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What is The Tradition?

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John Routledge 08 Sep 09 - 08:42 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Sep 09 - 10:29 AM
theleveller 08 Sep 09 - 02:36 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Sep 09 - 04:09 PM
glueman 08 Sep 09 - 04:41 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Sep 09 - 07:32 PM
Peace 08 Sep 09 - 07:51 PM
Bill D 08 Sep 09 - 08:02 PM
theleveller 09 Sep 09 - 04:21 AM
Brian Peters 09 Sep 09 - 05:41 AM
theleveller 09 Sep 09 - 05:59 AM
Waddon Pete 09 Sep 09 - 05:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 09 Sep 09 - 06:12 AM
Folkiedave 09 Sep 09 - 07:55 AM
Folkiedave 09 Sep 09 - 07:59 AM
glueman 09 Sep 09 - 08:24 AM
Dave Ruch 09 Sep 09 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 09 Sep 09 - 09:23 AM
Howard Jones 09 Sep 09 - 09:37 AM
glueman 09 Sep 09 - 11:30 AM
Spleen Cringe 09 Sep 09 - 11:32 AM
Brian Peters 09 Sep 09 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 09 Sep 09 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 09 Sep 09 - 03:39 PM
glueman 09 Sep 09 - 04:03 PM
theleveller 09 Sep 09 - 04:42 PM
Howard Jones 09 Sep 09 - 05:16 PM
sing4peace 09 Sep 09 - 05:40 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Sep 09 - 05:48 PM
theleveller 10 Sep 09 - 03:19 AM
Howard Jones 10 Sep 09 - 04:12 AM
Brian Peters 10 Sep 09 - 04:53 AM
bubblyrat 10 Sep 09 - 07:21 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Sep 09 - 07:32 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Sep 09 - 07:34 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Sep 09 - 07:39 AM
glueman 10 Sep 09 - 07:46 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Sep 09 - 08:03 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Sep 09 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 10 Sep 09 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 10 Sep 09 - 02:41 PM
Cleverthreads (inactive) 10 Sep 09 - 02:46 PM
glueman 10 Sep 09 - 03:14 PM
glueman 10 Sep 09 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 10 Sep 09 - 03:34 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Sep 09 - 05:05 PM
Cleverthreads (inactive) 10 Sep 09 - 05:15 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Sep 09 - 05:19 PM
Stringsinger 10 Sep 09 - 06:07 PM
Cleverthreads (inactive) 10 Sep 09 - 06:14 PM
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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: John Routledge
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 08:42 AM

Great concept Les -The Tradition of those songs and singers in Folk Clubs since the 50's. I am just too young to qualify.:0)


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 10:29 AM

"The Folk Process (and the 1954 Defination) have its roots in the sloppy, selective & agenda driven field-work on the part of the early collectors who saw the songs as being of greater significance than their lowly, ill-educated singers? Perish the very thought!"
Compared to what?
The conclusions of the collectors, however "sloppy and selective", are based largely on practical experience and field work. It seems to me that challenging them requires research and counter-experience, which both SO'P and his friend have consistently refused to provide. Their attitude to such research uncannily resembles all those people I have met who proudly boast "I have never read a book in my life and it hasn't done me any harm".
Where is your evidence of this 'sloppiness and selectivity'?
I am totally bemused by SO'P's constant reference to the International Folk Music Council's change of name. Why should it matter to him what they call themselves; he has rejected their findings anyway? As Shimrod has pointed out, it is the definition that counts, not who made it or what they call themselves.
As one of those 'sloppy and selective' collectors of some 30-odd years standing, I can only say that, based on our own experiences (still ongoing) the 1954 definition, with some slight reservations, worked for us. If we got it wrong, let's hear where we got it wrong (but I'm afraid that might involve our dynamic duo in some 'research' which, to date, they have refused to soil their hands on).
Our collection and some of our conclusions are open to inspection, so how about it lads - we've shown you ours; how about you showing us yours?.
A major part of our work was with an Irish ballad-seller who sold copies of his father's songs around the fairs and markets of Kerry and West Cork in the 1940s. He described printing some of those songs (sometimes by request), selling them, and in some cases teaching the tunes, then returning some time later to hear those songs "sung back at him" completely changed and adapted.
Up to about sixty years ago singers around here were buying similar ballad sheets and doing exactly the same as their Kerry and Cork counterparts. While very few of the ballad sheets survived, it was the practice of many families to write the songs down in notebooks, some of which we have been lucky enough to see (there's one of them here jus above the desk). A comparison of what was received and what was sung makes essential reading.
The oral transmission of songs has been a major factor in the tradition of the making and remaking process.
If the tradition is a myth based on 'sloppiness and selectivity' how come the Irish north eastern song tradition is so strongly Scots influenced? Why are the most popular ballads in West Clare of Scots and English origin (Lord Lovel, Captain Wedderburn, The Suffolk Miracle, The Green Wedding....)?
Hugh Shields' account of a Tyrone singer, when asked by a relative who was heading for the potato picking in Scotland what she wanted bringing back, replied "bring us back a song", is a living example of how the tradition worked.
People working at collecting and research have put their work up for scrutiny: Hamish Henderson, Tom Munnelly, Hugh Shields, the Lomaxes, Sharp, Goldstien, Sandy Ives, MacColl, Parker, Donnellan........ et al.
How about putting your money where your mouth is (or is the armchair too comfortable)?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: theleveller
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 02:36 PM

Am I having deja vu or have I drunk too much wine? I could have sworn I've just posted something about this a couple of minutes ago.

Off to watch Groundhog Day. Or was that tomorrow?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 04:09 PM

"Am I having deja vu or have I drunk too much wine? I could have sworn I've just posted something about this a couple of minutes ago."
Oh well; that's all right then - we can all go down to the pub and leave you to it
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: glueman
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 04:41 PM

This is the man who once accused me of going down the pub to get out of an argument. Dutch courage was the term. You'd think this folk business was real if you stuck round here too long. Instead of completely made up.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 07:32 PM

Still no qualifications of their statements from the deadly duo - just defensive invective (well- from one of them; t'other seems to have left the stage).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Peace
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 07:51 PM

"The Lottery? That's pretty extreme definition of tradition, Peace...."

Read the thread, Bill. If Jackson erred it was on the side of caution.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 08:02 PM

well....I see your point....but I DO hate to admit it.

A major point of Jackson's little story was that their 'tradition' had long lost its original meaning....and I suppose that how certain current traditions work also.... I see it on the news regularly.

...*mumble* ..now you have me morbidly contemplating society in a NEW way. As if I needed one more morbid way to contemplate.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: theleveller
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 04:21 AM

""Am I having deja vu or have I drunk too much wine? I could have sworn I've just posted something about this a couple of minutes ago."
Oh well; that's all right then - we can all go down to the pub and leave you to it
Jim Carroll"


"This is the man who once accused me of going down the pub to get out of an argument."

Oh dear, it seems my attempt to inject a little bit of humour fell on stoney ground!


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 05:41 AM

Never mind contributors' drinking habits; we're still getting glib assertions here that "the tradition never really existed in the first place".

Now, I can point to a ballad known in 1455 that was still being sung, in recognizable but altered form, in both England and North America during the 20th century, by singers unconnected with any 'Folk Revival'.

To records of shepherds before the birth of Shakespeare singing ballads that would be still be around for F J Child to include in his collection 350 years later.

To ballads sung in the British Isles with analogues in balladry and folktale from Europe and beyond.

To hundreds and hundreds of examples of old songs and variants recorded by notation or mechanical recording.

To the testimony of dozens of singers who learned their songs from the generations before them.

To the account Jim Carroll gave above, about song transmission of which he had first-hand experience.

If "the tradition never existed", are those things:
(a) a complete fabrication, part of a centuries-old conspiracy to delude us all?

(b) isolated phenomena that don't deserve to be drawn together as evidence of a single process?

(c) evidence of a real cultural phenomenon for which 'The Tradition' (capitalized or otherwise) is, however, not a suitable name?

(d) inconvenient facts that prevent the free flight of bees in bonnets?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: theleveller
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 05:59 AM

"a real cultural phenomenon for which 'The Tradition' (capitalized or otherwise) is, however, not a suitable name?"

Precisely the point I was making when I posted this:

"I've come to the conclusion that, as we have to keep asking the question and never get a satisfactory answer, 'The Tradition' does not actually exist. Traditions exits, as do legends, myths, songs and stories - all part of our history and social background. I don't know who invesnted the idea of 'The Tradition', maybe someone who wanted to give a context, or historical repectability to their delving into things folkloric."

As to: "Never mind contributors" drinking habits;" maybe you need to stop taking yourself so seriously.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 05:59 AM

Isn't it wonderful to be involved in an activity that can never be satisfactorily defined!


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 06:12 AM

(well- from one of them; t'other seems to have left the stage).

Sorry, old man - I've appear to have lost my voice after all the shouting & singing over the weekend at the Fylde. But I'm reading it and loving what I see here, especially from Jim and Brian which e'er warms the cockles of my heart.

Nice sunny day here meanwhile; we're spending the last day of our holiday with our Spheniscus magellanicus pals in Blackpool Zoo.

You lot play nicely now, hear?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 07:55 AM

If the tradition never existed - what did Stanley Robertson carry along with him to merit an honorary masters degree?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 07:59 AM

The only thing about *The Tradition* is that it's been invented and then encircled by those who love to control and exclude.

The first singer songwriter was probably a ploughboy....yet singer songwriters are now spoken of with derision, by those who purport to know better than the idiotic masses, or which I am one...because they have sought to intellectualise song.


A number of assertions there - with not a scrap of evidence.

One can understand when people talk like that why Jim Carroll gets annoyed.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: glueman
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 08:24 AM

We can safely say in the days before the BBC, and maybe the music hall, people sang songs to each other who sangs similar songs to other people and everyone forgot who started it. That is all we can safely say.

The Tradition is just the dirty snowball that rolled downhill in its wake.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 09:02 AM

Does some of it come down to this:

1) there is a group of musicians, scholars etc who are very interested in 'The Tradition' as it existed in, say, 19th/early 20th century life (with trails sometimes going back several centuries before that, and in some cases forward towards the present day). The interest is in the informal music making of more-or-less ordinary people in the days before mass media. What songs did they sing? What tunes did they dance to? These modern-day musicians and other enthusiasts study and often perform/interpret this tradition for modern audiences (and/or for each other in pub sessions, etc). Nothing wrong with this.

2) there is another, perhaps larger, group of musicians and interested others who play and sing folksongs and tunes without near as much (or any) consideration as to where the song came from, who sang it/played it (or didn't) in the past, etc. They compose songs, they sing and play whatever strikes their fancy, etc. These people, in many respects, are the modern day equivalent of the tradition bearers that group #1 is so interested in. However, the context, methods of learning, attributes of the music they make, etc are all different. Nothing wrong with this.

This is not to say that there are only two camps here, or that anybody fits neatly into either one of these two groups, but I do think that ones perspective on 'The Tradition', or even what we mean when we refer to 'The Tradition', will vary greatly depending on which group we identify more with.

Thoughts?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 09:23 AM

Brian,

It's just got to be your (a) i.e.

"a complete fabrication, part of a centuries-old conspiracy to delude us all ... "

Of course it is! I see it all now! For all those centuries wicked scholars have been plotting to prevent 'glueman', SO'P etc. from admitting their favourite music to the folk canon. How devilishly evil is that!


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 09:37 AM

Leveller, "the Tradition" is a shorthand term, jargon if you like, for the shared transmission and evolution of music amongst a community over a period of time. There are many other traditions, but it should be perfectly obvious which one we are discussing here.

As for it existing, there is not only plenty of evidence for its previous existence, but there are still places where it continues.

If you don't like the word, feel free to suggest an alternative, but to deny its very existence in the face of all the evidence seems perverse.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: glueman
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 11:30 AM

"to prevent 'glueman', SO'P etc. from admitting their favourite music to the folk canon"

You've repeated this falsehood on numerous occasions Shimrod. I left 'favourite music' behind in late adolescence as most mature people do, more than 30 years ago. My tastes are impossibly broad for you to understand and any enthusiam built up around them would be directed at keeping those tastes out of the tradition, not including them.

The people will decide whether tunes are folk music or not, not you or I or anyone else on Mudcat. Your use of canon to elevate ordinary songs into a quasi-religious setting is most interesting, there's a theme developing of folk filling the place religion used to occupy for enlightenment boffs. Most unfortunate for the music, what?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 11:32 AM

I object to the "the". And to the capitalisation of "Tradition".


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 03:05 PM

>> We can safely say in the days before the BBC, and maybe the music hall, people sang songs to each other who sangs similar songs to other people and everyone forgot who started it. That is all we can safely say. <<

We can safely say (from direct evidence) that the songs were handed down from one generation to the next. And that's what "tradition" means - in my dictionary at any rate. I'm not wedded to the upper case 'T' (blame the OP for that).

So, if we drop the definite article and the capital letter, there's no longer an argument?

to Dave Ruch:
I'm one of those who "sings and plays whatever strikes [my] fancy". But I'm also curious about it, especially that part of it that goes back five hundred years. Which of your groups am I in?

>> As to: "Never mind contributors' drinking habits;" maybe you need to stop taking yourself so seriously. <<

Maybe you need to stop drinking so much wine, Leveller (yes I know, it does taste good!), then you might be able to judge more accurately when others are taking themselves seriously and when they aren't.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 03:34 PM

Haven't we had this discussion before?

Just don't mention the horse.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 03:39 PM

"I left 'favourite music' behind in late adolescence as most mature people do, more than 30 years ago."

So what are we arguing about then, 'glueman'?


"My tastes are impossibly broad for you to understand ... "

Give me depth over breadth any day!


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: glueman
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 04:03 PM

"Give me depth over breadth any day!"

What do they know of folk music who only folk music know?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: theleveller
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 04:42 PM

Right, I'm off to write a folk song and wait for The Folk Process to turn it into part of The Tradition - then I can observe at first hand how it works. I'll report back in due course.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 05:16 PM

I can understand that those people who "play and sing folksongs and tunes without near as much (or any) consideration as to where the song came from, who sang it/played it (or didn't) in the past" won't be very interested in the tradition, or in the traditional processes which shaped the songs. Personally, I think they're missing out on a lot of fascinating stuff, but that's up to them.

What I find harder to understand is the apparent hostility towards the very idea of a tradition, even a denial that it existed.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: sing4peace
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 05:40 PM

Glueman: "That's the trouble with words, you don't know whose mouths they've been in". Great line - is it yours?

I have been contemplating what it means to be a "traditional" singer for a long time. I learned a lot of songs from my father,who learned them from his father. Some of them were sea chanteys my dad used when he was the botswain on a square rigged boat. Some of them were rockabilly numbers that required a bass and drums.

I don't read music but I know how to play "jazz" chords. I sing songs on picket lines in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and I sing songs in concert halls in the tradition of Ray Charles. I know a lot of verses to Lady Dysie (Lady Diamond) and sang that to my little girl when she was a baby (I know - it has a horrible verse about cutting out the kitchen boy's heart - ewwwwww! but she just fell asleep because of the minor chords as all babies do). So where does that leave me?

I've got a gig coming up in a couple of months for which I'm being billed as a "traditional" singer. I've tried to get the venue to change this as I'm worried that folks'll show up expecting me to break out the Child Ballads and John Jacob Niles and they are probably going to get more Hank Williams and Malvina Reynolds (uh, oh Michael - don't worry, I don't sing Little Boxes). I'm worried that people will be upset thinking they are getting one thing and getting another all together. I guess I'll just have to win them over with some good singing.

I am more like Lizzie up there - I like a song because it's a good song - time will tell what tradition I'm following. Meanwhile, I'll just keep accruing good songs.

Nice chattin' with you all-
Joyce


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 05:48 PM

Wouldn't myself call Niles 'traditional', Joyce. He was more a sort of smartarse 'improver' - look what he did to that beautiful song Black Is The Colour which you will find in much better version in Sharp's Appalachia.

Thanks for the nod to me re the Ickleboxes...
          ❤Michael❤


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: theleveller
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 03:19 AM

"What I find harder to understand is the apparent hostility towards the very idea of a tradition"

I wish people would read what other posters are saying - it's not denying that there are TRADITIONS (plural) in music as in many other things. These are quite often local and very different across the country. What is totally dubious is that there is The Tradition - some great all-encompassing movement that includes all folk music and song. To asssume this is to deny the very thing that makes folk music so wonderful and diverse - its localness. This doesn't mean you can't sing or appreciate songs from localities with which you are not familiar but, like good wine, songs are much more enjoyable when you appreciate their 'terroir'.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 04:12 AM

Leveller, the Tradition isn't a movement, its a process. It's an umbrella term which encompasses all the local traditions you describe.

The East Anglian tradition and that of the North East are quite different in style, and often in repertoire. However they share the same characteristics of a body of music passed around, shared and changed within their communities and it seems perfectly reasonable to me to describe that as "the tradition" when one is talking in broad general terms.

Although these traditions may have been very local, in the sense of each community having its own repertoire and possibly style, they were also open to outside influences and were always keen to absorb new material from wherever they could find it. This is why we get versions of the same songs and tunes turning up all over the place.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 04:53 AM

>> it's not denying that there are TRADITIONS (plural) in music as in many other things. These are quite often local and very different across the country. What is totally dubious is that there is The Tradition <<

OK leveller, I do take your point - though I think Howard has answered it well. I'd also refer back to the examples I mentioned, of ballads and ballad motifs being shared by globally-separated local communities, as a reason for considering the larger picture as well as the local one (English song 'The Keys of Canterbury' = Cajun song 'Paquet d'Epingles' - that kind of thing).

To me the definite article in the expression 'The Tradition' signifies nothing more than that we're talking about the specific tradition of song transmission, as opposed to any of the other ones.

I don't know most of the posters here but I guess they're simply music enthusiasts like I am. All this talk of 'The Tradition' being held up as some kind of religion is just mischief-making.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 07:21 AM

I just came across this today,in a book about Leeds-built steam railway locomotives,and would like to share it with you,as I feel it has some relevance here;

                           "....tradition,properly regarded,is like an endless ladder presenting a perpetual challenge to the climber,but upon which it is fatal to stand still. It is not a flight of steps with a comfortable seat at the top."

L T C Rolt    " A Hunslet Hundred"

               David and Charles : Dawlish MacDonald : London 1964


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 07:32 AM

A similar although unrelated tradition exist amongst those of us who have been going to Folk Clubs since the 1960s. We hear songs, learn them and pass them on.

We are a community but not in the geographical sense.

L in C


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 07:34 AM

L T C Rolt    " A Hunslet Hundred"

Just been reading some of Rolt's ghost stories actually - a collection called Sleep No More which I'd recommend to anyone with a fondness for old railways, canals, M R James, The Signalman etc. etc.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 07:39 AM

I feel sure you work too hard and too long Sean, take it easy

L in C


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 07:46 AM

Two other interesting books on similar themes - Crossing the Line, trespassing on Railway Weirdness by folklorist Paul Screeton, and Railway Ghosts and Phantoms by W. B. Herbert.

Rolt's, Red for Danger is another classic.


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 08:03 AM

I feel sure you work too hard and too long Sean, take it easy

It's a bugger for sure, Les! Actually, my reading time is down to an hour a day max these days and the list is backed up some way. Just finishing off Viv Stashall biog, which I'm reading concurrently with Bob Pegg's Folk, then I'll be opening the second instalment of Daevid Allen's autobiography Gong Dreaming 2 before giving Stations of the Sun due attention, which should take me up until Xmas. I've got George Mackay Brown's Collected Poems too, and we bought a copy of Johnny Haslett's amazing Morris Dancers and Rose Queens off him at the Fylde, which is hardly bed-time reading on account of the weight of the thing....


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 08:52 AM

Railway Ghosts and Phantoms by W. B. Herbert.

Picked up a copy of that in Cleveleys recently; it too awaits my attention!


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 02:18 PM

Do you know what?..(Radical thought here).
I play tunes.I accompany singers. I play solo.I enjoy doing these things... I don't (intentionally) offend other people by this.
(Well maybe I do!) It's mainly solitary.
What I play is in my head. Where it came from is immaterial.
If I recorded it I would give a nod (and money. If I had any) in the right direction.
Sometimes I just sit at home and play for my own pleasure.
Traditional? Who cares...I mean really....Who cares!


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 02:41 PM

If you don't care, 'Ralphie' why take part in the debate?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Cleverthreads (inactive)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 02:46 PM

L T C Rolt's Bosworth Summit Pound is a classic ghost story of the canals. It definitely subscribes to M. R. James's definition of a ghost story


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 03:14 PM

People are allowed to like the music and not give a fig for its sources Shimrod. You may believe they are missing out on a fascinating backstory but they may just dig it for the noise. It's known as 'the pleasures of the text' mate and they're different for each of us.

Why should Ralphie not declare his inclusivity?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 03:19 PM

"It definitely subscribes to M. R. James's definition of a ghost story"

I hear Rolt's canal based work is excellent, though I only know him for his railway stuff. On the subject I actually believe in ghosts, not in an arch, ironic way, nor that they are necessarily 'the returning dead' but as a phenomenon. Perhaps that's one for another thread?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 03:34 PM

When I say I don't care....I'm talking bollocks....I care deeply and have a profound love for the music I play.....Of course, It's interesting to discover the history, or whatever, but in the end.
I play it because it moves me.
And sometimes it makes me cry.
Isn't that a good enough reason?
Do you ever cry?


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:05 PM

Perhaps that's one for another thread?

Tried it on at least one occasion; maybe now's a good time of year to get into such a thing? I'm sure there was another one, but try this Folklore: Ghosts.

Like you, glueman, I believe (and experience) ghostly phenomenon but I don't subscribe to the supernatural, though the fear aspect is pretty crucial I feel...


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Cleverthreads (inactive)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:15 PM

glueman said, "On the subject I actually believe in ghosts"

Montague Rhodes James said, "I am prepared to consider evidence and accept it if it satisfies me."


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:19 PM

All kinds a stuff we *can* decode I believe, and sometimes happen into spontaneously. Bit like looking at one of those 3D piccies where there is a 'moment' where the image resolves into a perceptual eureka. Multiple layers of stuff going on. Usual human perception partakes (moreso these days it seems, if we don't discount the stories of our ancestors & other cultures as 'mere superstition') of a the fraction essential to our survival, but not all of it. I'd love (well not very) to know what my Cats are staring at some nights (a Ghost Road runs through my house...).


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 06:07 PM

As I understand the term "The Tradition" is that it is used to identify Irish music by such
organizations as the Comhaltas Ceoltori Eireann. The "Tradition" is the historical music
of Ireland. There is a definitive character to early Irish music in both song and dance forms. The body of work that the Comhaltas has compiled and collected would fit to the
label of "The Tradition". This body of song and dance is not mythological. It carries the history of the country in this expression.

I think there are plenty of people who would like to have the venerated status as that
of "The Tradition" that play and sing. Somehow these people feel excluded when they don't seem to be acknowledged as being "traditional".

Traditional doesn't imply that it is particularly superior in musical forms. It's just
different because it has a history behind it. People writing songs today don't have
the history behind them because the songs are too new to have it. Many of the songs
that you hear have been unduly influenced by the commercial music industry. Not all but it's hard to escape it.

Why "the Tradition" is important is because it preserves much of the music that would be lost in the commercial music marketing which has become a commodity for music merchants.

Organizations such as the C.C.E. are doing a service by teaching the value of the music that is part of the folklife of the country. One form of teaching is getting people to play it.

What is truly mythological is the idea that commercial music which is about making money (the bottom line) is a kind of tradition of itself. The idea that music being made for popular consumption is equal to a music that has historical roots without financial concerns is ludicrous.

I have nothing against musicians and singers making money from their songs. I am a professional musician and I like being paid for it.
Still, I am not a carrier of a tradition. I am interested in traditions of music but I don't fool
myself into thinking that I am reflective of that cultural body of music. I'm much too eclectic
and have received diverse musical information to
be included in a specific "tradition".

So I'm not a traditional singer or player.

Some of you would say "OK so what?" The answer is simple. A body of historical work will be lost
with this attitude. If there is no distinction between the consumer music and the historical
traditional music, then it will be lost.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: What is The Tradition?
From: Cleverthreads (inactive)
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 06:14 PM

and Irish music does have the sole proprietory right to call itself The Tradition either. The term can be applied to England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. I'm sure other countries see their indigenous musics as "The Tradition" as well.


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