Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


traditional songs - best for learning?

Andy7 27 Dec 18 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 27 Dec 18 - 07:13 PM
FreddyHeadey 27 Dec 18 - 08:34 PM
Andy7 28 Dec 18 - 04:24 AM
G-Force 28 Dec 18 - 05:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Dec 18 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Terray 28 Dec 18 - 09:29 AM
Andy7 28 Dec 18 - 01:05 PM
GUEST, miles 28 Dec 18 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Gerry 28 Dec 18 - 01:21 PM
beachcomber 28 Dec 18 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 28 Dec 18 - 01:52 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Dec 18 - 02:31 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 18 - 04:17 AM
The Sandman 29 Dec 18 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Dec 18 - 05:10 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 18 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Dec 18 - 06:28 AM
Tattie Bogle 29 Dec 18 - 07:26 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 18 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Dec 18 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Dec 18 - 12:46 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 18 - 01:27 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 18 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Dec 18 - 02:09 PM
Vic Smith 29 Dec 18 - 02:12 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 18 - 02:40 PM
Vic Smith 29 Dec 18 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,henryp 29 Dec 18 - 05:20 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Dec 18 - 07:23 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Dec 18 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Miranda 29 Dec 18 - 11:40 PM
Pamela R 30 Dec 18 - 12:41 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 04:45 AM
The Sandman 30 Dec 18 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Dec 18 - 05:36 AM
The Sandman 30 Dec 18 - 05:42 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Dec 18 - 05:56 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 06:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Dec 18 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Dec 18 - 07:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Dec 18 - 07:09 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 07:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Dec 18 - 07:50 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 08:17 AM
Andy7 30 Dec 18 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Dec 18 - 08:29 AM
Richard Mellish 30 Dec 18 - 08:41 AM
Andy7 30 Dec 18 - 08:43 AM
Steve Gardham 30 Dec 18 - 08:50 AM
Andy7 30 Dec 18 - 08:50 AM
Steve Gardham 30 Dec 18 - 09:13 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Dec 18 - 09:34 AM
Vic Smith 30 Dec 18 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Gerry 30 Dec 18 - 09:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Dec 18 - 09:57 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Dec 18 - 10:59 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Dec 18 - 11:45 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 12:09 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Dec 18 - 01:26 PM
Richard Mellish 30 Dec 18 - 01:31 PM
Vic Smith 30 Dec 18 - 01:35 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 01:39 PM
RTim 30 Dec 18 - 02:14 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 18 - 03:12 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Dec 18 - 04:40 PM
GUEST 30 Dec 18 - 05:27 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Dec 18 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Kenny B(inactive) 30 Dec 18 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Dec 18 - 06:55 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Dec 18 - 07:03 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Dec 18 - 07:08 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Dec 18 - 07:13 PM
RTim 30 Dec 18 - 09:56 PM
Pamela R 31 Dec 18 - 12:33 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 18 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Dec 18 - 03:21 AM
Andy7 31 Dec 18 - 04:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Dec 18 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Dec 18 - 04:54 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 18 - 05:07 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Dec 18 - 05:20 AM
Richard Mellish 31 Dec 18 - 05:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Dec 18 - 05:38 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 18 - 06:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Dec 18 - 06:26 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Dec 18 - 06:32 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 18 - 06:36 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 18 - 06:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Dec 18 - 06:49 AM
Vic Smith 31 Dec 18 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Dec 18 - 08:28 AM
GUEST 31 Dec 18 - 08:51 AM
Vic Smith 31 Dec 18 - 09:06 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Dec 18 - 09:08 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Dec 18 - 09:17 AM
GUEST 31 Dec 18 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Dec 18 - 09:36 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 18 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Dec 18 - 11:26 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 18 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Dec 18 - 12:37 PM
Jim Carroll 31 Dec 18 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Dec 18 - 01:32 PM
Andy7 31 Dec 18 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Dec 18 - 04:59 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Dec 18 - 08:34 PM
The Sandman 01 Jan 19 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 01 Jan 19 - 07:21 AM
Vic Smith 01 Jan 19 - 07:46 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Jan 19 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 01 Jan 19 - 10:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Jan 19 - 11:46 AM
Gallus Moll 02 Jan 19 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,The Man from UNCOOL 02 Jan 19 - 08:55 PM
Andy7 03 Jan 19 - 05:05 AM
Richard Mellish 03 Jan 19 - 05:46 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 19 - 06:55 AM
RTim 03 Jan 19 - 10:03 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 19 - 10:14 AM
leeneia 04 Jan 19 - 12:53 PM
Andy7 04 Jan 19 - 05:22 PM
The Sandman 05 Jan 19 - 03:16 AM
Snuffy 05 Jan 19 - 04:53 AM
Richard Mellish 05 Jan 19 - 06:09 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Jan 19 - 06:24 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Jan 19 - 06:24 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: traditional songs - suggestions for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 27 Dec 18 - 06:58 PM

One of my NY resolutions for 2019 is to learn by heart, and perform at singarounds and folk music weekends during this coming year, 2 or 3 genuinely traditional folk songs that I've not sung before.

I've limited myself to 2 or 3, so that I can really work at learning them, knowing them and interpreting them well.

A few criteria that I've set for myself:

1: I much prefer ballad-style songs, as they best suit my style of singing; so I won't be trying to learn any fast-tempo songs. I do enjoy those in 3-time, although 2- or 4-time is okay too.

2: I usually dislike singing tragedy songs, and miserable folk songs generally (although there are already a couple in my repertoire). Such songs hold an indisputably important place in the folk tradition, to be sure! It's just that I don't much like singing them myself, so I won't want to spend hours and hours of my time learning such songs.

3. I'd like my 'new' songs to be easily accessible to others in the sessions; preferably with a chorus that's already well known, or at least, a chorus that's easy to pick up and join in with.

So ... which traditional songs would fellow Mudcatters suggest I might enjoy learning and performing?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 27 Dec 18 - 07:13 PM

Couple of questions Andy. Who is your favourite traditional singer, and do you read music?
Have you ever heard the Song Carrier Programmes (broadcast in the 1960's but widely available) all of this I can help with if you are interested.
Nick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 27 Dec 18 - 08:34 PM

Song Carriers thread, links to mp3s
thread.cfm?threadid=155666


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 04:24 AM

I can't really say who is my favourite traditional singer; although I've heard lots of excellent singers over the years, it's not a genre I've ever studied or collected recordings of.

Yes, I do read music.

Thanks for the link to the Song Carriers programme, I'll look into that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: G-Force
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 05:05 AM

A lot depends on whether you want standard English or whether you're OK with singing in one of the British regional dialects.

Anyway. 'Fair Flower of Northumberland' isn't too miserable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 05:23 AM

Shanties can be good starter songs. Lots of repeats and choruses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Terray
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 09:29 AM

I'm not sure what side of the Atlantic you're on but here's a few of the first ballads I learned to play and sing. They're all fairly easy and they all have that lovely language found in many of those old songs. I think they'll work no matter your locale although not all of them meet with your criteria:

Fennario
House Carpenter
Jackaroe
Lily of the West


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 01:05 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, I'll check them all out.

I do like the idea of making one of them a shanty.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST, miles
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 01:18 PM

IMO Shanties are easiest for learning then story ballads


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 01:21 PM

The Devil's Nine Questions, aka Riddles Wisely Expounded, aka Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom. Brian Peters, live.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: beachcomber
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 01:24 PM

You might look up "Johnny I hardly knew yeh" ; lyric in the listings of this site. It can be sung very effectively with varying tempo and expression and, it has a great chorus, easily picked up by an audience (provided you've grabbed them first !!! :-))
I can't tell you which war it refers to but it is definitely in the "Anti-War" catagory.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 01:52 PM

If you read music, take a look at the Full English Website. Use the Roud index to find a version of a song you like that appeals to you.
Best of luck and let us know how you get on. Feel free to take any song from me. After all, where did I get them if I didn't learn them from other singers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 18 - 02:31 PM

Familairise yourself with the story and the tune
Work out the phrasing by speaking it through a few times
Familiarise yourself with unfamiliar words or apparent contradictions - it took me a while to work out how and why you could break a gold ring in half, but finding out why is almost as pleasurable as singing about when I did
The same with young women (sometimes pregnant) wanting to or believing she could go off to war or to sea with here lover.
It helps if you can decide why the song was made in the first place - what was its objective and emotional drive - try to sum this up in as few words possible anger, hatred - love - indigence - amusement.... and much more
Working out why Andrew Lammie was sent to Edinburgh has guaranteed that I will continue to enjoy Tifties Annie till I run out of puff or memory

There are threads running through all traditional songs which have kept them relevant from generation to generation - it does't take much to find what they are

Some of these ideas are not essential to the singing of the song, they can be sung as good stories or beautiful tunes - but it does help to keep them in your repertoire for much longer - it makes them your own

The mechanics of absorbing and learning anything more than tune and poetic structure have to be your own; I avoid learning a song fully from another singer, particularly one I like - it has to be your song and interpretation, not someone else's

I endorse Nic's 'Song Carriers' suggestion wholeheartedly - plenty of learnable songs covering the entire spectrum of the British tradition and analyses that have never been bettered over the fifty-odd years since the programmes were made

If you want a help of building a repertoire I'm happy to send some from our archive if you name your type preferences
- can also give you 'The Song Carriers' if they are not readily available elsewhere
Bon voyage
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 04:17 AM

Had some thoughts on this
In my opinion, one of the milestones of the early revival (along with The song Carriers) was the 10 album Caedmon/Topic series, 'Folk Songs of Britain' edited by Peter Kennedy and Alan Lomax
Despite the fact that it is slightly flawed by having the songs edited by cutting out verses in order to get as much on as possible, the accompanying booklet give all of the songs in full
It remains, in my view, a magnificent selection of British and Irish songs traditional songs - pretty well the best of the best
Since Topic put it out it has never been re-issued (due to greed)

I have it digitised and some time ago I started to put in full versions of the songs from our own archive.
For a learner it is a dream for a learner - many of us cut our teeth on them ten categorised albums - Courtship, Seduction, Sailors, Solders, Poaching, Ballads (2), Ritual, Animals and Magic, .... - long overdue for improvement and re-issue - though now longer the revival seems to have forgotten what folk songs is, it probably never will be
Happy to pass on what I have done so far and update as I proceed
Anybody interested can PM me their e-mail address and I'll put it in PCloud for them

"Roud"
Would agree in general, but sinc it now includes non-folk songs it's not the superb and reliable guide for the newcomer as it once was
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 04:44 AM

Familiarise yourself with unfamiliar words or apparent contradictions - it took me a while to work out how and why you could break a gold ring in half, but finding out why is almost as pleasurable as singing about when I did
The same with young women (sometimes pregnant) wanting to or believing she could go off to war or to sea with here lover.
It helps if you can decide why the song was made in the first place - what was its objective and emotional drive - try to sum this up in as few words possible anger, hatred - love - indigence - amusement.... and much more."
spot on,and never sing a song unless you enjoy singing it.
Jim, how do you break a gold ring in two?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 05:10 AM

Jim, Please could you explain a little more your views on the Roud index if you don't mind? Do you mean Broadside versions as 'Non Folk'?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 05:38 AM

Roud now works on the basis of what singers sang rather than what folk songs they sang, so now former pop songs, Victorian tear-jerkers, music-hall pieces.... etc., are being given Roud numbers
The llogic of this, of course, is that it will have to include C&W - I knew severl traditional singers who sang, 'Your Cheatin' Heart' (as I'm sure, you did Nick
The index remains invaluable as a research tool for finding printed sources and for linking up variants of songs but, as far as I am concerned, it is no longer a source of reliability for distinguishing between folk songs (which were included) and non folk songs (which were not)
A sad loss to our understanding of folk song, I sorry to say
Manty folk songs eneded up on broadsises and some originated there, but despite claims, nobody knows which and how many

"Jim, how do you break a gold ring in two?"
The songs were based on the practice of lover's exchanging 'Gimmel Rings' which were made in two (sometimes three) parts which were separated when parting, each lover retaining a half - and joined together again when they united
Chambers's 'Book of Days' has a remarkable essay on them, v complete with illustrations
Some were beautifully made and expensive, but the cheap ones were riveted together and were deliberately scratched in a certain place by the lovers so they corresponded when they were rejoined - they were sold widely at the Country Fairs.
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 06:28 AM

Thanks Jim...The problem with definitions is that the goal posts move too regularly. If you were to ignore Music Hall songs that have entered the tradition, then you would lose a good 30% of the songs in most collections. As a quick example, The Country Carrier, The unfortunate Tailor, Lamorna, immediately spring to mind. If we are to ignore stage songs from the 18th century we would lose another 50%, off goes The Rose Bud in June, Cupids Garden, Searching for Lambs, Green Bushes. The rest originated in Street Literature, or highbrow ballad literature. There is a misconception that a 'Folk Song' becomes less 'Folk' if we can trace it's writer. This therefore means that 'Folk Art' is less artistic if we know the artist.
Gypsy Ambrose Cooper rewrites Jimmy Rodgers songs with words of interest to travellers. One of his songs was collected with different words again, sung by Derby Smith. I'm afraid it's a Folk Song. It might not be pretty as Searching for Lambs. Is a Zoologist supposed to ignore Warthogs because they are not as attractive as Birds of Paradise. Then of course there are Rugby songs! Horrible sterile and loveless, just like the ballad Lambkin. I'm afraid subjective selection is our fate unless of course you are a Folklorist then God help you! Nobody else will.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 07:26 AM

Apart from all of the above good advice, one other suggestion made by singers I have encountered, is to choose songs YOU like, not necessarily ones that people have told you "you really should sing   xyz". It is much easier to make make a convincing and appealing rendition of a song that grabs you yourself, and tell people why you think it's relevant to you.
That doesn't mean you don't need to work at it: as Jim has said, there's still making sure you understand the song, phrase it well, put your heart into it, etc.
Note down any that you hear in sessions that you think you might like to do: fortunately these days we are blessed with many online resources, as indicated above (and let's not forget Mudcat itself - my first ever online resource for song lyrics.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 11:59 AM

".The problem with definitions is that the goal posts move too regularly."
Not a problem if you remember you're talking about a specific music and not football
Folk song has nothing to do with tase or "prettiness" - it's a song which has evolved in certain circumstances and has passed thought a "process" i order to have become folk
Whatever people choose to call fork, it if hasn't undergone that process, it ain't folk - not a value judgement, just a fact

What you describe with your Traveller depends on what happens to the songs he made and the state of the Tradition when he made them - if the tradition is in good shape and his mates took his nongs up and made them their own yo have a folk song - if niot, they're just songs made by a Traveller and any song that anybody made could be described as folk

Music hall songs tend not to change and adapt - they remain as written and the fact that they are/were usually copyrighted, they remain the property of the composer - not the folk

The language only works if those using it agree on what the words mean - if they don't, we stop talking to each other and - in the case of folk, all the clubs stop functioning because nobody can agree what they can expect when they turn up to one

It is misleading to say the old singers didn't differentiate (certainly when you are talking about living or not long dead traditions)
The singers may have sung every type of song but that didn't mean they couldn't tell the difference between the songs Harry Cox sand and those sung by Harry Champion

We seem to have reached the situation now where 'Nellie Dean' is a folk song and long ballads are "inappropriate" - or so I've lately been informed
Folk song comes with a lot mor baggage than "just repetition" - if it didn't, we'd better send all our books to Oxfam
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 12:41 PM

I think it might be best to re-read what I submitted Jim. However I don't want this thread to go off at a tangent from Andy's original question, so I'm stopping this argument now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 12:46 PM

That said... and it is relevant to Andy, please will you give me a title of one song you consider to be a Folk Song. Preferably English because I know more about it, and we'll see where it leads us. Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 01:27 PM

I responded to them earlier and have done interminably Nick
In the main, we don't have the slightest idea where these songs originated (including 'Rosebud in June' by the way), that they appeard on stahe or on broadsides is no indication that they wren't adapted from earliest songs
That is not my point, which is that now songs that have experienced an oral tradition in any way. shape or form are now claimed as folk songs and being given Roud numbers - which was my reply to your question

"please will you give me a title of one song you consider to be a Folk Song"
Work your way through those which appeared on teh aforementioned 'Folk Songs of Britain' Series
I'd happily sit through an evening of them raher than Victorian tearjerkers like Nellie Dean
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 01:49 PM

Can I just make my point again before this goes away
It's not a matter what I or anybody else likes - I don't like all folk songs by any means
i love ballads, but don't get me started on
'Maid freed from the gallows'

When Lomax and later the BBC went ou in the fifties they didn't carry a check list to tell them what to record and what to reject - they knew what they were looking for and that;s what they brought back
When Topi set up way beck when they knew what folk song was and that's what they issued

When Greig put together his massive collection he knew what he was after and that's what he wrote down

Carpenter - Child - Sharp - Motherwell, Peter Hall, Hamish Henderson..... from the pioneers to the moppers-up = all had an understanding of what folk songs was - many wrote about it
Now we are told that by and large, they were romantics who got it wrong - Child apparently didn't know his folk arse to his formal poetry elbow
Any art form that relies on rejecting former knowledge experience and opinions to make room for new ones can have no future - learning and understanding has to be a continuum otherwise the subjects that we apprentice ourselves to can never have a solid identity

That's me on that one
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 02:09 PM

I'm afraid you are fighting a rear guard action to a romantic illusion. No doubt you will defend it to your dying breath with your mind firmly closed, so I am wasting my time.
For Andy did you get a copy of the Song Carriers OK?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 02:12 PM

In the hope of rescuing an interesting thread that threatens to descend into the unresolved 'what is & what isn't a folk song' morass, would it be possible to just state without prejudice that current views on the subject differ according to how much emphasis is placed on whether the origin or the process of change in a song is more important?

That would enable contributors to concentrate on enlarging on the excellent advice that has already been given in the posts at 28 Dec 18 - 01:52 PM, 28 Dec 18 - 02:31 PM and 29 Dec 18 - 07:26 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 02:40 PM

"In the hope of rescuing an interesting thread that threatens to descend into the unresolved 'what is & what isn't a folk song' morass"
Yer man asked for Traditional songs Vic - I don't consider that "descending" anywhere - on the contrary - It's refreshing to read someone making such a positive request

Origins are what it says on the tin - change is a sign that the songs have moved around the folk who sang them
One's as important as the other in my opinion
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 02:44 PM

One's as important as the other in my opinion
Jim

I am very pleased to hear you state this - thank you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 05:20 PM

Four suggestions, Andy7 - I hope you are still with us.

Ghost of Willie-o
Sweet Nancy
Lish Young Buy-a-Broom - has a chorus
Go to Sea Once More - also has a chorus

These are the titles used in the DT collection, where you can find the lyrics and tunes. Use the box at the top of the Lyrics and Knowledge page.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 07:23 PM

Origins/change, one as important as the other. Whilst this is just an opinion it does not accord at all with the 54 definition.

'...can be applied to music that has evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.'
I interpret this as 'origins' being irrelevant.

Put together by Maud Karpeles in 54 after much debating and disagreement over 7 years by the Council. She managed to get this accepted by a majority on the Council but there were still many members who disagreed, and this is to be expected as they all came from different cultures where the processes and influences were different. For instance Pat Shaw was happy to accept Shetland tunes that were currently being made up in their community and one can see why.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 07:35 PM

The Tailor's Britches. A very good version with repeated lines on our 'Yorkshire Garland' website with recording, dots, lyrics and provenance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Miranda
Date: 29 Dec 18 - 11:40 PM

A couple of songs that are fairly easy to learn (repetitive). Not all of them are folk songs I think, but they kinda do fall into that category.

Also I notice a lot of these are Jacobite songs but then again, they are ballads and they are easy to do:


'The Skye Boat Song' - Either by Harold Boulton or Louis Stevenson
'Aikendrum'
'The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond'
'Fear a Bhata' - Gaelic song, but with English translation
'Flower of Scotland' - Roy Williamson (this is the national anthem)
'Cock of the North' - there are multiple versions
'Ye Jacobites By Name'
'The Bricklayer's Song'
'Cam Ye By Atholl'
'Rise, Rise'
'The White Cockade'
'The Bonnie Earl o Moray'
'By Yon Castle Wa' - Robert Burns
'Heigh Johnnie Cope are ye Wauking Yet?'
'The Massacre of Glencoe'
'Oro Se Do Beatha Bhaile' - an Irish Gaelic song but not difficult
'Amhran na Bhfiann' - Irish Republic's anthem also in Irish language
'Men of Harlech' - Welsh song but with many versions
'The Song of Roland' - usually sung in Norwegian or Swedish
'Roses of Prince Charlie' - By the Corries again
'Twa Recruiting Sergeants'
'Wild Mountain Thyme'
'Lord of the Dance'
'Dark Lochnagar' - a Byron poem set to music
'Scotland the Brave'
'Danny Boy' - An Irish song that is similar to:
'Red is the Rose'
'Londonderry Air'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Pamela R
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 12:41 AM

After learning quite a few tragic ballads I made it a point to acquire some non-tragic ones. I know just enough about ballads to know that saying a song is (or is not) traditional is going to get me in trouble with someone, so without any such labels, I will simply mention:

False Lover John
Willie O' the Windsbury
Jock O' Hazeldean

or if a lighter tone appeals to you:

Well Sold the Cow/The Crafty Farmer
Feein' Day/Hiring Day


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 04:45 AM

"I interpret this as 'origins' being irrelevant."
Not to the people who sang it, it didn't
In the thirty odd years of field work we did with Traditional singers, the over-riding feeling we were left with was that the singers regarded the traditional songs as 'theirs', as distinct from those they picked up from print (not many of those from settled singers - none from the non-literate Travellers)
It was an identifiable part of their interpretation of the songs when they sang them and (especially with the under-constant-threat Travelling Community, it was part of their self-identification

The definition Steve mentions makes the condition that the song be "absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.'
No great argument with that if the songs are not just repeated parrot-fashion, but put through an adaptation process which makes them "theirs" - simple repetition does not do this.

Nick mentioned a Traveller making songs to Jimmie Rodgers tunes - a perfect example of what I am talking about and something we encountered time and again among Irish Travellers - of course these songs have a claim to the 'folk' title if the community absorbs them
These examples are also living proof of 'the people's' ability and desire to make songs rather than relying on buying them

I believe this to be important to our modern singers of folk songs in how they can visualise songs from surroundings that they may not be familiar with - rural life, the sea, the army....
Wherever the songs came from, when you analyse them you realise they are all basically about feeling that touch us all
All the 'big' singers we interviewed 'believed' their songs and saw them in terms of their own lives - they weren't flights of fantasy, as fantastic as some of them might be.   
The were what moved them as human beings, they rang bells with their own sympathies, desires, aspirations, indignations....
I recently stumbled across the Harry Cox interview with Lomax and MacColl, where he talks about 'Betsy the Serving Maid' - "and that's how the buggers treated us - that's what they though of us" - an angry man singing about how people like himself were treated and regarded
That's why the songs were made in the fist place, it's why they survived as long as they did - in my opinion, it's why they still have life in them in the 21st century
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 05:01 AM

Here is a song that i call a folk song, the seeds of love, this was a very important song in other ways, it was the song that inspired Cecil Sharp, to collect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 05:36 AM

Of course it's a Folk Song, and a very well travelled and beautiful Folk Song You sing it very well Dick. It's origins were probably 'Non Folk' which matters not one jot. However the point I was making (to Jim) was that (arguably) less beautiful creations should not be excluded from the Roud index just because of their origins. Also that a Folklorists or indexers job is to be non judgmental, which I agree is a rotten job. All the rest is subjectivity. Not a crime of course, and not relevant to any singer, be he or she Traditional or Revivalist. A silly argument about definitions just clouds the waters. By the way none of this means you Dick, so don't think I'm having a go at you or anyone else.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 05:42 AM

I agree Nic, however where does one draw the line, for example the infamous pie song sung by notts county supporters[ there may be more than one]which use the air of on top of old smokey, well it hardly stimulates the intellect, but accordint to 1954 definition it is a folk song...but one apart from football supporters at a football match would want to sing it


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 05:54 AM

"It's origins were probably 'Non Folk' "
I very much doubt it - if it doesn't matter it need not be mentioned - bound to case tears before teatime
Roud claims to be a folksong index - it should not contain non folksongs no matter how beautiful they are -totally irrelevant
I love Nessun Dorma, but would be furious if it got a Roud number
"Folk" has a specific meaning - of the folk -
Once we lose sight of that fact we may as well all fold up our tents and go home because our music and song will have no future and will be indistinguishable from any other form that anybody cares to hang the label "folk" on
We've already seen the damage that that has done to the folk scene
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 05:56 AM

Bang on Dick!! Thank you! Some sense at last! That's just it, drawing the line is always subjective. There's the rub.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 06:52 AM

I do wish people would stop erecting straw men here
There is no argument whatever about non folk tunes being used to make folk songs
It's pop songs songs that have never undergone absorption or change being claimed as folk songs that is the problem
Wheter songs are good, bad or indifferent has no bearing whatever as to wht type of song they are
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 06:54 AM

I agree with that entirely too, Nick.

These arguments are always about where the line is drawn and always subjective. Subjective involves a matter of opinion and differing ones will never be agreed on. There always has been and always will be good songs to sing in folk clubs that will be disputed.

Harry Robertson's Penguin Eggs
Ralph McTell's Streets of London
Eric Bogle's The band played Waltzing Matilda
And, of course, Ewan MacColl's Dirty old town

Are all fine examples of non-traditional songs that sit well in any folk club.

Bellowhead's Byker Hill and Thousands or more are far more traditional songs but can we envisage an eleven piece band complete with brass section at the local folk club?

Just arguing about where the line should be gets us nowhere and certainly doesn't help the OP learn anything but how difficult it can be to please some!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 07:00 AM

Thanks Dave and Dick. It's a waste of time arguing with Jim he just doesn't get it, and never will.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 07:09 AM

I don't think that the pop song measure can be applied in all cases either. In much the same way that some pop singers have had hits with folk music (Rod Stewart springs to mind), folk singers can give pop music the "folk treatment". Ever heard Richard Thompson's interpretation of "Oops I did it again" for instance? Or Phil Hare's medley involving Ray Davies and Turlough O'Carolan?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 07:37 AM

The tradition is long dead (with the few wexceptions among Travelers0
Whatever treatment a folkie gives to a song is immaterial - we are talking about a no longer functioning tradition which we are borrowing from
If you care to check on Roud he doesn't include Folkies in his list, he never has
This is yet another Red Herring - we are discussing what constitutes a folk song, not what folkies choose to do with them
I think if you check, you will find many/most bands -copyright their arrangements so they can can never belong to anybody but themselves
All this undermines the cultural and historical importance of our folk traditions - no wonder the revival is in such a state
Gone from here
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 07:50 AM

The recent folk revival has been astounding in its success. Bands like the previously mentioned Bellowhead with founder members Spiers and Boden. The Young 'uns. Eliza Carthy and dozens of others have brought folk music to the attention of more people than many of the earlier artists. Not decrying anything that has been done before but we should not complain that these young (well, far younger than us) acts are 'spoiling' folk. Far from it.

Just reminded myself too. Going back to Andy's original question, you could do a lot worse than take a listen to the Young 'uns.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 08:17 AM

When you can't guarantee finding folksongs at folk clubs any more, as has long been the case, you haven't got a folk revival - the name has become meaningless
When all you can find on the website of the English folk dance on song society by way of recordings is a few poor singer-songwriters, you have been sold out
The fact that all you can offer by way of clubs is "cole to Yorkshire" or "Edinburgh" or Lewes" if you want to hear good singing indicates just how "healthy" the scene is
You talk about the few who have who have made it to the top - where are the thousands of folk clubs, album labels magazines, and most important of all punters who have offed the scene because it can no longer give them what they came for in the first place
This sort of complacency is what has killed the scene - may it Rest in Peace
The fact that there is no longer a home for Walter Pardon and his ilk and you can't give away a traditional song archive says everything that needs to be said
My offer still stands to anybody interested, but I don't hold out a great deal of hope
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 08:23 AM

Thank you all again, for so many excellent suggestions! I've already listened to many of them, and it's so difficult to choose which 3 to start learning! But I do intend to make my selection only from songs/performers suggested in this thread.

I don't want to get involved (again!) in the 'What is a folk song' debate; except to say that my intention, this year, is to learn, and sing, 3 genuinely traditional folk songs - songs that come 'from the folk', that have a long pedigree, that don't have a known writer, and that are not copyrighted. I don't mean to denigrate, in any way, the thousands of excellent songs that don't fit those criteria; it's just that they don't fit my personal 2019 resolution.

Btw, I will definitely not be posting, on this thread, my final choices, as though this is some kind of folk music beauty contest with 'winners' and 'losers', with me as self-appointed arbiter.

But if you happen to visit a couple of folk clubs somewhere in south Hampshire during the next year or two, you just might hear me singing one or more of the songs. And I hope I do those songs justice, and show respect to their unknown writers, and to the long tradition of folk song singers who have gone before.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 08:29 AM

I'm on at the Foscle in Southampton in March. See you there?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 08:41 AM

The OP seems well on the way to making his choices, but let me add my three ha'p'orth.

If he is like me he will find it easier to relate to a song that he has heard someone sing somewhere, some time, whether live or on radio/TV/Youtube/CD/etc, rather than to bring to life a song that he has only seen in print. So there's one consideration.

A second consideration that I apply, though many don't, is to avoid songs that I often hear other people sing. If a song is being sung, that will do, and I see no point in adding to the numbers of people singing it. I would encourage the OP (and anyone else) to apply the same policy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 08:43 AM

What date in March? I can't find a 2019 calendar on their website.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 08:50 AM

Best of luck, Andy. I sincerely hope you and your audiences enjoy what you are doing, and I hope it inspires you to learn even more traditional songs. There are many fine songs from Hampshire in the VWML online at the EFDSS website and many of these are in the books produced by Nick and me, and the great Malcolm Douglas before his untimely demise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 08:50 AM

That's a good point, Richard, about not singing songs that are already sung a lot.

Most people that go to folk clubs, myself included, do tend enjoy a good chorus singalong that they all know well, more than an old, obscure ballad. And yet, many of those old, obscure songs are definitely worth reviving!

So now I'm thinking, maybe my 3 songs should consist of one well-known 'singalong', one sea shanty, and one song that will be new to most people there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 09:13 AM

Here's a better suggestion for you, Andy. Why not sing 3 Hampshire versions? On the VWML site in the search box put the name 'James Bounds'. He was from Portsmouth and sang several well-known chanteys which are on the site. (We're including them in our next volume). Then as a non-chorus song you could try 'The Rambling Soldier' as sung by George Digweed from Micheldever in 1906, not a commonly sung song (It's relative The Rambling Sailor' is more common). And for your chorus song how about 'The Ups and Downs' as sung by E Frankham of Petersfield in 1908? These last 2 can be found in the song book Marrow Bones still available from the EFDSS and very likely there are versions in the DT, but all available on the website.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 09:34 AM

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 07:37 AM
...
Gone from here


From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 08:17 AM

When you can't guarantee finding folksongs at folk clubs any more


But therein lies the rub, Jim. We can guarantee that you will find folk songs at folk clubs. You cannot provide any evidence that folk clubs no longer showcase folk songs any more than you can stay away from threads once you have said you have "Gone from here". How many years is it since you have been involved with folk clubs in England? How many of the fine clubs that Nick or I am involved with have you been to recently? How can you judge what music is on offer in English folk clubs when you will not even attempt to find out for yourself?

You say you are aware of folk clubs that no longer guarantee folk music. I can guarantee that you cannot find one for me to visit. You need not go public on this. Just PM me with details of ANY folk club in England where I will not find folk song and I will, at my own expense, visit and provide an honest review of what went on the evening I called.

Other than by visiting folk clubs, how can we know what goes on there?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 09:38 AM

The fact that there is no longer a home for Walter Pardon and his ilk and you can't give away a traditional song archive says everything that needs to be said

To my mind this presents a rather negative view of the state of traditional song archiving in Britain. The mighty collections represented for Scotland at Tobar an Dualchais or "Kist o'Riches" are not matched in many countries in the world. Academic Funding is restricting growth of this but it still grows apace. This derives from the School of Scottish Studies archive in Edinburgh and their website states in large letters The School of Scottish Studies Archives is always pleased to consider donations of sound and photographic materials. with an email address for first contact.
In England, the "Full English" archive is newer having started off as "Take Six" only 11 years ago, but is a very impressive resource with links to many other on-line freely available recordings.
The British Library has a wider ambit than these two already mentioned but there are a large number of traditional singer recordings made by a good number of our prominent folk song collectors available there.

Below that there is an increasing number of archives existing at regional/county level and I would like to mention in particular on-line archives in the North-East, Yorkshire. Devon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire as ones that I have either consulted extensively or exchanged messages with in regard to the work that we are closely involves with in Sussex. We were later off the ground in Sussex than some but there are already 5484 items in the Sussex Traditions Database including many field recordings of those who should be considered alongside "Walter Pardon and his ilk" such as Gordon Hall, George Belton, George Spicer etc. and I can promise you that this number will grow quite rapidly once I have completed my archiving/database training and take over responsibility for updating this archive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 09:50 AM

"Harry Robertson's Penguin Eggs"

Dave, penguin eggs do get a mention in that song, but Robertson's title for the song was Wee Pot Stove.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 09:57 AM

It is, Gerry. Apologies for the error. I blame Nic Jones! :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 10:26 AM

"To my mind this presents a rather negative view of the state of traditional song archiving in Britain. "
You seem content to accept that there's no home for Walter - sorry about that Vic
You seen content that EFDSS now goes in for Micky Mouse singers rather trhan what they were set up to do all those years ago
I've already said that Scotland shows far greater respect in its traditions - as does Ireland now

None of what you wish for can possibly happen until the folk scene returns to base and rebuilds its foundation - Pie in the Sky Vic

I've covered Dave's points over and over again - the folk music scene has dwindled to next to nothing - there have been enough people departing and enough people who have said more or less what I have said to show that
The fact that discussing the scene or the term folk has been made a no-go area and those of us who have dedicated our lives to making it available are described as "purists" "finger-in-ear" and all the other unpleasant nakes that have been conjured up makes my/our point over and over again
When somebody described 'Nellie Dean' as a folk song and, in the same breath, described long ballads as "inappropriate" he was met with either acquiescence or silence
He would have been laughed off the stage not so long ago

It's totrally beyond me how, in these circumstances, people are continuing to claim all is well


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 10:59 AM

I'll be at the Foscle on March 13th Andy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 11:45 AM

And I have covered your points over and again, Jim. Anyone involved in the current folk scene in England will tell you it is nothing like you say. You have presented no evidence at all to the contrary. There is no point in trying to convince you otherwise and even offers to prove you right are ignored. No point in saying end of discussion either but maybe you can take your tirade against folk club organisers to another thread before this one gets closed too?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 12:09 PM

"Anyone involved in the current folk scene in England will tell you it is nothing like you say"
Except those of us who have left in disgust and those who constantly claim they are no longer welcome in many folk clubs if they sing unaccompanied songs (the title Purist) of the other thread sums that up perfectly)

Proof of the pudding - no guarantee of hearing a folk song anymore - no folk scene
You certainly haven't replied to that one
According to oyur Wiki link, you have a folk scene based on 'names' and nothing more
Happy New year to all
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 12:14 PM

One more time Dave
Can I remind you that, when you were asked how you would describe a folk song to a newcomer you said you were unable to do so
How do you know the folk scene is flourishing if you don't know what a folk song is?
Just curious
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 01:26 PM

Please Jim will you pack it in? We all know what you think now. We all know you're not going to change your mind. We all know you're disillusioned. You are not going to achieve anything by keeping on telling us over and over again thread after thread and barging in where you're not really wanted. If you are not able to receive and can only proclaim your views as divine truths you are not really an asset to Mudcat or anywhere else. I run a mostly unaccompanied singers club in Hebden Bridge called Glad for Trad (the clue being in the title) with Sue Burgess, Mary and Anahata, and Pete and Barbara Snape. I go regularly to the 'Off the rails sessions' which is at least 70% unaccompanied. Most of my contemporaries are unaccompanied singers, Len Graham, Kevin Mitchell, Jim McFarland, (Andy take note)Dick miles recently did an unaccompanied gig (pity I could not be there)Jack Rutter and Jim Findlay sing numerous songs with out accompaniment, none of them hold this negative view of the Folk Scene that you do. You seem hell bent on taking the joy out of any post you come in contact with. So once again and hopefully for the last time please!!! if you are incapable of thinking again, at least do us all the courtesy of allowing us to express our own inferior views without posts like the one above. It really is not too much to ask is it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 01:31 PM

Vic said "to my mind this presents a rather negative view of the state of traditional song archiving in Britain."

Jim said "You seem content to accept that there's no home for Walter - sorry about that Vic"

Jim, Are you saying that you have tried to give away your recordings of Walter and that no-one wants to give them a home?

If so: when did you offer them? Who to?

I have heard that A N Other offered some recordings of traditional singers to EFDSS for adding to their archive and was turned down. If this is indeed the situation, does anyone know why? Who should we be lobbying?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 01:35 PM

Please Jim will you pack it in?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 01:39 PM

Please Jim will you pack it in
Why should I ?
You ma not care enough about folk song to discuss it - I do
There are far to many no-go areas omn this forum as it is

Will answer all your questions later Richard, if I am allowed to
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: RTim
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 02:14 PM

Jim
- it is interesting that most of the threads you are involved in - end up acrimoniously - so who is to blame for this...........??
I fully admit to not going to many Folk Clubs - maybe because I live in the USA - but when I do I get to hear what I expect to hear - many Traditional songs often sung unaccompanied.
I seldom if ever frequent clubs or venues that advertise "open mics" or such events - where I would expect to hear singer/songwriters and plenty of covers - but then you have admitted you haven't been to any sort of cub for years - relying on what you THINK happens or are told by others - BUT you do not listen to what people say here.....so who is to blame for this...??

And by the way - to choose a Traditional song to sing - you look for something that has some relevance to you and your history - and one that you like!!!

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 03:12 PM

Tim
You tell me - I say what I believe as well as I am able and, if I believe them to be important, I persist
If that doesn't meet with your approval, Mea Culpa - can't do much about that
I may be persistent but I am boy particularly aggressive and whatever I have to say I am always happy to back up with argument
I have long stopped being personally rude to people (unless you believe argument to be rude, that is)
I am also ready, on request, to respond to queries with practical help in the form of recordings - a few others on this forum do that, but not as many as there used to be.   
Folk song has occupied my life for a very long time - as a singer, a researcher and an organiser of workshops, clubs and conferences, so I am not prepared to be muted or shouted down by those who don't share my views
I suggest that my arguments are more to do with what has happened to the folk scene that I was part of for so long rather than anything I have done or said, but if that is not the case, please feel free to point out where I am wrong, as I feel free to argue with those I disagree with

I suggest that, if my behaviour is unacceptable, you report me to the Mods - in the years I have been a member of this forum I have never been warned or threatened with punishment - not once
Now your turn
By the way, if you had been paying attention you would know that I have visited around half-a-dozen English clubs this year, but that's irrelevant
The argumants that take place here describing what happens at folk clubs, the reaction to suggesting that the use of crib sheets or mobile phones and the cries of "elitish" when the suggestion of appluying a level of standards is more than enough of an indication of what has happened to the Club scene
As for the shrieks of "Purist" whenever it is suggested that you should expect to hear a folk song at a folk club....
All this and much more makes visiting folk clubs totally unnecessary - your responses act as a far more reliable guide than a weekly visit to a folk club could ever do   
I'll look in later - I'm getting to like Vic's thumb - sort of a Linus's Blanket (apologies to Charlie Brown)
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 04:40 PM

Jim. I did say what I believed a folk song was. The fact that you declined to accept my view is neither here nor there but, once again, you are making things up to support your case. It is little wonder that the threads you are involved in are the ones that most often end in closure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 05:27 PM

This is a great topic for me to try and learn something. What a shame I have to wade through all this crap to try and find something interesting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 05:58 PM

Andy
If you are more inclined to learn songs from recordings, those of the Askew Sisters from Hampshire are well worth acquiring as they mainly sing beautiful versions of Hampshire songs, and their dad, Bob, is a great Hampshire singer of traditional songs as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Kenny B(inactive)
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 06:04 PM

R Tim I suggest you ask the mods for an answer to the question your comment poses and come back and see if we can debate the subject on an open thread
I did and was horrified by the answer


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 06:55 PM

To the Guest above I could not agree more! It's my fault I'm afraid. I actually said I didn't want this thread to go off at a tangent, and then couldn't resist engaging in fruitless argument with our resident muffin. So a new year resolution, never argue with a man with a closed mind, just carry on as if his post does not exist.
So with that in mind, I would like to add to the above list started by Steve by recommending Tim Radford as a good listen. He came to my club when he last visited the UK and he is on the newly re-released Forest Tracks albums. I'm sure there is a link somewhere on line.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 07:03 PM

>>>>Any art form that relies on rejecting former knowledge experience and opinions to make room for new ones can have no future<<<<<
29 Dec 01.49

Now there's food for thought. Do we really need any further discussion?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 07:08 PM

Nick>Tim, seconded, and Tim sings traditional songs straight from the repertoires of Hampshire traditional singers, particularly George Blake of Minstead.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 07:13 PM

Andy,
Where in Hampshire are you? We might be able to point you at songs collected within a few miles of where you are or even perhaps where you were born.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: RTim
Date: 30 Dec 18 - 09:56 PM

Thanks for the recommendations you guys......

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Pamela R
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 12:33 AM

Finding a regional version is a nice idea if you live somewhere for which such could be found.

I agree with several others above regarding the benefits of learning the songs, if not in person, at least from recordings (rather than from print); so I will annotate my suggestions above with some audio sources:

False Lover John - for example Corney McDaid's version or Fred Jordan's "Six Pretty Maids"

Willie O' the Windsbury - I am partial to Anne Briggs' version, omitting the guitar, perhaps only because I learned that one first. I suppose this song may fall into the overdone category; but some versions are so different as to be entirely fresh (e.g.,"There was a lady lived in the west" by Robert Cinnamond, on VOTP17).

Jock O' Hazeldean - Dick Gaughan's version is gorgeous.


Well Sold the Cow/The Crafty Farmer - I love both Bess Cronin's and Packie Byrne's versions.

Feein' Day/Hiring Day - Ellen Mitchell's very charming version or Michael Gallagher's


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 03:14 AM

"Jim. I did say what I believed a folk song was. "
Please remind me Dave - I apologise if I have missed it
It is somewhat insulting of you to accuse me of making things up - I'm the one who is supposed to insult people
I make mistakes but I don't tell lies - I thought better of you than that

One of the problems folk music faces is that there is no longer a consensus of what the term means - there was once, even though tastes differed, as they should
The Revival I came into when I was 21 was based on the findings of the BBC mopping-up campaign, then The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs and MacColl and Seeger's 'Singing Island' overwhelmingly British folk songs collected in the field from source singers
Those songs fed the revival for several decades and were reinforced by other collections, Purslow, Alasdair Clayre, Karl Dallas - and a constant stream of new songs, Enoch Kent, MacColl Rossleson, Pete Smith.... (all paying homage to our song tradition without necessarily being part of it)
That was healthily experimental without forgetting how unique and important our songs were.
That seems to have totally dissipated (with the resultant decline in clubs and enthusiasts) - now we have to send scouts out in advance to see if folk clubs do 'folk' anymore - and fewer and fewer do and any attempts to discuss this are met with hurled abuse - "purist", finger-in-ear", "folk police (or nastier, Folk fascist)"
On this forum, subjects like definition, standards, crib phones and sheets, are met with howls of "elitists"
There is more access to folk songs than there has ever been in my lifetime, now nobody even wants to discuss the meaning of the term.

I raised the points I have because I was delighted and surprised that the OP specifically asked for traditional songs - I'm glad I did - it certainly has clarified who is the abuser and who the abused in these arguments
I can't ever remember telling anybody to shut up and go away, and I repeat - I have insulted no-one

"Now there's food for thought. Do we really need any further discussion?"
Don't understand your point Steve - you are one of those that subscribes to the practice
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 03:21 AM

Corny McDaid a lovely singer! I would not mind owning some recordings of him. I always thought Fred Jordan was not respected as he should have been, by some people. Let us know your thoughts Andy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 04:10 AM

Nick, being the OP I don't really want to comment on individual song suggestions. But I'm really grateful to have had so many songs/performers/sources/genres suggested, it's introduced me to a wealth of fine music, quite apart from whatever I might choose to learn myself.

In answer to Steve, I've lived for a long time in the Southampton area, although I was born and raised in east London, and have also lived in Essex.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 04:16 AM

Here it is, Jim. You are very good at missing what was said and I accept your apology. Fortunately I am very good at remembering what was said and when.

I do know what I believe to be a folk song and you can look me up performing some at Swinton if you like. It may not agree with your definition but it is the best I can do. I am more than happy to accept other peoples definitions while fully understanding that no single one of them is the full picture. Can you say the same?

Please note that the phrase that I am more than happy to accept other people's definitions includes the 1954 one and yours.

As to insults, perceived or otherwise, need I point out to you that the venom you pour out on folk club organisers is particularly insulting to a whole set of people, including me until 5 years ago. These are the people who give their time, and often their money, freely to help to maintain the tradition, only to be told by you that they are making a rubbish job of it.

You cannot or will not support your case with examples while ignoring the examples of fine traditional music presented here. What are we to think?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 04:54 AM

I think a lot of fine people make a financial loss on the Folk Scene.
Not that they are in any way resentful. When it comes down to it we are all on the same side. I have hardly met anybody who did not try and do their personal best weather singing or organising. That's a good definition of love for the music isn't it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 05:07 AM

"I do know what I believe to be a folk song"
Yep - that's what I said
Apology not forthcoming, I presume
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 05:20 AM

East London has a very strong tradition of its own, but being part of the Metropolis it was always very welcoming of any new trends in music so its tradition is made up of many popular songs which became very much a part of that tradition. How that fed into the folk revival was down to people like John Foreman, Martin Winsor and Redd Sullivan, and more latterly Cosmotheka. Some here would claim none of this is folksong, but don't forget your own roots and be proud of them.

My own repertoire is made up of songs from my own family, songs from my own area, songs I have learnt from the British tradition and songs more recently written, some by myself. I consider this to be a healthy mixture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 05:31 AM

I am disappointed by the absence of answers to any of my 30 Dec 18 - 01:31 PM questions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 05:38 AM

Sorry Jim. I can't make head nor tail of your last post. You asked what I believed a folk song to be. I told you. Who is to apologise and for what?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 06:10 AM

"Jim. I did say what I believed a folk song was. "
"I do know what I believe to be a folk song"
Work it out for yourself Dave
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 06:26 AM

Sorry Jim. Beyond me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 06:32 AM

Last night I was at a very robust well-attended singaround. I would say more than half of the songs sung were British traditional. After singing 3 or 4 traditional songs I sang 'The Little Shirt me mother made for me' which I learnt as a child from my grandmother. It definitely was not out of place and went down well. The best criterion for such convivial sessions is a mixture of well-known/well-loved and newer material with plenty of opportunities to join in both accompanying and chorus singing. A great time was had by all and that's by far the most important aspect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 06:36 AM

Sorry Richard - I got sidetracked
"Jim, Are you saying that you have tried to give away your recordings of Walter and that no-one wants to give them a home?
If so: when did you offer them? Who to? "
Not exactly true Richard - probably my fault
I and Terry Yarnell have been trying to find a home for our archive for years - that includes Walter's recordings and many more
I have offered them up here, to clubs or to individuals who wish to use them
We did deposit our collection with the then British Institute of Recorded Sound via Lucy Duran, who was then inspired to include British Folk song in her what was then Ethnomusicological Department - largely foreign material
When the Institute became The National Sound Archive ad moved to The British Library and they decided to launch their Folk Music online collection they chose not to include our collection which now, presumably, lies locked in a cupboard somewhere in Euston Road
I discussed with numerous people the housing of our collection at C# House but to no avail
On examination, I am somewhat relieved that the ofer was never taken up - I'm pretty sure Walter would never have enjoyed the company he would have had to keep !
Our collection is housed in places in Ireland, The Irish Traditional Music Archive and The Irish Folklore Department - unfortunately, they have no particular interest in English Field recordings - not their brief
Our entire collection and - hopefully, that of Singers Workshop will end up in The World Music Department at Limerick University where - hopefully - the remainder of our Clare Song and music Collection will go on line, along with our Traveller collection - probably not our English collection
Clare County Library has put most of our Clare Song recordings on line - (a magnificent job carried out by two appointed librarians over two years)
To date, we have found no home for our Archive and personal collection in Britain
Sorry for not replying sooner and sorry that this reply is as convoluted as has been our task of finding a home for our archives
"You can't give English folk songs away nowadays", seems to sum it all up
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 06:39 AM

"Sorry Jim. Beyond me."
Beyond me why you can't work out the contradictions between two of your own quotes which say exactly the opposite to one another
I'm not going to get an apology for having been accused of lying so I'd be wasting my time pursuing the matter
Let's leave it there eh?
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 06:49 AM

I guess leaving us both confused is as good as it gets :-)

All the best for the new year anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 08:09 AM

Steve Gardham wrote (31 Dec 18 - 06:32 AM):-
" I sang 'The Little Shirt me mother made for me' which I learnt as a child from my grandmother. It definitely was not out of place and went down well."


I learned that song from my father - and much against my will because I thought it a ridiculous little ditty but he sang it so often around the house that a young brain could not help but learn it.
I never heard it again until I started to record the 'Sussex Singers Evenings' that we arranged at our folk club in Lewes, the evenings where we gave the whole evening over to the surviving old traditional singers of the county. George Spicer sung it in a set of three songs that also included The Barley Mow. On another occasion George Belton sing it in the same set of three songs that included his lovely Bold Fisherman. I still did not like the song but I was fascinated by the fact that words varied between the three versions, Spicer located the song in Brighton, Belton had an extra verse that neither Spicer nor my dad had and dad's words were slightly removed from the other two. The three tunes were related but a good way from identical. I researched to find that the song was written by Harry Wincott, an English songwriter, born Alfred James Walden and it was first recorded in 1907 - seven years before my dad was born. All three versions varied from the written original. By this time my dad was dead but I was able to ask both Georges separately where they had learned the song and if they knew who had written it. Their answers were very similar - no idea who wrote it, it was just one of the songs that was sung in pub sing-songs and they had picked it up from older singers without anything being written down.
As theories emerged that emphasised the transmission process of songs rather than their origin this was of great interest to me because this was what I was hearing from the old singers that I was mixing with in Sussex and not just with this song.
Other compositions by Harry Wincott included included The Old Dun Cow and Mademoiselle from Armentières and we all know how widely popular these and others of his became in all sorts of contexts.

Steve Gardham wrote (31 Dec 18 - 05:20 AM)
"East London has a very strong tradition of its own, but being part of the Metropolis it was always very welcoming of any new trends in music so its tradition is made up of many popular songs which became very much a part of that tradition. How that fed into the folk revival was down to people like John Foreman, Martin Winsor and Redd Sullivan, and more latterly Cosmotheka. Some here would claim none of this is folksong, but don't forget your own roots and be proud of them."


Our folk club in Lewes always had a very strong bent towards the tradition but all the artists that you mention were booked there over the decades, John Foreman many times and the approach, enthusiasm and delivery of their material was well received by our regular crowd of tradition enthusiasts. One of our regular very popular floor singers was Jim Ward, a man with an encyclopedic knowledge of traditional jazz, the music hall and of the tradition in Sussex. He is a great purveyor of these old songs an particularly the monologues.
Ken Hall & Peta Webb would sometimes come down from London to our club - either as guest singers or for the 'Bob Copper Annual Birthday Parties'. They would bring other singers with them - even organising a minibus. One who particularly fascinated me was Terry Vosper - born and still living at the time in Whitechapel who epitomised that East London strong singing tradition that you mention.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 08:28 AM

Terry Vosper Excellent! Do you have any recordings of him Vic? I remember his version of Five nights Drunk, it inspired me to learn the Hampshire version. Here's hoping you had your tape recorder on!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 08:51 AM

> Ever heard Richard Thompson's interpretation
> of "Oops I did it again" for instance?


No I hadn't, so I looked it up, and having watched it, I am not sure what point you are trying to make. I mean I'm as big a fan of (in no particular order) 1) Folk music, 2) Richard Thompson, 3) Britney Spears as anyone. But that was terrible. First he is sneering at Britney, then when he's singing he seems to be taking the piss, and then what exactly is folk about this interpretation?? Or is that what you are trying to say? That just because Mr Folk does something it doesn't mean it is automatically good?

Adding a wordless section with a change of rhythm and a Purcellesque style doesn't alter the fact that all the time he is singing it is just a worse than bad cover version. A not even half-hearted attempt to produce a good version of the song.

Is that what you were trying to illustrate? I am not sure whether I understood your point.

I'm afraid I have seen such behaviour from folkies in real life as well (not celebrity folkies, just at sessions) ... they decide to give some speech slagging off a pop artist they presumably don't like and then do a pisstake version of one of their songs. Why bother?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 09:06 AM

Sadly, Nick, although I heard Terry singing quite a number of times both at our club in Lewes and Peta & Ken's at the King & Queen in London, the only example of his singing that I recorded was at the Royal Oak in Lewes on Bob Copper's 80th birthday on 6th January 2005. Apart from the Coppers it was one song each and Terry sang Darling Mabel - aka The Love Letter music by Bennett Scott, words by A J Mills in 1896. Again there are slight differences in the way he sang it from the sheet music which is available on-line at https://monologues.co.uk/musichall/Sheets/Darling%20Mabel.pdf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 09:08 AM

Jim,
Here is a likely scenario as to why your collection at the BL didn't make it into the BLSA. The project first of all had limited funds and a limited timescale. Those employed to carry it out (Andrew King for instance) were employed on a temporary basis just to fulfil the contract. The remit as I saw it was to make enquiries for material that wasn't already in a collection and held in private hands (like mine). They made me an offer and I accepted. (My reward was to receive copies of the whole collection ready digitised onto 25 CDs which I have put to very good use in presentations and giving back copies to the families of those I recorded). I was just very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Your collection as I understand it had already been accepted prior to this project and because of the restrictions and the desire to get in 'new' collections yours wasn't included in the same project which is indeed a great shame.

I could be wrong here as you haven't yet sent me a list of what is included in your British material, but I strongly suspect much of it has also been recorded by others and might be seen in some quarters as duplicating to some extant what is already out there, for instance recordings made by the likes of Mike Yates, Bill Leader at al.

I am happy to be corrected if any of this is inaccurate, and apologies to Andy for drifting off thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 09:17 AM

No, I don't like it particularly either, Guest. The point is that a pop song can be "folked up" (in all senses) as much as a folk song can be popified (good a word as any). Because of this the dividing line can sometimes become blurred.

I can find you better examples of both if you like but suggest you look them up yourself so as not to disagree over the content rather than the principle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 09:25 AM

Dave the Gnome: OK, fair enough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 09:36 AM

I've just read the tune through, and I'm not familiar with the song. Many thanks Vic.
By the way sight reading and singing from the page is the best thing I ever learned to do for song hunting. A certain Mr. Carthy MBE taught me how to approach it. I saw him the other day and reminded (and thanked) him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 10:09 AM

"I could be wrong here as you haven't yet sent me a list of what is included in your British material, "
I didn't say I would Steve, nor do I intend to
I could do without being 'one-up-manship' partonised as I was with your offers of your finding the sources of our Irish songs, which I probably know more about than you and which are fully annotated anyway
As far as Walter's recordings are concerned, they are largely of Walter talking rather than singing, which, in my opinion, makes them so valuable - it would cut across much of the nonsense talked here

I wasn't going to interrupt - I'm quite fascinated to learn what displays of personal taste (good or bad) has to do with what makes a folk song
Traditional (folk songs) aren't made by constant repetition - it's a lot lass facile than that   
Carry on
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 11:26 AM

This is a heavily censored post. I have calmed down a bit before I submitted. So in civil terms without the four letter words I just shouted at the screen please read the following Jim. You could never find a less patronising man than Steve Gardham. He has helped me and supported my efforts more than you could ever do. He's perfectly able to fight his own battles I'm sure, but for my part you have succeeded in offending me quite badly. I am having nothing more to do with you from now on, on line or in person. You may kick me to your hearts content, but do not abuse a man I consider to be my friend in public and think we can all carry on as if nothing has happened. You have gone too far this time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 11:50 AM

"You could never find a less patronising man than Steve Gardham."
Steve has patronised me publicly since we first crossed sword Nick, and has continued do do so throughout our fractious relationship.
His first opening comments were that I was "starry- eyed and naive" when I quoted MacColl's moving closing comments on 'The Song Carriers' (go check them out and see what you make of them)
I'm afraid it went against his 'the folk didn't make folk songs' theory
Our relationship went downhill from then on
I know what you mean about "shouting at the screen" though - I do it far too often nowadays
Please try to confine your comments to what you know about I have never kicked anybody to my hearts content, though I used to kick back occasionally
Getting too old for that now
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 12:37 PM

Please do not address any further comments to me, or engage in any argument expecting a reply. I'm done with you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 12:38 PM

Very even handed of you Nick
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 01:32 PM

Andy did you manage to download 'The Song Carriers' it occurs to me I can send them over to you by Dropbox. They are in a Zip file. Blimey I sound like I'm technically adept. (I got Dropbox three weeks ago so maybe not). Despite some glaring errors, they are essential listening.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 02:11 PM

Yes, I managed to download it, thanks.

A fascinating programme! But I'm pretty sure I'd never be able to reproduce accurately the vocal style and ornamentation of the old traditional singers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 04:59 PM

Just a suggestion. If you pick a song you like that is not too difficult, try singing along with the singer taking a breath when he or she does. The programme on ornamentation that includes Bob Copper singing the Spotted Cow might be a help. I am sure you are more able than you might think, and there is nothing bad about getting it wrong a few (hundred in my case) times
Happy New Year
Nick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Dec 18 - 08:34 PM

Andy,
You're far better off not trying to imitate anybody. This would put you on a par with second rate pop singers. Be yourself and try to use your natural voice. All of the singers I admire either use their own natural voice or cultivate their own style.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jan 19 - 05:25 AM

ANDY ,my advice would be to listen to phil tanner, joseph taylor , bob lewis,absorb over time through listening and if you listen to enough different traditional singers you will unconsciously develop your own style


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 01 Jan 19 - 07:21 AM

Bang on again Dick! Have you got Bob Copper and Bob Lewis singing together? Its on The Musical Traditions, label. Happy New year.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Jan 19 - 07:46 AM

Bob Copper & Bob Lewis - "Two Bob's Worth" Musical Traditions MTCD374

Booklet notes by Jon Dudley & Vic Smith
Read the booklet notes at - http://www.mustrad.org.uk/pdf/374.pdf
Buy it at - http://www.mtrecords.co.uk/index2.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Jan 19 - 08:06 AM

I see you are on at Swinton on the day before my birthday, Nick :-) May pay visit and, if so, probably come past yours. Do you want a lift if I do?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 01 Jan 19 - 10:02 AM

Thanks Dave. You've got my Email, so drop me a line and we'll sort out details. If you've lost it let me know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Jan 19 - 11:46 AM

Found it, Nick. Email sent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 02 Jan 19 - 07:40 PM

Andy7, I usually find that the songs I want to learn / sing are ones that have captivated me when someone else has performed them.
It might be a song I already know or have heard before, but sometimes a certain person's rendition just grabs me, and I have to learn it.
But - not to sing it the way they do, no matter how wonderful I think their voice is (Gordeanna McCulloch, Jean Redpath, Heather Heywood, Jeannie Robertson etc)- I need to make the song my own.
- Singing a ballad is not about you as a singer, it is about the story, the history - you have to be immersed in it, understand it, see the events as they occur - you are a vehicle for the song, and people should remember the song and what it recounted rather than the singer - imho!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: GUEST,The Man from UNCOOL
Date: 02 Jan 19 - 08:55 PM

Andy
  You'll be most welcome to do a support spot to Nick's gig at Focsle Music, Southampton (March 13th), if he considers you a sufficient standard, and – naturally, having set yourself this NYResolution – as long as you've learnt all three of your songs by then :-)  In practice, any acoustic material is welcome at our club (which, for my sins, I now run solo over the winter).  Sorry the website hasn't been up to date:  I was considering walking away from it some time ago, so I'd cleared any forward dates until I'd sorted out its future.
  I've seen your name in several posts I've followed, and keep wondering who you are, since I recall no Andys showing their face there since I've been at the helm.
  Can I add "Martin Said To His Man" to your list of optimistic songs?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 05:05 AM

Thanks for your suggestions, GM, and I do agree with your point about the singer being a vehicle for the song. I have in the past learned songs I've heard and enjoyed; but my purpose this year is to seek out new (to me) songs that I'd not otherwise have heard.

TMFU, thank you so much for your generous offer; but I'll not put myself forward for a support spot on this occasion.

I've been meaning for a while to get along to the Guide Dog, and will make it some time; hopefully for Nick's gig.

My regular club is Woolston and Bursledon on a Sunday, where you've perhaps met me, although I confess I don't recall ever meeting anyone 'uncool' there! :-) At WBFC I help set out the chairs on those occasions when I accidentally arrive early enough to do so, and also sometimes help to run the extensive bar on guest nights.

I also go along to the monthly singarounds at Forest Folk; and other life commitments limit the amount of time I'm able to spend at folk clubs, otherwise I'd probably be looking for something every evening!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 05:46 AM

Jim,

Thank you for answering my questions.

As to why some possible recipients of your recordings turned them down, or accepted them but haven't made them publicly available, your own 31 Dec 18 - 06:36 AM post set out some reasons.

It seems to me that Steve's 31 Dec 18 - 09:08 AM post also offered some very plausible explanations, and it's a shame that you seem to be dismissing what he says just because you've taken umbrage (with or without justification) at some other things that he has said. (Not that you're the only one here taking umbrage at one thing or another.)

It's a little unfortunate that Andy's appeal for advice about material has been intermittently sidetracked, but some of those sidetracks have been informative in themselves, notably Vic's posts.

Let's all of us not lose sight of our common enthusiasm for and love of the material, even though we have different ideas of where the boundaries lie. Whatever the various origins of the songs, the common feature is that people have liked them enough to learn them, sing them, and thus pass them on to others. By that process, a hell of a lot of dross has fallen by the wayside and what has survived has been demonstrated to have some merit, whether or not we happen to approve of a particular song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 06:55 AM

"It seems to me that Steve's 31 Dec 18 - 09:08 AM post also offered some very plausible explanations"
I responded to that Richard - our recordings offer the equally valuable, if not more so, chance to hear Walter talking at hi songs at length and of how he regards traditional songs in comparison to his non- traditional songs
I would point out that, apart from Walter's recordings, the British Library hold masses of recording of our Traveller songs, stories, lore and information, Clare Songs, and other Norfolk songs recorded in Winterton, none of which have been recorded elsewhere - all locked away along with Walters
It can hardly be claimed that they are of no interest to the National Sound Archive as such material is available in the Kennedy collection and was recorded at great length by the BBC
I believe our collection was a victim of its own success - Lucy Duran raved about it and her enthusiasm led to the widening of the NSA's brief and began to include British material big-time
The fact that nobody else seems to want our's, Terry Yarnell's or many the other collections says what needs to be said about the current state of Folk Song in England

The NSA holds a full set of the recordings made by Percy Grainger in 1908 - landmark Traditional English recordings - unavailable.
We have a full set given to us by a friend who was given them by Grainger's widow, Ella Grainger
The BBC field recordings are held in full by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library - as far as I know, they are unavailable for general use.
Instead, E.F.D.S.S. chooses to proioritise poor new compositions which, in my opinion, have nothing to do with folk song
For me, all this is an indication of the poor state of the revival in Britain

"It's a little unfortunate that Andy's appeal for advice about material has been intermittently sidetracked,"
You think so ?
I and others have offered copies of the Song Carriers and I directly offered a digitised set of Caedmon's 'Folk Songs of England' - along with anything from our substantial archive as with many other offers I have made here and on threads such as this, my offers have never been responded to, though I would have thought they were of far more practical use than lists of songs

My first suggestions were practical ones -I have been following this thread and many more have sprung to mind, but the hostility I have received makes me reluctant to be bothered making them - I'm getting rather tired of it all, to be honest

I don't share your opinion of "the common love of the material" still exists - that seems to have long departed from the scene and replaced by an open hostility towards "long, inappropriate
ballads' and by mawkish non-folk Victorian tear-jerkers and early pop songs (anything rather than the real thing)
A love and understanding of traditional songs and an acknowledgement of their social importance and uniqueness is, I believe, essential to their survival

The fact that we can't even discuss the definition of our songs and, when we try, the ear becomes thick with cries of "purist" and "elitist" and "folk police/fascist" says what needs to be noted (and heeded)

These arguments never fail to depress me - luckily, I now live in a place where the traditional arts are treated with pride and respect for their uniqueness, importance and their enjoyment value
Because of this, have been guaranteed a future - would that this was the case back home
Sadly
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: RTim
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 10:03 AM

Jim - you stated the following:
"The BBC field recordings are held in full by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library - as far as I know, they are unavailable for general use.
Instead, E.F.D.S.S. chooses to proioritise poor new compositions which, in my opinion, have nothing to do with folk song
For me, all this is an indication of the poor state of the revival in Britain"

Can you tell me what these - "poor new compositions" - "they prioritise" - are ??

Thank you - Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 19 - 10:14 AM

On the website Tim
The only item resembling traditional music are the tunes played on the melodeon

I know because of my work at C# House that, while they don't have as much as they could and should have, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library has some important field recordings, including Pat Shuldham Shaw's collection, which was in a pretty poor state four decades ago
No way to treat our heritage
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 12:53 PM

To get back to the original question - Andy, go to your public library and either get a songbook (try the 780's, esp 784) or check out CD's with traditional songs.

I tried to think of what you specifically requested, ballads which does not involve tragedy, but I couldn't think of any. However, if you like singing, I am sure you will find songs to your liking at the library.

The important thing is to get started - to find songs and to meet people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Andy7
Date: 04 Jan 19 - 05:22 PM

Thanks for the local library idea, and for the reference number!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 03:16 AM

ballads without tragedy... willy of the winsbury


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Snuffy
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 04:53 AM

more ballads without tragedy...

Matt Hyland (Roud 2880)

The Knight & Shepherd's Daughter (Child 110)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 06:09 AM

Leeneia "I tried to think of what you specifically requested, ballads which does not involve tragedy, but I couldn't think of any."

Come now! A few have already been mentioned and I can easily add a few more, just sticking to Child. The False Knight on the Road. Tam Lin. Thomas Rymer. Young Beichan. Long Johnnie More. etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 06:24 AM

The Duke of Athol's Nurse is on par with some of the best comedies ever written, though, as I'm now finding out, it's hard work trying to Anglicise it - I may have to settle for just listening to it (can't find a half-decent Utube version to link to)

I have to say that rejecting tragic ballads is missing out on the best depictions of human experience we have at our disposal - Tifties Annie, Sheath and Knife, The Cruel Mother... our oral traditions would be very much impoverished without them   
BURIED in KILKENNY
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: traditional songs - best for learning?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Jan 19 - 06:24 AM

The Duke of Athol's Nurse is on par with some of the best comedies ever written, though, as I'm now finding out, it's hard work trying to Anglicise it - I may have to settle for just listening to it (can't find a half-decent Utube version to link to)

I have to say that rejecting tragic ballads is missing out on the best depictions of human experience we have at our disposal - Tifties Annie, Sheath and Knife, The Cruel Mother... our oral traditions would be very much impoverished without them   
BURIED in KILKENNY
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 January 5:34 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.