Mudcat Café message #3341694 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22617   Message #3341694
Posted By: Steve Gardham
22-Apr-12 - 11:36 AM
Thread Name: Origin: High Germany
Subject: RE: Origin: High Germany
Our oral traditions do indeed go back much further and indeed a smallish number of the ballads can be traced back to 17thc broadsides, a few more to 18thc broadsides but the great bulk to late 18thc and early 19thc broadsides when the people being recorded by Baring Gould, Sharp, Kidson, Broadwood etc were in their youth.

Jim, apart from the earliest versions being either from the theatres or broadsides, there is also the matter of something you broached for your argument, content of the songs, stylistic qualities.

I have no disdain for oral tradition, in fact quite the opposite as I tried to explain above. BUT I'm sure you will accept, as has every other writer on the subject, oral tradition can work both ways, it can be improving the song or quite the opposite. Luckily it's usually the improved ones that survive and blossom. I doubt very much that the example I gave in this thread was actually as the result of oral tradition but it's possible so I included that possibility.

Your message above has actually inspired me to do a study on Banks of Newfoundland and its relationship with 'Van Dieman's Land' so I'll report back once that's complete.

You mentioned whaling songs as a prime genre. Let's take one of these. How about 'Bonny Ship the Diamond' How and when do you think that came about?