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Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads

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GUEST,Terry Blankenship 18 Jun 01 - 11:08 PM
Bob Bolton 18 Jun 01 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,Terry Blankenship 19 Jun 01 - 12:17 AM
Stewie 19 Jun 01 - 12:35 AM
katlaughing 19 Jun 01 - 02:30 AM
GUEST,Terry Blankenship 19 Jun 01 - 02:51 AM
pavane 19 Jun 01 - 04:40 AM
pavane 19 Jun 01 - 04:41 AM
IanC 19 Jun 01 - 06:38 AM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jun 01 - 09:22 AM
Sorcha 19 Jun 01 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Terry Blankenship 19 Jun 01 - 09:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jun 01 - 09:20 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 01 - 10:03 PM
toadfrog 19 Jun 01 - 11:32 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 01 - 11:53 PM
GUEST 20 Jun 01 - 12:10 AM
MMario 20 Jun 01 - 12:20 AM
katlaughing 20 Jun 01 - 01:36 AM
WickedLad 20 Jun 01 - 01:45 AM
Sorcha 20 Jun 01 - 02:14 AM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jun 01 - 08:33 AM
MMario 20 Jun 01 - 11:37 AM
toadfrog 20 Jun 01 - 10:17 PM
Sandy Paton 20 Jun 01 - 10:52 PM
Rev 21 Jun 01 - 01:41 AM
GUEST,Terry Blankenship 21 Jun 01 - 04:06 AM
IanC 21 Jun 01 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Sylvie 21 Jun 01 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Terry Blankenship 25 Jun 01 - 12:23 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 01 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Dan McKinnon 25 Jun 01 - 08:54 AM
IanC 25 Jun 01 - 09:03 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 01 - 09:45 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 01 - 10:07 AM
IanC 25 Jun 01 - 10:10 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 01 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Terry Blankenship 26 Jun 01 - 01:59 AM
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Subject: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 11:08 PM

I was just checking out the Bodleian Library of Broadside Ballads.

There are lyrics to tons of songs there but I didn't see any music or even melody lines.

Where can you find the melodies to broadside ballads? Is there anywhere on line?

Did broadside ballads originnally come with the music or just the lyrics?

Are there any large volumes of broadsides available in book form today (like the Childs Ballads)?

Are all the volumes of Childs Ballads available today or are they out of print?


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 11:17 PM

G'day terry,

According to Mayhew, when he wrote about the London poor, in 1850, the most common tune used by ballad peddlers to sing their wares was Boulavogue. This was probably because so many Irish had been displaced by the potato blight in Ireland and many of them had gravitated to London.

The broadsides often had no tune given and the sellers would just sing them as best they could ... and the buyers would do the same. The good tunes stuck and come down to us ... and a million lousy ones don't! Once the music hall was going strongly, I think tune names became more common, since many broadsides were now parodies of popular songs.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 12:17 AM

So where did people like Martin Carthy or Steeleye Span get the melodies for broadsides and old songs that they did? Did they just use some other traditional song melody or tune melody, or did they just make up their own melodies and chords.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 12:35 AM

Claude M. Simpson 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music' Rutgers Uni Press 1966 (a 900-page tome) has music for many broadsides.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 02:30 AM

I think Bruce Olson also has some midis at his site: CLICK HERE.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 02:51 AM

Thanks!

Is this book still in print?

Claude M. Simpson 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music' Rutgers Uni Press 1966 (a 900-page tome) has music for many broadsides.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: pavane
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 04:40 AM

I think Nic Jones and many others put their own tunes where they couldn't find one. Not sure what the 'Broadside King' John Foreman did with his.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: pavane
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 04:41 AM

Sorry, I copied from the heading, it should be Broadsheet King, of course


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: IanC
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 06:38 AM

Most of the songs Martin C. sings were collected from live singers as well as being on broadsides. People like Ralph Vaughan Williams went round collecting the tunes like mad things. Worth looking at Roy Palmer's collections (2 books, names escape me at present).

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 09:22 AM

As IanC pointed out, people like Carthy and Jones have worked mainly from traditional sets of songs recorded from traditional singers by the many people who collected in, principally, the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Collection still continues, though obviously the scope is more limited nowadays.  Broadsides are sometimes used as sources (more often to bulk out an incomplete traditional text than on their own), but as has been pointed out, they tend to come without a tune direction, at least so far as 19th century examples are concerned.  Earlier song publishers like Chapell, Motherwell, Ritson and others included texts and melodies found in tradition with contemporary compositions, and of course Burns wrote many of his songs to traditional tunes and devoted a lot of time to collecting them.

The subject is too complicated to deal with briefly; Dave Harker's book Fakesong (Open University Press, 1985) provides a detailed history and analysis of the major collectors and publishers from 1700 onwards.

A lot of the work is still to do, so you needn't expect to have it neatly packaged and available for you on the web, though Bruce Olson's site which Kat linked to above has a great deal of information available; he deals mainly with pre-19th century broadside material.  Tune indications were more common then, though often they referred to titles which are wrong or unknown today.  Bruce's site is by far the most useful privately-maintained one, and is the product of many years' research: be warned, it requires patience and thought to find your way around it.  There are also links to other sites which you will find helpful.

Simpson's book is no longer in print, but you can get it through secondhand dealers, usually not for less than £70 or so.  Child avoided using broadsides in the main, as he specifically wanted material taken from tradition; he also included only a few tunes, by way of appendix.  Bronson produced a huge compendium of traditional tunes for the "Child" ballads, but this too is out of print and typically goes at around £170 per volume (there are 5).  Child, likewise, is unlikely to be found cheaply; you can expect to pay no less than £200 for the 1960's paperback reprint, though patience and persistence can sometimes find it cheaper.

For a useful -though inevitably incomplete- list of some of the more important British and Irish collections of traditional song that are still in print, see  David Herron's Chapbook  at the  South Riding Folk Network  site.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 10:05 AM

I believe it is called the "Aural Tradition".........(grin)


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 09:13 PM

I managed to find all of these books at the college library near where I live. Bruce Olsons web site very good also.

* BRONSON, Bertrand, Traditional Tunes of the "Child" Ballads. Princeton University Press, 1959-1972. The definitive collection of texts and melodies from manuscript and published sources. Vol I-IV.   * CHILD, Prof. Francis J., English & Scottish Popular Ballads. Vols 1-5. Dover. Pbk 1965 The definitive work on ballads including variants and investigations into source and background. Still unsurpassed a century after publication.

*Claude M. Simpson 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music' Rutgers Uni Press 1966 (a 900-page tome) has music for many broadsides.

Thanks, Terry


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 09:20 PM

Well, that's your reading material taken care of for the next few years!  Have fun, and let us know how it goes.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 10:03 PM

Most "Boadside ballads" in collection such as ravenscroft are to tunes that were well known so people bought the new words and sung them in company to a known tune Some of the more popular tunes were Packingtons pound, Sellengers round, Stingo, Greensleeves etc There are misconceptions over the years over which tune or version has been mentioned especially as a lot of the collectors took other publications as gospel


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: toadfrog
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 11:32 PM

I would swear I saw a thread recently describing how A.L. Lloyd came up with the tune to a broadside from in or aroung 1805 called "Roll Agamemnon Roll" (Which I had always thought of as "Oh Agamemnon so," but then, who am I?) I think the idea was, his tune was at least inspired by "Roll Alabama Roll."

Now, I can't find the thread to save my soul, but it has to be out there. I think people have no compunctions whatsoever about making up tunes to them, some of which sound extremely strange to me.

I would give a pretty to get hold of Bronson, and I think you are v. lucky to have actual access to one. Usually if something like that is in a college library, it has been "out to a faculty member" for at least 15 years.

I somehow got the impression that Bronson had gone to a lot more than 5 volumes--am I wrong?


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 11:53 PM

Bronson is 4 volumes.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 12:10 AM

Nope. Only four volumes of The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads, although Bronson did publish a paperback of (I think that's the correct title, or close to it) containing "selections" from his major opus. Unfortunately, this is also out of print and the last time I looked for it on www.bookfinder.com the only listed copy was at Alibris and was offered at (don't laugh!) a modest $249! For a damned paperback! Well, why not? I've seen the five volume Dover paperback edition of Child go for $500 and up!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: MMario
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 12:20 AM

I think the abridged volume is The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads.

Thanks to Mudcat I have a xeroxed copy.

I am slowly working on putting the tunes into a format that can be posted/swapped electronically.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 01:36 AM

toadfrog, it might've been in this thread: A.L. Lloyd Anecdotes?.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: WickedLad
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 01:45 AM

which child tunes are you missing mmario i have access to most of them in different forms


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 02:14 AM

toadfrog, tell me just how badly you want Bronson. I have the abridged that MMario referred to......can xerox......eh? What I have is the first copy; MMario has the 2nd copy; copied from the copy.........and you know the farther you get from the original the worse the copy gets..........make me an offer to copy another B copy...


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 08:33 AM

Quite right, 4 volumes; I was thinking of Child.  Do bear in mind that the tunes in Bronson do not necessarily belong to any of the texts in Child, so trying to match them up can result in very misleading hybrids; you should always be very specific about sources, as both Child and Bronson were.  The abridged volume is only the tip of an iceberg...

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: MMario
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 11:37 AM

As I have discovered, Malcolm! and yes, it is only the tip of the iceberg.

wickedLad - I'm missing anything that isn't in the abridged volume *grin* which is about 3/4s of them. stick around - I'm sure there will be a project sooner or later to get all of Bronson online...


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: toadfrog
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 10:17 PM

O.k. The thread I was looking for was This one, which I would swear was inaccessible yesterday. And I read too much into it; it quotes Dick Holdstock as saying the song was adapted by Lloyd from a broadside. But the tune still strikes me as very like "Alabama."

By the way, that song is on the DT twice, once HERE, and once THERE. The lyrics are all but identical, and the few differences seem attributable to errors in the second of the two.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 10:52 PM

Breonson's melodies are printed together with the texts with which they came from his sources, either printed or recorded. That's what delighted me when I got the first volume back in 1960. I was afraid that I was going to find a lot of tunes with references to various texts from hither and yon, but, no, Bronson (and Princeton) went whole hog and gave us both complete texts and tunes!

But this thread is supposed to be about broadside ballads, isn't it?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: Rev
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:41 AM

Here are a couple of references for collections of broadside ballads. Both of these are at least 8 volumes each. I found them in the library of the University of Oregon, but I'm sure that most university libraries would at least have the Pepys Ballads. Of course they do not provide the tunes. From my understanding the tune was pretty much left up to the singer, whatever fit. I think the ballad hawkers would suggest a tune, usually a popular one that everyone knew, but whatever worked was used.

Chappell, W. ed. 1869. The Roxburghe Ballads. Hertford: Stephen Austin and Sons.

Rollins, Henry Edward, ed. 1929. The Pepys Ballads. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 04:06 AM

So if you find a broadside that you like the lyrics to and want to sing, how can you find out if there is a traditional tune that it was meant to be sung to? Especially if it isn't one of the ones you always hear done by various artists. I'd prefer to sing the traditional melody if there is one.

There are probably many different traditional tunes that might fit for different broadsides. Do you just choose one, or make up a new melody for what ever broadside you want to sing?

Terry


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 05:09 AM

Terry

There's some good advice on this up above.

In summary, you may be able to find it in some of the various books quoted, with some research, or from a collected version of a traditional singer singing it.

If not, you may want to use a suitable "come all ye" tune.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Sylvie
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 07:10 AM

By the way, Terry, speaking of "the tip of the iceberg" as was mentioned above, if you want a broader overview of the iceberg before delving in, a good though rather scholastic-oriented book is _Ballads into Books: The Legacies of Francis James Child_. (Editors Tom Cheesman, Sigrid Rieuwerts; pub. by Peter Lang; 2nd revised ed. 1999.) It's a collection of selected papers from the 26th Int'l Ballad conference held in Swansea, Wales in 1996 which address Child's life, ideas, and the sources for his works - as well as current thinking on his ballads, and the place of ballads in different cultures - both as written texts and as songs sung - in the past and present. If you're feeling studious about it, it's a good way to ease yourself into the study of ballads.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 12:23 AM

I managed to get almost every book mentioned in this thread from nearby college libraries.

The thing I noticed immediately is that almost every single song in Bronson's four volumes of "The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads" has already been recorded by well known English, Scottish, and Irish singers. In fact everyone seems to be doing different versions of the same 300 songs.

The next thing I noticed was that most of the versions that I have heard of these songs have been altered to more modern English. Many times the singer has obviously looked at all of the versions and put together their own edited new version from all of them.

The Claude M. Simpson 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music' had only music and no lyrics. I am trying to figure out how to use this and find the lyrics that go with the tunes. I am trying to see if any of the tunes are for broadsides in the Bodelian library.

I have a whole new respect for all of the folk singers who found these tunes and were among the first to record them. Martin Carthy in particular and many others as well.

I was hoping that I could find some good traditional songs that no one had recorded yet. I am sure they are out there but it is going to be harder than I thought.

Now I know why folk singers tend to just do their own new versions of songs that have already been recorded by other artists.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 08:45 AM

All the tunes to 1700 in Simpson's BBBM, and more, are given as ABCs on Bruce Olson's website. The sources of all the songs for them are listed in the broadside ballad index there (including those on the Bodleian Ballads website)


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Dan McKinnon
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 08:54 AM

Another area you might attempt to look is the Cecil Sharpe House in London UK. (I think they have a web presence.) Nic said he got several of the songs he recorded there.

Cheers and good luck,

Dan


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: IanC
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 09:03 AM

Terry

I'm wondering if you might have got a slightly wrong impression here. People have been singing these songs, often for hundreds of years and, in places they are still singing them without knowing anything about Child or any other "folk song collectors". Child just wrote down and collated some of the many versions.

I don't think you should go under the impression that people then took Child's songs and sang compilations of them. They just kept singing the songs they had always sung (as well as popular songs of the day). Later, other people (Cecil Sharpe, Alan Lomax, Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger) found people still singing them. By then, of course, we had phonographs, tapes, videos etc.

Later still with the "folk revival", people like Martin Carthy used collected (often recently collected) versions and recorded them professionally.

Here are a few links from MusTrad which you might find interesting.

Just Another Saturday Night
Sing, Say or Pay


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 09:45 AM

W. K. McNeill's 'Southern Folk Ballads', 2 vols., contains traditional songs collected as recently as 1986.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 10:07 AM

Child did not write down any ballads. In fact no one has found any evidence that Child ever heard one sung.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: IanC
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 10:10 AM

Bruce

I know he didn't collect them. He still wrote them down (i.e. published them).


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:10 AM

Some editors do work that way, but it's easier and common to send a printed copy or MS one that someone else sent them to the printer for typesetting. The printers sometimes didn't send them back, so many originals are now lost.


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Subject: RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 01:59 AM

I know that many of these songs have been passed down from singer to singer and are still being sung.

I also know that besides getting songs from other singers, people like Martin Carthy got many of the songs they did from the Childs ballads. Just take a look at his new box set "The Carthy Chronicles", there is a whole cd of just songs from the Childs ballads. Plus he told me personally that he got a lot of the songs he sang from them.

In fact many of them I had never heard anyone do "on recordings" before he did them.

Terry


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