Mudcat Café message #3991270 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166098   Message #3991270
Posted By: CupOfTea
07-May-19 - 10:35 AM
Thread Name: If you don't like ballads......
Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
Well, I do. Yet I do not see why someone's preferences would either qualify or disqualify them as lovers of folksong. One's taste is a personal thing that is only partially informed by their education, literacy, or exposure to "classics" of literature, music, song, or art. If a short attention span is the problem, this is a limitation to their experiences that I pity.

There was an "ah ha" moment for me when someone drew a parallel of listening to ballads we know to re-reading a loved book. I've always done that, with unfortunate heavy toll should they be paperbacks! But, with ballads, hearing them performed in different styles, is much like the way Shakespeare's plays have been produced in a great variety of interpretations, periods, staging. I am fond of Steeleye Span's Tam Lin, swept away in the story as completely as possible. I was also enthralled the time a storyteller friend sang it acapella (and impressed, hugely), with the eye contact and performance feel of it. I don't class one as 'better' - or more authentic, or correct, or pure - I'm not sure being a purist is any help to being an enthusiast. I do appreciate the value of acadenmic traditionalists who can give the lineage and relatives of a ballad or song; that is part of my enjoyment, but not the whole of it.

Comparing versions of ballads is perhaps the only sport I engage in, and do enjoy that there ARE differences even if I do not like the result of those differences - it means it is a vital, living, piece of culture and musical history.

Joanne in Cleveland