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Help: Laws catalog

Related threads:
Laws index numbers online? (10)
dumb question..what is laws (11)
Malcolm Laws Index (6)


GUEST 27 Sep 02 - 01:38 PM
GUEST 27 Sep 02 - 01:42 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 02 - 01:57 PM
Jon Bartlett 27 Sep 02 - 09:31 PM
Susan of DT 28 Sep 02 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Gary 28 Sep 02 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Jim 28 Sep 02 - 10:10 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM
Susan of DT 28 Sep 02 - 12:52 PM
masato sakurai 29 Sep 02 - 06:15 AM
Susan of DT 29 Sep 02 - 08:28 PM
Susan of DT 30 Sep 02 - 08:04 PM
MMario 30 Sep 02 - 08:07 PM
dick greenhaus 30 Sep 02 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,Richie 30 Sep 02 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 01 Oct 02 - 04:48 AM
Susan of DT 01 Oct 02 - 06:35 PM
dick greenhaus 02 Oct 02 - 07:40 PM
toadfrog 02 Aug 14 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Hilary 02 Aug 14 - 10:46 PM
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Subject: Laws catalog information
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 01:38 PM

I keep seeing reference to the Laws number on songs here and there and was wondering where I might find the catalog that those numbers reference. Is there an on-line resource? I tracked down an on-line Childs ballad resource, but can't seem to find one for Laws. Any info on this would be appreciated. Gary


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 01:42 PM

Two books by G. Malcolm Laws, Jr.

American Balladry from British Broadsides

    and
Native American Balladry

both long out of print.


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 01:57 PM

There are a few copies of the Native American Balladry one at www.bookfinder: click here to go directly to search results.


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 09:31 PM

An excellent point: we're all so busy looking for reprints of Child and Bronson, yet Laws' 2 vols are as scarce as hen's teeth. What's the copyright situation - does anyone know? Could it be repro'd by scanner to a CD?


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 06:27 AM

There is at least one example of each Laws song in the digital tradition. You can search by the Laws number: I put in Laws L21 (a random Laws type number) in the blue search box and got a copy of Johnny Troy. Laws gives references to where the songs can be found: we give actual examples.


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: GUEST,Gary
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 09:36 AM

But what are the Laws numbers. Are they all prefixed with 'L'? what is the connection?

Gary


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 10:10 AM

Gary,

There's a short explanation of the Laws system here

He categorized according to subject, which is what, I presume, the various letters refer.

Which is which, I don't know.

Anyone?

Jim


    Mus 301

    Appalachian Music

    Fall 2000

    Dr. R. Pen

    NATIVE AMERICAN BALLAD REVIEW

    G. Malcolm Laws, Jr. when confronted by the Child canon and the definitions springing from study of the Child canon, found himself trying to reconcile broadside narrative songs and native American ballads which were not absorbed within the 305 ballads of Child (or Bronson). Laws, thus evolved his own definition of the ballad which could be used to include these additional quasi—balladic narrative songs:

    "A ballad is a narrative folksong which dramatizes a memorable event." Laws definition is in concordance with the previous statements except that he questions the approach—— the objective and impersonal approach as being ordinary ballad form.

    If we accept Laws definition——and I do——I think we find three great bodies of narrative folksong in America——Child Ballads, Broadsides, and Native American Ballads. Laws in 1950 put together a list of 185 Native American Ballads in currency. His 1964 edition lists 256 NABS "current in tradition." Recorded sound certainly accounts for currency in part today. There are certainly more, new ones are written each day, old ones are no longer sung——but the total of 256 represented in the recent Laws catalog seems to be a reasonable number.

    Laws categorizes his divisions according to subject. The subjects are devoted to particularly American experiences—— Professions, Tragedies, and Wars. Thus, the major categories are: WAR, COWBOYS AND PIONEERS, LUMBERJACKS (SHANTY BOYS), SAILORS, OUTLAWS AND CRIMINALS, MURDER, TRAGEDIES AND DISASTORS, BLACK, VARIOUS TOPICS (MISCELLANEOUS).

    EARMARKS OF NATIVE AMERICAN BALLADS

    1. The immediacy of the event——rather than being set in chivalric times, the event is current, or removed by several generations rather than centuries.

    2. Less conventional language as the event is clearer in detail. Memory loss and negative tropism of transmission has not effected loss of parts of text that need to be substituted by conventional language. Some formulaic language has been maintained, however, as these ballads pattern themselves after their older Child ballad cousins. New conventional language arises such as pistols as the weapon of choice (calibre is always explicit)

    3. Native American ballads are more explicit, Child ballads imply more than they state——the action is a symbol, the story is capable of various interpretations and conclusions. Native ballads state the story explicitly with detail and the outcome is almost always consistent.

    4. There is frequently a stated moral at the end. (although this is unusual in black ballads——the blacks tend to be more dramatic and less moralistic than their white counterparts)

    5. As democratic as America——The characters are generally "just folks" no ladies, kings, dragons, knights.

    6. Love and its attendant treachery, jealousy, seduction, duels to the death, are not the staple of the Native Ballad Rather we find "difficulties and perils of various occupations, sordid crimes by insignificant people, of fires, and mine blasts, and railroad wrecks, of struggles against the frontier, of death by snake—bite or freezing, of trips on clipper ships——Death and struggle

    7. Commercial in intent sometimes, often commissioned to capitalize on a recent event.

    8. A Known author frequently

    9. More subjective, confessional, emotional, sentimental

    10. As with the Child ballads, the south has maintained the strongest tradition.

    11. Approximately 2/5 of the Native American Ballads can be dated precisely (usually by the events to which they refer). Most are less than 100 years old. About 6 from the eighteenth century, 1800—1825 eight ballads, 1825—1850 eight ballads, 1850—1875 seventeen ballads, 1875—1900 twenty—two, and nine ballads in the twentieth century.

    12. Dissemination of Native American Ballads has been less by migration (many written later than the great migration surges) and more through radio, phono. They tend to be maintained more regionally than nationally as they celebrate specific regional events rather than timeless stories of national and even international interest.


Article copy-pasted from the link cited above.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM

Letters are arbitrarily assigned to his choice of subject matter, so you've got to do them one by one.


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 12:52 PM

I have an excel file with Laws numbers & titles and their DT numbers from when I was hunting down all the Laws songs to enter. If people want copies, PM or email me with your email so I can send it as an attachment. My email is susan@digitrad.org or if that is not working digitrad2@sprintmail.com The full file has all the DT numbered songs - Child, Laws, and misc numbered. I have been adding Roud numbers to this list as well (my current project is adding Roud numbers to at least the Child and Laws songs in the DT). So you can ask for Laws only or the whole thing. I variously sort it in DT, Laws, or alpha order - easy enough to do in excel.

Laws numbers have categories denoted by a letter and then some number of songs that fit the category - usually 20ish.

So let me know if you want this file and if you need an earlier than current excel format.


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: masato sakurai
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 06:15 AM

There may be a Laws ballad list somewhere on the net, but I can't find one. American ballads are classified according to their origins and subjects.

Ballads in Native American Balladry:

    A1 - A26: War Ballads
    B1 - B27: Ballads of Cowboys and Pioneers
    C1 - C28: Ballads of Lumberjacks
    D1 - D28: Ballads of Sailors and the Sea
    E1 - E26: Ballads About Criminals and Outlaws
    F1 - F37: Murder Ballads
    G1 - G33: Ballads of Tragedies and Disasters
    H1 - H31: Ballads on Various Topics
    I1 - I20: Ballads of the Negro

Ballads in American Balladry from British Broadsides:
    J1 - J23: War Ballads
    K1 - K43: Ballads of Sailors and the Sea
    L1 - L22: Ballads of Crime and Criminals
    M1 - M39: Ballads of Family Opposition to Lovers
    N1 - N43: Ballads of Lovers' Disguise and Tricks
    O1 - O41: Ballads of Faithful Lovers
    P1 - P40: Ballads of Unfaithful Lovers
    Q1 - Q39: Humorous and Miscellaneous Ballads

Put "Laws A1" into the DigiTrad Lyrics Search box, and two versions (BRAVE WOLFE or THE BATTLE OF QUEBEC, and BRAVE WOLFE (2)) will come up. For background info, use The Traditional Ballad Index too (enter "Laws A1").

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 08:28 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: Susan of DT
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 08:04 PM

I sent the file to the two people who asked for it. Anyone else?


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: MMario
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 08:07 PM

Please. thank you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 08:48 PM

Laws' system points out several problems in indexing folksongs. Firstly, it's hierarchical; if you want to assign a number to, say, Stagolee you have to decide whether it's a Ballad of Crime and Criminals, or a Murder Ballad or a Ballad of the Negroes.

More seriously, and this is a problem shared by every index I've encountered, deciding the number that should be assigned to a new entry requires you to at least roughly familiar with every other entry. A definition of the characteristics that define an entry would be very helpful, if it were provided; sadly, nobody--from Child to Roud--does this.Which leads to questions like "Is Billie Boy really a variant of Lord Randall"?


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 09:23 PM

Perhaps it's easier just to alphabetize all entries like the online-"Folk Music Index." All relationships with other songs and tunes are also included and linked.

I am attempting to organize an on-line index of lyrics with categories. This is my intial effort so far: Click here Categories create cross-referencing problems. I'm planning on adding links after I get the basic info on-line. Any suggestions would be helpful.

I'd like to learn more about Laws and about organizing indexes on-line. My goal is to help others learn more about folk and related music and to use the music.

Keep up your good work at Mudcat. It's a great help.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 04:48 AM

Susan
Here's another customer for the XL file!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: Susan of DT
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 06:35 PM

Martin - I'll need your email address to send it.

Richie - There is a real problem with titles: each song has several and most titles have several songs attached to it - so alphabetizing will not get you consistant information.

Six requests so far. The digitrad.org email had some problems this weekend, so if you haven't heard from me, I probably did not get your email. Try again.


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 07:40 PM

Richie-
Going by titles doen't eliminate (or even reduce) the classification problem; it just makes for more typing. Consider th Child Ballad "Two Sisters." It carries titles ranging from Binnorie, Edinburgh, Swam Swims Bonnie to The Cruel Miller. Alphbetizing don't do you no good.

Laws has (Susan, correct me if I have the numbers wrong) some half-dozen different entries called "Waterloo" and a few more "Plains of Waterloo." He never specified how to distinguish among them.

BTW, any useful index should include a full-text search, and an extensive list of plot elements.


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: toadfrog
Date: 02 Aug 14 - 08:43 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Help: Laws catalog
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 02 Aug 14 - 10:46 PM

I discovered recently that both the Laws classification books are available free online, although these are earlier editions.
Native American Balladry (Laws A-I)


American Balladry from British Broadsides (Laws J-Q)


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