Mudcat Café message #3680511 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156167   Message #3680511
Posted By: Jim Carroll
27-Nov-14 - 11:31 AM
Thread Name: radio 4 how folk songs should be sung
Subject: RE: radio 4 how folk songs should be sung
"Ewan MacColl did come across as curmudgeonly in this programme and Peggy Seeger has said a few times that she feels slightly embarrassed now about this period with the Critics"
The programme in no way represented what happened at The Critics meetings - I'm revisiting them at the moment and half a century after they happened they still give an unbelievable lift - a little disturbing to find that lachriomosity is one of the aspects of ageing!!.
I have to say they some selections of the programmes we have passed on to the producer have had a powerful effect on her.
Ewan largely avoided commenting on the performances of singers outside our work - I think I've come across less than half-a-dozen after listening to over 200 tapes.
Analysis (criticism) of singing was confined to member of the Group, and we could go home and take our ball with us any time wewished.
I spent 2 days with Peggy last week being recorded discussing Ewan and the Group with her - this is about as far as it gets from how she feels about them
Ewan listed the work he did with the Critics Group as one of his greatest achievements, which is pretty much how Peggy still feels about it.
"that any first person narrative is by its very nature bogus"
I don't know if this was the case - he was often critical of pastiche representations of people and periods far removed from the experiences of song-makers (and obviously misunderstood)
"Just sing the song to the best of your ability with thought given to the nature of the song"
There's no reason, as far as I can see, that someone shouldn't wish to continue adding to your skills constantly - seems a little complacent not to.
I cut down my singing when we started collecting and eventually stopped altogether.
Over the last few years I started again and realised to my horror that my range had reduced to the extent that I could no longer handle some of my songs (particularly Flying Cloud and Sheffield Apprentice) - a few sessions at the exercises and I got them back.
Jim Carroll