Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones How reliable is Folk History ? (241* d) RE: Lyr Add: How reliable is Folk History ? 23 May 18


History is not the work of any one historian. Like any academic discipline, it is an attempt to reach a consensus on what happened, why it happened, and what were the consequences,based on an understanding of known facts. Like any academic discipline, knowledge is imperfect as not all the facts can be known, and of course different people will come to different conclusions. Where enough historians can agree then something can be said to be decided, but only for now. Knowledge evolves over time as new facts emerge and new interpretations are made.

All sources are unreliable until their provenance can be established. The problem with folk history is that those provenances are usually unknown. In most cases we do not know where the story or song originated, whether the author was an eye-witness or based it on hearsay, whether details were changed to make a better story or to achieve a rhyme, or to what extent the story was altered in subsequent re-tellings. That is the very nature of folk history.

Folk history may be able to tell us a lot about a community's attitudes to something, both around the time of an event and subsequently. Whether it can be relied upon as a description of that event is very doubtful, and can probably only be known if the details can be confirmed from other sources.


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.