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Folklore: Attn: Steve Parkes (Man/Machine Motif)

GUEST,Chapman 26 Jul 08 - 09:32 AM
peregrina 26 Jul 08 - 09:53 AM
GUEST 26 Jul 08 - 12:24 PM
peregrina 26 Jul 08 - 01:02 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Jul 08 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Chapman 30 Jul 08 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Steve Parkes 27 Oct 09 - 10:02 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Attn: Steve Parkes (Man/Machine Motif)
From: GUEST,Chapman
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 09:32 AM

Sorry, I posted this a few weeks back and I did not hear from Steve Parkes, so I will try again. If anyone can help me get in touch with Parkes or comment on the issue below that would be helpful.

In the John Henry forum Parkes mentioned that there are numerous songs that share the John Henry situation where a man is competing/racing against a machine that will replace him. This one comment has sent me on a long, wild chase with very little to show for it.

He specifically mentioned something about a mail sorter racing a mail sorting machine.

So, I will put the question out to everyone and hopefully Steve will find it, too.

Do any songs/ballads/tales come to mind that tells the story of a man competing/racing against a machine that is threatening to take his job?

Thank you for any and all help!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Attn: Steve Parkes (Man/Machine Moti
From: peregrina
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 09:53 AM

Peg and Awl
here


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Attn: Steve Parkes (Man/Machine Moti
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 12:24 PM

That's terrific. Thank you for posting that. A subtle, or wry, critique of the industrial age.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Attn: Steve Parkes (Man/Machine Moti
From: peregrina
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 01:02 PM

It would adapt well to parodies for other new machines.

There are additional verses (not in the DT)--a good version is Clarence Ashley with Doc Watson et al on a Smithsonian Folkways CD. You might be able to buy just that track from the SF site.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Attn: Steve Parkes (Man/Machine Moti
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 01:08 PM

Four Loom Weaver is one


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Attn: Steve Parkes (Man/Machine Moti
From: GUEST,Chapman
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 04:59 PM

Yes, the four loom weaver seems to have been put out of work due to the market competition of industrial machines. Thanks for posting this ... it is quite a heart wrenching story.

I suppose though, no one out there can think of a tale about direct competition with a machine. Steve Parkes mentioned something about the little guy racing a mail sorting machine ... does this ring a bell with anyone?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Attn: Steve Parkes (Man/Machine Motif)
From: GUEST,Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 10:02 AM

Er ... sorry I'm late, folks!

Spike Milligan made a film in the fifties, where he played a country postman transferred to London against his will. He gamely tried to keep up his helpful practices -- like reading the letters to the old & infirm, and collecting the eggs and so on. One day io the sorting office, "they" were demonstrating a new sorting machine that was faster and more efficient, etc. etc. Spike worked faster and faster to keep ahead of it, and they had to keep speeding it up; in the end ... well, you can guess: I've forgotten what happened after that! No idea what it was called or anything else.

Steve


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