Mudcat Café message #935787 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58902   Message #935787
Posted By: Anglo
18-Apr-03 - 12:31 AM
Thread Name: Singing in dialect
Subject: RE: Folklore: Singing in dialect
"A chance at a radio spot." Romantic as that sounds, I think doing that particular radio spot is worth about as much as you get paid to do it. (Though at least you've got a live audience to cheer you on and make you feel good).


Back to the topic. Martin Carthy has no problem rewriting Scots ballads into English There is a close relationship between the trad English counry song repertoire and the English-language Irish repertoire - Irish farm workers carrying them back and forth till you can't tell where a song might have come from originally. How might they have been sung "in transit"? Same with Scottish ballads going to Appalachia - there had to be some transitional stages there. Songs in the lunber camp repertoire, learned and carried by people from all over.

You have to just do what seems right to you. And what is right for one song may not be right for another. I find I need to leave some songs alone. But others (Scots, let's say), in some cases I'll convert to English, in some cases I'll sing in English with a few dialect words left in, in some cases I'll leave them in Doric and try to work from there. Same with Irish. And I might treat the same song differently in an Irish bar on St Pat's than on a radio show in Ithaca

Just treat every song with the respect and attention it deserves. They don't all fit in the same cubby.