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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

GUEST 18 Mar 19 - 10:30 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 19 - 10:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Mar 19 - 10:50 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 19 - 10:58 AM
Vic Smith 18 Mar 19 - 11:09 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 19 - 11:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Mar 19 - 11:56 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 19 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Mar 19 - 01:10 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 19 - 02:25 PM
Howard Jones 18 Mar 19 - 03:19 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Mar 19 - 03:45 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 19 - 04:03 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Mar 19 - 04:14 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Mar 19 - 04:15 PM
FreddyHeadey 18 Mar 19 - 04:42 PM
Vic Smith 18 Mar 19 - 05:16 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Mar 19 - 05:36 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 04:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 04:32 AM
The Sandman 19 Mar 19 - 04:41 AM
r.padgett 19 Mar 19 - 04:49 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 05:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 05:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 05:39 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 05:53 AM
Howard Jones 19 Mar 19 - 06:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 06:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 06:38 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 06:39 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 06:39 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 08:45 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 08:47 AM
Howard Jones 19 Mar 19 - 09:36 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 11:47 AM
Jack Campin 19 Mar 19 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Mar 19 - 12:24 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 12:41 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 02:36 PM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 03:02 PM
The Sandman 19 Mar 19 - 03:24 PM
The Sandman 19 Mar 19 - 03:38 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 19 - 03:38 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 04:54 PM
The Sandman 19 Mar 19 - 04:54 PM
GUEST 19 Mar 19 - 04:58 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Mar 19 - 05:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Mar 19 - 06:06 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Mar 19 - 06:47 PM
GUEST 20 Mar 19 - 03:46 AM
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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 10:30 AM

Howard Jones says that A GOOD SONG in the style of the Watersons ,YT etc is likely to be acceptable to most folk audiences
'even if it is a *pop* song- HEAR HEAR!!

That does not preclude the *traditional* material beloved of Jim Carroll, in fact the presence of both *genres* would make for the variety which maybe would benefit the enjoyment of both. He knows what the terms folk and traditional mean- I would love that kind of certainty. I just know it when I hear it without any academic distinctions- comments like 'that's the real thing' have been whispered in my ear by Vic smith, Pete Wood & others- they know it too!

* I am using terms like traditional and pop and genre but I hate using such words, I believe traditional music is defined by style rather than repertoire...
one of my best ever complimemnts was when playing in a trio on Cape Clear Island over 20 years ago, a Clonakilty pub owner who ran sessions said to us (Me, Patrick Forrester and Liam Kenneally) that..


'there are traditional musicians & there are musicians who play traditional music & youse boys are the first type'
-ps I just heard the Martin Hayes Quartet on RTE radio and I'd put them in the second category- it was awful.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 10:47 AM

"There would seem to be little difference between these two positions despite the apparent disagreements."
I've made my position quite clear on that Vic - I have no problem with people whyo draw from the tradition - a little different from the bums on seats attitude of presenting stuff that has no connection with traditional song , which is easily identifiable and not just "a matter of opinion"
Johnny Doughty was heavily influenced by music-hall songs and his performance reflected that
Davie Stewart and Jimmy McBeath were street oerformers and their perfiormances were typical of that paricular style - Traveller, Mikeen McCarthy summed that up perfectly when he talked about street singing, pub singing and fireside singing of the same songs being totally different
Audiences came to be entertained by the content of the songs, nt to listen to the various uses they were put to, which woud be more suitable for a seminar rather than a club
Jeannie was a superb traditional singer, a true representative artist
I heard Jimmy sing at one time and he managed to walt the tightrope between street and firside singing so you could appreciate it on both levels
In my opinion Maggie Barry never quite did that
All this is a million miles from what is being proposed as being suitable for today's clubs of course

"Technically excellent, sometimes spectacular, but predictable and dull compared with the vitality of the real village music that the likes of Bert Lloyd was recording in remote parts in those countries."
I couldn't agree more
Lloyd once described recording a lament from a young Rumanian girl whose youngest brother had drowned -
She was the singer who was always called on to formally sing laments, but because it was her brother on the table her involvement became so intense that what she sang was folk-art at it's creative highest - it still produces a lump in the throat to remember it
Howard
Something being well regared on the folk scene doesn't automatically make it good folk - none of those you list strike me as being tahat, though the Watersons seemed to be influenced by what the Coppers did, which was a family raher than a general folk style
I can't think of many other singers who sang as they did
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 10:50 AM

The contributors seem to differ only in what is acceptable and who should make that decision.

That is also the voice of reason and what I have been saying all along. So, on that note, I am happy to justify one of the songs I put up as "in the folk idiom" against Jim's criterea. Here goes...

Jim's criteria

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
6. Performed in a traditional "folky" style
7. The melody needs to be folky too but as Jim will not be pinned down on what that is i can only assume that it needs to sound like a folk tune to a number of people.


The Song. Nancy Mulligan written by Songwriters: Amy Victoria Wadge,Benjamin Joseph Levin,Edward Christopher Sheeran,Foy Best Vance,John McDaid,Murray Cummings.

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"

Chorus A.
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
Chorus B.
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

Chorus A and B

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

Chorus A and B


So, let's see how it measures up.

Point 1. It is a word dominated communication of ideas and tells a story

Point 2. Accompaniment can be kept to a minimum as my link below demonstrates.

Point 3. The characters are all identified. As is their occupations and individuality.

Point 4. They have distinct problems that are easily identifiable

Point 5. 4 line verses. 2 are sung followed by a 2 part chorus, each part having 4 lines

Point 6. Sheeran's original recording may be over produced for some tastes. I have given a link below to a much simpler recording

Point 7. The tune sounds folky to me and millions of others.


I don't know this guy at all so I hope he doesn't mind my using his version to demonstrate a simpler version of Nancy Mulligan. Cover by Lloyd Griffiths

Now, as far as I am concerned, I have responded to all your points, Jim. Back to you to disprove it is not in the folk idiom.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 10:58 AM

CAN YOU GIVE US A GENUINE FOLK SINGER WHO SOUNDS LIKE THIS DAVE
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 11:09 AM

what the Coppers did, which was a family raher than a general folk style
I can't think of many other singers who sang as they did


Recent research, some of it uncovered by those working under the banner of Sussex Traditions (inclusing self) are uncovering examples - recordings and written references - of other families who sang in the "alternating glee harmony" of the Copper Family - the Hills of East Dean. the Townsends of East Chiltington, The Millens in faraway Kent. There are also accounts of a Victorian carol group in Falmer and a choir that sang folk songs in Ditchling - both with similar repertoires to the Coppers. Still much to be investigated but progress is slowed by the time that one of the team wastes on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 11:31 AM

Be interested to hear what transpires Vic - I heard this about thirty years ago and have still not had it confired
I think Lomax described The Copper's style as being native to Sussex as long back as the early fifties
I enjoyed their singing but found that it was the sound I was listening to rather than the words - which I find problematical
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 11:56 AM

We are talking about folk songs and folk clubs, Jim. If the song and link I sent does not measure up to your points, tell us why.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 12:38 PM

"We are talking about folk songs and folk clubs,"
No we are talking about what goes on in folk clubs and how they relaye to the real thing - which is why people turned up to them
Yu always avoid answering questions by asking another
I asked you to relate youtrm song to the sound of a folk song, please do
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 01:10 PM

Regarding Lomax's view:

Vic doesn't mention the dates of the material that he and others are investigating except to mention a Victorian group. I would therefore guess that the groups being investigated are pre Lomax's time in England.

And in the light-hearted manner in which these threads are carried on may I also add my request that Vic confires his findings.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 02:25 PM

alfred williams.. recrded everything that was being sung in his area this included glee songs sung by solo singers, this was of course in the 19 th century.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 03:19 PM

"Good folk". Now that is an interesting concept! Had you said "authentic folk" I would have to agree with you, none of the harmony groups I mentioned sound much like anything I'm aware of from the tradition, even including the Coppers. However the same can be said of most of what is performed in folk clubs, including instrumental accompaniment with guitar, concertina or melodeon, or the rather odd nasal vocalisation affected by some male singers and the breathy head voice of some female singers. The folk revival has developed its own styles. What determines "good folk" in the context of folk clubs is surely whether the audiences enjoy it, and all the groups I mentioned are, or were in their time, very popular with folk club audiences.

I believe the principal reason people become attracted by folk music is the same as any other genre - they like the sound of it. There may be additional reasons of course, but why listen to something if you don't enjoy it? That is the reason I prefer to hear folk songs sung by folk singers (even the nasal/breathy ones) rather than by classical or rock singers - I generally prefer their sound to that of the others.

Let us both acknowledge that our personal experience of folk clubs is necessarily limited and that we cannot be certain that our own experience is entirely representative of the club scene as a whole.    Let us also acknowledge that we have different views on where to draw the line on what is acceptable to hear in a folk club. What I cannot agree with is your assertion that singing songs from the wrong side of that line, wherever it lies, is driving out traditional music and driving away audiences, when folk clubs have always included such material.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 03:45 PM

The folk clubs started in the UK in the 1950s and are not part of any previous tradition. They have their own tradition which has evolved to encompass a wide range of other performance arenas, festivals, sessions, singarounds, concerts in a wide range of venues, house concerts; taking the music out into a wide range of institutions, schools, colleges, museums, village halls, all thriving with plenty of people of all ages involved. I do get around the country and I have folk performing friends all around the country, and traditional music is not suffering because of the infiltration of any other types of music. I co-operate with many young performers and they all have a great respect for and knowledge of the traditional music of these islands.

It has been stated by quite a few people on this thread and others that the decline in actual FOLK CLUBS since the 80s is down to a very wide range of factors, certainly not down to what sort of music is or has been played in the clubs.

As an avid buyer of MTCDs, it is a shame that Rod is not selling as many copies currently but again this can be put down to a wide range of factors, not least the current economic mess, and the fact that some of his latest productions have largely duplicated what is available from other companies, Topic, Veteran etc.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 04:03 PM

"They have their own tradition"
That is a gross misuse off the term tradition

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

The only other defintions is about religion

The clubs based their practices on a song tradition that they borrowed from -
This is a nonsensical abuse of the English language

" it is a shame that Rod is not selling as many copies "
Lip service if you are not prepared to do anything about it - the rest is yet another string of ecuses which totally ignore the fact that the decline of the clubs was documented as far back as the predictions of what would happen if the scene didn't do something about what was happening
Still no attempt to justify the fact that what is passed off as 'folk' today has nothing whatever to do with folk song proper - certainly no acceptance that the decline =was brought about when the right of choice was taken from folk song lovers
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 04:14 PM

All of that is your opinion and interpretation, Jim! Let's see if anyone else takes up the sword for your religious cause.


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 03:02 PM

?????????


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 06:47 PM

Nice one, Dave!


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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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