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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Jim Carroll Folk Music and Class (71* d) RE: Folk Music and Class 23 Oct 07


When I came into folk music it was pretty well exclusively a working class pastime, certainly in Liverpool and Manchester. I was introduced to it along with a friend who was a storeman working in 'Paddy's Market' when it was on Scotland Road, (Scousers will remember were that was).
Throughout the sixties there was an influx of students, but they were virtually all from working class backgrounds (the ones I met anyway).
The Singers Club used to pride itself on the predominance of working class regulars and its residents were more-or-less the same (with the exception of Peggy, who was the only card-carrying member of the middle-class and would often remind us of the fact).
I really don't know what has happened to change that situation - if it has changed.
Here in Ireland class is not an issue as it is in the UK, particularly in the rural areas. While it is true that people are becoming wealthier here, thanks to the Celtic Tiger, you would be hard-pushed to sort out the rich from the poor, certainly not by their accents.
It seems to me that it is the question of accent that gives rise to problems in the singing of folk-songs - it is very hard not to sound like Peter Pears and project the 'drawing room' image while singing 'with a plum in your mouth'.
When it comes down to it, we're virtually all outsiders to the society which produced and perpetuated the songs and ballads.
Jim Carroll


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