Mudcat Café message #2718724 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123472   Message #2718724
Posted By: Howard Jones
08-Sep-09 - 06:42 AM
Thread Name: The Folk Process
Subject: RE: The Folk Process
"what happens then is the frailty of the human cerebelum and Mondegreens."

That's a rather negative and degenerative view. Of course, forgetfulness and misunderstandings play their part, but often a singer would make deliberate changes, adding or subtracting to make the story more understandable or better to sing.

There is also evidence that many of them did not have a fixed idea of either text or tune, and would "make it up as they went along", not in the dismissive modern sense but more in the way of a good storyteller or comedian, who will create their tale around a fixed structure of events, but never the same way twice.