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Folklore: A Living Tradition?

Les in Chorlton 10 Dec 11 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,jumper 10 Dec 11 - 04:18 AM
Richard Bridge 10 Dec 11 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 10 Dec 11 - 07:08 AM
Howard Jones 10 Dec 11 - 07:32 AM
glueman 10 Dec 11 - 08:51 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Dec 11 - 11:04 AM
Arkie 10 Dec 11 - 11:08 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Dec 11 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Folknacious 10 Dec 11 - 01:22 PM
Phil Edwards 10 Dec 11 - 01:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 Dec 11 - 02:31 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Dec 11 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Dec 11 - 08:51 PM
Les in Chorlton 11 Dec 11 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 11 Dec 11 - 06:08 AM
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Subject: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 03:59 AM

Here

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: GUEST,jumper
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 04:18 AM

Not my Tradition. Not My life.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 06:50 AM

Of course folklore is a living tradition - but what's that got to do with that track?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 07:08 AM

Unless folklore is EVERYTHING then it's NOTHING. Either it is, or it ain't - it's as simple as that. Folklore is what people do - not just a load of selectively recreated so-called Traditions indulged in & proscribed by earnest folky romantics however so appealing they might be by way of fiddle-faddle stuff. The Folklore of the UK is vast, complex and compelling - it's the Rites, Riots & Rituals of everyday humanity & the struggles thereof - most of which (I guess) would be of little appeal to Folkies (& Mudcatters especially) but of immense significance to Folklorists. In the Real World, all is Tradition and all is Living Lore - I'd even argue that a bunch of kids break-dancing outside the Arndale Centre is a more genuine sort of Folklore than a bunch of blokes morris dancing on the village green...

I like the look of the video, Les - but I've got no sound on the laptop this morning (for whatever reason!) but I'll be sure to check it out later...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 07:32 AM

Folklore is what communities do. In the past this was fairly straightforward: people were less mobile, so communities were defined by space, and most people within the community worked, lived and played together. In those environments they all shared experiences and shared their traditions.

Modern society is more complex, where we all live in a number of communities defined more by shared interests and activities. We will have one community where we live, another where we work, others defined by social activities and hobbies, and now on-line communities. All of these are capable of developing their own traditions and folklore which are unlikely to overlap with each other.

I don't disagree with Suibhne that breakdancing is just as much folklore as morris dancing, but I do take issue that it's more genuine. They're both equal; they just take place within different groups. Both may or may not attract passers-by, but neither are of much significance outside those groups. That does not diminish their importance to those within those groups.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: glueman
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 08:51 AM

Morris Dancing: folklore for ale drinkers
Richard Dawkins' reductive materialism: folklore for boffins
1954: folklore for fundamentalists
The Conservative Party: folklore for hypertension sufferers


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 11:04 AM

On some level you either enjoy it or you don't. That's all really, but I think the words are dramatic and certainly make as much sense as Hall-on-tow, the dancing in the dark urban setting have some weird connection with fire festivals ............... ?


L in C#


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Arkie
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 11:08 AM

My understanding of tradition is that it involves something passed from one generation to another. Not necessarily something passed from one individual to another. One could question whether something passed only between two generations becomes a tradition, suppose. In that case it would not be much of a tradition, however. Does this video represent something that has passed between generations?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 12:07 PM

Good Childrens playground songs and games are still passed on in some places. I guess the generations are only separated by a few years but they are passed on from individuals and small groups to other individuals and small groups - a genuine lving tradition.

The makers of the video are friends of my son. What are they drawing on? I guess their collective experience of music, drama, dance.

The Blues musicians of Chicago were/are drawing on the tradition a rural country blues of The Delta. Young men and women have been drawing on those traditions since the 60's to create music of their own.

Uk Folk Rock in various forms has drawn on Old songs and tunes to root their music in a more local tradition. The video seems to me to relate to that old English tradition. Of course I don't know if the makers are aware of that. I suspect not.

Makes you think? maybe not

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 01:22 PM

So what's different in principle between this and the Black & White Minstrel Show, and the reason the latter's considered unacceptable nowadays?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 01:22 PM

I like a bit of face-paint and feathers as much as the next man, but I think they're taking the whole Border thing a bit too far - and he's definitely wearing that baldrick all wrong.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 02:31 PM

I think the first part of your question is interesting. I think the second part has been well explored here and I doubt if anything new will be said.

As for Mr Radish, see you with feathers, Wednesday at The Beech?
L in C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 08:14 PM

I do wish that Sweeney would say something rational - even just once would be nice.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 08:51 PM

... reminds me why i stopped going to Glastonbury Festival 30 years ago...


..irritating wanky trustafarian circus skills performance arts show offs..


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 05:23 AM

Yes .................. what ever you mean .......... Mummers Plays aint yer sick of 'em.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Folklore: A Living Tradition?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 06:08 AM

Take your time there, Richard - no one's hurrying you. Meanwhile you might like to check out Bob Trubshaw's Explore Folklore (Heart of Albion, 2002) (though skip the chapter on Folk Music where, as I recall, his exemplary thesis falls apart in a consideration of Revival Idioms rather than everyday traditional folkloric musical experience which should include Karoake, Tribute Bands, Steel Bands, Brass Bands, WMC singers, the George Formby Society, Heavy Metal, Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, and even X-Factor style competitions... Folk Clubs would get in too of course, but not in the ways Folkies might think!) or Bob Pegg's Rites and Riots (Blandford 1981). That said, I'm still a sucker for the more Mudcat Friendly Museum of Folklore approach to such things - in Lancaster Oxfam yesterday I picked a copy of Charles Knightly's The Customs and Ceremonies of Britain (An Encyclopedia of Living Traditions) (Thames and Hudson,1986). When it comes to dressing up, the human capacity for ritual, ceremony & misrule is as innate, instinctive and communal as our capacity for language, and, indeed, music.

Listened to the video, Les - that whole Tradition has be beguiled anyway, though it does make me feel rather old. I'm surprised no one's mentioned The Village People yet though - those arch Mummers of the Disco Tradition whose moves have been absorbed by a myriad communities and passed on generation to generation. Altogether now in one glorious refrain (with actions): Y M C A...

Don't confuse Folklore with Folkstyle. Folklore is what people do as a matter of course in their every day lives, communities & routines both collective and individual, both mundane (domestic / workplace) and special (on holiday / nights out ) and in between (Xmas / Funerals / Weddings). Folkstyle, on the other hand, is part of the religiosity of Revivalist Folkies and is, as such, only relevant to maybe 1% (at best) of the (mostly white, middle class) population of the UK (and former colonies thereof), and even then it remains perfectly flexible, hence all these What is Folk? threads which invariable revolve around the 1954 Definition and Richard Bridge telling us how legally binding it still is. Again, and with respect of the current thread, let's remind ourselves of the aims of the International Council for Traditional Music (formerly the International Folk Music Council which gave us the 1954 Def. in the first place): The aims of the ICTM are to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries.

Amem. Amen. Amen. Amen.


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