Mudcat Café message #4032509 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4032509
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
06-Feb-20 - 07:47 AM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Hello Jack

Thanks for your feedback and comment. I had hoped the 7.52 correction made it clear that I was the author of the 7.38 post. I apologise for not being clear. I’ll try to be brief in re-stating my point.
I knew in general terms about cases of ‘tinkerings’ being passed off as originals/authentic before I read Harker. Some cases e.g. Bishop Percy are notorious. Child himself knew about the problem, as Steve Gardham has patiently pointed out several times on this thread. Harker isn’t, as far as I can see, saying anything new here.
Nor do I see any point in rehearsing these examples on this thread when they have been discussed elsewhere on Mudcat, with those of Lloyd being a prime example.

My own belief is that most of those posting here are aware of those examples, and of Child’s awareness of those examples. I include Jim Carroll in this.

My own view is that Nick Dow was right when he commented, on the problem with fakes generally, ‘The best that can be achieved is pointing out alterations and deceptions and giving the reader a choice.’

I will also explain once again that Harker’s book is not only about these examples of tinkering, or even perhaps mainly about them. I'm not sure that everybody has quite taken this point on board, and agree with Brian that the title doesn't help. I would of course be happy to hear about any specific examples where Harker falsely states that it took place when it did not. My intention here is not to defend Harker, though as I said before, it seems reasonable to try and get straight what he does and does not say, rather than attack him on the basis of stuff he did not say.

At 7.38 I was responding to a reasonable comment made by Steve Gardham a few moments earlier. Steve game the same quotation, so I suppose I guessed people that would know where it came from. This section seems to have stemmed from a reasonable comment made by Jag at 5.57 suggesting something to the effect that there appears to be some lack of clarity about what sort of modifications can be made to old songs and when. (please refer to Jag’s post for the original in context).
The context was, therefore, a discussion that fully accepted that some people modified songs.

Here it is again:

'I really think it to be more than a little begrudging to accuse many of the early collectors of "fakery" and dishonesty - they were song collectors gathering songs they thought worth singing, not social historians.'

Looking at it again, perhaps what it means is that some or many early collectors have been falsely accused of ‘fakery and dishonesty’. (it says ‘think it to be’ rather than ‘think it would be’) But I read it in the context as a comment on the work of Harker and as a response to Steve’s patient provision of well-known examples, especially in the light of repeated demands made to Steve to discuss examples.

Sorry for being unclear. And thank you for the polite rejoinder.