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Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional

Spleen Cringe 09 Feb 09 - 10:02 AM
Leadfingers 09 Feb 09 - 10:06 AM
frogprince 09 Feb 09 - 10:08 AM
Banjiman 09 Feb 09 - 10:09 AM
Spleen Cringe 09 Feb 09 - 10:10 AM
sharyn 09 Feb 09 - 10:15 AM
Will Fly 09 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Feb 09 - 10:25 AM
RTim 09 Feb 09 - 10:26 AM
The Borchester Echo 09 Feb 09 - 10:37 AM
Spleen Cringe 09 Feb 09 - 11:10 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Feb 09 - 11:33 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Feb 09 - 11:55 AM
Banjiman 09 Feb 09 - 12:00 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 Feb 09 - 12:06 PM
Banjiman 09 Feb 09 - 12:14 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Feb 09 - 12:16 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Feb 09 - 12:17 PM
Phil Edwards 09 Feb 09 - 12:43 PM
Banjiman 09 Feb 09 - 12:48 PM
Folkiedave 09 Feb 09 - 12:59 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Feb 09 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 09 Feb 09 - 02:00 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM
Banjiman 09 Feb 09 - 02:15 PM
sharyn 09 Feb 09 - 02:20 PM
PoppaGator 09 Feb 09 - 02:32 PM
Declan 09 Feb 09 - 03:21 PM
Folkiedave 09 Feb 09 - 04:28 PM
greg stephens 09 Feb 09 - 04:42 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 Feb 09 - 07:07 AM
Spleen Cringe 10 Feb 09 - 07:12 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Feb 09 - 07:19 AM
Will Fly 10 Feb 09 - 07:28 AM
Hamish 10 Feb 09 - 07:33 AM
Spleen Cringe 10 Feb 09 - 07:56 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Feb 09 - 08:05 AM
Gedi 10 Feb 09 - 08:14 AM
Leadfingers 10 Feb 09 - 08:14 AM
Will Fly 10 Feb 09 - 08:16 AM
Will Fly 10 Feb 09 - 08:27 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Feb 09 - 08:43 AM
Will Fly 10 Feb 09 - 08:50 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Feb 09 - 09:50 AM
Will Fly 10 Feb 09 - 10:03 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Feb 09 - 10:31 AM
Will Fly 10 Feb 09 - 10:44 AM
Phil Edwards 10 Feb 09 - 04:34 PM
Les in Chorlton 11 Feb 09 - 02:53 AM
Betsy 11 Feb 09 - 03:49 AM
Les in Chorlton 11 Feb 09 - 04:02 AM
Will Fly 11 Feb 09 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 11 Feb 09 - 04:38 AM
Les in Chorlton 11 Feb 09 - 05:16 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Feb 09 - 08:07 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Feb 09 - 08:10 AM
Spleen Cringe 11 Feb 09 - 08:12 AM
Sleepy Rosie 11 Feb 09 - 08:31 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Feb 09 - 08:32 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Feb 09 - 08:33 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Feb 09 - 08:33 AM
Sleepy Rosie 11 Feb 09 - 08:45 AM
matt milton 11 Feb 09 - 09:36 AM
PoppaGator 11 Feb 09 - 01:30 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 11 Feb 09 - 02:10 PM
Will Fly 11 Feb 09 - 02:15 PM
Phil Edwards 11 Feb 09 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 11 Feb 09 - 05:47 PM
Betsy 13 Feb 09 - 03:43 PM
Will Fly 13 Feb 09 - 03:56 PM
Spleen Cringe 13 Feb 09 - 04:02 PM
PoppaGator 13 Feb 09 - 04:03 PM
Jack Blandiver 13 Feb 09 - 06:59 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Feb 09 - 12:27 PM
MGM·Lion 31 Jan 12 - 11:41 AM
Lighter 31 Jan 12 - 12:01 PM
theleveller 31 Jan 12 - 12:25 PM
MGM·Lion 31 Jan 12 - 12:26 PM
Les in Chorlton 01 Feb 12 - 04:01 AM
Will Fly 01 Feb 12 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 01 Feb 12 - 04:31 AM
Brian Peters 01 Feb 12 - 04:42 AM
Musket 01 Feb 12 - 04:42 AM
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Tootler 01 Feb 12 - 06:46 AM
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Subject: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:02 AM

Which, as all Mudcatters know, is the strapline of Les's Beech Inn Sin-around in Chorlton, Manchester. Come and join us on the first and third Wednesday of the month.

It did get me thinking though. A lot is made by some people in the UK of the divide between traditional and contemporary folk music, often couched in terms suggesting that people who are singing traditional songs are out of touch, middle class blow-ins, disrespectful to singer songwriters, stitching things up and somehow just wrong.

On the one hand, my thoughts on this are that you play what you play and you listen to what you listen to, and wherever you are or aren't on some trad-mod continuum (or non-continuum) is nobody's business but your own. And hallelujah to that.

But then I also thought, hang on a bit, half the stuff said is not even true! These are just a few examples, but here's what I mean:

Jim Causley's first album had two self penned songs on and his second had a cover of a great song by Mudcat's very own George Papavgeris.
Jackie Oates' latest album has covers of songs written by Bonnie Shaljean, Jim Causley and Jim Moray.
Jim Moray's latest album has a self penned song, a Bella Hardy cover and an XTC cover.
Bella Hardy's last album has two self penned songs and a Kristen Olsen cover.
Eliza Carthy's last album was all original songs.
Chris Wood's last album was all original songs.
Alasdair Roberts' last album was all original songs.

So... things aren't quite as black and white as we can sometimes make them seem, are they? And a jolly good thing too, in my (admittedly dog-eared) book.

What do people think?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:06 AM

Most musical labels just confuse things . I dont give a damn what labels any one else puts on a piece of music - If I like it , and feel I CAN do a workmanlike job of it , I will sing / play it !


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: frogprince
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:08 AM

I'm gonna plan a trip to England; I love a good Sin-around!
   (Sorry, guys...I'll get me London Fog...)


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Banjiman
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:09 AM

"So... things aren't quite as black and white as we can sometimes make them seem, are they? And a jolly good thing too, in my (admittedly dog-eared) book."

As with most things the silent majority are somewhere in the middle. It is only the extremists at either end of the spectrum who make all the noise.

I think most (sensible) artists are just keen to present good songs as best they can, whatever their heritage.

And that is a good thing.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:10 AM

It's Mr Happy's fault! (the missing 'g' that is...)


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: sharyn
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:15 AM

I choose eclectically from traditional, original and "written" songs -- as Leadfingers said, if I like it, I'll sing it -- in an acoustic version -- I haven't gone electric yet! I have also occasionally set poems to music, or set words to other people's tunes.

People have different reasons for singing traditional songs, from traditional singing being their family tradition, to it being what they like, to it being a good source of songs that they won't have to pay royalties on.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM

At our local acoustic session last night we performed, singly and/or together:

Songs by: Ralph McTell, Richard, Thompson, John Prine, Frank Crumit, Jelly Roll Morton, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Doc Watson... and others.

Tunes: Dennis Murphy's Polka, LNB Polka, Metal Man, Staten Island, the Rochdale Coconut Dance, Horses Branle, Morpeth Rant, Sweet Georgia Brown... and others.

If it sounds good to you - play it!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:25 AM

Interesting point Nigel,

Chorlton Folk Club has been going for over 6 years. It is well attended currently 50 -60 people a week. The last time I went 23 different individuals performed. I would estimate that around 14 sang songs written by themselves or recently, around another 6 were blues or singer-songwriter from the last century.

At a push 2 or 3 traditional songs were sung. I sang a shanty. The standard has gone up and up but the types of songs doesn't change much - 2 or 3 traditional songs at most. This is simply an observation.

I like sitting in a smallish room and singing what would generally be recognised as traditional songs especially those with choruses.

I started the Beech Singarounds so that I could do that. Most times around 20 people come and most sing. I guess out of around 30 songs 5 or 6 will be by known songwriters who write songs that sound a bit or a lot like traditional songs.

None of this is a judgment about quality or value. It's about what we like to do. We like country dance tunes too. But that's the last Tuesday of the month in the Beech -Beginners Tune Session,

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: RTim
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:26 AM

Chris Wood's CD Trespasser had one Traditional Song
The Lady of York

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:37 AM

It's a variant of Child #20 The Cruel Mother and was one of the nominations for Best Traditional Track in the Folk Awards.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:10 AM

Yes to both of you. Forgot that. Cracking version it is too. Marvellous album. Hats off to that man!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:33 AM

The 'Lady of York"- I guess no one knows who composed it.

Leadfingers attitude is logical. Limits to what are called folk, traditional, composed or whatever are largely artificial.
'Folk' can mean that people out in the boondocks took up a song or tune and varied it to suit themselves, or perhaps composed something but didn't have the contacts to publicize it, or all information has been lost. Maybe 'folk' is more meaningful than 'anon.'.

All interesting, but by trying to apply rigor to definitions, one may be imposing rigor mortis.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:55 AM

I really don't think I have the stomach for this. Sometimes we need definitions. I don't want to travel a long way to a"Folk Night" to find it's an open mike singer-songwriter session. As above it's not about quality or value it's about what I like.

Two kinds of music:

1. I like
2. I don't

That's it really

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Banjiman
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:00 PM

"Two kinds of music:

1. I like
2. I don't"

I agree....... but I like some ( a lot) trad (depends on presentation) and lots of other stuff..... dependent on a lot of factors.

Other peoples definitions don't really help me sort out what I like or don't. But I'm not going to fall out with anyone about their definitions (or like or dislikes)!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:06 PM

Stop being so reasonable, you know it wont last


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Banjiman
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:14 PM

Don't you tell me not to ne reasonable!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:16 PM

Big hugs to all of you...


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:17 PM

Shit, did I really type that?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:43 PM

On record, I find I very rarely want to listen to original songs unless the *sound* is a lot more interesting and complex than it usually is, if you see what I mean. Bash a guitar and sing a Child ballad & I'll be listening to the song; bash a guitar and sing a ballad of your own, and nine times out of ten I'll be listening to the voice and the guitar (and probably wishing I was listening to Radiohead instead).

For venues, I think "mainly, but not exclusively traditional" strikes very much the right note. There are many places where songwriters and would-be songwriters can strut their stuff, and a good thing too (I write songs myself, for heaven's sake). There are a few places where traditional songs are the order of the day, and for me they're as valuable as they are rare: it wouldn't be in anyone's interest for those places to throw the door wide open to the songwriters. But when you get right down to it (and O, how often we do get right down to it on these threads, and how long we spend there...) there's no universally-agreed definition of what is and isn't 'traditional': some people would include anything without a known author; some would exclude music-hall numbers but include Ewan MacColl; some would include stuff written last week if it sounds 'trad-ish'. Rather than either drawing up a manifesto or quarrelling over a disputed border zone, best to say "mainly but not exclusively" and leave it at that.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Banjiman
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:48 PM

Pip..... and songwriters vary a tremendous amount as well. I'm usually (but not always) with the the traddy end of songwriting, I have no wish to exclude this kind of music from our Folk Club.

Maybe "mainly, but not exclusively traditional" SOUNDING would suit me better?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 12:59 PM

"Mainly but not exclusively" is excellent. "Based on" or "...influenced by...."

I honestly think most people are broadminded and those who are thought to have closed minds - sometimes characterised as the "folk police" - are very few and far between. Certainly I have met about one in forty years and I think I talked her out of it!

So long as it is reasonably clear what to expect - I am not especially fond of people singing blues - though I loved Clarence Ashley and Tex Isley, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Odetta when I saw her etc etc. I am not fond of singer songwriters - but some of my favourite songs are by Graeme Miles.

I don't like other people's tastes thrust down my throat - liking some folk groups, or singers or duos is not compulsory.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 01:02 PM

Before it becomes one, despite personally being more traddie than not, I didn't start this thread to have another trad vs contemporary debate. Having said that, apparently if you love something you should let it go...


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 02:00 PM

So us 'purists' have become "extremists" now, have we? You'll be calling us "terrorists" next and keeping us under surveillance!

Personally, I'm proud of being a purist and I've always hated the word "eclectic" - it usually means someone who likes pop and rock music and has a couple of Nic Jones albums, some jazz and a Mozart CD in their collection (oh yes, and that weird CD of Peruvian nose flute music you bought in a sale and have only played once ...).

Mind you only an terroristic, purist extremist would disagree with the logic of: "I like many different types of music (see above), I like folk music, therefore all music is folk music". Stands to reason, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM

Exlnt Shim,

should be enough to wind up the innocent!

I have been a Secret Agent for the Folk Police for sometime now - hoping to put people at ease. Now I know what you are all about just take care - we know where you live.

L in C
I have back copies of letters to English Song and Dance also


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Banjiman
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 02:15 PM

"So us 'purists' have become "extremists" now, have we? You'll be calling us "terrorists" next and keeping us under surveillance!"

Good idea, looking at the good/ nature humour from the posters above..... until you came steaming in.

Sorry it's not clear are you a traddy terrorist or a singer/ songwriter terrorist? You don't say?

Anyway, what have you got against Peruvian Nose Flute Music?

Will you be declaring a Fatwa against me now?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: sharyn
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 02:20 PM

Mm,

I hope that crack about "eclectic" was not addressed to me. I run a group in Berkeley for people who like to sing traditional ballads, sing them myself and have many "traditional" or "source" singers in my collection of recordings. Having said that, I also write songs (You can find a few on Mudcat if you look). I also have talented friends who write fine songs (Carol Denney is one). I also sang in a church choir and retain a lot of choral music. And I loved Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez when I first heard them and was elated when I first heard Ewan MacColl.

Despite all that, I often fall on the side of purists. There are a great many singer-songwriters I do not care for and I never call myself one: I am a singer. Period.

If I go to a traditional session I sing traditional music, usually a capella. I save my own songs for the rare Open Mic, late night session at music parties abd when I am directly requested to sing them.

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: PoppaGator
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 02:32 PM

Those who need to make a living at music are well-advised to write some, if not all, of their material. The artists named above who have established themselves as "traditional" in style, but whose current albums consist mostly or entirely of self-penned material, testifies to this fact of economic life. Of course, most of this material strives, usually effectively, to "sound" (i.e., "seem") traditional.

You're just leaving too much money "on the table" if you perform and record only public-domain traditional songs. And of course there's little enough money to be made in the world of folk and folk-like music without limiting oneself even further.

Performing and recording songs written by others in a commercial context is even less desirable from a monetary viewpoint: you have to pay for the rights! Better to join the ranks of songwriters who collect, rather than pay, royalties.

Those who are in it only for enjoyment are free to sing whatever they like, be it all-trad or a mixture of traditional music and familiar songs written in recent times by known composers and lyricists.

My own feeling is that a great deal of contemporary/recent "pop" music IS the folk music of today's world ~ that is, songs that people know and love and can sing along with, and for which they are likely to tip a busker. But that's just a matter of opinion.

I realize that most folks who are staunch traditionalists base their stance upon what kind of music they enjoy and value most highly. But the fact that one cannot be dunned for royalty payments is a definite plus for a traditional repertoire.

Self-written songs: you might get paid
Traditional material: free to one and all
Songs written by others: you might have to pay.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Declan
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 03:21 PM

Good to see that this debate is being held in a mainly, but not exclusively sensible and rational tone so far.

No doubt some of the usual suspects will be along to stir it up shortly..


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 04:28 PM

Not me mate - saving my spleen for the folk police - when they rear their heads........


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 04:42 PM

I play, and listen to, all sorts of music. That doesn't mean, however, that I am unaware of the differences between various sorts of music. To be precise, just because I like two songs doesn't mean they are both folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 07:07 AM

ello, ello, ello Folk police here.

This thread is turning out far too reasonable. It was started as a trap for the unsuspecting - clearly not a very good one though.

L in C
Offuk Special Branch


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 07:12 AM

"A trap for the unsuspecting"?

Les? How very dare you!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 07:19 AM

Agent Cringe, keep deep cover

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 07:28 AM

Deep cover


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Hamish
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 07:33 AM

I used to use the line "traditional or in the tradition"; but I'm not sure what that means :-/


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 07:56 AM

Don't worry agent Les. I'm still wearing the horse outfit.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:05 AM

Ok Agent Spleen but don't release any photos. Look at the damage done by Agent Fly.

I think we need a contract, DDT or a big swotter.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Gedi
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:14 AM

For what its worth I think that Les has it just right with the 'mostly but not exclusively' line. It allows for the real traditionalists like Pip and Insane Beard, with their well researched material, and the likes of myself and others with the more 'Folk Revival' type stuff, but also the odd 'daft' song like Rawtenstall Annual Fair. At the same time we dont get innundated with Blues, Jazz, singer/songwriters, pop songs etc like certain other nearby clubs.

I too don't want to start an argument about what is and is not Folk, but when I go to a 'Folk Club' I expect to get folkie type material and not blues, jazz, etc. which I simply do not enjoy in the same way and will not sit through.

Of course the other good thing about quite a few folk songs is the fact that they often have good chorus's which means everyone can get involved. It is often this inclusivity that really makes the evening for me, and you tend not to get that with other genres.

Keep it up Les!!

Ged


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:14 AM

Will - Where did you find that picture of my Granny ??


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:16 AM

She left it for me to put in my wallet when she left this morning.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:27 AM

Well, what an evening I had (yesterday)! There's been torrential rain here and I drove for half an hour to a singaround session last night at a village in deepest Surrey. I drove through floods, with street drains bubbling up like fountains, and rain lashing down. Got to the pub - notice on the door saying, "Sorry, no sessions here - go to the Other Pub 100 yards to the east. So, got back in the car and drove round the block to the Other Pub. And there was a warm fire, people sat round in easy chairs, good beer and familiar faces from last time. My old mate Wounded John picked up his ancient sunburst Gibson J45, turned to me and said, "Right - Sweet Georgia Brown - key?" "F," said I and got the Martin out of its case. I just had time to let John buy me a pint of Adnam's "Broadside" (known as Broadband because you can swallow a pint in two bytes...), and we were off!

What a great night - about 15 people in all - with songs from the English folk tradition, songs written by the session organiser in traditional style, songs from the Band's catalogue, from the Everley Brothers, blues and ragtime, contemporary-ish pieces by Richard Thompson. Superb harmony singing and - to cap it all - the pub landlord, a Vietnamese guy who'd been persuaded to let the musicians use his pub at very short notice, came out at half-time with bowls of spicy fried chicken and dips! It was truly one of the best sessions in months and I went home through the floods in the old Volvo on a high. Wonderful fellowship - which, after all, is a hugely important thing. Can't wait until next month's...


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:43 AM

the real traditionalists like Pip and Insane Beard, with their well researched material,

Hey, let me bask a bit before you (whoever you are) think of posting anything else to this thread. Posts such as Gedi's above display a sensitivity of perception that is all too rare these days on Mudcat, and it is, therefore, most gratifying to see Pip & Myself rightfully recognised for our hard work and diligence in the field of traditional song. Not so long ago my efforts in respect of traditional balladry were dismissed as more akin to poorly executed pop music than folk by a well respected member of this very forum. In my slow recovery from so grave a wounding, I might thank Gedi for going some way to setting the record straight and for going some way to restore my faith in Folk as something truly worthwhile.

Now you may proceed.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:50 AM

into this dark & alien realm I was born

There - you see the advantages of a good education.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 09:50 AM

Will:

"songs from the English folk tradition, songs written by the session organiser in traditional style, songs from the Band's catalogue, from the Everley Brothers, blues and ragtime, contemporary-ish pieces by Richard Thompson. Superb harmony singing"

Sounds like a night out with The Copper Family,

Sean, you and Rachel are much heralded in Chorlton

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 10:03 AM

Whatever - it was a great night musically and socially. I've left out the gentle piss-taking and the belly laughs and the general air of friendship and welcoming warmth that pervaded the whole evening.

I haven't seen the Coppers - young or old - for quite some time. Last time I saw Bob he was dressed in a shepherd's smock, resplendent in grey beard, opening the Rottingdean Fair, as the guest of honour, on the village green about a year or so before he died. As far as tradition or not is concerned, I know Bob liked his jazz - and one of his father's (Jim's) favourite tunes was "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime." Good choice, eh?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 10:31 AM

Good indeed, what do "The Folk" sing when the FP are not around?


He, he

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 10:44 AM

Presumably stuff like this...


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 04:34 PM

it is, therefore, most gratifying to see Pip & Myself rightfully recognised for our hard work and diligence in the field of traditional song

Hear, hear. (Himself's not bad either.) Mind you, I did a song from 1972 last week, & next week I'm planning to air one from 1964, so there's no hope for the unsullied purity of the tradition if it's left in my hands.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:53 AM

See that new stuff keeps being dragged in by revivalists!

Bell, Book & Candle if you please!

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Betsy
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:49 AM

The Revival was built on contemporary songs and writers .
Martin Carthy - Scarborough fair ( tune )
Cyril tawney - all his songs
Ewan McColl - all his songs
Tom Paxton - his songs kept many a folk club going
John Connolly and Bill Meek - all their songs
Keith Marsden - Bring us a Barrel, and MANY others with their self -penned songs brought much fun and great chorus singing.
After all - at the time there weren't many British and Irish songs to be found - we were all singing "Go tell aunt Rhody", "Take this hammer" etc etc which served us well, until we established our English Irish Scottish and Welsh roots as we have today.
Liking Folk music is more a frame of mind for a type of music ( some might say genre) rather being exclusively Traditional Music.
If we had relied on purely Traditional and 1954 definition to sustain entire evenings, we would have vanished up our own R-Soles years ago.
Spleen cringe and others have listed many people,all of whom I guess want to be admired for their writing and basically they want to be the top of the tree and dare I say - famous.
Enjoy your music,and ,whether you like the thought or not,it is a part (albeit a minor part) of the music and entertainment industry.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:02 AM

All seems very reasonable .............. I bet it wont last though.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:08 AM

Ah Les, you scumbag! What do you know about folk music? You don't know the top end of a banjo from its arse. A pox on you!

Feel better now? :-)


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:38 AM

So, 'Betsy', Martin Carthy wrote the tune for 'Scarborough Fair' did he? Have you checked that?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:16 AM

Them Banjps are tricky devils Will, Perhaps the confusion you have pointed out explains why after 40 odd years I can still only play a few tunes.

Now wher are this pills of white mercury?

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:07 AM

I was only joking back there by the way - I forgot to add the old ;-] -

Anyway, thanks to Mudcat I no longer give a shit about any of this - just as long as I can take my occasional place in a hearty wholesome singaround, drink some half-decent pint in half-decent pub and have a ball roaring along with the choruses of songs traditional or not at all, in the company of anyone who has a mind to be there. Context is all & some of the finest chorus songs aren't traditional in the slightest.

Let every man so pitch his song
To help his neighbour sing along
To each and all contentment bring
When all men sing.


(Scowie & Derek Gifford)

The old songs, yes, the old songs,
that gave our fathers joy -
The songs they sang till the welkin rang
when Nelson was a boy.


(Bob Copper / Peter Bellamy)

And was Peter Bellamy ever such a boring old bleating traddy that he wouldn't wind up his sets with a Stones' cover whilst proudly sporting a Brian Jones t-shirt? I think not. And we Bellamists all should take note of his own recorded output in respect of traditional material & thank God that in Bellamy we had one of the finest songwriters ever, not to mention his Kipling songs.

I thank God also for the genius of Ron Baxter, whose songs are well and truly In the Tradition (new show for The Fylde, folks! Ron's songs of the supernatural & folkloric...)

Otherwise, one of the defining nights of my Folk Life, some 20 years ago in The Colpits in Durham, one dark winter's night when we had a record gathering of 23 singers and musicians crammed into a tiny back room where the air hung heavy with fag smoke and the place was awash with Sam Smith's Old Brewery Bitter... Welsh Keith picked up his guitar and sang forth in such a way as to inspire us all to join in. I was playing hurdy-gurdy, Bennett Hogg was there with his fiddle, Ian Harrison was over from Freiburg with his medieval bagpipes, whilst the assembled singers roared in ritual transcendence the choruses of...



















...Sloop John B!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:10 AM

Oh fuck - Sloop John B traditional isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:12 AM

And we Bellamists all should take note of his own recorded output in respect of traditional material & thank God that in Bellamy we had one of the finest songwriters ever, not to mention his Kipling songs.

Amen to that, Brother Beard!

I'm going to put 'Bellamist' down on the next census.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:31 AM

"I'm going to put 'Bellamist' down on the next census."

I take it you will now be offering to sing, as an integral aspect of your professional health-care services?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:32 AM

I'm going to put 'Bellamist' down on the next census.

As long as you don't start offering to sing On Board a 98 to your clients by way of providing care. I can just see the headlines...

Otherwise, I suppose the point is about Sloop John B is that even traditional songs can be shite, and even shite songs can become something wonderful, and vice versa of course, but today I'm being positive.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:33 AM

Damn you, Rosie! Pipped me to the post with your cunning & art! Not as sleepy as you make out...


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:33 AM

Still - great minds & all.

Respect.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:45 AM

Spooky innit!

Speaking of Bellamy (thread drift alert - apologies, but... Eh oh), where can I get recordings of his material based on Kiplings Puck of Pooks Hill/Rewards and Fairies? I read on Wiki that there are two albums: 'Oak Ash and Thorn' and 'Merlyn's Isle of Gramarye.'


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:36 AM

Poppagator:

"You're just leaving too much money "on the table" if you perform and record only public-domain traditional songs. And of course there's little enough money to be made in the world of folk and folk-like music without limiting oneself even further.

Self-written songs: you might get paid
Traditional material: free to one and all"

I don't understand this comment. If I were to record an album of traditional songs I would still be selling it on CD at the same price and in the exact same way as if it was an album of original songs.

If tracks from that album were played on the radio, I would collect PRS royalties in the exact same way as if it they were original songs.

Is someone subsequently recorded the song using a very similar arrangement to the one I had devised, I would be legally entitled to ask for royalties. (I accept that this last point is a slightly grey area; I'm well aware of the history of that Led Zep/Bert Jansch history regarding 'Blackwaterside' for instance)

The point is, a song may be traditional and therefore in public domain, but your recording of it and your arrangement are very much your own and are copyrightable. Right?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:30 PM

Matt: good question, and some good points.

I think that an original arrangement of a traditional song might be eligible to be copyrighted, but one would have to plead an effective case to actually be awarded any earnings. A wholly original composition would be unambiguously copyright-eligible.

Another distinction: When a disk jockey plays your recording of a trad song on the radio, you might be eligible for the same payment as though he/she had played your recording of a song your wrote ~ but when another performer sings/plays that trad song you recorded, you have litle or no grounds to collect payment, whereas if another performer plays a song you wrote, there's no question but that you should be paid (whatever pittance might be available).

***************

I was amused/amazed to see someone's comment above to the effect that "I expect to hear folk music, not blues..."

Well, that's obviously the voice of a Brit. Here in the US, the blues IS folk music. Were that not the case, The Mudcat Cafe would never have existed, and you wouldn't have this forum in which to argue.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:10 PM

Martin Carthy - Scarborough fair ( tune )
Dunno about that but from my reading M. Carthy is credited with the well known arrangement (the one used by Simon and Garfunkel)


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:15 PM

I was amused/amazed to see someone's comment above to the effect that "I expect to hear folk music, not blues..."

Well, that's obviously the voice of a Brit. Here in the US, the blues IS folk music. Were that not the case, The Mudcat Cafe would never have existed, and you wouldn't have this forum in which to argue.


Yes - I had a little chuckle at that. I'll try and forget hearing Bill Broonzy in Bristol in 1957 - or was it 1958...? See? I'm forgetting already!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:31 PM

Well, that's obviously the voice of a Brit. Here in the US, the blues IS folk music.

And here in Britain, it's an import. Not a big deal - I wouldn't expect to hear much Ewan MacColl in an American club either.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:47 PM

Scarborough Fair

According to the following website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/indepth/scarborough.shtml

Martin Carthy learned Scarborough Fair from a "Ewan MacColl song book". That would probably be 'The Singing Island' compiled by Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl (Belwin-Mills Music Ltd., 1960). In the notes to the song (which is, of course, a variant of the ballad 'The Elfin Knight'[Child 2]) the compilers tell us that it was collected "From the singing of Mark Anderson, a retired lead-miner of Middleton-in-Teasdale (sic), Yorkshire, in 1947."
But, I've no doubt, the version which appeared on Martin Carthy's first album (fontana TL5269, 1965) was 'arranged' by him.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Betsy
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:43 PM

Thanks for the link Shimrod , which certainly appears to have merit.
Arrangemnt is certainly a grey area .Unfortunately the article does not mention the litigation which ensued.
I have had the matter explained to me in private by someone extremely close to Martin and therefore I treat my knowledge as confidential.
Many many years ago, I entered into casual conversation with my source totally unrelated to this song, and I mentioned that someone called Hal Shaper had been in touch with me regarding a song of mine . Apparently Hal Shaper had represented Martin in the Scarborough Fair "discussions".
Cheers

Betsy


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:56 PM

Personally, I prefer the tune and the words to Scarborough Fair that the Dransfields chose on their "Rout Of The Blues" album. Anyone know where that one originated?


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 04:02 PM

I love that one, too, Will. And Barry Dransfield singing "the Werewolf" - magic!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: PoppaGator
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 04:03 PM

"...Here in the US, the blues IS folk music.

And here in Britain, it's an import. Not a big deal - I wouldn't expect to hear much Ewan MacColl in an American club either. "


Apple and oranges.

Songs written by Ewan are by definition contemporary rather than strictly-speaking traditional, but blues numbers come out of a true folk tradition. Even blues songs credited to a "writer" are usually cobbled together by repeating traditional lines and/or verses in different combinations.

(You do hear Ewan MacColl songs in the US ~ but only two or three of the best-known selections.)


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 06:59 PM

Thought this might be relevant here too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88cJTlXU42k

The late, great, Matt Armour leading When the Saints Go Marching In at the Vaults Bar, Bull Inn, Stony Stratford at the finale of Stony Live, June 2008. Play loud!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 12:27 PM

Apple and oranges.

Songs written by Ewan are by definition contemporary rather than strictly-speaking traditional, but blues numbers come out of a true folk tradition.


Nits and nitpickers. Blues numbers come out of a true folk tradition, but not one that's native to Britain. Perhaps I should have said, I wouldn't expect to hear many of the songs collected by Bob Copper in a US club.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 11:41 AM

Whatever confidential info Betsy claims to have got about Scarboro Fair tune & Martin Carthy, Mark Anderson's version [source of that tune] had been recorded by Ewan MacColl on Argo's The Long Harvest in 1966, which I think was before Martin ever sang it; and certainly before Sim & Garf got their claws into it. I have often wondered if Mr Anderson was still around for all these goings-on [how old was he in 1947, anyone know?], what he thought of it all, and whether he got anything, in terms of either reward or credit, out of it.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:01 PM

It has been claimed - irresponsibly and invidiously, perhaps - that "Mark Anderson" was most likely a pseudonym for "Ewan MacColl."

It would be interesting to know more about the matter.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: theleveller
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:25 PM

"Mark Anderson's version [source of that tune] had been recorded by Ewan MacColl on Argo's The Long Harvest in 1966, which I think was before Martin ever sang it"

Scarborough Fair was on Martin's first album, released, if my memory serves me right, in 1965.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:26 PM

... and looking again, I note that Mt Anderson was 'retired' in 1947; so perhaps not still around when the version was published in 1960, and recorded mid-60s, it would appear by Martin & Ewan about simultaneously.

Only too easy to make suggestions like the one above. Was Ewan collecting in Teesdale in 1947 ~ any way of checking?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 04:01 AM

I was under the impression that Scarborough Fair was a faily well known song, outside the Revival, before it became popular via Martin and Ewan - is that not the case?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 04:23 AM

I much prefer the version sung by the Dransfield brothers on their "Rout of the Blues" album than the other, more popular version. It's more direct and with a less mushy melody.

Here's a live version by Robin:

Scarborough Fair


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 04:31 AM

I love the version the Dransfields do. It's somehow sturdier sounding. Then again, that whole Rout of the Blues album is a marvellous thing.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Brian Peters
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 04:42 AM

"Was Ewan collecting in Teesdale in 1947?"

According to Jim Carroll on another thread a year or two ago, he was indeed - and there was a BBC Radio programme about his trip which I'm still trying to trace. I've always found it strange that he didn't take his tape-recorder with him but, given that other versions of 'Cambric Shirt' mentioning 'Scarborough Fair' (that are at least a little like Mark Anderson's) have been collected in North Yorkshire, I'm inclined to give the benefit of the doubt.


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Musket
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 04:42 AM

No such thing as a traditional song, some bugger wrote it..

Mind you, the folk tradition would state that the songs evolved.

So.. When my old gaffer used to walk round singing Beatles songs and getting the words wrong all the time, he must have been turning Hey Jude from a contemporary song to a traditional one?

Next!


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Brian Peters
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 05:16 AM

I know it's off topic but, since Will Fly asked, the Robin Dransfield song that he linked seems to be a compilation of two versions: one from William Moat, a Whitby fisherman, noted down in 1891 (opening verses in the major key), and a second - minor mode - possibly adapted from the one Cecil Sharp collected in Goathland in 1913. Here's my arrangement of the second one.

(Ah so that's how Soundcloud works!)


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Subject: RE: Mainly, but not exclusively, traditional
From: Tootler
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 06:46 AM

The Northumbrian Minstrelsy has a version under the title "Whittingham Fair" which has most of the verses in the versions from Robin Dransfield and Brian Peters, but takes the form of a "discussion" between a man and a woman who were presumably once lovers but have fallen out. The tune is a minor mode one and is similar but slightly different to the one used in the McColl/Carthy/S & G versions.

I really like the lovers' tiff aspect of this version. It gives meaning to the set of impossible tasks and gives it a bit of edge.

Whittingham Fair


Source: Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882)

Are you going to Whittingham Fair
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
For she once was a true love of mine

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt...
Without any seam or fine needlework..

Tell her to wash it in yonder dry well
Where water ne'er sprung nor drop of rain fell

Tell her to dry it on yonder thorn
Which never bore blossom since Adam was born

Now he has asked me questions three
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
I hope he will answer as many for me
For he once was a true love of mine

Oh, will you find me an acre of land
Between the sea foam and the sea sand

Oh, will you plow it with a lamb's horn
And sow it all over with one peppercorn

Oh, will you reap it with a sickle of leather
And tie it all up with a peacock's feather

And when he has done and finished his work
O tell him to come and he'll have his shirt

Tune:
X:1
T:Whittingham Fair
S:Northumbrian Minstrelsy, 1882
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:Ddor
D2D FGA|GAF E3|(DE)D (FG)A|ABG A2d|d2A (AG)F|GAc (ED)C|D2D (FG)A|G F E D3|]


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