Mudcat Café message #4032615 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4032615
Posted By: Jim Carroll
06-Feb-20 - 03:11 PM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
"I read Jim's point as being that they were not intending to document the society that the singers lived in."
I meant exactly that Jag
Jack is right that they were antiquarians, but rather than put what they collected into a social context they treated them as curious artifacts
I have numerous books of examples of these - Timbs, Tooms, Chambers, Hone. 'Notes and Queries', the Gentleman's Magazine.... fascinating stuff to dip into for hours on end and packed full of useful information, but with no overall objective

I think the earliest publication of this sort we have that includes songs is the four bound volumes of 'The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore and Legend (1888- 1891 which has columns of ballads and songs (with tunes) submitted by Stokoe and Reay
One of the most treasured book we ever bought was a slim, calf-bound soft-back with 'Jacobite Songs embossed on the cover (it cost us 7 shilling and sixpence
It turned out to be a lined exercise book with around 160 Jacobite songs beautifully written in almost copper-plate handwriting with tunes precisely laid out in tonic-solfa
There's no name on it, just a leaflet advertising a lantern-slide lecture on 'The McGregor Country' dated 1916 - you can see the handwriting getting old as the book proceeds - obviously a life's work for some unnamed hero

I think the most worrying thing that has upset e during these arguments is the attempt to offer bullshit as facts instead of honest findings
Earlier on I was told firmly that the "Buchan controversy was done and dusted" when in fact it is no such thing
I was told that Buchan's greatest supporter was a businessman who knew nothing of ballads
I'd forgotten we have a 2 volume copy of Ford's Vagabond Songs that had once been part of Walker's library and which are full of his learned comments on the songs contained
I found a published collection of Walkers letters and essays on ballads and discovered that, far from being an ignoramus on the subject he was a man well aware of the importance of the people's songs
It seems to me that many of these theories are being pushed forward by suppressing facts
I believe Harker has done much to set this ball rolling
Jim Carroll