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Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008

Brian Peters 26 Oct 08 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Amber 26 Oct 08 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Judy Cook 26 Oct 08 - 12:40 PM
John Minear 26 Oct 08 - 06:22 PM
matt milton 27 Oct 08 - 08:28 AM
Surreysinger 27 Oct 08 - 09:03 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Oct 08 - 09:29 AM
Brian Peters 28 Oct 08 - 05:42 AM
Will Fly 28 Oct 08 - 06:25 AM
Valmai Goodyear 28 Oct 08 - 06:54 AM
Surreysinger 28 Oct 08 - 05:24 PM
Brian Peters 29 Oct 08 - 05:27 AM
Surreysinger 29 Oct 08 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,doc.tom 29 Oct 08 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 29 Oct 08 - 06:54 PM
Valmai Goodyear 30 Oct 08 - 06:29 AM
Brian Peters 30 Oct 08 - 07:51 AM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Oct 08 - 09:04 AM
Desert Dancer 30 Oct 08 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,doc.tom 30 Oct 08 - 12:06 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Oct 08 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Douglas (not at home) 30 Oct 08 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,doc.tom 31 Oct 08 - 04:57 AM
Brian Peters 31 Oct 08 - 07:34 AM
Kevin Sheils 31 Oct 08 - 08:20 AM
Surreysinger 31 Oct 08 - 09:50 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Oct 08 - 02:35 PM
Surreysinger 31 Oct 08 - 03:51 PM
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Subject: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 11:43 AM

For those of you who are into Child ballads, and live within reach of London:

I'll be performing 'Songs of Trial and Triumph' within the hallowed portals of Cecil Sharp House at 1.00 pm next Saturday, November 1st, as the next in Sam Lee's 'What the Folk?' lecture series. The show isn't really a lecture as such, but a 90-minute presentation including around a dozen of my favourite ballads (partly coinciding with those on the album of the same name), plus educational yet surprisingly entertaining chat about Professor Child, his sources and methods, and the singers who carried the ballads.

Call 020 7485 2206 or visit http://www.efdss.org for more details.

Be there or be L-7 !


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: GUEST,Amber
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 12:00 PM

I don't know if I 'll be able to make that from Redditch, although I'd certainly like to. I really like the Child Ballads and am going to buy Song of Trial and Triumph, having enjoyed the very nice taster on the web. Did you also release a Mystery/Magic CD Brian, by the way?

Amber


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: GUEST,Judy Cook
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 12:40 PM

Even if you are not especially into the Child Ballads, you should go to this if you can.

Brian did this show at the beginning of Vocal Week at the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis & Elkins College here in the US this summer. He had a capacity crowd absolutely riveted for the entire 90 minutes; and talking about it for the rest of the week. Lots of folks there didn't THINK they liked ballads. Brian showed them that they actually DO like ballads quite a lot.

--Judy


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: John Minear
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 06:22 PM

Judy is right on! I was there at Elkins and Brian was remarkable. This is a really great show and he is a very fine interpreter of the "Child tradition". I wish I could make it.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: matt milton
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 08:28 AM

here's a really ignorant question, but something I've never known the answer to. Were the Child ballads, as originally collected, complete with melodies? Or were they just words? Or somewhere in between (some with, some without)?


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: Surreysinger
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 09:03 AM

Didn't know about this, but I shall be making an attempt to get there, as I seem to keep missing you Brian!!


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 09:29 AM

In answer to Matt, Child didn't 'collect' in the sense usually understood nowadays, he compiled and edited; his material derived from existing print and manuscript collections. Some tunes had been noted, but for most of the texts he printed, none had been recorded. He included a small selection of melodies in his final volume, but his primary concern was literary, so great weight was not attached to the musical side of the equation. Actually, there is no real evidence that some of the older items were ever sung.

In the late 1950s and early '60s, Bertrand Bronson compiled an equally extensive and important collection of melodies for 'Child' ballads. Some of these did actually belong to specific texts printed by Child, while others belonged to other versions found later. The range and scholarship of both men was enormous, and the critical commentaries they include is crucial to a proper understanding of the material, though, as men of their times, they didn't place the importance on social context that today's scholars tend to.

It's easy for those of us who are familiar with these publications to forget that many people have little idea what is in them or why they have been so influential, and general introductions in places like Wikipedia are frequently misleading and unhelpful. The sort of presentation that Brian does would be an ideal step toward greater understanding, I'd think. More detail can be found in many past discussions here.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: Brian Peters
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 05:42 AM

Matt: No need to be embarrassed. You'd be surprised how many people with years of time served at the traditional end of the folk scene have no idea who Child was, never mind how many tunes he included (it was 55, covering 46 different ballads out of 305). That's part of the reason for the presentations I give.

Irene: Hope to see you there! You're excused, Amber in Redditch.

And hello to my friends from across the pond!


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 06:25 AM

As another Child ignoramus (actually an OAP ignoramus) I shall flex my Senior Citizen's Rail Card and educate meself on Saturday...


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 06:54 AM

And for more of the same, come to Brian's all-day ballad forum at the Lewes Arms Folk Club Lewes Arms, Sussex BN7 1YH UK, on Sunday 1st. March next year. Brian will be presenting ballads and talking about them; so can everyone who comes to the forum.

You are invited to bring at least one ballad of your choice to sing & talk about. To avoid clashes with other contributors, please state your preferred ballad in advance. If your choice has already been taken, we will let you know so that you can choose another. If you are in doubt about what counts as a ballad, please use the contact email or phone to ask.

On the Saturday before, Brian leads an all-day melodeon workshop at the Lewes Arms and performs at the Lewes Arms Folk Club in the evening.

Booking forms and advance tickets will be available from the club's website about three months in advance.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House
From: Surreysinger
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 05:24 PM

Oh and I'll be there as well, given half a chance Valmai, having missed the last time Brian came down due to ill health!!!


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 05:27 AM

Surreysinger has obviously sussed this, but it's worth stressing that the CSH and the Lewes events are different in nature.

CSH is a presentation (I hesitate to use the phrase 'one-man-show' in the context of traditional balladry, but you know what I mean).

Lewes is a participatory workshop in which I will be taking ballads from all-comers (see Valmai's guidance above), discussing their history, ways of singing them, and anything else that comes to mind (last time we had a lengthy discussion about whether it's physically possible for a floating cabin-boy to sink a substantial sailing vessel using a brace and bit). It's not restricted to Child, but people are expected to justify unconventional choices ('Two Little Boys' anyone?) and in practice a lot of Child Ballads tend to get sung. I really enjoyed it last time.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Surreysinger
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 08:45 AM

And what wast the outcome of the discussion of cabin boy versus ship??? I would have thought that without SCUBA equipment he would have been on a loser.... wish I hadn't missed that one!!


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 03:57 PM

OK, OK, it goes like this!

"Richard I sailed on the third crusade in 1190 from Marseilles...   Off Beirut in June the King himself wioth some of his galleys encountered a large Turkish ship. Her size (she had three masts) and force, which excited the hyperbole of the English croniclers, gave her every advantage over the attacking galleys, whose attempts to board were repelled, but in the end she was sunk - according to various writers by ramming, by the Saracen commander scuttling her with an axe, OR BY A LITTLE BOY SWIMMING UNDERNEATH HER WITH AN AUGER AND DRILLING A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM."

This quote is from The Safeguard of the Sea (A Naval History of Britain, 660-1649). by N.A.M. Rodger. Harper Collins 1997. The references given to the quoted passage are: Nicholas. Royal Navy.1 119-24, 424-7. MF,I, 154-7. Pryor, Geography, Technology and War, pp.120-1.

1190!!! The story must have been in aural circulation since then. So it wasn't Francis Drake who built the 'Golden Vanity'. It also vindicates the text in some versions on the encounter being with 'A Turkish galley."

Tom Brown


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 06:54 PM

And Brian will be writing in the next issue of English Dance & Song magazine about his approach to ballads... Due out end of November.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 06:29 AM

Great - don't forget to mention the Lewes Arms workshop, will you, Derek? We had our hundredth last Saturday.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 07:51 AM

Tom: That's fascinating. However it does occur to me that the 'auger theory' could have found its way into the historical accounts from the ballad itself. It would be interesting to check the references you give (Pryor is in Google books, but I haven't the time right now).

The discussion at Lewes centred around the feasibility of an adolescent (a) drilling holes in a sturdy wooden hull whilst floating semi-submerged, with nothing to brace against, and (b) letting in sufficient water to sink a ship via a small number of small holes. I'm no expert on maritime engineering (or even simple physics), but if the enemy vessel was actually a "Turkish Roving Canoe" - as in the version of the ballad printed in Colcord's 'Roll and Go' - then all bets would be off!

Since this thread has now turned into an advertising hoarding for anyone who's ever hired my services, it's only fair to mention that I'll be appearing at the Court Sessions Folk Club at the Selkirk, Tooting, this Friday. If you're Sarf of the River, can't make Saturday and/or would prefer to hear something other than wall-to-wall Child ballads, that's the place to be. And the fact that it's Halloween has not escaped my notice.....


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 09:04 AM

Neither Nicholas nor Pryor makes any reference to a diver with an augur so far as I can see, though both quote from earlier sources to the effect that the galley was immobilised by divers who lashed its steering oars together and was subsequently sunk by ramming. Both also refer to other accounts suggesting that the ship may have been scuttled by its captain. That seems to leave only the cryptic 'MF' as presumed (secondary) source for the cabinboy anecdote. What does MF stand for? Presumably Rodger included a key to abbreviations?


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 10:45 AM

here's at least one thread here on the topic already, of course.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 12:06 PM

Malcolm, 'MF' appears in Rodger's abbreviations as 'La Roncière, Marine Française'. Bet that one's not on your bookshelf!

Brian, "auger theory could have found its way into the historical accounts from the ballad itself". Just about feasible, but where did it get into the ballad from? - Orality since 1190 until the time of broadsides? Perhaps Malcolm has an 'earliest published' date?

Tom


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 03:33 PM

Apologies if I'm just repeating previous entries but the earliest version of TGV Child 286 is surely the Pepys broadside of c1682-5 which has Raleigh as the builder, not Drake doc.Tom.
The unlikely 'augor' could bore 15 holes at once, an interesting piece of engineering even by today's standards.

All drawings gratefully accepted!


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: GUEST,Malcolm Douglas (not at home)
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 04:35 PM

See 'Desert Dancer's' link for a discussion of the practicalities of underwater drilling.

My shelves don't run to naval history at all, but both Nicholas and Pryor can be found in facsimile at Google Books. La Roncière is at the Internet Archive; the page reference given above seems to be wrong. The relevant (and very short) passage appears on page 147:

'Suivant une autre version, ce fut un plongeur qui perfora la carène.'

The reference given is to 'Raoul de Diceto (an English chronicler, I think), col. 662'. It's rather a big jump from 'a diver who holed the hull' to 'a little boy swimming underneath her with an auger and drilling a hole in the bottom': perhaps Rodger had other sources that he didn't specify. It's also possible, of course, that he may inadvertently have conflated the reference with the quite well-known 'Golden Vanity' story, though we might expect better than that from an historian.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 04:57 AM

Raleigh NOT Drake yes - in Pepys! I went back to check Rodger's reference and I did quote it correctly - so maybe a typo. It remains interesting that there is an historical reference (particularly apparently that old) to sinking by this method which has no visible connection to the ballad.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Brian Peters
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 07:34 AM

I will be performing on Saturday a rather fine version of 'The Golden Vanity' from the James Madison Carpenter collection. This will, I'm sure, settle the matter once and for all.

I do find the discussion of ballad origins and possible historical basis fascinating, but it's also a good idea to keep in mind the concept of suspended disbelief.

Coming up later on Mudcat:

The Lambton Worm - amphibian or annelid?

Elfland - Time Team investigates!

Battling Housewife routs delinquents - "I soon saw off those little devils!"


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 08:20 AM

I will be performing on Saturday a rather fine version of 'The Golden Vanity' from the James Madison Carpenter collection. This will, I'm sure, settle the matter once and for all.

I'm getting confused by all these Brian Augur references, will Julie Driscoll be appearing? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Surreysinger
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 09:50 AM

The Lambton Worm - now with your specialist knowledge that should presumably be quite authoritative? And I'd be interested to see what Tony Robinson would make of Elfland, since he is quite clearly an ex-denizen..


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 02:35 PM

It didn't augur well for the lad as raleigh scuttled him as soon as he got back!


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads at Cecil Sharp House-1 Nov 2008
From: Surreysinger
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 03:51 PM

Shucks - domestic crisis has arisen, so yet again I get to miss the Child Ballads presentation! Hope it goes well, Brian, and I look forward to catching up with it somewhere along the line.
All the best
Irene


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