Mudcat Café message #3372316 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120890   Message #3372316
Posted By: Jim Carroll
05-Jul-12 - 09:45 AM
Thread Name: New Penguin Book of English Folk Song
Subject: RE: New Penguin Book of English Folk Song
"These songs weren't made as 'Folk Songs' - they weren't made to fit with the 1954 Definition "
Of course they weren't, and it is extremely misleading to suggest that anybody has claimed that they were (a fairly common style of argument in your case).
The term 'folk' and the definition came later with attempts to understand the phenomenon.
That doesn't mean to say that the people who gave us the songs didn't have their own ways of identifying them - 'old', 'come-all-ye', 'local', 'Clare', 'Traveller', 'my father's songs' - in Walter' Pardon's case "folk".... all used by singers we've spoken with . Nor does it mean that they didn't regard them as different from the mass-produced mass.
In our experience, it is those who refuse to recognise that as a genre, they are unique and identifiable from all other types of song who are out of step with the tradition, not those of us who feel the need to lift the corner to find out what's underneath.
As far as the '54' definition goes, as flawed as it might be it will still continue to act as a guide until someone comes up with another.
I welcomed the possibility when I heard Dave Harker was planning to take on the task, but - oh dear, talk about taking a hatchet to the dead.
Sharp and his mob might have got it wrong - pioneers and innovators tend to - but along with Brian, he still has my respect and gratitude, and when comared to the smug hindsight of Fakelore and The Imagined Village.....
Jim Carroll