Mudcat Café message #4033884 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4033884
Posted By: Jim Carroll
12-Feb-20 - 03:02 PM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
The first reported singing of rural workers having an oral tradition was when The Venerable Bede (died 735) complained about cattlemen interrupting one of his sermons by passing a harp around and singing disreputable secular songs
The first named folk son 'The wedding of The Frog and the Mouse' was identified as having been sung by 'shepherds' in Wedderburn's Complaynt of Scotland in 1549
It was still being collected in unique versions right into the sedecod half of the 20th century (from virtuoso fiddle player Martin Hayes's elderly father in Clare and from Annie McKenzie in Boho, Fermanagh
The Ballad, 'Hind Horn' which shares its plot with Homer's tale of the return of Odysseus, left Ireland with famine refugees and was recorded still being sung in New England in the 1930s
The non-Child ballad, 'The Bramble Briar' was used as a plot for one of Boccaccio's tales in The Decameron (latter half of the 14 century - it was still doing the rounds in Ireland as 'The Constant Farmer's Son' when we started recording in Clare - (we also got it from Travellers)
Local dancer Mikey Kelleher gave us versions of 'The mouse in the matchbox' story as joke - it was part of Rojas's 'The Spanish Bawd' (1499)
He also gave us a cante-fal version of The Sea captain and the Fiddler's Wife which appeared as a song in D'Urfey's 'Pills to Purge Melancholy' (1707) and a tale version of 'The Bishop of Canterbury' (dating back at least to the 16th century)   
I never get tired of telling of non'literate Traveller telling us the cante-fable 'The Silence Wager' whic has appeared as the song John Blunt (Dorset) and 'Get up and Bar the Door' (Scotland) over the centuries, but has existed as a tale all over the world for seveal millenia, the oldest reported being told as a tale of two Egyptian tomb robbers arguing about who should close the tomb door for fear they would be discovered by the Pharaoh's tomb guards....

These examples can be found one-hundred -fold in our folk song repertoires as oral tales and songs which have existed long before print and mass literacy

It is utterly stupid to deny there is no continuum to our oral traditions when the existence of such examples are as numeous as they are
Jim Carroll