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Before it's too late

Mick Lowe 29 Oct 00 - 05:06 PM
wysiwyg 29 Oct 00 - 05:17 PM
Allan C. 29 Oct 00 - 05:45 PM
kendall 29 Oct 00 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Big Dog 29 Oct 00 - 06:28 PM
Mrrzy 29 Oct 00 - 06:35 PM
sophocleese 29 Oct 00 - 08:26 PM
The Shambles 29 Oct 00 - 08:31 PM
Naemanson 29 Oct 00 - 09:08 PM
paddymac 29 Oct 00 - 09:15 PM
Thyme2dream 30 Oct 00 - 12:35 AM
Gervase 30 Oct 00 - 06:04 AM
SingsIrish Songs 30 Oct 00 - 04:55 PM
SINSULL 30 Oct 00 - 05:05 PM
Kara 30 Oct 00 - 05:07 PM
Kara 30 Oct 00 - 05:09 PM
Ely 30 Oct 00 - 07:18 PM
Mick Lowe 30 Oct 00 - 07:45 PM
Mick Lowe 04 Nov 00 - 08:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Nov 00 - 08:58 PM
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Subject: Before it's too late
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 05:06 PM

I get a lot of emails from people asking me to help them track down songs that were either the favourite of, or sung by some now departed relative. Songs that take on extra significance once that family member is no longer with them. In most cases these songs seem to be either extremely obscure or muddled and confused with the passage of time.

A pity then that someone in the family didn't take the time and trouble to record it before it became "lost".

Which is the point of this thread. If you have an elderly relative, who if not a veritable wealth of little known songs or indeed variations, has just one song or tune, please take the time and trouble to record it before it's too late. In this day and age just about everyone has a tape recorder of some description so there is really no excuse for material to be lost to the twenty-first century.

If like me you don't have any relatives with a song to be sung, then please do what I am attempting to here and that is pass this message on, hopefully to someone who has.

Thanks for listening

Mick


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 05:17 PM

Yes, and let's make sure this thread stays on the daily page for a long time.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 05:45 PM

Same goes with stories. There are some wonderful tales which will simply vanish if nobody takes the time to capture them: folk tales, family sagas, quips, etc.. You know, like the time when uncle Bob buckled himself to the underside of a boxcar and rode all the way from Texas to California. Or the joke about the Arkansaw bear vs. the Texas bear. How about that night when Allan saw the ghost in the hallway? Or when his infant brother was left in the back seat long enough for him to get into the cooler and to smear pumpkin baby food into every crack and crevice of that part of the car.

Nobody can tell these stories as well. So why not record them?

Give this some thought. For many of us, there are some major family gatherings coming soon. Do I need to spell it out?


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: kendall
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 06:05 PM

I'm doing my part


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: GUEST,Big Dog
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 06:28 PM

Amen Brother Ben, Shot at a rooster, killed a hen, swore he'd never do it again.


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 06:35 PM

I am all for these recordings, and I'm glad someone else brought up stories. I can tell about the dream my grandmother's had just before she came out of a coma after a car crash when my dad was about 4, but I can't do it in her quavery 97-year old Russian accent, which was where the wham of the emotional content was, for me at least...


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: sophocleese
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 08:26 PM

When I was nine we visited my great grandmother on my father's side. My parents taped their conversation with her suspecting that she was close to dying. Two months later our car was broken into and that tape among others was stolen. Of all the things, most of them more expensive, that is the one that my mother still grieves over at odd times. Be sure to keep your recordings and notes safe.


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 08:31 PM

There is more chance of people understanding the true horrors of say The Holocaust, by seeing or hearing one eye-witness account, than all the terrible statistics one can produce.


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Naemanson
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 09:08 PM

Three or four years ago I heard an old man sing a song about home brew so powerful that one bottle fell over an blew a hole in the ground so big that when it filled with water it became Moosehead Lake.

I did record him, very imperfectly, in a camp setting. I tried to transcribe it later but he had been half drunk at the time and was missing most of his front teeth. The resultant mish mash was barely understandable as human speech.

I never got back to that man and last month my father told me he had died over the winter.


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: paddymac
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 09:15 PM

Mick - Thanks for starting this thread. I've been involved in genealogy in a serious way for a bit over ten years, and have gotten many "leads" from half-remembered stories of many of the old ladies in the family. Several of them have passed on, but their stories live on.


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Thyme2dream
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 12:35 AM

My dad made recordings of his parents telling stories several times over the last few years of their lives, and to me those recordings are priceless. I'll echo paddymac's thanks as well---Since her husband died, my maternal grandmother has moved closer to us, and during the times I'm taking her around town on errands, she has told some stories that have kept me laughing for days...I guess it's my turn to do some recording now:-)


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Gervase
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 06:04 AM

Mick, Amen to that.
My grandmother died a couple of days back at the age of 93, and I bitterly regret not writing down/taping or somehow recording some of her memories.
Trouble is she was a cantakerous old trout who hadn't spoken to me in nearly 15 years (a devout left-footer who hugely disapproved of divorce, which is something the mother of my kids and I tried out a few years back. We got over it and got back together, but my grandmother remained v.frosty)


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 04:55 PM

And make sure you have back-up copies of the tapes made!!! My Mother's cousin got my great-aunt to sing/record "McCarthy's Mare" (properly titled "The Runaway Mare") the lyrics to which Mick Lowe helped me find via Mudcat...unfortunately, the cousin died a few short months after my great-aunt and the tape was never found...

Mick, my Dad dug out some old "reel to reel" recordings of sing-alongs "the old gang" did years back and has coverted it to standard cassette...will have to get a copy to see what songs are included.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 05:05 PM

Naemanson,
All that alone time in the Maine woods getting to you. Or are you taking lessons from kendall?
I have some pretty badly beaten up home made records of my nana and Aunt Jen among others, singing and talking. Real treasures. Can't wait to share them with the great nieces and nephews.


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Kara
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 05:07 PM

Even better than recording is to learn those old song and stories yourselves, keep them alive and flowing in the true folk tradition; spread em around see how the develope and grow, ledgends are made this way; He was six feet tall; he was seven feet tall, he was a giant.
Kara


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Kara
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 05:09 PM

and what is more no one can steal them out of your car
Kara


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Ely
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 07:18 PM

My . . . I think it was a great-grandfather, wrote music. He couldn't read music at all, so he'd work all week making up a song (storing it in his head!) on the piano and then have a friend write it out for him, not by note as he played it through slowly. It was complicated stuff--we have the sheet music but my mother, who is a pretty good pianist, couldn't play it. She had a friend who had played professionally learn it and made a recording of it on a hand-held tape recorder almost 15 years ago. We just recently turned the tape over to a friend to put on CD. It's not a good recording but at least it's saved, since nobody else can play the music. It's interesting--very flowery turn-of-the-century style stuff, kind of like calliope music.

I hope I'll be able to get back to the piano someday and maybe learn it myself, but until then . . .


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 07:45 PM

I must admit when I started this thread I wasn't expecting a large response, the main purpose being hopefully to spark some small reaction that might grow so that 50 years down the line, whoever takes over the running of my website can sit back in the knowledge that "folk" music, poems, tales, whatever, is no longer left to the heresay of some dubious source (Bunting in your grave please take note). But that the efforts made by the likes of Child, Henry, Sharp, etc, who armed only with pencil and stave tried to capture history before it was lost for all time, would not have to be repeated in some 100 years time. We have the technology to record the songs and anecdotes of our grandparents/parents on a very personal level, please don't let them be lost.

I say this from a very academic view point and I relate totally with you Gervase, I have lost contact with my brother for I don't know how long.. and I know it is easy to say (especially with the elderly and cantakerous) we have to think of our children's children, otherwise it could be lost forever.

Having just re-read this so far I realise it is rather fragmented, but hopefully it makes some sort of sense.

Kara I applaud your efforts in preserving the tradition as I hope we all can do, but what happens if we get killed tomorrow and no one has bothered to listen to, let alone memorised rhe songs and tales we tell?

This also kind of ties in what you were saying Sophhcleese re the tape being stolen from the car and keeping "material" safe...

I have been giving this matter some thought, probably brought on by a book I have got fron my local library that is a source of folk songs and stories from Southern England. I got to wondering how publishers decided on accepting such a volume. Perhaps it is posible for us mudcaters to put enough presure to bear on local publishers to print our songs and stories, or if not come up with some sort of communial way of doing so.

Tnat has suddenly become a rather scary thought, that we here on the mudcat could influence.. even change what the publishing houses do..

Thanks for all your input

Mick


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:43 PM

I've just been listening to "Meet on the ledge", which you all should know is by Fairport Convention and written in the late 60's after their drummer Martin Lamble was killed in a road accident....

Let's hope our songs and stories are not lost until we all meet on that ledge.


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Subject: RE: Before it's too late
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 08:58 PM

"pressure to bear on local publishers to print our songs and stories, or if not come up with some sort of communal way of doing so."

The gift of the Internet is that we don't have to wait for publishers to be persuaded, We can do it for ourselves, individually on our own websites, - and collectively here. Any songs and stories we get we can bring here, and share them. Maybe there's a role for a new Mudcat Resource for that kind of thing.


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