Mudcat Café message #4018136 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166876   Message #4018136
Posted By: Jim Carroll
09-Nov-19 - 09:41 AM
Thread Name: Review: Walter Pardon - Research
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
"What Walter describes his family doing, particularly with the 'new songs',"
Walter sang all the songs he liked in his own style - this didn't mean he regarded them as coming out of the same stable - he made it perfectly clear that he did not
Steve is now using his index to suggest that Walter and his generation did not discriminate -   basically, "if the folk sang it it's folk'
There are some songs taken from Walter on Steve's list which Walter specifically said were not folk which, I believe, presents us with a problem - can we regard pop songs of yesteryear as 'folk songs' because Harry, Sam and Walter happened to sing them ?
If Phil Tanner had been a Welsh miner and a member of a Miner's Operatic Society, would Nessun Dorma have become a folk song ?
What if they all sang Hank Williams songs, or songs from Frank Sinatra's repertoire... would they merit Roud numbers - if not, why not ?

I was drawn to becoming involved in folk song as deeply as I have because of their uniqueness and their social significance as history-carriers
The products of the Popular Music Industry don't come anywhere near that function
Largely, they remain static and unchanged - no significant versions - just still-born songs

Don't get me wrong - Pat and I would have been totally lost without the Roud index - for our own collection and now for further research into Irish versions of Child Ballads
Unfortunately I find myself no longer able to point to The Roud index and say, "If you want to know what a folk song is - look there"

I've been in the throes of writing an article on the relationship between print and the oral tradition for a long time now - unfortunately, Steve's index features in it - I hope we don't fall out over our differences
I met Steve in Belfast a couple of weeks ago - so far, so good (I know he must be perfectly aware of my opinions)
Jim