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Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?

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GUEST,Len Wallace 04 Feb 04 - 12:30 PM
The Borchester Echo 04 Feb 04 - 12:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Feb 04 - 12:35 PM
Brakn 04 Feb 04 - 12:35 PM
IanC 04 Feb 04 - 12:36 PM
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Ed. 04 Feb 04 - 03:38 PM
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Subject: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Len Wallace
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 12:30 PM

okay, I don't want to start a controversy, and I respect his work and life. But I'd like to know people's opinions on a rather pervserse question.

Was Ewan MacColl a "Scotsman"? An Anglicised Scot? A Scottishized Anglo?

Len Wallace


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 12:34 PM

World citizen?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 12:35 PM

His parents were Scottish. He was born, and grew up, in Salford.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Brakn
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 12:35 PM

Born Salford as Jimmy Millar I think - changed his name. It's all been discussed before if you care to look.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: IanC
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 12:36 PM

Len

It's usually worth doing a search before starting a new thread. Putting Ewan McColl in the box at the top gets you loads of information, including this thread:

Who's Ewan McColl?

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: John Routledge
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 12:37 PM

Hi Len

If you put "Ewan MacColl" in the filter box on main thread page set it for three years and set it running you will find as much as you wish to know about MacColl.

He was English born of Scottish parents to simply anwer your question


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 03:29 PM

Who cares? He was a great interpreter of Scottish ballads. One of the best!
I don't care if he came from the North Pole.

This brings up an interesting point, though. How authentic is authentic?
Do you have to be from a specific locale to interpret the songs from that
area effectively?

I don't think so.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Ed.
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 03:38 PM

Frank,

In answer to your question, I'll quote Martin Carthy:

"It is utterly ridiculous to try to keep folk music pure because it has never been pure; it is a mish-mash"

I don't think much more needs saying.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 03:46 PM

At the Singers Club Ewan himself insisted that you must only perform the music of your provenence. This applied to everyone except him.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Joybell
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 04:53 PM

No you don't have to be from anywhere in particular to interpret a song, but when false claims are made about a singer's origins, (or a songs origins) I think it DOES matter. Joy


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 05:35 PM

I appreciate McColl as a great writer but I cringe every time I heard/hear him put on a Scottish accent.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 05:52 PM

Ewan MacColl was first and foremost an actor. He adopted the accent of his parents as it was, after all, merely the consequence of his father having to move in search of work that he was brought up in the North West of England rather than Scotland. He grew up in an emigre community of Scots and doubtless felt much more Scottish than English.

And while there may be other reasons behind his change of name from Jimmie Miller, one motivation was certainly the Lallans movement after World War II where it was common practice to adopt the name of a poet or writer from the past. Like Hugh MacDiarmid, this is what Ewan did.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Sooz(at work)
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 07:56 AM

Scotch by absorption?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 09:20 AM

One does try to absorb as much Scotch as one can - HFA

(Also born South of the border to Scottish parents that moved in search of work - also with no Scottish accent - tho' unconsciously it comes right out there when tired, angry, or speaking to other Scots folk - musical ear to blame? So I empathise wi' the chappie.)


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 11:52 AM

Let's try to remember that culture is a state of mind. Accents have nothing to do with it.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 01:38 PM

"..it was common practice to adopt the name of a poet or writer from the past. Like Hugh MacDiarmid, this is what Ewan did. "

That implies that there was an earlier poet or writer called "Ewan MacColl". Was there?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 02:43 PM

Just to make sure that the policy of the Singers Club is quoted correctly.

"We were also intent on proving that we had an indigenous folk-music that was as muscular, as varied and as beautiful as music anywhere in the world. We felt it was necessary to explore our music first to distance ourselves from skiffle with its legion of quasi-Americans. The folk club should be place where our native music should have pride of place and where the folk music of other nations would be treated with dignity and respect. So the resident singers of Ballads and Blues decided on a policy that from now on residents, guest singers and those who sang from the floor should limit themselves to songs which were in a language the singer spoke or understood".

Journeyman. Page 288

That would let Ewan sing in Scottish or English as his whimsy took him. It allowed Bert to sing English or Australian songs. I am sure they extended similar privileges to others.

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Cusco
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 02:55 PM

I think a lot of people were (and still are) morer inclined to claim their Salford heritage before that of their parents wherever they had come from. It was that sort of a place. At the same time the families would still hold true to Irish, Scottish, Welsh, maybe even Yorkshire heritage.

One of the most Electrifying experiences I have ever had was in the Palace theatre just over the river in Manchester, less than two miles from where Jimmy Miller was born. Barbara Dickson as part of her "Seven Ages of Woman" show coupled "She's leaving Home" with "The First Time Ever".

Most of the audience were there for her popular music credentials rather than her impeccable folk ones.

The combined audible gasp at the end when peole were capable of taking a breath was unbeleivable. As was the involuntary movement of fingers towards eyes.

The proximity of the performance of the song to McColls birthplace will have been lost on the majority of the audience but for me it will always remain as one of the most remembered moments that Folk has given me over the years ( and there's been a lot).


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 03:15 PM

McGrath:   An earlier Ewan MacColl? According to Peggy Seeger's preface to Journeyman, this was so.

A good wheeze at the Singers Club used to be to see how many times you could get away with singing a song from somewhere other than where you actually came from. Woe betide you though if Ewan recognised you from a previous week.

But as far as I know, no-one ever challenged him when he did an American song, or one from the music halls...


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 05:15 PM

So who was the ur-Ewan MacColl?

That Singers' Club policy should of course have meant that American songs would have been perfectly kosher: "Guest singers and those who sang from the floor should limit themselves to songs which were in a language the singer spoke or understood".

That doesn't mean Ewan would have approved. Though I remember that, at Ballads and Blues, he never showed any objections to Jack Elliott singing "I belong tae Glesca".


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 08:16 PM

I suspect the answer is that they weren't all that fussy and were trying to get away from that pseudo-mid atlantic accent that pop stars and would be pop stars adopt. So long as it sounded ok (from wherever they were) then it was alright. I went a couple of times and to be honest found it a bit "stuffy".............

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Compton
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 08:22 PM

My wife was born in Edinburgh to (both) English parents...ergo,she's English..
..On those grounds, Ewan McColl is Scottish!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 03:41 AM

I believe the Millars' milkman, Stavros, was Greek...
Sorry, I feel in a devilish mood this morning!
Fact is, I'd have had no chance if I'd gone to the Singers Club in Ewan's days. Who wants to hear "Never on a Sunday" week in, week out? I know I don't. And "Flowers & Guns" would not have existed.
OK, I know I am unusual in my provenance; but extreme conditions test the rule, and this rule is left wanting. Just because Ewan was a great singer and writer it doesn't make everything he said or did great - this rule stank.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 05:19 AM

will the real Ewan please stand up please stand up please stand up


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Prince(ss ) Louise
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 07:57 AM

Should this be a new thread ?

Re The Ballads & Blues Club
BALLAD & BLUES CLUB

Saw it mentioned on this thread and was somewhat surprised as I didnt think many people remembered us.

I followed this up by looking at a MacColl web site where it stated that the Ballads and Blues changed it's name. I don't think so. Ewan and Peggy went off and started the Singers Club and the Ballads and Blues Club carried on until May 1965 when for reason's outside it's control it had to cease.

Thinking back to the early days in Holborn, does anybody know what happened to such transatlantic and home grown visitors as Winston and Mary Jane Young, Dean Gitter, etc ? and do Sandy & Caroline Paton still perform ? Where is Lisa Turner? one of the few people who refused to follow MacColl's wishes. Lisa sang and played the 5 string and like many of us preferred American material.We had some most entertaining evenings including the time when Ewan and Dominic Behan nearly came to blows over Alan Lomax collecting methods in Ireland

Still an addict after all these years. There's no way out.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Len Wallace
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 10:24 AM

Thanks for the discussion folks.

I know the question may have seemed a little perverse. I just needed to hear people's opinions. I'm currently writing an article for a local Irish-American newspaper concerning that very point- that one does not have to be, for example, Scottish to sing Scottish songs, etc. I have a Scottish last name (which Canadian immigrantion officials signed my dad as when he entered Canada when he was 17 back in 1928). I am Canadian born with a Byelorussian dad and Ukrainian-Canadian mother, and have spent half my life performing Irish and Scottish folk. To some people I am not considered "authentic". I consider myself Irish by osmosis and when asked my nationality I tell people I am a "citizen of the world". My Scottish brogue whenever needed goes well and my Yiddish passable.

In terms of trying to find this information and such opinion specifically about Ewan MacColl from other threads, I did review them (as was suggested above) but the commentary made in them was not suitable to the purpose I had.

Glad everyone joined in with their opinions.

For music that never dies,

Len Wallace


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 11:38 AM

I think the healthy way is the Irish way - sing songs you like reagrdless of where they come from, but sing them in your own voice. The result of that is that everyone starts assuming that the songs are Irish in origin, but so what?

That was the great thing with Lonnie Donnegan, he never put on a foreign accent to sing a foreign song.   And, thanks to Alex Campbell, I'll always have a tendency to think of Irene Goodnight as being Scottish.

......................

And I'm still waiting for someone to come up with the goods on the "poet or writer from the past" from whom Ewan MacColl borrowed the name.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Guest Mingulay
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 11:56 AM

I think that El Greko is correct but wonder just how many songs
he will now write this coming week relating Stavros to MacColl
and the folk revival. Perhaps a new CD is in the offing.
Suggestions for a title please on plain paper to the usual
address. I did think of Hello! Hello! Ouzo your lady friend.
But perhaps not


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 12:06 PM

From Hamish Henderson (in "Alias MacAlias"):

"The linguistic purist might cavil about Ewan's highly idiosyncretic Scottish accent...but this seems to me more than compensated for by the vivid - indeed dynamic - artistry of the singer." (review 1977)

"Although his speech always retained its native Lancashire intonation, he became a master of sung Ballad-Scots." (tribute, 1991)


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 12:30 PM

good singers who embrace the gamut of good folk music often are able to approximate almost any dialect/accent they choose. Ewan certainly sang well enough to give ME a feel for the songs...just as Jean Redpath was able to switch into American English 'almost' well enough to pass...she even incorporated examples into her performance to demonstrate how dialects work.

   It can be 'interesting' to read insights by those who know some of the details of a singers past and heritage, but the test is in how well you enjoy the music when listening with your eyes closed.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Roberto
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 10:09 AM

Does Ewan MacColl's Scottish accent sound strange, old fashioned, non-Scottish, English, or what, to a Scots speaking listener?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Brakn
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 10:16 AM

Can white man sing the blues.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 11:53 AM

Let us not forget that Ewan McColl recorded "John Henry". Whether he was Lancashire, Scottish or both may be disputed, but he most certainly was not a black steel-driver at the Big Bend Tunnel on the C&O Road. :ike many opinionated bigots, he was often ready to dispense advice to others that he wasnt willing to take himself. However, unlike most opinionated bigots, he was a brilliant singer and song-writer, so I am willing to forgive him for spouting offensive drivel.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 12:30 PM

Blimey, Greg, I think we agree!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 06:39 AM

I don't know where I read it, [a magazine article many years ago, I think] any don't quote me for the locale, but I recollect reading that Evan [not Ewan] MacColl was a 19C Perthshire Gaelic minor poet. I have often said with pride that in 1960 I sang so much like MacColl people would ask what my name was before I changed it to Ewan. I would retort that I was Ewan in 1941, four years before he was.
I got the impression from another source I don't recall that the Ewan MacColl was a playwriting persona, and he seems to have recorded for Lomax in 1951 as Jimmy Miller, though he signed the relevant letter alerting Hamish Henderson about Lomax as Ewan.
These recordings, in the Lomax archives, are fascinating, and I'm urging that the Lomax people try to get them released on Rounder.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 08:10 AM

This was taken from the History of the McColls.

(I mentioned on another thread that McColl was berated me for wearing a [McLean]Tartan tie .. he seemed to equate it with Scottish Nationalism! .. I said to him 'My name is McLean, Mr Miller'.)


Tradition has it that the MacColls have been associated with the area round Loch Fyne from an early date ... The MacColls most famous exponent was Evan McColl the Gaelic poet who was born at Kenmore on Loch Fyne in 1808. He was the author of the "The Mountain Minstrel" or in Gaelic "Clarsach nam Beann". He died at the end of the century and a monument was erected at Kenmore in his memory, which was unveiled in 1930 by His Grace the Duke of Argyll.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 02:04 PM

Apparently Evan McColl (I wonder if "Ewan" was a mistake or intentional - they are both the same name of course) emigrated to Canada - here's some information about him from an encyclopedia:

MacCOLL, Evan, Canadian poet, born in Kenmore, Argyleshire, Scotland, 21 September, 1808. He received a good education, and in 1837 became a contributor to the " Gaelic Magazine" published in Glasgow.

In 1831 MacColl's family emigrated to Canada, but he remained behind, and in 1837 was appointed a clerk in the Liverpool custom-house. In 1850 he removed to Canada, and soon afterward obtained a situation in the Kingston custom-house, where he remained till he was retired in 1880.

During his residence in Canada he has written numerous poems, chiefly of a lyrical character, the most, noted of which is "My Rowan Tree." He has been for many years the bard of the St Andrew's society of Kingston. He has published in book-form " Clar-sach Nan Beann, or Poems and Songs in Gaelic" (Glasgow, 1837; new edition, 1886), and " The Mountain Minstrel, or Poems and Songs in English" ; third Canadian edition of his works (Toronto, 1887). See Wilson's "Poets and Poetry of Scotland" (New York, 1876).

His daughter, Mary Jemima, born in Liverpool, England, 7 May, 1847, was educated in Kingston, Ontario, taught for several years, and in 1881 married Professor Otto Henry Schulte, of Hasbrouck institute, Jersey City, New Jersey She is the author of "Bide a Wee, and other Poems" (Buffalo, 1879; 4th ed., Toronto).


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Brakn
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 08:07 PM

It's not relevant but just in case anyone's interested, I found them on the 1880 Canadian census.

Rideau Ward, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario

Name Marital Status Gender Ethnic Origin Age Birthplace Occupation Religion
Evan MCCALL   M   Male   Scottish   74   Scotland   Gent.   Weslyan Methodist
Isabella MCCALL   M   Female   Scottish   65   Q       Weslyan Methodist
Jessie MCCALL      Female   Scottish   28   Q       Weslyan Methodist
Nellie MCCALL      Female   Scottish   20   Ontario      Weslyan Methodist
Florence MCCALL      Female   Scottish   16   Ontario      Weslyan Methodist


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 04:32 AM

I too love Ewan MacColl's work and songs. But here is soemthing I came up with after my curiosity was aroused by this thread.

The name MacColl does not appear as a defined clan name according to the authoritive and encyclopedic book on Scottish clans 'The Scottish Clan and family Encyclopedia' written by George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire. It is still in print.

The names MacColl, MacCall and MacCaul do appear and they come under the leadership of the Clan MacDonald.

Then it gets more interesting as there are three Clan McDoanld's.

MacDonald of Macdonald
MacDonald of Clanranald
MacDonald of Sleat

All of the above three clans are related by history and all at some time were Lords of the Isles. They were also the founders of other great clans.

On reading the three histories in the book it would seem to me that the MacColl's are descended from those who lived on the Isle of Coll in the western isles and owed alliegance to MacDonald of MacDonald.

Whatever, his work is great.

For those of you of Scottish blood or descent then the book I mentioned above is a superb reference.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 04:44 AM

Was the phrase "ethnic origin" really in use in Canada in 1880? That surprises me, I thought it came into general use much more recently, in Britain at any rate.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 05:10 AM

I have a collection of Evan MacColl's poems and, out of interest, his My Rowan Tree is not the popular one most of us know (just in case one might think otherwise). They are mostly of the heather, hills and loch variety.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 05:04 PM

It'd be interesting to see a sample, to give an indication, was it just that Ewan MacColl liked the name, or was there something more about what the man wrote that he felt spoke to him.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 06:53 PM

I was born in Scotland, but taken to England at 9 weeks old: hence I have an English accent, which 18 years in Scotland has not changed. My kids were both born in England, but brought to Scotland at age 9 and 3, so they both have Scottish accents: so who's English and who's Scottish?
Incidentally we called our son Ewan, "as in Ewan McColl", to which the reply from many - "Who's he?" I very much admired Ewan McColl's singing classing myself as a folkie, but to a non-folkie, he's unfortunately not as well-known!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 05:01 AM

McGrath of Harlow, here is the first couple of verses from EVENING ADDRESS TO LOCH LOMOND:


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 05:16 AM

(SORRY, FINGER SLIPPED)
   (19 verses)
Lake of beauty! Lake of splendour,
All surpassing! Lomond rare;
Fondly to thee would I render,
Praise befitting scene so fair.

Matchless mirror of the Highlands,
Cold's the heart that feels no glow,
Viewing thee with all thy islands -
Heaven above and heaven below!

Last verse:
From his lair the fox is stealing,
Quits the owl her hermit cell:
Vision far past all revealing,
Dear Lochlomond, now farewell!

The only 'political' poem I could find is one called GLORY TO THE BRAVE! (4 verses)

Last verse:
Glory to the brave! Soon may they return
Crown'd with wreaths of never dying-fame!
Soon their haughty foe shall his rashness mourne,
Cover'd with discomfiture and shame.
Potent though he be,
Europe shall him see
Mercy on his knee lowly crave.
Such be quick the fall
Of earth's despots all,
Glory, glory, glory to the brave.

Evan MacColl was undoubtedly a good lyrical poet as some of his poems show but I cannot see Ewan (Jimmy Miller) calling himself after Evan for that reason.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 05:44 AM

PPS Countess Richard .. The Lallans movement started long before the second World War. MacDiarmid's Sangshaw was published in 1925 by which time he had obviously changed his name from Chris Grieve. Ewan MacColl was never in favour of anything which smacked of Scottish Independence and I feel there had to be another reason for his change of name.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 05:53 AM

Hi Jim,

I was quoting Peggy Seeger in her introduction to Journeyman, Ewan's autobiography published just after his death in 1990, in which she speculates on the various 'blank spots' of his life.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 05:55 PM

Hi Countess,
I had many a discussion with Ewan about UK politics and he definitely didn't agree with MacDiarmid or the Lallans movement. He was very British in his stance and thought any movement away from that was a 'betrayel of the British working man'. When we discussed things in his house, Peggy always sat beside him with her knitting, prodding him now and again to keep him on track when he wandered! It was quite a strange double act. His main argument against Lallans was that Scottish poets of lang syne wrote in Latin and not in Scots (sic). MacDiarmid tried to drag Scotland into the twentieth century by reinventing an older form of speech but Ewan disagreed with this.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Rugger bugger
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 03:08 PM

Judging by our national side you qualify as Scottish if your grannie, from where ever once took a bus trip to the Trossachs so he must be. On the other hand if he had wanted to be English he could be that too. My Daughters - both born in Sevenoaks see themselves a Scottish, French because their mother was, and English because that's where they both live. It suits them and perhaps we should consider how important our nationality is to us. Does it make us all part of the patriot game.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 04:52 PM

This doesn't worry "Us British" (from "It ain't half hot Mum")...
Ouch, just gave away my age!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 05:43 AM

If Scottish people were black, he would have been black.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Musket
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 08:19 AM

Ok, so he was an actor at heart, and his work with Theatre Workshop gives good examples of this.

I have no problem with his weird Scottish accents (note the plural, it's one thing to be brought up by Scottish parents, it's another to try, successfully in the main, to echo the local accent of a traditional song.

The only issue I ever had with him, and had a couple of occasions to discuss this with the great man himself, was his insistence that he can work "within an act" and try to reflect the songs he sang, which both in tradition and his now pen came from all around the world, not just Scotland, but other acts must be indigenous to their own heritage.

A weird stance, but there again, lots of things people say about him started with a grain of truth. The price of genius is rarely the ability to get along with others.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 08:30 AM

There's that awful word "heritage". Here I am, with ancestors from Lancashire, East Anglia, Kinross (Scotland) and Kildare (Ireland), born in Lancashire, raised in Glasgow, educated in Leeds, lived in London, resident in Sussex.

What shall I sing? Songs by Jimmie Rodgers, the Delmore Brothers and Leon Redbone, of course...


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 09:24 AM

MacColl came from Scots parents and grew up in Salford surrounded by Scots friends and neigbours.
His accent's never bothered me - on the contrary - he introduced me to 137 Child ballads, cornkisters, Burns songs... and many, many more beautiful Scots songs that, as a young Liverpudlian, would have totally passed me by.
He also taught me the beauties of the Scots dialect.
I remember seeing MacBeath at the Edinburgh Festival back in the mid 60s (Matt McGinn played the gatekeeper) - and coming away not having undersood a single word - MacColl's accents led me to appreciating that at a later date.
Here's to his memory as far as I'm concerned.
Cheers Ewan!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 09:26 AM

He was still English, not Scots.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 09:27 AM

After 20+ threads about Ewan, I DO wish he had lived to read & comment on all the opinions about him! Wouldn't THAT have been a lively debate?

Peggy doesn't seem to use the internet... as far as I can tell. I gave her a CD of some pictures I took of her concert at her childhood home, and she sent me a handwritten note instead of email.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 11:19 AM

You know what the Duke of Wellington said when they asked him if he was Irish, just because you're born in a stable - it doesn't mean you're a horse.

If Ewan wanted to a Scot, you should let him. Its like with transexuals who are born a man, but they have a womwn inside who wants to get out.

Ewan obviously had a Scotsman inside, trying to get out.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 11:48 AM

Ewan had Scots parents - gave him the best of both worlds (if you can count Salford as a world!)
I had Irish parents - gave me the best of both worlds, but never sure of which side of the fence I should be.
Still - it's an excuse to get in a bit of corpse-kicking (he died in 1989 you know!!)
Pity he was such a great singer and one of those who opened up all this beautifil music for us - then you could really have given his corpes a real kicking.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 11:56 AM

Ewan was a theatrical person, knew how to dramatize his songs and added Peggy to enhance his music. He was also a socially conscious person which made him more relevant to me than other singers.

I don't think that you can portray an artistic performance without a considerable amount of education. Ewan and Lloyd both did this.

What made them relevant was their interpretations of the Scots Ballads and sea songs.

Let's face it. There are some traditional singers who are actually boring in their presentation.
The material is more important than their singing of it.

Of course, this brings up the question, what is entertainment and to whom?

Subjectivity comes up.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 12:45 PM

"He was still English, not Scots." People will self-identify as they will so I don't think you can truly say people are definitely this or that. Plus being English doesn't in itself preclude you from being Scottish. People can see themselves as both Scottish and English. My wife does for one! She was born and raised in England with one Scottish parent and one English parent - but she has now lived in Scotland for a longer period than she ever lived in England and has two Scottish children. I know other people with English parents who state they are 100% Scottish.Everyone is different.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 02:29 PM

Jim Carroll has it correctly. The Scottish side of Ewan was political to me as in my discussions with him he was definitely of the " British working man" group. We disagreed on Scottish Republicanism/Indeepencece which I advocated. He sang about the Jacobite Rebellion but that was as close as he got to a Scottish political line. Every Scot knows his accent is theatrical but I don't think that is important in the great scheme of his great contribution to folk music in general.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 02:38 PM

My mother was from Scotland, therefore she is a Scot. My father was from Wales, therefore he is/was Welsh. I was born in England, therefore I am English.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 02:57 PM

My mother was from Scotland, therefore she is a Scot. My father was from Wales, therefore he is/was Welsh. I was born in England, therefore I am English.
but your ancestry is scottish /welsh


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 03:15 PM

My guitar is Japanese. But I don't like paper folding and flower arranging.

This is like Philosophy 101

Caesar is a duck
All ducks have webbed feet
Caesar has webbed feet

I mean.....who cares. if it worked for Ewan being a Scot. if it helped him find the mindset to create. all to the good.

And incidentally I find that works for me, thinking of myself as a folksinger.

Okay.....?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 03:24 PM

I don't identify at all with the Welsh or the Scots in anyway at all, and as I believe I've said before I'm no folkie

Okay.....?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 03:34 PM

if you are not a folkie and not welsh or scots, i am afraid you do not win a crackerjack pencil or a cabbage or a night with joe offer, and you really might as well abandon all hope, you might as well back the giant bolster in the hennessey gold cup.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Mick Harris
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 03:37 PM

BTNG - If your parents were Scots and Welsh, that makes you Scots & Welsh, not English at all. You're a fraud thinking otherwise. You should be comfortable with who you are rather than fighting it.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 03:37 PM

whatever that lot meant....


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 03:53 PM

If anyone is interested in MacColl's musical roots, CAMSCO has re-issued very nice CD of Ewan singing with his mother, Betsy Miller.It's titled "A Garland of Scottish Folk Songs"


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 06:46 PM

"BTNG - If your parents were Scots and Welsh, that makes you Scots & Welsh, not English at all."

It is surely absurd to say to someone born and brought up in England that he is not English at all? If he doesn't equate with being Scottish or Welsh then as I said previously to him people will self identify as they please. We can't dictate what other people are. Just because someone's parents aren't English it doesn't mean that they aren't.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 10:13 PM

I am a fourth generation Canadian but I carry a Scottish name and Gaelic was the mother tongue of both of my parents. Canada is polarized into English and French classifications and because of the language that I speak most fluently I am considered English-Canadian although I carry no English genes. In no way do I feel English and I am sure that I would be feeling much more at home in the Hebrides than I would in London. Being Scottish is as much a culture as a nationality and I understand from whence Ewan came!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 11:18 PM

Oh I am VERY comfortable with who and what I am Harris, so please...cease and desist your nonsense, I've never fought what I am and I am English born and English bred. Let me repeat one more time, so you FULLY understand, I don't identify with the Scots and I don't identify with the Welsh, never have done, never will do.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: BTNG
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 11:21 PM

I just a thought, my last name was originally Norman French....now that REALLY does mess with the "Harris equation" *LOL*

Nighty Night All !!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Mick Harris
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 02:25 AM

English born, Scots / Welsh bred. I have a cocker / springer cross. It's a cocker / springer cross, whichever field it's running in.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 06:03 AM

I was born on a plane in mid-flight.

My parents (nationality unknown) abandoned me in the jungle as a baby.

I was brought up by a family of wasps.

What does that make me (apart from a pathological liar)?

Home is where the heart is.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 10:35 AM

White Anglo Saxon Protestant[wasp]


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:02 AM

A recent TV programme about "Folk Music" featured a rendition of " The Shoals Of Herring " , introduced by a buxom and not unattractive Scottish lady singer , who stated that it was " A Scottish song " . Not true, of course, but I imagine Mr Miller would have been most gratified to hear it so described !!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 11:38 AM

nd if I remember correctly she didn't just say it was Scottish. She suggested it came from the north-east of Scotland. She probably incorrectly equated it with the north-east of Scotland because of the fishing industry there!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 12:02 PM

"but I imagine Mr Miller would have been most gratified to hear it so described !!"
Not really - he based it mainly on actuality recorded from two East Anglian fishermen, Sam Larner and Ronnie Balls (using actuality was one of the vital ingredients of many of MacColl's successful songs) A number of the Travellers we recorded claimed 'Freeborn Man' as an old Travellers song - it was neither 'Traveller' nor 'old'.
There was an eejit who claimed that MacColl "stole" 'Shoals' from traditional singers - MacColl (he changed his name you know - just like Robert Zimmermann) was always rather proud of that accusation.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: BTNG
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 12:52 PM

Harris give it up will you, you're now ceasing to be of interest. I'm English, proud of it, end of story, get over it


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Mick Harris
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 02:30 PM

Of course you are. Apologies for trolling. Sláinte! Dal ati!, Daliwch ati!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 06:11 PM

I rarely post on Mudcat now but factual errors need to be corrected.

The buxom Scottish lass you refer to was Irene Watt. She did not refer to the song in the terms you suggest. She is well aware of the origins of the song.

I checked it at the time because someone else told me that. It wasn't true then that she thought it was traditional and it isn't true now.

Type Irene Watt into Google - she is the Aberdeen one that comes up. Also Tide of Change.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 06:44 PM

Strangely enough that was the impression I got, when I watched the programme Dave - so it must have been an understandable mistake. Can't remember exactly what she said. But I suppose if Ewan thought of himself as a Scot - then it was a Scottish song.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 06:54 PM

Ewan was about English as Tony Blair was Scottish.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: BTNG
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:37 PM

Harris I'll be perfectly honest with you, I never "got" the whole Celtic/Gaekic thing, nor do I understand other people's fascination with it.Don't understand the languages, and, if it came right down to it, if the celtic heritages disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn't care, it simply wouldn't phase me at all. That's where and a good many others stand, and if that's racist or whatever, too bad.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:29 PM

BTNG too weird mate.

Celtic culture isn't going to disappear. Orange and red aren't going to disappear. Nothing disappears.

you're not being racist, just a bit strange.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:37 PM

You'd lose an awful lot of good music, BTNG...


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 05:30 AM

"so it must have been an understandable mistake" I suspect we are all thinking about the same programme - though I can't remember exactly what it was. A section of the programme went to the north-east for songs of that area (as it had done in other areas) and Shoals of Herring was the song featured. So it was the serving up of the said song as an example of local songs which struck me rather than anything the singer said about it. That may of course have had more to do with the programmes editors etc than it did with the singer herself. However in this wee group we have three people now who remember it that way! It was certainly enough for me to comment at the time and my wife to say "calm down dear it's only a ......etc"


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 07:15 AM

Ewan MacColl wrote ' The shoals Of Herring ' utilising Labans theory of efforts, we all have characteristic efforts and patterns in our everyday speech, MacColl and Charles Parker analysed Sam Larners speech patterns, and MacColl wrote ' Shoals Of Herrings ' based on these results, a short while later he sang the song to Sam Larner, who said to Ewan ' I've known that song all my life ' MacColl later reported that Sam thought he knew it because there were no barriers, he was listening to his own speech patterns and efforts.

By the way, I don't really know what this thread is all about, anyone with any interest in Ewan MacColl and more the one brain cell [ except Colin Irwin apparently ] knows that Ewan was born in Salford and was christened Jimmy Miller.

Dave H

[on more than one occaision I've heard Colin Irwin repeat the myth that MacColl was born in Auchterader ]


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 07:55 AM

MacColl : Scottish parents, born and brought up in England
Blair: Scottish Father, Irish mother, born and educated in Scotland (up to a cerrtain age)

When it comes down to, nationality is a state of mind unless you want to play football for a National side.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM

"on more than one occaision I've heard Colin Irwin repeat the myth that MacColl was born in Auchterader"
In farness to Colin Irwin Dave, the misinformation appeared on at least one set of sleeve-notes - written by Ken Goldstein - I have no idea whether Ewan gave him tht information or whether it was an assumption.
His mother told me once "Oor Jimmy was born in England, but he's every bit as Scots as I am - and prood of it"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:02 PM

I contacted Irene.

This is what she writes:

Och that old argument again - don't they know that I never claimed it was Scottish or Traditional for that matter - the point was that when Gareth was interviewing me - all of which of course you don't see so the whole thing is taken out of context - we were talking about songs about fishing and fishing lassies. I sang Shoals of Herring cos it was my dad's favourite and I sang the Fisher Lassies song because was about the work that all my women ancestors did when they travelled to Yarmouth to gut the herring - and of course Gamrie aka Gardenstown - is mentioned in the song - that is where I come from originally and where all my ancestors came from.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:20 PM

There was an eejit who claimed that MacColl "stole" 'Shoals' from traditional singers - MacColl (he changed his name you know - just like Robert Zimmermann) was always rather proud of that accusation.

One of the standard pipe tune books (Cabar Feidh/Queens Own) prints the tune (slightly adapted to be a 3/4 march) as "Sgaoth Sgadan (Shoals of Herring". With no composer credited. So one such eejit is the British Army.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:32 PM

I understood that a friend of reg hall, was it lucy farrs husband?said that he thought either the song or the tune was traditional.
i think the song is a macColl composition and that reg halls friend was incorrect.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Tootler
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 02:51 PM

"so it must have been an understandable mistake" I suspect we are all thinking about the same programme - though I can't remember exactly what it was. A section of the programme went to the north-east for songs of that area (as it had done in other areas) and Shoals of Herring was the song featured. So it was the serving up of the said song as an example of local songs which struck me rather than anything the singer said about it. That may of course have had more to do with the programmes editors etc than it did with the singer herself. However in this wee group we have three people now who remember it that way!

I saw the programme and came away with the same impression. Irene's comment above makes it clear how it happened. The media seem incapable of getting it right - or perhaps they like to create a different impression because it makes a "more interesting" story and sod the facts.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 06:04 PM

And remember that the programme was supposed to be about sea SHANTIES - that Gareth whatsisname - choirmaster - trying to find out about them: neither "Shoals of Herring" nor "Fisher Lassies" fit that description, although they are both very good songs about the fishing industry and come out of the original series of The Radio Ballads. Can't see how "Shoals of Herring" could be called a Scottish song, (even tho' the Corries recorded it) when the locations are YARMOUTH, CROMER, etc! "Fisher Lassies" does mention a lot of N-East Scotland fishing villages, although even the Lassies all end up on Yarmouth quay!
I know Irene and love her singing and Graeme's, but I'd agree it's the producers who kind of steered the ship away from the shanties, or did not make it clear that they were digressing from shanties in that part of the programme


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 06:49 PM

Can't see how "Shoals of Herring" could be called a Scottish song, (even tho' the Corries recorded it) when the locations are YARMOUTH, CROMER, etc!

Because North Sea fisherfolk didn't stay within national boundaries any more than their work did.

Would you call "Twa Recruitin Sairgents" a Spanish song because it mentions Gibraltar?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 10:29 PM

no its Scottish because Ewan wanted to be a Scot. And adopted a Scottish persona.

Just like James Connolly is an Irish hero.

Cliff Richard is an English popstar.

Django Rheinhardt is a French icon summoning up images of the left bank etc.

Hitler is a German villain.

Billy the Kid is a western outlaw.

Its not what life hands you, its what you do with it.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 10:51 PM

..throughout the 1940's to the 1980's British character actors were praised for
and awarded for their abilities to 'do' accents and 'black up' if needs be...

..that is until we all grew up under a momentarily improved progressive education system and it became all too embarrassing......

Perhaps we should fondly remember those days as the "Sir Alec Guinness" years...???

in historical cultural context.. maybe we can understand
and try to forgive folk singers with misguided intentions
to sing in the 'correct' accent..

errmm.. has Meryl Streep blacked up yet...????


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: RTim
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 11:10 PM

But North Sea Holes again by MacColl - from the same programme as Shoals of Herring, - mentions Scotland!!

North Sea Holes
(Ewan MacColl)

Come all you gallant fishermen that plough the stormy sea,
The whole year round on the fishing grounds
On the Northern Minch and the Norway Deeps,
On the banks and knolls of the North Sea Holes
Where the herring shoals are found.

It's there you'll find the Norfolk boys and the lads from Peterhead,
There's Buckie chiels and men from Shields,
On the Northern Minch and the Norway Deeps,
On the banks and knolls of the North Sea Holes
Where the herring shoals are found.

From Fraserborough and Aberdeen, from Whitby, Yarmouth Town,
The fleet's away at the break of day
To the Northern Minch and the Norway Deeps,
To the banks and knolls of the North Sea Holes
Where the herring shoals are found.

It's off with a boiler full of steam and your engine spic and span
To fish the grounds the North Sea round
And fish and knolls and the North Sea Holes
And try your luck at the North Shields Gut
With a catch of a hundred cran.

No need to wait for the wind and tide, you're the master of the sea,
Come calm or squall, just shoot and haul
And fill the hold with the fish to be sold
And steam ahead for the curing shed
And the buyers on the Yarmouth quay.

Come all you gallant fishermen that plough the stormy sea,
The whole year round on the fishing grounds
On the Northern Minch and the Norway Deeps,
On the banks and knolls of the North Sea Holes
Where the herring shoals are found.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 08:57 AM

Norwegian then! :-)


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 09:36 AM

Big Al's point is well made!
"Hitler is a German villain"
History under such narrow rules should have called him an Austrian villan! Arguments can be made that Austria was mostly Germanic as Scotland would be British. The point is that he is remembered as a villan while MacColl is remembered a great singer/songwriter.
I believe that Shoals of Herring could be considered a Spanish song since they stole all of the fish!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 09:52 AM

His wife Peggy MacColl was on BBC Radio 3 In Tune earlier this month!!!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Brian May
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 10:43 AM

When I met him donkey's years ago he barely said a word - Peggy did all the talking (trying to snaffle the lyrics of a song).

Struck me as a real miserable git, so I reckon he might be Scottish ;o)


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 11:05 AM

I was present at the final meeting of the Singers Club (upstairs Lincoln's Inn pub 1993).
At the conclusion Peggy said 'All good things must come to an end including the Singers Club'.
Appropriately she then sang 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' to finish duetting with Irene Scott on 'Black Velvet Band'.
Afterwards she told me it was early days and her future plans were uncertain as her family are in the UK.
All these years later I see she is still relentlessly touring.
http://www.peggyseeger.com/


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 12:34 PM

that's exactly the point

James Connolly born in Scotland
Bily the Kid born New York.
Cliff Richard born in Lucknow, India.
Django was born in Belgium.
Eamon Devalera - born in Ireland.

The accident of where you are born is nothing to do with which nation is closest to our heart, or where we base our field of endeavour.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 03:24 AM

"Struck me as a real miserable git"
Went to the Singers Club virtually every week from 1969 to the end.
Most nights it was pretty near impossible to get near Ewan because he was constantly surrounded by people, all discussing the music he/they loved. Ewan could, and did talk to anybody who was interested enough to approach him - though he was reticent and preferred to be a listener on subjects he was not familiar with.
I was invited to become a member of the Critics Group after meeting him and Peggy after their performance at the MSG in Manchester
Are you sure it isn't you who's the "miserable git"?
"All these years later I see she is still relentlessly touring."
Saw Peggy perform her in the West of Ireland a few months ago - superb night - had an audience, most of whom had never heard her live before, eating out of her hand - not bad for someone in her mid-seventies.
She's now living back in the UK, in Oxford.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 03:27 AM

I found her performance on In Tune to be quite boring.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 03:52 AM

Just listened to it again, she sang Occupation is on, You don't know how lucky you are and Once Again - very floor spot.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 05:29 AM

I guess there's a fine line between interesting and boring.
(depends which side of the fence you're on)
St Pauls 2 weeks ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXKffKdMDBg


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 06:50 AM

Still making a nuisance of herself I see, amongst the layabouts!!!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 01:20 PM

DeValera
De Valera was born in New York City in 1882 to an Irish mother; his parents, Catherine Coll (subsequently Mrs Wheelwright), an immigrant from Bruree, County Limerick, and Juan Vivion de Valera, a Cuban settler and sculptor of Spanish descent.
He was not born in Ireland, Some have even suggested he was a British Spy


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Gealt
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 04:57 PM

Patrick Pearse was born in Dublin to an Irish mother but his father was English and sadly the rest is history.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 06:47 PM

I'm English, but not alas an English folksinger (or so say some!).

Sometimes I think I would like to be Scottish... the kilt, the shortbread, the whisky, the socialist government - I'd like all that. A tam o' shanter hat, one of those knobbly walking sticks. I could drop 'och' into the odd conversation, pretend an interest in sliding big marble things across the ice.....

I could have one of those names where everyone says   .....how do you pronounce that:-

Hamish Auchterader

People would say, Och! I was in a sessioun with Hamish Auchterader last night! he plays Soldiers Jors Joy in G. D'ye nae think he might be muckle Sassenach....?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Nov 11 - 03:06 AM

You could try calling yourself ' Muckle Al Whittle '

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Nov 11 - 04:45 PM

or all wit and muckle


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: ollaimh
Date: 29 Nov 11 - 11:38 PM

well i went to the singer club as a callow teen fresh off the turnip truck. i've told the story elsewhere. it was an experience, but one i didn't understand at all untill years later. i sang a ditty in nova scotia galic--the gaelic i heard when very young. i sang along with a guy doing it in english. when he hit the chorus i switched to gaelic as that's how it was sung where i grew up.

they all must have assumed i was american because the balefull stares were intense, and the guy i tried to sing along with(along with everybody else) had a english accent. i think he was an englishman pretending to be scottish--and he may have been maccoll!! all i know was it waqsn't much like a kitchen party at home and i hit the road soon after.

if this doesn't highlight the wierdness thast urban over educated and under cultured folkies get into i don't know what does.

one of the few people they ever heard who was singing a childhood song in his childhood language was given the bum's rush. at that age i didn't care. i was much more interested in busking, drinking and chasing girls,

years late a remember the same shit in vancouver. a politically correct vancouver folk song society(the vancouver folk ss--bourgeois folkies never seem to have any self awareness)--told me the sing canadian songs here when i wanted to sing a gaelic song--and struck me off the list of singers

there are real roots issues that are not addressed by a facile quote from martin carty that folk has never been pure. what folk has rarely been is rescpectfull of the imperialized cultures.

moreover the scions of the middle class need to lighten up and hold off a lot. at the time i went to the singers i had worked on a fish boat and at a carpet factory--didn't get educated untill a decade later. i had no idea the twisted application of their ideas. my experience was that in the uk and canada the working class get pushed asside by bourgeois singers who usually claim to represent the working class(are you listening jon bartlett and rika ruebsaat?)

at least in the united states they love to new songs from rootsy traditions without much question

now on many political issues i agree with maccoll and he was a great song writer . i thought he was part of the lallans movement. but maybe not


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 07:04 AM

Be nice to Peggy.

Mid 70's maybe, but she's still a babe.

I'd follow her upstairs if she was wearing a miniskirt!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,dude
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 09:46 AM

T have any effect on Peggy, I reckon you'd have to wear a skirt too, Big Al.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 10:10 AM

"well i went to the singer club"
Your description bears no relation whatsoever to the Singers Club I attended for over 20 years - the idea of anybody judging a clun on one visit is beyong me completely - as is why the audience should give you "baleful stares" because they assumed you were "an American" - do you think we gave the same "baleful stares" to Peggy Seeger, Jack Warshaw, Buff Rosenthal, Tom Paley.... and all the other American residents and regular performers at the club.
As an under-educated electrician who has always been quite smitten by Shakespeare, Dickens, Hardy and Mozart, and other aspects of culture in the forms of music, theatre and literature, I always found friendliness, inspration and encouragement from Ewan, Peggy and all the residents on my many hundreds of visits to the Singers Club throughout the time I attended.
Perhaps you should have stuck to "busking, drinking and chasing girls"
BTW MacColl never "pretended to be Scots" - he was too well known for what he was - a Salfordian born into a Scots family.
Yeah "busking, drinking and chasing girls" seems about your level.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 10:10 AM

sounds good to me...!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 10:55 AM

'Yeah "busking, drinking and chasing girls" seems about your level.'

You're at it again Jim Carroll. You're such a nice man. Please don't be so disdainful.

This chap had something to say. His experience of Ewan was different from mine and yours. I never saw anything but kindness and understanding. I'm sure neither he nor Peggy would want all this scrapping. And the achievments well they tell the story well enough. There are no mean spirited or bullying songs in Ewan's catalogue.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 11:24 AM

Oh? How about The Grocer? ~~ we had a whole long thread about what an ill-natured and unworthy (& FTM mean-spirited & bullying) manifestation of class envy that one was!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 12:38 PM

Sorry Al - I would almost certainly have been a member of that "balefully glowering" audience
I took it rather personally - at worst, the Singers Club audience was always polite.
"The Grocer?"
Thatcer doesn't count (nor does her friend Pinochet" - every fair minded person hated them
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 12:38 PM

Sorry Al - I would almost certainly have been a member of that "balefully glowering" audience
I took it rather personally - at worst, the Singers Club audience was always polite.
"The Grocer?"
Thatcer doesn't count (nor does her friend Pinochet" - every fair minded person hated them
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 01:50 PM

What a 'fair-minded' comment, indeed, Jim ... the usual democratically-minded fair·minded person, with his contempt for the thrice [not once, not twice ~~ count them: THRICE] emphatically and firmly expressed will of the unfair-minded people.

Really, you should be very much ashamed of yourself, Jim: but I don't for a single second imagine that you are. Doctrinaire, biased, undemocratic ~~ fair-minded, your anus - oh what the hell for once - BUMHOLE!

Best regards, as ever,

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 02:09 PM

what about De Valera?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 02:37 PM

give us a clue, what about him Dick?

And why so disagreeable MGM? The people supported Barabas over Christ - doesn't mean to say they were right.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 02:51 PM

MtheGM, listen to another of Ewans songs ' Looking For A job ' you have to experience the despair of unemployment to understand [ which I don't think you do ] this is why Ewan hated M Thatcher, and quite rightly so.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 04:03 PM

Sorry, Al ~ don't follow. What is your point re Barrabas & Christ? Cannot make heads or tails of it, I am afraid.

And in what way was I 'disagreeable'? I disagreed with something you said, sure; but that is not the same as being disagreeable.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 04:52 PM

My point was that the people spoke and saved Barabas's life instead of jesus's life. The people don't always make the right choice.

As the Book of Job says the sun doesn't always shine on the righteous.

You implied Jim was a bumhole!

'Jim: but I don't for a single second imagine that you are. Doctrinaire, biased, undemocratic ~~ fair-minded, your anus - oh what the hell for once - BUMHOLE!'

That's being disagreeable.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 05:33 PM

No ~ I didn't say he was one: I said "your bumhole", in the way that Ricky Tomlinson as Mr Royle used to say "my arse!" i.e = 'your statement was erroneous'. Sorry if that was not clear.

The choice of Barrabas over Jesus was, nevertheless, a democratic choice. It is an matter of much theological dispute as to whether this was the 'right' or 'wrong' choice anyhow; no Crucifixion of Jesus, no Christianity! No doubt such as Duns Scotus & Aquinas will have had much to say of this. A poor analogy IMO, in any event.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 04:17 AM

My apologies I should have known a gentleman like yourself would be in capable of discourtesy.

I suppose you're right. Bad analogy - if Thatcher was Barabas that makes Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock into Jesus. I suppose they both had something of the same self righteous style.

I believe it was George Moore who called Christ 'the pale socialist of Galilee'. Are you into George Moore at all? My lecturer at college (later the best man at my wedding) was doing a PhD on Moore that never got done. he settled for an MPhil in the end, but he introduced me to a lot of those circa 1890 writers. fascinating period! Particularly the Irish of course like moore, Wilde and Yeats, Shaw, and of course up and coming Joyce.

last time i was in Dublin I passed by the National Library and there was a Yeats exhibition on. Spent ages there!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 08:32 AM

Has everyone seen the fine tribute to Ewan MacColl is the first part of this Youtube video?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 08:40 AM

Thank you Al. Never too inward with either George Moore or George Meredith, but do like their contemporary George Gissing. Did you have to be called George to find a publisher for your novel in those days, I ask myself?...

~M~


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 01:22 PM

give us a clue, what about him Dick?deVelera?
well he was crap compared to MacColl, he didnt write any good songs,he rewrote the irish constitution to suck up to the catholic church, his general effect was divisive politically.
THE only thing they have in common is that they both changed their name, i believe Dev was a crap singer, Ewan was good.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 01:50 PM

I think tis comparison between MacColl and De Valera is like comparing apples with pearls. De Valera was involved In a political movement which established a (semi) free Ireland from British rule .. his singing was immaterial. MacColl wanted to keep the British union at least between Scotland, England and Wales and sang to that effect.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: ollaimh
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 11:32 AM

singer club always polite, well the "nice anglos" always say thAt when they are giving you the bums rush.

the insults jim carrol sent my way are the kind of politness i am used to from his sort. thanks. i know where not to go.

ewan was pretending to be a highlander with the name mccoll. well he wasn't . he was a lowlander. the the lowland scots have borrowed almost all their cultural icons from highlanders and then bretayed their highland countrymen to the tender mercies of the imperial ethnic cleansing. and i see notheing short og cultural ethnic cleansing in the ideology of groups like the singers club. they want our culture but we cab take a hike.

it's show biz. nothing wrong with show biz, but that's what it is. you make up a personality and go on stage are get an audience by haveing folk cred. all the while the actual gaels are not welcome.i had the exact same experience at the vancouver folk ss. who were ewan mccoll ideology followers--at least many of tem quoted his ideas. he had good deas but they get applied by bigoted and ignorant anglos and become just another way for the "nice anglos" to posture righteous and superior. it becoms a church.

ewan was a great song writer but he was deluded in his ideological thinking. he came out of the rediscovery of folk music first by nationalists and then by leftists to prove their link to the masses. those ideologs were entirely self serving.

i still occasionally go to anglo folk scenes. i don't expect to be treated well. they don't like any differences. however occasionally it's fun. if its not i just don't go. however the french and celtic folk scene is always fun and full of traditional music. so that's where i usually go.

i few years ago i sang at the cecil sharpe house . they were a very welcoming crowd. and i didn't even have an instrument so i sand acapella.i did meet a few great celtic musicians. they agreed with me thast you just have to agree with the anglos to get along. they won't listen to outsiders and will attack vehemently if you back sass the empire(in their minds). youse guys should ocassionally think about what you've created where no ethnically diverses can go about openly. itws justbthe empire and it;s just show biz.

i used to think carrol was a decent person--oh well. maybe there really aren't any in folk.i don't call myself folf anymore. i'm a celtic nusician with an interest in balkan tunes and a few native amerindian songs and acadien music.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 01:30 PM

I had a folksinger friend who called himself Gordon Cameron after reading The Flight of the Heron. I remember Ian Campbell said to him when he came off the stage one night at The Jug of Punch, well its a great name...!

ollaimh.....lighten up mate, for your own sake. Whenever these slights occurred at The Singers Club - well it must have been a while back.

As for Jim, well he's not even in this country any more. His cyber rebukes are as the gentle rain from heaven. Be nice to the old chap. he's getting on.

where's the Balkan's. I used used to smoke Balkan Sobranie, way back. I'm sure the people who make such nice fags wouldn't want you upsetting yourself.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 01:33 PM

By the way, have you lot voted for me yet?   I promise you if i go mainstream like val Doonican, I'll pretend I never was a real folksinger, I was just waiting for a break in showbusiness.

I'll stop bothering you all.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 02:08 PM

"the lowland scots have borrowed almost all their cultural icons from highlanders and then bretayed their highland countrymen to the tender mercies of the imperial ethnic cleansing."

More often than not the clearing of Highlanders was done by other Highlnders. The Highland Chiefs may have been anglicised but they were still Highlanders for the most part. Not Lowland Scots and not English. Though of course there were some exceptions. As for icons etc. MacColl was immersed in what were probably mostly Lowland ballads. I don't think he put kilts on and played the Highland pipes that much or sang much in Gaelic etc.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 02:23 PM

Aw Big Al, I'm assuming I am the Jim you're referring to. I don't know where you think I live but listening to your song I think you're from somewhere in North America. Never mind I voted for you out of solidarity.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 02:28 PM

I suspect the reason "oollaimh" was not welcome at the Singer's Club 40 years ago is that he was a hostile paranoid git with a delusional chip on his shoulder back then just as he is now.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 02:51 PM

Of course, Big Al, you could have been talking about Jim Carroll, whom I consider a perfect gentleman with considerable knowledge and insight concerning our Ewan. Be kind and you may even get his vote ... or maybe not.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 03:20 PM

"As for Jim, well he's not even in this country any more. "
Do I spy the 'Little Englander" raising its head.
I'll show you what we've got if you show me yours.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Musket
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 05:38 AM

If my Aunty had balls, she'd be my Uncle.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 06:44 AM

Yes it was Jim Carroll, I was alluding to.

Little Englander - I wish! i could do with losing a few pounds, or even stones.....


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: frogprince
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 04:39 PM

four years ago


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 05:24 PM

"That was the great thing with Lonnie Donnegan, he never put on a foreign accent to sing a foreign song" Quote from Mr McGrath of Harlow

I'm not sure if his comment is tongue in cheek however, if no....
"My Old man's A Dustman" is definitely not sung in a Glesga accent.:-)


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 06:26 PM

"is definitely not sung in a Glesga accent.:-)" Mind he moved to London when he was a toddler. London accent would be his natural accent.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Brakn
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 07:13 PM

I know that he(Lonnie) went to school in Altrincham(St Ambrose) for a bit. That's not London - is it?


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 04:57 AM

According to wiki the family moved from Scotland to East Ham when he was two years old. It says he attended St Ambrose but only during the war as he was an evacuee


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 07:33 AM

Having grown up only slightly west of Donegan I would say that his natural accent was more accurately suited to "Dustman" than to "Rock Island Line". I was recently watching an old programme "Folk Britannia" where Lonnie sang "Rock Island" on a tv show and the cod american accent (sorry McGrath you are wrong)really was somewhat toe curling but what was even more so was in the same programme Ewan attempted a scottish accent on a song of which I can only recall the chorus "Tum a Hi Dum Doo, Tum a Hi Dum Day". It was obvious that Ewan never conquered the accent despite his heritage. (Cue one ton of bricks from Jim).Thinking about it I guess that Donegan was more Scottish than Ewan. Glasgow as opposed to Salford.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 07:43 AM

Where are you from, Hoot? What makes you an authority on the authentic sound of Scottish of all dialects. Ewan, on his records with his mother Betsy from Auchterarder, sounds pretty much the same as her, accent-wise, to my ear.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 07:50 AM

"Cue one ton of bricks from Jim"
Nope - quite agree with you on some of his earliest recordings.
The song you are referring to is Jock Hawk's Adventures in Glasgow, and there, it is not so much the accent that he has difficulty with but a rather heavy-handed attempt to imitate the 'plooman's' style of singing.
Having listened my way through the recordings of the Critics Group meetings recently, I came to the conclusion that he made a god-awful job of a Liverpool accent (my own).
MacColl's approach to accents was never, in my opinion, accuracy, but an actors one of producing a generally neutral Scots accent in order to keep the songs accessible but to leave them as Scots songs.
I remember seeing Matt McGinn at the Edinburgh Festival in the sixties playing the gatekeeper in MacBeath - didn't understand a word (and my dad was born in Glasgow).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 09:23 AM

playing the gatekeeper in MacBeath

We all blunder on Mudcat, but as typos go that's a classic. All hail MacBeath that shall be king hereafter!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 09:24 AM

MtheGM.

1. It's pretty clear from my posting where I come from.

2. I don't claim any authority on Scottish accents despite having    worked alongside/among and for Scottish people for a considerable period of my working life both in Dundee and down here. I was once accused of being Scottish not for my accent but for some of my phraseology which I had inadvertently picked up. I think Jim clarifies Ewan's problem with the song to which I referred.

Jim. I did put that comment about bricks in with my tongue in my cheek. I didn't believe that we would be at odds on this.

Whatever accents MacColl and Donegan used they both seem to have made a comfortable living from Music which is to be admired and both share the responsibility for creating a wider audience for real "folk related" music in the UK.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 01:59 PM

Re Lonnie Donegan's accent - I stand corrected. Apologies.

In my defence, M'lud - I have heard him talk in a broad Glasgow accent while discussing the "Denny Palais" with Lulu on the telly.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: goatfell
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 02:14 PM

English


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 02:23 PM

it must be a full moon.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 02:36 PM

go on Jim! Chuck a brick at him anyway!

Fight! Fight!


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 02:40 PM

Don't people get tired of winding up Jim Carroll in Ewan MacColl threads? Yes, I've done it myself - but it palls after a while.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 03:45 PM

I have met and talked with both McColl and Donegan. Both Donegan's and McColl's natural spoken voices were in what I would call English, McColl more northern English than Donegan. McColl's singing voice varied, choosing either Scottish or English (being an actor) whereas Donegan stuck to his English accent even when singing 'Rock Island Line'.. We know where they were both born and raised, McColl born in England and raised in England and Donegan born in Scotland and raised in England so I really don't know what else is to be said.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 12 - 07:41 PM

"so I really don't know what else is to be said. "
You might add that MacColl was raised in a Scots household and to her death in the seventies his mother Betsy had an accent you couldn't cut with a sharp knife.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 24 Apr 12 - 02:04 AM

He was a Scotsman with Scottish ancestory, born in England. My mother was born in Egypt (true) - suffice to say she is not Egyptian in anyway.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 12 - 05:55 AM

Yes, Jim, but this would have an effect on his singing/acting voice. I have said many times before I have the greatest regard for MacColl as a writer but I grue slightly when I hear him singing with a Scottish accent.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 12 - 06:07 AM

"I grue slightly"
Horses for courses I suppose - and I will be eternally grateful for having been introduced to the hundreds of ballads in a form that would ensure they remained with me throughout my life.
As many ballad singers as I have istened to, I can't think of a single one who did that to the extent he did.
Jm Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Apr 12 - 06:22 AM

Can't see where your 'grue' comes from, Guest. Perfectly serviceable General Purpose Scots accent IMO. The vocal mannerisms inherent in MacColl's singing, to be sure, do not appeal to everyone, tho didn't worry me; but they were present whatever accent he adopted. I suspect they, rather than the accent itself, are what you are reacting so negatively & 'gruesomely' to.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Apr 12 - 10:42 AM

That Guest posting was from me, I was using another computer and hadn't signed in. The effect MacColl's 'Scottish' voice has on me is of course entirely personal but I'm afraid I don't know what a General Purpose Scots' accent is. The heavy burr used by Harry Lauder and Matt McGinn also 'gars me grue'.


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Subject: RE: Gulp! Ewan MacColl - Scottish or Not?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Apr 12 - 11:53 AM

Aye weel, Jim; I reckon ye're gey hard tae please fan it comes to the Scots, the noo!


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