Mudcat Café message #3342918 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22617   Message #3342918
Posted By: Jim Carroll
25-Apr-12 - 03:55 AM
Thread Name: Origin: High Germany
Subject: RE: Origin: High Germany
Not going to have much time on this today
"Overwhelmingly oral-traditional genres like superstitions, traditional tales, melodies, jokes, proverbs, and the like are far easier to remember, repeat, and elaborate with no help from print."
All of which Steve had rejected outright with his statement:
".....this is just not true, except one would presume with folk painting, much of the rest originated in high art!"
Which leaves what we know to be a creative people with no created culture whatever, only that made for them by the professionals - this suggests country people to be less creative than some of the most primitive peoples of the world - read Ruth Finnegan, Carl Engle, Wilbur Trask, C M Bowra..... all writing about oral literature created and performed by primitive, illiterate peoples.
There has never been any question that some of our folk songs started life on the broadside presses - Prof. Bob Thomson was working on this back in the late 60s, but to suggest that it virtually all was, flies in the face of reality - never mind the virtually non-existent evidence of our oral traditions prior to 1900.
I have always been left with an suspicion of selective manipulation of the few facts we do have when I read these arguments.
For instance, if non-literate Travellers like John Reilly had large and rare ballad repertoires, we are advised that they must have had access to the printed word - even though we damn well know they didn't.
If we are told that a songs was sung by a singer's great-grandparents, their words are treated with suspicion "unless there's a contemporaneous record".
There is far too much evidence of the desire - need even - of working people - humanity in general - to express themselves, their experiences, beliefs, opinions and emotions artistically, to write a whole folk culture off as being produced on their behalf by professionals - ham fisted "hacks" even.
There is no question that 'the folk' actually produced their own 'folk songs' here in Ireland - in this small town in the west of Ireland even - we have recorded and documented accounts of it having taken place.
It has been conceded that bothy songs were made by bothy workers.
There are many printed examples of songs and poems made by miners, textile workers and agricultural laboureres - why should not songmaking have been the general practice of all similar communities, as it has always been assumed it was by those working on the subject, and in some cases, much nearer to the facts of the matter than we are?
There is enough evidence to strongly suggest that it was, there is virtually no reliable evidence to suggest it wasn't, and such asuggestion flies in the face of logic.
Jim Carroll