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Do purists really exist?

Big Al Whittle 20 Dec 18 - 04:50 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Dec 18 - 08:24 AM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 18 - 09:01 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Dec 18 - 09:13 AM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 18 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 20 Dec 18 - 11:23 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Dec 18 - 11:35 AM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 18 - 12:15 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 18 - 12:32 PM
Jeri 20 Dec 18 - 12:35 PM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 18 - 12:50 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 18 - 01:07 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 18 - 01:15 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 18 - 01:17 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Dec 18 - 01:21 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Dec 18 - 01:22 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 18 - 01:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 18 - 01:30 PM
RTim 20 Dec 18 - 01:32 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Dec 18 - 01:48 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 18 - 02:13 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Dec 18 - 02:30 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 18 - 02:37 PM
Vic Smith 20 Dec 18 - 02:44 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 18 - 02:50 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Dec 18 - 03:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Dec 18 - 03:22 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 18 - 03:24 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 18 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Observer 21 Dec 18 - 03:32 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 18 - 04:31 AM
GUEST 21 Dec 18 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 21 Dec 18 - 06:22 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 18 - 07:01 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 18 - 09:21 AM
Jack Campin 21 Dec 18 - 09:58 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 18 - 10:04 AM
Jack Campin 21 Dec 18 - 10:26 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 18 - 11:27 AM
Jack Campin 21 Dec 18 - 11:50 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 18 - 12:00 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 18 - 12:53 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Dec 18 - 01:51 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Dec 18 - 01:56 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 18 - 02:52 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Dec 18 - 06:46 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Dec 18 - 03:56 AM
The Sandman 22 Dec 18 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Observer 22 Dec 18 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 22 Dec 18 - 05:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 04:50 AM

If you feel a great passion to communicate your love of this kind of folk music, and i think you do.

Why not start a website explaining what it means to you. That's the beauty of the internet. You don't need some git deciding whether you can publish, or not.

Its not all sweetness and light. i worked for ages on a website on my oevre of song writing and the life that had produced it. A chance remark from some big mouthed cunt on Mudcat led to me discontinuing it.

And the providers are not really on your side - its a labour of love. But some people will click on a link - even if they won'tplay a cd nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 08:24 AM

Just been searching the 'Full English' EFDSS site, all I could find was the Youth Choir, Mike Norris playing a jolly tune and a number of dire snigger snogwriters
Library still looks as crammed as it was, so I can assume they are still turning down collections
I may not have got the hang of the site, but really !!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 09:01 AM

From https://www.efdss.org/efdss-the-full-english


The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and its partners present the world’s largest online collection of English folk manuscripts.

Freely explore 80,000 pages of traditional songs, dances, tunes and customs from the golden age of folk music collecting, within the manuscripts of nineteen of England’s most important late Victorian and Edwardian folk collectors, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Percy Grainger, Lucy Broadwood and Cecil Sharp.

The Full English digital archive delivers the true ‘voice of the people’ through a variety of material ranging from full songs to fragments of melodies, invaluable for researchers, performers, composers and many more. It is rich in social, family and local history, and provides a snapshot of England’s cultural heritage through voices rarely published and heard before.

The Full English Extra will see the collections of Mary Neal, suffragette, radical arts practitioner and founder of the Esperance Girls Club, and folk dance educator Daisy Caroline Daking added to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library online archive, alongside its collection of 19th century broadside ballads and songsters.

EFDSS will work with three national museums – the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading, the National Coal Mining Museum for England near Wakefield in Yorkshire and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London – combining folk arts and museum education to provide powerful new learning experiences for schools.


Improving access to The Full English digital archive

The first part of The Full English project was to make these images available, in a format that is searchable. However, as the information on these images can very hard to decipher, particularly if you are not a music reader, the second part is to improve access by providing transcriptions of texts and musical notation, as well as midi files so the tunes can be heard. The VWML would like to thank our volunteers, The Village Music Project, and Folkopedia, for supplying transcriptions.

Full English has a very user friendly 'search' facility which will give positive finds to virtually every major name in English traditional dance and song. It continues to expand at an impressive rate and has an increasing number of volunteer transcribers working on a wide range of song and dance manuscripts.
It is freely available to everyone.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 09:13 AM

Manuscripts are for the already committed Vic - hardly what is needed in the present circumstances
I know from long experience that the VWML has a small but good sound collection and is in a position to expand that considerably with a little interest and effort
THe pathetic offerings are a waste of space and, as far as the songwriters - a damaging one
That is not what English folk song is about (I hope)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 10:28 AM

Manuscripts are for the already committed Vic
Surely this is an opinion rather than a factual statement? I would reckon that manuscripts and sound recordings each have their own validity according to the nature of the enquiry.
Just been searching the 'Full English' EFDSS site, all I could find was the Youth Choir, Mike Norris playing a jolly tune....
Would it be possible to give the 'Full English' reference number to these two categories as I cannot find them by completing a 'Full English' search.
and a number of dire snigger snogwriters
It would appear that 'Full English' considers song-makers as part of its ambit. For example, if you were to try to search for a snigger called Ewam MacColl, you would find there are 101 references to him as an important author and collector..... and as a snogwriter.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 11:23 AM

It's one of those sites where your only real way in is via a search box - no thesaurus structure you can browse.

I tried as a test to see if they had any media recording bhangra. The search got me to a report of a schools project in Croydon that EFDSS took part in, but there are no sound files or videos of the material they mention. I then tried to find what they had of Mary Neal (there must be film, surely?) but got a stack of library records with no content accessible outside the C#H building. Tobar an Dualchais does a lot better.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 11:35 AM

"Surely this is an opinion rather than a factual statement? "
Based on the present state of things, it seems common sense to me

"It would appear that 'Full English' considers song-makers as part of its ambit."
Couldn't argue with that if what they chose to represent folk music in any way resembled it
Ewan chose to create using traditional forms - he wasn't a singer-songwriter (in the way that term is now used) - he was a singer of traditional songs who used the songs he sand to crate new ones
I can in no way see how the EFDSS choice comes anywhere near that with the breathy 'little girl' voices and pseudo Mid-Atlantic accents that have taken over many of our folk clubs
Whether you like them or not (immaterial) they no way meet what EFDSS should be about
I know The Library has a reasonable collection of source singers and could lay their hands on may more with very little effort
Malcolm and I worked our way through The Hamer Collection to produce a Library cassette (now unavailable) and only had room for a few of them
As far as song-making is concerned, if they can't gain permission to use some of the good songmakers creating in traditional styles, they may as well leap onto their camels and ride off into the desert
Peggy had no problems at all when she produced her 20 volumes of New City Songster
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 12:15 PM

Tobar an Dualchais does a lot better.
You are not comparing like with like, Jack. Tobar an Dualchais is an incomparable site for sound recordings Full English concerns itself with manuscript sources - field notebooks, diaries, photographs etc.
Neither has completed anything more than a small percentage of the task that they have set themselves. The London database is only few years old, the Edinburgh one is a much older and the material has been accumulating ever since the School of Scottish Studies was founded in the 1940s. An answer to my recent enquiry about the Goldstein/Cameron & Jane Turriff recordings told me that the SoSS have copies of Kenny Goldstein tapes which are not yet available on TaD and they are not likely to be. The originals are lodged with the University of Mississippi and are actually on-line, but only accessible to those who have the pass and that seems to be restricted to members of U of M Staff! I recently contacted U of M asking for permission to listen to the Turriff tapes to compare with recordings I made of them myself of them in 1971 and was given permission to listen to them only! They are just lovely - but where as Edinburgh would give free permission to listen to these but Mississippi - citing ownership and copyright issue would not - so you can see the dilemma.
Another difference is funding, As an academic institution SoSS can maintain their tapes and recordings even though cuts have meant that the digitisation and transcriptions are now progressing much more slowly. The EFDSS finds planning much more difficult because although UK government and Lottery funding did make 2 or 3 quite generous fundings, the annual funding application makes things like employing staff a much more hazardous thing. Progress with 'Full English' therefore is much less predictable. This makes their claim which I quotes above that 'Full English' is "the world’s largest online collection of English folk manuscripts." all the more admirable.
Tobar an Dualchais includes a small number of recordings by Peter Cook and by Ailie Munro of my singing.... just saying!


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 12:32 PM

For those wishing to access recordings of source singers there are already numerous excellent recordings out there produced by many commercial companies such as Topic (Voice of the People for example) Fellside, Veteran, Musical traditions. To then place these on the internet for free would put these excellent companies out of business. Is that what you want? There are also freely available many recordings of traditional singers freely available on the BL Sound Archive website.


I'm not too keen myself but is putting on a Mid-Atlantic accent any different to a Salford lad putting on a Scottish accent?


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 12:35 PM

On one hand, there are people who want to rule the world and define what "folk music" is for everyone.
On the other hand, you have people who want to rule the world by letting those other guys set the agenda.
So what drives them are the folks attempting to rule the world.
Then there's that third parasitic twin's hand, where all threads default to McColl.
I don't know where the other hand is.

Why on earth does what other people think drive your happy car?
Do whatever the fuck you want to do. Enjoy whatever the fuck you enjoy. When you start bending yourself into forms that will please other people, you're not really worth anyone's attention.

Have fun!


And I know full well that the actual "fun" people are having around here is fighting with a usual set of opponents about subjects that will never be resolved. Because people gotta sound their barbaric "YAWP", and it doesn't count unless there's an audience.
Hello, internet. The purpose of the fight is to fight.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 12:50 PM

I can in no way see how the EFDSS choice comes anywhere near that with the breathy 'little girl' voices and pseudo Mid-Atlantic accents that have taken over many of our folk clubs.
I am not sure what the EFDSS can do about the way songs are sung in folk clubs not that I do not hear much in the way of "breathy 'little girl' voices and pseudo Mid-Atlantic accents" on my frequent visits to them.

Whether you like them or not (immaterial) they no way meet what EFDSS should be about.
As a fully paid up long-term member of EFDSS, I vote in their committee elections to chose those who I think are likely to further the health of traditional song, music and dance in England. On a number of occasions when I have disagreed with EFDSS policies, I have written to the EFDSS to complain. I have always had replies, normally from the CEO to address the issues. I am not sure that this has made any major changes but I am registering my views which is all an individual member can do. I take it that the person who is so unhappy with EFDSS is a member and is trying to effect change from the inside. I am not sure that complaints on Mudcat will reach the ears of EFDSS council members who are the ones who formulate the policies.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:07 PM

I was a member of EFDSS from c65 to 70 and then dropped out as did many others as it had become a largely London-based dance club. Then in the late 70s along came a whole movement largely from the folk scene to make EFDSS more representative of song and music and the nation as a whole. I rejoined. I now am firm friends with the main backroom personnel at EFDSS who work extremely hard for no monetary gain, people like David Atkinson, Steve Roud, Laura Smyth, Bob Askew, Derek Schofield, Martina and Shan Graebe and lots of people from the folk scene, some on here, who regularly work with EFDSS on projects.
Whilst everyone is entitled to an opinion I personally wouldn't put much store in the opinion of someone who rarely goes there and can't even be bothered to check out the marvellous work being done online.

And quite frankly if someone is singing folksongs and attracting audiences I don't give a chuff how they are singing them. I can pick and choose the ones I like and ignore those I don't as everyone can.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:15 PM

And the handy thing about folk clubs, Steve, is that they are often in a pub. Once you get to know who you like and who you don't, you can time your bar visits to perfection :-)


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:17 PM

BTW regarding female singers, the breathies are very much in a minority. There really are many excellent young female singers out there, Eliza Carthy, Bryony Griffiths, Alice Jones, Laura Smyth, and lots of unsung local ones in my own immediate area of Yorkshire.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:21 PM

Spent years working for EFDSS, salvaging vinyl BBC recordings from total be putting them onto tape, haping editing rapes which have now been deleted from the catalogue, helping to get The Carpenter Collection into The house.... and numerous other things

Personally, I wouldn't put much credence on somebody irresponsible end unaware enough to think the stuff occupying space on the EFDSS website has anything to do with folksong
No wonder the scene is in such a mess
We're not talking about picking or rejecting what we like or don't like - were's talking about the stuff THE ENGLISH FOLK DANCE AND SONG SOCIETY IS PEDDLING AS FOLK SONG   
For a time I thought you were disagreeing with what I said about the scene, but you're doing a superb job of proving my point - an early Christmas Present, perhaps?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:22 PM

"BTW regarding female singers, the breathies are very much in a minority."
BTW - I was refering to EFDSS's top ten for Christmas
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:29 PM

EFDSS's top ten for Christmas


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:30 PM

Try again

EFDSS's top ten for Christmas? I'm intrigued! How do I find out what they are?


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: RTim
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:32 PM

Jim Carroll - you really are an Unpleasant man......Despite all the good work you have done in the past - your present persona is not for me.

I know I will be called names for this post - everyone who argues against you gets called names...but really Jim - let other people have opinions!!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 01:48 PM

"Jim Carroll - you really are an Unpleasant man."
No I am not Tim - I have insulted no-one here other than the could of people who have insulted me - please go and check
It's not a mater of having opinions, it's what we expect from those who hold responsible positions in preserving the music some of us have worked hard and long to preserve and make available
People are entitled to like what they like (we all do that)
They are not entitled to pass something of as what it is most certainly not - or maybe you are one of those who think it is?
I have done my best to be polite here - happy to apologise for when I have not been
Jim


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 02:13 PM

>>>>it's what we expect from those who hold responsible positions in preserving the music some of us have worked hard and long to preserve and make available<<<
Are you talking about performers or those preserving recordings and manuscripts? Somewhat confusing. If you are talking about preserving, all of the institutions aforementioned are doing a marvellous job and need all the encouragement we can give. Just because they declined to take on your collection that doesn't mean they are not doing a good job.

>>>>They are not entitled to pass something of as what it is most certainly not<<<< In many cases this is a matter of opinion. For instance are Gezz Lowe's, Brian Peters', Graham Miles, Vin Garbutt et al, songs any different in form or quality from Ewan's? OPINION.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 02:30 PM

"Are you talking about performers or those preserving recordings and manuscripts?"
EFDSS of course - Performers do what they do and that's the way is should be
Iv'e already said how I heel about giving teh manuscripts priority

"Gezz Lowe's, Brian Peters', Graham Miles, Vin Garbutt et al, songs any different in form or quality from Ewan's?"
Quality is a matter of opinion; the form is so different
I've also given my view on the necessity of making songs - but those you mentioned are nt those chosen to put on their site
I wouldn't give any of them - Ewan's included, priority if it was a case of space
A very fine former editor is also one of Britain;s leading collectors - how about putting some of his stuff up to show people what folk song is
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 02:37 PM

>>>>former editor<<<<
You need to be more explicit, Jim. There are many fine collectors with connections to EFDSS. Editor of what, the Journal, the magazine, the website, books of songs?


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 02:44 PM

"Do purists really exist?" Potentially, this could have been useful and interesting topic but once again a promising thread has been hi-jacked and repetitive combativeness has prevailed.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 02:50 PM

OP
'OK, there's the odd Luddite (they exist in all walks of life, not just music), but isn't "purist" the wrong term?'

Neanderthal? (I was once a Neanderthal myself in the 60s before I evolved.)


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 03:08 PM

THen why didn't you participate Vic and why didn't others ?
He also serves who only stands and waits, eh ?
I find the accusation of hi-jacking highly insulting and a bit rich from someone who spends a deal of time complaining about insulting
I have neither insulted people here, nor have I or anybody "hijacked " this thread though I doubt if you will retract that accusation

"You need to be more explicit, Jim. "
I'm referring to Mike Yates
Other friends of EFDSS have equally important collections - Roy Palmer and Bob Thomson spring to mind

When we ran Singers Workshop and realised the need for an archive, I wrote a dozen appeals for material - in next to no time parcels ro tapes arrived from these people and others, Bob and Jacqueline Patten gave us almost their entire collection
From Ireland we got lumps of Hugh Shields' and Tom Munnely's collection and one old musician gave us around 60 tapes of songs and music he had made around the time the tape recorder first came available
Macoll and Seeger let me loose i their home for weeks and set up two tape recorders so we could cope what he had
I stayed with Charlie Parker a couple of times and he gave us loads of his work, including the actuality for the radio Ballads

All this stuff has always been available for the asking - if only there had been the will and initiative to gather it
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 03:22 PM

I don't feel I've have been combative. Maybe I have, but not intentionally so.

I think things change. The big change for me has been the availability of cheap instrumens. When I was a kid, a months wages wouldn't have paid for a decent playable guitar. Now you can get a decent playable guitar for twenty quid on gumtree.

Plus there are cheaper banjos, penny whistles, mouth organs, bodhrans and fiddles.

Also there is more tuition around. The Seegers, Josh White looked like magicians. Their techniques and abilities seemed other worldly.

And I suppose that accounts for some of the differences. We are not perhaps in as much reverence as we should be for the visionary pioneers of the folk music revival. Their beautiful instruments and abikities are more familiar to us.

I wouldn't like anyone to think I was not respectful of another person's efforts to pass on something good to the world.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 03:24 PM

But you have gathered it, Jim, and some of us at least are extremely grateful. I have just been looking at the Roud Index on the VWML website looking for versions of a rare song and 2 of the 5 known versions come from your recordings which I will be referencing clearly and thankfully in our next book of songs.

Okay, let's make a start here and now. Here's my invitation as you won't take up Dave's. As a start, a brief itemisation/list of what you have that is not already available online, that is in any way related to folk music, MacColl, Palmer, Thompson, Shields, Munnely, your own, perhaps including a list of names who you have recorded and any material that is not commercially available or online. (Posted here if you like)

As an interested individual I can't promise anything but to make noises in the right places. In return can I please ask that you stop slagging off current research and the British folk scene. It serves no purpose at all. I'm not suggesting here we should stop debating issues, but to do it without flinging insults, and here I acknowledge I've flung as much mud as you have, which I regret.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 03:46 PM

Regarding other collections and placing them somewhere like Cecil Sharp House: Space is at a premium and taking on a collection involves all sorts of issues that need money and manpower to restore, catalogue, place online, then there are ownership/copyright issues. I know they have recently taken in at least 4 major collections which need processing and all of this takes a long time. Much of Mike's material is commercially available as is that of others like yourselves.

Here is an example of what happens when a major collector dies. During their lifetimes they make offers to various institutions, local universities etc. which for various reasons turn them down. Eventually one of these universities takes the recordings, but doesn't have the wherewithal to place them online. However, there are all sorts of other folklore artefacts, photos, diaries, book collection, and even where the heir has the generosity to invite other collectors to come in and take material some of the books at least end up being auctioned and dispersed. That's not the end of the world as only a few are rare books. Someone with very limited space and resources comes along (me) and says I'll take this and I'll take that, but what happens to it when I pop my clogs. I'm just grateful that my own recordings were taken on by the BL and my local archives have gone into the local history centre. My broadside copies are probably second to none in the country and I'm hoping EFDSS will take these when I'm ready to hang up my pen.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 03:32 AM

Wonderful what sometimes comes up in threads, my unexpected Christmas bonus this year has got to be my introduction to the group "Yorkshire Garland" - thank you Steve Gardham, and compliments of the season to all.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 04:31 AM

Steve
Having more or less despaired of finding a home in the UK for our considerable library of books, recordings, albums, magazines, et al, we have bequeathed it to Limerick University World Music Centre where it has been greeted with warmth and gratitude and will remain as a separate library (the suggestion was under our name - hopefully not)
Our recordings are all digitised and listed - some are transcribed and others need annotation
I am in the process of sorting the large and somewhat ungainly Singers Workshop section into usable groups (I'm working on the BBC collection now)
There are around 200 radio programmes and as many lectures we and others have recorded down the years
Most of the MacColl/Critics Group meetings, seminars, interviews and documentation are gathered together to be sorted and properly indexed
This is for Limerick but I have arranged to pass on a large amout to Joe Offor, to be used as he sees fit
I was hoping this would be taken up by a responsible traditionally based club, but, following arguments like these, I'm not so sure now
Most of our commercial albums are digitised with notes for our own personal use

Some of this is already distributed here - , The Irish Traditional Music Archive has a copy of most, as has The Irish Folklore Department and Na Píobrí Uilleann and, whenever somebody has asked for material, they have been given whatever they can use.... hardly anything in the U.K., despite efforts
Some of what we have we have to think about as, though we have been given it freely we're not sure we should have it - we discuss this with everyone who wants it.

Thirty odd years ago we gave what we had then of our own recordings to the then British Institute of Recorded Sound, which later became The National Sound Archive and is now housed in The British Library
The deposit of the collection helped shift BIRS's attention from international musicology to expanding it to taking in British material
Ironically, the drive to expand their interests has meant that our and I think, other early collections have lain in a cupboard somewhere in The British Library and have never seen the light of day (I can't imagine that Walter, Mikeen, Mary Delaney, Tom Lenihan, et al are afraid of the dark, but it seems an awful shame !!)   

The collection we have helped put together represents not only a large slice of the recorded British Tradition but also The Rise and near Fall of the Folk Revival in Britain
Our efforts to find it a home have made me somewhat dubious of the future of folk song (in England at least - Scotland seems to have a far greater pride in its oral traditions)
As things stand with the EFDSS at present, I wouldn't dream of offering it to them, even if they wanted it
Good luck with your Broadsides - they have been turning down offers of such collections at least since Leslie Shepherd's collection was refused - they apparently haven't enough cupboards to lock them away in !

Personally, I believe the future of folk song in Britain to lie in the possibility of devotees of traditional music, song and arts getting together and forming some sort of Federation to draw back the many no longer involved because of the way things have gone, and to draw in desperately needed young people
Ireland has had tremendous succes in this and it has turned the fortunes of a once-declining music completely around
The internet makes that a possibility, but the will needs to be there - on of the reasons I involve myself in these often extremely depressing arguments

You say our collection has a couple of rare songs - actually it contains quite a few, including totally unique ones.
Ireland has proved itself a strong song-making country which made songs whenever the inspiration arose - most were never published but some survived in either the local oral traditions, in the memories of old singers or in family notebooks - may hundreds of them - we got several, others got more throughout the country
I'm working on the Child Ballads turned up in Ireland now and am constantly staggered at what made it here

As for ending these arguments - forget it
I believe that something is radically wrong with the traditional music scene in Britain and brushing it under the carpet isn't going to help
You know my feelings on the Revisionism that is taking place in folk song research which, I believe, is ripping the heart out of our understanding of our traditional Heritage
Instead of flying off in new tangents, we need to take stock of what we think we know and what those who were in a far better situation to judge, thought they knew, and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I have fond memories of great educational and inspiring gatherings conferences in Sheffield, Leeds, Salford, Aberdeen, Leominster..... perhaps it's time for another
I doubt if EFDSS has either the interest or the reputation to take some sort of lead and I now have strong doubts about The Traditional Song Forum -
It's a bit unfair to land the responsibility on groups like The Glasgow Ballad people who, I believe are doing an excellent job already, but I certainly think their work need to be more widely appreciated.
I just don't know if there is the interest anymore, which is why I'm more than prepared to continue making myself a pain in the arse
Jim


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 06:21 AM

Don't see why you need to be your self-confessed 'pain in the arse' Jim. You have strong views about the music, and although I have never drawn on your archive & nor do I intend to, but I'm sure that all contributors here are grateful for its existence. I'm sure they'd also be grateful if you could try absorb what is said before replying?

Other archives are available, and I feature myself on some of them- why do I think of the Marx brothers here? I've had great times in folk clubs, festivals over the past 50 years, although the enjoyment is now wearing thin, it's been a valuable movement, but the wealth of recorded stuff is now huge, it's still down to personal taste.

I've run singarounds which have been cursed with 'dreich' traditional songs which please no one and a surfeit of these led on one occasion to its demise- a decision of a pub landlord. The value of traditional material is not in question here, but it's a matter of taste and sensitivity to context!


I remember the phrase 'pandering to your audience' being used by folkies but what does it mean? I arranged a nationally known UK singer of much experience to do a spot on a vilaage GAA concert in Ireland last year- she sang a 14 verse Scottish ballad which was totally irrelevant & almost killed the whole night.

It would be ridiculous to produce such stuff to a group of non-folkies anywhere, context is everything- you have to trust peoples' judgment in the 'folk' club context- they'll get it wrong sometimes (I certainly have) but this is not a crusade!

I don't like the 'Wild Rover' much but if asked, I would sing it, because after that, the 'folk' (and that's what they are !!!!) will be much more willing to accept what you give them. I have NO hesitation about singing 50s pop songs in the right context- it's often the right thing to do (yes that's occasionally a folk club,) but then I'm not a purist, am sure you'll agree about that?


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 06:22 AM

sorry that was me


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 07:01 AM

I do take in what's said Jim and I try to respond thoughtfully
Cant' think for the life of me why a Scottish ballad should be any mor irrelevant than a long rejected Victorian tear-jerker, or a 1920s sentmental song, or a faded 50s number... or many of the songs I'v heard sung at folk clubs
But there again, I've know Shakespeare plays to be described as "irrelevant" as well
What happened to 'every one to their own taste' I wonder ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 09:21 AM

Incidentally Jim
"I don't like the 'Wild Rover'"
I wonder if you've heard Pat Usher's (Mary Anne Carolan's Brother) version ?
Breathtakingly beautiful and far superior to the hackneyed 'sung to death' one that's bean beaten into the ground by the folkies
Amazing what you find if you turn over a few stones (which you won't do if you insist on refusing to avail yourself of collections you haven't heard)
Our own Brian Peters wrote an excellent article on this much maligned and abused song
The dogmatism that has bedeviled such research has done much to reduce the importance of our clubs as the carriers of The People's culture they could be - if only... !
Jim


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 09:58 AM

I don't think anybody's been dogmatic about research like Brian's. If you have something to say and take the trouble to back it up, you're kicking at an open door.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 10:04 AM

"you're kicking at an open door."
Not with some people it appears
I only mentioned Brian's article as a recommendation - my reference to dogmatism referred to the attitude of using archives
Jim


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 10:26 AM

So, who are the dogmatists you're referring to and what have they done?

Names and specific actions, please.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 11:27 AM

Sorry Jack, if you can't work out that people involved in traditional music and song declare they haven't and don't intend to make the use of an archive of Traditional songs and music doesn't add up to dogmatism, I really can't help you
I was going to leave it there so please don't labour it
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 11:50 AM

You meant your stuff, not the EFDSS?

Is it actually usable? e.g. if Brian Peters had asked for all versions you had of The Wild Rover in any format, could you have provided them?


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 12:00 PM

Yes - our archive
I sent Brian the above mentioned version of Wild Rover for his article - he included it - anybody is welcome to it should they want it
Other than that, we only have the standard versions recorded by the BEEB
Jim


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 12:53 PM

Sorry Jack - didn't fully reply fully
Only our Clare recordings are on line - Google Carroll Mackenzie collection at Clare County Library
Most of the rest is listed and anybody interested will be sent an index on request
If there is enough interest, I may ask Joe offer to keep a copper (if he's willing and able) for full time use
Anybody wishing to get recordings will be put on my PCloud list
Jim


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 01:51 PM

Oh, well, we offered.....Have a good Christmas, all.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 01:56 PM

Jim, as you can appreciate there is already an enormous wealth of all sorts of material online, and for one reason or another yesterday was the first time I had a look at your Clare Co. Library material. Many thanks for this resource which is very helpful and some great material, even the parlour songs and Music hall songs amongst the ballads.

If you ever want a heads up on who wrote some of them and when, to complete the info, just let me know.

Have a good Christmas
All the best
Steve


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 02:52 PM

"Oh, well, we offered.."
So did I
All the best to you too
There aren't too many Music Hall songs on the site, I can't recall many parlour songs either
As with the Traveller's Country and Western, they decided they weren't the really old songs and refused to sing them
They had less problems distinguishing fish from fown that the revival do apparently
Jim


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 06:46 PM

Here's an interesting irony: I have a friend who has spent some time with current hunting clubs recording their songs which are still being written in the age-old way regarding local events, and by far the most influential genre for tune source is no longer folksong, but Irish Country music. Personally I don't see that as a problem, or even unusual, it's simply evolution.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Dec 18 - 03:56 AM

Evolution of the revival, but it has nothing whatever to do with the tradition
We have a massive repertoire of songs and ballads which, in my opinion, need to be brought to the attention of as many people possible before they end up as museum pieces
They are not only extremely pleasurable to sing and listen to, but they are important carriers of our social history
If people had been happy to stand aside to make room for the latest fad we would have no Shakespeare or Chaucer or Beethoven...
Creative culture is a continuum, not a leap from fashion to fashion - it's part of our long-term human identity
If songs from the 17th - 18th 19th century could give mid 20th century young people so much pleasure, why can't they continue to do so in the 21st century?
I have to say I find complacent such as this from a researcher somewhat surprising and disappointing
I really think we have totally different objectives here
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Dec 18 - 04:23 AM

Jim could you explain why you think it has nothing to do with the traditi0n


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 22 Dec 18 - 05:24 AM

Jim Carroll Date: 22 Dec 18 - 03:56 AM

Well said, put perfectly.


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Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 22 Dec 18 - 05:54 AM

Jim, if you accept that the songs & culture of previous centuries still gives pleasure today, then surely more recent culture, including music hall songs, rock music etc can do the same to us and future generations? Again, it's down to taste & sensitivity to context!
Re the 14 verse ballad I mentioned. Picture a hall full of rural folk out for a good night's entertainment on an annual village concert, with accordion, flute players & a ghastly electronic organ playing country & irish & people walking in & out, drinking tea & chatting to friends. An ancient ballad in a dialect far outside their experience is a LOT less relevant than almost anything I can think of!
Re the 'Wild Rover', you're being perverse there- you know quite well what version I meant! You just TRY to sing a lovely but different old version to a crowd such as I mentioned & you would not be able to complete the song, and would be deservedly perceived as some kind of an eejit!
I'm well aware of Brian Peters' excellent article about the song- Johnny Handle sent me a copy some time back. Louis Killen has also explained his role in its popularisation but wouldn't accept the blame- his version was good enough in its day, it's what has happened since which makes it the joke it is today!
Sad maybe but the real world.
It's folk, Jim, but not as we know it.....


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