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AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away

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THE SEAMEN'S HYMN


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GUEST,Nick Dow 28 Jul 14 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,# 28 Jul 14 - 08:35 PM
Reinhard 29 Jul 14 - 01:00 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 14 - 03:32 AM
mikesamwild 29 Jul 14 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 14 - 04:52 AM
Brian Peters 29 Jul 14 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 14 - 05:23 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Jul 14 - 05:29 AM
Brian Peters 29 Jul 14 - 05:42 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Jul 14 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 14 - 06:33 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Jul 14 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 14 - 07:47 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Jul 14 - 09:22 AM
Lighter 29 Jul 14 - 11:35 AM
Dave Sutherland 29 Jul 14 - 12:17 PM
Herga Kitty 29 Jul 14 - 12:37 PM
Les in Chorlton 29 Jul 14 - 12:40 PM
Lighter 29 Jul 14 - 12:46 PM
Brian Peters 29 Jul 14 - 01:13 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jul 14 - 01:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 29 Jul 14 - 01:43 PM
Lighter 29 Jul 14 - 03:56 PM
GUEST 29 Jul 14 - 05:45 PM
Lighter 29 Jul 14 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 14 - 07:44 PM
Herga Kitty 29 Jul 14 - 08:10 PM
Lighter 29 Jul 14 - 08:52 PM
Charley Noble 29 Jul 14 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Jul 14 - 03:22 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jul 14 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Jul 14 - 06:16 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jul 14 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Jul 14 - 07:39 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jul 14 - 07:58 AM
Lighter 30 Jul 14 - 08:55 AM
Phil Cooper 30 Jul 14 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Jul 14 - 09:06 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jul 14 - 09:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jul 14 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Jul 14 - 10:11 AM
Dave Sutherland 30 Jul 14 - 12:12 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Jul 14 - 12:54 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Jul 14 - 05:31 PM
Brian Peters 30 Jul 14 - 08:29 PM
Jim Carroll 31 Jul 14 - 02:14 AM
Brian Peters 31 Jul 14 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Jul 14 - 07:57 AM
Brian Peters 31 Jul 14 - 08:06 AM
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Subject: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 28 Jul 14 - 08:13 PM

OK if I am wrong I deserve a serious verbal kicking, I REALLY want to be wrong, because I met Bert and respected him. but the more research I do the more worried I am about some of Berts industrial songs,

I know he wrote the odd verse, to the and the Coal owner and the pitmans wife but I have found the following

With my pit boots on appears to be a word for word take from William Stokes of Chew Magna Somerset 'With my kettle Smock on' with pit boots substituted and a different tune

The tune for the weaver and the Factory maid seems to be taken from Elizabeth Mogg Doddington Somerset from her fragment The Irish Boy and attributed to William Oliver of Widnes who appears to have sung only one other song if he existed at all.

Underneath her apron appears to be a hybrid version. So it goes on...

I have no real axe to grind and no particular interest in industrial Folksong I just keep coming accross tunes and words that sort of appear to be in the wrong place, if that makes any sense. Warning bells keep going off and a nasty voice keeps whispering , We've been taken for a ride here!! Please tear me to shreds I want to be wrong, or am I going to have to agree with Dave Harker that AL LLoyd WAS the one that got away


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,#
Date: 28 Jul 14 - 08:35 PM

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=110171

Malcolm Douglas posted that a number of years back.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Reinhard
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 01:00 AM

See the thread Bertsongs


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 03:32 AM

thanks! Not like me to be years behind everybody else (No change there then}
Nick


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: mikesamwild
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 04:32 AM

Most CDs of trad songs by contemporary singers have sleeve notes that tell how they conflate and tweak songs to suit their interpretation. They don't usually give sources or say what they made up themselves. At the latest Bradfiled Trad weekend vic Smith played a long recording of Gordon Hall where Gordon explained the same process which he used.

What annoys me is how Bert and McColl 'alledgedly' invented people to authenticate their words and songs. Their motives would be interesting to understand, hoax, academic respectability, authority, pathology???

I'm sure it goes on all the time to afford authority to the academic.like all foundation myths.
To ordinary singing people you just tweak the words or make mistakes. it's only when we get into academia and reputations that it seems to matter very much.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 04:52 AM

I what you mean. I change words all the time, and the current issue of Living tradition has a piece in about me in which I extol the virtues of just that, but swiping a tune inventing a singer and publishing it in the Journals for study is something different, even if you believe the end justifies the means.
I'm just sad about Bert, now I've finally caught up with every one else. At least I got there on my own, is ignorance bliss?


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 05:11 AM

"The tune for the weaver and the Factory maid seems to be taken from Elizabeth Mogg Doddington Somerset from her fragment The Irish Boy and attributed to William Oliver of Widnes who appears to have sung only one other song if he existed at all."

As you now know, Nick, we did discuss this one - and others - a year or two back. Like you I'd be interested to know more about 'William Oliver', but Roy Palmer's article 'The Weaver in Love' (FMJ, 1977) did turn up Lloyd's source for the tune, which was in the Kidson MS attached to a song called 'T'Owd Weaver' (which tells a similar kind of story). Even on the basis of what he communicated to Palmer as Oliver's original text, though, it's clear that Lloyd had made some significant changes before relaunching the song. The fact that the factory maid was wealthy and thus unattainable seems to have got muddied somewhere!


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 05:23 AM

Take look at Roud 3334 same tune I think. What's your take Brian?


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 05:29 AM

I am somewhat exercised by the thread title, Nick, which you appear to cite as from a formulation by Dave Harker: "got away" from what, precisely -- or, if in some way rhetorical or metaphorical, "got away" in what sense?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 05:42 AM

Virtually the same tune, Nick. Obviously attached itself to two entirely different songs - or been borrowed somewhere back in the 19th century.

Michael, I'd have thought that "the one that got away" refers to the fact (or at least Harker's assertion of the fact) that the editorial practices of collectors from previous ages, (e.g. Percy, Scott, Baring-Gould, Sharp, etc.) had already been subjected to scrutiny and found wanting. Lloyd's reputation - in Harker's day, at least - remained intact.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 05:54 AM

Ah, thank you, Brian; that makes good sense. In fact, a somewhat abridged form of "got away with it"?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 06:33 AM

Sorry Mick typical Nick Dow shortcut.

Brian, yes it's chicken and egg I suppose. I think the Somerset version might be related to The Bonnie Irish Boy {not to be confused with The Labouring Boy} Shirley Collins got a version from an Irish bus conductor in the 1950's
With a bit of adaption it might be worth singing. This is sort of where we came in isn't it?


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 07:22 AM

I don't expect anybody to read the 300 + posts on the thread shown above - I think Bert has been 'outed' for a number of 'crimes'. One I think he should be forgiven for is attaching 'Donald where's your trousers' to Jack Orien.

As to the motives of Bert & Ewan surely they were intent on popularising the music of working people and showing that when people came to the factories and mills from the land to the Industrial Revolution they brought their songs and creativity with them. In the process the songs evolved to reflect the new working circumstances in which people found themselves.

As Marxists they new the 'theory' and if they had to generate some songs and some sources they just did it.

They were clearly dishonest in giving surces that didn't exist - they weren't academic but got adopted as such by others.

Does their contribution to the Second Revival still stand above all others? I think so


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Subject: RE AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 07:47 AM

Good point Les. I never considered that. Being chucked into an academic mess full of persons with loads of brains and no common sense is something that happened to me in the 1980's when I was song collecting. I ended up throwing my toys out of my pram and sulking for a decade or so. You would be amazed at the venom spat at me. I can sort of forgive Bert for cutting a few corners. {I think} Something about the road to hell and good intentions springs to mind.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 09:22 AM

A number of genuine academics have brought much light to 'folk', Georgina Boyes for one. The problem in the 1960s onwards was people adopting Bert & Ewan's view and all that make believe about Morris and fertility and so on with out any real recourse to evidence.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 11:35 AM

Wherever there's a noticeable difference, Lloyd's lyrics really are superior to those of his sources, direct or conflated. The improvements are always tactful and often no more than a few words. That makes them more palatable.

Of course, if all one cares about is a "good song" as experienced in the here and now, there's no problem.

The difficulty is for those who, long ago, were led to "study" (as Nick Dow says) Lloyd's versions as the real McCoy. The invention of imaginary, named informants is inexcusable. Why not just say, "This is my version of an old song that blah blah blah blah...."

Presumably because Lloyd saw himself as the spokesman of mute, inglorious Miltons. Who, in such cases, didn't quite exist.

Others thought of themselves in much the same way, but without the scholarly veneer.

We can absolve Lloyd and MacColl of responsibility for the "fertility" stuff. That had been the orientation of many romantic, academic folklorists for decades.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 12:17 PM

I know it is a bit of a stock answer of mine whenever this type of thread comes up but once again there must be dozens of singers who perform "The Recruited Collier", "Jack Orion", "Two Magicians", "The Demon Lover" and "Reynardine" (to mention but a few) who have never even heard of A.L.Lloyd. So what he did – was it so terribly wrong?


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 12:37 PM

Entertainment v historical accuracy.... discuss.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 12:40 PM

"Wherever there's a noticeable difference, Lloyd's lyrics really are superior to those of his sources, direct or conflated. The improvements are always tactful and often no more than a few words. That makes them more palatable. "

Matter of opinion on point one, he has been known to make up most of some songs - probably the Blackleg Miner for one.


Intrestin point Dave - maybe nothing is terribly wrong in folk, although we all have something in the closet.

making up people is more than a bit crap isn't it?


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 12:46 PM

Nobody likes to be fooled, and experts (and Lloyd was one)shouldn't set out to fool them.

So the answer is yes.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 01:13 PM

"As to the motives of Bert & Ewan surely they were intent on popularising the music of working people and showing that when people came to the factories and mills from the land to the Industrial Revolution they brought their songs and creativity with them."

Les, I hope you'll have read Roy Palmer's 'Working Songs'. A real treasure trove of well-documented and authentic songs that really were sung by working people in factories, mills and mines.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 01:22 PM

Once a scholar has been 'outed' I think we can be excused for taking the rest of their contribution with a pinch of salt, or at least research the material ourselves.

Having said that I have no gripe with MacColl and Seeger, Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland.

It has been said many times on many threads, the songs Bert and Ewan mediated are among some of the best we have. We should and do sing them and celebrate them. We just shouldn't use them as examples of items that have come from oral tradition. It's quite simple really.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 01:43 PM

Not as yet Brian but honest I will read Roy Palmer. It would be intrestin to know in what sense Bert was an academic. Did he have an official post as such in a place of Higher Education? I guess I will have to read Paul's biog again


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 03:56 PM

*He* wasn't an academic, nor did he ever claim to be. But his orientation was in line with the prevailing academic romanticism. He was a real expert in the sense that he knew far more about folk music than did most people.

Lloyd's affinity for romance (including the Marxist kind) makes his various sleeve notes and "Folksong in England" a pleasure to read. How fully reliable they may be, however, is another question.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 05:45 PM

Well, the most obvious invention is the name of "Ewan McColl" himself. Jimmy Miller was his real name, McColl his stage name.

What worries me is that this fabulation extends beyond the permissible allegory of political activism into our understanding of the folk heritage. Some aspects of the dark end of satanicism were worked on in those periods, in things like The Wicker Man and some of the work of Benjamin Britten, and these may have twisted the white side of faith as well. It already suffered from the aftermath of Victorian Romanicism in the neo-Gothic, typified by fabulations such as the communal adoption of a jingoistic form of Chivalry which bears little if any relationship even to the norms of the Court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and which drove the flower of European youth into the trenches of WWI. It was a broad school, running from James MacDonald Fraser to Rudyard Kipling via the likes of Harrison Ainsworth, but was followed to some extent by the likes of the Quiller Couch family as an inspiration to RVW's generation of collectors. We then see the work of Robert Graves' circle in the foundation of modern paganism.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 06:02 PM

Don't you mean Sir James George Frazer?

"Mark Twain" was really Samuel Clemens, and "Boris Karloff" was Bill Pratt. "MacColl"/ Miller strikes me as being equally innocuous.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 07:44 PM

How the bloody hell have we got from Bert fabricating songs to the post from Guest above. I've just remembered why I don't like academics
And it was all going so well.....


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 08:10 PM

I think that people are basically agreeing with the premise of your original post, Nick. And it probably wasn't just the industrial songs (Laslo Feyer comes to mind.....)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 08:52 PM

Hey, I'm an academic!

Uh-oh, perhaps I've said too much....


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 09:38 PM

Nick-

Don't lose any sleep over "Guest's" post above. He or she doesn't have the courage to post as a real or even a fictitious person, and has an old ax to grind with Ewan/Jimmy.

I think A. L. Lloyd was playing fast and loose with many of the songs he "collected" in England and Australia. But I really enjoyed listening to what he recorded.

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 03:22 AM

That's better we're back on track. On a serious note, I am learning a lot here, and sort of going along with most of the posts. If I had kept up with the rest of you, my own discovery would not have been such a bombshell. So many thanks and please keep replying


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 04:06 AM

We discussed Bert very briefly last night at our Singaround. Dave Bishop, who has been singing and inspiring us all in Manchester and many other places for about a thousand years said he remembers Bert turning up at a club in Peterborough sometime in the 1960s and singing to an audience of teenagers and mesmerising them with his songs and stories.

John Routledge, singer and smallpipes player, another millenian,if that's a word, made the point that when Bert worked for the Coal Board - writting in Coal Board publications and asking for any songs connected with or sung by miners he recieved a lot of material. Some were complete songs with and with out tunes and some were fragments. This became on editing , I think, Come all you Bold Miners.

Bert left a heritage of folk music much richer than he found it. What we do with it is up to us isn't it?


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 06:16 AM

That's the bigger picture, Thanks


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 06:57 AM

Enjoyed your article in Living Tradition Nick. As a humble guitar player I feel reassured.

I remember seeing a guitar player, who's name may return to me in a while, he played a guitar piece written and performed by the guitar player out of the Prog Rock Band Yes. It was truly astonishing. He did everything physically, musically and emotionally that it was possible to play on a guitar. A few years later I saw him again. He was acompanying a famous Irish Harp player. He chatted between songs and tunes and explained that once having seen a famous singer appear on stage with 4 Martin guitars - all in different tunings - he decided things should be simpler. So he went back to standard tuning and playing where ever possible in C.

Thanks again


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 07:39 AM

My left hand is buggered. can't hold a C chord very well have sort of adapted everything, and done a Django on the basic chords, using loads of open strings. It's all I need now, the old voice is better than ever. Getting back to Bert, I agree about his storytelling and club gigs, he could be fascinating. Look at this! I'm falling back in love with his legacy.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 07:58 AM

And so should we all Nick!


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 08:55 AM

The ultimate question, perhaps, is whether Lloyd's songs were "fakes." Well, no, they weren't. They are just not very typical and not very reliable sources of information about nineteenth-century song culture.

As somebody once asked ironically, "Are the Arabian Nights a fake?"

The question's relevance depends on what you want. What we call The Arabian Nights is a translation (or a modernization of a translation)of various translations of various dates from various cultures. ("Aladdin" is Chinese, and "Sindbad" doesn't even appear in the earliest editions.) That makes it a real problem for scholars studying the stories and the cultures, but not for anybody else.

And there's a time-related element as well. Take Lloyd's "Reynardine." We feel cheated and hoaxed to learn that Lloyd deliberately suggested that R. was a were-fox by slyly adding a detail about teeth that only the folklorically inclined would be likely to notice. But in a hundred years, their descendants may be fascinated by the idea that "horror films were so popular in the mid-twentieth century that even 'Reynardine' was turned into a were-fox."

Some of them will undoubtedly add, "by the folk."


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 08:58 AM

I recall hearing the late Peter Bellamy saying that one needed to take Lloyd's findings with a grain of salt. On my part, I like many of his song settings.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 09:06 AM

So where does that leave our understanding of Industrial Folk Songs.
(Not asking for much am I?-Next thread the meaning of life}


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 09:19 AM

Ok, I guess this has been said a million times before:

Bert & Ewan were Marxists with a whole bag of ideas about class, culture and performance. These ideas grew out of their pre-war experiences of life, theatre and of what we now call folk songs.

After they met Alan Lomax, another Marxist, song collector and folklorist, they became even more committed to performing and popularising folk songs and they were determined to show the political content of songs as they moved from their rural origins into the Industrial Revolution.

If they had to alter songs, make up songs and talk 'seriously' about folk songs then they did - does it happen in any other genre of music that the performers explain the origin and meaning of songs brfore they sing them?. They did this essentially for political reasons - to raise working class consciousness and bring Revolution nearer.

Yes, I know I said this all above but 'sometimes' people joining in late date read earlier posts.

Well, maybe some class consciousness was raised but not a lot and The Revolution?

But we have loads of great songs. Thanks to them and bigger loads of others


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 09:22 AM

Sorry Nick, you posted whilst I was blathering. Brian Peters pointed the way - Read everything by Roy Palmer


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 10:11 AM

OK all points taken on board, and understood, not in any way dismissing anything that's been kindly said, and really not clevering and trying to have the last word, I've just tracked down T'owd Weaver in Kidson. ROUD 17771 and hate to say it the tune ain't that which Bert used. It's in 6/8 not 5/4. BUT the newly informed Dow will gladly concede that the Somerset tune is a great deal better, so thanks Bert, which sort of sums it all up. And now this irritating old fart is desperate to know what was the original song entitled 'The Irish Boy Roud 3334 is it any wonder I'm on medication. Please feel free to have two of the red pills and a lie down


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 12:12 PM

In a conversation with the late Pete Elliott some twenty odd years ago we were discussing Bert's version of "Celebrated Working Man" which he recorded on "The Iron Muse" which differed considerably from Jack Elliott's version which came from Yankee Jim Roberts with whom Jack worked. Knowing how the Elliott family would have gone to the wall for Bert, Pete dismissed his version of the song as "wangling" but stressed that it was the only occasion that he was aware of Bert doing such a thing. The only other instance that I could cite as being an obvious Lloyd "creation" is his variant of "When a Man's In Love" which is the only version of this Irish ballad which contains any erotic content; I have heard lots of other singers perform this song, often citing different sources, but with a far more platonic ending than Bert's.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 12:54 PM

"Jimmy Miller was his real name, McColl his stage name."
Actually it wasn't - MacColl actually officially changed his name and never made a secret of that fact - not to those who knew him anyway.
His name-change had far more to do with his army career than his stage career.
I'm never sure why it's such an issue - never seems to be with that Zimmermann feller.
"What annoys me is how Bert and McColl 'allegedly' invented people to authenticate their words and songs."
Do you have any flesh and bones to this legend Mike?
I once spent an afternoon with two friends, Ruth and Eddie Frow, both of whom I'm sure you will know.
They regaled me with information of the huge number of songs Ewan's parents both had, particularly the number of 'bits of queer Scots ballads' William Miller used to sing - both Eddie and Ruth were contemporaries of Ewan's parents.
For instance, one of Ewan's sources, Harold Sladen, was a lodger with the Miller family, and well known as a singer.
I have become convinced that Ewan took many of those 'bits' and built them into full songs for the revival.
Never get tired of quoting this - the first contact Ewan had with the arts world,
"Ewan MacColl was himself a victim of the Depression. The son of an unemployed Glasgow steelworker, who had moved to Salford in search of work during the twenties, he had suffered every privation and humiliation that poverty could contrive for him from the age of ten. His memories of his early years are still bitter—like his recollection of how to kill aimless time in a world where there was nothing else to do: "You go in the Public Library. And the old men are there standing against the pipes to get warm, all the newspaper parts are occupied, and you pick a book up. I can remember then that you got the smell of the unemployed, a kind of sour or bitter-sweet smell, mixed in with the smell of old books, dust, leather and the rest of it. So now if I pick up, say, a Dostoievsky—immediately with the first page, there's that smell of poverty in 1931."
MacColl had been out busking for pennies by the Manchester theatres and cinemas. The songs he sang were unusual, Scots songs, Gaelic songs he had learnt from his mother, border ballads and folk-songs. One night while queueing up for the three-and-sixpennies, Kenneth Adam had heard him singing outside the Manchester Paramount. He was suitably impressed. Not only did he give MacColl a handout; he also advised him to go and audition for Archie Harding at the BBC studios in Manchester's Piccadilly.
PROSPERO AND ARIEL (The rise and fall of radio, a personal recollection – D G Bridson 1971)"
Adam's meeting with MacColl was circa 1934, at least a decade and a half before the Folk Song Revival was a twinkle in anybody's eye.
We are at present working on two radio programmes to commemorate the 100th anniversary of MacColl's birth.
One of the problems has been cutting through the urban legends surrounding the man - pretty much, "if it doesn't fit modern preconceptions it must have been invented".
Coincidentally - or not - we have met the same problems with comparing the information we received from field singers we interviewed with modern theories as to who wrote the folk songs.
There must be a great deal of researched information on these subjects that the rest of us aren't privy to - yet - perhaps one day....!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 05:31 PM

Hi Jim,
I'll start by saying I agree with everything you've contributed here.

However we shouldn't treat MacColl and Lloyd as the same in this context. In many ways they did similar things. I'd say probably right upto 'Travellers' Songs' no scholar this side of the Atlantic would have looked at anything produced by MacColl as necessarily having come verbatim from a source singer. However I have seen writings from American scholars even upto quite recently that take MacColl's Child Ballads for instance as unmediated, perhaps because he picked up fragments of them from his parents.

Until about 10 years ago however Lloyd's songs were treated by the majority of singers and scholars alike as unmediated and Bert should have known better. What he did was brilliant (I don't think anyone would argue with that!) but it was a deception.

The big problem with all deceivers, particularly those that have a large output, is we will never know the extent of their deception fully and therefore their work is forever tainted.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 08:29 PM

Good work, Nick. I took another look at the Roy Palmer paper and I don't think I'm mistaken in the attributions he gives. Must check again tomorrow.

Personally I want no part in a Bert witch-hunt, but it's good to set the record straight and, well, it's just interesting.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 02:14 AM

Steve
As you say, one of the problems with discussions like this is that people tend to treat Ewan and Bert as coming from the same direction - they didn't.
Bert was a scholar (!) who sang, Ewan was a singer whose whole aim in life was to help create a situation where folk-song was accepted as a serious creative art.
Most singers I met (including me, when I sang seriously) adapted songs to suit themselves, their personal tastes and their circumstances - often described as being "part of the tradition" - I don't believe it was, but that way be dragons!
Ewan did it extensively throughout his involvement with folksong and if you tackled him, he would admit it and explain what he did (when he could remember).
Some of his discoveries/creations, like Alan Tyne of Harrow, became standards in the repertoire - certainly in mine, and I certainly wasn't bothered which was his and which belonged to the tradition, not as a singer or devotee of song anyway.
If Ewan had any claim to scholarship, it was in the work he did on developing singers, his work on relaxation, on analysing songs to make them part of the singer, his introducing Laben and Stanislavski into singing work - that was MacColl's genius.
Unfortunately, we have never got round to discussing this part of his contribution because of the garbage-mountain that miraculously appears whenever his name is mentioned.   
Ewan wasn't someone who you would automatically think of if you wished to learn of song origins - he was a singer's singer.
Bert was very much a different creature; the few times I managed to talk to him I was left with the impression of somebody who couldn't quite make up his mind what he was, singer or scholar.
I have to admit, I never found him particularly approachable or generous with ideas or information, not in the way I found Ewan and still find Peggy.
I found him remarkably entertaining to listen to, not so much as a singer, but certainly as a speaker (maybe 'talker' is a better word) - his 'Folk Song Virtuoso', 'Songs of the People', and 'The Lament' still have the power to lift the hairs on the back of the neck, after dozens of listenings.
Not sure how academically reliable they are, I suspect somewhat flawed, but certainly inspirational, which was exactly what I and many like me needed when we first heard them.
Both Ewan and Bert played an important part in my enjoyment, and later, understanding of folk song - that neither of then were able to walk on water was immaterial, and it would have been unfair to have expected them to do so.
If Ewan and Bert had anything in common, it was almost certainly their ability to inspire and encourage people to lift the corner of folk-song to see what was underneath.
For that I will be eternally grateful.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Brian Peters
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 05:11 AM

OK, I checked Roy Palmer's 'Weaver in Love' paper, and it looks like they printed the tunes the wrong way round. The one given with Lloyd / Mr Oliver's words is the 6/8 one that Nick has identified correctly as the one in Kidson's MS. The one given for the Kidson 'T'Owd Weaver' is the 5/4 one that lloyd/Steeleye used. However, Roy Palmer says in the endnotes that the Oliver tune is similar to Enos White's 'In Sheffield Park' - and that is in 5/4. Not as similar to Lloyd's 'Handweaver' as Nick's Roud 3334, mind.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 07:57 AM

Busy trying to put other verses to 3334 at the moment. reckon I'll adapt The Bonnie Irish Boy words which will make sense with Elizabeth Moggs words. Now I wonder where I'll take my inspiration from??? Somebody told me Bert was good at this sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: AL Lloyd, is he the one that got away
From: Brian Peters
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 08:06 AM

Nick, you do realise that every time you sing it, people will come up and say, 'I love the way you sing The Bonnie Irish Boy to that Steeleye Span tune!'


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