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Folklore: Has the folk Process died?

punkfolkrocker 20 Nov 19 - 12:40 PM
Iains 20 Nov 19 - 12:30 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Nov 19 - 12:26 PM
punkfolkrocker 20 Nov 19 - 12:23 PM
Joe G 20 Nov 19 - 12:20 PM
Iains 20 Nov 19 - 11:43 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Nov 19 - 11:42 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Nov 19 - 11:35 AM
Iains 20 Nov 19 - 11:10 AM
Lighter 20 Nov 19 - 10:30 AM
punkfolkrocker 20 Nov 19 - 10:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Nov 19 - 10:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Nov 19 - 10:01 AM
Lighter 19 Nov 19 - 06:49 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 19 - 05:50 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Nov 19 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Nov 19 - 04:37 PM
Lighter 19 Nov 19 - 04:02 PM
punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 19 - 02:53 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Nov 19 - 02:48 PM
Iains 19 Nov 19 - 02:37 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 19 - 01:37 PM
punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 19 - 01:12 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Nov 19 - 01:10 PM
punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 19 - 12:35 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Nov 19 - 12:28 PM
Iains 19 Nov 19 - 12:05 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Nov 19 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Nov 19 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,jag 19 Nov 19 - 11:44 AM
Lighter 19 Nov 19 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,jag 19 Nov 19 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Nov 19 - 10:07 AM
Lighter 19 Nov 19 - 10:03 AM
The Sandman 19 Nov 19 - 09:36 AM
Jack Campin 19 Nov 19 - 09:36 AM
GUEST 19 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Nov 19 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,jag 19 Nov 19 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,jag 19 Nov 19 - 09:08 AM
Iains 19 Nov 19 - 08:52 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Nov 19 - 08:50 AM
Jack Campin 19 Nov 19 - 08:47 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Nov 19 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Nov 19 - 08:18 AM
Iains 19 Nov 19 - 08:07 AM
Iains 19 Nov 19 - 07:54 AM
Lighter 19 Nov 19 - 07:43 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 19 - 07:38 AM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 12:40 PM

"analogy" - ain't that what they sell in tubes at the chemists
to soothe piles...???

Some old folkies must have constant chronic hemorrhoids
judging by their bleak outlook on life...???
I was never a happy bunny when mine thrombosed...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Iains
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 12:30 PM

Sometimes analogy saves acres of words!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 12:26 PM

"This is getting increasingly surreal :-)"
You may write that down as they say in Dublin when they agree with you
Nice to know people take folk music seriously - warms the cockles...
Jim


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 12:23 PM

The earliest known folk club...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Joe G
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 12:20 PM

This is getting increasingly surreal :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Iains
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 11:43 AM

Traditional folk as mandated by the 1954 definition is a dinosaur(a veritable T. Rex judging by the responses generated) However the ontogeny of it's bird offspring is keeping the phylum alive. The dinosaurs could not compete in the modern world, they were but one more of evolution's blind alleys, but if you accept the concept that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny then the genre is beating it;s wings strongly and little eggs are constantly hatching.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 11:42 AM

"I once heard a paleontologist say, 'There's really no difference between a T. rex and a chicken.'"

Which just goes show that even palaeontologists can be silly. As a matter of fact, Mrs Steve is used to my saying that I'm just going out to feed the dinosaurs.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 11:35 AM

"...back in the prehistoric primeval era,
when everything in life was much better....."

Including Raquel Welch's nappy...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Iains
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 11:10 AM

> I don't see why you cannot refer to a single thing by two names.
Traditionally an Anorak is a a trainspotter, for example.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 10:30 AM

> I don't see why you cannot refer to a single thing by two names.

Some people refer to many different things by the same name.

A name like "folksong," for example.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 10:23 AM

I'm still waking up..

old dinosaurs...?????

I suppose some folk clubs might be a bit like jurassic park...????

..aging dinos moaning that modern birds with their cheery chirruping
aren't singing properly
like tricerotops and bronto did back in the prehistoric primeval era,
when everything in life was much better.....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 10:03 AM

Changing words is all part of the folk process anyway :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Nov 19 - 10:01 AM

There are many things that are in two categories. Trains, for instance, are modes of transport but you don't get many mode of transport spotters. I don't see why you cannot refer to a single thing by two names depending on circumstance.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 06:49 PM

I once heard a paleontologist say, "There's really no difference between a T. rex and a chicken."

If you offered to put him in a cage with one or the other, I think he'd see the difference.

So, Steve, you'd think I was perfectly normal if I always said things like, "Look at that flock of dinosaurs perched on the wires!"

"I'm going dinosaur watching in the woods."

"Kitty caught a dinosaur today."

"Dino want a cracker?"

Not as jokes, mind you, but always.

A bird may be a dinosaur in one sense, but a bird is not a dinosaur in any other sense. Word meanings (and definitions) come from consensus, not from fossils.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 05:50 PM

You're in a minority of one, Lighter. Birds are indeed dinosaurs. They are theropod dinosaurs, a group that had its origins in the Mesozoic. It's the scientific consensus, old chap. And I agree with it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 05:19 PM

If the folk process no longer exists and to be a folk song, it must go through the folk process, can any new folk songs ever exist?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 04:37 PM

Referring back to the definition offered in the OP

In the study of folklore, the folk process is the way folk material, especially stories, music, and other art, is transformed and re-adapted in the process of its transmission from person to person and from generation to generation.

Taking a broad view, especially noting the word 'stories', then I don't think it is dead. So for example, within families, accounts given of relatives (person to person and generation to generation); narratives relating to society (see Brexit for example)

Does this make sense?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 04:02 PM

> If the general consensus on an international thread is that folk is alive and well then it could be that the some who beg to differ perhaps should step back and re evaluate.

Are birds dinosaurs? In the past twenty or so years, I've heard many paleontologists say they are. So are dinosaurs alive and well? I don't think so.

Except by special pleading,

Of course there's an evolutionary and physiological connection.

But in other than attention-grabbing contexts, if one likes to call birds dinosaurs and nothing else, one might either find one's sanity questioned, or else be thought of as a twit.

I'll repeat: it all depends on who you mean by Shakespeare.

Doesn't make a damn bit of difference to Shakespeare.

One further point: labeling complex things often depends on what you mean by "is" or "are."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 02:53 PM

Iains -...

Ding dong dox
pussy in a box...

there you go.. the start of a 21st centuryfication of an old folk rhyme...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 02:48 PM

"Ball of Kerrimuir r."
Like all jokes it is centuries old and has added and shed dozemns of verses thoughout that time
It has also been in print with dozens
of verses
I believe jokes are the nearest things we have o a folk process and have always been bemused by how they have travelled often unbelievably quickly but....!
Like all forms of folklore, the media has made an oral tradition virtually unnecessary
Nice one in Ken Loachs's latest masterpiece
Did you hear of the dyslexic insomniac who lay awake all night wondering if there was a Dog
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Iains
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 02:37 PM

Jokes are still told and football chants still made, but are they too basic to be creative.
The trouble with being creative is that it might take effort.

How about Ball of Kerrimuir r. I last heard it in the prospect of whitby on wapping wall over 50 years ago. It must have had a thousand verses then. it was only based on villagers back then- now it uses the entire county.
But to be serious, there seems to be a majority agreement the folk process has not died, it has merely evolved as it did when literacy arrived on the scene, was further modified by collectors attempts to codify the genre, and finally changed out of all recognition by scientific advances from the wax cylinder, to the tape recorder and through to the ubiquitous mobile phone. If the general consensus on an international thread is that folk is alive and well then it could be that the some who beg to differ perhaps should step back and re evaluate. Even collecting modifies the folk process just like Schrodinger's dammed cat.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 01:37 PM

The trouble with being creative is that it might take effort. I would have thought that a true folk process would be severely hobbled by too conscious effort. Now spontaneous creativity when you're not even thinking about being or trying to be creative...

I would have thought also that the easy availability of the written word, of scores, of cheap tune books, of anything you like up on YouTube, of music lessons executed by classically-trained teachers, plus the increasing ability of people to make use of these things (some of us folkies are middle-class university types, tha knows, not horny-handed sons of toil...) might militate against the hallowed folk process. On the other hand, there's fierce resistance to the open use of such things (music stands verboten, or at least ridiculed...) in many quarters, etc. We just have to worry whether the people passionately arguing about it, as here (healthy) are in declining numbers (not healthy...)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 01:12 PM

So bearing in mind I've missed out on a lot of the usual 'debate'
since I last looked in here...

I could settle comfortably for a constructive explanation that:
.. a previously long recognised folk process has become nearly obsolete.
But life goes on..
New different unfamiliar folk processes are evolving,
while we older genertions still obsess obliviously about our fading older established folk process...???

Personally, I'm no longer young and culturally in touch enough
with those new processes,
but neither do I have a vested interest in the old one
that they are supplementing, or replacing...

All I can do is keep an open mind and try to be aware
that new things I might not understand or even like, are developing...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 01:10 PM

In my opinion, for what it's worth, as a creative enity, it's been dying inge the mid 19th century and is all but gone
Jokes are still told and football chants still made, but are they too basic to be creative....
I've ben told kids no longer make songs - dunno
I think somebody mentioned Mondegreens - I don't believe mistakes are part of the folk process, which, o me, implies deliberation
Jim


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 12:35 PM

Bloody hell... I take my eye of this thread for 2 days..
.. and there's no way I'll ever catch up on reading it all...

Have I missed much...???

Sooooo...

Is the folk process dead..???

on drip feed in a coma...???

skipping about merrily Twice Round the Daffodils...???

on it's way home in a taxi with an oxygen cylinder for when needed...???

I wish I had time to read the past 2 days posts to find out...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 12:28 PM

") then in Ireland pure oral transmission ceased a long way back"
No it did not and that was exacerbated by th fact that many Irish singers did not read English as their main language was Irish
Even in the first half of the twentieth century many Irish, while being able to read, often struggled to both read and write English, particularly in The Gaeltachts, though they often sang English songs
The Travellers could neither read nor write as a community and their pariah status made it highly unlikely that they could seek assistance from the settled communities - this was still largely the case in the 1970s
Travellers were the most important preservers of many of our longest and rarest ballads and stories, all learned and carried orally
The subject of learning songs from print is complex, many singers didn't trust printed versions, others treated the printed word as sacrosanct and unalterable and, unless the songs were perfect (many broadsides couldn't be sung without radical alteration) they were rejected as not good enough
It is nonsense to claim there is no such thing as an oral tradition, almost as nonsensical as suggesting that so many traditional songs originated from print
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Iains
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 12:05 PM

once literacy was invented there could be no pure oral tradition
If true(and I do not know enough to comment) then in Ireland pure oral transmission ceased a long way back. It is held by some that Ogham script predates the early Christian church in Ireland, maybe predating it's 5th century arrival by centuries. Are we talking widespread literacy of Victorian times, or of a very small elite dating back to Roman times(in the uk)


https://www.jstor.org/stable/25516056?read-now=1&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 11:58 AM

Whoever said it and no matter how accurate it was we all know we are not dealing with pure oral tradition here. Like most things in the world evolution has taken place and accelerated evolution in many things. Rather than admit the 'folk process has died' I prefer to think, it has changed, out of all recognition maybe, but something resembling it is still there.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 11:49 AM

Was it A L Lloyd who said that once literacy was invented there could be no pure oral tradition? Please excuse me if this is wrong. Somebody made this point. Not sure I agree with it, as there may still be some pockets of culture not touched by literacy...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 11:44 AM

All the same, we are comparing 50 years or less now with multiple periods of that length in the past. How much folk processing was done between 1750 and 1800 and how did it compare with what is done now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 11:32 AM

Period, not point.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 10:23 AM

But at some point in the past, it was vibrant. Now it seems to be on its last legs.


What do we know about past timescales? Are we comparing the last 50 years or so with a much longer period in the past, rather than "a point in the past" ?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 10:07 AM

I agree with Jack Campin's comment on not necessarily taking the word of those you are 'studying' on everything.

But for a reader of the output of such studies, the context etc. etc. will also affect how far they take the word of the subjects, as presented/recorded as a reflection of the facts.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 10:03 AM

> If it it was similar and the folk process was alive then isn't it still alive now?

But at some point in the past, it was vibrant. Now it seems to be on its last legs.

Of course, they've been saying that for a hundred years, but those opinions were based largely on nostalgia, wistfulness, and a necessarily limited fund of knowledge.

Now we see a lot more of what's happening - and isn't.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:36 AM

alfred williams was the collector i mentioned


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:36 AM

Far too often it's forgotten that the collector is the pupil and the singer the teacher and not the other way around

That isn't a relationship that leads to good fieldwork, either way round. It's perfectly possible to value the people you're studying as human beings without taking their word for it on everything.

Nigel Barley quotes a saying among anthropologists: "when the culture you're studying starts to seem normal, it's time to go home".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM

But, but, but was a peasant pot thrown or coiled

Call me "Just a plucky peasant pheasant pot chucker" but if it was cast it wasn't peasant either.

Mr Red (ex potter, & sometime plucky pedant)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM

By the way
"Entomologists don't give orders to cockroaches."
Another thing far too often forgotten is that Cockroaches don't take orders from Etymologists and is disparaging to suggest that singers take orders from collectors
THat needs to be remembered by those accusing us of manipulating our singers
Both Walter and sean nós singer Joe heaney were very much their own men, but both have been accused of being stupid and malleable enough to allow commentators to manipulate them
Joe Heaney's epic interview session with Maccoll and Seeger stands as one of the most important examples of a traditional singer talking of his art, yet it has been bedevilled by accusations that the singer was gullible enough to be manipulated by his collectors
Anybody who spent time with Joe would know that Joe wasn't that type of individual
Jim


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:24 AM

"'what the folks sang' (or played)"
That's fine Jag, for those who are interested in that sort of thing - it's also important, but in practical terms, unless you are prepared to devote far more time then most of us had/have, you really can't do it all
It was extremely difficult to get, say Walter Pardon or Mary Delaney to sing their non-folk songs
Walter described them (on tape) as "them old things" and deliberately took up his family's traditional songs as a young man because his relative contemporaries had abandoned them for the "modern stuff"
Mary firmly refused to sing her extensive C and W songs into a tape recorder because, she claimed, I only sing them cos that's what the lads ask for down in the pub"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:19 AM

@Pseudonymous (mainly). On the sampling. I think in the Walter Pardon thread Jim Caroll gave a full list of his repertoire as known by the collectors. Including the music hall and parlour ballads. I think The Sandman has referred to one of the older collectors elsewhere who took the lot.

I can see that the 'first revival' collectors didn't have the resources to collect it all and can't see Sharp using his time to note down parlour ballads. By Sharp's time the entymologists where kiiling everything within the capability of their collecting tools and tipping it out on the bench when they got home.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 09:08 AM

But if I were told (truthfully or otherwise) that one was a fake/counterfeit/imitation, I would value it less, or not at all, even while appreciating the skill of the faker/emulator.(lghter)

It's the emulation aspect I have been thinking of. As an aside there are those who would say the emulator should have been using their skills to do something 'creative', which thought comes after reading a line in the book page linked by Iains "The power of imagination of man is rather limited"

I think the history of the songs and tunes is fascinating but for me it is in the context of 'what the folks sang' (or played) and separate to the side of things Steve Shaw summarised. How much of Steve Shaw's "informal socialising, enjoying the crack/craic, often getting a bit pissed with your mates, singing old songs and changing things a bit because you can't quite remember it all or like it better your way/your dad's way, same with old tunes, doing your own thing with people of similar sentiment" was what Walter Pardon's forebears were doing in the singing room at the Mitre Tavern? If it it was similar and the folk process was alive then isn't it still alive now?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Iains
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:52 AM

Entomologists don't give orders to cockroaches. Wonderful! nearly made me spill my coffee.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:50 AM

"Entomologists don't give orders to cockroaches."
Far too often it's forgotten that the collector is the pupil and the singer the teacher and not the other way around
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:47 AM

I'm just musing that an activity that involves informal socialising, enjoying the crack/craic, often getting a bit pissed with your mates, singing old songs and changing things a bit because you can't quite remember it all or like it better your way/your dad's way, same with old tunes, doing your own thing with people of similar sentiment, etc., needs a bunch of academics in a committee room to anguish over a definition of what we're doing/should be doing/shouldn't really be doing if we want to call it what they see as "folk..."

The point was to define the remit of an association with its own journal. If you could write up enough of the social interactions you listed in a sufficiently enlightening way, you might have got your article accepted, though it would have taken some work. This is what you'd have been trying to fit into. Looks pretty straightforward to me what the writers were interested in discussing with each other.

Part of the index for the first few volumes

Do you see anything there about telling people in a British pub what to do? Entomologists don't give orders to cockroaches.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:31 AM

Value has nothing to do with collecting or shouldn't have
It is not up to us to decide the value of what the folk had to offer and the more they had to say about their songs and stories, the better.
The uniqueness of their songs and stories become obvious the minute you talk to the singers - they regard them as different - who are we to argue ?
I've put up far too many examples of their doing so for it to be necessary to repeat but it really is time sme of the 'researchers' and singers started to listen to and act on what they had to say

The fact that ballads like Edward still remained important to the older generation, particularlty Travellers is important in its own right - I will repeat what Wexford traveller, Pop's Johnny Connors said about it because I believe it can't be repeated enough

“I’d say the song, myself, goes back to.... depicts Cain and Abel in the Bible and where Our Lord said to Cain.... I think this is where the Travellers Curse come from too, because Our Lord says to Cain, “Cain”, says Our Lord, “you have slain your brother, and for this”, says Our Lord, says he, “and for this, be a wanderer and a fugitive on the earth”.
“Not so Lord” says he, “this punishment is too severe, and whoever finds me”, says he, “will slay me, “says he “or harass me”.
“Not so”, says Our Lord, says he, “whoever finds Cain and punishes or slains (sic) Cain, I will punish them sevenfold”.
And I think this is where the Travellers curse come from.
Anyway, the song depicts this, this er....
1 call it Cain and Abel anyway; there never was a name for the song, but that what I call it, you know, the depiction of Cain and Abel.”

I believe our old songs are important history carriers describing the experiences of those most effected but least consulted by the events described - wars, land siezure, upheaval from countryside to towns, women used as ladders to be climbed to improve social status, those who follewd their men to war and loaded the guns on the front line.... all writ large in our folk songs
We recorded a song here in Clare that described (in comic terms) an event during the War of Independence that failed to make the history books and has been completely forgotten by today's locals
HERE

Lumping these songs in with those bought on song-sheets and in books is, to me, to reduce the importance of our traditional songs
We have yet to follow up our discovery of the local song-making traditions that were features of rural life throughout rural Ireland, particularly among the undocumented Traveller communities
We haven't begun to understand how our oral songmaking worked and if we are ever to get anywhere making an educated guess much of the information lies in the songs themselves and what the singers had to say about them

Time after time we were told how important these songs were to the people who retained them (even to the extent of one singer describing how he once tried to teach his dog to sing to stop them from dying with him)
If they weer important to those people surely they have to be important to us (even if it is only for their continuing entertainment value)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:18 AM

Iains: cheers.

Jag

With you on 'sampling'. The same thought had occurred to me with respect to making assertions based on interviews within 20th century folklore work. Sandman has made a related comment in the past when he has questioned how far generalisations based on one or two 'traditional folk' singers could be generalised to apply to them all.

In some frames of mind I might feel like Steve Shaw does. But not all of the time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Iains
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 08:07 AM

https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/how-myths-evolve-over-time-and-migrations/

An interesting bit of research.


https://www.jstor.org/stable/6151?seq=9#metadata_info_tab_contents


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Iains
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 07:54 AM

Jack Campin I think I was too ready to jump in there, I apologize.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 07:43 AM

> how much of the difference between them is romantic connotations associated with the 'real thing'?

Plenty. I'd say the words "connotations" and "associations" in general account for every bit of the substantive (i.e., non-microscopic) difference.

A person who knows nothing about rustic pots, like me, would declare them to be "obviously" identical.

But if I were told (truthfully or otherwise) that one was a fake/counterfeit/imitation, I would value it less, or not at all, even while appreciating the skill of the faker/emulator.

Is the famous version of "Edward" a "folk ballad"? The question can be a red herring. What's interesting are matters such as the formal and thematic qualities of "Edward," the degree of somebody's editing (if any), how and where (if we care) it was obtained, what it resembles, who (if anybody) likes to sing or recite it, how much of its history or background can be discovered, and innumerable other questions of human interest - to people who are interested in them.

The 1954 definition describes a real phenomenon, an identifiable kind of music and song. Other kinds of music and song are other kinds. So what?

That says nothing about their quality or value.

Whether a piece can be fit (or be forced to fit) the '54 definition doesn't affect the definition's accuracy as a description of an identifiable category.

All such fitting does, it seems to me, is affirm that the fitter likes to think of the piece as "folk" - for whatever connotations and associations that may have for him.

Researchers, listeners, and performers will all go their own way.

The play's the thing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Has the folk Process died?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 19 - 07:38 AM

Still sitting here as a semi-outsider, I'm just musing that an activity that involves informal socialising, enjoying the crack/craic, often getting a bit pissed with your mates, singing old songs and changing things a bit because you can't quite remember it all or like it better your way/your dad's way, same with old tunes, doing your own thing with people of similar sentiment, etc., needs a bunch of academics in a committee room to anguish over a definition of what we're doing/should be doing/shouldn't really be doing if we want to call it what they see as "folk..."

Anyone care to define classical music? Off to the committee room then! :-)

Defining it won't preserve it. That just puts people off. What preserves it is people having fun with it.


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