Mudcat Café message #3372715 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120890   Message #3372715
Posted By: Jim Carroll
06-Jul-12 - 03:36 AM
Thread Name: New Penguin Book of English Folk Song
Subject: RE: New Penguin Book of English Folk Song
"Could we please dispose of the repeated statement that the book doesn't contain any Victorian tear jerkers"
You are right of course SS, one that slipped under the wire - apologies - though it is often described as 'traditional'.
"hated that 'Victorian tear-jerker'"
Walter Pardon didn't regard it as 'folk', even though he sang it. He described it as a parlour song and said it always reminded him of aspidistras.
Walter and the Traveller Mary Delaney, both with huge repertoires of traditional songs, also had non-traditional ones they were reluctant to sing.
In Walter's case, when you asked him he would say, "What do you want thet old thing for?" but would sing it when pressed. He described how his cousins "took up the new songs" while he preferred the old ones and set out deliberately to preserve them.
Mary Delaney, on the other hand, who had a large number of Country and Western songs, refused to "waste her time singing them" for us.
She said she only sang them "because that's what the lads ask for in the pub". She went on to say, "the new songs have the old ones ruined".
Both of them had phenomonal memories; Walter could quote almost verbatim, chunks of Hardy and Dickens and reel off all the members of a national cricket team from 30 /40 years earlier.
Mary's memory seemed to have developed because of the fact that she had been blind from birth - she claimed to be able to sing a song through "after a couple of hearings".
Jim Carroll