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Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...

Will Fly 29 Apr 10 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 29 Apr 10 - 06:38 PM
Will Fly 30 Apr 10 - 03:14 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Apr 10 - 10:29 AM
Will Fly 30 Apr 10 - 10:39 AM
Jim Carroll 01 May 10 - 06:34 AM
Surreysinger 01 May 10 - 07:34 AM
Will Fly 01 May 10 - 11:56 AM
Surreysinger 01 May 10 - 12:37 PM
GUEST 01 May 10 - 01:24 PM
Alan Day 01 May 10 - 01:43 PM
Surreysinger 01 May 10 - 04:53 PM
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Subject: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 05:48 PM

I've spent a pleasant afternoon and evening browsing through a 1st edition of "English County Songs" - a 1st edition picked up recently for a tenner on eBay (tatty covers but good condition inside) - which I'd never actually dipped into. Nice to see plenty of Old Friends in there, but it made interesting reading in many ways.

The sources for the songs are many and varied and, in many cases, wouldn't count as traditional songs in the accepted (please - you know what I mean...) sense of the word. I was also amused at the old-fashioned and rather patronising tone of many of the notes - The words, taken down from a peasant, were disentangled and partly re-written by the Rev. Canon Edward Mason. [The Spider] - and more of the same!

Interesting also to play through the piano accompaniment to "Lazarus", presumably arranged by Maitland - very "churchy" in its feel, unlike it's more robust sister "Star of the County Down". You get the feeling of Good Works being undertaken by Eminently Nice Victorians.

Apparently, Bedfordshire has no county tunes, and the one for Rutland was only put in because it mentions Uppingham in the lyrics. And, of course, many of the tunes assigned to a county originate in several places, as the authors acknowledge.

Nevertheless, a great and fascinating read - and good to see some good old Lancashire words to "King Arthur Had Three Sons", as well as the fine tune to "Scarborough Fair. Worth a tenner of anyone's money.


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 06:38 PM

It's an important collection because of it covers the whole country, and because it was a popular collection, bringing folk music to a wider (middle class) audience.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 03:14 AM

I was quite aware of it's importance in the Canon - just, oddly enough, had never opened up the covers of a copy before.

As I say, the song contents are fascinating - I was also fascinated by the tone of the annotations, which are quite of their time.


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 10:29 AM

Will,
A fact not generally acknowledged is that Lucy Broadwood was one of the handful of early collectors who used a cylinder recording machine to record her singers. A friend once tried to find out what had become of the recordings and was left with the impression that the family, not realising what they were, had destroyed them - pity!
I've always thought it would have been interesting to compare them with the published songs.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 10:39 AM

Jim - I was thinking just that last night - how interesting it would be to compare the contents of the book with the original sources (notes or recordings). I wasn't trying to detract from the importance or value of the publication in my original post - it's an absolutely fascinating book - but I was struck by the tone of the notes.

The words I quoted: The words, taken down from a peasant, were disentangled and partly re-written by the Rev. Canon Edward Mason sent a little shiver of distaste down my spine, I have to confess. Still, autres temps, autres moeurs, as we say in downtown Sussex...


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 May 10 - 06:34 AM

Will,
There's a note in one of the Folk Song Journals to a song called 'The Hole In The Wall or The Girl From Lowestoft, which reads - "We noted down only the tune - the words were too indecent for public viewing"; as far as I know, the song was never collected elsewhere.
the early collections were invaluable, but you wonder what was lost to us.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Surreysinger
Date: 01 May 10 - 07:34 AM

Strange - I posted a reply to this, but it seems to have evaporated. Glad you managed to get a copy of ECS at such a reasonable price Will. I have two copies now - one 1st edition (slightly battered with dove grey boards) and one second edition in red. Both were gifts and the second was purchased for �12 in an Oxfam shop in Kent. As you say a great collection of songs. It actually does not cover the whole of England - there are three counties missing. (Hopefully you should remember this if you were attending properly to the content of the Lucy Broadwood show you came to in Lewes in 2009 ??? LOL) And don't rely on the fact that the songs under each county heading were actually collected there - there was a certain amount of redistribution of the material to fill holes (using premises such as the fact that a song was well known in a certain area etc) - not to mention the catch all section of songs of the sea at the back where no county at all is used!!   I'm glad you mentioned Fuller Maitland - poor chap, he always seems to be relegated to non-existence when people discuss ECS, whereas he and Lucy were actually joint editors of the work. It's actually quite easily obtainable - unlike Traditional Songs and Carols which Lucy followed on with 15 years later (and which WAS totally her own work).

Re the phonograph cylinders , Lucy was an enthusiastic user of the phonograph. She was instrumental in obtaining one for Percy Grainger to use ,and followed in purchasing her own, and starting to collect with it in 1908. She regarded her collection of recordings of Gaelic songs as her life's major achievement. Some of the recordings she made do still exist and are held in the British Library (although they are the property of the EFDSS).

An example of one can be found here


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 May 10 - 11:56 AM

It's quite clear from the notes to the songs that the "county" arrangement was highly artificial (yes, I do remember the Lewes show...!) - and, to give credit to LEB & JAFM, they do mention other sources, variations and similar minutiae where they can.

What's particularly interesting from a musical point of view is the piano arrangement that's been provided for each tune. These, as a whole, reflect the late Victorian taste of the time. I had a crack at transcribing the piano chords for "Lazarus" for guitar, because I was intrigued by the very "churchy" feel of it all - no wonder Vaughan Williams used it for his "Variants on Dives and Lazarus" - and you can see what I made of it in Lazarus.

This is very different in feeling from some of the more robust versions of "Star Of The County Down"... by the Chieftains, say. :-)


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Surreysinger
Date: 01 May 10 - 12:37 PM

He actually also used an arrangement of it for the hymn tune "Kingsfold", and there was a substantial thread on this about a year ago which you can find here . The arrangement in the book for that particular song in the book was by Maitland. IIRC he admitted to some errors in his arrangements afterwards.


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 10 - 01:24 PM

Lovely to have an expert commentating on this - thanks Irene and if anyone finds her talk on Broadwood around your area - it is great.

Just to add - the last time I sold the book English County Songs 1st Edition I charged £28.00 and that was in "good" condition. It normally sells for around £35.00 - £45.00. I wouldn't think you ought to pay more than that.


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Alan Day
Date: 01 May 10 - 01:43 PM

Nice recording Will
Al


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Subject: RE: Browsing through Broadwood & Maitland...
From: Surreysinger
Date: 01 May 10 - 04:53 PM

Whoops - should have said that too ... indeed, nice one Will. Guest - thanks for that ... for "expert" read enthusiast! :-)


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