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Lyr Req:Jock Hawk's Adventures in Glasgow (MacColl

DigiTrad:
BALLAD OF ACCOUNTING
BRITAIN'S MOTORWAYS
DIRTY OLD TOWN
FAREWELL TO TARWATHIE (2)
GO DOWN, YOU MURDERERS
GOODBY TO THE THIRTY FOOT TRAILER
JOY OF LIVING
MANCHESTER RAMBLER
MY OLD MAN
NOBODY KNEW SHE WAS THERE
NORTH SEA HOLES
SCHOOLDAYS END
SECOND FRONT SONG
SHELLBACK SONG
SHOALS OF HERRING
SONG OF THE IRON ROAD
THE BALLAD OF TIM EVANS
THE FIRST TIME
THE TERROR TIME
THE TROOPER CUT DOWN IN HIS PRIME
THE WEEK YOUR MAN'S AWA' or FISHERMAN'S WIFE


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Lyr Add: Legal Illegal (Seeger/MacColl) (4)


Ed Jones 26 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM
Fred McCormick 26 Jan 11 - 11:35 AM
Ed Jones 26 Jan 11 - 11:53 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Jan 11 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 26 Jan 11 - 12:35 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Jan 11 - 01:53 PM
Ed Jones 26 Jan 11 - 01:54 PM
Vic Smith 26 Jan 11 - 02:01 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Jan 11 - 02:18 PM
Ed Jones 26 Jan 11 - 02:29 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Jan 11 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Jan 11 - 04:24 PM
Leadfingers 26 Jan 11 - 07:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Jan 11 - 10:22 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jan 11 - 12:30 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Jan 11 - 01:09 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 11 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 27 Jan 11 - 05:16 AM
Fred McCormick 27 Jan 11 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 27 Jan 11 - 06:23 AM
Ed Jones 27 Jan 11 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Desi C 27 Jan 11 - 07:29 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 11 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 27 Jan 11 - 09:53 AM
Lighter 27 Jan 11 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 27 Jan 11 - 10:10 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 11 - 12:00 PM
Les in Chorlton 27 Jan 11 - 12:18 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Jan 11 - 12:59 PM
Ed Jones 27 Jan 11 - 01:28 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Jan 11 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,goatfell 27 Jan 11 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 27 Jan 11 - 05:07 PM
toadfrog 27 Jan 11 - 08:41 PM
Allan Conn 28 Jan 11 - 02:52 AM
randjgc 28 Jan 11 - 03:58 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Jan 11 - 05:07 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Jan 11 - 05:28 AM
Jim McLean 28 Jan 11 - 05:52 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Jan 11 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Desi C 28 Jan 11 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 28 Jan 11 - 11:13 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Jan 11 - 12:00 PM
curmudgeon 28 Jan 11 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 28 Jan 11 - 12:39 PM
curmudgeon 28 Jan 11 - 12:56 PM
Ed Jones 28 Jan 11 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 28 Jan 11 - 04:30 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Jan 11 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 29 Jan 11 - 04:27 AM
John Routledge 29 Jan 11 - 09:50 AM
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Subject: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Ed Jones
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 11:05 AM

Whose is this funny voice?
http://www.McColl Lauder


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 11:35 AM

It's Ewan MacColl. What's funny about it?


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Ed Jones
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 11:53 AM

You've no sense of humour, Fred, I think it's hilarious, especially after all the threads about singing in your original accent. Peggy thoght some cockney singing an American song was funny but this beats all.


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 12:22 PM

Here we go again! EM/JM grew up with Scots parents and sang to him in a Scots accent and he learned loads of songs from them - surely this is common knowledge by now?

What was he supposed to do/ Sing them in Salfordese? The rhymes don't work for a start and some of the words don't translate.

Ok he did use a range of accents and I have to confess that one of the most important people in the Revival was to caught out on that. I have to say I found the recording funny and claerly not a patch on almost everything else he did.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 12:35 PM

Come on Fred, can you really take this one seriously? If anybody wanted to show Ewan at his worst then this is probably it. It made me chuckle and I used to go and see him every Saturday night for a couple of years or more. I think it shows that no matter how great a performer you might be you can still make mistakes. We are all human after all - well most of us are.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 01:53 PM

Twenty two years dead and he's still able to get the rats crawling out of their holes - he must have done something right.
I wonder if our OP will be remembered twenty odd years later - or even in a couple of hours time?
No H - a bad dose of necrophobia is not funny - or even particularly clever in this case; justrather sad.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Ed Jones
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 01:54 PM

Definitley not as good as Andy Stewart.


Andy


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 02:01 PM

Come on Jim, E McC made many fine recordings - but this isn't one of them. His enunciation on the nonsense chorus is indeed hilarious.
It is possible to admire someone greatly without thinking that everything they did was perfect.


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 02:18 PM

I played it again to experience for myself the "hilarious"ness of the nonsense chorus. Not a smile flickered across my lips. What is supposed to be so hilarious about it, Vic? It sounds perfectly all right to me.

What has Andy Stewart to do with it? He was a fine singer too, in a related though not identical genre. Why need such a comparison be made, Ed? What is your point?

~M~


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Ed Jones
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 02:29 PM

Maybe it's because you're English, MtheGM. I don't know any Scot acquainted with McColl who doesn't fall about laughing at his music hall accent. Andy Stewart was an honest comic and a great one but this offering by McColl takes the biscuit.


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM

"Come on Jim, E McC made many fine recordings - but this isn't one of them."
Yes he did Vic, and no it certainly isn't - some of his earlier recordings were so bad he couldn't listen to them himself.
Not commenting on the recording, just the small-minded vindictiveness that inspired this thread (to coincide with the one remembering it is Ewan's birthday).
The problem with bile like this is we have to wade through it it have a decent discussion on MacColl's strengths and weaknesses - rather like pushing the legendary ball of shit up the hill.
As I said, the man's been twenty-two years dead, and the braindeads still use him to sound out their insecurities.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 02:43 PM

As age withers me I ponder on the First Revival - Sharp et al and the Second Revival - Lomax, Seeger, MacColl, Lloyd and thousands of others.

The basic difference was the first one wasn't really a Revival at all. Lots of song collectors collected (?) took into custody loads of songs. They remained banged to rights until the Real Revival came along and set them free.

The Real Revival listened to 'source singers' and tried to understand how to sing the old songs. If MacColl et al sounded different between 1955 and 1985 it was because the were learning how to make the best of the songs. Nobody much had done it before and thousands and thousands did it in The Real Revival.

Must go, The Beech awaits

L in C#


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 04:24 PM

"What was he supposed to do/ Sing them in Salfordese?"

To be fair to Ed it has to be admitted that his accent is a bit cringe-worthy but to me what is just as strange is the tone of the voice. It does sound really weird almost as if he's taking the p*** (and I know he isn't) or doing a bad impersonation of Jimmy Krankie! It is of course not s serious song anyway - but even taking that into account it is dire! Though as others have pointed out he's done enough great work to not worry about the existence of this piece :-)


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 07:53 PM

I've said it before and will no doubt have cause to say it again . McColl did a HELL of a lot FOR Folk music in UK , and quite a bit of harm at the same time . In MY opinion the Good vastly out weighs the harm !


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Subject: RE: McColl or harry Lauder
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 10:22 PM

Sir Harry Lauder did much to popularize things Scottish in North America. A great entertainer in his time. Churchill called him Scotland's greatest ambassador, and that he was.

Just what is that stupid MacColl song got to do with Lauder?


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Subject: ADD: Jock Hawk's Adventures in Glasgow
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 12:30 AM

One usually things of MacColl as being such an intense and serious singer. It's nice to see a little humor from him.


The song is from the Ewan MacColl/Peggy Seeger album titled Bothy Ballads of Scotland. The album notes are available from Smithsonian Folkways. Here are the lyrics from the liner notes.

JOCK HAWK'S ADVENTURES IN GLASGOW

To Glesca toon I went ae nicht to spend my penny fee,
And a bonnie lass she gied consent to bear me company,

CHORUS:
Tum a hi, turn a doo, tum a hi tum day,
Tum a hi, turn a doo, tum a hi tum day.

She kent I was a ploughman chiel, a stranger to the toon,
She said: "That neenda hinder ye to jog it up and doon."

She took off her petticoat and I took off my sark,
And we sweated at the jobbie as we ploughed the muckle park.

We walked up Jamaica Street and doon the Broomielaw,
Where organ lads were playing and fiddlers ane or twa.

We went into a tavern and I ca'd for some gin,
And a' the folk aboot the place, they smiled as we cam' in.

We hadna been in half an hour when in cam' half a score
O' sailor lads and queans sae braw you never saw before.

They drank the malt, they drank the gin, they drank it a' richt free,
And ilka ane aye drank success to the bonnie wee lass and me.

The nicht it passed wi' mirth and sang till day was drawing near,
And then the sailors' factor cried: "All hands on deck appear!"

The lasses gied a parting kiss, the lads they said goodbye,
The hindmost ane as he went oot said: "Jock, you've a' to pay."

They took my watch, they took my chain, my spleuchan and my knife,
I wonder that they didna tak' my little spunk o' life.

I cam' into this world a bairn sae naked and sae bare,
I cam' oot the same frae Glesca and I'll never gang nae mair.


    GLOSSARY

    Glesca   Glasgow
    ae   one
    nicht   night
    gied   gave
    kent   knew
    chiel   fellow
    toon   town
    doon   down
    sark   shirt
    Broornielaw   district of Glasgow
    ane   one
    twa   two
    ca'd   called
    aboot   around
    cam'   came
    quaens   girls
    richt   right
    ilka   every
    sang   song
    factor   foreman
    oot   out
    spleuchan   tobacco pouch
    spunk   bit
    bairn   child
    sae   so
    frae   from
    mair   more


Notes: The basic bothy theme servant of the farm-servant exploited by the rich farmer is, in this ballad, altered slightly to become the farm-servant exploited by city-slickers. The general both pattern, however, remains unchanged and, as usual, no pity is allowed to interfere with the humor.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 01:09 AM

Say what you will of my national antecedents & of Ewan's accents ~~ I heard him sing this song live at the Princess Louise many times: it always went down well & he was often singing it by request. Everybody laughed WITH it, not AT it, like some of the so-hard-to-please smartarses on this thread.

Compare his accent with his mother's on any of the several recordings of them singing together ~~ there are one or two on youTube: there was sod-all wrong with his Scottish accent, which he had from earliest years by inheritance and grew up with at home thruout his childhood.

E stands for Ewan, I suppose,
W for his dad Will;
And I don't care what anybody says,
But Jimmy was a Scotsman still.

♪Michael♪


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 04:39 AM

"and quite a bit of harm at the same time ."
Wonder what 'harm' MacColl did to folk music.
He, Lloyd and those around them put it on the map for me and thousands like me.
Bronson described the Riverside series of ballads as a "the most important event in the field since the publication of Sharp and Karpeles Southern Appalachian collection".
Their singing turned me on to a lifetime's love of the Scots and English ballads and songs - they were the best around at the time, and to my mind, their singing is still head-and-shoulders above anything today.
MacColl's accent gave me access to the Scots material when I was still struggling with Jeannie Roberton's, Jimmy McBeath's and Davie Stewart's.
I hope nobody ever digs up anything I was singing a liftime ago - we moved on, or some of us did.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 05:16 AM

This thread is an example of what psychologists call the 'confirmation bias'. People have a fixed idea and then they look for evidence to confirm that idea, all the while ignoring any evidence to the contrary. So I suspect that Ed Jones (who started the thread) doesn't like MacColl, has deliberately ignored MacColl's monumental body of work in the field of Folk Song and then seized on this one recording which he finds risible.

Go on, Ed - I dare you listen to 'The Manchester Angel' or 'The Long Harvest' or 'Blood and Roses' or 'The Radio Ballads' or the 'Ballads' set that Topic released in 2009 and then come back and pass judgement on MacColl.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 05:49 AM

Shimrod. Hear bloody hear. I don't find MacColl's singing of Jock Hawk the least bit hilarious. Granted it was recorded early in his career, and it's possibly not the best example of his singing. It is incidentally, a long way from being the best example of his singing on that paricular record.

But it was cut at a time when he was trying out different approaches to different songs. Some of them worked and some of them didn't. As befits someone who was own severest critic, he generally scrapped the ones which didn't.

BTW. I note that Bothy Ballads of Scotland, the LP from which Jock Hawk comes, wasn't released until 1961. That's just three years before his masterpiece, The Manchester Angel, and five years after the material from which the Topic Ballads set comes. In compiling that particular release, I was struck by how inconsistent his singing must have been at that time. Some of the tracks, EG., The Cruel Mother and Clyde's Water, are simply devastating. Others, and I'm thankful that the 2 CD limit which Topic Records imposed on me, meant there was no room to include them, show a much more uncertain performer; someone who was still grappling with the problems of ballad interpretation.

But what was the point of starting this thread anyway?


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 06:23 AM

Surely the point of starting this thread was that there have been previous threads here regarding Ewan's stance on not wanting singers to perform material from outside their own tradition such as American songs.

I also heard Ewan perform this song a number of times at the Princess Louise. A traditional Scottish ballad backed up by a young American lady playing five string banjo. I was also at the ACTT in Soho Square (The BBA Folk Club had changed venues)when Ewan asked Lisa Turner a competent singer and guitar and banjo player at the time but English not to sing an American song. Lisa decided not to sing at all and sat down.
Unlike MtheGM I do find this recording amusing. Being able to laugh at this particular recording of McColl doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the good material that he recorded or wrote.

Lighten up guys.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Ed Jones
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 07:12 AM

Hoot is correct. I started this thread to underline the hypocrisy in dictating folk singing styles. Andy Stewart, the White heather Club and Harry Lauder were all considered laughable by the folkies and yet a very funny song done in a very funny accent, not as good as Andy Stewart's, doesn't 'not a smile flickered ' across MtheGM's lips(by his own admission.) I'm not anti McColl as has been suggested but surely he is not beyond criticism? I have listened to most of his work and on balance his good work far outshines his bad.
Give yourself a tonic, shrug off the corsets and have a good laugh.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 07:29 AM

Definitely not Lauder, but doesn't sound at all like McColl to me either, it is quite awful I think


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 08:36 AM

"Surely the point of starting this thread was that there have been previous threads here regarding Ewan's stance on not wanting singers to perform material from outside their own tradition such as American songs."
MacColl's tradition was Scots - or his mother always sounded like a Scot to me.
His argument of taking songs from your own tradition was aimed directly at the threatening Amercanisation of the revival, and was instigated by Alan Lomax in the first place. It was a Ballads and Blues/Singers club policy, rather than the 'rule' for the whole of the revival (see Peggy Seeger's letter in The Living Tradition) which was thankfully taken up generally (apart from the Mid-Atlantic Croydon Cowboys that still appear on the scene, usually uncommented on).
As for the 'Jock Hawk' recording - like Mike, I heard and enjoyed it when it first came out (still have the record). In the light of what he achieved since, it doesn't have the same effect on me as it did then , but never mind, it still serves its purpose as a stick to beat a dead man.
No, MacColl wasn't above criticism, but shit like this makes decent, rational debate on his work very difficult.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 09:53 AM

Jim,
I owe you an apology I must admit that I was absolutely ignorant of the place of the 5 string banjo in the Scottish tradition as used on the recording under discussion.

Questions: Were you ever at the Ballads and Blues club when Ewan and Peggy were the main performers? and when did you hear anyone from the Ballads & Blues organisers Malcolm Nixon and Pete Turner state that it's policy was the same as that of Ewan and Peggy. That policy of Ewan's was one reason why they set up their own club The Singers. We at the Ballads and Blues carried on with the same policy that had existed there for a number of years.
You blame Alan Lomax for instigating the Americanisation of the revival, but I seem to remember that Ewan and his then wife Joan Littlewood embraced his work at Stratford East and that Ewan and Peggy sang in his skiffle group.
The interest in American folk/country music had long been in existence over here before Lomax arrived. My own parents were among many who had recordings of Jimmie Rogers, Carson Robison et al in the thirties and during the war there were regular broadcasts of country music by Big Bill Campbell. Plus the 1944 BBC broadcast of The Martins and the Coys which featured Guthrie, Ives, Ledford, Seeger and Fiddling Arthur Smith. The WW2 propaganda broadcast of course was produced in New York by Alan Lomax so I guess he could take a little of the blame for introducing some of us to some great music. I personally feel that the bulk of the Ballads and Blues Club audience in the beginning were more attracted by the American material and that the interest in the UK tradition grew from some of that audience and it was those people that drifted off to the The Singer's Club and the club run by the late Jill Cook. That being the case then Lomax was responsible too for helping to nurture the interst in British traditions with a little help of course from The Ballads and Blues club who regularly put on people such as Sam Larner, Harry Cox and Bob and Ron Copper.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 10:06 AM

My two cents is that I first heard this particular recording more than forty years ago, and I too found it cringe-worthy. Not because of the accent but because of the intonation and exacessive nasality. I didn't find it funny because I obviously have no sense of humor.

My stupid guess is that MacColl was trying to imitate the delivery of a particular individual, or of the "sort" of individual that he imagined singing the song: maybe a very old man with a creaky voice reminiscing in a very rustic accent. Bad choice.

But finding the track annoying without being intentionally or unintentionally amusing, I see no need to comment further. BFD.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 10:10 AM

Has anyone stopped to consider that if MacColl sounds a bit like Harry Lauder in this recording, that may not be inappropriate? In 'Ord's Bothy Songs and Ballads' (first pub. c. 1930) a note on 'Jock Hawk's Adventures in Glasgow' says: "This is a real Bothy Song, which no doubt describes a real incident ... It was sung all over the country in farm kitchens and feeing markets some forty and fifty years ago." So that takes it back to the late 19th century when music halls were flourishing in major cities like Glasgow. Although I've got no proof of this, every time I hear this song I get a mental image of some rouged and powdered character, in a silly suit and hat, hamming up this well known and popular song to a rowdy audience in some gas lit hall. Perhaps Harry Lauder, who started his career in a Glasgow music hall, was raised on songs like this (?) Ewan had a deep knowledge and understanding of the songs in his repertoire including their historical backgrounds and that knowledge and understanding always informed the way that he presented them.

And by the way, Ed Jones, saying hurtful things and then claiming that those who get upset have "no sense of humour" is a classic tactic of the bully!


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 12:00 PM

"You blame Alan Lomax for instigating the Americanisation of the revival, "
I don't blame him for any such thing, I credit him with being the first to oppose it - it's largely why we dug up and researched our own repertoire rather than slavishly aping the American one.
I know it was Lomax's idea originally; Lloyd was the first one to say so in my presence, and MacColl always confirmed this, as did Kennedy, who pointed out that he provided the inspiration for the BBC mopping-up collecting campaign.
I know MacColl and Lloyd once sang American material, but they moved on. As I said, I wouldn't be happy to be judged by my actions and opinions half a century ago - would you - or did you emerge onto the folk scene fully formed?
"....of the place of the 5 string banjo in the Scottish tradition"
Unlike the guitar, or bouzouki, you mean, or do you disapprove of all accompaniments - what's your point? I seem to remember Robin Hall once persuading Jeannie Robertson to accept his accompanying her on one of her records (not to mention Kennedy dubbing god-awful accomaniments to field recordings of some of our finest traditional singers) - makes the banjo accompaniment here fade into insignificance, doesn't it?   
In the end, it boils down to somebody who appears to wish MacColl to be remembered (twenty two years after his death), by a piece of singing recorded 50 odd years ago, which was perfectly acceptable then, but may not have stood the test of time.
Personally, I'd rather remember him as the superb singer he was who breathed life into 137 Child ballads and who never, not in the twenty years I knew him anyway, refused to pass on texts of the songs he had researched or written, to anybody who erquested them. Or maybe as the professional singer who devoted a night a week to assist lesser experienced singers for around ten years (while the rest of the 'folk stars' were getting on with their careers.
Or for the generosity he and Peggy showed in opening their home to researchers and singers, giving them/us access to their library, and sound archive.
Or as the professional singer who gave his time, talent and effort to causes like the Anti-Apartheid campaign, the trades unions the CND, the miners, the Anti-Vietnam war protesters, or the anti-fascist movement...... and all the other causes he supported.
I honestly don't remember many other singers who did that, and those who did were mostly associated directy with or influenced by him.
Makes all this pretty shoddy stuff, don't you think?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 12:18 PM

I am inclined to copy. paste and save most of what Jim has just written. I think it sums things up pretty well.

But i will also say this again:
"The basic difference was the first Revival was it wasn't really a Revival at all. Lots of song collectors collected (?) took into custody loads of songs. They remained banged to rights until the Real Revival came along and set them free.

The Real Revival listened to 'source singers' and tried to understand how to sing the old songs. If MacColl et al sounded different between 1955 and 1985 it was because the were learning how to make the best of the songs. Nobody much had done it before and thousands and thousands did it in The Real Revival."

And we still do

L in C#


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 12:59 PM

..'not a smile flickered ' across MtheGM's lips(by his own admission.)..

You mistake my meaning, Ed. I always found it a funny SONG, & still do. It was Ewan's accent, which you were all assuring me was so ludicrous & nobody could listen to with a straight face, that I failed to share all your amusement at.

~M~


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Ed Jones
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 01:28 PM

Come on, MtheGM, surely you smiled just a little? It doesn't really hurt.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 01:52 PM

No, honest, Ed: it seems to me a perfectly acceptable bit of bothy-style singing. Not Ewan at his best, to be sure; but really cannot see what some of you find so out'n'out ridiculous about it. If I did, I would smile. But as I don't...

~M~


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,goatfell
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 01:56 PM

I like Ewan McColl and Harry Lauder no matter what they sing


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 05:07 PM

Jim,
You didn't answer my questions re the Ballads and Blues Club.

Keep smiling

Hoot


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: toadfrog
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 08:41 PM

Actually, I sort of like the performance. I am just an American and no expert on things Scottish, of course, but McColl sings "The Old Man's Mare's Dead" in exactly the same style and the same accent, and it isn't funny, it's just a good song.

McColl was sure enough a great singer. He was also the most opinionated of men, and if he couldn't stand criticism he would surely have had the sense not to dish it out. I fail to see why people get so passionately indignant whenever he is criticized.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Allan Conn
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 02:52 AM

"I am just an American and no expert on things Scottish, of course"

I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head there! We will probably go nowhere much with this thread. What sounds like a perfectly good Scots accent to someone born and brought up in let's say Norwich or Ipswich doesn't necessarily sound all that great to someone actually born and brought up in Scotland. That is the same world over if you're going to get an accent done really well then surly it is the locals who need to be convinced? To me the accent isn't great in the short clip posted and the pronounication of the word 'toun' in particular sounds very strange and artificial. I'm not saying that all Scots would think that but it seems from this thread that st least some do!

But I agree with Lighter in that the accent isn't the be and end all here with this song. Forgetting the accent he does seem to put on a strange tone as well. It is a matter of personal taste if one likes that or not. I think it sounds weird and very pantomime like. I know it is a comic song but the mixture of the iffy accent and weird tone just sounds kind of ridiculous. At least to me.

That isn't a swipe at all his work though. Just the piece that is posted. Listen to the second verse of "Moving On Song" where he sings in his what I imagine is his own normal tone etc and sings Scots pronounciation without trying too hard and going over the top and it sounds great and natural!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKhnr4wHHIQ


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: randjgc
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 03:58 AM

There's someting about Mudcatters. Vituperation never seems far away. The "critique" I found particularly laughable was the "banjo".

If there ever was a "golden age" of folk-music, do you think that if a saxophone had been lying around nobody would have played it?

I do believe that the banjo (and we all know it's origins) is a very good fit for many of our traditional songs.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:07 AM

"I fail to see why people get so passionately indignant whenever he is criticized."

It's probably because MacColl wasn't just a great singer - he was also an original thinker and a teacher. A lot of us in the UK were inspired by his singing and by his ideas. It's hard to explain without getting all hagiographic. These days musical 'stars' are rather remote figures who are 'worshipped' from afar. But MacColl and Seeger regularly toured the folk clubs and were usually very accessible. They also ran workshops for aspiring singers which were inspirational.

Those of us who seek to protect MacColl's reputation are not doing so because we are 'anti-criticism' (he taught to be critical and we know and accept that he wasn't infallible). Nevertheless, there is a highly vociferous group within the UK folk scene who hate and despise everything that MacColl stood for and even now, nearly 22 years after his death, are still trying to destroy his reputation. They do this by sniping and carping. They think that if they keep pulling out threads they will eventually destroy the magnificent tapestry which is MacColl's lifetime achievement.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:28 AM

Hoot;
"You didn't answer my questions re the Ballads and Blues Club."
Nope, I didn't go to The Ballads and Blues and hear Malcolm Nixon... etc. though I do recall a posting from MGM making the point that MacColl advocated the policy of singing songs from your own background from the stage. If it wasn't the policy of all those involved in The B&b perhaps it should have been - that's the reason so many of us turned to Harry Cox and Sam Larner for our repertoires, rather than Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Leadbelly .
I'm fully aware of why MacColl started the Singers Club - even got the article 'Why I Am Starting A New Club' in one of of Fred Dallas's magazines (or maybe that should be Karl Dallas, considering the number of times Fred and others took the opportunity to snipe at MacColl for the name-change - don't get me started on Robert Zinnermann!)
My wife Pat was a regular at B&B, she went along expecting to hear some blues, heard MacColl singing Four Loom Weaver and got hooked - eventually she became one of the main organisers of the Singers.
Now - you didn't answer my questions, nor respond to any of my points - five string banjo - what's your point?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Jim McLean
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:52 AM

I promised myself I wouldn't get involved with 'McColl' threads as both pro and anti McColl comments are so predictable and boring. However there are a couple of coincidences in this thread I thought I'd explore. I wrote a song for Andy Stewart using the melody of Jock Hawk's Adventures in Glasgow, a piece of White Heather Club trivia, in 1959/60 and it was later recorded by Johnnie Beattie, another fine Scottish comedian. Andy Stewart was a master of Scottish accents, and there are quite a few, but his delivery was always very natural. In McColl's case, I think he 'over egged' his portrayal of the 'plooman chiel', hamming it up a bit more than was necessary. I agree with MtheGm and didn't find the singing 'hilarious' but rather more 'cringe-worthy' as has been mentioned above. I think Ed Jones' puerile sniggering was counter productive.
There, I've broken a promise I made to myself and will now keep quiet.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:35 AM

"Those of us who seek to protect MacColl's reputation are not doing so because we are 'anti-criticism'"
Shimrod's posting here is spot-on.
Personally, I couldn't give a toss what kind of a person people believe MacColl to have been - my memories of him are exactly that - my memories, and not the 'Chinese Whispers' information and deliberate misrepresentations that discussions like this invariably throw up.
MacColl, through his work with The Critics Group, produced some serious aids for singing - voice and relaxation exercises, methods of analysis, suggestions of approach to songs, song writing techniques, research aids, discussion and practical work on accompaniment... ten years of research and experimentation that helped singers understand and perform the songs they chose to sing.
These techniques, in my opinion, helped singers to improve; they were by no means perfect, nor did they represent the only work done on singing, but they were head-and-shoulders above the workshops I have visited since, where a song sheet is handed round, a tune is taught, and all present are encouraged to sing cold from the printed word.
I am still staggered at the amount of work done and the territory covered by The Critics Group during the ten years of its existence, yet it still remains a total mystery, largely thanks to cul-de-sac discussions such as this one, and deliberate vindictive misrepresentation, amply represented by Dave Harker in his 'One For The Money':
"In public, MacColl made no serious theoretical contribution; but fortunately, some of his training sessions were SURREPTITIOUSLY recorded".
Virtually all the Critics group meetings were recorded by a group member, were archived and were passed on to anybody wishing to use them - I found them invaluable when I set up a singing workshop in Manchester in 1968. These recordings are at present housed with the Charles Parker Archive at Birmingham Central Library.
Harker makes little effort to hide his hostility towards MacColl, who he lists in his index as 'Jimmy Miller' (Robert Zimmermann, of course appears as Bob Dylan - double standards or what - or maybe just agenda-driven scholarship?)
If those of us who still enjoy MacColl's singing and value his contribution to folk song, over-react to criticism of him on occasion, perhaps it might have more than a little to do with the frustration of trying to get his work discussed seriously instead of having to scale the shit mountains that appear every time his name is mentioned.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:43 AM

How did this thread develop into a debate on the Folk revival! I too just find the singing funny in the embarassing sense. If it was Ewan McColl he must have been very young when he recorded that


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 11:13 AM

OK Jim,
I will try and be brief. I did mis-read the bit on Alan Lomax. I read "and was instigated" as "which was instigated" and misunderstood.

"His argument of taking songs from your own tradition was aimed directly at the threatening Amercanisation of the revival" Your words immediately preceding the above. Bearing that in mind I thought it was strange to take a song from the Scottish tradition and accompany it with American style five string banjo. I thought that was obvious in the first line of my posting.

Guitars?, Bouzoukis? and even the banjo in it's various forms, nothing wrong with any of them in the right context.

Lomax left England in 1958 but if my memory is correct it wasn't until 1961 that Peggy & Ewan left the BBA. In 1959 Peggy was still teaching us how to pick American folk styles on banjo and guitar and including songs with lines such as "Lassie wi a yellow coatie would ye wed a muirland jockie" plus of course the od reliable "Freight Train".

Sorry not as brief as I intended.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 12:00 PM

"Guitars?, Bouzoukis? and even the banjo in it's various forms, nothing wrong with any of them in the right context."
Who decides what is and what's not the right context - maybe it's those mysterious 'folk police' that I keep hearing about and never encountering! Spanish guitar not suitible for Scots music - bye bye Dick Gaughan
I wouldn't go anywhere near Martin Carthy's Spanish guitar accompaniments - not because the instrument originated in Spain, but because it doesn't suit the songs he sings, IMO.
It really is all a matter of taste, but you questiond it as a cultural anomoly:
"I owe you an apology I must admit that I was absolutely ignorant of the place of the 5 string banjo in the Scottish tradition as used on the recording under discussion"
As it happens, I don't particularly like the banjo accompanying English, Scots or Irish songs in most cases; not all - it nauses up the narrative, BUT THAT IS ENTIRELY MY OPINION; I certainly wouldn't challenge it on principle - seems to be a bit of straw-grasping going on here.
MacColl and Seeger (and others) experimented with accompaniments throughout their time together - sometimes successfully, some times not, but from the time they set up the Singers Club (remind me how long ago that was!), they both stuck to their own culture for their material. MacColl. Lloyd and Kennedy always claimed it was Lomax's influence that brought that about, and Lomax certainly didn't challenge it at the syposium given on MacColl's 70th birthday at County Hall - got the recording somewhere.
You and the OP are using something MacColl did back in the Stone Age to demean a lifetime's work - nothing new there. I can remember Alex Campbell chucking up over front row of the audience at the MSG in Manchester, but I wouldn't present that as typical of his work; it would be as grossly unfair of me as it is of what you are doing.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: curmudgeon
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 12:19 PM

Getting back to the song under discussion, am I the only one who knows about and has heard Ewan's rendition of Jock Hawk on the Riverside LP, SCOTS DRINKING SONGS? This was recorded in 1956, sung plainly with accompaniment by Alf Edwards, and was the version I learned the song from.

When I heard the version on Bothy Ballads, I was a bit surprised but in no way bothered. I assumed that was an attempt to emulate a source singer (not too surprising for a professional actor) or a flawed microphone. No matter, I got a new verse for the song.

Now confusing this with Harry Lauder is beyond my comprehension. Lauder would never have banjo accompaniment. When much younger, I was able to acquire a fine collection of high quality, mint condition 78s of Sir Harry's songs; the similarity of the two singers is a fantasy. And of course the names on the site where the song was presented would certainly be a giveaway to the literate..

Finally, my thanks to the likes of Jim Carroll, Shimrod,and others for standing by with ample supplies of "Trollbegone' for those all too common instances when the MacColl haters slither up from the slime.

Keep up the struggle - Tom Hall


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 12:39 PM

I have a recording of The Corrie Folk Trio and Paddy Bell doing Jock's Adventure. I have always thought it to be comic music hall song about a farm boy's visit to the big city. My understand was Bothy Songs were the songs sung about the Bothy for entertainment.

Is my understanding of these songs correct or is there more to Bothy Songs than what meets the , ah, ear?

Don


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: curmudgeon
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 12:56 PM

This is most definitely a bothy song. The common theme is of the wealthy farmer getting the better of the poor ploughboy by deceit or trickery. In Jock's case it is the flash girl and city types who get the better of him. And the tune, "The Guise o' Tough" was a favorite in the bothies.

There is also a great song wherein the ploughboy ends up with a fierce hangover but with his money safe as he "...tied it tae the tail o' his sark;"

Bothy songs were to the farm hand what the forebitters were to the sailor; entertainment in the off hours, love songs, complaint about harsh treatment, descriptions of tasks, praise for horses. MacColl's Bothy Ballad album on Folkways does give an excellent overview of the genre - Tom Hall


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Ed Jones
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 03:45 PM

You really are a touchy lot when McColl's name is mentioned. Is he beyond discussion, like a pope? I wasn't sniggering, just an honest expose of your god. No wonder the McColl fraternity have a reputation of being a mean spirited, closed shop, narrowminded shower. Can you not see the humour in this Harry Lauder like vision? I think it was Alex Campbell who said Harry Lauder accompanied himself on a bent stick: Ewan used a banjo.


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 04:30 PM

Jim,
    Your words "It really is all a matter of taste, but you questiond it as a cultural anomoly"
Not at all did I think of it as such. I just thought it a strange way for Ewan to record that song in the light of his views on performing material from your own culture. Nothing more than that.
That is my opinion.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 03:32 AM

Ed - Hoot
Yawwwwwwwn
In the end, who gives a toss.
The fact that somebody has to dig up an over half-century old piece of singing which may no longer measure up as being as 'good' as it was once considered in order to take yet another snideswipe at a singer who has been dead for over twenty years, says far more about the OP than it does about MacColl.
Now where did I put my recording of 'The Joy of Living', or 'The Clerk's Twa Sons of Owsenford', or 'Jock o' the Side', or The Radio Ballads, or The Long Harvest, or Blood and Roses or...................
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 04:27 AM

"You really are a touchy lot when McColl's name is mentioned. Is he beyond discussion, like a pope? I wasn't sniggering, just an honest expose of your god. No wonder the McColl fraternity have a reputation of being a mean spirited, closed shop, narrowminded shower."

First it's 'MacColl' NOT 'McColl' and you didn't JUST mention his name - you dug up an old recording to belabour his reputation with (you were, in fact, "sniggering").

In addition, let's get this clear, none of us believe that MacColl is beyond discussion (oh, for some real discussion - rather than just puerile sniping!). Neither was he a "pope" or "god" - but he was a remarkable 20th century artist whose considerable accomplishments are worthy of respect.

Finally, I discovered MacColl's work for myself when I was young and foolish. Very soon I encountered several others who were also admirers of his work (and folk song in general). For the record I was welcomed by them with open arms and never, ever felt excluded. I found those people to be generous, warm-hearted and very imaginative and broad-minded. Some of those friendships endure to this day (some people have, of course, passed on but I cherish their memory).

I think that a lot of us didn't just admire MacColl because of his genius - but also found his work to be a catalyst for our own creativity (limited in my case - but there you go!).


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Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
From: John Routledge
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 09:50 AM

Interesting use of "mean spirited"

There is not much generosity of spirit evident in the creation of this thread.


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