Mudcat Café message #3184765 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3184765
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
10-Jul-11 - 06:42 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
But none of that makes the sentence traditional nor the tune we compose traditional.

As I say, The Tradition is the stuff that songs are made on, not the songs themselves which are but the consequence of that tradition. For any tradition to live those songs exist as fluid consequences of the creative processes and conventions which are its life and soul.

That is so obvious that it must undermine any bona fides that your argument might otherwise have.

Obvious as a convention but only in a canonical sense. We have the Canon of Folk Song as given to us by the Old Testament Revival and the collectors thereof, but those songs are only a bunch of random samples from the Tradition that made them, they are not the Tradition in and of themselves. Those collected songs are but snap-shots, mere stills and glimpses isolated from the fluidity of musical process, and imperfect ones at that.

Your distortion of the impact of the application of a term to the Elliots is likewise contumelious.

Only in respect of Folk Heresy I'm sure.

I have no respect for your arguments, or your irrelevancies,

Likewise I'm sure.

although I am mildly gratified to see that you are trying to understand the difference between a folksinger and a folksong singer.

I'm running with the Revival Convention of such matters anyway, otherwise in the broader scheme of universal musical creativity it doesn't mean that much to me other than the Old Folk Singers are generally more fun to listen to than the New Ones. Old Testament Folk Song - be it Harry Cox or Phil Tanner or Alfred Deller or Jack Langstaff or John Jacob Niles or Seamus Ennis - have something else going on which is largely absent from the New Testament MOR approach; at least to my ears anyway. Of course there are exceptions - Jim Eldon, Peter Bellamy, Mike Waterson, Dave Peters et al. So in many ways the distinction is purely an aesthetic one, though I will always consider Context as a crucial factor - so someone like (say) Davie Stewart becomes a hero for me, but in the same sense the others do too - Bellamy, Eldon... In terms of Pure Music though, those distinctions don't really bother me in the slightest.

That in itself appears to indicate that you might actually know what folksong is

What it actually shows that I know what YOU think a Folk Song is and what The Colonial Revival thinks a Folk Song is. I'm well acquainted with the conventions, orthodoxies and the canons of The Revival but I don't agree with the conclusions, much less that other songs sung by the Old Singers can't be considered Folk Songs, nor, for that matter, why many songs sung by New Singers CAN and, indeed ARE. After all, athiests can be Theologists too.

and so that your sesquipedalian arguments are not bona fide.

Damn right they are, all the more so because I love and sing this stuff too. In essence I'm a passionate folky for whom the Old Songs & Ballads represent a pinacle of artistic achievement in all their glorious diversity. To see them reduced to MOR easy-listening mush for a elite minority of baby-boomers breaks my heart. I think this goes back to first hearing June Tabor sing Plains of Waterloo in the same gig as The Band Played Smalzting Matilda (certainly they're both on the same record). Maybe I was 14 or so at the time, but in instantly loving the former I instantly despised the latter, and I still do, and can't see why the two should ever be associated. Still, each to their own, eh?

S O'P (for Purist, acknowledging the Joys of Folk Analysis)