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UK attitudes to folk music

Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 11 Sep 04 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,Crystal 27 Sep 03 - 08:38 AM
izzy 26 Sep 03 - 03:11 PM
greg stephens 26 Sep 03 - 12:14 PM
VIN 26 Sep 03 - 06:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 03 - 07:33 PM
Forsh 25 Sep 03 - 02:15 PM
vectis 24 Sep 03 - 05:25 PM
GUEST 24 Sep 03 - 04:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 03 - 03:27 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Sep 03 - 03:13 PM
treewind 24 Sep 03 - 03:02 PM
bazza 24 Sep 03 - 03:00 PM
greg stephens 24 Sep 03 - 02:18 PM
Forsh 24 Sep 03 - 01:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Sep 03 - 11:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Sep 03 - 11:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Sep 03 - 09:57 AM
VIN 24 Sep 03 - 08:34 AM
jacqui.c 24 Sep 03 - 08:17 AM
Santa 24 Sep 03 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,different guest 24 Sep 03 - 08:01 AM
GUEST 24 Sep 03 - 07:30 AM
greg stephens 24 Sep 03 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Crystal 24 Sep 03 - 07:26 AM
GUEST 24 Sep 03 - 07:15 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 03 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Crystal 24 Sep 03 - 06:34 AM
greg stephens 24 Sep 03 - 06:10 AM
Forsh 24 Sep 03 - 05:20 AM
smallpiper 24 Sep 03 - 05:01 AM
Kevin Sheils 24 Sep 03 - 04:58 AM
Jim McLean 24 Sep 03 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,KB 24 Sep 03 - 04:40 AM
Mark Dowding 24 Sep 03 - 04:11 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Sep 03 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,Santa 24 Sep 03 - 03:56 AM
greg stephens 24 Sep 03 - 02:31 AM
LadyJean 23 Sep 03 - 11:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Sep 03 - 11:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 03 - 08:32 PM
smallpiper 23 Sep 03 - 07:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 03 - 07:01 PM
vectis 23 Sep 03 - 06:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 03 - 04:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Sep 03 - 04:15 PM
greg stephens 23 Sep 03 - 03:00 PM
Forsh 23 Sep 03 - 01:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 03 - 11:01 AM
GUEST 23 Sep 03 - 10:58 AM
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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 11 Sep 04 - 11:20 PM


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 27 Sep 03 - 08:38 AM

Actually A friend of mine is drafting an idea I had into a proposal for the BBC. It's a television program about morris dance, it's history, importance and how its done now. If people do write to the BBC complaining that there is not enough airtime devoted to the culture and traditions of England then it might make them more disposed to consider our proposal (and maybe follow it up with another program! I can hope at least).
hmmmm I'll have to make myself a list of plausable aliases!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: izzy
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 03:11 PM

McG, the website lives! I found the pages again on my sitebuilder and the site is now at this address

Hopefully it will stay there this time! For anyone who didn't see the "Ashamed or Proud to be English" thread, this is a site devoted to a small magazine that investigates English culture and identity. Have a look if you're interested...

:)

Isabel Taylor


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 12:14 PM

McGrath: v sorry to hear about the attack, I hope nobody was injured. Be that George Bush, I suppose, trying to stop you marching all the time.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: VIN
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 06:37 AM

Some good points Dave the gnome 'specially about jazz & classic fm and also the other contributors. Yeah p'raps its time for a folk fm (i'd even tolerate the adverts!).

Treewind, I attend an open session on Monday nights near where i live where a regular group of musicians sit in a corner and play/sing mostly to everyone's enjoyment...the landlord even lets em av one free drink each!

Unwashed masses Dave? Ere, i 'ad a bath last night, honest...........(might av anuver one next year!!)


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 07:33 PM

What would help would be if schools made a point of telling pupils why these songs are so obscene, and how they were striuctly forbidden from singing them.

At school assembly the head, red with fury and embarassment, would tell the school that there had been complaints from members of the public about pupils singing "The Keeper" and "Whip Jamboree" at the back of the bus.

That's the way to get street cred for the songs.

I say "Whip Jamboree", because I was clearing up some stuff in the attack, and found a BBC song book for schools from way way back, and it had "Whip Jamboree" in it, a fairly raw version.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Forsh
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 02:15 PM

Richard Bridge: Thanks for the folk lore lesson. That was one of the few we learned in school, I have heard the first line as 'the Keeper did a-hunting go' and also 'the keeper did a-wooing go' Also amongst the horrors of school I would list green-sleves and dance to your daddy. This was back in the early 60s when at infant school, we had a weekly sit round the radio session with BBC schools and suffered the stigma of getting the triangle (if you dunno what I meen, I'm sure you will figure it out!)


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: vectis
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 05:25 PM

Greg... PM on way re booking.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:30 PM

I don't think you can separate attitudes to English traditional music from class issues and the question of national identity. Whenever politicians try to define 'English' identity they seem to manage to exclude me. I think of myself as working class, lancashire, english in that order. (leaving aside the human, socialist, world citizen for the moment which is in my case learned rather than bred in). I think that the distaste for folk music in the English establishment is class based and when you look at their definitions of Englishness they always seem to include elements that constitute a middle class lifestyle.

The last thing these people want is to reunite the English working class with their oral history of riots, strikes and rebellion or even sexuality - hence the anodyne, bowdlerised versions of songs sung in schools. The Irish establishment in particular have a greater interest in encouraging this side of their working class history because it is appropriated as 'Irish' and used for nationalist purposes


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:27 PM

Of course it still might be upper class fornication. The gentry do go in for that class of thing, it be said.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:13 PM

Er - if you think that "Jackie Boy" etc is about the upper class you have not been listening. It's about the joys of fornication. Quite surprised they let you listen to it at school. Certainly my wife vetoed teaching it to our daughter when at the age of 8 she first started singing in clubs. Later she also vetoed the Victorian music Hall Ballad "Puss Puss" on somewhat similar grounds, but that is another story.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: treewind
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:02 PM

If anyone wants to write to the BBC they should be complaining specifically about the sudden axeing of Pete Jennings' folk programme on Radio Suffolk in Ipswich, this summer. I know there are well publicised (here on MC) instances of new local radio folk progs but it's not much use if they just cut them out elsewhere. If ever there was a topic for local radio, it was folk music.

Greg - I agree that bands don't often get booking at folk clubs. Maybe that's because many clubs are really small and can't afford to pay a band a decent rate; also as someone suggested if you are more dance oriented the typical singer audience will be less interested. I've seen the Bismarcks do a folk club gig (their very first, in fact) but recently Ed Rennie (from that band) has been doing gigs solo. I'm not surprised, frankly.

In Ireland it's different. Everybody is totally used to the idea of live music and they absolutely don't care whether it's Irish or English or even bad C&W as long as they're having fun. Not that they have no discrimination, just no hangups about not doing this or that because is isn't "cool".

Actually I've seen some sessions recently, including a newly instituted one at the request of the pub landlord, where the non-participants have really enjoyed the music and said so, and even if they don't really know what it is they like it. I wonder if overexposure to bland commercial pop is finally causing a backlash and a desire for something a bit more earthy and real?

Anahata
(living in hope)


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: bazza
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:00 PM

I was decorating an empty flat in London a few years ago and staying there for the week I took along my concertina as usual ,I was playing English trad tunes when a knock came on the door ,I thought some one complaining of the noise ,I answered the door and a buiseness man was standind there I said sorry about the noise Ill shut up to which he replied no please dont I really like the music what sort of music is it I said Enlish traditional music ,He was completely unaware that there was any ,I would hardley of Known myself if I had not gone into a folk club in the 60,s if people dont hear it they will never no ,What do we do to make it more broadcast to the public?Mike Harding is not the answer.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 02:18 PM

Santa: we actually tend to play mostly songs at listening gigs. Maybe you saw us at a dance? I admit our latest CD consists of Cumbrian tunes, but that's not the sum total of our repertoire.
Dave the Gnome: we'll take you up on that. Expect a PM from any second.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Forsh
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 01:23 PM

OK, Enough of the Talkin, how about some action? Get on line, and EVERYONE mind you, should start mailing BBC TV & Radio stations, programmers, etc and also the culture/heritage ministry, lets make it a pain in the ass for them not to do something for Folk & Traditional Music, Identify your targets, mail them, and fwd your mail to 2 friends asking them to send it to BBCTV Radio etc etc and to 1 or 2 friends, then send the E mail to the original recipients over & over every day! Bug the Sh*t outa them Who's up for IT?


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 11:58 AM

Mind you, on a re-read, the first two out of three in the last sentance don't sound too bad to me...;-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 11:57 AM

Couple of good points well made, Vin. I am not convinced of the money aspect though. Neither classical music nor jazz could really be called 'majority tastes' yet they both warrant their own radio stations! Jazz FM and Classic FM are commercialy funded so surely, if the advertisers see the potential in both of these, why not in folk music?

The other point, made before, is that classical music is ofteen classed as intelectual or highbrow. I am not saying whether it is or is not. Or even if that is a good or bad thing! Just that because it is seen as such people are much more willing to fund it. Jazz, to a certain extent, benefits from the same conceptions. A touch of the kings new clothes perhaps?

It is up to us, the ordinary people, the proletariat, the unwashed masses to show the funding bodies that there are alternatives, very good ones at that, to Beethoven, Bizet and Brubeck! We do want more than go to the pub, get drunk and listen to pasteurised pop karaoke crap.

Cheers

:D


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 09:57 AM

We will book you Greg. Might give you a chance to find your version of the Swinton May Song for me;-) (It was you wasn't it?)

Just ring me on 0161 737 5069. Deal is we give you what we take on the door. We usualy charge £2.50 admission and get > 20 people in so that is erm, erm... take my socks off... £50!

Not guaranteed I'm afraid but it could be lots more if you bring a following. You could also talk us into charging more for the night if you are good:-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome
(Serious BTW)


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: VIN
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 08:34 AM

Can't be doin with this music war that some people seem to get into i.e. opera versus pop versus classical versus folk etc. If you think opera or 'classical' music is crap, fair enough, its a personal opinion. For me, well i went to a crackin Kate Rusby gig last Friday and even more crackin (as usual) Roy Harper gig the following night and i'll be at he BBC phil on satday listening to Mahler 3. I reckon
the reason folk music is under-promoted so much in England (especially) is because of the predomenently upper-class, profi-motivated attitudes still embedded in our society and folk, like blues and jazz is classed by the media moguls as a 'minority' taste which is their way of saying there's not enough bloody profit in it!! Although there's some brill performers on the 'folk' circuit - professional and amateur - they can't be packaged, super-sold and exploited quite the same way as the 'pop' industry is (thank god). You only have to take a look at the unmitigated garbage classed as entertainment that's thrown out by the tv channels ('specially at w/ends) to see what 'their' priorities are!

As Roy once said...'If all of this super-sale overkill world is for real, there's no way to go kid, so you might as well start to free wheel'


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: jacqui.c
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 08:17 AM

The singarounds that I go to feature quite a diverse range of music. I have tried to concentrate on the English folk songs for the most part, as does Keith A, who specialises in shanties and marching songs on the whole. I think the problem is that the Irish and Scottish songs tend to be better known in general and therefore more popular. Mind you, I would agree with the suggestion that a lot of those songs were of English origin and were nicked by the other lot!

I think that it's up to us to try and make the music interesting to the general public. Singarounds in pubs mean that you may get a wider audience and maybe can be influential in bringing other people into a better appreciation of the traditional music. If we make it fun, and don't treat the music as too much of a serious thing (fingers in the ear can come to mind here!)then maybe there will be a change in attitude. Anyone who has heard Mr McGrath sing his own songs will know what I mean!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Santa
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 08:07 AM

Greg: There's an obvious risk here of over-generalising, but from my limited experience I'd say that music players have gone off to their own sessions rather than playing in the folk clubs, so that clubs have become more of a place for singers. Not necessarily singer-songwriters, there's a lot of traditional material sung around, but the music takes second place to the song. And the audience that remains are those who prefer it that way, building in a bias so that organisers avoid booking pure musicians (as opposed to stars such as Fitzpatrick and Laycock, who are musically second to none but don't generally do pure music gigs).

However, maybe it looks different in other parts of the country, or even other clubs locally than the one I go to.

Personally, as a non-dancing non-musician, there are only so many rigs and jeels I can take in one evening.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST,different guest
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 08:01 AM

I'm going to post this anonymously, 'cos I don't want to lose too much folkcred.

A few years ago I stayed in on a Saturday night and watched the Eurovision Song Contest. The first few songs were all recognisable musically (i.e. ignoring the words) as coming from their own countries - the Spanish and Portuguese songs sounded Iberian, the Cyprus and Greek entries sounded Greek.

Then came the British 'song' - a piece of sub-disco pap delivered by a prancing Australian bimbette. I really thought that the BBC were actually trying to make our country look bad. Then I remembered that the British viewers had actually chosen the thing as our entry.

Why can't people who sing in mid-atlantic accents go and do it in the mid-atlantic ?


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 07:30 AM

NO IT DOESN'T!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 07:29 AM

Most of this thread laments the fact that "they" arent interested in trad English culture..."they" being the general public, or the TV, or government supported funding bodies etc etc. But how about "we". Just how interested in Englisg trad are folk club organisers, for example? Or audiences? I play in a band that does English traditional music, and the number of folk clubs that have booked us in the last year is(give a minute with the calculator)...one. Now you're at liberty to say, tha's because you're crap, but I dont think that is really the answer. Because we work loads in Ireland, where you get pretty discerning audiences, and people love the English stuff we p[ay, and come and talk to us about it and play tunes with us and buy us Guiness and so forth.   
    And I'm singling out English folk CLUBS here, which you would think would be the very core of interest in English traditional music. Festivals are a bit different: plenty of people turn up if we run a northern english tune workshop or whatever at a festival, and learn tunes and talk about them. But the average folk club has no interest at all in what we play. Some say it is because they have all been taken over by song-writers, I dont really know, my experience is currently very limited. Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 07:26 AM

Beer tastes nasty, no matter how it is drunk!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 07:15 AM

Beer tastes better out of pewter!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 06:44 AM

"tankards, beards & cardigans" image seems to have faded"

That may arguably be true - but of course if anybody who was out off by it decides to get back into the folk scene in the British Isles, they are rapidly going to find tankards and beards all over the place.

Would you want to pass the time of day with anybody who allowed their taste in music to be determined by that kind of triviality?


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 06:34 AM

Surely the television companies have to produce a certain number of programming hours of cultural stuff.
Although I sometimes wonder why we can't try to combine cultural things. For example a friend of mine plays Scottish music on a sitar. Apparently he's tried playing indian music on the bagpipes but it dosn't work very well!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 06:10 AM

Folksongs in schools were a total turn-off. The keeper did a hunting go and Strawberry Fair did nothing for me, in fact they were seriously counterproductive. It was the folkclubs in the "bliss was it in that dawn" 60's that turned me on.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Forsh
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 05:20 AM

Anglo Saxon? Nope, Anglo-pict or Anglo-Celtic up here in the North!
May Day Holiday? Let us ask our politicians for it back.
Why no Radio England? well, I refer you to my earlier points, To promote Englishness is almost seen as Facism.
"The ordinary working people of England were never the masters of an empire; they were that empire's first colony, and its first victims."
Briliant! I may use that in my Degree Studies!
On a serious note, maybe the average English Working Class Person has been exposed to the 'wrong sort of folk/Trad music' at school; I know this will upset some, however, I have always found that singing many of the 'Huntin Shootin Fishin, yoiks & tally -ho type songs at school, (No Aprentices song nor workers songs)left me feeling rather like I was a class traitor, perpetuating the Master/peasent attitude. Of course, as I am a little older & wiser now, I can deal with this, but as a young man, and well into my late 20s, I came to loath these songs "Jackie Boy..? yeah? sing ye well? What? Hey down..
SOD OFF!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: smallpiper
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 05:01 AM

Point taken Greg. All resentment evaporated.

Perhaps, rather than English we should be talking about Anglosaxon? would that be more or an identifiable ethnicity? Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:58 AM

"...........gave us the spring bank holiday instead because mayday was associated with socialism."

Whilst I agree, Richard, that that was the logic behind her decisison; she and her cronies totally ignored, or most likely didn't realise, the fact that the celebration of mayday as a workers day pre dates modern socialism by centuries. Even the Catholic Church (hardly a hotbed of socialism) has May 1 as the feastday of St Joseph The Worker.

Still you couldn't expect that lot to let a knowledge of our own history get in the way of political necessity, eh? I don't see much chance of the current government changing things.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:56 AM

Why is there a BBC Radio Scotland, a BBC Radio Wales and a BBC Radio Ulster but no BBC Radio England?


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:40 AM

Omlit (aka Amoret / Hammerite) goes to grammar school & is a folkie. And I went to grammar school AND sang Shine Your Buttons With Brasso.

Anyway - back to the point - I think attitudes to folk are changing lately. When I talk to non-folkies about folk music & singing they are usually interested & often keen to give it a try. Most people like the idea of real live music, and the "tankards beards & cardigans" image seems to have faded. Sometimes I use the word "traditional" instead of "folk" though, just in case :>)

Kris


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:11 AM

To quote Flanders and Swann "Whenever we do something good it's 'Another triumph for Great Britain' but when we do something bad it's 'England lose again'"
Anybody watching the programme on BBC2 on a Tuesday night at 7-30pm - The Nation on Film? A great series of programmes about the rise and fall of things like Railways, Fishing, Cotton, Mining etc. BUT it's crying out to have snatches of songs in the background to illustrate them with. Are TV producers not aware of our industrial musical heritage?


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:10 AM

Perhaps we should also hang the politician (while we still can, but can we please torture her first, as she tortured us?) who prevented Mayday as such being an English bank holiday, and gave us the spring bank holiday instead because mayday was associated with socialism.

But Malcolm Douglas you are rather right. Conversely, the idea that all folk musicians went to grammar school is rather alarming.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:56 AM

One key point just flipped past there - the English did celebrate Mayday, well into the lifespan of those on this board. With exactly the kind of folk dance etc whose absence we lament. Perhaps if we hung the politician who banned it we would be on the way to restoring tradition?


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 02:31 AM

Smallpiper: I didnt suggest you were a fascist at all, as I'm sure you know. But resentment of support given to minority cultures is a particular area the BNP likes to latch on to. as I am particularly aware of as I work in a city which has a tiny percentage of asylum-seeekers and also a tiny percentage of BNP activists looking for grievances to latch on to and stir up. Phrases like yours about "grief" for " support for minority cultures" is just the sort of stuff they love.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: LadyJean
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 11:34 PM

In their album notes for "Spencer the Rover is Alive and Well and Living In Ithaca New York", John Roberts and Tony Barand wrote of "The Jolly Poacher". "This is the sort of song you learn in grammar school, and think is corny and crummy. Then you realize it's the grammar school that's corny and crummy." That same album includes "Shine Your Buttons With Brasso", which English children also sing in grammar school.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 11:13 PM

It might be helpful if we were to stop referring to "the English" as if there were one simple, homogenous entity. There is not. Attitudes toward traditional culture are largely class-driven. Tradition has in the first instance tended to be marginalised so that it survived principally among the working classes, while at the same time those same people were taught to aspire, so far as music was concerned, instead to the bourgeois art music model, based largely upon fashionable foreign styles; and to despise their own culture as clumsy yokel stuff, fit only for those who didn't want to get on in the world. The targets for aspiration have changed, but the underlying principle remains the same. The ordinary working people of England were never the masters of an empire; they were that empire's first colony, and its first victims.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 08:32 PM

"We don't celebrate St George's day because that might offend people "

I don't think that's true. I've never seen any reason to think that English people are particularly worried about offending people. If anything they often go too far the other way, as anyone living in a foreign resort patronised by a certain type of English tourist knows only too well.

The reason the English don't celebrate St George's Day is because they never have done so. Insofar as there's been an English national holiday in the past, it was May Day, and alongside that, Guy Fawkes Day. The idea that once upon a time there was a big thing made of St George's, but it's been damped down for fear of upsetting other people is not borne out by the facts. St George came into his own with Mummers Plays, which were never particularly associated with April 23rd.

I'm all for making something of it mind you, St George's and Shakespeare's birth and death day. Can't get more international than that anyway, if that was a relevant issue - St George is patron saint of any number of countries anyway, and Shakespeare is universal.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: smallpiper
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 07:58 PM

I rather think that the point I was making is that they (the English) prefer to promote selected parts of BRITISH Culture and belittle their (English) own culture - I don't suppose you will find many English themed pubs in Ireland but this place is stuffed with them. Now if we we're talking British culture - I'm all in favour of total integration and promotion but (and I'm in danger of repeating myself here)what is being promoted as English is essentially American pop culture. We don't celebrate St Georges day because that might offend people - but we celebrate St Pat's and Burns night - which is becomming increasingly popular (often without a Scott in sight). And that is great, I also think we should celebrate Ramadan and Dwalli (Sorry about spelling)but at the same time we should be promoting English culture and not this high culture rubbish which is expensive and appeals to a well off minority. Remember I am Irish and it I still think it is a shame that the Engish can't even recognise their own cultural heritage (by and large) and I resent the implication that I am a facist, Mr Stephens!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 07:01 PM

But they'd be no use in a Mummers Play.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: vectis
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:59 PM

Going back to the saints argument. Why have we got a foreigner as our patron saint.
St Augustine, St Boniface or the Venerable Bede would have been more fitting. At least they came here.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 04:29 PM

The cheap laughs tend to be tried for in relation to native English folk music, rather than to other traditions. And they don't come from people who are in tune with those traditions either.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 04:15 PM

Well put, Greg. I add once more that my whole point was not about English folk music particulary but about the English attitude to folk music! I may have made the point poorly early on in asking why the English cannot accept their musical heritage like our neighbouring countries do. English folk heritage incorporates the traditions of many nations. It is wonderful that we can have Morris alongside Masourka (is that a dance or a greek dish...) and Ballads heard with Bangra.

The more the merrier as far as I am concerned, particulary if it stops the pratts in the press getting their cheap laughs;-)

Cheers

:D


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 03:00 PM

Smallpiper says:
   "it grieves me that (the English) belittle their own heritage whilst promoting that of minority cultures".
    Quite a few folkies seem to share this grief but I think it is very misplaced and is a divisive attitude. We're all in the same boat here, and I think current support for minority ethnic culture can help provide a chink in the wall, or a toe in the door, that can help English trad music. I have been an obsessive activist for the music for many decades, and I also work very hard for asylum-seeker/refugee and other minority musicians, helping people get instruments, recording opportunities, performance spots at festivals etc etc. I don't regard wearing these two hats as leading to a conflict. Quite the reverse. If I get called to a meeting and asked for contacts for bhangra drummers or a capella African singers for a mulit-cultural fun day in the park, I say"Sure. Glad to help, but if it's going to be really multi-cultural we need some English fiddle and melodeon as well".
   And this approach is starting to work. As devolution has started to bite over the last decade, interest in local vernacular culture from all sectors of the population has started to rise. A softly,softly approach seems to me to be starting to work, and I don't think displaying hostility to the promotion of minority cuktures is likely to lead you anywhere, except perhaps into the arms of the BNP. Much better to applaud it, all music is wonderful, and slyly slip in a request for a bit of clog dancing as well.
    As an example, earlier this year I was asked to sort out the multi-culturaal performers for a Radio 3 "World on your street" event in Stoke. I did so, and a great day was had by all. You can find soundclips on the Radio 3 website (type in "world on your street" and Stoke and that should get you there): and nestling beside some African singing and Kurdish playing you will hear yours truly and the rest of the Boat Band playing the Stoke Hornpipe.
    Support for minority culture is not a problem to more long-standing (in England) trad indigenous musicians: it is a solution opportunity. Not to mention a chance to learn about some wonderful music!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: Forsh
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 01:25 PM

|McGrath of Harlow: I agree. Lets Do It!


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 11:01 AM

I think that since we're in the European Union we ought to celebrate all the national days of all the member countries. And they should all be holidays.

I agree with Dave about it not just being English folk music that gets sidelined. It's informal and self-made music across the board that is undervalued. I'd like to see a combined push for all the traditions, not some divisive squabble about what's English and what isn't. If it happens in England, it's part of what England is about.


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Subject: RE: UK attitudes to folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 10:58 AM

Smallpiper: I was using the Antonine wall as a geographical marker, which would have been partially visible in Anglo-Saxon times, rather than as a concurrent event. Sorry if this wasn't clear.    However, the area from the Humber to above the Forth was a single (or at least linked tribal) political area even before the arrival of the Angles into Deira/Bernicia. It was apart from the areas to the North and West. England, the land of the Angles, was England before the Vikings and Normans, even if it wasn't a single political organisation. The Northumbrian kingdom at its peak covered the whole of the Scottish lowlands,until the defeat by the Pictish rebels/freedomfighters at Nectansmere/Dunnichen, followed by a collapse to effectively the current borders.

But I suspect I have hijacked this thread...though it does perhaps illustrate the point about no single English identity!


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