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GUEST,Terry Blankenship Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads (38) RE: Help: Melodies to Broadside Ballads 25 Jun 01

I managed to get almost every book mentioned in this thread from nearby college libraries.

The thing I noticed immediately is that almost every single song in Bronson's four volumes of "The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads" has already been recorded by well known English, Scottish, and Irish singers. In fact everyone seems to be doing different versions of the same 300 songs.

The next thing I noticed was that most of the versions that I have heard of these songs have been altered to more modern English. Many times the singer has obviously looked at all of the versions and put together their own edited new version from all of them.

The Claude M. Simpson 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music' had only music and no lyrics. I am trying to figure out how to use this and find the lyrics that go with the tunes. I am trying to see if any of the tunes are for broadsides in the Bodelian library.

I have a whole new respect for all of the folk singers who found these tunes and were among the first to record them. Martin Carthy in particular and many others as well.

I was hoping that I could find some good traditional songs that no one had recorded yet. I am sure they are out there but it is going to be harder than I thought.

Now I know why folk singers tend to just do their own new versions of songs that have already been recorded by other artists.


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