Mudcat Café message #3176567 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3176567
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
26-Jun-11 - 03:52 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
A lot of attitudes seem to depend upon whether you want your traditional songs to be museum pieces or part of a living tradition

This is a Purist myth. The Folk Revival has nothing to do with a 'living tradition' - on the contrary. Perhaps the definition of a Purist is, therefore, one who believes that by singing these old songs (and ones fashioned in their likeness) they are continuing a living tradition rather than indulging in a minority hobbyist past-time; one who believes that it is somehow significant, and even superior to 'Rap Music'? To them I say, by all means enjoy your model railway, but don't expect the rail networks to be supplied by Horby 00 any time soon.

Maybe I should qualify that statement to add that I am one such hobbyist and like nothing better than gathering with a few like-minded souls for a good old roll & blow in the filthy back-room of a public house untouched by the ravages of commercialism, but as we've seen, once you begin to look into the songs and the tradition thereof, you realise that Purism has no place. Well I might balk at having to endure anything other that 100% Pure Traditional English Folk Song (or immitations thereof) when I go for a night out at my local Folk Seance, but that doesn't make me Purist. One is reminded of a slogan on those awful Folk T-shirts which rings true for me: What happens in the Folk Club, stays in the Folk Club.