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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 19 - 07:50 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 19 - 07:28 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 19 - 07:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 19 - 07:11 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 19 - 07:03 AM
Howard Jones 20 Mar 19 - 06:43 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 19 - 06:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 19 - 06:15 AM
Jack Campin 20 Mar 19 - 06:06 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 19 - 05:54 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 19 - 05:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 19 - 05:49 AM
Howard Jones 20 Mar 19 - 05:38 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 19 - 04:29 AM
GUEST 20 Mar 19 - 03:46 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Mar 19 - 06:47 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 06:06 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Mar 19 - 05:52 PM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 04:58 PM
The Sandman 19 Mar 19 - 04:54 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 04:54 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 03:38 PM
The Sandman 19 Mar 19 - 03:38 PM
The Sandman 19 Mar 19 - 03:24 PM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 03:02 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 02:36 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Mar 19 - 12:24 PM
Jack Campin 19 Mar 19 - 11:59 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 11:47 AM
Howard Jones 19 Mar 19 - 09:36 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 08:47 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 08:45 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 06:39 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 06:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 06:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 06:34 AM
Howard Jones 19 Mar 19 - 06:01 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 05:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 05:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 05:35 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 05:03 AM
r.padgett 19 Mar 19 - 04:49 AM
The Sandman 19 Mar 19 - 04:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 04:32 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 04:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Mar 19 - 05:36 PM
Vic Smith 18 Mar 19 - 05:16 PM
FreddyHeadey 18 Mar 19 - 04:42 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Mar 19 - 04:15 PM
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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 07:50 AM

Where is the characterisation ?
Beyond falling in love - where is there any indication of what they are
All lovers in folk songs sing about how that love goiives rise to other problems - parental disaproval, ssocial misalliance, parting, poverty.....


I was twenty-four years old
When I met the woman I would call my own


He was 24 when they met.

Twenty-two grand kids now growing old
In that house that your brother bought ya


They now have 22 grand kids and live in the house her brother bought her.

And I asked her father, but her daddy said, "No
You can't marry my daughter"


Her Father was against the marriage as he was a Protestant from Belfast and she was a Catholic from Wexford.

That is just in the first verse. He goes to to give us their names, where they were both from, the work they both did, the fact that they married in borrowed clothes, how many children they had and that they are still together after 60 years.

Just how much characterisation do you want?

There is no such characterisation in, for instance, Dirty Old Town. As to the tune, it has for more in common with the Star of the County Down than Dirty Old Town has with The Waters of Tyne.

One think you do have right. We are comparing chalk and cheese but I know which is closer to the tradition.

Why don't you just say that you do not like the song Nancy Mulligan and have done with it? It would make far more sense than the arguments you have put up against it so far.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 07:28 AM

I really have had enough of batting off chalk and cheese songs
Will somebody respond to what has actually happened to folk songs in teh supposed folk scene
Have all these centuries old songs really had their day - if people believe so, they really ned to say so (a couple of you have already stuck their heads above the parapet with their "unsuitable ballads" and "sepia songs"
Any more for the Skylark
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 07:25 AM

"I proved that Nancy Mulligan did all of that "
thy lyrics prove otherwise
Where is the characterisation ?
Beyond falling in love - where is there any indication of what they are
All lovers in folk songs sing about how that love goiives rise to other problems - parental disaproval, ssocial misalliance, parting, poverty.....
Sheerean repeats and reapeats and repeats and repeats..... ad nauseum
His non-narrative singing... broken up lines, lack of grammatical sense.... it totally dominated by an over-loud accompaniment.... makes the lyrics of teh sont totally superfluous
That is as 'unfolkie as it gets
If youi are suggesting that any of this stuff resembles foolk songs proper, it is you who is taking the piss
I have asked you to put up recordings of the songs you are claiming to resemble folk songs Qalongside genuine ones - the fact that refuse to do so indicates to me that you are unable to
Enough for me, I'm afrain - but feel free to prove me wrong by doing so now
" Nothing to indicate their class, either."
I can just see Pricess Di and Prince Charlie snogging on tehe Gasworks Cross and walking hand in hand by the old canal, sniffing the 'smoky breeze - can't you Jack - the setting represents the people amnd their class perfectly
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 07:11 AM

In the sense that it is set among reakl people and in real surroundings, it most certainly does

And Nancy Mulligan is not set among real people in real surroundings?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 07:03 AM

"However it doesn't share most of the characteristics of traditional song,"
"However it doesn't share most of the characteristics of traditional song, "
In the sense that it is set among reakl people and in real surroundings, it most certainly does, as compared to the No Mans land populated by non characters whose only objective in life is to fall in and out of love with one another of popular songs
Several of MacColls songs depict the 'Universal Man' man rather than individuals, but they all draw from reality and contain true sentiment rather than the crocodile tears of sentimentality.
If these discussions are anything to go by, I find virtually impossibly to judge what rings today's folkies bells
Most things except folk songs seem to do the trick
Personally, I find Richard Thompsons so deeply buried in musical noise to tell what he's singing about - might as well be reciting the Oscar Awards
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 06:43 AM

Dirty old town is precise and sharply defined as a working class town - the lovers are not a mass of undefinable humanity, but two very identifiable human beings

It's a great song, no question. Its popularity is well-deserved, and so far as I am concerned it fully meets the criteria to be performed in folk clubs. It is certainly "folk" in that sense, and sits well alongside traditional songs. However it doesn't share most of the characteristics of traditional song, except that the tune is adapted (almost beyond recognition) from a traditional one.

I do wonder how much of its acceptability is that it is by a recognised folk musician? The same can be said about Richard Thompson's songs, his past involvement with traditional music (albeit played in a non-traditional way) gives him credibility in folk circles and makes his songs more acceptable, whereas songs by "pop" composers are subject to greater scrutiny and are more likely to face rejection, when on a blind test they might not appear very different.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 06:19 AM

the lovers are not a mass of undefinable humanity, but two very identifiable human beings

Oh yes, Thanks for the reminder, Jack.

So, Jim, you mean the unnamed lovers in Dirty Old Town are more identifiable than the Nancy Mulligan of Wexford who worked in a hospital in WW2 and William Sheeran who was a farm boy from near Belfast?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 06:15 AM

let's see who is singing Belfast Town next year

Presuming you mean Belfast Child, It was released 20 years ago, Jim. The tune is a lot older.

As to comparing the lyrics to other songs - You are just taking the piss now. Your original list of what constitutes a contemporary song in the folk idiom -

1. word dominated, narrative communications of ideas and emotions
2. accompaniment, where it occurs is secondary to the narrative
3. The characters in the songs are identifiable people, usually with occupations and individuality
4. They have problems and situations we can all identify with
5. Structurally they ar four or eight line versified, they may have choruses but they hardly ever repeat phrases other than as a plot device


I proved that Nancy Mulligan did all of that and you did not like it so you added that it must be performed in a folky style, which is fair enough. I covered that. It must now also sound and have lyrics like like a traditional song.

Basically what you are saying is that if it does not sound like a existing traditional song to you, it is not in the folk idiom. Just come out and say it. Most people will disagree but no-one will think any less of you.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 06:06 AM

Dirty old town is precise and sharply defined as a working class town - the lovers are not a mass of undefinable humanity, but two very identifiable human beings

It has no characterization whatever. They are simply people from Salford. Nothing to indicate their class, either.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 05:54 AM

Subject: RE: Origins: little shirt my mother gave to me?
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 05:48 AM

By the way Dave - what id more folky Belfast town or Dirty old town
The latter 0- hands down
One of the distinctive features of folk song is its economy of line and its ability to reac a conclusion
The former meanders without wever getting anywhere, is full of superfluous non information and it reaches no conclusion   
The song carries no description or characterization, the people are cyphers and the surroundings are indistinguishable
It deals in sentimentality rather than sentiment

On the other hand, Dirty old town is precise and sharply defined as a working class town - the lovers are not a mass of undefinable humanity, but two very identifiable human beings
It ends with a desire to tear down the place being sung about
As a young man, me and a Salford girl over-snogged one night and I missed my last train home to Liverpool, so, finding four hours on my hands I walked the dark streets of Salford till about four o'clock in the morning - I was bowled over by the reality of MacColl's four verses up against the real thing so much I wrote to my lady friend and said so
Compared to that reality, Belfast is chewing gum you enjoy for five minutes and spit out
Only time will tell of course - let's see who is singing Belfast Town next year compared to (how old and how widely sung now?) Dirty old Town
That goes for all of you 'folkie sounding' pop songs

"I was referring to Nancy Mulligan, Jim"
Same difference Dave only loger and drossier - you have advocated for Galway Girl as well

"Nancy Mulligan
Ed Sheeran
I was twenty-four years old
When I met the woman I would call my own
Twenty-two grand kids now growing old
In that house that your brother bought ya
On the summer day when I proposed
I made that wedding ring from dentist gold
And I asked her father, but her daddy said, "No
You can't marry my daughter"
She and I went on the run
Don't care about religion
I'm gonna marry the woman I love
Down by the Wexford border
She was Nancy Mulligan
And I was William Sheeran
She took my name and then we were one
Down by the Wexford border
Well, met her at Guy's in the second world war
And she was working on a soldier's ward
Never had I seen such beauty before
The moment that I saw her
Nancy was my yellow rose
And we got married wearing borrowed clothes
We got eight children now growing old
Five sons and three daughters
She and I went on the run
Don't care about religion
I'm gonna marry the woman I love
Down by the Wexford border
She was Nancy Mulligan
And I was William Sheeran
She took my name and then we were one
Down by the Wexford border
From her snow white streak in her jet black hair
Over sixty years I've been loving her
Now we're sat by the fire in our old armchairs
You know Nancy, I adore ya
From a farm boy born near Belfast town
I never worried about the king and crown
'Cause I found my heart upon the southern ground
There's no difference, I assure ya
She and I went on the run
Don't care about religion
I'm gonna marry the woman I love
Down by the Wexford border
She was Nancy Mulligan
And I was William Sheeran
She took my name and then we were one
Down by the Wexford border"

Feel free to produce a comparison
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 05:54 AM

Subject: RE: Origins: little shirt my mother gave to me?
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 05:48 AM

By the way Dave - what id more folky Belfast town or Dirty old town
The latter 0- hands down
One of the distinctive features of folk song is its economy of line and its ability to reac a conclusion
The former meanders without wever getting anywhere, is full of superfluous non information and it reaches no conclusion   
The song carries no description or characterization, the people are cyphers and the surroundings are indistinguishable
It deals in sentimentality rather than sentiment

On the other hand, Dirty old town is precise and sharply defined as a working class town - the lovers are not a mass of undefinable humanity, but two very identifiable human beings
It ends with a desire to tear down the place being sung about
As a young man, me and a Salford girl over-snogged one night and I missed my last train home to Liverpool, so, finding four hours on my hands I walked the dark streets of Salford till about four o'clock in the morning - I was bowled over by the reality of MacColl's four verses up against the real thing so much I wrote to my lady friend and said so
Compared to that reality, Belfast is chewing gum you enjoy for five minutes and spit out
Only time will tell of course - let's see who is singing Belfast Town next year compared to (how old and how widely sung now?) Dirty old Town
That goes for all of you 'folkie sounding' pop songs

"I was referring to Nancy Mulligan, Jim"
Same difference Dave only loger and drossier - you have advocated for Galway Girl as well

"Nancy Mulligan
Ed Sheeran
I was twenty-four years old
When I met the woman I would call my own
Twenty-two grand kids now growing old
In that house that your brother bought ya
On the summer day when I proposed
I made that wedding ring from dentist gold
And I asked her father, but her daddy said, "No
You can't marry my daughter"
She and I went on the run
Don't care about religion
I'm gonna marry the woman I love
Down by the Wexford border
She was Nancy Mulligan
And I was William Sheeran
She took my name and then we were one
Down by the Wexford border
Well, met her at Guy's in the second world war
And she was working on a soldier's ward
Never had I seen such beauty before
The moment that I saw her
Nancy was my yellow rose
And we got married wearing borrowed clothes
We got eight children now growing old
Five sons and three daughters
She and I went on the run
Don't care about religion
I'm gonna marry the woman I love
Down by the Wexford border
She was Nancy Mulligan
And I was William Sheeran
She took my name and then we were one
Down by the Wexford border
From her snow white streak in her jet black hair
Over sixty years I've been loving her
Now we're sat by the fire in our old armchairs
You know Nancy, I adore ya
From a farm boy born near Belfast town
I never worried about the king and crown
'Cause I found my heart upon the southern ground
There's no difference, I assure ya
She and I went on the run
Don't care about religion
I'm gonna marry the woman I love
Down by the Wexford border
She was Nancy Mulligan
And I was William Sheeran
She took my name and then we were one
Down by the Wexford border"

Feel free to produce a comparison
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 05:49 AM

Still no traditional comparison with Galway Girl Dave ?

I was referring to Nancy Mulligan, Jim. See 18 Mar 19 - 10:50 AM and I have mentioned it by name a few times since. And you complain about me not reading posts!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 05:38 AM

The way they relate to traditional music is that in some way they are able to sit alongside traditional music in performance. In many cases they don't attempt to imitate traditional music, but they are capable of being performed in a similar way, which means that a folk club audience is more likely than not to enjoy them (not everyone of course, individual taste plays a part).

You insist on a homogeneity in folk clubs which, in my experience anyway, never existed. The clubs I attended always presented a broad spectrum of music, performed in different ways, but all broadly recognisable as "folk", and with a strong component of traditional music.

It is very difficult to pin down what qualifies a particular song in this way, it is often easier to recognise than describe, and there will often be room for disagreement. It may depend on whether the composer is recognised as a folk singer or is an outsider. I agree with you about Sheeran's song, not to my taste either. However the same could be said of a lot of contemporary folk standards, including some of McColl's output - "Dirty Old Town", for example, or "Joy of Living", both of which lack narrative structure, are strongly personal and written in the first person; none of these are characteristic of traditional song. Is that McColl's undoubted credentials as a folk singer make his songs more acceptable where Sheeran's are not?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 04:29 AM

And still total refusal to discuss how any of this relates to traditional music
Probably the most facile argument put forwards here is "things change"
We came together all those years ago to listen to, sing and understand a centuries-old art form - we did just that, some of us still do
Nothing has changed - those songs are as enjoyable and fulfilling as they ever where because they are timeless - just as Shakespeare and the Classics are
Only a cultural vandal would suggest that we've "moved on" from Hamlet or The Iliad, or The Canterbury Tales - why should folk art be any different
If a pop song has a life-span of over a year it is unusual - or it has been put on life support by an industry who things there may still be a profit in it
Our ballads still have an continuing entertainment value for those who seek it out after many centuries of singing by 'ordinary people' - yet the call here is to move on and embrace something that is not likely to last a year - what kind of logic is that ?
I've been told Im living in the past by someone who had admitted he likes to sing 'That Little shirt my Mother gave to Me' - a mawkish, 100 year old tear-jerker
Sorry lads - I'll stick with what I believe to be good, enjoyable and relevant art, if it's all the same to you

Still no traditional comparison with Galway Girl Dave ?
These are the lyrics, if it helps - perhaps you can identify the folkiness - the narrative, the motifs, the characterization - everything that makes folk song what it is

Galway Girl
Ed Sheeran
She played the fiddle in an Irish band
But she fell in love with an English man
Kissed her on the neck and then I took her by the hand
Said, "Baby, I just wanna dance"

I meet her on Grafton street right outside of the bar
She shared a cigarette with me while her brother played the guitar
She asked me, "What does it mean, the Gaelic ink on your arm?"
Said, "It was one of my friend's songs, do you want to drink on?"
She took Jamie as a chaser, Jack for the fun
She got Arthur on the table with Johnny riding as a shotgun
Chatted some more, one more drink at the bar
Then put Van on the jukebox, got up to dance

You know, she played the fiddle in an Irish band
But she fell in love with an English man
Kissed her on the neck and then I took her by the hand
Said,…
         
Nothing in it for me, I'm afraid, but hey, chacun son Gout
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Mar 19 - 03:46 AM

All of them. To me. What do You think?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 06:47 PM

Nice one, Dave!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 06:06 PM

What about Chevy Chase singing "Young Banker"?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 05:52 PM

Which of these is acceptable then, a bank clerk singing 'Chevy Chase', a social worker singing a chanty and me singing 'The Little Shirt Me Mother Made for me' learnt directly from my grandmother?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 04:58 PM

The latter, possibly depending on how it's sung.

https://youtu.be/7vhhTvcLoRw

https://youtu.be/-mPraO_sJ7A


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 04:54 PM

i will be devils adcvate here , but jim they are the folk, has not fo0lk music in folk clubs become art musi?/


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 04:54 PM

Which is more folky. Simple Minds' "Belfast Child" or Ewan McColl's "Dirty Old Town"?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 03:38 PM

Sorry 'bout that lads - wrong battlefield - stand by your beds
" i hve heard it done in irish pubs in ireland and people seem to havew enjoyed both songs,"
I've heard them do Abba's Waterloo and enjoyed it (as I have I in the right circumstances) - but it doesn't have anything to do with folk
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 03:38 PM

yes the people liked it the folk seemed to like byker hill and star of the county down. last year i was booked at saltburn folk festival and the highlight for me wasjill pidd singning unaccompanied songs such as lord bateman , but that is my taste , there was also a woman duo who were competent but not to my taste prancing around the stage akin to mick jagger and singing imo what were forgetaable songs, but many people seemed to like them, thats life


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 03:24 PM

mixing byker hill with starof the county down,well i hve heard it done in irish pubs in ireland and people seem to havew enjoyed both songs,


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 03:02 PM

?????????


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 02:36 PM

BRITAIN's HISTORTY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP WITH ITS FELLOW MEN
NINE OUT OF TEN


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 12:41 PM

"Just what folk song does Ewan McColl's "Dirty Old Town" sound like?"
Ewan adapted the tune from Isla Cameron's 'Waters of Tyne' - the two were working together on the play the song was written for when it was composed
MacColl's technique was to choose a tune and spend hours humming it through, making changes until he was satisfied with it
I was lodging with them when he was working on a new song - it drove the household nearly insane !
Some of Ewan's early tunes were unchanged lifts of traditional ones - but I can think of only a few he did this with later
The most successful exception was his beautiful 'Joy of Living' which he picked up from Sicilian singers while he and Peggy were on holiday
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 12:24 PM

In folk music and folk song the words and tunes constantly get borrowed/develop/change over many years sometimes because of faulty memories, sometimes because an individual preferred his/her own phrasing and sometimes because collectors bowdlerized the lyrics or a fiddler added and extra bar or two.
I expect that many of the oldest songs would sound very different if we could hear them today.

For me that is what makes much of folk so interesting wherever I hear it.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 11:59 AM

Just what folk song does Ewan McColl's "Dirty Old Town" sound like?

"The Banks of the Ohio", sort of. There are a lot of other American songs in that family. Probably caught on internationally precisely because it's basically American.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 11:47 AM

"which might be heard in a folk club."
Not in today's folk clubs, from the sound of it
I' have deliberately accentuated the need for them relating to folk songs proper in sile and function - and have gone into detail of what both of those are I always have - the word I have consistently used is homogeneity
Where on earth is that "shifting the goalposts"
C'mon Howard - you are either not reading my posts or aare deliberately distorting them - I really did expect more from you
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 09:36 AM

On the one hand you agree that new songs are not only acceptable but necessary. On the other you seem to object to all the suggested examples of modern songs which might be heard in a folk club. That is what I meant by shifting the goalposts, going back to "folk" in the sense of what is in the VWML (I used 1954 as a shorthand for this). The folk club scene has always included much more than that.

I doubt Martin or Brian would waste their time singing ballads if their audiences weren't receptive to them. And whilst I take your point that all folk songs require hard work by the singer, it is easier to sit through a short song from a poor singer than a long ballad. The best story fails when told badly. Unfortunately many club singers are just not up to delivering a ballad.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 08:47 AM

or maybe face to face Child ballads (or Kinks' songs) at a 20 yard distance-


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 08:45 AM

what about a penalty shoot-out to settle it?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 06:39 AM

"Jim, once again you are shifting the goalposts."
No - I am damn well not Howeard, nor have I ever done so (nor have I ever mantioned '54)
I have always said that new songs using folk forms are not only "acceptible" in clubs but are essential if folk is going to survive - the term "new songs using folk forms
" has always summed up what I mean - I make no sopecifications on that
The term I use constantly is "homogeneity" - that, in my experience, is what audiences expect
Theres has never been any suggestion that new songs might be mistaken for folk songs (not by me anyway (even though it has occasionally been the case)
I have no objection to people earning a living from folk song but oncee that becomes a sole objective of the scene as a whole it loses its grass-roots nature
I do think those using folk song commercially might put back something into the scene, after all, anybody recording songs they make have to pay for the privilege, but that's a personal opinion
I put Dave's figure of 186 because that's what he put up as a measure of success
I have no idea whether ot not it is accurate - - little else in his Wiki entry is
I jhave no idea why Brian Peters and Marting Carthy should waste their time on "unsuitable ballads (somebody else's description - certainly not mine)
Again - in py opinion, all folk songs deserve hard work, I don't believe ballads to be any harder than many others - their quality takes any singer half-way there from the start
Now - what goalposts have I moved and where have I taken them to ?
Jim
Back later


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 06:39 AM

"Jim, once again you are shifting the goalposts."
No - I am damn well not Howeard, nor have I ever done so (nor have I ever mantioned '54)
I have always said that new songs using folk forms are not only "acceptible" in clubs but are essential if folk is going to survive - the term "new songs using folk forms
" has always summed up what I mean - I make no sopecifications on that
The term I use constantly is "homogeneity" - that, in my experience, is what audiences expect
Theres has never been any suggestion that new songs might be mistaken for folk songs (not by me anyway (even though it has occasionally been the case)
I have no objection to people earning a living from folk song but oncee that becomes a sole objective of the scene as a whole it loses its grass-roots nature
I do think those using folk song commercially might put back something into the scene, after all, anybody recording songs they make have to pay for the privilege, but that's a personal opinion
I put Dave's figure of 186 because that's what he put up as a measure of success
I have no idea whether ot not it is accurate - - little else in his Wiki entry is
I jhave no idea why Brian Peters and Marting Carthy should waste their time on "unsuitable ballads (somebody else's description - certainly not mine)
Again - in py opinion, all folk songs deserve hard work, I don't believe ballads to be any harder than many others - their quality takes any singer half-way there from the start
Now - what goalposts have I moved and where have I taken them to ?
Jim
Back later


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 06:38 AM

Just noticed "it is not narrative". It tells the story of two real people, one an Ulster protestant the other a Wexford Catholic defying convention, marrying and living a long happy life. It is a story. Is your idea of narrative different to everyone else's?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 06:34 AM

Your argument makes no sense, Jim. If a contemporary song has to sound exactly like an existing traditional folk song to be in the folk idiom, you have removed any chance of creating new songs. I said that, to me, some parts of Nancy Mulligan sound like Star of the County Down. If you don't think it does, fine. We disagree.

Taking Your argument further, Elvis Presley's "Wooden Heart" sounds just like the German folk song "Muss I Denn" and Simple Minds "Belfast Chi!d" sounds just like "She moved through the fair". Just what folk song does Ewan McColl's "Dirty Old Town" sound like?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 06:01 AM

Jim, once again you are shifting the goalposts. No one is suggesting that these songs are "folk" in the VWML/1954 sense. However you agree that some modern songs which do not fit this definition may also be acceptable in folk clubs. The question is which songs are acceptable in folk clubs as "quasi-folk"? The answer is, that depends on the club and on audience members. I doubt that many who attend folk clubs would be surprised to hear "Galway Girl", although at some clubs it might be out of place.

If you are insisting that only modern songs which are so close to traditional songs that they could be mistaken for the real thing are acceptable then I am afraid you are out of step with the practice in most folk clubs for the last half-century or more.

The other question is whether these quasi-folk songs are driving out traditional songs. I don't see this myself, and others agree with me, but neither of us can see the full picture. I am encouraged by the number of young performers seeking to earn a living on the folk scene who are performing and recording traditional songs, which they wouldn't do if they didn't think their audiences would be receptive.

I agree that the reluctance in some quarters to listen to ballads is alarming. However it takes an exceptional singer to deliver a long ballad well, and many club floor singers lack this ability, so it is perhaps understandable. Singers like Martin Carthy and Brian Peters, to name just a couple off the top of my head, are able to include several ballads in their performance sets, so there is a willingness by audiences to listen to ballads when they are performed well.

There are valid concerns about the health of the folk club scene, although I doubt the accuracy of the figure of 186 clubs. However in most cases these are more to do with performance standards than the nature of the material performed, and the willingness of new people to take on the burden of running them as the current organisers get older. Attracting young people to clubs largely populated by older people is more difficult, but they are finding folk in other ways. I hear lots of traditional songs performed by exciting young performers. I am optimistic for the future.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 05:53 AM

WThe definition you copied in red is of tradition btw. W
Which, as I said, was what I was referring to in reply to Steve's (and now Vic's) rewrite of the existing one
Read nat I write please
I asked you to produce a comparison - you haven't so there isn't one - doesn't getr more complicated than that
I said why it does not fir folk forms - it is not narrative, it is repetitive, the accompaniment detracts and in places drowns out the words
Now - unless you can produce a folk song that fits that descriptive=on this is finished   
"I just did. "
Where did you I can't hear it - maybe my sound system is up the creek
Mixing Byket hill with Star iof teh County Down - which folk singer ever did that
Bloody ridiculous
A recording please - I've put up enough of mine
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 05:39 AM

The definition you copied in red is of tradition btw. Not contemporary songs in the folk idiom, which is the point in queztion. The only definition of that on here has been posted by you.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 05:35 AM

you should have no problem prodcing a comparison

I just did.

I can see what the issue is though and, as I said, it is all subjective. The Song meets every single one of your objective points.

It is about real people and real situations. It is 4 or 8 line verses centric. It has a chorus.

The only thing in dispute is "does it sound folky". It does to me and millions of others. It doesn't to you. Simple.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 05:03 AM

There have not been any dictionary definitions, Jim.
What's this then Dave - this is what I was referring to in response to the fantasy one about clunb traditions
Definitions the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
"members of different castes have by tradition been associated with specific occupations"
synonyms: historical convention, unwritten law, oral history, heritage

If Galway girl fits to a tee then you should have no problem prodcing a comparison instead of alluding to one perhaps Harry cCox sang something similar - or Jeannie Robertson maybe - can't remember Walter ever coming up with one
I have over a century's worth of research and published collections and a roomful of recordings, boks and thirtyodd years worth of fieldwork to back up my arguments - you have not even been able to produce a consensus between you - let alone a definition - certainl not a visble interest in or respect for traditional song
None of this is "my opinion" - a trip to The Vaughan Williams Library wuill show you what folk song is - which of your 186 clubs do I go to find yours - any collections of 'new folk songs' any researched information "
Of course there isn't -'It's all in teh mind, you know' as the Goons used to end their programmes
Very, very depressing
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 04:49 AM

Everyone on here can read and understand points of view expressed on this thread and can make up their own mind on those views

the English Language is so constructed that different interpretations and explanations can be expressed

Being too dogmatic in ones own interpretations does not help!

I am afraid Jim Carroll's postings drive me up the wall ~ yet he IS entited to say what he does ~ I, as I have said before understand where he is coming from ~ but times and opinions have changed ~ I cannot believe, if this the case ~ that Jim does not follow what is being said ~ is he winding us all up?

Ray


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 04:41 AM

The decline in numbers of clubs is due to many different facts , lack of available premises , poor standrd of flaw sinners in mainly non guest singers clubs,lack of leadership in direction in the folk revival,lack of support in the past for song clubs and festival by the EFDSS,[ LACK OF GOVERNMENT FUNDING [ COMPARE TO IRELAND AND CCE]
Lack of young people organising folk events they are a few but not many, the fault partly lies with degree courses[such as newcastle that encourage the idea that gigs just happen]and do not put enough emphasis on explaining that performers might have to organise and promote their own concerts/ folk clubs


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 04:32 AM

Now, it seems, people are re-inventing dictionary definitions

There have not been any dictionary definitions, Jim. Only yours. The song I put up fits your definition to a tee. Is that so difficult to accept? Tell you what though, if you want a songs that have very similar melodic structure and timing to Nancy Mulligan though, try mixing Star of the County Down with bits of Byker Hill for a start. There are many more. Now, I have addressed every single one of your points and it is your turn. Explain to us how, by your own definition, Nancy Mulligan is not in the folk idiom.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 04:20 AM

"Jim, much as I hate to say this, you are just holding hoops up and the more I jump,"
Now, it seems, people are re-inventing dictionary definitions to suit a declining interest in folk song
I hope to god that this forum is not representative of what is happening elsewhere.

"All of that is your opinion and interpretation, Jim! "
No it isn't Steve - I observed the exodus from the scene and am still in touch with many who walked away from it - people who began to feel unwelcome when they sang unaccompanied songs, or "unappropriated" long ballads (as they have been described here) or boring "sepia" folk songs (as the also have been described here.
Dave put up 186 folk clubs along with a list of non-folk star performers as "a successful" folk song scene.
The term "tradition" I took from the dictionary - to describe the drift from folk song as "a traditio" insults the English language and the intelligence
If Steve's "religious cause" insult is anything to go by, the research side of folk song is in as bad a state as the cli=ubs, but at least thety are putting up projects like the maginficent Carpenter Collection - let's hope the future generations will respect it far more that the contributors here have, it's far to dominated by "inappropriate" long ballads for the present crowd
One wonders what people like Norman Buchan, Alan Lomax and Hamish Henderson would have made of all this depressing nonsense
When we interviewed Ewan back in the early eighties he put it in a nutshell - "folk song will only die if it falls into the hands of people who don't like it or don't understand it"
We've had examples of that in one form or the other over these discussions
Dave
I have asked you a simple question - you claim that Galway Girl is 'folky' - I ask you to present a folk song that sounds anything like that
If you consider that "a hoop" then we really are finished here - if you are unable to do that, then my point is made - it has nothing whatever to do with folk song
I have bust a gut responding to every point that has been put up - I have got nothing in return
You are doing exactly what you accuse me of - shame on you for suggesting otherwise
You have answered nothing
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 05:36 PM

Jim, much as I hate to say this, you are just holding hoops up and the more I jump, the higher you hold them. I am not jumping any more. I have applied your criteria to a song that I put forward as being in the folk idiom and it passed every single test. You are trying to get round that by applying further tests. IE it must sound like something else. Sorry, but I have followed your rules and proved that a song written by someone you do not like is indeed in the folk idiom.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 05:16 PM

Steve wrote:-
The folk clubs started in the UK in the 1950s and are not part of any previous tradition.

Correct, they are not. Yet they very swiftly established their own traditions. Most people would give the start of the British folk song revival to 1951 and the 1951 Edinburgh People's Festival Ceilidh being its first manifestation and one that made a huge impact - hardly surprising with figures like Lomax, Henderson and MacColl at the helm and arranging the content. There was a concert at the Oddfellows Hall on 31st August and other more informal associated events throughout the weekend in smaller halls and homes. Alan Lomax has the good sense to record the concert and though the conditions were far from ideal, the result catches the excitement of the event. The concert contains some fine performances of the big ballads, particularly by Jessie Murray and they are mixed with others of much more recent origin, cornkisters with the composer known, bothy ballads, the recently written John MacLean March sung by Hamish Henderson, great Gaelic singing and the whole lightened and contrasted with some instrumentals from John Burgess on the pipes - and he is not playing his heavy Ceol Mor repertoire but realises his role so plays accessible tunes like Irish Washerwoman.

Many influential people were there including Norman Buchan who was to start his own folk club in Glasgow soon after. Arthur Argo was also there and combined with others to get things moving in Aberdeen. The fire that was kindled by these three in Edinburgh and in London was soon to spread all over the country. I would contend that the rich variety of songs and tunes of different origins heard in that concert became the template for the way the folk scene developed inevitably with different people taking the music in different directions but still showing that inclusive approach that still characterises the scene today though the type of venues and presentation styles continue to diverge.

Fortunately the Lomax recordings of that night were released on a CD in 2006 - 1951 Edinburgh People's Festival Ceilidh - Various Performers - The Alan Lomax Collection Series - Rounder CD 1786
You can read a long review of the album and hear a few sound clips from it by clicking here


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 04:42 PM

DtG thanks for the Nancy Mulligan cover by Lloyd Griffiths. I like that better than ES's.
I wouldn't mind hearing him sing that down at the local 'folk club'. It'd be at the folkier sounding end of the the assortment of stuff we get on a singers night.
To me the words look like other folk songs and to me he sounds folky because there isn't a drum kit.
Though he is wearing a baseball cap.
Hmmm.
But if I close my eyes I can pretend I didn't see it.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 04:15 PM

'the decline =was brought about when the right of choice was taken from folk song lovers' Absolute rubbish (IMO).


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