadbelly movie? (25)
Chord Req: Army Life (Leadbelly) (3)
Chords Req: Outskirts of Town (Leadbelly) (8)
Lyr/Chords Req: decent Leadbelly chords (7)
Ledbetter Guitar Chords (13)
Leadbelly's Real Name (68)
Lyr Add: World of Whiskey (Whisky Anthem) (3)
Lyr Req: Frankie and Albert (Leadbelly) (3)
Tab request: Leadbelly's 'New Orleans' (9)
Lyr/Chords: Need Leadbelly/Lightnin Hopkins songs (3)
Lyr Req: Bourgeois town? / Bourgeois Blues (41)
Req: Bourgeois Blues (Ry Cooder version) (11)
Lyr/Chords Req: In the Pines (Leadbelly) (4)
(origins) Origin: LeadBelly's name (5)
Lyr/Chords Req: Ha Ha This A-Way (Leadbelly) (6)
What Stella model did Leadbelly play? (3)
Leadbelly song in 'The Aviator' (21)
Leadbelly live album? (16)
Gov. George Bush (Texas) & LEADBELLY?????? (61)
'Leadbelly's Last Sessions' (13)
Lyr Add: Bushwar Blues (9)
Leadbelly and Bart Simpson (21)
Help: Leadbelly and dobros (14)
Lyr Req: Titanic (Leadbelly) (20)
Lyr Req: Who was Eloise in Leadbelly's Linin' (29)
Leadbelly - Limited Edition Prints (3)
leadbelly-tabs (3)
was leadbelly shot in the stomach? (13)
Lyr Req: Roberta (Leadbelly) (10)
Lyr Req: Fanin Street? / Fannin Street (Leadbelly) (2) (closed)
Wonderful 'NEW' Leadbelly 'live' CD (10)
Leadbelly: Doin' the Sukey Jump (16)
Lyr Add: Don't You Love Your Daddy No More (Leadbe (2)
Lyr Req: Fanin Street (Leadbelly) (5)
Lyr Req: Bottle Up and Go (Leadbelly) (4)
Lyr Req: Governor OK Allen (Leadbelly) (3)
Leadbelly, 'Outskirts of Town' (7)
Leadbelly is NEWS (8)
Leadbelly back up vocalist? (5)


The Sandman 09 Jul 18 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Dave Arthur 08 Jul 18 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,maxoz 28 Oct 12 - 05:44 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Oct 12 - 11:40 PM
Bugsy 27 Oct 12 - 09:02 PM
The Sandman 27 Oct 12 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,roderick warner 27 Oct 12 - 07:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 12 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,maxoz 26 Oct 12 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,Dave Arthur 01 Jul 12 - 08:36 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Aug 11 - 01:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Aug 11 - 11:58 PM
The Sandman 18 Aug 11 - 08:38 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Aug 11 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 18 Aug 11 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Aug 11 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 18 Aug 11 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,maxoz 30 Dec 10 - 07:48 PM
Phil Edwards 04 Jun 08 - 04:45 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Jun 08 - 03:51 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Jun 08 - 03:05 AM
Nerd 04 Jun 08 - 01:11 AM
meself 03 Jun 08 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,Dave Arthur 03 Jun 08 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 03 Jun 08 - 05:20 PM
irishenglish 03 Jun 08 - 12:07 PM
The Sandman 03 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM
irishenglish 03 Jun 08 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Dave Arthur 03 Jun 08 - 11:21 AM
meself 02 Jun 08 - 08:00 PM
PoppaGator 02 Jun 08 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,meself 02 Jun 08 - 05:34 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 08 - 05:32 PM
Bert 02 Jun 08 - 01:02 PM
TheSnail 02 Jun 08 - 12:22 PM
The Sandman 02 Jun 08 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 02 Jun 08 - 11:51 AM
Geoff the Duck 02 Jun 08 - 10:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jun 08 - 07:59 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Jun 08 - 06:35 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Jun 08 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Jun 08 - 05:48 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jun 08 - 05:36 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 08 - 02:32 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 08 - 02:22 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jun 08 - 06:18 PM
meself 01 Jun 08 - 05:28 PM
TheSnail 01 Jun 08 - 04:58 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Jun 08 - 04:48 PM
TheSnail 01 Jun 08 - 04:23 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jul 18 - 11:50 AM

Some people go through life regarding it as half empty rather than half full, these people that criticise someones accent are half empty people.
isnt the most important thing that the songs are sung.I believe Martin Carthy said the only damage you can do to a song is not to sing it. some people who are interested in folk song end up getting incredibly precious about it, i wish they would fuck off


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Dave Arthur
Date: 08 Jul 18 - 04:32 PM

For Newport Boy - (Phil)

Hi Phil - I'm working on a history of Soho in th 1950s/early 60s, from personal memories and impressions, of people, places etc. Not just musicians and music clubs, but they are obviously an important part of it. I wondered whether or not you fancy expanding on your Ballads and Blues days, also Partisan etc., and the coffee house in St Martin's Lane where you heard Long John Baldry.
Any memories and impressions of any, or all, of the above would be so useful. The actual physical space -description of the clubs - audiences? Organisers? Residents? Atmosphere? Guest lists? What attracted you to those clubs and Soho in general. Impressions of Soho itself at that time?
You can contact me apart from Mudcat at - storyart at aol dot com
Thanks a lot. Best wishes, Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,maxoz
Date: 28 Oct 12 - 05:44 AM

always thought red was scots origin..............martin was very jewish and was fond of self-aggrendising jokes.

we had a love hate relationship when he ran the g&g.............i was very naiive...................always thought 'boy' was real schoolboy on his way home lol.

got kicked out when i set light to russels's sunday times when he was reading it.

anyone remember eddie with the taxi.....ran an off licence in destroyed part of battersea?

and of course, when arnold murray knocked the place over...........his time at HMP improved his guitar no end!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Oct 12 - 11:40 PM

Redd Sullivan may have been of Irish 'extraction', Dick ~~ the name suggests it; but he was in no way Irish-born, and his accent was entirely Southern English. Sounded sort of Cockney or S London or S Middlesex or thereabouts to me. I always took him for a Londoner, but he might I suppose have been born anywhere in Home Counties, or pretty well anywhere S of the conventionally thought of line between Bristol & the Wash, and between the areas thought of as The West & E Anglia.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Bugsy
Date: 27 Oct 12 - 09:02 PM

So, is Peggy Seeger's idea that if you are Not American, you can listen to Her sing songs from US but You can't sing them?

Bit of a bugger that eh? Didn't a lot of the "Traditional" folk songs in the US originate from UK/Ireland and other Celtic Countries?

I was born in UK and emigrated to Australia. Does that mean I can only sing songs from UK and my son (who was born in Australia) can't sing them and can only song songs from Aussie?

Give me a break.

Cheers

Bugsy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 12 - 08:34 PM

Iwas under the impression that Redd Sullivan was of irish extraction


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 27 Oct 12 - 07:28 PM

I would take a cockney Leadbelly any time over the pious screechings of old Peggy but each to his own.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 12 - 07:33 AM

Casting an eye over this old thread, it occurred to me that there is an interesting distincion between those who would criticise people for singing songs in their own accents and those who would criticise them for singig the same songs in an accent that isn't there own.

And the odd thing is that there are people who would who believe both things at the same time, which implies that songs should never spread more than a few miles from wherever they were first sung.

My feeling is that we should feel free to sing songs from anywhere, using our own natural language.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,maxoz
Date: 26 Oct 12 - 09:38 PM

i always find it amusing that MacColl (sic) who was always on about purity in folk was himself a fake scot really named James Henry Miller and hailing from Salford (love Dirty old town...that traditional irish ballad   lol).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Dave Arthur
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 08:36 PM

Just to clear up any possible confusion - the Skiffle Cellar and The Establishment club were not the same place. They were, in fact, opposite each other at the Old Compton Street end of Greek Street. I remember walking past the red-painted Establishement when Lenny Bruce was performing there, and reading a blown-up review from one of the more staid London papers which described Bruce as suffering from ' diarrhoea of the mouth'! An 'illness' that not even Peggy accused young British blues singers of suffering from.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 01:00 AM

===I suspect that Guest John above wasn't around in the fifties either as there weren't that many clubs (here I speak of London)around at the time good or bad.===
---
Yes there were ~ see Dave Arthur some posts above ~~ including one he mentions:-
So to revert 3 years behind the fair for the record to this over 3-yr-old post on this just-revived thread: Long John Baldry used right at beginning of his career to sing at the Skiffle Cellar in Greek St, later The Cellar FC, then The Establishment Club where the 'satire boom' was born & Lenny Bruce caused offence in v early '60s; & one of those venues named by Dave Arthur above as those frequented by early-revival folkies. It was run by Russ Quaye & Hylda Syms, who encouraged beginners ~ they gave me my first ever paid gig, in 1957 I think it was: ten shillings = 50p ~ not a bad first-gig rate then! & among the other more-or-less starters I remember at the time was Long John; also, I would estimate, late-56 or '57.

This, as I say, just for the record & to try to establish a time-line re Long John.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 11:58 PM

It must be great to have historical significance. Its funny how odd things (like this bloke singing the rock island line) are remembered whereas other things are not (like the sausage sandwich Napoleom ate before the battle of Austerlitz).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 08:38 PM

I think it was not Redd Sullivan AT ALL, The offending singer was not a cockney and not Redd Sullivan, but someone who was born north of london.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 08:31 PM

If you're one who objects to phony accents, how about Woody Guthrie (as well as Dylan and Rambling Jack )?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 06:01 PM

Fair enough, I've no idea where exactly he was born, I was responding in part to earlier terminology in this thread, and partly thinking on memories of his Southern English accent and urban vocal style -parading my ignorance, I'm afraid. He may never have even heard Bow Bells.
Ewan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 05:17 PM

Redd Sullivan a cockney ? Are you sure ? I know Red had a pretty wide ranging repertoire which included some old music hall songs but I don't think that qualifies him as a cockney. I was under the impression that he wasn't even from London but I could be mistaken.

Hoot


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 11:33 AM

Just came across this old thread, and I note that no-one has answered the original question. Singer Paul Snow says he was there at the time and the 'offending' singer was Redd Sullivan, whose proud unregenerate Cockney approach to songs I much loved. He was a resident at the folk club in the basement of the Partisan Coffee Bar along with Martin Windsor and young Long John Baldry. So happens I was just yesterday recalling my favourite verse as sung by Redd in the South African song Sarie Marain [un sure of this spelling].
The verse was
Peeping through the knothole in grandma's wooden leg
Who will put the cat out when I'm gone?
You can ride a knitted bicycle down the High Street
Oh, a boy's best friend is his mother
Ewan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,maxoz
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 07:48 PM

the singer in question was a guy called david tennant..........not the ex dr who.

he busked a lot round soho in that era.......often with john baldry or bryn holloway.

and the accent wasn't cockney, it was north london......he stemmed from tottenham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 04:45 AM

on some of his early recordings where he attempted a legs-crossingly excruciating Liverpool (my home town) accent

I'm a southerner in Manchester; I've been here 25 years now, but I know my limits. I'll put in a short A here or there (bath, not bahth) but that's it - Ee By Gum But I'm Cowd is not in my repertoire.

Funnily enough, the worst accent I ever attempted was a novelty cockernee for The Ploughboy And ditto - and that is my home area. I can see the straight faces now (-shudder-).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 03:51 AM

Completely off-topic
There is a story I heard about the wonderful Kerry box-player, the late Johnny Leary and a Northern Ireland singer having a conversation in a local pub here in Miltown; collector Tom Munnelly was sitting with them.
Johnny went to the bar to buy a round and the singer turned to Tom and said, "He's a lovely man, but I can't understand a word he says".
Some time later the singer went to the toilet and Johnny said, "What a nice man - I wish I knew what he was talking about"!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 03:05 AM

"Does this mean English people trying to sound American and coming out halfway between English and American (and hence in the middle of the Atlantic?)
Yup - sure does pardner.
"The idea that one should or should not sing songs in accents other than one's own, or songs from one's own culture would rule out a large percentage of the middle and upper classes,"
(Hi Dave) As far as the Singer's Club went - and it was aimed at the Club's residents and guests (though it was a topic for discussion elsewhere occasionally) it was a guide rather than a set rule - I can never remember it being an 'issue' with the many floor singers who performed at the club in an attempted American accent. The basic idea was, if you were English, you sounded English. Hootenany's point about American culture being soaked up, was precisely what it was aimed at. Had the 'own culture/accent' thing been insisted upon it would have been a problem; it wasn't, so it wasn't - if you know what mean.
I can think of numerous singers with r.p or precise accents, who made the songs work perfectly without sounding either cut-glass or Mummerset. Frankie Armstrong, who is very 'well-spoken' was, and remains one of my favourite singers. Ewan sang Scots songs with what sounded to me, a fairly comfortable Scots accent. His speaking voice was somewhat neutral, though he had grown up surrounded by a variety of Scots accents. I was quite friendly with his mother Betsy, whose accent I often found impenetrable; this remained the case to the end of her life in the 80s. Ewan's accent did bother some Scots, but I can only say, when he sang, the earth usually moved for me (and still does)! The only exception was on some of his early recordings where he attempted a legs-crossingly excruciating Liverpool (my home town) accent. The only time this didn't bother me was on the song 'Leaving of Liverpool' which he often used to end the club evening and still never fails to induce waves of nostalgia in me.
The question of 'Oirish' accents used to be an issue here in Ireland, but it seems to have receded into the background nowadays, though there is a constant debate going on about whether non- Irish speakers should sing Gaelic songs, many of which have been learned parrot-fashion.
A slight divergence; The Clare Festival of Traditional Singing (to my mind, one of the best events I have ever attended) during the mammoth singing session on Sunday afternoons, introduced a period of around one hour where only songs in Irish were sung. The aim was to cater for the number of Sean Nós singers who attended and quite often (in the early days) didn't take part because they felt out of place. Nobody (in my hearing) ever accused this practice of being draconian; it worked like a charm and the festival became prominent in encouraging Irish language singing.
Jim Carroll
PS For those interested, The Clare Singing Festival, which stopped some years ago, is being re-started at the end of the year by the late organiser's widow, Annette Munnelly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Nerd
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 01:11 AM

Hmmm.... One thing that is puzzling me is the repeated references to "mid-Atlantic" accents. Does this mean English people trying to sound American and coming out halfway between English and American (and hence in the middle of the Atlantic?) I ask because here in the US, mid-Atlantic refers to the east coast states starting south of New England. The census bureau includes New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in this region, while other organizations such as the Mid-Atlantic Folklife Association include Delaware, Maryland and Virginia as well.

Needless to say, the US accent aimed for by most folksingers is either a southern accent a la Carter Family, or a Western one a la Woody Guthrie, not a mid-Atlantic one. (Dylan himself was a midwesterner attempting a more rural Western accent, a la Woody.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: meself
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 07:23 PM

"The idea that one should or should not sing songs in accents other than one's own, or songs from one's own culture would rule out a large percentage of the middle and upper classes, or anyone that uses 'Received Pronuncation'"

These are two separate, if related issues: 1) singing songs in affected accents; 2) singing songs supposed to be from a culture not one's own. One might fully approve of one practice but not the other. Or vice versa.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Dave Arthur
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 05:38 PM

Just another thought that I meant to put in the last posting. The idea that one should or should not sing songs in accents other than one's own, or songs from one's own culture would rule out a large percentage of the middle and upper classes, or anyone that uses 'Received Pronuncation' - which is why so many '70s and '80s singers of English rural songs adopted a folky Mummerset accent to cover up their Grammar school or university tones.
    As for American songs we tend to forget, or p'raps haven't even thought about, the fact that what we think of as an American accent is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the gunslinging, trail-riding, river-boating days of the 19th century many people spoke with British or other European accents. There were plenty of first or second generation gunfighters and Marshalls with Lancashire accents, cowboys with Scottish and Cockney accents, Welsh miners, storytellers and farmers on Beech Mountain, North Carolina, speaking an even earlier English, and Irish accents everywhere especially in the army and the police. In the American Civil War there were English adventurers riding with the Confederate cavalry and Irish infantrymen, straight off the ships fighting, singing, and dying for the North. From the 1840s through to the end of the century Nigger Minstrel Shows such as the Christy Minstrels toured the length and breadth of Britain leaving their blackface songs (often sung to Irish tunes) in villages across the country. Norfolk's Sam Larner sang the minstrel song and dance 'Old Bob Ridley' and Alfred Williams collected minstrel songs in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. Collections of Minstrel songs were published in London from the midde of the 19th century. Some of the finest recordings of early 20th century Irish music were made in America, There are field recordings from California of what most would think of as a southern English dance tune repertoire and the same in Australia. In the 1930s traditional melodeon, concertina and fiddle players, from Australia or America could have sat down in a Suffolk or a Devon pub and played the same sets of tunes, in a very similar style.
The only difference with all of the above and the blinkered folk revival world is that nobody told any of those people that they shouldn't be doing what they were doing, many of them would have sung songs without any inhibitions or looking over their shoulders for the folk police. I've yet to meet a traditional performer who judges you on where you come from, what accent you've got, or whether or not you should be playing that particular instrument or tune. All I've ever met both here in Britain and America are traditional performers who are so steeped in the music and so keen to play or sing it with you and to share the pleasure of the music that they've got no time or inclination to lay down rules and query your right to play with them. If traditional performers can be so open and welcoming how come so many revivalists who claim to love and understand the music are so anally retentive and joyless? Or p'raps I've got it all wrong and I've just been extremely lucky in my dealings with traditional performers, and haven't yet come across the crabby ones. I wonder if Elizabeth Cotton and Leadbelly had any doubts about the young, white, middle-class Seegers learning and playing their music? I doubt they had much more in common with them culturally, and vocally than the love of the music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 05:20 PM

Nice to hear from you Dave Arthur. I can understand your reticence in joining in on this but you were there and I was there and Jim Carroll at a slightly later date. So much garbage has come up from people who weren't and don't realise how much American "culture" had been soaked up over here (for better or worse) before the folk scare of the late fifties.
I realised when I mentioned the Gyre & Gimble above that it may look as if I was inferring that it was a club. Of course it wasn't. I went there once or twice after my guitar lessons with Peggy which used to be held above Greek restaurant in Coram Street.

Hoot


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: irishenglish
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 12:07 PM

Just kidding, I am there, can't get an answer out of the guy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM

no, dont go there.I went there and thought I had died and gone to hell.Dick Miles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: irishenglish
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 11:31 AM

Well said Dave. "it's a brave person who lays down rules and laws when it comes to traditional music. Would you mind repeating that to Walkaboutsverse in his English folk music degree thread!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Dave Arthur
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 11:21 AM

Despite my better judgement and my determination not to get involved in all this seemingly endless discussion, much of which is hearsay, myth and supposition, I finally can't resist throwing my three penn'orth in.
Firstly, Ferrara (5.8.08), I don't know where you got your information from but the idea that A.L.Lloyd 'stopped singing American songs and started looking for more British songs' and then became motivated to look into his own heritage because of Ewan and Peggy's song policy is just silly. Bert had been listening to and recording English traditional performers for some twenty years before the Ballads and Blues came into existence. And he certainly didn't need to be encouraged to sing English material by Peggy or Ewan. Admittedly, earlier, both Bert and Ewan and virtually everybody else on the '50s folk/skiffle scene had sung some American material, usually influenced by the Almanac Singers, Guthrie etc.
Secondly, Stringsinger, in defence of Long John Baldry, whom I knew well in the late 50s, when we would both, along with other teenage folk music players and singers, hang out in the GGs (Gyre and Gymble) in John Adam Street, next to Charing Cross Station, he was not a Cockney, he was a policeman's son who grew up in Edgeware . And to describe him as 'the Cockney guy who sang a style with which he was unfamiliar (and) showed a kind of insensitivity to the song' is as silly, and as ill-informed, as Ferrara's Bert Lloyd quote. John was perfectly familiar with the 'style' of music he played. He immersed himself in the blues and especially Leadbelly and, even as a late teenager well before Peggy saw fit to laugh at his, he was an impressive, powerful singer and a great 12-string guitarist. He was one of the first Soho players to own a 12-string made by the fine luthier Toni Zamaitis who died in 2002. He certainly undestood the blues as well if not better than most British singers of that period, and probably some Americans.
Someone earlier suggested that the GGs was a folk club that might have pre-dated the Ballads and Blues. It wasn't actually a club, it was simply a basement coffee bar run by a banjo player (Fritz) and a guitarist (Max?) where people dropped in and played either en route to Soho (if you came off the train at Charing Cross) or at some point in the evening during the obligatory circuit of pubs, clubs, coffee bars - the Partisan, Sam Widges, the Nucleus, the Farm (possibly the St Martin's Lane coffee cellar where Long John was spotted by another writer on this thread. Although the Farm was actually further up in Monmouth Street, next to the As You Like It salad restaurant, but when I usd to run it for a while, John, Davey Graham, Jerry Lochran, Clive Palmer and many other guitarists and banjo players used to drop in and play), The Duke of York, The Skiffle Cellar, etc.,
I don't think that the repertory rules laid down by E & P and the committee did any harm. most of the folk scene went on its own way and did its own thing, and some of the more rigid clubs tended to end up in a bit of a cultural cul-de-sac. But I'm all for people feeling free to sing whatever attracts them and whatever audiences are happy to accept. The only
criterion for me is whether or not its done well and (back to LJB) with understanding. As someone else pointed out many of the singers of folk songs in Britain have been listening to American folk music and absorbing other forms of popular U.S. culture all their lives, which might not be a good thing, and is exactly what Bert Lloyd and MacColl were attempting to counteract with the 2nd folk Revival, but, like it or not, many of us have probably got as much of a feeling for, say Appalachian music, as has a middle-class New Yorker. Most of the leading Old Timey revival musicians in the '50s and '60s were New York Jewish with as little or possibly less cultural relationship to the mountain ballad singers of Kentucky and Carolina than the average Brit. It's an area riddled with quicksands, and a subject as slippery as a greased pig, and it's a brave person who lays down rules and laws when it comes to traditional music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: meself
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 08:00 PM

"If, for example, Bo Diddley sang a Mozart aria, y'all might be on the floor too."

Obviously it was just bad luck that Bo Diddley would have come up here in a hypothetical example of dubious performance just a couple of days before his death, but reading an article linked in the obit. thread, I came across this:


"He [Bo Diddly] then patches his instrument into a guitar synthesizer and begins playing Bach on the strings, ... "


Maybe the idea of Bo Diddley doing the Mozart aria is not so far-fetched ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 06:23 PM

Did no one else notice that we were treated to a rare post, above, by the grand and glorious Max?

Max made an excellent point that has not really been acknowledged in the various ramblings posted since. Embarrassingly clueless performances (and even inappropriate audience participation) is not so much a matter of "accents" real or fake, but of a fundamental understanding of the music.

If you take a song from the African-American tradition and emphasize the "one" and "three" beats instead of the the two and four, you pretty much destroy the most basic feeling upon which the entire composition is built, regardless of whether your vocal accent is an authentic imitation of the the orignal, your own authentic voice, or a hapless and transparently fake attempt at reinterpreting a voice you obviously do not understand and cannot truly "hear."

There are plenty of excellent British singers who have demonstrated a true understanding of The Blues and related American soul/roots genres. Long John Baldry was one, or at least eventually became one, even if he actually did give offense in his youth by a weak attempt at interpretation. Chicago white-boy Paul Butterfield, may God rest his soul, was every bit as authentic and true a blues singer and harp player as any of the older black artists who inspired him. But of course, not every wannabe is that good or that true.

I was a fan of PPM, but with reservations. Having grown up next door to a CME church, I knew very well what real black gospel music was supposed to sound like, and I knew darn well that PPM filed miserably to capture that sound in such efforts as, say, "Jesus Met the Woman at the Well."

I was not as familiar with the original versions of many other pieces, representing other folk subgenres, such as "Cuckoo," and therefore was not the least bit unhappy with the PPM versions of most of their repertoire. If I've learned more about this music in the years since then, I suppose the "popularizers" should be given credit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 05:34 PM

"I'll take your word for it"

Me three.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 05:32 PM

Bert,
The bulk of the songs on the albums were from broadside collections.
The following were (I think) to be found in the tradition; not sure of the sources of those particular versions:
Street Cries, Painters Song, Maid of Tottenham, In Newry Town, The Bold Leiutenant, Lass of Islington, The Blind Beggar, Outward Bound, Ratcliff Highway, Judges and Juries, Plank Bed Ballad, The Jail Song.
These were composed in the latter half of the 20th century:
Randolph Turpin and Sugar Ray Fight, Supermarket Song, Streets of London, Colour Bar Strike, Landlord's Nine Questions, Sweet Thames Flow Softly.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Bert
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 01:02 PM

Thanks Jim, that is an interesting list. It puzzles and worries me that I haven't heard of most of those songs.

Are they really that obscure or is it just a lack of experience on my part? I was born in London and our family had a great singing tradition but those songs weren't among those that we sang.

I suspect that they predated the music hall songs which seemed to be a big part of my family's repertoire.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 12:22 PM

Jim Carroll

I heard the story years ago from Peggy and have always assumed (in fact, in context of how I heard it, I'm pretty certain) that he was attempting an American accent and didn't quite make it.

You seem to have knowledge beyond that available from the Living Tradition letter so I'll take your word for it. What you describe would, indeed, be embarrassing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 12:19 PM

thankyou hoot,I was unaware of that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 11:51 AM

Thanks for the trouble Geoff but I am not that interested. I was only pointing out that The Ballads and Blues club in London pre-dated the Singers Club in London. Jim Carroll kindly supplied the dates above. It could be misconstrued from Peggy's item that the Ballads and Blues Club became the Singers club. It did not.
When Peggy and Ewan went to form the Singers Club the Ballads and Blues club continued until May 1965. We had no quarrel with them or their club, they just chose a different policy to us. My own policy was to use singers that would entertain rather than educate and no, I am not looking for another pointless argument.

Hoot


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 10:02 AM

Hootennanny - just for the record, the question of what and which was the oldest folk club in England has been discussed on Mudcat. I'll link to a post from me half way down concerning the Topic in Bradford (opened 1956) - BLICKY.
Quack!
GtD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 07:59 AM

But then the lead violinist says, Only kidding mate! Fields of Athenry, Streets of London and The Wild Rover. It'll go down a storm!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 06:35 AM

I suppose how long the performance goes on is a factor too - a ten-minute string quartet movement (never mind all the setting up time) isn't the same as some piece which is only the length of an average song and doesn't use up more than one floor spot. Most club audiences I've seen are pretty broad-minded provided their tolerance isn't abused - and going on for too long probably falls into that category.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 06:25 AM

We've had classical guitar and all sorts, down Chorlton. We had someone do a spot on solo trumpet once - with sheet music.

What you think about that will depend on what question you're really asking. Was that folk music? No, not in any sense of the word. Did it make a reasonable floor spot in the middle of an evening? Yes. Is it a problem if people pitch up at a folk club and do stuff like that? No - at least, not as long as there's stuff that can be called folk going on as well.

A lack of traditional material is a problem - or at least a danger - but I don't think it's a problem that can be solved by prescriptive MCing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 05:48 AM

Depending on the club and the situation, I could well point out that we have folk spots not classical pieces, perhaps ask if they did anything in keeping, etc. yes.

And I've yet to hear of anything describing itself as a folk club that is truly open to everything musical. Perhaps one might draw the line at heavy metal, classical seems to me a good one at getting people complaining "it's not folk", and oddly enough I've found this sort of thing with people who themselves claim to be open to anything...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 05:36 AM

Put it another way......a string quartet arrives at your folk club.

They say, can we do a ten minute spot mate?

You say, nah piss off! Ludwig Van Beethoven....he doesn't fit the 1954 definition, so he can bollocks!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 02:32 AM

Sorry, 'sme again
WLD
"If you find the humanity in a piece of music, maybe that's just another word for folk, isn't it?"
Not for me it isn't.
The term was created to describe song, music, tales, customs with specific origins, creative patterns, transmission etc.
Apply it in the general sense, as you propose, and it ceases to have any meaning - I find much 'humanity' in Beethoven's string quartets, or Goya's war paintings, or Zola's short stories, but I would never describe them as 'folk'.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 02:22 AM

I heard the story years ago from Peggy and have always assumed (in fact, in context of how I heard it, I'm pretty certain) that he was attempting an American accent and didn't quite make it. I hope to see Peggy later this year and I'll make a point of asking her.
The question of phony accents - mid-Atlantic, 'Oirish' or 'Ooo ah' etc was one that came up regularly in the Critics Group.
Nobody had problems with singing songs from outside our culture as far as I'm concerned, as long as you managed to sound like the real 'you' not a pretend 'you'.
I have around fifty-sixty songs in my repertoire taken from Scots or Irish sources, all Anglicised to fit my accent. When we started collecting I made it a practice to learn at least 1 song from each of the people we recorded (Irish Travellers, West of Ireland, Norfolk), but it was me singing the songs, not them.
Bert - contents of Critics Group London albums as promised.
Album 1 - 'A Merry Progress to London'
Street Cries, Painters Song, Roome For Company (at Bartholemew Fair), A Merry Progress to London, Maid of Tottenham, In Newry Town, Ploughboy and The Cockney, The Bold Leiutenant, London Ordinary, London Mourning in Ashes, Lass ofd Islington, Through Moorfields, Jarvis The Coachman, The Blind Beggar, There's Nothing to be Had Without Money, Georgie Barnell, Lawyer's Lament for Charing Cross.
Album 2 - Sweet Thames Flow Softly.
Street Cries, Tottie, Judges and Juries, Parson Grocer, Betsy Baker, Plank Bed Ballad, The Jail Song, William and Phyllis, Randolph Turpin and Sugar Ray Fight, Supermarket Song, Ratcliff Highway, Outward Bound, My Jolly Sailor Bold, Streets of London, Colour Bar Strike, Landlord's Nine Questions, Sweet Thames Flow Softly
Whew!!!
Both albums were originally released on Argo - there were rumours of Topic re-releasing them; don't know if it came to anything.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 06:18 PM

I don't think any of the Seeger have anything to apologise for. I never said they did. Their contribution has been enormous. Peggy and Pete have shown generosity of spirit to me personally.

But when you're a pot you should show proper respect for the ethnic origins of the kettle.

as to your other point:-
'folk' has become meaningless and can now refer to anything from the Child ballads to the compositions of George Gershwin or William McGonagall.

I went a songwriting workshop with Pete Morton today at Grantham folk festival. Pete said something interesting during his little lecture. Namely that folkmusic isn't 'factory line' stuff. It sort of binds us together.

If you find the humanity in a piece of music, maybe that's just another word for folk, isn't it?

best wishes

al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: meself
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 05:28 PM

Peggy's statement is open to interpretation: was the singer trying to do a Black Texan accent but failing to mask his "Cockney vowels", or was he singing the song with no attempt to disguise his native accent? But if Jim has the story from other sources (other than the article), or is basing his impression on other things Peggy has said, then I'm willing to accept his take on it (a great relief to him, no doubt!).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:58 PM

Jim Carroll

Sorry if I got it wrong, but I'm pretty certain that I didn't.
As I understood the story it was a cockney stab at a black Texan accent that pushed Peggy off her chair.


Not the way I read it. Peggy said -

I knew what the song should sound like and the manner of delivery and the insertion of Cockney vowels into a southern USA black prisoners' song just sounded funny.

It was singing a black Texan song in a cockney accent that was the problem.

Neither of us was there. Will we ever know?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:48 PM

Sorry if I got it wrong, but I'm pretty certain that I didn't.
As I understood the story it was a cockney stab at a black Texan accent that pushed Peggy off her chair.
The mid- Atlantic accents used for the singing of American material gave rise to the term 'Walthamstow Cowboys'.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Peggy Seeger's Cockney Leadbelly??
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:23 PM

Thanks meself, you beat me to it.

The accusation against The Cockney Leadbelly was not that he was trying to imitate the real thing but that he was singing in his own voice whereas Peggy Seeger said "I knew what the song should sound like and the manner of delivery and the insertion of Cockney vowels into a southern USA black prisoners' song just sounded funny." which implies that he should have tried to reproduce the original (or not sung it at at all.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 14 November 3:13 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.