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how important is the label traditional singer?

The Sandman 03 Oct 07 - 08:09 AM
The Sandman 03 Oct 07 - 08:46 AM
Folkiedave 03 Oct 07 - 09:25 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 07 - 12:50 PM
The Sandman 03 Oct 07 - 01:01 PM
TheSnail 03 Oct 07 - 01:55 PM
Folkiedave 03 Oct 07 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,irishenglish 03 Oct 07 - 04:24 PM
The Sandman 03 Oct 07 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,irishenglish 03 Oct 07 - 05:52 PM
The Sandman 03 Oct 07 - 06:00 PM
GUEST 04 Oct 07 - 03:25 AM
The Sandman 04 Oct 07 - 05:02 AM
Folkiedave 04 Oct 07 - 05:33 AM
The Sandman 04 Oct 07 - 06:59 AM
Betsy 04 Oct 07 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 04 Oct 07 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,irishenglish 04 Oct 07 - 09:33 AM
The Sandman 04 Oct 07 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 04 Oct 07 - 11:13 AM
M.Ted 04 Oct 07 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,irishenglish 04 Oct 07 - 12:02 PM
curmudgeon 04 Oct 07 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,tom bliss 04 Oct 07 - 12:21 PM
The Sandman 04 Oct 07 - 12:43 PM
GUEST 04 Oct 07 - 03:05 PM
greg stephens 05 Oct 07 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,tom still on tour 05 Oct 07 - 11:13 AM
The Sandman 05 Oct 07 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 05 Oct 07 - 01:38 PM
The Sandman 05 Oct 07 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,tom now in a chinese restaurant 05 Oct 07 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,tom 05 Oct 07 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 05 Oct 07 - 02:47 PM
The Sandman 05 Oct 07 - 04:04 PM
Dave Sutherland 05 Oct 07 - 04:24 PM
The Sandman 05 Oct 07 - 04:34 PM
Dave Sutherland 05 Oct 07 - 04:38 PM
The Sandman 05 Oct 07 - 04:52 PM
greg stephens 05 Oct 07 - 06:00 PM
Art Thieme 05 Oct 07 - 11:26 PM
Barry Finn 06 Oct 07 - 12:57 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 07 - 02:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Oct 07 - 03:52 AM
The Sandman 06 Oct 07 - 04:26 AM
greg stephens 06 Oct 07 - 04:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Oct 07 - 05:02 AM
Folkiedave 06 Oct 07 - 06:22 AM
greg stephens 06 Oct 07 - 06:23 AM
Betsy 06 Oct 07 - 06:25 AM
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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 08:09 AM

THE OILY RIGS,can be heard on SongsFrom The Sailing Barges topic[1977]12TS361,No reference to its origin in the sleeve notes which were by [A.L.LLOYD].


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 08:46 AM

Bob Roberts was also a songwriter,anyone who cares to visit this website will see that his daughters ,describe him as a charecterful singer[no mention of traditional or revival].
I suspect that future traditional singers,who may have a computer,wont allow people to collect their songs but will just record the songs themselves,and make some money out of them.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 09:25 AM

Captain - I was not questioning Bob Roberts whom I booked at a folk club I helped to run a number of times.

I question that whoever wrote "The Oily RIg" that it could ever be regarded as traditional; the idea that you suggested - that Bob wanted to pass it off as "traditional" is thus ludicrous. The suggestion about collectors is equally ludicrous.

Finally I would like to hear how you believe that Bob Roberts is a traditional and a revival singer at the same time.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 12:50 PM

"Finally I would like to hear how you believe that Bob Roberts is a traditional and a revival singer at the same time."

He just IS (WAS) that's all!! And no amount of reasoned argument will persuade the Cap'n otherwise ...


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 01:01 PM

I was trying to say,that I thought it was pecuiliar that Roberts,Who wrote Swell The nets Full and claimed authorship of it,did not claim authorship of OILY RIGS.I am also intrigued why LLOYD passed off songs as traditional.
I have never been convinced that Bob Roberts was a Traditional singer,[just a gut feeling,perhaps it was the fact he was not unaccompanied,all the other[that I can think of] of the english traditional singers have been unaccompanied], if you say he was,your undoubtedly right, although to me it makes no difference, he was a fine singer.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 01:55 PM

Captain Birdseye

to me it makes no difference

Er, so why did you ask?


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 02:08 PM

Perhaps he didn't claim authorship of the "The Oily Rigs" because he didn't write it?

Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Captain Birdseye - PM
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 01:01 PM

I have never been convinced that Bob Roberts was a Traditional singer

Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Captain Birdseye - PM
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 05:52 AM

of course Roberts is another grey area being both a traditional and revival singer]

Now who would imagine the same person wrote both those statements?


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,irishenglish
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 04:24 PM

Just to respond to something earlier in this thread when Captain Birdseye claims to have been one of the only people mixing concertina with clarinet on an arrangement. Now if you are talking about that one specific combination, you may be well correct, but I hope you aren't talking about the combo of woodwinds with concertina/accordion (whichever type you prefer), because there is most definitely precedent for that! Lest we forget your pal John Kirkpatrick's wife at the time Sue Harris and her oboe, and of course, Phil Pickett. Those are just the first two that leap out at me!


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 05:10 PM

GuestIrishEnglish
I have played a small apart in this, using concertina and clarinet arrangements[way back in1980]when hardly any other people[apart from Bruce Turner Fleetingly with Maccoll]had experimented with this. see my recordings, Dunmow Flitch,Cheating the Tide.
Thats crystal clear.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,irishenglish
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 05:52 PM

First, I wasn't trying to steal your thunder, and I certainly agree that the music by its nature keeps changing, with fresh blood interjected! And I will answer my own question to yourself, yes you are talking about that particular combination-concertina/clarinet, and no, you are not talking about other woodwinds that were being used by other people before that time. (and yes, I know I didn't phrase it exactly as a question) It's great that you and others came up with an interesting combination, but that's what musicians should be doing isn't it?


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 06:00 PM

yes,.
and to the Anonymous guest,[Possibly Jim Carroll] who said I have too much time on my hands,I have spent three hours today practising,PLUS I hour teaching.
That is what a lot of revival musicians do.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 03:25 AM

Addition to below in response to the Cap'ns offensive suggestion above which I have just seen - I don't send anonymous postings - I'd demand an apology if I were a prat.

Whether Bob Roberts is or is not a traditional singer should be decided on a little more than 'gut reaction' (I'd try some Rennies for that). It depends on where and how he learned and sang his songs and whether the community he belonged to was a tradition bearing one. Personally I don't know enough about him to judge, but this is his CV from the BBC index.

"ROBERTS, Bob (A.W.)
Singer. Pinmill, Ipswich, Suffolk. 25.10.53 and 12.7.56.
Aged 46 (1953); a well-known sea adventurer. Was skipper of one of the last Thames sailing barges, the 'Cambria' plying between London, Ipswich and Yarmouth. When forced to earn his living on shore, he has worked as a journalist on sea matters for a number of daily newspapers. He has also written two books on his adventures: Rough and Tumble (Sampson and Low, 1935) and Coasting Barge Master (Edward Arnold 1949).        
He comes of a sea-faring family, his father from Dorset and his mother from Suffolk; went to sea as a boy in a coastal barquentine and as a seaman on coastal barges; a financial crisis at home forced him to work in Fleet Street. Sailed the Atlantic single-handed in a 26-foo cutter; doesn't know why. Shipwrecked on Cocoa Island (off Costa Rica; in the north Pacific; taken off in American schooner and then shipwrecked in her; finally rescued by U.S. Navy and towed to Panama. Then came back to barges; sailed last "bommy barge" for Everards of Greenhithe, and then with his mate Ted Evans sailed the 'Cambria' for Everards,"

As far as singers we have recorded Walter never wrote a song; the nearest thing he came to it was to put a tune to Thomas Hardy's poem, 'The Trampwoman's Tragedy', but as he never sang it to anybody but Pat and I, there was no chance of anybody else taking it up and putting it through the 'traditional sausage machine' so, as far as I'm concerned it cannot be described as 'traditional'.
A number of singers we met did compose songs. Junior Crehan, fiddle player, singer, storyteller (died 1998 aged 90) made a number. To our knowledge only one, 'Lament For Willie Clancy' was taken up by others in his community, and this remained unaltered, so his songs were always referred to here as 'Junior's'.
Duncan Williamson gave us several self-penned songs, but to my knowledge nobody else ever sang them. He was one of a number of people who claimed to have written 'Freeborn Man'. Interestingly (to me) 'Freeborn Man' and 'Shoals of Herring' have been taken up and altered by people they were written about (Travellers and fishermen), whether this qualifies them for the title 'traditional' is, as far as I'm concerned, a moot point. 'Herring' was 'collected' a decade after it was composed, by an American scholar (as 'Shores of Erin'), who described it as 'typical of the songs still to be found among Kerry fishermen'.
We have recorded literally dozens of songs, from Travellers and in West Clare, which must have been made during the lifetimes, or within easy reach of the lives of the singers, but the odd thing is that, except in a few cases, we have been unable to discover the identity of the authors. Two interesting exceptions were a couple of songs, one about a match-made marriage, another concerning a minor incident during the Irish War of Independence (or maybe The Civil War). In both cases we were given descriptions of how the songs were composed; both communally made by a number of people.
Song-making still goes on in Ireland, much of it nowhere near as self-conscious and introspective as that to be found in the UK. The Cap'n will probably be aware of Con 'Fada' O'Driscoll who continues to churn our such magnificent pieces as 'The Spoons Murder', 'The Pool Song' and a recent masterpiece 'Ben Hur', but as popular as these become, they stand little or no chance of becoming traditional as the machinery has been dismantled and that particular factory has been pulled down. Universal literacy and electronic communication have more-or-less guaranteed that new songs come into this world stillborn and the copyright laws have done much to stifle any chance of them entering the 'folk process' and being adapted. Can never see over 200 versions of 'Willie McBride' as is the case with 'Barbara Allen'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 05:02 AM

Jim, I said possibly.,however I apologise,it is the norm to put your name by GUEST.
Bob Roberts

Bob Roberts was a characterful singer with many songs about the sea, who is associated particularly with the Suffolk coast, and was known and loved by folk aficionados and sailing-barge enthusiasts all over the country. This article is written by Bob's daughters who are both active on the folk scene in the eastern region – Jill plays fiddle and dulcimer and Anne plays melodeon – and gives us an insight into the man behind the songs.




Ask people what they remember about Bob Roberts, and they'll tell you he was a 'great character'. He was proud to be a bargeman – a dying breed even when he first stepped aboard a spritsail barge in the 1930s; a man who loved sailing both for work and pleasure. He was a singer who could get audiences roaring choruses to songs he learned trading round the East Anglian coast and a master storyteller: a former Fleet Street journalist who could make bargemen's seafaring adventures come alive.



His broadcasting brought their songs to a wider audience; his appearances at folk festivals, on radio and television, linked a modern generation to the music of the days of sail.



Bob was born Alfred William Roberts in 1907. His parents were teachers: his father, brought up in North Wales, played piano, church organ, melodeon, concertina and fiddle. He ran Hampreston village school in Dorset and was visited by Ralph Vaughan Williams, maybe through his interest in folk music, maybe because he ran the church choir and played for village dances. Bob left Wimborne Grammar School (where he had a choral scholarship) at 17 and after several unsatisfactory jobs became a journalist, starting on the Orpington Gazette, and progressing to Fleet Street as a sports reporter on the Daily Mail.But his passion was sailing. He left the Mail twice for long voyages of adventure, complete with ship's cat and melodeon. His early songs like Haul Away Joe reflect his deep sea ambitions.



Back in England Bob couldn't settle in what he called the musty offices of Fleet Street. He loved the pageant of sail in London River and left to work on a sailing barge. Over the next 35 years he was in eight barges: three as mate, five as skipper. He picked up songs from East Anglian bargemen and countrymen, adding to his repertoire.



Bob married Amelia (Toni) Roberts in 1940 – they'd met in the late 1920s   - and in 1949 they moved to Pin Mill in Suffolk. He worked as a sub-editor on the East Anglian Daily Times, but then he was offered the barge he made famous: F.T. Everard and Sons' Cambria, and couldn't resist going back to sea. However, the handsome Cambria didn't entirely support a wife and two daughters. So hours waiting for wind or tide were spent writing books and articles on his battered old Corona portable typewriter.
This is from Bob Roberts website,There is no mention of the label traditional singer ,there is no need,he is aptly described without it,it is unnecessary, that is my whole point.
Jim ,thankyou for your post which is informative and interesting for ,and thanks for dealing with the points I raised.
Finally the Irish traditional music scene does not need to use these labels,[even though Comhaltas was formed because they thought it needed reviving ]people just play and sing.
GuestIRISH/ENGLISH,John Kirkpatrick is not a pal of mine,more an acquaintance,who recorded on Boxing Cleverhttp://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 05:33 AM

Dick, do us all a favour and stop contradicting yourself in posts often only hours apart.

There is no mention of the label traditional singer ,there is no need,he is aptly described without it,it is unnecessary, that is my whole point.

You said he was both a traditional singer and a revival singer - something you haven't yet explained. You said you have never been convinced he was a traditional singer. You say this description from his website says it all - and then you tell us the label - does that mean any label for any singer - is not necessary.

Do make your mind up.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 06:59 AM

all that matters to me,is that I have got pleasure listening to his singing,I am off to play some music and sing some songs,.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Betsy
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 07:23 AM

How important is the label "traditional singer"? - Not important at all - it is a contrived description.
You could say "He /she usually sings traditional songs" - but even then - most people I know who have this silly description foisted upon them, enjoy a pint and a sing song with other forms / types of music.It's a silly label - it fully embraces that - holier than thou mentality.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 07:24 AM

"Jim, I said possibly.,however I apologise,it is the norm to put your name by GUEST."
No it isn't, I quite often forget to head with my name but I always sign my postings.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,irishenglish
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 09:33 AM

Dick, I'm not talking about whether you chat with JK on a regular basis that makes you his "pal." You recorded with him, you mention him on the home page of your website, you have a link to his site on your links page-YOU KNOW HIM, that's all I meant. In the U.S. that is a perfectly acceptable way to describe someone you know in passing, or slightly more than that.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 09:45 AM

I agree with Betsy.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 11:13 AM

"It's a silly label - it fully embraces that - holier than thou mentality."

All words are labels. If we are to discuss any topic (and traditional singing is a topic as worthy as any of discussion) then we requre a terminology. "Traditional singer" - by which I mean the Walter Pardons, Sam Larners and Phoebe Smiths of this world - is a perfectly reputable term implying no "holier than thou" mentality whatever. Some people prefer to use the term "source singer" for this category, in order to avoid the confusion that arises when "traditional singer" is used to mean "singer of traditional songs", but - as another Mudcat thread demonstrated - other people find problems with this term, too. Whether the singers concerned called themselves "traditional" (I daresay none of them did) is immaterial.

Incidentally, Jim Carroll's last paragraph in his posting of 3.25 puts very well the reasons why it's meaningless to discuss new songs "entering the tradition".


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: M.Ted
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 11:36 AM

I don't know about anyone else, but I am thoroughly entertained and edified by this thread. If Mr. Carroll and Mr. Miles were not so completely agitated by one another, we would not have learned so much, or had so much to think about.

I am left to wonder if the "conflict" wasn't staged in order to create interest in a subject that, sadly, is not more widely considered....noo--


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,irishenglish
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 12:02 PM

Personally, I think this conflict comes from two different people who both love folk and traditional music, but in two different ways. Not taking sides, I just think-play the music, listen to the music, support the music, get others to listen to the music,then get someone else to listen to the music, and don't obsess about minute details. In this 24hourgeteverythingyouwantinternetobsessedtabloidobsessed world we live in, we are all in love with not only the music, but the written and oral history of this music. I don't think its important to pigeonhole particular singers one way or the other, as has been mentioned in this thread before. We don't want to be exclusionists-let's leave that to the jazz fans! This music lives and breathes, and the youthful movement into folk music is something that we all need to support. As soon as the first field recording was ever made some would argue, this music has changed. Well, maybe it has, but it's still going strong, despite all these modern distractions. To digress, Dian Foster may have had her detractors for her work with the mountain gorillas, but her eventual point was,I think, let's worry about studying these animals later, we need to save them right now, before they are made extinct, and she was absolutely right to do so! I just feel like this attempt to label someone who themselves may not have given a cuss what type of singer they were is not beneficial. Just listen to the music.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 12:08 PM

This is a great thread, containing far more wheat than chaff, the latter being easily separated - Tom


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,tom bliss
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 12:21 PM

labelling music is always dangerous but its necessary too - for the same reason we label tins.

how important is this label in this case? well lets just say its helpful to use terms which do not mislead.

I'd use treaditional singer to describe people who acquired their songs mostly by aural means, a few sheets perhaps, but not, on the whole, recordings, because they were not around yet.

I'd use source singer only to describe singers who were actaully collected, wherever they got their songs from.

to sing in a tradional style is another thing, as is to sing a traditinal song.

I'm happy to call people like Brian a revival singer, because they haven't only got songs from people or print and they're working after recording changed everything.

I'm as songwriter influenced by trad material.

its easy to be precise if youre prepared to use a few more words.

problems only occur when people dont


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 12:43 PM

M Ted,as if I would do such a thing,the last thing I want is for people to learn more about traditional music.
if Jim Carroll were to join mudcat,he could start his own threads.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 03:05 PM

"I am left to wonder if the "conflict" wasn't staged in order to create interest in a subject that, sadly, is not more widely considered".
Damn it Bond, our cover is blown!
Tom Bliss and , Hope your tour went well.
I agree absolutely with yours and Brian P's summing up of the necessity and the pitfalls of separating the two. If we are to understand the tradition it is essential; for a singer this may not be the case, but I feel that an understanding of the background and origins can help sing the songs.
Tom - Would appreciate if you could point me to the Living Tradition which carried your pamphlet.
Feel free to use anything I have posted.
Jim Carroll
PS Regarding the Cap'n and my set-toos.
Our problem seems to be that while we seem to be interested in the same aspects of singing, we appear to be coming from different directions. Personally, I have no problem with robust, even heated argument, but I do become disturbed when it turns unnecessarily nasty.
I decided at one stage that I wouldn't respond to the Cap'n's postings, but I find that goes against the grain. If s**t and hair start to fly again, I'll go back to that decision, failing that, you'll all have to wait till the decree absolute comes through.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 08:52 AM

Brian Peters refers with approval to Jim Carroll's remarks about modern composed songs "entering the tradition". So sensible are those remarks, and (more to the point) so beautifully put, I thought I would reproduce them here so you can see them without looking back.
Here you go: nice one Jim.

"Song-making still goes on in Ireland, much of it nowhere near as self-conscious and introspective as that to be found in the UK. The Cap'n will probably be aware of Con 'Fada' O'Driscoll who continues to churn our such magnificent pieces as 'The Spoons Murder', 'The Pool Song' and a recent masterpiece 'Ben Hur', but as popular as these become, they stand little or no chance of becoming traditional as the machinery has been dismantled and that particular factory has been pulled down."

And, I might add, though most of the machinery has been dismantled in the British Isles, it is still working very well in other cultures and countries. And if you are interested, you can go and have a listen.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,tom still on tour
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 11:13 AM

jim, LT seialised it throughout last year, so any of the four issues has a quarter. my name's on the front, so easy to spot.

thenks for the offer. I've also just had some fascinating insights from my sister, who has a doctorate in medeaeval french stories, and is currently finishing a book. she has some great insights on narrative theory.

as for today, there are plenty of people making songs worthy of entering The Revived Tradition (crucial qualification). some, like George's Empty Handed because they are just damn good as any fule kno, others, like Bob Kenward's Man of Kent because they are written in the tradition, though they are not of it - again, crucial distinction)

tenterden, friday teatime


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 01:21 PM

plenty of songs are mistaken for traditional,Fiddlers Green,Bring us a barrell,are two that spring to mind,.
whether they are entering the revived tradition,or whatever you want to call it,the important thing is they are being sung and passed on orally.,often without the singers knowing they were composed.
The only person I have heard of who stopped singing a song when he discoverd it was not traditional but composed,was BobDylan.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 01:38 PM

Yes, it's true that the works of John Connolly, Keith Marsden, Dave Webber and others have passed into the canon of songs sung for pleasure in informal sessions within the folk revival, and that the people who sing them often believe them to be traditional. I'm sure some of Tom's compositions are destined for that status too. The folk movement has its traditions like any other community (raffles, cheek-popping in 'Pleasant and Delightful', people who say "it's good enough for folk", etc.), but it differs from, say, agricultural, fishing or mining communities in which songs were sung for relaxation and entertainment, in that the songs themselves are the whole reason for the folk community's existence. Tom's term "Revived Tradition" acknowledges that.

When I endorsed that very elegant paragraph of Jim's (reprinted by Greg) giving the reasons why the traditional process as a widespread phenomenon is scarcely in existence any longer, I was - of course - not making any kind of value judgement on modern compositions by songwriters working in the folk revival.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:03 PM

Brian,Fiddlers Green,has entered the tradition in Ireland,Along with Three score and ten[as youknow originally acomposed song]these songs are very popular with the fishing community[which hasNothing to do with the folk revival].DickMiles


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,tom now in a chinese restaurant
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:10 PM

very well put Brian.

the oral/aural process continues. sometimes we don't need to qualify the word traditional, but sometimes we really should.

these distinctions can be crucial, and a habit of checking to see if an adjective would be helpful, would itself be helpful.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST,tom
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:12 PM

ps - well I eat too fast if I don't read something!


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:47 PM

"Fiddlers Green,has entered the tradition in Ireland,Along with Three score and ten".
Cap'n,
I don't want a violent argument about this (and if one starts I'm taking my ball and going home), but, on the basis of a song being popular does not mean it has entered a/the/any tradition, could you qualify this statement.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 04:04 PM

well Jim,they are sung by people in pubs[not for money] and at other social gatherings,in fishing communities[fishermen clearly empathise with these songs],also at g.a.a. scors[mistakenly thinking its irish trad].It is popular with a community that understands the sentiments of the songs,if for instance Dark as a Dungeon[MerleTravis] or The Durham Lockout[Composed piece byTommy Armstrong] was sung by miners,at their socialclubs,or wherever I would say it has entered their tradition.
you are welcome to take your ball anywhere[even into the Jews Garden]but that is my opinion,Durham Lockout has entered the tradition,so has FiddlersGreen and Three Score and Ten.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 04:24 PM

Please let us know which song Bob Dylan dumped Captain


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 04:34 PM

I was told,it was Paul Metsers song, Farewell to the GoLD,
I said dropped, not dumped.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 04:38 PM

There is a difference??


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 04:52 PM

now clearly, I cant prove Bob Dylan,dropped the song because it was composed,but Bob Dylan performs Bob Dylan songs, but not songs composed by anyone else.Dumped is different from Dropped,Dylan is inconsequential anyway [IMO].


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 06:00 PM

Captaiun Birdseye: Bob Dylan has always sung songs written by other people. Where you get some of your ideas from, I can't imagine.And really, to claim that a song has "entered the tradition" because fishermen sing it is just laughable. I think you mean , "the songs are popular".


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 11:26 PM

Tom,
Eating in a Chinese restaurant is no guarantee you will emerge from there oriented!

To answer the query stated in the title of this thread:

The label "traditional singer" is not important at all. What is important is whether you are one or not. If you are, you are. And no amount of verbiage spewed within the confines of this thread will alter that fact.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 12:57 AM

"Eating in a Chinese restaurant is no guarantee you will emerge from there oriented!"


Wonderful turning of a phrase Art, well said!

Barry


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 02:36 AM

"but that is my opinion,Durham Lockout has entered the tradition,so has FiddlersGreen and Three Score and Ten.Dick Miles"
Cap'n,
You had my heart fluttering for a time there - I thought for a minute you had found a little pocket where the tradition is still thiriving - ah well!
By your reckoning the 'Birdie Song' and 'Oobla-Dee, Oobla Dah' would be up there with 'Lord Gregory' and 'Farmer Michael Hayes' - not the case I'm afraid.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 03:52 AM

Most of Dylan's first album was not self composed, as were many of the songs on Self Portrait. And in the film Don't Look Back - he performs Hank William's song Lost Highway word perfectly in his hotel room.

The reason that as a songwriter and performer, he can move seamlessly from one genre to another; is that he has immersed himself assiduously in the traditions that were important to him.

the process is bigger than you are allowing.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 04:26 AM

Greg.
I mean the songs have entered the tradition,that means[to me] they are songs about fishing being sung by fishermen,the Birdie song and ooh bla da,are not songs about the singers occupation,
The Durham Lockout[Composed piece]is considered to have entered the tradition for the same reason,
Which songs has Dylan ever recorded/performed that are composed by other people,I cant think of any,In fact most songwriters very rarely perform other peoples songs.
In the following book The Shuttle and the Cage there are composed pieces including the Gresford Disaster[which has entered the tradition].
here is the preface from the Shuttle and The Cage[Ewan Maccoll march 1954]
There are no nightingales in these songs, no flowers - and the sun is rarely mentioned, their themes are work, poverty, hunger and exploitation. They should be sung to the accompaniment of pneumatic drills and swinging hammers, they should be bawled above the hum of turbines and the clatter of looms for they are songs of toil, anthems of the industrial age.

Few of these songs have ever appeared in print before, for they were not made with the eye to quick sales - or to catch the song-plugger's ear but to relieve the intolerable daily grind.

If you have spent your life striving desperately to make ends meet; if you have worked yourself to a standstill and still been unable to feed the kids properly, then you will know why these songs were made. It you have worked in a hot pit, wearing nothing but your boots and felt that the air you were breathing was liquid fire, then you will know why these songs were made. If you have crouched day after day in a twelve-inch seam of coal with four inches of water in it, and hacked with a small pick until every muscle in your body shrieked in protest - then you will know why these songs were made.

The folklore of the industrial worker is still a largely unexplored field and this collection represents no more than a mere scratching at the surface. A comprehensive survey of our industrial folk-song requires the full collaboration of the Trade Union movement. Such a survey would, undoubtedly, enrich our traditional music.
Fiddlers Green and Three Score and Ten have entered the tradition,[imo]because the community that the song is about,has taken the song to its heart[often regarding it a traditional]and sings it, because that community through its work experience relates to it.
Jim nobody through their work experience relates to the Birdie song.

.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 04:45 AM

Well Cap'n, your arguments always twist and turn, but this new one is breathtaking. So your new definition of a traditional song is "a song that someone sings about their own occupation". So, if I sing a song about a guitarist, it's a traditional song? Don't be silly, please.
As to your request for me to tell you what songs Dylan sings that he didn't compose: well, you've got a computer, and one thing you'll find plenty of in nerdynetland is Dylan discographies. Or just read a few posts back. But, just to start you off, did Dylan write "Blue Moon"? Did Dylan write "The Copper Kettle"?


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 05:02 AM

I would most heartily concur with what you are saying Dick.

Thirty years ago when i first came to live in what was a mining area (North Notts), I was already deeply into folk music.

There were very few miners in the folk clubs, which were for the main part a middle class enclave.

However there was folkmusic amongst the miners. They had taken into their hearts Merle Travis's Dark as a Dungeon - and that song that starts Its a Working Man I am.....Later on when I did a few supply contracts in the schools round here, I found they had taught all these country style songs to their children.

And later still when Thatcher was calling the miners 'the enemy within', there was a great fashion for The Dubliners led by a Selston miner/singer called Dave Guy and his band at the time Kelly's Heroes. There was at some level an identification with the hatred of British/patrician/imperialistic pomposity which thatch revelled in. Irish folk is in fact still quite potent round here in what it invokes.

This is what I can never get anybody to empathise with on Mudcat - folkmusic is visceral stuff - and it is something which happens in the hearts of the audience, and the performers. folkmusic without the folk is pretty much a nonsense.

And as for the Birdy song which people sometimes dance to, and once danced to a lot - why is it to be considered to inferior to the mazurkas, schottisches, and polkas - which nobody dances to.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 06:22 AM

I think Dick may have something interesting here.

Dick - do these fishermen sing "Three Score and Ten" as sung by the Watersons, do they have a version perhaps that no-one has come across and which has been moulded by the tradition?

Do they sing "Shoals of Herring" from the Radio Ballad version or from some other version which has been moulded by the tradition?

And perhaps most important of all what other songs do they sing?

I mean clearly you have been out listening to these people sing and I seem to remember you saying it was the collectors duty to record everything the people sang. So apart from these two songs what else do they sing?

I am not suggesting you have been collecting but you must have heard them sing.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 06:23 AM

Great stuff, WLD, at last something we can heartily agree on! I have been a dance muscian for a good many decades, and I like playing the Birdy Song, and people of intelligence and charm love dancing to it. And I can safely say that mazurkas do not feature heavily in the repertoire of stuff I play at dances, though I do know a couple I play for fun and for people to listen to.
   What I don't agree with you is your evident hostility to schottisches and mazurkas. Thinking about them actually seems to make you angry, and many other people hate the Birdy Song. Why does all this hostility infect the folk scene? Personally, I love mazurkas, schottisches, and the Birdy Song.Though other things make me extremely angry, so it's not as if I'm just a calm person. The modern plotlines in the Archers make me ill, for example.


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Subject: RE: how important is the label traditional singer?
From: Betsy
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 06:25 AM

I know two Welsh guys ( one an ex-steel worker, the other ex-miner ) whenever I mention traditional song ,they love (especially when they're half pissed ) love to tell me what a load of bollocks it all is.
Apparently they were mentally scarred into ever wanting hear anything to do with the phrase or word "Traditional music" after having to sit through someone singing Watercress-o. They have great glee in telling me they retired to the bar of the working mans club from the room where this folk club was being held, and had a proper sing-song,-Delilah et al.
I hope now that WLD can now retract his statement "I can never get anybody to empathise......" and that I empathise entirely - so - you HAVE found somebody.
Also all these songs will be sang today by thousands and tens of thousands , Waltzing Matilda ( Ozzies ) Flower of Scotland ( obvious ) Wild Rover [parody](every football ground throughout Britain) Fields of Athenry (Liverpool supporters) not mention Sweet chariot, Bread of Heaven , shows that people DO love a sing-song.
The label is irrelevant - is the singer going to bore the tits of us is the question .


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