Mudcat Café message #4031684 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4031684
Posted By: Jim Carroll
02-Feb-20 - 03:17 AM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
"Not quite correct, Jim, though it is certainly true that "fake" is often used invidiously."
It's beyond question that people have always questioned what was published in the early days, but most people were intelligent enough to put that editing into the context of the times rather than the maliciousness of "fake" or even "mediation" (just as malicious in its way)
That implies a personal action based on personal taste and prejudice
These people were working in the post-Victorian period and had be careful what they published - probably the most popular target for the critics of 'cleaning up' was Baring Gould
They tried to get the songs accepted into schools and there was no way that, say, 'Strawberry Fair'. with it's "locks and keys" was going to make it into the classroom
The most visionary among them kept unedited texts and published the cleaned-up stuff, which was fair enough
I was always intrigued by the tune and reference to the song 'The Girl from Loestoft' (or 'The Hole in the Wall' which was published in the Journal as a tune only with the note that the words were unfit for polite eyes
I was delighted to find that Lomax recorded it from Harry Cox some time in the 1950s but to date it has never been widely distributed

Legman probably over-emphasised the sex bit with some of his statements, but he certainly acted as a breath of fresh air to song scholarship (and was frowned on in his native America for doing so)
We wrote to him when we found we were unable to get hold of volume two of 'The Rational of the Dirty Joke' (entitled No Laughing Matter') - I still have a his reply telling us that we could get a copy from a seedy publisher in Soho - the same firm that published the soft porn 'Rude Food'
Even in the seventies, bawdy material was difficult to obtain - Britain was still stinging from the Lady Chatterley trial

There is nothing whatever wrong with criticising these people as long as it is done fairly - Harker brought an end to all that with his career-enhancing spitefulness - and now, it seems, his disciples have taken up the cudgels
Some of these postings give me the impression of toy poodles snapping at the heels of giants - these people opened a door to a wonderful world for many of us - there's little sign of gratitude from some quarters
Jim Carroll