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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones How reliable is Folk History ? (241* d) RE: Lyr Add: How reliable is Folk History ? 15 May 18


Dick, I'm not sure what you mean by your reference to "The Manchester Rambler". It's undoubtedly a fine song,but it does not depict the Kinder Trespass itself, although it provides some context for it. It sweeps up what are probably a number of different incidents perhaps involving different people to tell a bigger truth. We are not meant to believe that those words were actually spoken, simply that those were attitudes expressed. Above all it is most certainly not impartial, and all the better for it.

As Keith has pointed out, "Glencoe" is a fairly modern song based on historical sources, rather than actual folk history passed down from the event itself.   If such stories and songs exist (presumably in Gaelic) they will no doubt tell us what the victims thought about it, but that is not to say that their interpretation of the facts, and especially the circumstances leading up to it, can be relied upon to be correct. No doubt useful and interesting stuff, but inevitably seen from a particular point of view, and perhaps embroidered over the passing centuries. If the Campbells have any songs, I would imagine they celebrate tricking their traditional clan rivals and dealing out righteous retribution to the King's enemies. All evidence of a sort, but not necessarily reliable.


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