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New Book: Folk Song in England

GUEST,just another guest 16 Jan 18 - 10:35 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Jan 18 - 10:18 AM
Richard Mellish 16 Jan 18 - 09:54 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Jan 18 - 08:46 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Jan 18 - 08:45 AM
Richard Mellish 16 Jan 18 - 07:56 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Jan 18 - 04:36 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Jan 18 - 04:33 AM
The Sandman 16 Jan 18 - 03:57 AM
Lighter 15 Jan 18 - 07:52 PM
Richard Mellish 15 Jan 18 - 06:46 PM
The Sandman 15 Jan 18 - 01:16 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Jan 18 - 01:15 PM
Lighter 15 Jan 18 - 01:03 PM
Richard Mellish 15 Jan 18 - 12:29 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Jan 18 - 03:22 AM
Tootler 14 Jan 18 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,just another guest 14 Jan 18 - 03:36 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Jan 18 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,just another guest 14 Jan 18 - 02:10 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Jan 18 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 14 Jan 18 - 12:29 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Jan 18 - 11:45 AM
Howard Jones 14 Jan 18 - 06:01 AM
Richard Mellish 14 Jan 18 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 13 Jan 18 - 08:29 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 18 - 08:59 AM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 18 - 08:57 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 18 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 13 Jan 18 - 07:57 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 18 - 05:08 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 04:52 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 04:38 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 04:37 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 04:36 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 04:31 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 04:28 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 04:22 PM
GUEST 12 Jan 18 - 04:11 PM
Richard Mellish 12 Jan 18 - 03:32 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 03:08 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Jan 18 - 03:00 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 02:01 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 01:58 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Jan 18 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,just another guest 12 Jan 18 - 01:45 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 01:43 PM
Richard Mellish 12 Jan 18 - 01:24 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 18 - 01:24 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Jan 18 - 01:11 PM
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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 10:35 AM

In the absence of hard evidence I can't see us getting beyond informed guesswork for most songs, based on subjective assessments of their wording.

If someone went to the considerable effort making all the texts computer readable then modern techniques of text analysis would probably help go beyond the subjective.

Even usage of individual words may tell us something. How often so words like 'lucubrate' and 'viands' (from The Sandman's last post) appear. Is that typical of the vocabulary of "somebody educated in a hedge school" ? (or am I missing some irony in that post)


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 10:18 AM

"No-one has claimed 100%."
From Steve Gardham
"Date: 19 Apr 11 - 05:14 PM
"You're now changing my 95% into 100%, Jim."

This needs to be taken in context with Steve Gardham's other claims on Folklore, folk music and dance

"Date: 23 Apr 12 - 02:46 PM
From Steve Gardham
'The same goes for 'folk' tales, customs, beliefs, dances, music, lore, painting.... it is their common origin which identifies them all as "folk art" '
Sorry, Jim, this is just not true, except one would presume with folk painting, much of the rest originated in high art! Or certainly higher than the common folk, sophisticated sources in other words. Dances in particular."

Leavinbg working people onl;y ever havoing prodi=uced cave paintings and scrimshaw

"All right, take them as families instead"
I've given you two so far Richard - feel free

"I note that Steve has given up on this thread for the last few days and I think I'll join him until someone contributes something new."
Sorry Richard - it's not for the want of trying on my part - you and everybody else have masses to respond to, yet everybody appears too reluctant to do so
The situation is simple - you accept that working people were capable of making their songs, you need to say why they didn't and why it is more likely that these were Urban products
Not to do so is an indication that you are unable to present an alternative and that any amount of argument you are given will produce the same result
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 09:54 AM

No-one has claimed 100%. That figure has only ever been mentioned by Jim or by someone else quoting Jim.

> "Let's take each one on its individual merits"
You really don't have to do this Richard
periods in history gave rise to entire families of song <

All right, take them as families instead. The same considerations apply. Make your own judgements as to who wrote them, how true to life or otherwise they are and what they tell us about what people thought and felt. Taking them as families you can also assess how far each song was a new composition in its own right and how far it was a recycling of a previous song.

I note that Steve has given up on this thread for the last few days and I think I'll join him until someone controbutes something new.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 08:46 AM

"86 to 100%"
Sorry - that should reas 96 to 100%
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 08:45 AM

"The disagreement is only about how many of the songs in the classic "
For the umpteenth time Richard the argument is that it is overwhelming number - 86 to 100%
If that is the figure you accept, your acknowledgement that workers made some of the songs is little more than lip service
Even the two Steves have accepted that workers may have made some
The fact that inter-class marriages was an important enough issue to have inspired songs indicates that they were coming from a grass-roots level - the beneficiaries of the state of affairs weren't too concerned about it
Anyway - it's not just a matter of upper-class families - the practice of marrying off daughters 'for land' or even selling off pretty daughters to wealthy clients was common to all classes
The Lord Leitrim assassination, where Clements was said to have claimed the right of 'Droit du seigneur' (first night with the bride of his underlings) gave rise to a dozen songs.
"Let's take each one on its individual merits"
You really don't have to do this Richard
periods in history gave rise to entire families of song
I've already covered the 'Broken Token' group
The 'Banks of the Nile', 'Manchester Angel', 'Lisbon' songs refer to the prectice of 'Camp Following' - often referred to soldiers wives, but also included large numbers of barbers, doctors, barbers, dealers, publicans,   prostitutes.... anybody who would serve the soldiers needs while on combat
The women were used to pass ammunition to the troops during the battles   
THis is my note for 'The Banks of the Nile on the Clare County Library website:

EBanks of the Nile (Roud 950 Laws N9)
Pat MacNamara
The theme of this song; a woman asking her soldier or sailor lover to be allowed to accompany him to battle or to sea, is not so unbelievable as it might first appear.
Armies once trudged their way around the world accompanied by 'camp-followers', mobile settlements of women, children and tradesmen all running risks not too different of those taken by active soldiers.
Following the defeat of the rebels at Vinegar Hill in 1798, British troops rounded up and massacres the camp-followers who has assisted the rebels during the fighting.
Camp following lasted into the nineteenth century and continued to be a common part of army life into the 19th century.
The same went for seamen; in 1822 an anonymous pamphlet suggested that members of the Royal Navy were taking as many as two women apiece aboard the ships. These women also proved useful in that they fought alongside their lovers at the Nile and Trafalgar during the Napoleonic wars.
The well-known saying "show a leg" is said to have originated from the practice of officers in the Royal Navy clearing the crew from their hammocks and bunks by demanding that the occupant sticks their leg out to show whether they were male or female.
'Banks of the Nile' is probably the best known song of women accompanying their lovers into battle or on board ship.
Though this version refers to the practice happening among the Irish military forces, the song is just as popular in England and probably originated there"

In the case of some of these songs, the woman is often pregnant
I'll happily go on to the poaching songs if you wish.
If this doesn't add social or historical significance to the songs, then nothing will

We really have tried to examine individual songs - at Steve Gardahm's insistence, but when it didn't go his way he did a runner
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 07:56 AM

Small correction to my 15 Jan 18 - 06:46 PM post:
I omitted a few words when I re-typed my lost post. I meant to say
"I have loved folk songs for most of my life ..."

Jim
> people can't even bring themselves around to considering the possibility that working people produced songs about their lives, and have gone for the commercial theory with the enthusiasm that a terrier goes for a rat

For the umpteenth time; all of us agree that working people did produce songs about their lives. The disagreement is only about how many of the songs in the classic Victorian and Edwardian collections originated in that way rather than from commercial song writers. In the absence of hard evidence I can't see us getting beyond informed guesswork for most songs, based on subjective assessments of their wording.

Anyway there is a continuum, from strictly factual accounts from eye witnesses to total fiction. In between there are many, such as the ballads of inter-class marriages being prevented, that may or may not be true accounts concerning real individuals (Tiftie's Annie clearly is a true account, at least in outline if not in detail) but anyway do accurately reflect the state of affairs in society in those times (whoever wrote them!). The tales of inter-class marriages being achieved despite parental opposition are more likely to be fantasies, but who's to say for certain for any specific instance?

I said yesterday
"Let's take each one on its individual merits
a) as a song that we enjoy singing or hearing for its own sake, and
b) as possible evidence of how things really were for certain people at a certain time in the past."

Lighter commented
"But not very good evidence because the songs are often heavily stylized, and post-1900 historians have unearthed far better sources, which they cite extensively in their publications."

Indeed often not very good evidence but there will be exceptions.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 04:36 AM

Five Church
Fyvie of course - sorry
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 04:33 AM

"Why is it so important to distinguish the workaday "broadside hacks" from other working people as creators of song texts?"
For the same reason you attempt to distinguish the work of craftsmen from that turned out on the conveyor belt - one is produced for profit, the other because the maker brings something else to his or her creation
It is the case with all art
The iporance of who produced the songs lies in the possible reason they were made in the first place - the Steves go for money and simple entertainment, I have come to the conclusion that it is far deeper than that
The lives of people are reproduced in microcosm in whole genres of our folk repertoire

Take the social misalliance songs or those of arranged or forced marriage
At the time many of them were made, society was shifting, the old order of gentry was being replaced by the successful tradesmen who sought land and power
A presentable daughter was not just a 'joy to behold', but she was 'money in the bank' for an ambitious family - a step up the social ladder.
The human effects were reproduced in many songs.
One of the most remark examples of this is the ballad 'Tiftie's Annie'(Child 233)
On the surface, it is a family tragedy, a young woman associates with a servant to a local lord, the family disapprove the liaison and o to extremes to prevent it, and eventually beat her to death to prevent it
A powerful plot, worthy of the greatest writers anyway
Start digging into the ballad and it becomes even greater
THere are whole layers in the ballad - at first it's fine to fancy the servant, even the mother does, but, once it goes beyond that things get sertious
First they take the piss on the match, then they lock her away and when they realise the girl is serious, the father writes to Lord Fivie accusing him of witchcraft:

And Tiftie's penned a long letter ands sent it off to Fivie
To say his daughter was bewitched by the servant, Andrew Lammie

Andrew is forced to answer the charges in Edinburgh and while he is away the girl is systematically beaten by all the members of the family in turn until her back is broken - they would rather see her dead than risk the rise of the family fortune with a disgraceful match
The added importance of the ballad is that it is based on traceable historical characters
We visited Five Church - there is a large stone tablet on the wall in a very prominent position honouring local miller, William Tifitie.
WE couldn't find the daughter's grave, but some time later local folk enthusiasts located it and cleaned it up.
The mill is marked on local maps
Making a ballad on this incident would require local knowledge not available to a town songmaker and the subtle skill that went in to its making is way beyond that of a townie hack

THe folk repertoire throughout Britain and Ireland abounds with such creations, mostly on a smaller scale, because the situation that prevailed was common to all
When Harry Cox sang 'Betsy the Serving Maid' to Lomax and spat out; "and that's what they think of us", he made it quite clear that he was aware of the social significance of the song - it puzzles me why people here can't grasp that significance.

"but of changing tastes."
I believe the greatest mistake made in trying to understand folk songs is to take them out of context and treat them out of context
Great art is multi-layered - ranging from simple titillation to historical and social information -
Dickens is probably one of the finest examples of this, from the death of Little Nell through the upheaval caused by the Industrial changes taking place, Revolutionary Europe, squabbles over inheritance of property, the mechanics of the Law, the Gordon Riots... to surviving on the London streets
All a magnificent artistic dip into 19th century Britain presented in magnificent prose
His mate, Wilkie Collins, with his obsession of a woman's right to inherit property, produced highly enjoyable early feminist novels - and one of England's early detectives.

I believe our folk songs did the same on a smaller scale, but in a way, a far more important one
They are small histories of a people who has been largely ignored by historians, made by the people who experienced the events the songs deal with.
THese are all only possibilities of course - even the two Steves have admitted that, but if it is a possibility, it's surely worth consideration
Little sign of that so far - people can't even bring themselves around to considering the possibility that workig people produced songs about their lives, and have gone for the commercial theory with the enthusiasm that a terrier goes for a rat
Beyond me, I'm afraid
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 03:57 AM

here is an example of a song that i imagine was written by somebody educated in a hedge school, but is a fine piece of writing

   

[Ye damsels of Castalia Melpomene and Thalia
Extenuate an alien that languishes in woe]
Dan Cupid has surprised me waylaid and pauperised me
Why thus he martyrises me is what I wish to know
Exiled in this fair city a paragon of pity
I lucubrate my ditty and I catalogue to tell?
Of the beauties of that matron my connoisseur and patron
That consort fit for Satan the star of Sunday's well.

Expressly fabricated for to be venerated?
Her weight is estimated at fully fifteen stone
The undulating ocean recalls her vagrant motion
Magnanimous devotion I render her alone
She's blooming and she's bonny with real estate and money
A flowerlet filled with honey in a soft suburban dell
And I the bee go soaring around her bower adoring?
The beauty and the store of the star of Sunday's well.

This matron subsidises both Beamish's and Wise's
The viands that she prizes provide most comely fare
Yet I wish I could administer a modicum of Guinness t'her
For there is nothing sinister or medieval there
Her heart I would allure it but that a grocer's curate?
Is planning to secure it by artifices fell
But I've dropped hints abundant to that obscure incumbent?
To flutter less redundant round the star of Sunday's well.

All through the summer weather two lovers linked together
Patrolled Marina's heather or strolled along the Dyke
The blackbirds and the thrushes established in the bushes?
Their elegies in gushes propelled to Kerry Pike
I heard their jocund royster and yearned all for his cloister?
The quaint but fulsome oyster like a hermit in his cell
But I lacked reciprocation in this matron's cognition
For I got a harsh negation from the star of Sunday's well.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jan 18 - 07:52 PM

Why is it so important to distinguish the workaday "broadside hacks" from other working people as creators of song texts?

Is it because the hack-work is unfaithful to the lives of non-hacks?

Evidently the non-hacks didn't think so, since, whatever the proportion, they sang whatever broadside ballads appealed to them.

I.e., had the "ring of truth," or at least the virtue of humor.

Isn't the penchant of some singers for the flowery neo-classical lyrics that we disdain an indication not of origin, but of changing tastes.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 15 Jan 18 - 06:46 PM

Bugger! Spent some time writing and editing a post, neglected to save it as text, and it vanished. Trying again, while I can remember some of what I said.

I have loved folk songs (in a moderately broad sense of the term, including songs by the likes of Tommy Armstrong, Sydney Carter and Cyril Tawney, but not as broad as the way that some people use it). However I have not studied broadsides and have no basis for putting my own figure on the proportion of the collected corpus that started life there (or in the theatre or pleasure gardens). As the Steves have studied broadsides extensively, I am inclined to accept their figure of 90-odd percent.

Most of the early collectors were well aware that most of the songs they were collecting had appeared on broadsides, but they didn't say much about ultimate origins, being more concerned with the forms in which they were finding the songs and especially with the tunes. (Child, of course, said a great deal about the stories but was apparently unaware of what was still being sung in his day.)

Very very many songs that were printed did not survive to be collected, if they were ever sung at all. An unknown number of songs made by the "folk" (i.e. anyone who wasn't in the business of writing songs commercially) likewise did not survive to be collected.

Jim believes that the 90-odd percent figure is far too high, seeing evidence in many of the songs that whoever made them knew what they were writing about (or singing about, if they were illiterate). Others find this less convincing.

Jim, what sort of figure would you put on it (for the classic collections, not for the songs that you were finding in Ireland)?

Anyone, how can we take this any further?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Jan 18 - 01:16 PM

"I like Martin Carthy's view on them that the worst thing you can do with them is not to sing them."
the problem with this statement, is that it could be interpreted, as its ok to sing them in an unrehearsed manner. the worst thing you can do with these songs is to sing them in an unrehearsed way or in a way that takes the mickey out of them, the songs deserve respect


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Jan 18 - 01:15 PM

First Richard
The '54 definition was an attempt to analyse the uniqueness of folk song - what made it different from other genres of song
It wasn't a rule book - it was a rough guide - it was a compromise anyway because it was arrived at by an international team to incorporate the national differences.
I'm not for one minute suggesting this is what you are doing here, but whenever people wish to avoid definition, they always quote the flawed '54 as if those of us who believe there to be no great problem are adherents to it.
I seldom is ever use the definition because, as far as I am concerned, it's the uniqueness and, in my opinion, the common origin of folk song which is important
I certainly have never attempted to exclude commercially produced material - I have fully accepted that broadsides have been part of the oral tradition.
My point is and remains that if, as Steve Gardham (and to an extent Roud), has stated, that the mkeup of our folk repertoire was a two way street broadsides feeding into the tradition and the tradition providing material for the presses, why the hell are we discussing such high percentages when - here at least, people have accepted that rural dwellers were capable of making songs?
'Ordinary' people, rural and urban, have made songs since childhood days; we know from the first reported sighting of cattlemen singing, that the oral tradition predated literacy by at least one thousand years.
What has been suddenly discovered to question that fact?
Did printed songs stand a better chance of surviving in a society that was new to literacy, if it existed at all?
When Victoria came to the throne one third of the English population could be described as being in some way literate, in the countryside, literacy hardly existed among the rural workers
The songs, particularly the ballads, thrived in totally non-literate societies - the Travellers were still proving to be the greatest carriers of ballads right into the latter half f the twentieth century - The Maid and the Palmer, probably the finest version of Young Hunting recorded from an illiterate wood-seller, a unique Clare version of William and Margaret (Child 74) learned from an alcoholic Travelling woman, a full version of Lamkin, two versions of Lord Gregory learned from one illiterate man.....
Go look at the Scots Traveller repertoire to see how many ballads survived thare
It is facile to the point of being ludicrous to suggest that these were introduced into the communities via the printed word and the purchaser sought out a local reader in order to learn them.
Sterve Roud's and Gardham's claims appear to be based on how many songs appeared on the broadsides
Unless that can show there to have been no oral versions prior to the printed versions, they really do have no case.
Your "some of each" dodges the question of how many are being claimed here
How do you feel about 95 to 100% - they are the figures we need to be discussing
Nobody is arguing that some didn't start on the presses - I said so right at the beginning of these arguments and have always accepted it
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jan 18 - 01:03 PM

> as possible evidence of how things really were for certain people at a certain time in the past.

But not very good evidence because the songs are often heavily stylized, and post-1900 historians have unearthed far better sources, which they cite extensively in their publications.

The songs, however, are excellent evidence for changes in popular taste and attitudes (at least in songs) over the past 350 years.

Of course, so are pop songs.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 15 Jan 18 - 12:29 PM

I fear that nothing any of us might say here will cause anyone else to change their opinions, but let's try a few observations.

Steve R's book is concerned with what where and when people sang for the sake of singing rather than as professional performers (though there is a slightly grey area of acknowledged traditional performers singing for beer). Jim's beef (if I understand aright) is that Steve has applied the label "folk song" to whatever people sang, ignoring origins; but even the "1954" definition includes material of non-"folk" origin if that material has been traditionally transmitted.

People sing whatever songs they come across and take a fancy to, whether those songs are old or new and whether they are about ordinary people in their own time, kings and lords of centuries ago, or characters of myth. Songs that got printed on broadsides stood a much better chance of spreading, surviving and being collected than those that never got printed, regardless of where they had originated. So it is only to be expected that the bulk of the classic collected corpus (as sampled, according to different criteria, in the old and new Penguin books) can be traced to broadsides.

Opinions differ as to what proportion of them started life on those broadsides and what proportion started life with the people whose affairs they describe, but we all accept that there were some of each. No-one here denies that ordinary people, who had day jobs other than song writing, could and did make songs. Opinions differ as to how widespread this was, but certainly some of those people did, as people still do.

We all acknowledge that the professional writers churned songs out by the yard and that most of those either were only intended to be ephemeral or were too poor to survive for long.

We can look at a particular song and surmise whether it was made by the person concerned, by a professional song writer who heard the person's tale and turned it into song, or by a professional song writer out of his/her own head. Internal evidence includes the style of wording, the use of stock phrases, whether the account seems true to life or idealised, etc, but we can seldom be absolutely certain. Even a song which is positively identified as having been performed on the stage could have existed in oral tradition before that.

Let's take each one on its individual merits
a) as a song that we enjoy singing or hearing for its own sake, and
b) as possible evidence of how things really were for certain people at a certain time in the past.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Jan 18 - 03:22 AM

" As I see it, following this thread, you have come to the book with a closed mind and it has challenged your preconceived ideas and you don't like it. "
I came to the boor with a great deal of pleasant anticipation - it fell very short of what I anticipated
It challenges almost everything that has gone before, that is it's main failing - by redefining folk by including pop songs of the past, it makes what was a handleable subject into one so vast that it would be unapproachable
It removes the uniqueness of the genre and it doesn't touch their social or historical significance as a 'worms eye view' of humanity and social history.
If there are 'preconceptions' in what I have argued, they are no mine - they are those that have existed since the topic first came to public attention
Why do you people insist onn making this discussion a personal attack - are the arguments I have pur forward so profound or so offensive that nobody actually wants to discuss them
Is the idea that working people could have made their folk songs so outlandish?
The points these "two people" have argued out here are fundamental ones and need to be established before we can begin to understand folk song
It's very difficult to discuss them elsewhere on this forum as 'What if folksong' has been made a no-go area
Rud raises that question in the beginning of that book and it continues to the end
If we can't discuss it here, where the hell else are we going to discuss it
I agree with Carthy's point too - what a shame Roud didn't include a discography or full texts of songs so we could see and listen to the "Folk Songs of England" the author was talking about?
You say you find the book interesting and agree with the "main thrust of his argment convincing"
Good for you - I found the bbok interesting and find the main thrust of the argument totally unconvincing, and that is exactly what I have been trying to discuss.
Why don't you stop making personal attacks and do exactly that?
All such attacks achieve as far as I am concerned is to persuade me that I might just have a point
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 06:39 PM

I see no evidence to back up,his most Important claims

The bibliography is where the evidence is and it's 1/3 of the book. The main text is his summary of the evidence. As I see it, following this thread, you have come to the book with a closed mind and it has challenged your preconceived ideas and you don't like it. You were criticising Steve Roud early in this thread for not stepping outside the boundaries he had himself imposed, at the same time admitting you hadn't read the whole book, just the bits you were "most interested in". A clear sign you approached with a closed mind.

I am not a folk song scholar just someone who enjoys singing folk songs and has an interest in where the songs came from. However I did spend most of my working life in an academic institution and am well aware of the conventions of scholarly writing and Steve Roud's book follows those conventions, albeit written in a style aimed at a wider audience than the usual academic publications. At the end he suggests where there are major gaps in our knowledge and suggests further lines of research. He also gives a perfectly plausible reason for not including extensive examples of individual songs. He has previously published a book of songs - The New Penguin Book - where you could look if need be, though I suspect you don't actually need to knowing enough songs anyway. I think that criticism is simply something else to beat Steve Roud over the head with.

There have been some interestings ideas in this thread generated by Steve Roud's book but they've largely been drowned out by two people arguing from entrenched positions and neither willing to budge or to give some serious consideration to the points made in the book.

Personally, I found the book interesting and I found the main thrust of his argument convincing. There is so much we don't know and probably never will know but it's important to keep an open mind on the subject and I'm sure in the future more information will come to light. As to the songs themselves, I like Martin Carthy's view on them that the worst thing you can do with them is not to sing them.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 03:36 PM

The fact there is no recommended further reading makes his the only voice The bibliography runs to about 600 references. Get reading and analysing - that is what research is about, not regurgitating earlier ideas.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 03:05 PM

"If it was the rules would have required him to go back through 120 years or so of other people's ideas in tedious detail."
THat is what research should be about
The fact that you regard it as "tedious" says what needs to be said
"historical information about what the folk were singing."
Yet h offers nothing what they say about the songs, nor does he present the songs themselves for examination
He doesn't even provide a discography for the reader to check out the songs he is referring to.
A book on folk song with the songs taken out - unique, to say the least
The fact there is no recommended further reading makes his the only voice
I see no evidence to back up his most important claims - just personal pronouncements
The problems with messiahs is that they usually preach to the converted or end up arguing with other messiahs
My greatest influence was MacColl, who I worked with for two years and associated with for twenty - till the end of his life, pretty much
When MacColl was asked to set up classes e refused suggesting that the best way to learn was to set up a working group to work on each others singing
I am now indexing the several hundred recordings of that work and have worked out that MacColl's message was 'find out for yourself'
And yet, the programme on the Critics Group was somewhat spitefully entitled, 'How Folk Songs Should Be Sung'
MacColl always said that he learned as much as the rest of the Group during its existence
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 02:10 PM

we need to sum up what we already have. So do it.

Roud's book isn't academic. If it was the rules would have required him to go back through 120 years or so of other people's ideas in tedious detail. He starts at the other end of the story and methodically presents historical information about what the folk were singing. His evidence suggests to me that the folk have always done what folk who make their own entertainment do now. But more often because most of the time there were no professional entertainers to be entertained by.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 01:33 PM

"has put forth a reasonable argument. "
My problem with this is that he has widened the goalposts to include what is nowadays described as 'pop song' in order to make his claims and has ploughed ahead as if will accept it
He summed that up, somewhat arrogantly, I thought, in his summing up
"Once we have jettisoned the idea that it is the origin which makes it folk"
With a few taps of the keyboard, he undermines the entire basis of past research and removes the uniqueness of folk song that distinguishes it from all other vocal forms
Now, if we find that folk singers sing grand or light opera.... or whatever, it automatically becomes folk song
There is nothing "reasonable" about that
This is so fundamental that study of form, function, social significance... becomes meaningless because the songs are reduced to personal likes and dislikes - if a traditional singer likes it well enough to sing it, it becomes folk
Even the views of the singers themselves, what we have of them, are disregarded
Walter Pardon, England's most articulate known traditional singer sings 'Put a Bit of Powder on It' and, when questioned (with a tape recorder) makes a point of explaining why it, and songs like it, are not folk songs.
It now has a Roud number - not particularly democratic, and not particularly logical wiuthin the bounds of Roud's approach of letting the singer have the decision on what a folk song is.
Sorry - while the attitudes that have been displayed here prevail, open forums such as this will always be the best place to air ideas - not in an atmosphere that suggests "'write your own books Jim"
We don't need any more messiahs, we need to sum up what we already have because we ain't gonna get no mo' until we do
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 12:29 PM

Please exclude me from your charge that "nobody here appears to want to believe the folk as serious contenders for having made these songs."

My naive suggestion that you develop your arguments methodically, at book's length, was in good part a selfish one. I wanted to be able to appreciate your case, which seems eminently worth contemplating, outside the distractions of the hothouse temperature of Mudcat mud fight.

My impression, from the perspective of a generally informed lay reader/non-expert, is that Steve Roud, right or wrong, has put forth a reasonable argument. Like so many reasonable arguments, reasonable people will disagree about its ultimate correctness, and the discussion will continue. Those of us who are merely interested, not dug into a particular set of ideas, will be the wiser for that continued discussion.

If your fuse were longer, you'd understand that. And I sincerely regret not getting to read your book.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 11:45 AM

"I suggested to you, Jim -- politely and sincerely -- that you write a book."
Why?
I really have nothing to add to what I have said here - nobody knows what the origins of any single folk song are, there are a few strong possibilities, but beyond that, the only chance anybody has of making sense of folk songs is to cary out a full assessment of all that has been said in the past, examine the only solid evidence we have - the songs themselves, those on paper and those in recorded form, as living entities rather than dead texts and debate them in friendly terms - everything not just the current flavour of the month.
Nobody here appears to want to believe the folk as serious contenders for having made thse songs, which saddens me deeply
It is an accusation that has lurked behind society's thinking since folk songs (particularly the ballads) first raised their inconvenient head
Based on our work among 'the folk', I have come to a pretty firm observation that is not ony possible, but highly probable
These debates cannot possibly achieve anything while people approach books like 'Fonk Song in England' as uncritically a they have done here - if this is true, this is the last place for serious debate.
I have made a point here (with some difficulty - I'm well aware of having a short fuse) of not insulting anybody or blowing my top
I have made my points as clearly as I can and have constantly requested responses - few have been forthcoming
If it has been a two-horse race it is because people have been happy for it to be - summed up somewhat succincly by Howard's "Rather than kick any more hornets' nests I'll say no more than that."
Steve and I are at opposite ends of teh argument (sort of), though my desire here has been more interested to discuss his "two way street" origins of folk song than he is prepared to.
If the rest of you choose not to participate, sorry, but that's down to you - nuffin to do with Steve and I
I've always found the academic world an odd one - 'facts' are changed as often as underwear
One day Child is a ballad guru, next minute he is an "elitist" who cant's distinguish his poetic arse from his elbow.
It's like a jockey in a race using his whip on an opponents horse
Not for me, I'm afraid
I remember clearly the hostility that greeted Dave Harker's book, because of his attitude to researchers of the past, I was part of that hostility
Now, here we go again - same theories in different clothes - the folk didn't make folk song and the suggestion that they did was based on agenda driving and ignorance of past researchers.
People are forever welcome to access our collection and I live for the next opportunity to discuss our work, but to joint the academic freemasonry and add yet another hobby horse to a going-nowhere race - thanks, but no thanks
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Howard Jones
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 06:01 AM

I've finally reached the end of the book. I found it interesting and found its arguments pursuasive. Roud's main purpose is to explore the evidence and show that, while there are many gaps, there is more than perhaps had been realised.

I have found this discussion, for all its bad temper at times, very useful in helping to shape my thoughts and questions while reading the book.

Rather than kick any more hornets' nests I'll say no more than that.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 05:49 AM

Derek said
"I've just about given up reading all these messages in the thread, which has now developed into a bad-tempered conversation between 3 people, and very occasional inputs from another couple of people."

The vast majority of posts in the last few days have been from two people. If Derek is including me or any of the others who have made occasional contributions, I am disappointed. Mine have been mostly seeking clarification of comments that I had failed to understand: if they have come across as bad tempered I apologise.

GUEST,Jerome Clark mentioned one of his books with 'an extended discussion of the lore out of which "Thomas the Rhymer" grew'.
Reference, please!


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 08:29 PM

Somewhere in the course of this interminable thread, I suggested to you, Jim -- politely and sincerely -- that you write a book. I expressed the view that such a book would likely be very interesting and informative. You said something to the effect that at this stage of your life you lack the energy. Having written more than 20 books myself and about to embark on yet another (none on a subject relevant to Mudcat, though there are passing folksong references in some, including in one an extended discussion of the lore out of which "Thomas the Rhymer" grew), I respect the sentiment.

The reason I write these words, however, is that if I am an ivory-tower elitist for writing books and urging you to do the same, the whole concept has been grievously devalued. I doubt -- though I don't know either of them personally (I have, however, read two of Roud's books) -- that the Steves are either. I actually think that those who have something to say, and I certainly include you in that number, ought to write intelligent, informed books instead of wasting their energies on ephemeral stuff like Internet spats. And please don't insult us authors. We already suffer enough. Most of us are among the earth's lowliest creatures, unwelcome in ivory towers and shunned by elites. In another time, perhaps, we'd have been on the street, in fair weather and foul, hawking broadsides and hoping against hope that the tradition would take note.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 08:59 AM

"write your own books Jim "
Elitist, Ivory tower crap
Point made, I think
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 08:57 AM

'write your own books Jim and Steve G' Er.... I did, several, Derek.

But you are absolutely right. This is all going nowhere.

Bye-bye!


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 07:58 AM

Singable.... really???
Jim Carroll
55
Dickie Milburn

Dicky Milburn was a miller and he liv'd at a high house in the west of England; his wife was taken very ill with the cholic, she did not think she would live. - Oh! Dicky, my dear, if you don't get up and go to Bristol and fetch me a bottle of Epsom water, I can't live the night over. Wei, my dear, if you are no better, I' get up and go. Dicky got up and away he went, and on the road he met with a waggoner. Good morning to you, Master Waggoner. Good morning to you, Mr. Milburn; why, where are you going so early this morning, Dicky? I'm going to Bristol, to fetch my wife a bottle of Epsom water; for she is taken so bad, I don't think she'l live. - Dicky, you're a fool - May be so, Mr. Waggoner. - I've a bag of hops that is half full, if you'l get up, I'l tie you up in the mouth of the sack; then we'l drive merrily, jerrily [sic], as waggoners do, til we get to Mrs. Milburn's door; there will be no one so ready to receive as Mrs. Milburn with a parson at her tail. Now they came with a double rap at the door - Good morning to you, Mrs. Milburn. Good morning to you, Mr. Waggoner. Ive a bag of hops that's very much damaged with the rain, wil you let me lay it before your fire? O yes, by all means, walk in Mr. Waggoner; I'm only cooking a mou'ful of dinner for the parson and myself. Dinner being ready, she askt him to have a bit. Pray, Mr. Waggoner, wil you have a mou'ful. My bag of hops gives me so much concern, that I've no heart to eat; but taking a second thought, he set to and made a hearty dinner, and thou't himself no fool for so doing. After this they had a bottle, and then a second and third: - Pray, Mr. Parson, wil you be so kind as to give us a song? I am the parson of the parish, and wear a black gown; it's beneath me to sing. Now, Mr. Waggoner, wil you give us a song? I must needs tel you, that my bag of hops gives me so much concern, that I've no heart to sing. - Then you may both go and be hanged and il sing my song myself.

Now little Dicky Milburn to Bristol is gone,
To fetch me a bottle of Epsom so strong;
I wish him a long journey never more to return.
And hey for a bottle more ale, more ale,
And hey for a bottle more ale.

A very good song indeed, Mrs. Milburn, and very wel sung, said the waggoner. Now, Mr. Parson, wil you favor us with your song? I'm the parson of the parish, and 'tis beneath me to sing - woman is the forerunner of all evil; wel, i'l lay aside my black gown, it may go and be hanged, and il sing my song in my turn.

Little Dicky Milburn, you little do think,
I'm eating your victuals and drinking your drink;
But if God spare my life, i'l lie with your wife,
And it's hey for, &c.

A very good song indeed, Mr. Parson, and very wel sung, said the waggoner. Now Mr. Waggoner, wil ye let us have your song? why really my bag of hops gives me so much concern, that i have no heart to sing; but i'l say as the parson said, let the bag of hops go, and be hang'd, and i'l sing my song in my turn.

Little Dicky Milburn, since you are so near,
Out of my hopsack you soon shal appear;
If a friend you do lack, i wil stand at your back;
And it's hey, etc.

Now Dicky lay peeping out of the sack, like a scalded cock in a tub of cold water, of a sharp frosty morning. Now you've all had your songs, it's time for me to have my song in my turn.

Good morning, to ye, gentlefolks, all of a row;
Since now i have come all your secrets to know,
The parson shal be horswhipt before he does go;
And it's hey, etc.

So they horswhipt the parson, i've heard many say,
And Dicky lives happy to this very day;
Since the parson is gone, never more to return.
And it's hey for a bottle more ale.

Printed and sold by T. Batchelar, 115, Long Alley, Moorflelds, London.
Epsom water dates from 1770 (OED), but this piece is doubtless later


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 07:57 AM

I've just about given up reading all these messages in the thread, which has now developed into a bad-tempered conversation between 3 people, and very occasional inputs from another couple of people.
It's a pity that Steve's book announcement thread back in the summer has been taken over by this conversation, as it detracts from any further consideration of Steve's book (Yes, Jim, we know you don't like most aspects of the book so no need for you to repeat that).

Of course, if someone collated all these 900+ comments they might be as long as Steve's 750 page book.

Instead of contributing further, write your own books Jim and Steve G ... or take your discussion to a new thread.

Goodbye!

Derek


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 05:08 AM

Checked Hnederson and Holloway and Black thoroughly last night
Apart from the half dozen I put markers in, which I hope to be able to list later, every single one of them you have listed here are poorly written and false-sounding songs
From my selection, two of the songs are identified as being of Irish origin, on from the Joyce Collection
I've taken four of your list from volume 2, Holloway and Black, numerically selected, which you claim to be singable songs
They are all, in my opinion, false in conception, and crude in poetic style - doggerel - typical of the broadside output
At a glance, I find most of the others on your list are more or less of the same quality, but I'll go though them in more detail later
Compared to the smoothness and reality of our folksongs - dry, tasteless chalk to rich, satisfying cheese
You have done yourself no favour in suggesting that these suggest that folksongs and compositions such as these come from the same stable
I have left the editor's note to the last song in - that sums up y feelings on the vast majority of broadside compositions (though many lack the mentioned charm!)
You claimed that you have produced a list such as this from Holloway and Black - this is the first time I have ever seen such a list
Can you link me to your past lists please
Jim Carroll
Incidentally - my point is about the singability of these songs - if you consider songs mocking dumb people - both inhuman, and in this case, extremely sexist - singable, we come from different worlds

19
The Pretty Chambermaid
Printed byJ. Catnach, 2 Monmouth-court, 7 Dials. Sold by Bennett, Brighton

Not far from town a country squire,
An open hearted blade;
Had long conceived a strong desire,
To kiss his chambermaid.

One summer's noon, quite full of glee,
He led her to a shade,
And all beneath a mulberry tree,
He kiss'd his chambermaid.

The parsons spouse from window high
This armorous pair survey'd;
And softly wish'd, none can deny,
She'd been the chambermaid:

When all was o'er, poor Betty cry'd,
Kind sir I'm much afraid,
That woman there, will tell your bride,
You've kiss'd your chambermaid.

The squire conceiv'd a lucky thought
That she might not upbraid;
And instantly the lady brought,
Where he had kiss'd his maid:

Then all beneath the mulberry tree,
Her ladyship was laid;
And three times three well kiss'd was she
Like to the chambermaid.

Next morning came the parson's wife,
For scandal was her trade;
I saw your squire, ma'am, on my life,
Great with your chambermaid.

When, cry'd my lady, where, and how,
I'll soon discharge the jade;
Beneath the mulberry tree, I vow,
He kiss'd your chambermaid.

This falsehood, cry'd her ladyship,
Shall not my spouse degrade;
'Twas I chanc'd there to make a slip,
And not my chambermaid.

Both parties parted in a pet,
Not trusting what was said;
And Betty keeps her service yet,
That pretty chambermaid.

24
Improbability, Or, A Batchelor's Dislike to a Married Life
Printed and Sold by. Pitts, 14, Great st. Andrew Street, 7 Dials

As I was a walking in a grove,
All by myself as I suppos'd.
My mind did oft times me remove,
But by no means could be composed,
At length by chance a friend I met,
Which caused me long time tarry,
And oft of me she did intreat,
To tell her when I had a mind to marry.

When saffron grows on every tree,
And every stream flows milk and honey,
When sugar grows in carrot fields.
And usurers refuses money.
And countrymen forjudges sit,
And Michaelmas falls in February.
When millers do their toil forget,
O then my love and I'll be married.

When Shrovetide falls in Easter week,
And Christmas in the month of July,
When lawyers plead without a fee,
And taylors they deal just and truly,
When all deceit is quite put down,
And truth by all men is preferr'd,
When Indigo dies red and brown,
O then my love and I'll be married.

When men and beasts the ocean plough,
And fishes in green fields are feeding.
When cockle shells in the streets do grow,
And swarms upon dry banks are breeding,
When muscle shells for diamond rings,
And glass to gold may be compar'd
When gold is made of grey goose wings,
O then my love and I'll be married.

When women know not how to scold,
And Dutchmen leave off drinking brandy,
When cats do bark and dogs do mew,
And brimstone's took for sugar candy,
When Whitsuntide it does fall,
All in the month of January,
When coblers work without an awl
O then my love and I'll be married.

When candlesticks do serve for bells.
And frying pans do serve for ladles,
And in the seas they dig for wells,
And porridge pots do serve for cradles,
When all maids prove true to their lives,
And a man on his back an ox can carry,
And when the mice with the cat do play,
O then my love and I'll be married.

36
The Astrologer
Printed for and sold by J. Pitts, No. 14, Great Saint Andrew Street Seven Dials

There was an old astrologer in London who did dwell,
For telling of girls fortunes there was none could him excel,
There was a girl among the rest to this old man would go,
And for to have her fortune told much she did to know. [?wish

Amongst the rest a brisk young maid there went
And for to have her fortune told it was her intent,
She asked for this cunning man, answer was made she,
He is up stairs in his chamber, pray call him down, said she.

And when that he came down, she thus to him did say,
I hear you can tell fortunes, can you tell mine I pray'
And if that you tell me truly, I'l pay you well says she,
No question but I can, fair maid, come walk up stairs with me.

No I'll not walk up stairs with you nor any man indeed,
She spoke with so much modesty as if she'd been a maid
I am in haste, she said, and thought not to have staid,
Pray be as nimble as you can, for I am a servant maid.

O then he stood and paus'd awhile, a scheme began to rise,
Then he boldly answer'd her, and made her this reply.
You say you are a servant, I am sure you are no maid,
It is time, sweetheart you were wed for you have wanton play'd.

O then she blush'd with shame at hearing him say so,
For that he spoke the truth she very well did know,
Deny it not, says he, I know it to be so,
For you did lie with your master not many nights ago.

She stampt, and swore her master she would bring,
To witness for himself and her that it was no such thing,
To lie and curse it makes your case the worse,
For I know he gave to you a crown, you have it in your purse.

She finding him so positive, she could not him deny.
Then she boldly answer'd him, and made him this reply
Indeed, kind sir I am a maid, and hope so to remain,
'Tis true he had my maidenhead, but give it me again.

50
The Sheep Shearers
Printed and Sold byJ. Pitts, 6, Great St. Andrew Street, 7 Dials

There's the rose bud in June & violets blow
And the small birds they warble on every bough,
There's the pink and the lilly the daffy down dilly
To adorn and perfume there's the rose bud in June.

We'll all hold the plough the fat oxen draws low
While our lads and our lasses a sheep shearing do go.

When the shepherds have shorn their jolly fat fleece.
What joys can compare when he talks of increase
Each lad takes his lass gently on the green grass,
To adorn and perfume, there's the rose bud in June.
We will, &c.

There is our clean milk pails which foams with good ale,
At our table where plenty be found,
We whistle and sing and we dance in a ring
To adorn & perfume the sweet meadows in June
We will, &c.

Now sheep shearing's over and harvest it draws nigh,
We'll prepare for the fields our strengths for to try
We'll reap and then mow, then we'd plough and then sow,
To adorn and perfume the sweet meadows in June.
We will, &c.

Now our barns they are full and our fields they are bare,
We must thrash for the market and our ground we must till,
We must reap and then mow, next plough, and then sow
To adorn and perfume till June does return.
We will, &c.

Editor's note
"Doubtless a stage piece: charming, but not to be recommended for realism"


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 04:52 PM

17 The Crafty Maid's Policy
19 The Pretty Chambermaid
24 Improbablility (Then my love and I will be married)
27 The Dumb Wife
32 The Gypsy Laddie
36 The Bold Astrologer
50 The Sheep Shearers
53 Fox Hunting Song (Most gentlemen take delight)
55 Dicky Milburn
59 kelly the Pirate
61 Georgy (Child Ballad|)
62 The Bold Prisoner (Child ballad)
70 The Deserter
82 the Bonny Bunch of Roses-o
92 The Old Woman of Rumford
123 The Tailor in a Hobble

That's 23 so 50 altogether. My first estimate was rather modest. There are probably a dozen more if I checked carefully, and again in volume 2 some eminently singable songs that didn't stay in oral tradition long enough to be collected.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 04:38 PM

900


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 04:37 PM

15 Buy Broom Besom


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 04:36 PM

Volume 2
3a & 3b The Bonnet so Blue( 2 versions) The printers pirated from each other and localised the location to suit their buyers.
5 My true Love I've Lost
8 The Cuckoo
10. the Basket of Eggs
13 Blow the Wind I O
14 The Cards (All Fours)

more shortly


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 04:31 PM

BTW there is strong evidence to suggest that the first one, Admiral Benbow, was written and printed just after the incident c1702, off the top of my head.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 04:28 PM

Absolutely GUEST. It is Salisbury. Apologies to jag. Rushing again. I'll have a look at those on the Bodl and see if any of them printed any that went into oral tradition, though I strongly suspect they are probably similar to Fowler's output. They certainly weren't among the main culprits.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 04:22 PM

Right, here we go. Holloway and Black. These are not the only ones related to folk songs in the 2 volumes but just leafing through, what I can see immediately
1 Admiral Benbow (Come all you sailors bold version)
6 The Black Cow (trad in Ireland I believe)
11. Bold Captain Avery
17. The Buck's Elegy (Young sailor cut down)
18. Bunch of Rushes
36 The English Rover (Roving Jack of all trades)
37 The Bold Lieutenant
41 The Fishes (Up jumped the Herring)
46 the Highwayman Outwitted
54 the Irish Lovers (The winter it is past)
66 The Lamenting Maid ( "   "            )rewritten
71 the Maid and Wife
76 The Maids Resolution to follow her Lover (Polly Oliver)
77 The Merchant's Courtship (string round her finger)
80 Mountains High (Renardine)
88 Harry Newell (Hexamshire Lass/Katy Cruel)
90 Patrick Flemming (Whiskey in the Jar)
91 Paul Jones
94 Lark in the Morning
95 Sprig of thyme
99 rakes of Stony Batter
102 Riley and Colinband
108 the Grey Cock
109 Skewball
111 the Sheffield Apprentice
123 Will the Merry Weaver
127 The Young Man's Fortune (When I was a little boy)

That's 27 just in the first volume and whilst leafing through i came across several eminently singable songs not on the list above.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 04:11 PM

Is that Fowler of Salisbury, not Shrewsbury?

Most of the Shrewsbury broadsides on the Bodleian site seem to be to do with the 1822 Parliamentary election, some singing the praises of 'Pelham'. A web page says that John Cressett Pelham spent ?20,000 on his succesful campaign.

How many of the rhymes printed elsewhere were promotional or campaigning in some way and redundant after an election day or similar? Paper was expensive. Was the back blank and if so what did people write on it?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 03:32 PM

Jim: " Was that what Prof. Thomson was addressing?"
I siad it wan't becaue it was an unnecessary question
Ver few doubted that they had

Sorry I am not understanding at all.

Please tell us what he was addressing.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 03:08 PM

'you are now pretending that you can' I'm sorry, Jim. I don't see how that statement relates to any of my last few postings. Perhaps somebody can explain. I'd say you were the one clutching at straws, but let's not get back into all the backbiting. I have promised not to be drawn into that.

All I was trying to say about Fowler was his output largely consisted of the very stuff you have been complaining about, as opposed to the output of the likes of Pitts and Catnach in London which was much more varied, and contained many of the songs we now call folksongs.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 03:00 PM

"I'm sticking my neck out here a little
I'm not sticking my neck out a single inch when I say they there#s not a single broadside that you can prove became a folk song
You have said numerous times that all this is a theory of yours and you cannot prove conclusively that one single folk song originated on the broadside presses, yet you are now pretending that you can
I'd say that was a sign of a rapidly sinking ship, wouldn't you?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 02:01 PM

I'm sticking my neck out here a little but I'm betting you won't find a single ballad printed by Fowler that became a folk song that wasn't part of the general stock of most printers around the country.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 01:58 PM

Excellent point, jag.
I would need to see some examples of broadsides printed in Shrewsbury
before I would make any points on this. Off the top of my head those printed by Fowler of Shrewsbury were very much the standard pieces printed in many places.

Then of course the larger centres had many many more printers producing broadsides.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 01:55 PM

" Was that what Prof. Thomson was addressing?"
I siad it wan't becaue it was an unnecessary question
Ver few doubted that they had
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 01:45 PM

Good grief, I hadn't realised that this argument has been going on here, amongst the same people, for over 10 years. Curious about the term 'broadside hack' I searched the forum for it.

I am not convinced about the rural-urban divide that seems to be taken for granted in this discussion. Roud quotes Charlotte Burne's reference to a Shrewbury broadside printer. The Bodleian index has broadsides from several printers in Shrewsbury (I have not checked the date ranges). I guess (someone correct me if I am wrong) that these were jobbing printers set up to do the routine printing of a rural county town as well as street literature.

Even now within 15 minutes walk from the centre of Shrewsbury you can get to meet a sheep or cow. Sure, the industrial revolution started just down the road in Ironbridge, but in the first half of the 19th century most of the industrial revolution was happening in the country. Even in the 1970's Oldham was advertising itself on the London tube as 'the town in the country'; in the 1960's there our milk was still delivered on a round run by the man who who milked the cows. In the early 19th century most urban workers would have had relatives in the country, many were probably born there, or even lived there and walked into the town to work.

I was slightly disappointed that Roud left a lot for the reader to form a view on rather than summarise his views. However, having accepted Amazon's suggestion of a sample of "The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs", I now see that its Introduction is just such a summary - the later book has the data.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 01:43 PM

BTW, I'm quite sure that a few of the more talented writers were making a reasonable living out of this, the likes of George Brown and John Morgan. I would also imagine that many of them had other incomes as well, just like the printers did. certainly the pedlars sold many many more things than the street literature.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 01:24 PM

On the MoA thread Jim said
"it was Professor "Bob" Thomson, who was the first to put forward the extent to which folk songs appeared on broadsides (circa 1970) and who based his PhD on the subject"

I read that at first as referring to collected songs having previously appeared on broadsides, but realised Jim couldn't have meant that Prof. Thomson was the first to point that out, because many scholars and collectors had done so before 1970 (and others since).

So I wondered what Jim had meant and asked
"Was Prof. Thomson referring to the particular case of songs that appear to have started with the "folk" and then got printed?"

I don't understand Jim's reply.
"It wasn't an issue then - anywhere
That's why Topic named their set of recordings 'The Voice of the People' and Bert Lloyd called his magnificent thirteen-part series The Songs of The People'
It's why Child called his collection 'The English and Scottish Popular Ballads - popular = "of the people"

Without doubt, songs that were collected and labelled as "folk songs" had mostly appeared earlier in print. The bone of contention here is how many of them had existed as songs among the "folk" before they were printed. Was that what Prof. Thomson was addressing?

If not, what did you mean?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 01:24 PM

'Workers working under the pressure the hacks were would have had neither the time, inclination or resources to do that' (JC) You've now said this at least 4 times. Where did you get this information? The broadside writers were under equally the same pressure as the rural poor, i.e., putting bread on the table and beer in their bellies.

The resources have been listed numerous times.

FACT, once again the earliest manifestation of our southern English folk song corpus that first appeared on cheap print 89%. Do you realise that whatever percentage you think actually originated on broadsides (ranging from don't know, to none) you are condemning out of hand as crap?

Here again for the umpteenth time 'the fact that, like any other genre, there was a wide range of subject, quality, sources, inspiration used to produce the matter that appeared on street literature.' (SG from a few posts above.)


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 01:11 PM

"Tim, you should know 'people' don't live in towns or cities, and the creatures who live in towns and cities can't possibly be 'popular'!"
Maiowww
Jim Carroll


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