Mudcat Café message #3342008 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22617   Message #3342008
Posted By: Jim Carroll
23-Apr-12 - 04:18 AM
Thread Name: Origin: High Germany
Subject: RE: Origin: High Germany
"On that last point there is no contradiction"
Yes there is - on the one hand you say the rural English working class were too busy earning a living to make songs, on the other you say they did and you've encountered them - make up your mind.
You've had a description of the conditions in which the Irish rural population created their songs, wars of independence, civil war, mass evictions, famine, emigrations, poor land, abject poverty.... all of which acted as a spur rather than a hindrance to the creation of a fantastically rich repertoire of songs we have here.
"The examples I have are from a few latterday writers/singers written in their retirement."
And the examples we have are of a huge repertoire of mainly anonymous songs in "folk" form that didn't move out of the area because the subject matter or local references anchored them here. This is not to say that this area did not add to the national traditional repertoire - in fact we know it did, as did many other areas of Ireland, and as, I have no doubt whatever, did many parts of England and Scotland when Britain had a living tradition . It is, I believe, these that went to make up the national folk repertoire.
"All that guff about whistling happily behind the plough"
Sorry Steve, this really is beneath you. I find this level of distortion the most unpleasantly dishonest part of your argument. Nobody here has mentioned "whistling ploughboys" other than yourself. The claim is simply that the English rural working class, just as the Irish and Scots, were capable of making songs, and almost certainly did so, in great numbers and with great skill - far more skill than your somewhat clunky broadside writers - and far more skill than you seem prepared to give them credit for.
This has seldom been disputed elsewhere, despite your still unqualified claims to the contrary.
"I have already suggested plenty of source"
You have suggested no more than a couple of off-the-top-of-the-head possibilities - without proof - and you have yet to show us why contemporary writers, including some who were aware of the broadside trade, made a distinction between orally produced songs and broadsides, and believed that the former fed the latter and not the other way round, as you claim.
As as for poor Ms Laidlaw's objection to killing the songs by writing them down.....
"'Folk songs' are so-called because of the 'folk process"
No they are not - the "folk" sang everything - music hall, Victorian tear-jerkers, popular songs of the day, light opera.... It is the belief that they actually made the songs that we refer to as 'folk' that has been the most important aspect of their study over the last century.
The same goes for 'folk' tales, customs, beliefs, dances, music, lore, painting.... it is their common origin which identifies them all as "folk art"
As far as I can see, you are still basing your entire argument on the unqualified assumption that the earliest printed sources you have traced must be the earliest forms of the songs - you need to show on what basis you believe this in order to make your case - and address all the reasons why it is probably not
Jim Carroll