Mudcat Café message #1761163 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #92109   Message #1761163
Posted By: GUEST
16-Jun-06 - 03:04 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Peter Kennedy (1922-2006)
Subject: RE: Obit: Peter Kennedy (10 June 2006)
Hello Guest,
Couple of things.
Please don't make this an English-Irish thing - I was born and brought up in the UK and lived there up to 8 years ago when we decided to move here to The West of Ireland. My experience and contact with traditional singers has been as much in Britain as it has in Ireland and I have to say that I have always been overwhelmed at their generosity and willingness to share and pass on their songs and music wherever they came from.
Peter Kennedy's influence - for good or evil, has been spread pretty equally right across these islands and has been felt by performers, fellow collectors or simply by traditional music enthusiasts. I am not suggesting for one minute that we should indulge in a Kennedy kicking session; that would be as meaningless and non-productive as the somewhat vacuuous praise that is being heaped on him at present. I am suggesting that, as he was an important influence in our understanding of the tradition, his work needs to be assessed honestly as it impinges on how we regard our source performers and how we handle what they have given us, to make sure it is passed on for others to appreciate.
I have to say you managed to raise a wry smile from me when you mentioned speaking ill of the dead. As a friend and long time admirer of Ewan MacColl, it has been difficult to ignore the abuse and misinformation that has always surrounded his work and ideas on singing and on the tradition. I was interested to see recently that, some sixteen years after MacColl's death, the noble art of grave-dancing is still going strong; that is if the somewhat disappointing 'Folk Brittania' programmes are anything to go by,
Jim Carroll