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What is it with the English?

GUEST 11 Jun 00 - 10:33 AM
Trace 10 Jun 00 - 03:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Jun 00 - 09:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jun 00 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Graham Pirt 09 Jun 00 - 06:18 PM
JulieF 09 Jun 00 - 03:36 PM
JulieF 09 Jun 00 - 03:24 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 09 Jun 00 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Penny S. 09 Jun 00 - 12:03 PM
Llanfair 09 Jun 00 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe 08 Jun 00 - 09:23 PM
sledge 08 Jun 00 - 05:40 AM
Llanfair 08 Jun 00 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Ickle Dorritt 07 Jun 00 - 01:31 PM
The Shambles 07 Jun 00 - 10:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jun 00 - 08:56 AM
Brendy 07 Jun 00 - 07:50 AM
Ritchie 07 Jun 00 - 07:42 AM
The Shambles 07 Jun 00 - 05:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jun 00 - 08:53 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Jun 00 - 05:43 PM
Sapper_RE 06 Jun 00 - 04:51 PM
Osmium 06 Jun 00 - 04:24 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Jun 00 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria 06 Jun 00 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,KingBrilliant 06 Jun 00 - 05:38 AM
Ella who is Sooze 06 Jun 00 - 05:15 AM
Brendy 05 Jun 00 - 11:48 PM
The Shambles 05 Jun 00 - 03:49 PM
Ritchie 05 Jun 00 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe 05 Jun 00 - 05:11 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Jun 00 - 03:51 AM
GUEST 05 Jun 00 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe 04 Jun 00 - 07:41 PM
The Shambles 04 Jun 00 - 02:00 PM
Brendy 04 Jun 00 - 01:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jun 00 - 12:55 PM
The Shambles 04 Jun 00 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,jon 04 Jun 00 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,sajumikey 04 Jun 00 - 10:47 AM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Jun 00 - 09:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jun 00 - 07:06 AM
Richard Bridge 04 Jun 00 - 06:16 AM
roopoo 04 Jun 00 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe 03 Jun 00 - 08:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jun 00 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe 03 Jun 00 - 07:10 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Jun 00 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe 03 Jun 00 - 06:16 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Jun 00 - 06:03 PM
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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 10:33 AM

What is it you dislike about Accordions and Bagpipes?


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Trace
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 03:36 PM

Frank, I couldn't have put it better myself! Of course having relinquised most of our empire, people have forgotten that in fact our folk music would encompass the music of a great many countries. I'm surprised that we havn't adopted Indian music into our folk music culture.

The feelings that morris dancing brings to some people, has nothing on the way I feel about accordians and bagpipes. I could cheerfully throttle anyone coming within a mile of me playing either of those.

Trace


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Jun 00 - 09:39 PM

McGrath is obviously right.  Because nobody else has done it, I've made a new thread where we can continue this discussion, which has now grown much too big.

English Tradition (part two).

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jun 00 - 06:20 PM

Naah Penny - I think the mochyn saesneg is probably a Yank taking the piss anyway. So nothing to be upset at, it's a commodity in plentiful supply.

The things about the English traditions is that they are very local indeed. The same is true with the Irish or the Scots, but there the experience of exiled communities has tended to build up a sort of commonality, and then that has been brought back home in a way. The English have dispersed all over the world, but they don't seem to have carried the English traditions with them in the same way, or used them as a badge of solidarity in a potentially hostile foreign environment.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Graham Pirt
Date: 09 Jun 00 - 06:18 PM

I've been out of touch for a few weeks but have just read through this thread - fascinating - I didn't know all this consideration took place about tradition and Englishness and all of the other items that have been discussed. I'm starting to feel guilty. I just sing songs if I like them and I think that I can sing them. Most of them end up sounding northern but that's how I speak. I'd better go off and find out more in case I'm doing it wrong!


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: JulieF
Date: 09 Jun 00 - 03:36 PM

I don't know how the hell that happened - I thought I was on-line and then my mother rang sio I wasn't. Still ---

I really have no problem with the english reclaimimg a national identity - St George's Flag - St George's Day - Jigoistic English songs as long as they are done with good grace. I think that Englishness has been so closely attached to the "British" establishment that it is a difficult job and many people prefer to resort to Regions such as Yorkshire or Cornwall. I find it a worrying trend that there now seems to be a bout of nasty anti-Englishness in areas of Scotland but perhaps this is a measure of the decline of other types of sectarianism which was prevalent in central Scotland.

As for the English tradition - I find that difficult to assess. we brought our daughter up within our traditions - Scottish and Irish as we were living outside our countries- so she always knew the music, the folklore , the history and the fact that she was descended from Finn McCool. She did do English Country dancing at infant school and the Fiddle society has included many styles of music including English but other than that I can't comment on how to teach an English tradition.

Julie


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: JulieF
Date: 09 Jun 00 - 03:24 PM

Ive been very, very busy for the last few days - we've got a major update going in, so I've not had the chance to read this - and I know that I really should start another one now its got to this length. Anyway ---

From the point of view of a Scot living in england can I take up several points :-

First Nationality. It has always got right up the noses of the Scots when English fans of any event have misappropiated the British Flag and National anthem - Not that we want them but there not uniquely theirs )

sorry will break as I think I've lost my link

Julie


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 09 Jun 00 - 12:43 PM

Iachyd da Bron.

(I'm only Welsh by marriage)

I do sympathise, coming from an even more maligned race displaced by the Romans centuries ago. We still have our own style of music which we play on our own version of the pipes (not the kind you blow into) and we have some tunes and songs dating back to the early 1800's! who do these soft southerners think they are

Hadaway ye humpybacks!


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Penny S.
Date: 09 Jun 00 - 12:03 PM

Usually, I don't go along with that particular Welsh remark, but here I think it is richly deserved. It doesn't help when one only has what is ostensibly the same language to use. It was a dreadful day when that irritating minority decided to abandon Norman French and learn English, though I notice that their command of it can still be weak, since they feign an inability to understand any version not spoken in Kensington, and feel it is necessary to bellow to get their point across. Just try living without the peasants, ducky. You'd soon find out who or what the English are.

Nancy Banks-Smith, the TV reviewer in the Guardian answered the question of why the Industrial REvolution happened here by referring to a program in which scientists made a radio with a saucepan, barbed wire, a galena crystal and some copper wire. Another program referred to the way that medieval wars were really won by the engineers.

Don't make the mistake of thinking the flashy parasites are the real thing. Just ignore them. We do.

Penny


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Llanfair
Date: 09 Jun 00 - 11:39 AM

Thank you for putting me aright, Ma'am, I will not make that mistake again. May I respectfully suggest that you spell my name correctly in future Po.........er......poles to this forum. Wyn in Welsh is male, Wen, female.
I am Bronwen.
I realise that Welsh is a barbaric language that your family, friends and ancestors almost stamped out 100 years ago, purely because they didn't like the natives saying things they couldn't understand, but it is still with us, and that is my name.
(Deep, respectful bow) Good-day to you Ma-am, mochyn saesneg, Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe
Date: 08 Jun 00 - 09:23 PM

Oh Bronwyn, dear girl (what a delightful name!), I'm afraid that this is what we have been talking about, my child.
One never uses a 'post'. How vulgar. Simply unthinkable. Not the English Way, I'm afraid.
Poles, dear. Poles!
And as Reggie is The Provincial Grand Master, a more worshipful master you have never met Bronwyn, I can tell you, I think, perhaps, you may be thinking of some sort of other Lodge.
Although I can't for the life of me think what that might have been.

Oh, well.
I was saying this very thing to Cecily, wife to Sir John Bishopton-Hogworth, last morning at the 'Dog and Charles' just before The Master of the Hounds sounded the Off.
Can't think what that was, now either. But it did start with a 'J'.

Sorry for any confusion caused, Richard. I naturally assumed that this date was engrained in all of our collective psyches.
Reggie's great Uncle Cuthbert, who often had the ear of dear Queen Vic., used to gather us round the fireside in the evening. And as he would bounce me on his lap, up and down, he would often tell of the evening that grave news reached the shores of old Blighty concerning events in nether parts of the world.

Indeed, Richard, grave news. Grave news indeed, Richard!
We had time, though, to prepare, and by the time the blasted thing hit, somewhere around 1350, anybody who was anybody, had hopped off to more clement climes to ride out the storm, as it were.
Oh, we were a resourceful family, Sir Cuthbert used to say. Ended up in Tierra del Fuego, or some such outlandish place, for a while, just to get the breath back, you understand. Took a few savages back for good measure, if I'm not mistaken. Sold them at a profit as well, if memory serves me correctly.
And when we returned, it was all as before. And England was once again great.
As for who? English folklore historians? Who the devil are they? And what the duece do they know about anything? Bloody load of communists. Or irish, or something!
Nothing but a bunch of troublemakers, Richard! The whole blasted lot of them. Don't you listen to them, there's a good chap.

Well, I do like our little chats, Richard. And now Bronwyn. How splendid!
Well I'm expecting Lady Alice (one of the Wingfield-Urquarts), and Felicity, her neice, around for a rubber or two at 9.15, and I see that Fortesque has just brought in the Port. I think it is past sunset, don't you?

:) H H-S


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: sledge
Date: 08 Jun 00 - 05:40 AM

In defence of MORRIS

In a time when most music and dance that people are exposed to is dependant on slick marketing it is not hard to see why Morris is looked on as a quaint anachronism. But quaint or no it is an important part of English heratige and is worth preserving, more power to the drinking arms of those who do so.

Q:Why did god invent line dancing

A:to give Morris dancers someone to laugh at


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Llanfair
Date: 08 Jun 00 - 05:03 AM

This is the first time I've read this thread through, and it's a very good one. A couple of points spring to mind;
The powers that be at the Beeb should see this thread. Perhaps then they will think about a modern equivalent of the radio for schools programmes that many of us learned our first folksongs from. Kids won't develop the interest if they aren't exposed to the music, and us folkies can only produce so many offspring!!
There really is no such thing as exclusive "Englishness". This island has been invaded at regular intervals since man first stood upright. The only thing we can be certain of is Hybrid Vigour.
Hermione...you are wonderful, I hope you post often. I had my first wedding reception at Wythenshawe hall, the Tattons haven't lived there for donkey's years.
Oh, and we call them "lamp posts" not poles, and i think the "Lodge" is an american concept, though I'm not sure.
Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Ickle Dorritt
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 01:31 PM

'the plays the thing' - and frankly so is the music-can't say I am interested in where it comes from -I tend to sing traditional english music because I like the sound and the pace not because of what it is or where it came from - pretty much the same philosophy as I use for liking or disliking people really. perhaps the songs that should survive are those that aren't so easily identified like that popular Irish song Fiddler's Green which is actually from Lincolnshire. Tradition song is all very well but its a little like the royal family --in danger of losing it's relevance -take for example shanty festivals -full of folk singers but how many living breathing fishermen? none. Music shoud move on, become less nationally defined and opened out to others-(I do draw the line however, when someone asked us if we knoew any Bon Jovi at our Sunday session!)


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 10:41 AM

Kevin.

Well I do take your point about the flags. It is about personal association of course but I doubt if the 'infidel' will agree with you abut the lack of a troubled association with the Cross of St George. Was this not the symbol that 'The Crusades' were fought under? That was a little more than a 18-30's holiday trip to North Africa.

It was not an exclusive English planned trip I accept. It was hardly a hopeful start to joint European ventures either.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 08:56 AM

You're right Shambles, I'd resist the label English for myself when it comes to nationality - but "British" even more so. And the geographical entity I identify with is, of course, Harlow.

As for the Union Jack and the Cross of St George - I find it hard to see the Union Jack without being reminded of people waving them as they tried to get at us on a Civil Rights march in Northern Ireland years ago. Or National Front thugs trying to come into Harlow. Or Maggie Thatcher.

St George's Cross for me in the first place means the flag they fly on C of E churches when I go to church fetes, soccer thugs notwithstanding. It's a modest looking flag, which the Union Jack with it s flashy design is anything but.

As for "the UK" - the only time I use that is when my comoputer compells me to. If they'd revert to the older usage and call it "United Kingdoms" it'd be a bit better. (And since that only changed when the Scottish Partliament was abolished, now would be an appropriate time to revert to it.)

But "the UK" is a funny concept - the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands aren't part of it (though the comoputers don't know that, I believe). And what is supposed to happen when the monarchy gets abolished? I suppose they could keep the initials and call it the United Kindreds", which sounds like something out of Tolkien.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Brendy
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 07:50 AM

The melody of 'GSTQ' is used for the 'King's Song' here in Norway. Not quite the National Anthem, but played at official engagements that the King (Harald V) attends.

B.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Ritchie
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 07:42 AM

Yes, Shambles, a lot of good points there. I also saw the C4 programme, which I thought was very well produced and presented.

Being from the North East,Hadrian could have easily decided my birthright and gave me greater affinity with the 'Scot's'.

You could see from the programme the passion that our friends north of the border had, even the drunk at the end singing 'floora scotland' in trafalgar square had the decency to say to the cameramen 'Hey take care'.

A point was made about the disrespect shown to the National Anthemn and it seemed that the 'English' thought it belonged exclusively to them.I now think of myself as European....tomorrow the world.

regards ritchie


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 05:49 AM

I didn't really want to go into all of this nationalist stuff too much as I think the only hope for the world is when we realise we are all one species on one planet. The opportunity to disagree with a McGrath however, is irresistible and demonstrates the difference between having a clear national identity and not having one for reasons identified by Sapper and Malcolm above.

Kevin says "Well, for me it's "British" that has the overtones of imperialism and so forth. As Malcolm says, English just means belonging to a geographical area. British has all kinds of sinister associations. There are all kinds of situations where the Union Jack spells trouble. The English flag of St George doesn't so far carry that sort of baggage".

I pretty much believe the complete opposite to that.

Kevin I know you strongly identify, with the geographical area where you live, Harlow, which is in England. Do you consider yourself then as belonging to it and to be English? I suspect not.

I think it depends on when you are born in England too. When I was growing up, what was left of the Empire was now to be called the Commonwealth. Looking back I feel that I was very much affected by the guilt of Empire. I was educated with and had friends who were Irish, Polish, Hungarian, Indian, Chinese and so on, all now permanently resident, in addition to the Scottish and Welsh. It was not considered that the latter were English but we were all could be British.

I would suggest that the "sinister overtones" associations with "British", pre-date the more positive association (or at least damage limitation) with the concept of the United Kingdom, that a lot of my generation do. That is not to say that the sinister aspects were/are not still in evidence, during the period I describe.

As to the flags, The use of the Union Flag never prevented the English from being blamed for worst excesses of Empire and he worst elements will be attracted to whichever flag is used. The European Football Championship starts this Saturday. The same elements that made the Union Flag spell trouble will now wrap themselves in the flag of St George and do the same. At least the rest of the UK will not now be blamed.

When football trouble abroad flared up, the media would have no hesitation about saying Scottish fans but would refer to British fans when they were clearly English fans that were causing trouble. I speak as an England football supporter, resident in Scotland for many years, who had to listen to England v Scotland matches with a Scottish commentator. …..If you think English commentators are biased, try listening to a Scottish one.

There was a TV programme this week about the build-up to the England v Scotland qualifier to theses Championships. It just used the views of the supporters and was very informative because of that. Despite the attempts of the media to build it up to be a 'battle', it was seen by most of those in the programme as a game of football.

I do understand the view of the UK from the non-English members but I do regret that we may have now 'thrown the baby out with the bath water'. I for one do not look forward to all the implications of the expression of a narrow English nationality in our now multi-cultured society. I think we should tread very carefully indeed.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 08:53 PM

Well, for me it's "British" that has the overtones of imperialism and so forth. As Malcolm says, English just means belonging to a geographical area. British has all kinds of sinister associations. There are all kinds of situations where the Union Jack spells trouble. The English flag of St George doesn't so far carry that sort of baggage.

And it's good to see you here MikeofNorthumbria - stick around and get registered, so you can use all the facilities.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 05:43 PM

Which is where the "Post-Imperial Guilt" mentioned earlier comes in.  It is a phenomenon of the priveleged classes, on the whole; the Working Class (or whatever you choose to call it) by and large does not have such feelings, having never been master of an empire, but rather, that empire's first colony.  As I said in other words earlier, the intelligentsia (in Britain generally, but particularly in England) have long looked to cultural models that are not nationally-based, and the education system has tended to reinforce this.  We have a situation, then, where ignorance of (and perhaps contempt for) "folk" culture combines with a strong tendency to assume that attempts to define or reinforce "Englishness" must be racist, in function if not also in intent.  Hence the Camden example; I don't remember that particular case, but in practice it wouldn't have got very far.  The EFDSS, for all its faults, has never been a racist organisation: "English" in that context means simply "occurring in England".  There is a good deal more to be said, but just now, I think it's time to go to the pub.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Sapper_RE
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 04:51 PM

The Irish are allowed to be Irish, the Scots are allowed to be Scottish. The Welsh are allowed to be Welsh, But the Engilsh MUST be British. Can't remember where I heard that, but we are constantly being told that to be English is to be racist. A group of people in a Birmingham pub last St. George's Day started singing "There'll always be an England" and were kicked out!!! During the '70's, Camden Council, within who's environs C. Sharp House, the HQ of EFDSS lies, tried getting the Educational Charity status of the organisation rescinded. Why? Because being the ENGLISH Folk Dance and Song Society, they were racist!!! I can not think of another country where the national customs and traditions are denigrated so much by the so called intelegensia as they are in England. Sapper


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Osmium
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 04:24 PM

A couple of points from a bit English/French/Irish person who struggles to play Irish music;
The way in which Irish music is played has and is changing markedly with time, listen to the old calieh bands and then the same tune by, say, Sharon Shannon. The way in which its played changes from county to county; try polkas in Kerry or a Highland in Donegal. We are led to believe that in the early part of the century Irish folk music nearly died; vis "Bringing it all back Home". The fact that some very good musicians worked very hard at keeping it alive made the difference.
If english folk is to survive then I have a feeling it needs more good musicians playing and updating it (the way its played) so that it sounds beautiful to the modern young ear. It wasn't so very long ago that a musical scale had only five notes. If we (the english) persist in playing the music in the "old" style because that's what's right - it think it will die and so to hopefully will the (nasal/tuneless) singing that oftime goes with it.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 03:30 PM

Good point Hermione. But I think, unless you claim to be a direct descendant of Edward II (unlikely) that the treaty he signed at Leake in August 1318 (arranging for royal acts to be subject to a council one member of which was to represent the interests of the house of Lancaster)rather gave power to the aristocracy as distinct from the Crown or the peasantry. The period the aristocracy regret, surely would have been the industrial revolution with the rise of power of earned, rather than inherited wealth and, ultimately, the beginnings of steps towards the creation of a house of commons.

One other thing you say is also interesting. You mention Grantchester. My Greek was always awful at school, but yes I did feel a slight touch of Rupert Brooke about your verse - and none the worse for that, although "Ghosts" is my favourite.

But to return to this thread, what does your claim that "English" is the badge of inherited priviledge have to do with the lack of assertiveness of less priviledged English of their own tradition? As the folklore historians say, "Can it really be supposed that, alone in Europe, the English peasant did not give rein to his feelings in spontaneous and non-formalised music?"

And if not why should it be supposed that the folk memory in England is any less potent than elsewhere?


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 07:54 AM

Hi! I've just stumbled on this thread, and found it fascinating. Many of the problems discussed in it have been bothering me for a long time. For further thoughts on the matter, see my article "England, whose England?" on Rod Stradling's Musical Traditions web site - http://mustrad.org.uk/

- where you should find much else that's of interest, if you haven't visited it before.

And on the subject of The Wild Rover ...

many years ago, I got so fed up with being asked to do it that I composed an antidote. It goes to the same tune ...

I've been a folk singer for many a year, And all round this country I've played for my beer, But now I'm retiring, though I've no gold in store, And I never will sing The Wild Rover no more.

And it's no, nay, never (etc)... will I SING ...(etc)

I went into a folk club I used to frequent, And said to the doorman "Me money's all spent" He said "I'll stand you a pint, as I have done before, If only you'll sing The Wild Rover once more." (Cho)

I pulled my guitar out, and tuned up each string, Then took a deep breath and got ready to sing, When a voice from the back shouted out this request - "Won't you give us the chorus we all love the best." (Cho)

I'll go back to the Labour, confess that I'm beat And look for a job sweeping muck off the street, And if I can find one, as I have done before, I'll be b*******d if I sing The Wild Rover once more! (Cho)

Cheers,

Mike


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,KingBrilliant
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 05:38 AM

We were at Chippenham, and it was great. Really nice atmosphere, and a total lack of officiousness from the stewards. I reckon there was a fair amount of English being sung in the singarounds etc. Didn't get to the 'English' session, but I think we were sitting outside of it (in a rare bolt of sunshine). Sounded fine to me. I don't agree that the English are bland - I'm bleeding well not! Some English playing/singing may be bland, but you'll find some of that in all cultures. Throwing a mantle of blandness over us might make someone feel superior - but it don't make it true. Chippenham highlights for me were:

The Shanty singing which was placed in context by a mock voyage (ok - I make it sound naff, but it was excellent). Hanging Johnny were especially superb.

Sara Grey (ex-pat American living now in Skye)- talk & song about North American logging songs. She is amazing!!

The Mrs Ackroyd band - but then I have a huge soft spot for Les Barker.

But it was all wonderful.

PS. I didn't think the Morris geezers were overly serious.

Kris


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 05:15 AM

Well Shambles I am glad that is not just me who finds the Angel session to be just so too.

Well learnt my lession, won't be going there again.

I got talking to Steve Morris at the old road tavern, he was v nice and friendly. I liked that pub alot, and the French session was good too. Liked the hurdy gurdy though not quite sure if I understand it though.

Had a thought too, that as the pub was fairly packed that the only person who had THE most room was the person who was playing a whadyou ma call it

big zither thingyummy that he was hitting with hammers.

Anyway, I am going to go next year I enjoyed the Old Road Tavern, and the Italian cafe round the corner does the best pizza's I have had since I was in New York.

Ella


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Brendy
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 11:48 PM

I forgot to thank you for the explanation of Plough Stots, mouldy, and to the lads for providing the links.

B.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 03:49 PM

Reading the thread again from the beginning, which was informative and very enjoyable, I thought I should clarify the festival thing. The unsatisfactory session that Ella referred to was the usual casual gathering that takes place in The Angel Hotel and not one that was part of the official festival. The official (led) English session, that I referred to was in The Rose and Crown and I did not attend either of these.

The gatherings in The Angel, I find to be as Ella describes and I don't think I would attend an English only session on principle. Most of my time was spent in the official Irish session, led by Steve Morris, in the Old Road Tavern. Where I also saw a French session, about thirty chaps singing wearing night-gowns and fez's, a group of ex-pats from Oz and about every other form of music you could think of.

A very English session, in fact,,,,,,, if that doesn't sound too Irish?


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Ritchie
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 09:27 AM

Hermione, Could n't the blind man just have called out 'here kitty, kitty...here kitty,kitty'? I always find that this always works even if thats not the cats name !

Damn clever things cats..rather like women.

regards ritchie.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 05:11 AM

How frightful, Richard. A genuine tragedy!

When Reggie was in the F.O. he knew a lot of those Portugese chappies.
Didn't trust them one bit. "Look what they did to the opium trade", he said. I mean, buggered it up for everybody else, didn't they?
How was a simple English man of business supposed to carry on with those blasted pirates on the job, I ask you?

Wouldn't have got away with that in the Punjab, I can tell you.
Strung 'em up the nearest lamp pole. And good enough for them too!

Oh no, Richard. England can well hang it's head. Gone are those halcyon days when the cultured savage would merrily skip his way back to the servants' quarters after an honest day's toil in the rubber groves.
What did we do, Richard?
Where did we go wrong?

Giving the blighters the vote didn't help.
Made the blasted thing worse!
In my opinion England is facing the gravest crisis of this kind since 1318.
And, you know, many of us still remember that date; the infernal worry, torment, and general feeling of ill.

We must have purpose, Richard. We cannot afford to be purposeless.
We must exhibit purposelessnessless.
For we don't want to end up, do we?
Like the blind man in the dark room.
Looking for the black cat.

That isn't there.

<:| H. H-S


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 03:51 AM

Hermione

1. Ah. It could have been Wimbledon when Dick played there - or the Singapore bowls team.

2. No, the Bernays. One of the previous generation was a bit of a tinkerer and designed the famous "Bernay Streamline" car. Family used to own a sqare mile or two in the middle of Hong Kong until a legal blunder lost it for them.

About the only thing left after that was the silver - and Mike had that stolen because he left the back door open after eating breakfast one day. When he died, estate duty was quite moderate because the furniture was not recognised. The French branch of the family are rolling of course after Doreen married into Dutch money. Indeed she seemed to have the fortunate sorrow to marry well but briefly and then inherit the lot.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 02:01 AM

You are all too bloody bland to have worthwhile music. You can never lay claim to the great emotion required as do the Irish. Simple as that.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 07:41 PM

Of course you are, Richard.
No, I'm afraid Reginald and I never did move in Ping-Pong circles We moved in other circles, Richard, and those circles moved.

But would that have been one of the De Bernays? I do remember a Bertrand De Bernay. Dear darling Bertrand. He was a member of Reginald's lodge, you know, and along with myself and Sir Rupert Bletherington-Farquar, we often enjoyed his company, punting along The Backs, down towards Grantchester. Oh, England!

The others, I'm afraid, we never quite mixed with, although, looking back, we were often quite kind to the common people.

I am delighted, though, that you like my little poem. As I composed it 'off the cuff', as it were; on the spot, and all of that, eh?, I had never thought of it with a melody. Rather, was I moved to verse to express my regret at the loss of everything that we hold dear. Good Saint George, and onward into the fray, what? But I think something by Sir Edward Elgar would be appropriate, and perhaps a little Vaughn Williams; Henry the Fifth, perhaps, as the focus of the camera pulls back, so to speak.

If I get so moved, perhaps I can compose more thoughts and share them with you. This is such fun.

Carry on!
:) H H-S


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 02:00 PM

Well I am pretty sure that any American Old Time musician present on Saturday would have detected a definite English accent, in the music being played. But could it also be that the English people detected a little of themselves in the origin of this very same music?

Not too sure if the latter would be true of the English samba players or belly dancers though?…. But maybe?…. I suppose it depends on how far back you choose to go?

I did not detect however much in the way of excluding any influences from the music being played. This was my first visit to such a gathering and I played along with my less than conventional Old Time instrument, the bouzouki. I wasn't told to 'bugger off' but did receive a number of pleasant comments as to what a nice instrument it was and what a nice sound it made. During one song I was even invited to 'take a break' "on that big mandolin".

In truth I did not attempt to play any Irish or English tunes……Or did I?


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Brendy
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 01:42 PM

Well that was what point I read into mouldy's post. The 'invasion' of the irish music. But I think mouldy actually did mention 'The Wild Rover'

It's just a little pet hate of mine, the commercial, and dare I say, user-friendly end of the spectrum.
The command "Play Irish Music!" is quite often uttered with the expectation that a song of the above ilk will follow. Such is the general perception of Irish music.
I don't think the average English man/woman would feel comfortable with the 'commercialised' concept of an English folk tradition; the only coverage it gets by the media is of quaintly dressed people waving sticks and white handkerchiefs.

Personally, I grew up, in the '60's and '70's, trying to emulate people like John Renbourn, Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy, just as much as I did Donal Lunny, Paul Brady and Barry Moore.
I wished that Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Pentangle; all those groups, along with Bill Leader's efforts to showcase the industrial folk tradition, had have caught on in England.
It did elsewhere.
They did for English Folk music roughly the same job as Emmet Spiceland, Planxty, The Clancy Brothers, and The Dubliners did for Irish music.
It is unfortunate, in my opinion, that the latter was the more susceptible to commercial exploitation. It seems that Irish Folk music has unwittingly set the standard by which other Folk Musics are measured by; and that's not fair either.

It is a problem I think, as far as the English music is concerned, that a very 'modern' taste entered the scene, just as the Folk revival was going through it's heyday. And England had more home-grown 'stars' in those days than Ireland had. At least on the world stage, anyway. In Ireland, the whole essence of pariochialism kept the music in the area. And for good or bad, the music was given more lee-way to develop.
Irish emigration, quite early on in America's modern history, fanned this pariochialism outwards, and the music and dancing, which had been part of their lives in Ireland, became part of it there too.

Our music has always been a part of us, and each county, has it's own styles. Each house of music has it's own style. That 'nearness' of the music was a thing the populations of the rapidly growing cities and those with the need for a faster fix could easily discard, and with England now a multi-ethnic nation, it's 'roots' are getting harder to define.

But yes, I do think that not enough English people are proud of their rustic roots. I think, if you take the Civil War out of it, 17th century England would have been a very pleasant place to live. It's not an image most English people want to portray of themselves, however. Remember 'Finian's Rainbow'?

I don't know if it's too late or not for either of our traditions. England's is in danger of being swamped by a larger sea, and Ireland's of being speeded up and vomited down some toilet bowl, just as the songs would tell us to do. Although having said that, I think the 'purer' form of Ireland's music (and I'm talking here in the 'non-commercialised' sense) will survive longer than England's will, if only because it is ingrained in us and is more a part of us, than England's is.

B.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 12:55 PM

"In fact this has already happens in session circles where people who play English tunes feel invaded by Irish music and get rather snooty about it." I haven't found that - I suppose we tend to generalise from our own experience.

I think that there are probably English features about the way English musicians play other types of music (such as American or Irish) which are discernable to musicians from the other traditions.

The other thing is, regional differences are still important within England - eg up in the North-East it's really another country.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 12:08 PM

Yesterday was a very enjoyable day, spent among (mainly, about 98% of) English people, dancing to and playing American Old Time Music. It was done with much skill and enthusiasm. If an alien had been dropped in to the middle of it, they would have probably thought it to be locals celebrating their tradition.

Were we not?


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,jon
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 11:10 AM

Post-imperial guilt syndrome. It just isn't very English to like English culture, just as it isn't very English to win international cricket matches. If somebody invaded us the general population would all be singing Punch Ladel like good'ns.

In fact this has already happens in session circles where people who play English tunes feel invaded by Irish music and get rather snooty about it. Have to say in most cases it's people who aren't good enough to play Irish tunes (for all that they're wonderful English tunes are essentially easier.)

I can also discern a little of the opposite amongst the Irish who, after Riverdance, have effectively conquered the world, and are now increasingly very open to other traditional musics, including English.

Jon


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,sajumikey
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 10:47 AM

If I may be permitted to voice my own opinion. I was born in Ireland , but lived in England until I was twenty three, I am now ( as of yesterday ) forty six and have been back in Ireland for twenty three years and I believe that the major reason that the English Folk music is not so popular is because unless you go to a folk club or such you will never hear it Here in Ireland it is played on local radio stations if you go out for a night out there is usually a sing song and of course with a sing song the folk music comes into its own, but I do believe that even here in Ireland the disco, and nightclub etc. are taking over and we do need to ensure that the music will survive LONG LIVE FOLK


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 09:12 AM

The Forgotten Morris (revised edition) may be ordered for a mere £4.00 plus shipping, from  The South Riding Folk Network.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 07:06 AM

For Plough Monday jollifications see this link about the Whittlesea Straw Bear parade


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 06:16 AM

Hermione - you seem to have me mixed up with my father, Dick Bridge. He's the famous one who beat Victor Barna whan Victor was world champion. I'm Richard. Did you know Sarah Mills, who went to girls' coll. or Griselda ("Della") George or Jenny Pierce who went to the other place on the South coast?

If you were in India, did you know the Slaughters? He (Todd") was military (REME, alas) but she was a Bernay. Others you might have known were the D'Morais. He was Portuguese but married while on a previous posting elsewhere (Malaya, with Templar, I think) and they settled in India, up-country, later.

Smashing poem. Does it have a tune?


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: roopoo
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 04:31 AM

Brendy:

Plough Stots, or Plough Bullocks, Ploughboys, Plough Monday Mummers/Dancers....

the tradition goes back to the old 12 day holiday of Christmas when work did not recommence until after Epiphany. It possibly has its roots in the older Winter traditions. The Monday after Epiphany (or of it?) is "Plough Monday". The actual rituals performed varied from area to area. In some there were dancers accompanying a decorated plough, in others there were mumming plays performed. In others, it is well documented that a decorated plough would be dragged through the area, accompanied by plough-lads who would beg money, in return for which, they guaranteed not to plough up your garden! In my area, pre-1914, there is some faint evidence of a play existing, and most definitely dancers.

If you want to investigate it, I recommend a publication by Paul Davenport, called "The Forgotten Morris", which is pubished by the South Riding Folk Network, I think, and goes into it a lot more fully than I can here.

mouldy


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 08:20 PM

You asked about the Flints'?
'Fraid not Dickie
My husband, Reginald, is third cousin, twice removed, to the Tattons of Wythenshawe, that charming family who had a plantation next to ours, not far from Amritsar. Rachael was a chum of Reggie's half-sister, Penelope.
But we don't talk about that much.
:) H H-S


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 07:21 PM

"Sylvester Stallone with Lloyd Grossman." Sylvester must be is the one who comes off better in the comparison.

As for Hermione - ee lass, that's a reet funny sort of English tha towks in.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 07:10 PM

Oh! how I long for those azure skies, those green meadows.
Those towered hills.
Oh England, my England, where are you now?
The chimes of the village bell, the cows, as they wend home in the evening?
Gone, gone. All of this
lies broken on the floor of depravity.
Thy noble halls where heroes fought and won.
In ethereal splendour they marched.
With serfs to war and die.
Oh England, Oh England, I cry.

And hurrying home in carriages splendoured.
Grouse and quail.
Steaming on the platter.
Lemon tea and croquet'd lawn.
As shadow lengthens o'er the sundial.
And Geoffery.
The Dashing White Sergeant and Jolly Dog
Amber sunsets deepen to red
Then darkness.

Oh England
Is this my Jerusalem?
This, my green and pleasant land?

:( H H-S


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 06:38 PM

1.Are you by any chance a distant relative of thet nice Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, the cricketer? 2.Does any other race? Try comparing Parisian French in the nice salons with les Halles, and then Mulhouse, or Sylvester Stallone with Lloyd Grossman.


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: GUEST,Hermione Heyhoe-Smythe
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 06:16 PM

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
:( H H-S


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Subject: RE: What is it with the English?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 06:03 PM

I am not sure I really agree with the underlying tenet of this thread.

As far as I know I am many generations English. Every so often a song touches something (always a song, never a tune) and suddenly I can (Metaphorically) see back centuries. The issues of those times set out in the song move me as burningly as any heated current debate. Only English songs do this to me. One or two Irish songs do something different whch inspires a feeling of parallelism. ANd generally I feel ENglish song more fully than other song.

Also there are traditional songs with as much of a message today as they ever had - perhaps "rigs of the times", or "Shaking of the sheets".

No, I think that the displacement of ENglish song and music from centre stage is probably sex. Dance has become so intrinsic a part of courtship ritual that traditional song (with a time signature of "one") is marginalised, and ENglish traditional dance is Morris (single sex, if you want to be traditional) or Playford (bowdlerised).

Therefore the young, for whom the biological imperative is overpowering, go elsewhere.

Apart from a few. Like Liza Carthy who as well as all the foreign stuff she plays and sings still does ENglish music with balls (or whatever the gender equivalent is). But htese are exceptions from the general rule.


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