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Dave Harker, Fakesong

GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Jan 20 - 09:57 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Jan 20 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Jan 20 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Jan 20 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Jan 20 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Jan 20 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 20 Jan 20 - 05:31 AM
Lighter 19 Jan 20 - 06:45 PM
Joe G 19 Jan 20 - 06:23 PM
Joe G 19 Jan 20 - 06:14 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Jan 20 - 05:19 PM
Lighter 19 Jan 20 - 04:16 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Jan 20 - 04:13 PM
The Sandman 19 Jan 20 - 04:06 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Jan 20 - 04:02 PM
The Sandman 19 Jan 20 - 03:50 PM
The Sandman 19 Jan 20 - 03:43 PM
The Sandman 19 Jan 20 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Jan 20 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Jan 20 - 03:01 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Jan 20 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,jag 19 Jan 20 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Jan 20 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Jan 20 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Jan 20 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Jan 20 - 08:47 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Jan 20 - 04:05 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Jan 20 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Jan 20 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Jan 20 - 01:00 AM
Lighter 18 Jan 20 - 06:17 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Jan 20 - 04:28 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Jan 20 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 18 Jan 20 - 01:52 PM
Brian Peters 18 Jan 20 - 01:40 PM
Lighter 18 Jan 20 - 12:27 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Jan 20 - 09:36 AM
Vic Smith 18 Jan 20 - 08:18 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Jan 20 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Jan 20 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Jan 20 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Jan 20 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Jan 20 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Jan 20 - 03:38 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Jan 20 - 03:09 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Jan 20 - 03:04 AM
GUEST,keberoxu 17 Jan 20 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Jan 20 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Jan 20 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Jan 20 - 06:37 PM
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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 09:57 AM

The list of 'essential reading' is rapidly looking as if I may not have enough life span left to get through it! But Steve's reply (for which thank you) shows Harker had at least one 'essential' work on his list and in his references.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 09:38 AM

Is it anything like DerryDown?

Hustvedt. 'Ballad Books and Ballad Men' essential reading for all to do with Child.

Chapter 1 should be a good comparison with Cole.
2. Scott
3. Scott's ballad clan.
4. English baldly stuff
5. 70 years of British Varia
6 The Scandinavians
7.Grundtvig
8. Child
Appendix A The Grundtvig-Child Correspondence. Very enlightening. essential.
Appendix B, a useful listing of all Child Ballads and their published variants+sources.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 06:21 AM

Cole has referenced Derrida: I feel a migraine coming on!


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 05:52 AM

Hustvedt: mentioned by Cole and Harker. Any quick info on him?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 05:44 AM

Where Cole has 'discursive edifice' I might have put 'ideology'. But Cole's metaphor expresses it well, says more probably. I'll see how far I can get with him later on! Here's a link, hope it works. Thanks for the reference.

https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1810/277116/73.full.pdf?sequence=6&isAllowed=y


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 05:37 AM

… on the other hand, I agree with those who have said that some of Harker's more sweeping summings-up aren't fully justified from his evidence and that he tends to move between the more precise and carefully thought about assertion to less sustainable broader generalisations. I also agree with Vic Gammon that Harker's paragraphing detracts from the readability of his text. It's a bit of a curate's egg book.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 05:31 AM

Hello Lighter: 1) Louise Pound is mentioned in Harker (eg p109). 2) Dictionaries do have their uses, don't they? And the history of the usage of the word 'ballad' is itself interesting; to some extent it is a contested word 3) this is I think only the 2nd time I have read the words 'othering' and 'alterity' used in the context of folk discussions, but that might merely reflect my limited background reading of course 4) what Cole seems to be saying might be, albeit not in the same ideological framework, to some extent (hedging like mad here!) similar to some points made by Harker?

Hello Joe G: Hope you are well?

Hello Steve: thanks for the ref I'll add it to the list. For a horrible moment I read one of your posts as 'with child', but of course it was 'with Child'. :)

I'm not much of a singer, and rarely do it in company, but I make music (of sorts) almost every day of my life. I think my lifelong love of it is maybe why I am so interested in it.

Have a nice day everybody!


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 06:45 PM

This sentence, buried deep, seems to sum up much of Cole's argument:

"Folk traditions...do not exist outside the discursive edifice of revivalism."

If my doctorate in English literature and linguistics is of any use here, he appears to be speaking not about real traditions but about the "idea" of traditions that was cobbled together by fin-de-siecle enthusiasts deluded by both a fear of and a fascination with perceived Otherness (or "alterity").

More especially, their fear of the modern world's "corruption" led them to seek cultural purity, personal comfort, and occasionally profit, in songs and lore taken from "simple" (i.e., supposedly ignorant, ingenuous, and pretty much interchangeable) country people. The collectors wanted to believe that what they arbitrarily denoted "folklore" and "folk song" contained precious holdovers from the racial past - if only they could be teased out.

But I could be wrong, and I'm sure I'm leaving some things out.

If only Joseph Jacobs, Henry Burstow, or the "overlooked" Louise Pound could have edited this article.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Joe G
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 06:23 PM

Hey ho that was supposed to be!


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Joe G
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 06:14 PM

'Well it was nice while it lasted!'

Indeed it was Steve. I am not particularly engaged with this thread as I don't know the work referred to and my interests lie more with contemporary folk but I have been dipping in and was thinking how nice it was to see people having a friendly discussion without rancour or insults. Hey hi I suppose it couldn't last. Best to carry on and ignore the negativity. :-)


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 05:19 PM

Yes I suppose that makes me also guilty of imposing modern meanings on older words that could have a different meaning. Perhaps I need to look more closely at his introduction.

Pseu
Just printed off a very interesting article from Academia by John Cole of Cambridge Uni. 'Vernacular Song and the Folkloric Imagination at the Fin de Siecle.' It is very technical in places but I can mostly follow it and the main thrust is obvious. I think you'll like it. It certainly puts the early collectors in perspective, and folklore in general.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 04:16 PM

Steve, in defense of Percy, a hundred years back or so could well have been for him "ancient."

OED, def. 1a: "Of or belonging to time past, former, earlier, bygone. "

Initial date is 1490; end date, 1793 (Thomas Jefferson).

The editors mark this sense as "archaic." Our familiar sense is 2: "Which existed in, or belonged to, times *long* [OED's emphasis] past, or early in the world's history."

Initial date, 1366. So both senses existed simultaneously for centuries.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 04:13 PM

I spend lots of time playing and singing, Dick, but studying the songs and their history is something I also like to do. Nobody's telling you how to spend your time. Please reciprocate!


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 04:06 PM

the Tradtional songs that williams collected will last much longer than harkers inconsequential pathetic scholastic codswallop, steve have you thought of spending more time on music performance insted of this dung beetle drivel


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 04:02 PM

Well it was nice while it lasted!


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 03:50 PM

Williams left us a fine collection of songs , i do not know what Harker has left us with apart from the sad deprture of jim carroll, all this bickering over scholastic opinions, i inconsequential in comparison with the importance of apprecioating the beauty of some of our traditional songs, i wish harker would go away and caUse trostykite devaitionISM amomgst the SWP WANKERS


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 03:43 PM

it io my opinion that time is better spent on singing the songs than concerning myself with pipsqueaks like dave harker


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 03:25 PM

in my opinion Williams and his collection will be remembered long after dave harker has gone to kick up daisies.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 03:09 PM

Actually, I think Harker makes few accusations of 'fakery'; maybe his target is 'inaccurate' or 'politically incorrect' or 'selective' (in his view) representations of working class culture/ He also seems to me to be sparing in suggesting 'appropriation' of working class culture, something else that people say is a theme of his. I expected a lot more on this subject. But this sparsity maybe because in many cases he doubts whether the material that people were printing actually did originate with the working class/lower strata of society/peasants. You cannot appropriate from the working class culture which wasn't working class to start with. A few times I found him saying, in effect, 'X printed these songs, some of which may have come from working class culture'. So a person who took a strong 'all these brilliant songs were definitely written by the working class' view would get pretty annoyed with Harker? Is what I am saying the ideas others are getting from reading him?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 03:01 PM

@ Steve: I used to muddle up Weatherstones and Waterspoons, with general confusion as a result b...


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 02:51 PM

Hi Pseu
I've been back over the thread re Fowler. I must have misread something somewhere along the line. I occasionally get Fowler and Gregory's names mixed up so that could have been it. Sorry about that.

Regarding fakesong, I think largely the editors edited, and their published works were mediated for genuine reasons, so that is not fakery. However their introductions and book titles are where the fakery comes in. To go back to Percy, for instance, 'Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, consisting of Old Heroic Ballads, Songs and other pieces of our earlier poets, together with some few of Later Date. Percy published in 1767; the Folio Manuscript is said to date from about 1650 using some of the items in it with known dates. Much of the rest is from 17th century broadsides and fairly contemporary stuff sent to him by correspondents so most of the material could only be traced as far back as the 17th century, say a century before it was published, hardly 'ancient'.

At the other end of the scale Peter Buchan went to great lengths to declare all of his material unmediated direct from oral tradition. Having got copies of all of his manuscripts and the published works I am solidly with Child.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 11:53 AM

Maybe the drift indicates that, on Williams, Harker's book has some interesting points. Though we could read Williams' own writings, listed by Harker, to avoid any 'mediating' done by Harker.

I knew there were more mentions of 'forgery' than 'fraud' because I searched for 'forge' to find a paragraph in the Williams section. On the politics what caught my eye was " ...Williams was trapped, ideologically as well as materially, in his job, between what he knew of managerial pettiness and what he characterised as working-class selfishness and ignorance" .

For someone in that position at the lower end of the supervisory ranks between the bosses and the workers and I don't find his politics surprising. One of my forbears about 10 years younger that Williams rose to be an 'overlooker' in a factory (and stayed as one till he got his 50 years faithfull service certificate). A Tory voter, lived with the workforce (the bosses didn't), respected 'good workers' even if some of them were non too bright, didn't like slackers and thought that union activists tended to be amongst the worst workers. However, he did apparently think the improvements in safety over his working life were mainly down to the unions. I think my copy Samuel Laycock came from him.

Harker seems to have respected Williams' work, and Williams' himself, as if it wasn't his fault that he was 'trapped ideologically'. Come Harker's revolution where will the Williams of this world and the other Tory voting workers be? They clearly still provide a challenge for the gradualists of the left ...)

I'm dipping into Harker now, I doubt I'll read it all. I skipped on to Williams because I recalled a lot of what Steve Roud wrote about him. I'll refresh my memory of Lloyd's book before I read the section on him.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 10:45 AM

Sorry! Ignore previous 2 posts. Thread drift. Apologies. (Kicking self).


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 10:14 AM

And I also thought of 'Under the Greenwood Tree', the Hardy novel. Roger Dixon mentions this in connection with the Cook Gee family in an article somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 09:34 AM

Drawing links between texts: Harker gives an account of some of the findings of Williams, who almost seems to have been an early ethnomusicologist (i.e. a person who studies music in its context). Or maybe 'historical ethnomusicologist'? He describes musical families, playing music in church, with bands featuring all sorts of instruments, and says that within some villages there might be musical families down through time. I think he comments on how many people could read music. I thought of the Cook-Gee family in Walter Pardon's background when I read this.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 08:47 AM

@ Steve; Gammon is referring to Fakesong, believe it or not. Page 153. As you can imagine, he has plenty to say on its shortcomings!

Sorry Steve, on Fowler, I cannot find the comment you mean: I got as far as (following the suggestions on this thread) looking for him on AbeBooks and Amazon), and, perhaps JSTOR. Can you give me a date and time for the post? He seems to have produced a lot of Piers Ploughman and something on Chretian de Troyes. SO the short answer to your question is sorry but no.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 04:05 AM

I think Vic could make a very strong contribution to this thread. I think I'll ask him.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 04:04 AM

When VicG says 'will win a place as a very important work of reference,' is he referring to Fakesong or the other book?

Earlier upthread you mention Fowler's writings. Can you please flag up any for me that relate to ballads other than 'Literary History'?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 02:55 AM

@ Steve

Thanks for your explanation of how Harker set things back: I had guessed that this might be what you meant. Ironic, since, as Harker shows, people had been having similar thoughts for a long time!

I have found and been reading (tricky to get hold of but I managed it via googling etc) a review of two of Harker's works, including this one, by Vic Gammon.

It is 'Two for the Show': David Harker, Politics and Popular Song
Author(s): Vic Gammon. Source: History Workshop, No. 21 (Spring, 1986), pp. 147-156

Gammon says that Harker's book will win a place as a very important work of reference, while being quite critical of various aspects of Harker's 'preaching'.

Sharing the reference in case any other Mudcatter would like to see a reasoned response from a relatively 'left' position.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Jan 20 - 01:00 AM

Hello Brian
For me, it figures that Philips Barry would use Child numbers because he was Harvard-based or educated. As was Kittredge. As you will know, Sharp knew Kittredge and met him when in the USA. I think I am right here.
Child was president of the society that produced American Journal of Folklore. I learned this from a review of one of the parts of his opus at the back of the first every issue. It says it won't be a eulogy, but plainly is! His position explains, I think, why ballads are mentioned in the opening piece in the journal. The introduction to the first volume I have quoted before as showing the 'racialist' thinking of the early folklorists, as do some of the pieces in it.
Not sure how we got here from Harker, but finding the discussion interesting!


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 06:17 PM

Brian, I 've searched again for "Child ballads" (plural) with no additional results that I can see.

You're right, though, that "Child ballad" (singular) appears in several early articles by Barry and one by Belden.

In any event, no tripartite structure before Halpert in 1939, though Mellinger Henry's "More Songs from the Southern Highlands," XLIV (1931), 61-115, begins with four numbered Child ballads, without (apparently) using the phrase "Child ballad(s)."

Much earlier articles print Child ballads identified by "Child No." (without using the phrase "Child ballad(s)."

Moral: Not all search engines will find singular and plural at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 04:28 PM

It appears Sharp was fully au fait with Child's ESPB by 1905. He refers to it in Vol 1 of Folk Songs From Somerset.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 04:02 PM

Jon
I haven't been through the early JAFL with a fine tooth comb, but from what I've seen I would agree with you and I'm not that surprised. They were full of the results of individual collecting expeditions and papers
and none of them contained a large enough collection to warrant using the tipartite system.

By the way strictly speaking Sharp/Campbell doesn't use the tripartite system. Whilst the Child ballads come first in number order there is no marked division between these and the broadside ballads 1-72. Then Vol 2 is split into songs (mostly British) 73 to 207 finishing up with smaller sections, Hymns, Nursery Songs, jigs and Party Games. But yes it is the first one to set the scene for giving the Child ballads in order first. Unless someone comes up with an earlier I think Pound (1924) was the next and the first to truly use the tripartite system, though once she has presented sections A,B & C there follow, similar to Sharp/Campbell, 4 sections according to subject which contain a mixture of native American and British texts. Pound could well be described as being based on the setting out of Sharp/Campbell.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 01:52 PM

This is only relevant to Richard Mellish who asked about my work on Hugh McWilliams. Email me - jmoul81075 AT aol.com for details. Or anybody else interested is welcome to do so also.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Brian Peters
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 01:40 PM

"Believe it or not, Halpert's article looks to be the Journal's earliest mention of *any* of the searched-for phrases."

Do you mean phrases like 'Child Ballads', etc.? If so the search facility you've used seems to be letting you down. Phillips Barry mentions Child in his 1905 paper 'Traditional Ballads in New England', and by 1910 he's giving every ballad its Child Number. Belden and several of the others are full of refs to FJC as well.

I'm beginning to think that Steve may be right about Sharp & Campbell having been the first to use the tripartite system. Although Sharp had the final word on editing the 1917 EFSSA, I'm sure Olive Campbell collaborated in some of the decisions - and she'd presiously corresponded with Kittredge and the various mountain folksong societies, so knew all about Child. Possibly her idea?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 12:27 PM

Steve, the most likely place for finding the familiar tripartite form of presentation would be articles in the pages of the Journal of American Folklore, which started publication in 1888,

I've just done a JSTOR cybersearch of the Journal for the phrases "Child Ballads," "English and Scottish Popular Ballads, " "Scottish ballad," "English ballad," and "ballad of."

The earliest example of the familiar tripartite structure appears to be so late as Herbert Halper's "Some Ballads and Folk Songs from New Jersey," LII (1939), pp. 52-69. (Among the non-Child ballads is a somewhat spicier than usual version of "The Indian Lass.")

Believe it or not, Halpert's article looks to be the Journal's earliest mention of *any* of the searched-for phrases.   

The early years of JAF were heavily skewed toward American Indian material and folktales, but these results astonish me.

The first large collection or American folksongs was John Lomax's Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (1910). Lomax, obviously, had no need for the tripartite structure.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 09:36 AM

Pseu 7.48. I don't think anyone with a rational mind would disagree with Harker there.

When I said he set back 20 years the study of this sort of mediation by editors, I was referring to the status of the subject. His book caused such an uproar that many people condemned the book out of hand and anyone then who was criticising the ballad editors (myself) was tarred with the same brush.

I wrote a paper on Baring Gould re Child 295B on which he sent bogus material to Child. Some denied it and one of the volume editors was reluctant to publish it, and I was asked to temper it because I included some conjecture on why he would have done this. Of course the absolute proof is there on the EFDSS website now for all to see, but it wasn't at the time.

I wrote an article on Peter Buchan's interference in the ballads, for FMJ and some of the reviewers rejected it. It had been read as a paper and I know at least 2 of the reviewers wanted to include it.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 08:18 AM

Pseudonymous wrote: -
Harker's section on Williams. I'm thinking that Roud will have mentioned him in his book on English Folk Song? He must have, surely?
I am not completely sure which of the two Pseudonymous is referring to here - but the answer is that Roud has plenty to say about both; the index shows:-
* 12 references to David Harker
* 28 references to Alfred Williams


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 08:12 AM

Steve - British Ballads from Maine (1929 edition) is organized in 3 sections:

1-56: The Child Ballads (given in Child's order, at a quick glance from The Elfin Knight to The Trooper and the Maid).

57-64: Secondary Ballads (Soldier's Wooing, Loathly Bride, Gallows Tree, John Webber, Squire of Edinburgh Town, Yorkshire Bite, High Barbary, Sally and Her True-love Billy)

65-94: Traces and Jury-Texts

In the Foreword they write:

"This collection builds a New England superstructure upon Professor Child's well-laid foundations. We do not ask why he accepted or rejected his titles, but we try to square our work to his lines and to agree with his conclusions wherever possible. Sound critical work upon Child's own lines has been the objective.

Yet is some respects it has been impossible to be bound by Professor Child. The study of ballad music was outside his chosen field. Though he gathered some records of melodies with his texts, he did not weigh them...

Furthermore, Professor Child confined himself to the English and Scottish variants of the ballads. He printed very few texts from Irish sources. But in Maine the Irish element is very strong and often very old. In calling these "British Ballads" we have enlarged the field of study."


So based entirely on Child, but acknowledging that Child was interested in the literature of the ballads, not text+music.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 07:48 AM

OK so here's what Harker writes at the end of his section on Percy to Ritson:

'From our point of view, in spite of what most of them did to the songs, their contribution was crucial. Without their collecting, and irrespective of their mediations and their motives, we would not have had hundreds of songs recorded and published for posterity. In fact, without their example, the modest boom in song-book publishing which followed might not have happened at all. In the work of Ritson, too, we see the beginnings of a genuine scholarly approach to mediation, which remained as a standard and a source of editorial guilt for generations.'

I don't read this as Newton scorning the Babylonians. But of course, this is just my take on it.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 04:12 AM

I've been getting deja vu over Harker's section on Williams. I'm thinking that Roud will have mentioned him in his book on English Folk Song? He must have, surely? And that will be where I've heard of him before?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 04:02 AM

Sorry for thread drift, if this is what it was!


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 04:02 AM

@ Xeberoxu

Thanks for your comment. I've googled since reading your post and found a Wiki piece on Wagner controversies. It makes my mental link to Hitler seem more rational! It gets worse as you read on since some people think Wagner subscribed to a belief called Aryanism, and that he held beliefs that Western society was doomed because of 'miscegenation'. I've moaned before on Mudcat about an English folklorist using that word, in connection with a song called 'The Bush of Australia'. I don't think it made me popular. But I don't regret it.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 03:38 AM

Hello Steve, no need to apologise for not agreeing, but thanks for the courtesy.

I agree with you that Williams seems to have got some broader idea about what the folk were actually singing. I think Harker felt this too, hence my sense of him liking his work, if not his politics, of course. I think that this point about what people were actually singing is one of Harker's key ones. To this extent, I think I agree with Harker. I personally enjoyed the information that Harker conveyed about what Williams found out (assuming it is correct). For example, what he says about people who were singing 'traditional songs' but had been taught singing lessons by a local schoolmaster. And I agree with your point about preconceived notions, not that expressing views like that has made me popular in the past.

Am I right in reading you as saying that Harker's book set back the study of mistakes back 20 years? I'm struggling to take this in, if so, since it seems quite a daring point of view, to imply that there were mistakes. It seems to count as blasphemy in the eyes of some?

And don't get me wrong, I hope I haven't turned my critical faculties off when reading Harker: nobody can say I wasn't warned about the possible shortcomings in his work.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 03:09 AM

Williams hadn't been schooled by the FSS and went out collecting without their preconceived notions of what constituted a folk song, so his collection is more representive of what the folk were actually singing.
The only problem with his work is he had no means of noting down the tunes.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jan 20 - 03:04 AM

Sorry, Pseu, I didn't enjoy reading it. I've spent many years studying the mediations by the editors and when his book came out, skewed and tainted as it was, despite the many correct accusations it made, it set back this study 20 years.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 17 Jan 20 - 08:25 PM

"What did Wagner write, I wonder?"

you would be sorry you asked,
if you went so far as to read what Wagner wrote ...
his music and libretti are one thing,
but Wagner's prose is quite another.

Well, he wrote something titled
"Die Juden," if memory serves ...


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Jan 20 - 06:58 PM

no, like isn't the word, not at all.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Jan 20 - 06:55 PM

Harker's stuff on Alfred Owen Williams is fascinating. I think Steve has quoted bits of his descriptions of ballad sellers to me; anyway I have encountered them before. Did anybody else enjoy this, and why isn't there more on Mudcat about this person? Harker seems to prefer him to a lot of the others he discusses, maybe because he isn't quite as posh?

I hate to say this, but I am quite enjoying Harker, while of course bearing all the health warnings in mind. Wish I could afford to buy a copy.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Jan 20 - 06:37 PM

According to Harker, Baring-Gould (another English collector) was also fond of Wagner. Harker mentions Sharp's partiality, saying he quoted him upon his engagement. Harker specifically says Sharp 'read' Wagner (what did he write, I wonder?) Not too much on Wagner in Harker (the search facility on pdfs is useful!). That's all I could find.


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