Mudcat Café message #4034043 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4034043
Posted By: Brian Peters
13-Feb-20 - 01:15 PM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
"What, for me Yates perhaps lacks is a sense of how much Bearman mounts an attack on second-wave folklore as well as on Harker? It seems possible to me that people who disliked Harker may have latched on to the fact that Bearman disliked Harker without realising how convervative Bearman was?"

I can't speak for Mike Yates, but people who enjoy the performance style of singers like, say, Walter Pardon are no necessarily interested in, or delighted by, the second revival and its own performance conventions. All of us who are interested in the sort of discussion we're having here were well aware of Bearman's conservatism and vituperative outbursts (though personally I never met him) and his remarks about Lloyd's politics, though much kinder than those directed at Harker, are not surprising. All who have looked into his scholarship, however, have been impressed.

"As I understand it, Sharp did ask some of his informants where they had learned their songs."

He certainly did in Appalachia (although not in every case), usually getting the answer 'from my mother / grand mother', but occasionally 'from a negro', etc. He also recorded some of the singers' feelings about the songs, such as the famous, 'If only I were driving the cows home I could sing it at once' or, 'It must be true because it is so beautiful'.

"This lack of concern for the voices of singers is precisely one of the complaints made by Harker."

But he ignored instances in which he singers' voices were available for inspection, made no comment on changes in collecting practice post-Sharp which made a point of recording singers' opinions, and had apparently never met a traditional singer himself.

"if Sharp wants to argue that these villages were somehow cut off from outside influences...how to explain how come they were singing much the same songs as people all over the country?"

Sharp didn't argue this. 'Remote' is not the same as 'cut off', and I've already quoted the passage from his Conclusions about he role of ballad hawkers in disseminating the songs 'all over the land'.