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Recommendations For Literature on Trad

Sleepy Rosie 10 Jan 09 - 02:10 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Jan 09 - 02:31 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 09 - 02:47 PM
Sleepy Rosie 10 Jan 09 - 02:50 PM
Sleepy Rosie 10 Jan 09 - 02:51 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Jan 09 - 03:00 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Jan 09 - 03:07 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Jan 09 - 03:08 PM
Ruth Archer 10 Jan 09 - 03:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jan 09 - 03:43 PM
RTim 10 Jan 09 - 03:47 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Jan 09 - 03:59 PM
Willa 10 Jan 09 - 04:43 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Jan 09 - 08:56 PM
Dan Schatz 11 Jan 09 - 09:46 PM
sian, west wales 12 Jan 09 - 04:58 AM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Jan 09 - 05:11 AM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Jan 09 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Jan 09 - 05:34 AM
Les in Chorlton 12 Jan 09 - 05:51 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Jan 09 - 06:26 AM
Les in Chorlton 12 Jan 09 - 06:42 AM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Jan 09 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Jan 09 - 12:01 PM
greg stephens 12 Jan 09 - 12:13 PM
peregrina 12 Jan 09 - 12:32 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Jan 09 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Russ 12 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM
Ruth Archer 12 Jan 09 - 01:16 PM
Little Robyn 12 Jan 09 - 01:53 PM
Marje 12 Jan 09 - 01:56 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Jan 09 - 02:39 PM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Jan 09 - 05:23 PM
Jack Blandiver 12 Jan 09 - 06:03 PM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Jan 09 - 06:49 PM
Ross Campbell 12 Jan 09 - 11:45 PM
Les in Chorlton 13 Jan 09 - 07:26 AM
Ross Campbell 13 Jan 09 - 12:05 PM
Marje 13 Jan 09 - 12:29 PM
Little Robyn 13 Jan 09 - 01:10 PM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Jan 09 - 01:32 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 09 - 02:26 PM
Marje 19 Jan 09 - 04:06 AM
Willa 22 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM
IanC 22 Jan 09 - 09:49 AM
Bryn Pugh 22 Jan 09 - 11:29 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Jan 09 - 02:29 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Jan 09 - 07:38 PM
Jack Campin 31 Jan 09 - 08:07 PM
Bob Pegg 15 Feb 09 - 01:47 PM
Jack Blandiver 16 Feb 09 - 05:25 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 09 - 10:34 AM
Les in Chorlton 16 Feb 09 - 11:13 AM
Jack Campin 16 Feb 09 - 11:50 AM
Sleepy Rosie 16 Feb 09 - 12:11 PM
Les in Chorlton 16 Feb 09 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Feb 09 - 12:37 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 09 - 02:59 PM
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Subject: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 02:10 PM

Yet another newby question.... Don't yawn!

This time a request for literature on traditional song.

I think I've repeated myself in a few threads here, but I don't know much about traditional song and I'd like to know more. Is there any literature out there which might pass well as a "trad song for dummies?"

Or indeed what internet links would you suggest for decent essays on the history of traditional song (in England in particular).


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 02:31 PM

That is a pretty broad question Rosie. I don't doubt there will be hundreds of books and sites that will cover in some way what you ask.

You may well find the best information here on Mudcat (as well as misinformation), with the added bonus that you can pm people for clarification.

If you want to know about specific songs or songs particular to times, events, geographical areas, I think it can be found here.

The key is in forming your questions. What is it you wish to know?


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 02:47 PM

Rosie,
Best overall introduction to English song by far - A.L. Lloyd's 'Folk Song in England'.
Best basic collection of English folksongs - Lloyd's and Vaughan Williams' 'Penguin Book of English Folksong'.
Best introduction to folk ballads - Evelyn K Wells' 'The Ballad Tree'.
All of the above can (and have been) challenged academically, but they are all extremely readable and provide an excellent starting point for anybody wishing to learn about 'folk song proper' - enjoy.
If anybody yawns at your question - feel free to kick them in the teeth.
Good luck- hope you have as pleasant a journey as I have had,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 02:50 PM

Sorry VTam, I know it sounds a dumbarse question, I guess I'm looking for some kind of potted history of English song.

Just hit Amazon, and this looks promising:

Folk Handbook

Many Ta's for your PM btw, going offline now, will reply in the morn :-) x

Jeez, the bf keeps distracting me by wittering on about bluddy Holly Willoughby in her underware!


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 02:51 PM

Thanks Jim C, will check those.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:00 PM

Bob Copper - A Song for Every Season (one or two at Amazon)


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:07 PM

Alison McMorland's book on Willie Scott is likewise essential. Look for Herd Laddie o' the Glen - Songs of a Border Shepherd.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:08 PM

Rosie,
As you are in England and request English-based material your simplest course of action would be to go to the EFDSS website and have a look around and at their current publications. You really can't go far wrong with this. Alternatively if you are anywhere near London a visit to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library in Cecil Sharp House, the HQ of the EFDSS, would be very informative and helpful. The staff there are very knowledgeable and very user friendly. Failing this there are many regional centres and orgs where you can get help, info and advice. If you are in Yorkshire for instance you could contact us at Yorkshire Garland and we would be happy to help.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:40 PM

Seconding the recommendations so far. A Song for Every Season is lovely. The Folk Handbook is a relatively recent publication IIRC. Certainly good people were invloved in putting it together. The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs is now published as Classic English Folk Songs. Both are available from EFDSS. I am particularly fond of Traveller's Joy, an EFDSS publication focusing on the singing of Gypsies and Travellers. It comes with a useful CD with a selection of the book's songs.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:43 PM

The EFDSS has put out "Classic English Folk Songs," a revision by Malcolm Douglas (a frequent contributor here) of 'Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.'

The website for EFDSS is English Folk Dance and Song Society
but you probably already know that.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: RTim
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:47 PM

You should also look at The Musical Traditions e-Mag:

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/ Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:59 PM

Here's something to avoid Where is Saint George - Pagan Imagery in English Folk Song. Needless to say, it has pride of place on my bookshelves, right next to The Faber Book of Popular Verse which no self respecting lover of traditional song should be without.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Willa
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 04:43 PM

I agree with Ruth's suggestions.Was going to recommend the Folk Handbook, which was a present to me last year. You could probably order if from your local library if you don't want to buy it.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Jan 09 - 08:56 PM

It's well worth the money even at full price, but you can get it for significantly less via Amazon. It's aimed at relative beginners, and most particularly at younger ones, but assumes that readers are intelligent and don't need too many concessions, so is a satisfying and informative read for anybody. I enjoyed it, though naturally there were some details I'd quarrel with. The accompanying CD adds considerably to the package.

EFDSS has already been mentioned as an invaluable resource, but I'd point particularly to David Atkinson's extensive English Folk Song Bibliography, which includes helpful commentary on the entries:  http://efdss.org/songbib3.pdf. It covers general introductions to the subject as well as more specialised studies.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 11 Jan 09 - 09:46 PM

For an American tradition, you can't do better than Jean Ritchie's Singing Family of the Cumberlands (scroll down to see book).

It is a beautiful memoir, full of music and lore, that perfectly captures the connection between music and culture.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: sian, west wales
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 04:58 AM

There is a "Permathread" recommending books for a basic folk/trad library which I always found useful.

I've bookmarked the thread but ... didn't we once have links to Permathreads at the top of the pages? Doen't seem to be in the Quicklinks drop-down box either. How do newbies, or even oldbies, find the Permathreads these days?

sian


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:11 AM

Thanks for that Sian, I did a quick search but possibly didn't punch in the right words.

A.L. Lloyd's 'Folk Song in England' - looks like that one's been recently reprinted. And may offer the kind of detailed information which will help me know what all the arguments on here are actually about! Some of the others mentioned here look as though they have been so well loved that there's virtually no volumes out there. A trip to the library perhaps...

Now I better check that permathread. And try to be a very good girl at Amazon....


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:20 AM

I auta also ask, is there a 'safe' way to read books about the history of folk song, without becoming infected with dessicated academic pedant disease?

If in future I *ever* become involved in debates about 'What is Folk?' Dear Friends, please feel free to very gently euthnaise me...

Wish me luck, and may the innocent joy of my Soul, remain free from harm.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:34 AM

Another excellent EFDSS publication is 'Still Growing: English Traditional Songs and Singers from the Cecil Sharp Collection' ed. Steve Roud, Eddie Upton and Malcolm Taylor (pub. EFDSS in assoc. with Folk South West, 2003). In 1903 Sharp started his collecting activities by noting down the song, 'The Seeds of Love' from the Somerset gardener John England. This book was published in 2003 to commemorate the centenary of that event. It contains 50 songs from Sharp's collection together with photographs and biographies of the singers. The Introduction by Vic Gammon consists of an overview of Sharp's career and legacy and is (in my opinion) particularly perceptive and informative.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:51 AM

This thread may help:

A smiliar question

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 06:26 AM

"I auta also ask, is there a 'safe' way to read books about the history of folk song, without becoming infected with dessicated academic pedant disease?"
Surely you apply this to everything you read, as well as "how to spot 'superficial, self serving crap'?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 06:42 AM

"dessicated academic pedant disease"

I think one thing you can be absolutely certain of is the almost total lack of academic rigor. People say what ever they like, they don't reference anything much and they quote other people who have been making stuff up and have often be discounted years ago.

But it can still be interesting

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 11:49 AM

Mmm, fair enough. Not being critical - tongue firmly planted in cheek as ever.
Can't abide books without decent references, thorough indices and a bibliography myself.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 12:01 PM

I have to agree with you there, Rosie!


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 12:13 PM

After fifty years of loving English traditional song, and reading everything I can about it, I would agree with suggestions already made.
A L Lloyd's "Folk Song in England" will tell you all about it (though, as people have said, take all you read with a pinch of salt). And Bob Copper's "A Song for Every Season" will give you a wonderful feeling of just how much these songs matter to some people, and why. The book is just beautiful, as are his songs.
Good luck, you'll have fun(don't read all the time though, go to the pub and sing a few songs).


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Lit & DVDs on trad.
From: peregrina
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 12:32 PM

Do DVDs count as literature--okay, it's thread drift,-- but I think these two that I'll list give wonderful insights into the human, social, world of traditional singing, traditional song and the complexities of collectors' roles.
No written text or notation can ever capture song--I mean that in the narrow literal sense and in an expanded sense. Song lives OFF the page!

John Cohen's The End of An Old Song, about Dillard Chandler, comes with the CD Dark Holler (Smithsonian Folkways) for just the price of a CD.
Unforgettable to see Dillard in his cabin, or working outdoors, or in a diner drowned out by a jukebox and on the porch of (I think) the Nortons. He talks about singing, what it means to him, how he learnt the songs, about those who went before whose singing you could hear miles away.

Rogier Kappers made a movie : Lomax: Songhunter, now available on DVD. He went back to talk to people Lomax had recorded some 50 years earlier, from Scotland to Italy. The visits to singers are interspersed with sequences of Lomax himself, ill after a stroke, and of others talking about him. Shirley Collins' American across the Water makes a nice companion read.

The introduction to Cecil Sharp's English Folksongs from the Southern Appalachians. Unforgettable vignettes and details--(and not just about the singers--Sharp, a vegetarian, thought that everything tasted of pork fat, even cooked apples.)
--Yes, there's a lot to criticize many collectors for, and Sharp and Lomax are no exception, but the glimpses of their activity and the people they collected from are vivid, evocative unforgettable.

Greil Marcus, Invisible Republic. (To accompany the Harry Smith anthology)--idiosyncratic. Most people either like it or hate it. It blends an assessment of the significance of the anthology with some great accounts of people featured on it like Dock Boggs and Clarence Ashley and his cuckoo bird-again, the social world of song and its modern reception.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 12:57 PM

Following Prregrina's train of thought by putting the subject into context,
Sheila Stewart's 'Queen Amang The Heather' is a book which without going into definitions, places the songs were they belong, among the folk.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM

There's traditional music and there is the mythology of traditional music.

That is made clear in David E. Whisnant's "All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region".

Unabashedly pedantic and eye-opening.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:16 PM

I bought QueenAmang the heather for my partner's birthday last year. I think it's about time I borrowed it!


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Little Robyn
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:53 PM

Living halfway round the world I have found it quite hard to locate useful books/recordings but over the years we have accumulated some.
Yes, we have C. Sharp and Baring Gould, yes, we have the Penguin one and Bert Lloyd's one and also the books and recordings from the Coppers.
But one that I found interesting (and full of photos) is Bob Pegg's 'Folk', A portrait of English Traditional music, musicians and customs.
It's dated 1976 so I don't know where you'd find a copy today - no doubt C# House.
It's a bit like an essay but quite readable. My copy has pencil marks and underlinings throughout where I thought something was important and also a few places where I didn't agree!
For example, here's one that I've marked:
"In the end we find ourselves looking not at the true nature of something called folk song, but at the prejudices, both conscious and unwitting , of the folk song collectors."
But I think it gives a good overview of the collectors, the singers, the songs and the musicians.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Marje
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:56 PM

Insane Beard - can you tell me a bit more about the Faber book you mention? What sort of stuff is in it? I'm always on the lookout for interesting books to add to my collection (I already have the "Where is St George?" one).

Marje


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 02:39 PM

Robyn,
At the National Folk Festival at Loughborough Bob Pegg declared to the world (or the bit of it that was there to hear him - me included) that he was no longer 'really interested in folk music' and that he was 'only in it for the money'.
Anything he wrote or said after that date should be regarded with that in mind.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:23 PM

Robyn, Aye - awareness of the authors potential biases, is an implicit aspect of any intelligent/critical reading.

For my own part, I have no complaint with authors who posit far-flung theories (Btw Marje, I think that IB was suggesting that both 'Where is St. George', and the 'Faber Book of Verse' are total pants...) so long as I at least know the sources. Then I can myself asses my own response to any decently illustrated and reasoned argument.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 06:03 PM

I think that IB was suggesting that both 'Where is St. George', and the 'Faber Book of Verse' are total pants...

No. WISG is one man's version of things & contextualises this with respect to a particular tradition of occult thinking & remains a fascinating & inspiring read even though I don't take that particular line myself. It does have pride of place on my bookshelf.

The Faber Book of Popular Verse - what can I say? Traditional verses, songs, nursery rhymes, proverbs, ballad, incantations, riddles etc. - all sourced & annotated. I couldn't live without it. Do a search on Amazon UK - there's a few good priced second hand copies. Essential!

As for Bob Pegg - a crucial, if at times controversial figure in British folk - it doesn't take much. Check his web page: http://www.bobpegg.com/. His Rites & Riots (again available 2nd hand through Amazon UK) remains a fine piece of work, although I've yet to read Folk.

The best books on Trad I fear were never written - what I wouldn't give to have read what Peter Bellamy had to say on the subject. Maybe next time, eh?


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 06:49 PM

"No. WISG is one man's version of things & contextualises this (etc.)"

Apologies, I misread your comment.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 11:45 PM

I'd agree with anything recommended above - also any or all of Roy Palmer's excellent compilations - Abebooks has a bunch, costing from pence upwards - here:-

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?an=Roy+Palmer&bt.x=80&bt.y=13&sortby=3&sts=t

(Sorry, blickifier is off-line at present)

Sam Henry's Songs of the People - see the thread of that title - Q has recently added in the entire list of song-titles covered - an amazingly rich collection. Oxfam has Part One available at a rich £70, and Abebooks has a copy of the full collection for £200 (aargh!) but see the thread for more reasonable prices - I think remainder copies of the paperback version may still be available from John Moulden.

Other Penguin compilations included Australian Folk Songs and Canadian Folk Songs.

Peter Kennedy's Folk Songs of Britain & Ireland was an encyclopaedia-sized collection, transcribed from source recordings. Eaglemusicshop.com has it at £34.95 which is relatively reasonable (I think it cost £15-£20 when it came out in 1975).

You could easily overwhelm yourself (not to mention your credit-card!) if you tried to gather all of these at once. Best to start small. The first one I remember trying to learn songs from was the Clancy Brothers Songbook. References in there led me to Dominic Behan, Alan Lomax, Pete Seeger and so on. All the good books lead you on to others - you'll soon figure out which directions suit you best.

Good luck!

Ross


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 07:26 AM

This is a summary from my earlier thread:

Books about Folk

1.        'In search of the craic' by Colin Irwin
2.        Song for every Season - Bob Copper
3.        Early to Rise
Songs and Southern Breezes ....both by Bob Copper
4.        Folk - A portrait of English Traditional Music, Musicians and Customs by Bob Pegg
5.        The Ladybird Book of Folk Song,
6.        Deke Leonard's Rhinos Winos and Lunatics - The Legend of Man, a Rock n' Roll Band; the prequel Maybe I Should've Stayed in Bed - The Flipside of the Rock n' Roll Dream
7.        Come All Ye Bold Miners: Lloyd.
8.        English Folk Song Some Conclusions: Sharp.
9.        Last Night's Fun: Carson.
10.        The Fellowship of Song: Dunn.
11.        Song And Democratic Culture In Britain: Watson.
12.        Popular Music In England: Russell.
13.        The Ballad And The Folk: Buchan.
14.        The Stone Fiddle: Tunney.
15.        The Idiom Of The People: Reeves.
16.        Richard Lewis: The Magic Spring
17.        The Betsy Whyte - the lives and ways of the Scots 'Travellers'
18.        Bound for Glory - Woody Guthrie
19.        And a Voice to Sing With - Joan Baez
20.        Singing Family of the Cumberlands, by Jean Ritchie.
21.        Set Into Song, the story of the making of the Radio Ballads, by Peter Cox.
22.        English Folk Song Bibliography: An Introductory Bibliography Based on the Holdings of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
23.        The English Folk Song Bibliography is on-line at http://www.efdss.org/resind.htm
24.        See the previous Basic Folk Library thread
25.        Ewan McColl - Doomsday in the Afternoon - seminal book on travellers' music in general and Belle Stewart in particular
26.        'History and the Morris Dance' by John Cutting
27.        Joe Klein's "Woody Guthrie
28.        "Singing Cowboys and Musical Mountaineers" and "Sound of the Dove"
29.        "All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region" by David E. Whisnant
30.        Strange Affair - by Patrick Humphries, bio of Richard Thompson.
31.        E.V.Thompson - 'The Music Makers'?
32.        Alan Lomax: The land where the blues began
33.        The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad by Wilentz and Marcous
34.        The Invention of Folk Music and Art Music - Matthew Gelbart
35.        Cerddoriaeth Draddodiadol yng Nghymru: Llyfryddiaeth - Traditional Music in Wales: Bibliography"
36.        David Atkinson: 'The English Traditional Ballad'
37.        MacColl & Seeger's 'Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland
38.        Frank & Anne Warner's 'Traditional American Folk Songs'.
39.        Joe Boyd's 'White Bicycles


Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 12:05 PM

Elderly Instruments has the contents list of Peter Kennedy's "Folksongs of Britain & Ireland" here .

Ross


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Marje
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 12:29 PM

Right, Mr Beard, following your recommendation, I've now ordered a used copy of the Faber Book of Popular Verse from an Amazon trader. It'd better be good - it cost me 1 penny! (plus £2.75 p&p). Now all I have to do is find a space for it on my rather crammed shelf of music books (after I've had a good browse, of course).

Marje


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Little Robyn
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 01:10 PM

Jim, what year was the National Folk Festival at Loughborough when you heard Bob Pegg say he was only after the money? Was it prior to 1978? On his site he says:

I wrote a couple of books, Folk (Wildwood House) - an iconoclastic look at traditional music - and Rites and Riots (Blandford), which took a similarly disruptive view of folk customs.

I have both books and the pictures alone make them worth having.
Whatever his motives, they still make interesting reading.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 01:32 PM

A completely utterly irrelevant observation.
But it just dawned on me that I have in my life, spent far more on books, than possibly any other 'item' in my entire purchasing life...!
Holy Shit, hope I've bluddywell read 'em all!


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 02:26 PM

Robyn, Sorry, I intended to put the date in - it was 1971
In the summer of 1972 the Birmingham Group around The Grey Cock Folk Club produced a pamphlet written by Trevor Fisher based on the statement, entitled 'We're Only In It For The Money'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Marje
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:06 AM

Just a follow-up to my own follow-up: I've now received my copy of the Faber Book of Popular Verse (1971, ed Grigson), as recommended by Insane Beard.

It is, as he said, a real treasure for anyone interested in traditional song. As it's a verse collection, it just has lyrics, no tunes, but includes many songs that are now well known in folk circles, as well as many that are not. It's not just material from England - there is a lot of Scots stuff, and some American songs from the Lomax collection etc. There are useful endnotes and a bibliography.

Amazon had several used copies at one penny (plus £2.75 p&p)when I was looking. There's one less now, because you're not getting your hands on my copy!

I can recommend it as a good way to spend a penny, or even a few pounds.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Willa
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM

Hi Marge. Many thanks for your recommendation of the Faber book. have just got my penny copy; it's great! Learning session ahead.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: IanC
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 09:49 AM

Rosie

You might like to browse around the reviews in the Basic Folk Library Permathread.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 11:29 AM

If you ever get up to sunny Manchester (come to sunny Manchester and get brown[-ed off])

the Henry Watson Music Library in Manchester Central Library is worth a look, if only for Gavin Geig's Northumbrian Minstrelsy.

Don't scorn the Oxford Bok of Ballads, either.

Bon voyage !. Regards, E & B


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 02:29 PM

Hi Bryn
Gavin Greig's Northumbrian Minstrelsy - is that right?
Jim Carroll
PS I got brown once in Manchester - but that was when they used horses to deliver the coal.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 07:38 PM

I found Bob Kipper's 'A Son for every Sea Song'


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 08:07 PM

And thanks to Insane Beard, score another happy owner of the Faber Book of Popular Verse, which I found today for 1.50 pounds in a charity shop, hardcover. One of my cats has just tried to kill it. (I first mistyped "Pupular Verse", maybe she got the wrong idea).

Grigson did a similar anthology more for children which I had as a kid and have not seen a copy of since - "The Cherry Tree". Similar range to the Faber, but wonderfully illustrated by woodcuts from the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Bob Pegg
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 01:47 PM

The old anecdote about the 1971 Loughborough Festival, where I announced that "We're only in it for the money" has re-emerged. Over 35 years after the event, this one certainly has legs. It hasn't bothered me much in the past. But Jim Carroll is using it - along with the pronouncement that I wasn't "really interested in folk music" any longer - to suggest that "anything he wrote or said after that date should be regarded with [those statements] in mind". Difficult to figure out what Jim is implying, but as this is in the context of a brief discussion of two of my books - Folk (1976) and Rites and Riots (1981) - and could be taken as questioning my motives for writing them, it seems appropriate to put down what exactly was going on all those years ago.

At the Festival that year a debate had been arranged between members of Steeleye Span and Mr Fox, the band formed by me and Carole Pegg in 1970. The theme was something like "the future of folk music" or "the future of folk rock". I had become increasingly frustrated by the fact that Mr Fox were expected by our management and record company to keep going on a shoe-string budget; we were pulled off our first tour, supporting Ralph MacTell, because we had no PA system, and when we finally acquired a road manager, his dodgy back meant that we still had to carry our own gear into venues (while Steeleye had an army of roadies to do this for them). So when I said "we're only in it for the money" (a direct reference, by the way, to the Mothers of Invention's 1968 album, which took the phrase as its title) the intention was wholly ironic. Maybe, also, I was hoping to wind up the more tight-arsed purists at Loughborough by uttering the words that would horrify them the most. I certainly wasn't above doing that.

My first mistake was to say it at all, my second to imagine that the irony would be appreciated by anyone in the audience. Silly me! I turned up at Loughborough the following year to find the pamphlet "We're only in it for the money" circulating (Jim gives more details of this in a posting at 2.26pm on 13th January). The pamphlet specifically ascribes the quote to me, and earnestly discusses, if I recall aright, the question of the commercialisation of folk music.

As for my not being "really interested in folk music", I was undoubtedly pretty fed up with the "folk scene", but by no means with traditional music, the primary subject of the book Folk. Folk included some quite radical suggestions which, at the time it was published, inflamed some people, though I don't think they'd upset many folk today. I certainly didn't write it "for the money".

Over the years I've managed quite happily to get up a few people's noses. So be it. What's said is said and what's done is done, and I've no desire to re-write history. But sometimes what's said isn't necessarily what's meant.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 05:25 AM

Thanks for that, Bob. I bet you only did Bones for the money too, did you? A fine piece of work by the way, all the more so as I had to wait almost 30 years to hear it...

For a slice of Mr Pegg's unwarranted commercial folkery:

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


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 10:34 AM

"My first mistake was to say it at all, my second to imagine that the irony would be appreciated by anyone in the audience."
Thanks for that Bob - have to say that, as a member of the audience, it rang true at the time - silly me!
There was nothing personal in my bringing up your comment, as I know there was none in Trevor Fisher's borrowing your remark as an inspiration for his pamphlet; it seemed to me/us a perfect summing up of the attitude of the Mickey Mouse contingent (opposite end of the folk spectrum to the 'tight-arsed purists' brigade).
Nothing that followed did much to change that opinion; the bottom dropped out of the electric market, some of the participants drifted back to the clubs, others settled for being fifth-rate pop performers, the clubs vegetated and 'Crap continued to beget crap' as somebody exquisitely put it in Folk Review.
Your 'Folk' book did little to persuade me that your not being "interested in folk" statement was anything but an honest opinion, and your somewhat Grand Guignol 'Bones' ballad pastiche - suggests that this continues to be the case; but maybe I take it all too seriously.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 11:13 AM

Books about Folk

1.       'In search of the craic' by Colin Irwin
2.       Song for every Season - Bob Copper
3.       Early to Rise
Songs and Southern Breezes ....both by Bob Copper
4.       Folk - A portrait of English Traditional Music, Musicians and Customs by Bob Pegg
5.       The Ladybird Book of Folk Song,
6.       Deke Leonard's Rhinos Winos and Lunatics - The Legend of Man, a Rock n' Roll Band; the prequel Maybe I Should've Stayed in Bed - The Flipside of the Rock n' Roll Dream
7.       Come All Ye Bold Miners: Lloyd.
8.       English Folk Song Some Conclusions: Sharp.
9.       Last Night's Fun: Carson.
10.       The Fellowship of Song: Dunn.
11.       Song And Democratic Culture In Britain: Watson.
12.       Popular Music In England: Russell.
13.       The Ballad And The Folk: Buchan.
14.       The Stone Fiddle: Tunney.
15.       The Idiom Of The People: Reeves.
16.       Richard Lewis: The Magic Spring
17.       The Betsy Whyte - the lives and ways of the Scots 'Travellers'
18.       Bound for Glory - Woody Guthrie
19.       And a Voice to Sing With - Joan Baez
20.       Singing Family of the Cumberlands, by Jean Ritchie.
21.       Set Into Song, the story of the making of the Radio Ballads, by Peter Cox.
22.       English Folk Song Bibliography: An Introductory Bibliography Based on the Holdings of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
23.       The English Folk Song Bibliography is on-line at http://www.efdss.org/resind.htm
24.       See the previous Basic Folk Library thread
25.       Ewan McColl - Doomsday in the Afternoon - seminal book on travellers' music in general and Belle Stewart in particular
26.       'History and the Morris Dance' by John Cutting
27.       Joe Klein's "Woody Guthrie
28.       "Singing Cowboys and Musical Mountaineers" and "Sound of the Dove"
29.       "All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region" by David E. Whisnant
30.       Strange Affair - by Patrick Humphries, bio of Richard Thompson.
31.       E.V.Thompson - 'The Music Makers'?
32.       Alan Lomax: The land where the blues began
33.       The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad by Wilentz and Marcous
34.       The Invention of Folk Music and Art Music - Matthew Gelbart
35.       Cerddoriaeth Draddodiadol yng Nghymru: Llyfryddiaeth - Traditional Music in Wales: Bibliography"
36.       David Atkinson: 'The English Traditional Ballad'
37.       MacColl & Seeger's 'Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland
38.       Frank & Anne Warner's 'Traditional American Folk Songs'.
39.       Joe Boyd's 'White Bicycles

Chiz
L in C

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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 11:50 AM

Following the Related links from Bob's song have got me listening to Viking metal.

Doesn't do all that much for me but my cats just LOVE Einherjer's "Out of Ginnungagap".


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:11 PM

My cats go a bit odd when I sing.
Especially if I happen to be in the bath. Then I get this complaining and scrapping at the bathroom door! Wonder why...
Apart from that, some loud music sends them bonkers. And they start roaring around randomly attacking stuff!


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:34 PM

Are you sure it's cat at the bathroom door?


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:37 PM

I wonder if anyone else has noticed this extraordinary paper which can be accessed through the Musical Traditions website? It's called, 'from Journalism to Gypsy Folk Song - The Road to Orality of an English Ballad: Three Brothers in Fair Warwickshire' (http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/warwick.htm). If I might ineptly attempt to sum up the paper by Prof. Tom Pettit, it would appear that in early 19th century Warwickshire a crime was committed by three men which was subsequently reported in a local newspaper. Eventually the story appeared as a broadside ballad which, in the mid 20th century, turned up in the repertoire of a local Gypsy family. In the interim a story which had originally appeared in print was transformed into a piece with all the characteristics of an oral composition. It's a fascinating and thought provoking insight into folk song and the oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Recommendations For Literature on Trad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 02:59 PM

I agree - a great piece of work Shimrod.
Jim Carroll


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