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James Reeves

Jack Campin 31 Jul 18 - 11:17 AM
RTim 31 Jul 18 - 11:34 AM
Lighter 31 Jul 18 - 02:22 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Jul 18 - 02:36 PM
Joe Offer 01 Aug 18 - 03:11 AM
Steve Gardham 01 Aug 18 - 03:31 AM
Steve Gardham 01 Aug 18 - 03:33 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 01 Aug 18 - 05:47 AM
Steve Gardham 01 Aug 18 - 04:49 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Aug 18 - 03:05 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 02 Aug 18 - 10:35 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Aug 18 - 01:28 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Aug 18 - 01:30 PM
John Moulden 03 Aug 18 - 05:09 PM
Richard Mellish 04 Aug 18 - 02:42 AM
Steve Gardham 04 Aug 18 - 04:29 PM
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Subject: James Reeves
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 11:17 AM

I am just now looking at a copy of James Reeves's "The Idiom of the People", and it looks pretty darn good, except for not including tunes. I mainly know of him as an editor of John Clare. He produced quite a few books, which get occasional mentions here, but doesn't seem to have a thread of his own yet. So here it is.


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: RTim
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 11:34 AM

He also wrote - "The Everlasting Circle - English Traditional Verse" - songs from Baring-Gould, Hammond Bros and Dr. George Gardiner collections. First published 1960 - I have a hard-back by Heinemann

Again - No music, but worth having in your library......


Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 02:22 PM

His discussion of "the lingua franca of the folk" and "The Foggy, Foggy Dew" in particular is, shall we say, idiosyncratic.


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Jul 18 - 02:36 PM

I'm with Jon. It was useful at the time having access to those texts but he knew little about the background to the songs.


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 03:11 AM

The Idiom of the People is a sampler of 115 English folksong texts collected by Sharp. Where else can I find the English folksongs that Sharp collected?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 03:31 AM

Hi Joe, All of Sharp's manuscripts, tunes and texts are on the EFDSS Full English website.


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 03:33 AM

I should add, along with all of the other collections of the period and Carpenter.


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 05:47 AM

Reeves doesn't just reproduce Sharp's stuff, he had a go at evaluating it.

What did he get wrong, with "The Foggy Foggy Dew" in particular?


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Aug 18 - 04:49 PM

Well, as you ask, writing in 1958 he mostly made quite a good job of it, as he had a limited number of texts at his disposal, so his comparison of these texts (p45-54), if a little laboured, is reasonable and can't be argued with. However, his following of the romantic line on the meaning of 'foggy dew' (p54 to 57) is somewhat naïve in my opinion. To be fair to him he does state, 'as it stands the song is nonsense' and refers constantly to the 'confusion' and at one point even suggests quite correctly that the title may be a corruption of something else. BUT why follow the romantic line, picked up on by others
and regurgitated? We now of course have a much fuller picture of what the song meant, and it can be argued that he did his best with the material he had. As you say he presents a detailed study of a few of the songs but these are of little use today as we have much more information and many more versions to play with, and we know much more about the evolution of individual songs.


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 03:05 AM

" is somewhat naïve in my opinion."
Wonder where I've heard that before Steve!!
'Idiom of the People' is based on the Mss of Sharp, 'Everlasting Circle' on thos of Baring-Gould. Hammond and Gardiner
In my opinion they are both excellent attempts at analysing songs from these collections   
It seems that the work of anybody who wasn't born with a silver computer in their mous is now to be discounted.
Sorry Steve, but I find the patronising tone and smug hindsight that seems to be an essential part of modern modern research somewhat distasteful
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 10:35 AM

Only because it is 'a propos' - when I was at school at Lewes in the 1960s, selected 6th form boys were detailed to visit the blind James Reeves at his home in Rotten Row to read him either the daily paper or extracts from books he was sent to review or just wanted to listen to. Sadly I was denied that pleasure, being too hoi poloi in the accent department (and doubtless others too) and the honour went to those like Stephen Coote, later to become an academic of some repute and biographer of poets - even then he sounded like a posher Jacob Rees Mogg - but I liked him. Only later did I realise that he'd written books on folk music and indeed I subsequently inherited copies from dear old Bob Copper.


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 01:28 PM

Thankyou for your opinion, Jim!


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 01:30 PM

You're very welcome
Jim


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: John Moulden
Date: 03 Aug 18 - 05:09 PM

Two things - Reeves was a poet, and at that time was promoting the idea that traditional song words could be treated as serious poetry. It was a good idea given the snooty ideas of the 'educated' of the time.
- he was also I think, misunderstood - Gershon Legman ripped pieces out of him, referring to The Everlasting Circle as The Everliving Idiot - Reeves sued the publisher and my copy of The Horn Book contains a disclaimer and an apology.


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 04 Aug 18 - 02:42 AM

I read both books many years ago. The one thing that I remember is a single phrase "the dross of centuries". Unfortunately I don't remember the context. Was Reeves saying that from large amounts of dross the folk have preserved the few good bits?


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Subject: RE: James Reeves
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Aug 18 - 04:29 PM

If he said it in that context can't argue with that!


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