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the english and irish traditions

The Sandman 18 Mar 12 - 05:47 AM
Will Fly 18 Mar 12 - 05:53 AM
The Sandman 18 Mar 12 - 06:12 AM
Will Fly 18 Mar 12 - 06:21 AM
Paul Burke 18 Mar 12 - 06:29 AM
stallion 18 Mar 12 - 06:35 AM
TheSnail 18 Mar 12 - 06:43 AM
The Sandman 18 Mar 12 - 06:58 AM
paul vaughan 18 Mar 12 - 07:01 AM
TheSnail 18 Mar 12 - 07:10 AM
Dave Hanson 18 Mar 12 - 07:18 AM
Paul Burke 18 Mar 12 - 07:21 AM
doc.tom 18 Mar 12 - 07:22 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Mar 12 - 07:29 AM
The Sandman 18 Mar 12 - 07:50 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Mar 12 - 08:32 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Mar 12 - 08:34 AM
Jack Campin 18 Mar 12 - 08:35 AM
The Sandman 18 Mar 12 - 08:37 AM
The Sandman 18 Mar 12 - 08:44 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Mar 12 - 08:51 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Mar 12 - 09:04 AM
Noreen 18 Mar 12 - 09:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Mar 12 - 09:26 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Mar 12 - 09:53 AM
Jon Corelis 18 Mar 12 - 10:05 AM
Lighter 18 Mar 12 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Logician 18 Mar 12 - 12:20 PM
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Will Fly 18 Mar 12 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Logician 18 Mar 12 - 12:38 PM
Paul Burke 18 Mar 12 - 01:03 PM
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The Sandman 19 Mar 12 - 08:37 AM
The Sandman 19 Mar 12 - 08:41 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Mar 12 - 08:55 AM
The Sandman 19 Mar 12 - 09:20 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 12 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 20 Mar 12 - 03:10 AM
Jack Campin 20 Mar 12 - 06:35 AM
John P 20 Mar 12 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,PhilB 20 Mar 12 - 10:47 AM
Jack Campin 20 Mar 12 - 11:11 AM
The Sandman 20 Mar 12 - 12:20 PM
MGM·Lion 20 Mar 12 - 01:53 PM
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The Sandman 20 Mar 12 - 02:33 PM
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John P 20 Mar 12 - 02:56 PM
johncharles 20 Mar 12 - 03:52 PM
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stallion 20 Mar 12 - 05:14 PM
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The Sandman 20 Mar 12 - 06:26 PM
Stringsinger 20 Mar 12 - 06:26 PM
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Steve Shaw 20 Mar 12 - 07:00 PM
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michaelr 20 Mar 12 - 07:36 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Mar 12 - 07:48 PM
Howard Jones 21 Mar 12 - 04:48 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Mar 12 - 05:45 AM
Brian Peters 21 Mar 12 - 06:08 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Mar 12 - 06:43 AM
Jack Campin 21 Mar 12 - 06:47 AM
The Sandman 21 Mar 12 - 07:27 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Mar 12 - 08:32 AM
Rob Naylor 21 Mar 12 - 09:21 AM
The Sandman 21 Mar 12 - 09:45 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Mar 12 - 09:52 AM
The Sandman 21 Mar 12 - 10:55 AM
Morris-ey 21 Mar 12 - 12:38 PM
The Sandman 21 Mar 12 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,kenny 21 Mar 12 - 03:27 PM
The Sandman 21 Mar 12 - 04:12 PM
GUEST 21 Mar 12 - 04:28 PM
Jon Corelis 21 Mar 12 - 06:37 PM
The Sandman 21 Mar 12 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,martin ellison 21 Mar 12 - 07:47 PM
The Sandman 21 Mar 12 - 08:03 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Mar 12 - 09:15 PM
The Sandman 22 Mar 12 - 05:00 AM
johncharles 22 Mar 12 - 06:37 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Mar 12 - 06:56 AM
The Sandman 22 Mar 12 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,martin ellison 22 Mar 12 - 09:57 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Mar 12 - 10:19 AM
Acme 22 Mar 12 - 10:40 AM
Jack Campin 22 Mar 12 - 10:41 AM
The Sandman 22 Mar 12 - 11:14 AM
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johncharles 22 Mar 12 - 11:32 AM
The Sandman 22 Mar 12 - 11:35 AM
Jack Campin 22 Mar 12 - 11:48 AM
The Sandman 22 Mar 12 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,fleadh recorder 22 Mar 12 - 01:51 PM
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johncharles 22 Mar 12 - 02:13 PM
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The Sandman 22 Mar 12 - 03:09 PM
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GUEST,kenny 23 Mar 12 - 06:13 AM
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GUEST,fleadh recorder 23 Mar 12 - 02:36 PM
Jack Campin 23 Mar 12 - 03:00 PM
The Sandman 23 Mar 12 - 03:33 PM
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Jim Carroll 24 Mar 12 - 12:53 PM
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Jim Carroll 24 Mar 12 - 04:27 PM
The Sandman 24 Mar 12 - 06:11 PM
Steve Shaw 24 Mar 12 - 07:32 PM
ollaimh 25 Mar 12 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,fleadh recorder 25 Mar 12 - 12:31 PM
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Subject: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 05:47 AM

"The big difference between English and Irish music is that the English tradition is a broken one. It was lost and then made up. It's sad. It's quite possible that English music could well have been as good as Irish music, and I'm certain that English music heavily influenced Irish music in a positive way. But it was lost and that's that. And I'd rather you cried about it than tried to revive it with hopelessly shallow middle class earnestness"
I cant find any sense in this statement can anyone else?, it makes an assumption that everyone who is interested in the English tradition is middle class, it assumes that English folk song and music cant be made up, it assumes or kind of implies that irish songs and tunes are not made up, or havent been in the past., ALL OF WHICH IS NOT CORRECT.      Paddy Fahey and JuniorCrehan, are examples of irish instrumentalists who have successfully added to the tradition with their own compositions.
On the English side there are also plenty of examples of recent songs that have been mistaken by Irish singers as Traditional Irish songs, there are also examples of composers who are English who have added to the English Tradition.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 05:53 AM

Whose is the quote, Dick?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 06:12 AM

Why do you ask?
wait and see, I will be criticised if I name him and criticised if I do not.
I am more interested in what peoples opinions on the statement than saying who made the statement, in other words if i name the originator of the statement, it could prejudice peoples views on the comment , for example if I said it was Martin Carthy[which it is not] you might view it differently than if I said it was Noel Hill or Vic Smith[which it is neither]
Can we please judge the comment without knowing the authors background.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 06:21 AM

Well actually, Dick, the 'provenance' of the person making the quote is worth knowing - whether I agree or disagree with it - and, it's normal good practice to give a citation if you're quoting someone else: who, where, when - all of which gives it background. Did it come from a formal music publication, a scholarly paper, a drunken whisper over a bottle of Guinness in O'Hare's Bar, etc...

And why should you then be criticised, if it's not your own statement?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 06:29 AM

I think this discussion really belongs in The Session, which is more focussed on this sort of thing than the Cat. But Dick seems to have chararteristically turned the anonymous quote inside out. It clearly is NOT saying that all Irish music is antediluvian, and that all English music is made up. It's also NOT saying that all English musicians are middle class (though that's probably a reasonable generalisation).

The statement IS about continuity. Now I know fairly little about the social arrangements for Irish session music in, say, the 1930s, but I do know that in Manchester UK in the 70s, there was a vigorous and vibrant pub- based tradition among the exile community, many of whom were certainly working class- building trade mostly- and who got their music from musicians who were playing back in the 30s. It's notable that Des Donnelly (uncle of the now more famous Dezi) died in a demolition site accident.

At the same time, English music was represented a number of streams. Folk clubs, full of earnest theories about what music classed as "folk"- music hall was often anathematised, and some clubs banned guitars (but allowed banjos). Some of the communists were probably working class. Morris melodeonists and fiddlers, dressed in felt weskits and kneebritches and sporting remarkable arrays of badges. Some may have been car mechanics, but the ones I knew were (to stereotype) teachers. EFDSS and (worse still) Playford dancers. Obsessed with getting the steps right, dancing more to scratched records on the Dansette than to live players- and when they did exist, it was usually a tinkly piano- the description middle- class and middle- aged didn't do justice to them. It was like the Church of England dancing, and even the ones in their twenties seemed staid as my maiden aunt.

There were exceptions to this- the glorious (and continuous) Northumbrian tradition which I only knew by repute, but farmer Billy Pigg was an example of the social setup. The Coppers- but did any other Sussex families participate in this tradition?

So as for the quote making sense, it seems a perfectly good starting point for a discussion. That might, among other things, address the question of whether the saving of European civilisation by 7th century Irish missionaries was repaid partly by the harbouring of Irish musicians in England during the thirty- year Taliban period that gripped Ireland after independence.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: stallion
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 06:35 AM

HU! Dunno who first mooted it but it is a take which whilst I don't agree with it per se it has hit on something. Englishness and it's variants swallow up cultures and displace them and the Scots, Irish and Welsh have fiercely clung to their indegenous traditions and spent money time and effort to prevent it disappearing. The American/English culture variant has set about swallowing up the world and there is an argument to say that the English "revival" was a kick against the new consuming culture and ideology. In the 1950's had you said that the NHS was to be privatised, the French government would own the majority of power stations and everyone would have mobile phones you would have been tarred and feathered and laughed out of town. Rather than broken I think, as Dick has already pointed out, that it was changing beyond recognition and some people decided there was enough worth saving. Most people the world over, when they wanted to learn english would speak with an english accent now the american twang is everywhere probably due to films and television, the arts and that bloody phoney yankee accent of the british pop singers, oh is it "mid atlantic", pet hate sorry, I believe you should sing with your own accent. Rant over. These changes are bottom up and the only way to prevent it is to legislate against it which is ridiculous, the Welch for instance insist that public servants speak Welch I bet it doesn't stop them from playing for the national rugby team, speaking Welch will be way down the list of priorities! Even being born only figures marginally, a cousin once farted in Swansea whilst doing his national service "That's good enough, you're in boyo" That last rant is an unreasonable pop at the winners of the six nations and the only team to beat England, I was really sorry to see Ireland get stuffed at Twickers, they have been such a good team for such a long time the last fifteen minutes were heart rendering, now had that been Wales!!!!


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 06:43 AM

Seán Ó Riada? Terry Wogan?

Can we please judge the comment without knowing the authors background.

No. You passed your judgement when you knew. Please allow the rest of us the same privlege.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 06:58 AM

It clearly is NOT saying that all Irish music is antediluvian, and that alI English music is made up."
I have not said that he is saying that.
Snail,because I made a comment on the statement[ not the same thing as passing judgement.. passing judgement implies that i might not change my mind] that is no reason why i should obey your imperious commands who do you think you are napoleon?.
if we were in a pub together and you talked to me like that, I would tell you to fuck off,
Burke,it is not a reasonable generalisation to say english musicians are middle class, its f####stupid and irrelevant, what has class got to do with music, everybody that is creative enough to play music should be praised, regardless of class, there is also an implication in the statement that irish musicians are not middle class.
in my experience musicians come from all sorts of different back grounds, but bringing class into the statement is not relevantand is just a bit of flaming.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: paul vaughan
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:01 AM

I look at this way. Last night I was playing a St. Patricks night gig in my local pub. We played some irish songs which I sang in a fake irish accent, some country songs which were sung in fake american accents, some blues tunes sung in that dodgy gruff manner that we all know and love from decades of pub bands pretending to be "bluesmen" and a version of Dirty Old Town which I tried not to sing in an irish accent but, for some reason, ended up coming out as a sort of australian/northen hybrid!
The bar was full of people in dodgy irish hats, gallons of Guiness was sold to people who never normally touch the stuff and there was much fun,frolics and general debauchery had by all! The only thing missing was a decent punch up!
If that aint traditional, I don't know what is!!!!!

p.s. Please be gentle with me, I've got the mother of all hangovers. :-)


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:10 AM

Can we please judge the comment without knowing the authors background.

No, I am not prepared to judge the comment without knowing the authors background. You passed your comment when you knew. Please allow the rest of us the same privlege.

Better?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:18 AM

Methinks the Copper Family of Rottingdean are living proof of the bollocks of this statement, an unbroken tradition going back several hundred years. I think the Good Soldier is again doing his best to stir up an arguement where none exists, if he won't name the author of the said statement one can only assume he said it himself.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:21 AM

Well Dick, if you spoke to me like that in a pub, I'd shove your concertina up your arse before punching your nose through the back of your head. You seem to have a talent for twisting everything that's said to your own interpretation. Read what I wrote again, with the aid of a dictionary if you posess one- though It appears that you are marginally literate- and then start the discussion with a clear understanding of what I thought of the value of the anonymous quotation.

But before you do identify whom you are quoting.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: doc.tom
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:22 AM

Okay - I'll judge on the comment alone: It's wrong! It sounds more like an Harperesque politically (note small 'p') based commentary than an analysis based on knowledge.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:29 AM

I could suggest that interested parties might take the trouble to read the thread on the Session. I'll forgive you for ignoring the flippant contributions from yours truly. ;-)

http://www.thesession.org/discussions/display/29539


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:50 AM

Doc Tom, is able to make a judgement on a comment without knowing its author, so why cant the rest of you.
I do not hate anyone, I have never met the man,
what i hate are predjudiced and ill founded comments that attack traditional music and the folk revival, comments that attack a particular tradition without giving facts to back the statements up, statements that are negative and damaging to music particularly when these statements are ill founded
paul burke, did any other sussex families partake,... yes ....go and check it out.
I am twisting anything to my own interpretation, I provided a quote, which i found annoying because it is erroneous nonsense.
the English instrumental and song tradition is not a broken tradition, tradtions flourish when they are added to, this is something that is happening in both traditions.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:32 AM

It is a remarkably stupid and ill-informed comment. It does not appear to be limited to folk music, but on the face of it (the more so in context) appears to exclude song. It ignores the fact that Irish "traditional" music is a revival of a music that had largely died out (and large chunks of which were art music not folk music) and that most singers of Irish song are middle class pretending to have been throwing grenades in Dublin in 1922 and murdering the English with shillaleghs from about the 1500s to date. It also ignores the fact that most of the "revival" in the UK as far as I saw it (I was around but not interested in folk then) insofar as directed to English folk was more about song than tunes.

I have simplified some terms that I have used.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:34 AM

So why don't you stop bringing your disagreements with him over here! You know very well he's not on this forum. Fine if you say I read this comment over on the Session, give us a link and then explain why you don't agree. No problem. But that isn't what you're about, is it. You didn't even have to give his name, but a link to the thread would have been the right and proper thing to do. And people reading this thread should also know that you and he go back a very long way. You're making a chump of anyone responding to you in this thread who doesn't know all this.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:35 AM

Dick's latest incarnation on TheSesssion

I think he was calling himself John Townsend yesterday. TheSession doesn't provide a name-change history, unfortunately. But it does have an explicit prohibition on multiple userids for the same real-world person - something Dick has repeatedly flouted after getting banned there.

FWIW I don't agree with either Michael's or Dick's positions on that thread, but I'm not about to fake up a sockpuppet to say so.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:37 AM

statements such as the original quote can be mistakenly be thought as a statement coming from an authority on traditional music.
the person in question may or may not be a good player[ i cant comment i have never heard him play] but IMO he clearly does not have very much knowledge of English traditional music.
Paul Burke, check out the following sussex singers and players, shirley collins[learned traditonal english songs from her family]SCAN TESTER[sussex], and bob lewis.
check outthe suffolk tradition too, finally here in ireland the english and irish tradtions are both well, most musicians i have encountered here do not care if a tune is irish or english if itis a good tune they play it, an old tradtional fiddle player [here in ireland that i used to play with was quite happy playing the bluebell polka the girl with the blue dress on, running away with the smoothing iron, the bourton six, or mcleods reel the blackbird , the swallows tail reel.
finally i have lived in areas[suffolk , and ireland and amongst traditional musicans,and played with trad musicians[ask john howson]and i have never encountered the attitude that a certain song or tune could not be played because of its provenance, i remember charlie stringer[east anglia] singing the highwayman outwitted, and carolina moon]he sang a song because he liked it, no other reason. I CAN SPEAK WITH AUTHORITY,I have been there and done it, and furthermore my music is up on the net for all to judge , not like some
you might find this review from musical traditions interesting
Just Another Saturday Night: Sussex 1960

Songs from Country Pubs - Various

Musical Traditions MTCD309-10

Looking back, I think I must have been spoiled. I was born in Worcestershire, spent the next 18 years on the Suffolk/Essex border before moving to London when I was at University. It was there that I started going to the many pubs with Irish music and developed the love for that music that I still retain today. Both of my grandmothers sang. My paternal grandmother was Gaelic speaking. She was born in Co Galway and had many relations back in the west of Ireland. As a schoolboy I often spent the summer holidays over there. I was surrounded by music yet I never really noticed it. I was more interested in Bill Haley, Buddy Holly and later, country blues. Ironically, by the time the folk song revival of the '60s had given me an interest in the music, it was too late to listen to my grandparents. Fortunately for all of us, not every one was as blinkered as I was. Brian Mathews, an enthusiastic amateur, carried a tape recorder with him around Sussex in the late 1950s and early '60s recording traditional singers and musicians wherever he found them.

This is Musical Traditions first CD release of the new century and the second from the Brian Matthews Collection. It features 51 live recordings made in various Sussex Pubs between 1959 and 1965. The bulk of the recordings were made in 1959 and 1960 around mid Sussex. Two very well known singers, George 'Pop' Maynard and George Spicer do get almost half of the tracks between them but there are telling contributions from less well known, or at least less recorded, singers. Cover pictureIt is especially good to see a platform being given to Jim Wilson, Harry Holman and Jim 'Brick' Harber. Harry Holman does contribute one song, There was a Poor Thresherman to Topic's Voice of the People (Topic TSCD670 There is a Man upon the Farm). As far as I know, no other recordings are currently available of any of them. They are all fine singers and deserve to be better known. It was a real delight to hear Harry himself singing his best known song, The Life of a Man. The song gave its name to Ken Stubbs book of songs he collected in Southern England and was much sung in the revival. The performance here makes a nice contrast with George Townshend's (Come Hand to Me the Glass MTCD304). George, singing in his own home, is rather more restrained, but both sing the song very well. Brick Harber is not a singer I had previously heard. That was my loss. He has a strong, deep voice and a style which is not quite typical of that found in Southern England - he was born in the Midlands but moved to Sussex play Sound Clipas a young boy which may explain his singing style. Here he is with The Cabin Boy and the Lady Gay, a song I had never heard before (sound clip). The timing of Brian's recordings was indeed fortuitous as three of these singers - Pop, Jim and Brick - would be gone within the next two years. We could well be hearing Jim and Brick's last recordings so they do have a special historical interest.

The remaining recordings are perhaps even more exciting. They were made in The Three Cups in Punnets Town, near Heathfield in East Sussex in 1965 and feature a previously unknown traveller singer, Sarah Porter and other members of her family. She is an excellent singer in the typical traveller style and several of her songs have been rarely found in the tradition. The South of England in the 1950s and '60s was a popular area for collectors and it seems quite remarkable that such a good singer would, but for Brian Matthews, have slipped through the net. I have to admit to taking a special delight in the traveller singing style. The CD devoted to gypsy singing (My Father s the King of the Gypsies, Topic TSCD661) is amongst my favourites of the Voice of the People CDs that I have heard - and I very much enjoyed MT's earlier offering from Wiggy Smith and family (Band of Gold, MT CD 307). play Sound ClipAt first hearing it is not an easy style but does handsomely repay repeated listening. Sarah's songs include a classic ballad, The Outlandish Knight, a beautiful version of The Bitter Withy and a stunning, if fragmented, The Wind Across the Wild Moor (sound clip). The last of these is really little more than a sentimental 19th century broadside song, but Sarah somehow injects real emotion into the story of a young girl with her baby at her breast freezing to death at her father's door. In intensity of emotion I was reminded of the tale of The Lass of Roch Royal arriving at Lord Gregory's door with their dead baby. Brian Mattews tells us that Sarah's sons are still living in Punnets Town. Is there any chance of an ongoing family singing tradition?

Having moved to Sussex in the mid '70s, I was fortunate to have heard three of the featured singers in person. I have been pleasantly surprised by all of their performances here. Louie Sanders (Fuller) is still with us and still singing. She contributes just the one song, Young Maria, a version of the song I know as Oxford City. It is not a very complete version of the song but somehow it says as much in 5 short verses as many songs do in twice the number. The performance is superb. It is one of the outstanding tracks here - I have never heard her sing better. By the time I got to hear Cyril Phillips, he was doing his country yokel act. play Sound ClipThe songs he sings here are light hearted and mostly of music hall origin, bur they are all very enjoyable it's also quite obvious that the crowd is having great fun. I especially enjoyed The Rest of the Day is Your Own. So too do his audience - just listen to the final verse (sound clip). On these CD s he sounds a much better singer than I remember.

The real revelation to me though is George Spicer. I heard him only on a couple of occasions (I was more familiar with his son Ron), but I did buy his Topic LP, Blackberry Fold. I'm afraid he was never really one of my favourite singers so I was surprised when reading back through the notes I had made whilst listening to these CDs at just how many times I had written positive comments against his tracks. The Folkestone Murder is one of two songs from the earlier LP that reappears here. In the notes it is described as "A horrible song with few redeeming graces". It is certainly a very unpleasant story, but George's performance is outstanding, certainly much superior to that on the Topic LP. The tune is not really very special. I thought it rather slight for such a dramatic and tragic song. George sings with great style and control and unfolds the story quite beautifully. By the end of the song I was genuinely moved by the plight of Caroline and her sister. What better testament could there be to the quality of the singing? play Sound ClipThroughout the CDs he has such a presence and commands attention even in a noisy bar. I can understand now why he was held in such esteem by his fellow singers. He was still a relatively young man and in fine voice so these could well be the definitive recordings of him. Here he is with The Scarlet and the Blue complete with rousing patriotic chorus (sound clip). It s a song which, along with The Life of a Man and The Oak and the Ash, I have been driving my colleagues at work to distraction with for the past two weeks.

'Pop' Maynard is, with some justification, regarded as one of the great Southern English singers. He was a true country man and spent his whole life on the Surrey/Sussex border. In his time, he engaged in all manner of country occupations and crafts. He had a large and varied repertoire, including several classic ballads. His singing style is typical of Southern England. He does not use exaggerated ornamentation but instead uses more subtle effects like slowing or speeding the tune or including a slight pause to heighten the dramatic impact. In common with many other singers from the area he frequently repeats the last two lines of each verse. This works very well in a pub setting with the repeated lines acting as a refrain that the audience can join in with. play Sound Clip Pop was almost 90 when these recordings were made, but do not be put off by that. His singing has a vitality and energy that quite belies his advancing years. Here he is, with audience participation, singing The Poor Weaver's Daughter (sound clip). Other outstanding performance from him here include The Week Before Easter, Down by the Seaside and William Lennard. Brian Matthews recorded a total of 29 songs from him in 1959/60 of which just 11 appear here. Had more been included, the CDs would have had a rather unbalanced feel. It would also have meant limiting the contributions of some other singers. Amongst the songs not included here are two of Pop's best known songs, Polly on the Shore and William Taylor, good versions of ballads like Broomfield Hill and stock country songs including Sweet Primroses and While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping. No doubt, at least some of these will feature on a future Topic production. In the meanwhile, all Brian Matthews' recordings of him are available from MT on (Down the Cherry Tree, MTCD400-1).

The performances are well varied. There are perhaps more ballads (including two versions each of Oxford City and William Leonard, both of which songs are known under a myriad of titles) and fewer songs with a music hall origin than I might have expected and just a couple of pieces of music. The playing order has been well chosen so that there is a nice mix of singers and serious songs sit comfortably alongside the more light-hearted ones. This careful programming makes it easy to listen to the CDs through at a single sitting.

With so many fine tracks to choose from, it does seem rather invidious to single out individual ones for special mention but there were four that delighted me, each for rather different reasons. I have always thought of Scan Tester as the archetypal Southern English musician rather than a singer, but here he sings The Lakes of Coldflynn, in a nice, if rather, straightforward way. I never thought I would hear an English traditional version of The Croppy Boy, which for some inexplicable reason has always been a favourite song of mine, but it turns up here sung well by Ted and Bet Porter. I suppose it was inevitable that if anyone in England were to sing it, it would be Travellers. They seem to have a special affection for songs of Irish rebellion. Over the years, I have become attuned to associating Spencer the Rover with the Copper Family so it was good to hear an admittedly incomplete version from Jim Wilson. The Coppers are the repository of so many of these songs and, probably because the current generations are still singing them (and long may they continue to do so), it is easy to think of their version as the definitive one. It is just as easy to forget that they do also crop up quite frequently in the repertoire of other Southern singers. Finally, hearing Bill Agate playing an untitled Polka on mouth organ and tambourine reminded me that Scan Tester really was not the only musician from Sussex!

Musical Traditions have previously set a high standard with the booklets that support their CDs. The one that accompanies this release is the longest yet - it runs to 36 A5 pages and is nicely illustrated and full of useful, interesting and well-researched information. In addition to the usual, excellent song notes, there are thumbnail sketches of the singers and musicians and a contribution from Reg Hall explaining how these Sussex pub sessions came about. If his conclusion is correct, and I have no reason to doubt it , then we have much to thank Mervyn Plunkett for. I was especially impressed with the piece based on Vic Smith's interviews with Bob Lewis. It does really evoke memories of times gone by. It also contains the news that George Spicer's wife was a fine singer too and that her son, Ron, made recordings of her. I wonder where they are now?

I have just two minor niggles. The song notes to The Bitter Withy include a side-swipe at Peter Kennedy. Whatever the rights or wrongs, I do not believe a CD booklet is the place to air such views. Secondly, the booklet notes on the MT website include a lovely line drawing of Jim Wilson by Audrey Matthews. I hope this can be included in any future reprint. [Audrey Matthews' fine sketch of Jim looks very poor at the sort of size which can be accommodated in a booklet, but can be displayed far larger and better on the website; that was the reason for my decision - Ed.]

Can I also add a couple of comments to the song notes. Regarding The Pride of Kildare, Rod Stradling says "Not a song I've encountered before" but it is a song I remember quite often being sung by revival singers in the 1960s. I also vaguely recall that I once had a version on LP with pipe accompaniment, so that suggests The McPeakes. I did own a Fontana LP, I guess issued about 1966, by younger members of the family which certainly included Brennan on the Moor.

My father hardly ever sang, but at family gatherings he was sometimes pressed into singing what I took to be his only song, the final verse only of Do You Want us to Lose the War (sung on the CD by Bill Porter). Dad was a regular soldier, a Sapper who was stationed for many years between the wars at Chatham, so I would guess the Army to be the likely source for the song.

There are several other CDs of pub singing available. John Howson has just released the famous recordings the BBC made at the Eel's Foot, Eastbridge in 1939 and 1947 as Good Order (Veteran 140CD). Neil Lanham has 3 CDs of recordings made some 20 years later at Butley Oyster, the Eel's Foot and Snape Crown (NLCD3, NLCD7, NLCD8). These do all include much fine singing. The next projected release in the British series of Rounder's Lomax Collection is The Blaxhall Ship Recordings.

The Musical Traditions CD is the only one that is not from Suffolk and, for me, wins out, not just because I am an adopted son of Sussex, but mainly by virtue of the sheer quality and variety of performance and the very detailed accompanying leaflet. These are live pub recordings made on a domestic tape recorder so inevitably there is some background noise and the singers are not always accorded the best of order. Nevertheless, the recording quality is never less than adequate and the quality of performance rises above any such considerations.

Rod Stradling and his team of collaborators have, over the past couple of years, produced a valuable series of recordings of British traditional singing. This could well be their finest achievement to date, giving us as it does performances from George Spicer, Cyril Phillips and Louie Fuller in their prime and other excellent singers who are not available elsewhere on record. If you have any interest in English singing, this CD is essential listening. Those of us who love and value this music owe a vote of thanks to MT for making these recordings available, to Brian Matthews for having the foresight to make the original recordings, to Chris Hickson who generously sponsored the production costs, but most of all to the singers. Let's hope that such records encourage us to sing their songs again - what better memorial could there be for them? play Sound ClipI have only the one regret that I was not present when these recordings were made. What wonderful evenings they must have been. Just try listening to Jack Arnell and company with Scan Tester playing in the background, without joining in (sound clip). Such sessions are probably gone for ever so I will just have to make do with this lovely CD.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:44 AM

Jack, you are both wrong I am not banned from the session, however what happens on another forum is not relevant.
I wish to discuss it on this forum , because this forum is properly moderated.
I am going to ask to have steves posts removed as they are attacks upon me, i do not hate Michael , I dislike alot of his trolling and ill founded opinions, but prefer to discuss them on a properly moderated site
Jack as a detective, [if i wish to use the session i can do so under my own name or my partner Cathy Cook], you are barking up the wrong tree, please stop this crap.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:51 AM

All you had to do was tell us where you read the comment and give us a link (and, because of your propensity for changing your name every two minutes, I didn't know until Jack mentioned it that you were involved in that thread, even though I am myself). It's a complete mystery as to why you didn't do that in the first place. Or maybe it isn't.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 09:04 AM

And I've now said all I'm going to say on the matter (probably). OK, Joe! ;-)


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Noreen
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 09:14 AM

For completeness, and as a courtesy to the author, I will add for you that the review you quote above from Musical Traditions

(Just Another Saturday Night: Sussex 1960
Songs from Country Pubs - Various
Musical Traditions MTCD309-10)

was written by Roger Johnson and dated 13.2.01.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 09:26 AM

It's this bit that tickles me most -

It's quite possible that English music could well have been as good as Irish music

Sounds like something one of the bhoyos that has never been to either place would say.

:D tG

(Ducking and running)


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 09:53 AM

Dick
Of course the statement is wrong, but it looks as if it is a heat of the moment reply to some similar insult. It is a gross generalisation which does however have some truth in it, and the Irish situation is almost a mirror image of the English, Scottish etc situation, in that there is some continuity, but a great deal of all is actually new traditions with different types of personnel involved.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 10:05 AM

Surely "is English or Irish music better?" can stand as a textbook example of a meaningless question.

Though I would have to qualify that statement by adding that there is a vigorous tradition of popularized, sentimental "Irish" music which is worse than almost anything else I can think of.

Jon Corelis
The summer will come: an Irish song


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 11:03 AM

So you can't judge the truth or validity of a statement without knowing the author's name! Like that's how you determine how you ought to think. ("If G. W. Bush says it's raining, obviously it's a lie....")

First-year university classes call this arguing ad hominem, and it's bogus.

A statement finally stands or falls on its own without regard to who said it.

The original quote, as annoying as it may be, is of little significance. It's partly factual (for example, English tradition really was about done by about 1900), but mostly it's just an expression of taste ("I don't like English music; so don't try to revive it").

And there's no factual arguing about taste. (Not that you can't try to influence somebody else's taste, but doing so still isn't establishing a fact.)


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,Logician
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 12:20 PM

'A statement finally stands or falls on its own without regard to who said it.'

Bollix

Compare 'There will be a 2.5% increase in VAT.' as said by a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or b) Russell Grant.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 12:23 PM

The truth of the statement is based on the facts, not who says it.

So if GWB says it's raining, you won't believe it even if you feel the drops yourself.

Good luck to you!


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 12:26 PM

Yes, but if the facts are, or appear to be, indeterminable, then it's not as clear cut as you make out. The statement quoted by Dick was not fact but opinion - not at all the same thing, and not to be compared with raindrops.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,Logician
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 12:38 PM

Lighter, you don't seem to understand either formal logic or the ad hominem argument.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 01:03 PM

"The big difference between English and Irish music is that the English tradition is a broken one."

As regards recreational instrumental music, I think this is incontovertible. Some parts of English music survived, notably Northumbrian. And the Gypsy tradition preserved some- though not until recently much explored.

"It was lost and then made up. It's sad."

I think most people would agree that the loss of, say, Lancashire bagpiping is incredibly sad. The playing styles of the post- 70s revival of English instrumental music doesn't sound much like old recordings I've heard. Though I'd love to be corrected.

"It's quite possible that English music could well have been as good as Irish music, and I'm certain that English music heavily influenced Irish music in a positive way."

Most people would agree that when the English instrumental tradition was living, there was a great deal of cross- fertilisation between that and other neighboring traditions. The repertoire of common tunes attests this.

"But it was lost and that's that. And I'd rather you cried about it than tried to revive it with hopelessly shallow middle class earnestness"

This is a statement of opinion. The Irish style of playing has changed radically over the years, at least as evidenced by old recordings- particularly as regards accompaniment. But its change has been evolutionary rather than recreation.

Middle- class or classless, the tone of the early revival was definitely earnest. Nobody on the other hand could accuse the following generation of being over- earnest. But in the absence of continuity, much is necessarily recreated - the "made up" that some people have taken exception to.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 01:21 PM

The original quote, boiled down, is a statement of personal preference, not a statement of fact.

I like Coke. You like Pepsi. Who's right?

But back to facts for a moment. Even when a source may be biased or lying, the truth still isn't based on what he or she *says*.

It's based on independently observable facts.

The future of a tax is not a fact. It's a prediction or a promise. Predictions and promises aren't facts: at best they're opinions, or statements of intention, and at worst they're lies to get your support. If I say, for example, "Elect me and I'll revoke Obamacare," maybe I will and maybe I won't. If I say, "With a stroke of this pen I, President Palin, will revoke Obamacare in the next ten seconds," it's still just a promise, albeit one likely to be fulfilled.

If you believe that a fact is are indeterminate, that in itself means you're thinking independently. You don't need the source's name. Of course, when it comes to a factual claim, you'll be safer in distrusting an unidentifiable source.

The truth of a fact is independent of the person who asserts it. If I feel the raindrops, or if I don't, it doesn't matter what GWB or President Palin says. What matters is feeling the rain.

If it's expert knowledge you want ("Space aliens are real!" "Space aliens aren't real!" "Maybe space aliens are real!"), you may have to choose from disagreeing experts (including self-proclaimed fake "experts"). But that has nothing to do with the reality or unreality of space aliens. They're real or they're not, regardless of who says so. It just means that maybe you'll choose the wrong expert.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,Logician
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 01:36 PM

Long message, Lighter, but it still proves your ignorance of logic and the ad hominem argument. Even worse, you don't understand the meaning of 'statement'!


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 01:44 PM

This topic would be inconsequential if it were not for the historical enmity between
England and Ireland. The crossover must be obvious to anyone who has intensely listened to the music and for that matter, this would include the U.S.

All tradition is broken to some extent and continuity may be real or manufactured and in the field of folk music, I suspect the latter prevails more.

From the standpoint of DNA, scientists have found little difference in any of the British Isles
peoples and it would follow that music would be similar.

The musical diversity might be regional which is a good thing. This is not a national characteristic but a localized one which finds different varieties of English or Irish music depending on which towns, farms, etc. are in question.

Is there an English, Irish or American music that can be measurable? Music from Cornwall differs from the Ring of Kerry or Donegal but traces of similar musical elements can be found in both.

My question is, what is the purpose in defining a national music? Is it a ploy to create jingoist views or to honor traditions from areas in each country?

This is why I think that much work needs to be done in ethnomusicology and folklore still to determine the value of the area music lest it be co-opted by a musical imperialism
involving the commercial music business.

We can start with the background of the song and the singer. I think we have to separate the two from a studied point of view since many traditional singers have sung songs that are pop songs and not necessarily from their own cultural background.

My view is that we define and slice and dice music for the purpose of understanding it
better without losing sight that all music is historically connected as in evolution of
species. If we go back enough time can we not determine that Irish and English music have antecedents that are perhaps a root form?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Acme
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 02:34 PM

[rolls eyes]

I agree with Frank.

SRS


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 03:39 PM

In some of the above posts it would be useful (perhaps) to distinguish between "recreation" - ie enjoyment and re-creation" ie the re-making of something.

It is my understanding (from Dick's previous posts, before capital letters were invented, and related arguments from various sides) that Irish instrumental traditional folk music was to all intents and purposes extinct as a folk-form before the Comhaltas-led re-creation. I don't like it so I don't much care but it's what I understand to be the case.

In England it seems that whether there was a "revival" or not at least the Watersons and the Coppers were still singing English folk song as folk song and as the former and to same extent as the latter as folk singers.

Traveller communities both in the UK and Ireland were still I think indulging in folk music (somewhat more cross-fertilised) into the late 60s and perhaps later still. They add to the argument that there was continuity in both places.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 03:54 PM

'It is my understanding (from Dick's previous posts, before capital letters were invented, and related arguments from various sides) that Irish instrumental traditional folk music was to all intents and purposes extinct as a folk-form before the Comhaltas-led re-creation.'

Sorry Richard, that is a monumental misconception.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Reinhard
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 04:32 PM

Wikipedia says in the article Folk Music of Ireland:

"From the end of the second world war until the late fifties folk music was held in low regard. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (an Irish traditional music association) and the popularity of the Fleadh Cheoil (music festival) helped lead the revival of the music. The English Folk music scene also encouraged and gave self confidence to many Irish musicians. Following the success of The Clancy Brothers in the USA in 1959, Irish folk music became fashionable again."


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 04:46 PM

"held in low regard" and "to all intents and purposes extinct" are roughly the difference between an ASBO and hanging.

Yes, Comhltas brought government support and the Clancy Brothers made it sexy, but the old diddly diddle was going on, in Ireland, England and America, as witnessed by the large number of high quality commercial recordings from the 1900s to the 1950s.

And all those fine musicians of Camden Town didn't pick it up from nowhere.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 05:28 PM

Comhaltas came into existence in 1951, because Irish music in Ireland faced extinction, it had very nearly died out completely IN Ireland because the catholic church had banned housedances, it had also got in this state in Ireland because many people had left ireland to seek work elsewhere, and because IRELAND had lost a lot of people in the first world war and to a lesser extent the second world war, ireland also lost population in the civil war.
PaulBurke here is a quote
Foundation

Comhaltas was founded in 1951 in Mullingar, County Westmeath by a group of traditional pipers who felt that the Irish musical tradition was in decline. It was the most successful in a series of attempts around this time by lovers of Irish culture to revive the country's rich musical heritage and to publicise and bring it to a wider audience.
PeterLaban, if it is monumental misconception, please explain why Comhaltas was formed.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 05:39 PM

I will not be intimidated, if I choose to discuss a staement discussing traditional music, I will do so,furthermore I will choose which forum i want to discuss it , without your permission. Michael is free to enter the discussion as a guest,or even join, but there are rules on this forum that are enforced and this forum is [most of the time] moderated.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:07 PM

if we were in a pub together and you talked to me like that, I would tell you to fuck off,

Sorry, but I've just spotted someone I need to talk to in the other bar. Do excuse me. Must dash. Let's get together sometime and talk about this. It's terribly interesting. Tootle pip.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:17 PM

more polite than this;
Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Paul Burke - PM
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:21 AM

Well Dick, if you spoke to me like that in a pub, I'd shove your concertina up your arse before punching your nose through the back of your head. You seem to have a talent for twisting everything that's said to your own interpretation. Read what I wrote again, with the aid of a dictionary if you posess one- though It appears that you are marginally literate- and then start the discussion with a clear understanding of what I thought of the value of the anonymous quotation.

But before you do identify whom you are quoting."
   by the way Paul,it is a good idea if you are going to call me marginally literate to spell the word posess correctly.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Noreen
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:40 PM

The English Folk music scene also encouraged and gave self confidence to many Irish musicians

ha ha ha


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:00 PM

The English Folk music scene also encouraged and gave self confidence to many Irish musicians
ha ha ha


Brian Finnegan and Mick McGoldrick, for two, have managed pretty successful careers while mainly being based in England.

Contrariwise, can you think of even one English musician who's managed to make a career of playing English music in Ireland?

England has always been reasonably open to other people's folk music. Could do better, but then who couldn't?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:02 PM

Noreen,the above statement is true of singers, examples are luke kelly,donal maguire[through the critics group].
Dolores Keane was encouraged as a singer as was Christy Moore and Andy Irvine,Sean Cannon, the musician Packie Byrne, in the part of England I lived in.... East Anglia, musicians like John and Julia Clifford,
as were jackie Daly and Seamus Creagh in london clubs, lucy Farr used to be booked at swindon and islington.
the same applies to margaret barry and michael gorman singer and instrumentalist, also freddie mckay. sorry but thats quite a lot


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:11 PM

Jack,Ireland is improving slightly in that regard, I was booked at skibbereen club and asked specifically to sing English songs, ihave been booked many times at cork folk club and been asked to sing english as well as irish songs.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:11 PM

Well, the facts from Reinhardt and additions from Dick seem to support my view.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 03:03 AM

Quoting McGoldrick as an example of a player "encouraged by the English folk scene" shows complete lack of understanding of the culture in which they developed.

Yes- players like McGoldrick and Dezi Donnelly were English by birth (of Irish family) and their music developed in England- in Manchester to be precise.

But not in the English folk scene. Incubated in the Comhltas competition scramble, they developed through bands revolving round the Manchester Irish pub session scene. This had very little to do with English folk- of which they tended to be somewhat contemptuous. As a beginner on the whistle, one fine old player (Jimmy Taylor if I recall aright) praised my style as "very folkloric". I took the hint.

Judging by recent posts over on The Session, those sessions have all but died. There was a plaintive quest about Manchester sessions recently- twenty tears ago you would have had a choice of three within a couple of hundred yards of each other, and half a dozen others if you went two or three miles further afield. Pubcos and their serf tenants don't want sessions, they want football on TV.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 04:57 AM

When I first began to visit folk clubs in the early 1970s I shared the assumption that the English tradition was dead. There were a couple of survivals like the Coppers and Fred Jordan, but proper traditional singing had died out at the time of Cecil Sharp. "Folk music" meant folk revival music, and it is true to say that this has developed in a very different style from the original tradition (although the same can be said for many modern Irish groups).

As time went on I slowly discovered that the tradition had carried on and was alive, albeit only in a few places. I discovered there was a generation of singers who had only just passed away, who I never got to hear live but who had been recorded. More excitingly, there were singers and musicians who were still alive, and I was able to hear the likes of Walter Pardon, Bob Roberts, Percy Ling, Bob Cann and Oscar Woods, to name but a few. 40 years after I first became interested in folk, there are still authentically traditional English singers and musicians to be heard.

To say that the English tradition died out, or that the Northumbrian tradition was the only survival, is simply wrong. Yes, it was moribund, and it is true to say that the revival has often shown little continuity with the tradition, but English traditional music is still alive and is still there for those who wish to seek it out.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 06:11 AM

Well, the facts from Reinhardt and additions from Dick seem to support my view.

I don't think they do Richard, Paul Burke summed it up well though. There's a difference between increasing popularity and raising from the dead. While traditional music in Ireland had reached a relative low point in both opportunities to play out and in popularity, it was well alive and today's music has an undeniable and unbroken link to past generations of musicians.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 06:37 AM

players like McGoldrick and Dezi Donnelly were English by birth (of Irish family) and their music developed in England- in Manchester to be precise.

But not in the English folk scene. Incubated in the Comhltas competition scramble, they developed through bands revolving round the Manchester Irish pub session scene.


That wouldn't make enough of an audience to form the basis of a career, surely? I was thinking of who paid to listen to them, which, until they went global, was surely English folkies more than anybody else?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jim Martin
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 06:45 AM

As far as I know, trad was always around in the NE/Dorset/Suffolk/Shrops.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 07:21 AM

I doubt that anyone would dispute that the Irish tradition is in a stronger state than the English. That's a long way from saying the English tradition is dead.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 08:37 AM

i would dispute that the song tradition is any stronger,it is in my opinion about equal.
in fact in england there are more places for singers to perform in a concert or club like situation.
imo this is the better setting for a wider repetroire the songs are better can be performed.
pubs in ireland are better than pubs in england, people do listen more, but it can become wallpaper music,and just the popular end[wild river, kilgarry mountains, irish rover, nothing wrong with that
but this is why singers clubs are often like folk clubs in seperate rooms so that a wider repertoire can be sung, unfortunately these singers clubs are far fewer than english folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 08:41 AM

the opportunity is there in Ireland, to have the music in a quieter setting because most of the pubs are private tenants with seperate rooms, but because most of the irish people are forced to emigrate , there are less people there to appreciate the music.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 08:55 AM

And the pubs here are dying like flies.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 09:20 AM

that is one reason why I have started a new maritime folk festival in Ballydehob and why i am involved in the Ballydehob jazz festival. Here is a link to the new festival.https://sites.google.com/site/thefastnetmaritimeandfolkfest/


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 09:21 AM

real irish people have to emigrate,Folkies searching for some utopian tradition move to Ireland. It's a funny old world. John


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 03:10 AM

"England has always been reasonably open to other people's folk music" Jack I don't know if yourself or anyone else experiences this. As you know we play in the Cobbles in Kelso every Friday (after the initial open mic) night and through the summer it is invariably full of tourists. I know it doesn't fit for everyone, and maybe some will criticise me for saying it, but I have noticed a trend of the typical English tourist sitting and lapping up the Scottish repetoire whilst on the other hand though they enjoy themselves equally it often doesn't take long for the Irish tourist to start asking for Irish songs. I don't know why there is this difference. Maybe the Irish just enjoy their own music more! I find it strange though. I couldn't envisage a group of us going to Ireland then starting to request lots of Scottish songs in a pub. I think we'd be more interested in what the locals have to offer.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 06:35 AM

Allan - that does fit with what I've noticed, but: the more musically knowledgeable Irish visitors do tend to be curious about Scottish music as well. An Irish tourist who can't carry a tune in a bucket will often ask for Raglan Road or the Fields of Athenry, particularly after their third pint, but one who's a competent flute player will usually want to hear some pipe marches.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: John P
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 10:14 AM

Here's an idea: screw all the differences, opinions, facts, economic classes, revivals, histories, personalities, and traditions.

Do you like a song? Play it, listen to it. Do you dislike a song? Don't play it or listen to it. What possible difference does it make where or when the song is from, or who played it, or why? You all are heaping a tremendous amount of baggage onto songs and tunes, none of which are made better or worse -- or more proper or authentic -- thereby.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,PhilB
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 10:47 AM

Hear Hear


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 11:11 AM

What possible difference does it make where or when the song is from, or who played it, or why?

Meaning, understanding, and feeling, that's the difference it makes.

If you don't care about any of those, stick to what Sony wants to sell you.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 12:20 PM

yes liking a song is a good reason for singing it, but knowledge about a songs background is important to me, although that is not the reason why i would choose to sing a song, the reason has to be because a song does something for you.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 01:53 PM

Do you like a song? Play it, listen to it. Do you dislike a song? Don't play it or listen to it. What possible difference does it make where or when the song is from, or who played it, or why? You all are heaping a tremendous amount of baggage onto songs and tunes, none of which are made better or worse -- or more proper or authentic -- thereby.

This sort of relativism is attractive; but has its limits. I am reminded of the time I met Ken Woollard, many years ago now when he was founder-organiser of the Cambridge Folk Festival, in the refreshment room at Cambridge Station. He took me up on something I had recently written in my monthly Folk Review column about the lack of real folk music at that festival. "People don't mind what music they listen to," he pompously asserted, "so long as it's good." So I asked him if we could please have a session next time where he would hire the London Bach Players to play all six Brandenburg Concertos. He looked at his watch, said he had a train to catch, and went away.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 02:12 PM

"but knowledge about a songs background is important to me"

.,,.

Sure, Dick. And knowledge of the source of a quote offered to form the basis of a discussion is important to all concerned likewise.

So stop mucking about, please ~~ and come clean as to the source of that original quote.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 02:33 PM

Michael, I do not need to, read through the posts including the abusive and irrelevant posts aimed at me and the crap and lies slandering me.
you will find the persons name is mentioned in this thread.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 02:36 PM

You can't be slandered on an Internet forum, but you may be libelled.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: John P
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 02:56 PM

Meaning, understanding, and feeling, that's the difference it makes.
Yes, these are very important. Do they change if the song is from Ireland or England? Do they change if the song old or new? If you want to talk about the differences and similarities between traditional music and contemporary music, I'll chat all day. Likewise, talking about the history and meaning of specific songs is fascinating and important. But this thread seems to be about which tradition is better or more valid or more alive or something. It doesn't seem to have much to do with the reality of making or understanding music. And anytime I see economic class being mixed in with discussions about music I get bothered. People of all classes who like folk music like folk music. People of all classes who don't like folk music don't like folk music. Seems obvious to me.

If you don't care about any of those, stick to what Sony wants to sell you.
Wow, where did that come from? It's a jump. Since I haven't bought any mainstream CDs in about 30 years, it's QUITE a jump!


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: johncharles
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 03:52 PM

The source of the quote is mentioned in an earlier post. Here is the detail.
The big difference between English and Irish music is that the English tradition is a broken one. It was lost and then made up. It's sad. It's quite possible that English music could well have been as good as Irish music, and I'm certain that English music heavily influenced Irish music in a positive way. But it was lost and that's that. And I'd rather you cried about it than tried to revive it with hopelessly shallow middle class earnestness.
# Posted on March 16th 2012 by llig leahcim
http://www.thesession.org/discussions/display/29539


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 04:25 PM

I should probably know better than to get involved in an argument with history behind it of which I know nothing, but taken at face value, the statement: "The English tradition is a broken one. It was lost and then made up" doesn't need to be taken seriously. Others have mentioned the Coppers, Northumbria and Suffolk, but what about Jackie Beresford and Billy Pinnock in the Yorkshire Dales in recent memory, Mark Bazeley inheriting the mantle from Bob Cann (and deeply involved in an ongoing Devon tradition), Will Noble, Vic and Viv Legg, Oscar Woods, Walter Pardon, Fred Jordan, etc. etc. All those are of recent memory or still very much with us. Also the writer conflates 'revived' with 'made up', which doesn't display much respect for the language.

The Irish tradition has obviously been more vigorous than the English, but to suggest that it hasn't changed in terms of context, and hasn't been the subject of conscious acts preservation, renewal and revival would be to live in a fantasy world - if that is indeed what the author was seriously claiming. But it sounds more like Yah Boo to me.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 04:45 PM

You're right to doubt the sense in getting involved in this one, Brian. The motive of the original poster was ulterior. Mr Llig over on the Session is famed for saying very provocative things at times, abrasive even, and "Diplomacy" is not his middle name. But his provocations frequently bring about fertile discussion, as you'd see if you read that thread over there which contains his remark. http://www.thesession.org/discussions/display/29539 On the whole he is a pretty sound fellow (and a damn good fiddle player to boot, I hear). Yah Boo on this topic is wide of the mark, I think. If you do happen to read the thread it may or may not be useful to know that our Dick is The Kerryman over there (though that could change in a heartbeat), even though he's denied it once.

Remember The Tree Inn Folk Club, Brian? I won one of your vinyl albums in the raffle! :-)


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: stallion
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 05:14 PM

Two hers ago i went to a family wedding in Kinsale, some of the family from somewhere west of kin sale can't remember were exactly were being patronised by the Dublin dwelling city folk who referred to them as bog hoppers, I thought it was wonderful but it was explained to me that by clinging on to that culture it was holding them back as being forward and dynamic country to the rest of the world.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 05:31 PM

Might have kept them out of parts of the current recession too.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 06:26 PM

Steve, my motive was to discuss the statement,on a forum that was moderated, and to take the statement and discuss it without prejudice, which was why I thought and still think that the poster should remain anonymous, by mentioning who the person is and that they are a renowned troll, immediately alters the perception of the person judging the staement.
please stop making assumptions about my motives, you have accused me of hating Michael,how can I hate someone I do not know,you on the other hand, by persisently suggesting I have an ulterior motive, and by constantly bringing in irrelevancies and stupid nonsense about the session, are only illustrating how puerile you are.
Steve, Brian happens to be a good friend of mine, whose house I have stayed in many times,our friendship goes back some 30 years.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 06:26 PM

All traditions tend to become mythologized. Rousseau is lurking about somewhere here.
It is helpful to understand as much as you can about a song, a style, a tradition of music
but it doesn't follow that the performance will be better because of this. In some cases,
when mimicry or imitation is done, it vitiates whatever the performer has to say. The voice becomes as a result phony and unnatural.

I reiterate that to force a national identity on a singing style or song ignores the particulars of region, personal character of the performer, and draws unnecessary lines that obscure rather than enlighten.

The big culprit here is over generalization about what is English or Irish or any other culture. Irish music must contain elements of English and Scottish music, and the reverse is true as well. Balkan and Spanish music has found its way into Irish music which is to say that there is no pure true Irish, English or Scottish music or any other national music.
Every musical form retains historical elements from other places and past times.

This also means that to understand the history and tradition of each musical form opens
a world of enjoyment and impact on the listener and the performer.

Visiting the St. Ann's College in Cape Breton, an official scholar informed me that
Scots were "some of the biggest mutts in the world".

I think this could expand to include almost anyone from any national heritage and it certainly true of musical styles.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 06:54 PM

Frank, thankyou for such an informative and intelligent post.
it is posts such as this that are singularly lacking on certain other forums where an unfortunate gang /bully mentality appears to exist the sort of pathetic mentality that is reminscent of s[eakers question time in the house of commons, of the yah boo and other Billy bunter puerile insults


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 07:00 PM

There are some excellent posts in the thread I referred to, actually. Which is why, for the third time, I recommend a read-through of it to anyone interested in this topic.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 07:04 PM

And oddly, despite your claim that the Session is unmoderated, you would find that a post with the tone of your last one would rapidly vanish from there. You yourself have been moderated out of that forum a few times, eh, Dick? Is concertinadotnet not moderated either? Or does "moderated" simply mean "run Dick's way?"


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 07:36 PM

The Session.org is quite a bit more tightly moderated than Mudcat, as I found out when I posted a criticism of Frankie Gavin playing for George the Lesser in the White House.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 07:48 PM

It's differently moderated, I would say. You won't get away with sweary lingo for long and ad hominems will get you suspended. It can take a day or two to kick in. The atmosphere over there can be quite abrasive and there is always someone who will not suffer a fool gladly. It's OK though. None of it anywhere is ever going to change the world.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 04:48 AM

Whilst the premise of the original statement (that the English tradition is dead) is demonstrably wrong, I think it is true that the English folk revival is somewhat disconnected from the tradition. It is entirely possible to be fully involved and engaged with revival folk whilst completely ignoring the actual tradition, and I know many people who have no interest in listening to traditional singers and musicians (as well as a great many who do).

The Irish revival began as an attempt to reinvigorate a tradition which was in decline, and was motivated at least in part by cultural and political nationalism. The English folk revival of the 1950s and 60s was driven by a number of things, including the American folk revival, the American civil rights/anti-Vietnam protest song, blues as well as traditional folk from all over the British Isles and elsewhere. It was only as time went on that it became more narrowly focussed on British and specifically English music, but even then it was mainly derived from collections or circulated between revival musicians, rather than living or recorded source musicians.

As a result a style of interpretation and accompaniment developed which had only passing reference, if any, to the tradition. I had been involved in folk music for some years before I realised that authentic traditional music hadn't died out at the time of Cecil Sharp.

I don't think this is entirely a bad thing. It does mean that English musicians are far less constrained by "the tradition" and feel able to take from it and adapt it as they see fit. This results in much greater diversity.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 05:45 AM

An interesting demonstration of the difference between "folk" and "traditional" Howard, for which I thank you.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Brian Peters
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 06:08 AM

"his provocations frequently bring about fertile discussion, as you'd see if you read that thread over there which contains his remark. Yah Boo on this topic is wide of the mark, I think."

I read it. Some informed comment, some prejudiced nonsense, some bizarre digressions (orang-utans? TV remotes?). A bit like here, in fact. Devil's Advocacy notwithstanding, I still find the quoted remarks boneheaded and deliberately offensive. I've shared my (English) music with some pretty good Irish musicians in my time, and most of them were simply enthused by the tunes, rather than sneering about middle class revivals.

"Remember The Tree Inn Folk Club, Brian? I won one of your vinyl albums in the raffle! :-)"

Congratulations, Steve! At least you chose the album, rather than the packet of biscuits (that did happen to me once). The Tree Inn...? Must have been a while ago... Bude or somewhere like that?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 06:43 AM

Yep, must have been early 90s-ish, with the estimable John Maughan looking after you! :-)


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 06:47 AM

Ireland had the same disconnect between traditional and revival singing. There had never been a tradition of macho celeb showoffs doing a narrow repertoire of stereotyped rebel and drinking songs until the Clancys and the Dubliners came along, and the real traditional repertoire of Irish song (in either English or Irish) is not a lot more widely performed than pre-revival English song.

The same things happened on each side of the Irish Sea, with performers whose main interest was local traditional music and those whose main focus was mass-marketed American popular culture both labelling themselves as "folk". Ireland had a more active and diverse culture of instrumental dance music but that was about the only real difference.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 07:27 AM

Steve, the pot calling the kettle black, you have been suspended or is it banned from at least one music forum, you persistently read motives in to my posts you consistently accuse me of hating someone I have never met, you consistently bring in matters relating to other forums,   
why do you do this? if you were purely interested in discussing this thread, you would not bring in this irrelevant trivia, why can you not discuss the subject without continuously indulging in personal attacks.
Steve, this forum is a moderated forum,please do not insult the moderators by suggesting as you did, quote
"Or does "moderated" simply mean "run Dick's way?"


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 08:32 AM

Wottevah! :-)


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:21 AM

JC: Contrariwise, can you think of even one English musician who's managed to make a career of playing English music in Ireland?

Shane McGowan? :-)


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:45 AM

I've shared my (English) music with some pretty good Irish musicians in my time, and most of them were simply enthused by the tunes, rather than sneering about middle class revivals."
Exactly Brian, furthermore I have shared mine with old traditional musicians, one of whom Jamesie Kingston with whom I gigged and busked many times, had english as well as Irish tunes in his repertoire, such as the bourton six.
what Steve cant seem to take in is that because i dislike some of a particular persons posts, that I dislike the person who posted the comments.
I do not.I cannot dislike someone I do not know.
I do dislike trolling flaming and bringing in irrelevant smears from other forums, I dislike boneheaded offensive ill thought out comments that are aimed at damaging a particular traditional music.
I am in favour of any kind of musical creativity.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:52 AM

Wottevah!


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:55 AM

I don't think this is entirely a bad thing. It does mean that English musicians are far less constrained by "the tradition" and feel able to take from it and adapt it as they see fit. This results in much greater diversity.
absolutely, whereas Comhaltas are attempting to enforce constraints upon the Irish Tradition, they are doing this by encouraging competitors to play in one particular style, to win a competition, this attitude is not so prevalent at county level but kicks in at regional level,
it can mean that on occasions competitors even play in a particular style to impress a particular judge, how ridiculous.
comhaltas even enforces rules about no harmony playing in certain competitions.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Morris-ey
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 12:38 PM

No one is compelled to enter competitions...


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 02:16 PM

correct, but neverthless they do,and many people are also encouraged to play in a certain way through the comhaltas examination system, now that is ok, if w the players then go on to develop their own style, and it is good in the sense that people are being encouraged to be creative, but unfortunately the influence of comhaltas,encourages people to play in the same style to win competitions.
   but it is not just the fault of Comhaltas, let us take concertina playing and the IRISH TRADITION, years ago people played whatever system of concertina they could lay their hands on,and there was much more variety in the playing, now ALL the teachers of irish music in ireland encourage the anglo, and there are very few[maybe 3OR 4 different approved styles]based upon Noel Hill, Mary Mac and Chris Droney, It was not always thus, back in the enlightened times there was even an all Ireland champion who played the English.
Where are the duets players in the irish concertina tradition, the duet[imo] is not unsuitable for irish tunes.
so we have a situation in irish traditional music, where only certain approved ornamentation is used,Furthermore players are told to get an Anglo to PARAPHRASE MandyRiceDavies "they would say that wouldnt they" Because they teach it
this can result in the tradition stultifying, and not progressing.
The Anglo is a good instrument for Irish music, but it has one drawback it is limited, because the phrasing is imposed upon the player by bellows direction, initially, the frequent bellows reversal seems like an advantage because it is inherently more rthymic, but it is limited because it cannot copy a fiddlers bowing.
The Unisonic concertinas are better for airs, But have the opposite problem to the anglo.
in English Northumbrian Music The unisonic Concertina use finger attack to produce staccato notes similiar to the northumbrian pipes, but this disapproved of by SOME of the irish anglo teachers as not authentic, there lies the problem so many players of irish trad music are so much up their own backsides[example, a few of the posters on www.session.org], they cannot see that they are preventing the music from changing ,or even occasionally they are so back ward looking they dont want to change it, the big joke is that Comhaltas with all their concerns about presrving the music have inadvertenly changed it through their stupid marking system in competitions


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 03:27 PM

Who was the "All-Ireland" champion who played the English concertina, what year was it, and what age group was he / she in ? Asking solely out of curiousity. And thinking about it, if he / she won once, that would make it about 1 out of 57.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 04:12 PM

Madeline o Dowd.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 04:28 PM

She's not listed here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_All-Ireland_Fleadh_Champions#Concertina_.28Consairt.C3.ADn.29


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 06:37 PM

I've read that Ewan MacColl at his folk club enforced a policy that no one could sing a song in a language they didn't actually speak. Apparently this caused some controversy. There might be something to that, though. When songs are sung in English by people who obviously have no fluency in the language, they tend to sound obviously stilted.

Can a fluent speaker of Irish or Scots Gaelic usually tell when someone is faking the language (i.e. singing from a syllable representation of the lyrics)in a song?

Jon Corelis
Celtic suite in G major


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 07:06 PM

I've read that Ewan MacColl at his folk club enforced a policy that no one could sing a song in a language they didn't actually speak.
Incorrect, but I will leave it to Jim Carroll, to explain what the policy really was.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,martin ellison
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 07:47 PM

Oh dear, oh dear.
You just keep falling for it don't you? He just pitches them in and you all swing for it. This is why mudcat is a laughing stock. All the useful, serious stuff is buried under this ridiculous reactionary shite.
What a shame, I'm so glad I left.
Martin


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 08:03 PM

Martin, perhaps you could clarify, who you are talking about, and what is ridiculous reactionary shite?
And what do you consider useful serious useful stuff


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:15 PM

We all keep falling for you, Dick. It must be your svelte charm...


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 05:00 AM

If people do not wish to discuss a topic on this forum they are not forced to.
To come on to a Forum and insult it and the posters as Martin has done is bad mannered,rude and uncalled for.
I can only assume he came back from the pub , having drunk too much, I take exception to posts being called reactionary shite, I also find it insulting to this forum, which is a forum that contains many knowledgeable people, and is a wonderful source of songs and knowledge, that he calls it a laughing stock, the very least he can do is apologise,
I might add that this is not the first occasion that Martin Ellison has come on here and been insulting.
Steve, you cannot leave off having a go at me can you.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: johncharles
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 06:37 AM

starting a thread, using a quote from another discussion forum, which in the originators opinion is "erroneous nonsense" and "flaming" seems rather strange.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 06:56 AM

Not the first time Dick's done it, mate. AND with a quote from the same bloke. You do have to ask...


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 09:07 AM

no its not strange to me I wanted to discuss the statement on this forum in a an adult way, this is rather difficult on www.session.org
I chose this forum because it is moderated very regularly, and because personal attacks are not tolerated by the moderators.
you do not have to ask ..unless you are intent on having a go at me, Steve, which you clearly are.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,martin ellison
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 09:57 AM

Dick - it was an expression of exasperation rather than an purposeful attempt to insult someone. Might have been better phrased, sorry.

I just don't get these discussions, don't understand how they engender rational exchanges of opinions. However, they do seem to run and run so I'll hold my hand up, apologise if it's needed, but say that it must be just me that finds it difficult to follow the core discussion in amongst all the irrelevances. So I'll leave (again) quietly.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 10:19 AM

I'm saying that it's odd that you have a rather strange habit of bringing stuff over here "to discuss" when it's something that you disagree with Llig about. Especially when you consider all the spats you've had with him! If the people over here were aware of this background issue they wouldn't be half so keen to talk about it with you, would they now?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Acme
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 10:40 AM

I don't read that other forum, so I wouldn't have run across that question. Redundancy may be annoying for those who read similar discussions on several venues, but for someone who doesn't cross platforms, the argument about the other location is a distraction. Will you allow that this is true? It diminishes the intended conversation here, whatever the motivation for plucking one remark to bring over here to put under the microscope.

Personally I don't have a dog in that fight - English and Irish folk tradition and their brokenness or not - they exist today as what they are, and what exists today is perfectly valid, whether there have been breaks in continuity or not. Certain things exist even if they're not overtly present - perhaps a correlation would be the Russian Orthodox religious tradition in the old USSR - when all such practice was supposedly suppressed for decades. The absence of overt practice may have served to hamstring the religion, but it didn't go away. I don't know what method the writer of the first statement thinks "broke" the English tradition, but I grew up with an American Folksinger who collected early English, Irish, Scottish and American folk songs and ballads. We were able to distinguish the origins, or does what Americans do with all of these British Isles songs make a difference to those of you still on the old sod?

SRS


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 10:41 AM

I wanted to discuss the statement on this forum in a an adult way, this is rather difficult on www.session.org

It's even more difficult when the person you have a beef with doesn't read this forum and accordingly can't respond to what you're saying. But that's the idea, isn't it?

llig on thesession is adult enough not to hide behind ever-changing pseudonyms.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 11:14 AM

the idea is to discuss the statement without prejudice,without prejudice,
If people know the stATement was made by a peson with a reputation for flaming trolling and provocative comments it can alter the members perspective of the comment, that is why I did not wish to mention the persons name so that other people can judge the statement purely on its merits.
I can post on the Session under my partners name or my own name,I choose not to post there because of people like steve and llig.
I do occasionally read the posts, being interested in english and irish folk music, i read the thread, and was not thrilled to see English music being rubbished, hence I posted here.
Steve seems to have an obsession about me, sometime ago on the session he accused some poor woman from middleton who was taking up the harmonica because she had an injury of being me,is that not so Steve?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 11:22 AM

Huh?

Llig is certainly provocative and I reckon he'd take that as a compliment. But he's no flamer or troller, Dick. Your main problem is that he makes mincemeat out of you. This is not an honest thread, Dick. Kudos to those who have made constructive contributions in spite of that.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: johncharles
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 11:32 AM

whether one form is music better than another is an opinion an no amount of rational argument will solve that one. The issues of continuity and revival are ones for the historians, but my limited knowledge suggests that England has a longer history in terms of preserving records of what had been an oral tradition, for far longer than any Irish attempts to do so.
Middle class values do seem to permeate the folk scene, good thing too otherwise many of us would get booed off stage rather than the polite clap of hands which is the norm.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 11:35 AM

What is the name Jack Campin if it is not a PSEUDONYM.
THIS REALLY IS GETTING RIDICULOUS.
Steve, answer my question, did you or did you not accuse a poster[Who incidentally turns out to be a woman from middleton] on the session of being me]you are either stalking me or you are obsessed.
I am sorry but I am involved in running 2 festivals as well as preparing to do a weeks gigs next week, I cant waste time on this nonsense


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 11:48 AM

What is the name Jack Campin if it is not a PSEUDONYM

It's the name on my passport.

Does your passport say Good Soldier Schweik or any of the names you've used on TheSession?


ENOUGH ALREADY! The thread has to do with the English vs Irish tradition and their broken (or not) continuity. Any more personal attacks or discussion of whose name is real or legitimate will be deleted. All of the parties here know who they are speaking to, and that is sufficient. -- annoyed Mud Elf


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 01:49 PM

I am not sure what middle class values are in this context, I have found that many people from both the upper class and from working class [those people that do manual work]still have good manners.
there is a tradition in working mens clubs in the midlands and north of bad manners towards performers, but that does not mean that all upper class and working class people who enjoy other forms of music are rude, people who attend classical concerts are generally polite and they are not all middle class, people who attend jazz concerts or country concerts are generally polite.
in ireland in my experience there is more respect for musical performers from all classes, than there is in England, The working mens club culture has not permeated the irish working class.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,fleadh recorder
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 01:51 PM

This isn't trolling, but GSS cited a particular musician as being an All-Ireland champion. The person he named does not appear on the Wikipedia list (which I maintain) which I cited earlier. So may I ask a simple question of him, please? When did Madeleine O'Dowd win an All-Ireland title? If she did, please can he supply evidence of this?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 01:58 PM

Well, Dick, the idea is that if you're any good you'll do well in the clubs, and if you're crap or pretentious you'll bomb. That particular law of the jungle spawned some of the greatest entertainers we have had for many decades. Speaking as a born 'n' bred northerner, you understand.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: johncharles
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 02:13 PM

Aye its tough up't north tha knows and i should I live there


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 03:00 PM

"fleadh recorder" - I don't doubt "GSS" when he says that the lady in question won an All-Ireland title playing an English concertina, as opposed to the more common Anglo, but there's a lot of information being left out. It would seem not to be in the Senior category which is what your "Wikipedia" list concentrates on, so what age-group was it, which year, and maybe more importantly, how many competitiors were there? Was it more than 1 ? Did she win in solo competition, or as part of a duo, trio, or even ceili band ? We're not being told.
Apologies for diversifying from the thread, but it was "GSS" who brought it up, and I am genuinely interested. If no answers are forthcoming here, I'll make a query with Comhaltas, because it's such an unusual - if not unique - occurence.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 03:09 PM

I suggest you contact Nicholas Carolan, he would have a record of her she appeared in one of the archive programmes, alternatively contact my friend, stephen chambers who has a music shop in clare he knows madeline personally,in fact he repaired a william scates concetina for her relatively recently


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 04:14 PM

Thank you for those suggestions "GSS". Neither Nicholas Carolan, nor Stephen Chambers are necessarily going to know the details of her winning a Comhaltas competition. But I can't help but wonder - you were the guy who brought up her name in this discussion. Don't you know the circumstances of her winning her All-Ireland medal ?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 04:25 PM

I do. good night.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 06:13 AM

Then please share that knowledge.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 07:14 AM

On second thoughts, don't bother.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,fleadh recorder
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 02:36 PM

The reply from GSS re. Madeleine O'Dowd is extremely unhelpful.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 03:00 PM

Google appears to suggest that nobody but Dick Miles and Dick Glasgow have ever heard of her and that Dick Miles is the sole source for the claim that she ever won anything.

Ptarmigan, if you know something, pipe up?


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 03:33 PM

I suggest you contact Alan Day, he spoke to her in the course of compiling English International, my memory for dates is not perfect, so I do not want to quote a date.
I understood it was 15 to 18 group.
Bearing in mind someone will have ago at me, for quoting the wrong date, I reckon it was late seventies, she used to play in a group with her siblings[sisters I think]

I am not making anything up, I have suggested you contact Nic Carolan or Stephen Chambers.
Jack you are quite right I am the sole source on the net for saying she won anything.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,fleadh recorder
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 04:33 PM

Thanks.

So she was not a Senior All-Ireland champion. That's finally sorted.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 06:15 PM

guest fleadh,
she was an all ireland champion, maybe it was senior, why dont you find out for yourself. she lives in limerick


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 07:02 PM

however it matters little,senior all ireland or 15 to 18 all ireland.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 12:53 PM

It seems to me that there's a great deal of attention been given here to something that no longer represents Irish music (if it ever did), Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and its competitions.
One of the most influential figures in the promotion of Irish music, Breandan Breathnach, once described CCE as "an organisation with a great future behind it" – that seems to me to be a fair description of Comhaltas's role nowadays.
The 'glittering prizes' approach to Irish music taken by CCE produced an animal that was neither fish nor fowl and had little to do with what was played (and in particular), sung when the tradition was in full flight.
Twenty odd years ago a musician going into a pub with an instrument case ran the risk of being thrown out on his or her ear – if you started singing they fetched the Guards to run you out of town – the music was publicly derided and pilloried by the media as 'diddley-di" - certainly no longer the case.
Over the last ten/fifteen years youngsters have flocked to the music, not, as was once the case, for the glittering prizes, but for the love of the music and the pleasure it brings
Not before time
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 01:17 PM

Unfortunately some of the Comhaltas competitors who describe them selves as musicians, carry this competitive attitude into sessions.
I agree with Jim, it is a much better ideal to play music purely for the love of it,
in my opinion it does not necessarily mean because someone gets paid for playing music that their love for it disappears, although it can occur that paid musicians get jaded because they feel obliged to take a paid gig,and their playing can become stale because they need the money.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 02:07 PM

'Twenty odd years ago a musician going into a pub with an instrument case ran the risk of being thrown out on his or her ear – if you started singing they fetched the Guards to run you out of town – the music was publicly derided and pilloried by the media as 'diddley-di" - certainly no longer the case.'

Utter bollocks.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 04:27 PM

"Utter bollocks. "
What you wrote certainly is - you really need to get out more.
The 'diddley di quote" is attributed widely to Gay Byrne, who is still trying to live it down, and the reception that fiddle players got, particularly in places like Dublin, is more than well known and is quoted regularly on TV interviews and documentaries.
I'd stick to your anonymity if I were you.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 06:11 PM

Jim, it sounds like our friend, who writes the pot boilers, he spends some of his time in Leitrim.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 07:32 PM

Er, Dick, you do seem to be something of an aficionado of the competitions, if my memory serves me well.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: ollaimh
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 10:31 AM

early on stallion was right on saying english folk tries to swallow other traditions and american folk is trying to swallow the world. it's caslled cultural appropriation folks. it's a sociological kind of racist imperialiam. it wouldn't be if nthe anglo(and in my experisnce germasnic) folies were preserving other tradition but they seem to inevitably want to lead the "new? folk tradition. bourgeoise look nat the world and see adminstrator and cop as a great job.

scots and nitish gael traditions havn't needed leaders, just as music doesn't need leaders. scots and irish gael traditionsn are intrinsickly led from withing by talent and instrumental brilliance. this highlights the nonsense of the well organized anglo acedemic tradition and folk clubs. they have used the organization so that the talent free and instrumentally challenged can be on top. when i go to these things i am usually the best instrumentalist there--all across north america. i am a piker in the celtic scene, average at best. however in the celtic scene they turn to a piker like me every night and say"lets hear one of nyours" in the amnglo folk scene you have to navigate the bureaucracy to get to sing. i was tols at the singer club , some forty year ago i shouldn't sing in galeic as they did music from their own culture.(thosae guys had no idea of the spread of the gaeltacht, but they knew how to be in charge), for several years i singed up to sing at the vancouver folk song society. i was first or second to sign up for eight consecutive weeks at one point , but never got to perform.

i will say this isn't monoilithic. it the cecil sharpe i visited on vacation and was asked to sing(and i didn't have an instrument with me) and they were very nice. the nexy tripo they had a may day highlighting some of the best instrumentalists i have ever heard. so maybe it's nchanging. however the acedemic folk collectors and the singer club clones don't seem to have changed. basil fawlty's in ever direction


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: GUEST,fleadh recorder
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 12:31 PM

The anonymous guest above was me. I made my comment about Jim Carroll's post because I think he's got his dates wrong. Twenty odd years ago is 1992.

I've been playing fiddle at sessions since 1978 and I've never once heard of or witnessed anybody being asked to leave a pub because they were carrying an instrument case. However, I am aware that this did happen in the early 1970s. I studied and played sessions in Dublin and Galway, lived in Clare for a while and am now in Westmeath. I have never lived in Leitrim.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 03:44 PM

My apologies FH - you are almost certainly right; it was probably near 30 years (how time flies)
We've talked (and recorded) numerous musicians who have been turned out of pubs when they tried to start a session, and we can remember when the only music on offer was C&W and 'ballads nightly"
There were exceptions of course - West Clare (where we now live) has always had good sessions, certainly from the late sixties. We've been recording singers and musicians here since 1972
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 07:57 PM

I've never once heard of or witnessed anybody being asked to leave a pub because they were carrying an instrument case.

Mebbe not, but in my time I've told at least three bodhran-bearers to piss off. And I will not apologise.


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 03:55 AM

"but in my time I've told at least three bodhran-bearers to piss off."
Will you marry me and have my babies???
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the english and irish traditions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 04:48 AM

Can't, Jim. I had the snip years ago. Down, girls...


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