mudcat.org: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]


Dave Harker, Fakesong

Steve Gardham 14 Jan 20 - 10:09 AM
Steve Gardham 14 Jan 20 - 09:49 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jan 20 - 04:54 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jan 20 - 04:32 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jan 20 - 04:14 AM
Richard Mellish 13 Jan 20 - 06:22 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 20 - 05:45 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 20 - 05:21 PM
Jack Campin 13 Jan 20 - 05:15 PM
Richard Mellish 13 Jan 20 - 05:02 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 20 - 04:26 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 20 - 04:06 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 20 - 02:50 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 20 - 02:05 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 20 - 01:47 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 20 - 10:58 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 20 - 10:51 AM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 20 - 08:57 AM
Steve Gardham 13 Jan 20 - 08:50 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 20 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,jag 13 Jan 20 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,jag 13 Jan 20 - 07:52 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 20 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,jag 13 Jan 20 - 07:09 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 20 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 12 Jan 20 - 08:11 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 12 Jan 20 - 05:47 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,jag 12 Jan 20 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 12 Jan 20 - 05:35 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,jag 12 Jan 20 - 05:06 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 04:58 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 04:57 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 04:57 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 04:50 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,jag 12 Jan 20 - 04:44 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 12 Jan 20 - 04:24 PM
Richard Mellish 12 Jan 20 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 12 Jan 20 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Hi Lo 12 Jan 20 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 12 Jan 20 - 12:01 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Jan 20 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,jag 12 Jan 20 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 12 Jan 20 - 11:27 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Jan 20 - 11:05 AM
The Sandman 12 Jan 20 - 10:52 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jan 20 - 10:09 AM

>>>>>I find today's 'Jason Bourne' approach to the work of past giants is largely based on smug hindsignt<<<<<<

You are of course welcome to your opinion, Jim, but all of the researchers I correspond with are simply trying to seek the truth, as am I. The alternative is to sit back and take everything they wrote as gospel. Too much of that going on in the world and in my opinion that's why the planet is in the current state it is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jan 20 - 09:49 AM

Jim, you're doing it again! kneejerk reaction with response totally out of context.

Nobody would be foolish enough to suggest Child's only motive was to sell books. However he has a publisher, Houghton & Mifflin, who won't publish his work unless it conforms to certain standards. If he's constantly slagging off the works he's including (which he did quite a lot in the first few volumes) they're going to pull the plug. Don't forget like many nineteenth century works like this it was published in parts over a long period (10 to be precise) If you look very carefully at all of his comments the critique suddenly disappears about half way through. I don't think it is unreasonable to suggest that H&M were putting on pressure for him to do this, especially as many copies were being sold in the places the mss came from.

I was obviously exaggerating for effect to make the point. The works aren't full of fakes, and that's the point; we know some are because he told us so, but as I said earlier the big one is we don't know the extent of it. Can I ask that you reread Vol 5 p182 for his parting shot just before he died. Tell us what you think he is trying to say there.

Would you like me to flag up all of the pages where he makes comment on the veracity of various versions? Mainly Buchan, but there are others.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jan 20 - 04:54 AM

"wanted to oppress"
Whhops
"express and pass on" of course
Something for Jack Campion to pick up on
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jan 20 - 04:32 AM

"No-one wants to buy a book full of fakes."
I find this a scandalous thing to suggest Steve
The idea that these people were writing to "shift books" is abhorrent - first time I've ever come across it
I have little doubt that they did what they did because they were caught by the subject and wanted to oppress on their love and interest
I'm sure many would be offended if I suggested that many researchers today were trying to overturn the work of over century folk song deveotees to gain a reputation for themselves
Harker and hsi acolytes were writing as if there was a strict set of rules concerning what you were and were no allowed to do with folk song and ballads when you came across it - there wasn't
Many of them genuinely believed that they were improving them by re-writing them - not "fakery" or "dishonesty" - a genuine attempt to ppass them on in an "improved" form and a noble, if misguided one
A few, like Motherwell, had the insight to recognise the beauty of the vernacular language and warn against tampering with it, but most didn't
I find it ludicrous that many who participated in the Peter Buchan kicking match were doing exactly the same thing, to one degree or another
The irony, of course, is that Buchan produced some of the best and most singable ballads - as well as some of the worst gluggers
I find today's 'Jason Bourne' approach to the work of past giants is largely based on smug hindsignt
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jan 20 - 04:14 AM

"Far easier than Jim Carroll's unformatted rants"
For Chrst's sake Jack give your vendetta a rest
I haven't insulted you - please have the decency to do the same
You find wahat I have to say boring - I'm sure I and others would find the vies of a self-admitted ignoramus on tradition music equally interesting - the difference being that twe would probably be too polite to say so

"Whilst most of them are indeed very heavy-going"
I get regular Academia postings and find the ones that interest me comparatively easy to read
I was referring to the impenetrable neo-folkese language which has appeared on the scene and seems to be designed to confine the discussions to a Folk-Freemasonry - I suspect there might be a secret handshake involved somewhere
I never found theoretical works easy - my Secondary Modern Education didn't prepare me for that, but I gradually learned to cope with most
Now I find myself having to plough with some stuff with a dictionary at hand
- sometimes that doesn't help as words appear that aren't included in standard dictionaries

I'll give you an example
A while ago our local history group produced a festschrift in honour of a well-know folklorist
Articles poured in from Britain, Ireland and the US and Canada - a wonderful set of essays on mainly song
One, from a highly respected and skillful academic was chosen as the first article - an excellent contribution - but difficult to read
Had it been placed otherwise theer wouldn't have been a problem
Unfortunately, local people, mainly farmers, saw the book in the shop with the photo of the researcher being honoured "I know him" - turned to the first article and put it back on the shelf
You probably know the book in question

If you are writing about 'The Music of the People' it's good manners (and common sense) to write in a form 'The People' can understand (unless your aim is to set up exclusive private clubs)
Mine is to make folk music as accessible to as many people as possible again
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 06:22 PM

Steve, thanks for those clear explanations.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 05:45 PM

Part of the claim by Dave Harker which is certainly what academia believes is not so much that the editors mediated the material, but that they stated or implied heavily that the material they published was not mediated at all. Part of the problem was also that the correspondents sending material to the likes of Scott had already mediated it themselves. There is proof for some of this but the even bigger problem for us now is that we have no way of discerning exactly how much and to what extent the majority of the material, say in Child, was mediated by sophisticated editors. Child gives his opinions but in my opinion he was grossly understated. But again he had good reasons. Just like Scott and Percy he had to shift books. No-one wants to buy a book full of fakes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 05:21 PM

I think that's part of the problem with it, Richard, I think he tries to cover all of these. It's a while since I read it but I do have an exercise book full of notes on it as it's a subject I've researched myself. Much of what he has to say about the mediators is fairly well-known in academic circles anyway. For me it's his dogged determination to put political spin on all of this, when in reality their mediation was done in different ways and for a variety of reasons, some of them quite reasonable for their time and station.

Let's look at Percy for instance, the man who it is accepted sparked off all this middle-class interest in balladry after it had almost disappeared. If he had simply reproduced the 17th century manuscript and given whatever other fragments he was sent he would have been laughed out of the literati. As it happened he rewrote most of it and only selected what he thought would go down well with the literati. Result, a burgeoning interest in balladry all over the continent. He inspired nearly all that followed him, particularly Scott, lots of German poets, the Grimms. Unfortunately for us today most of them followed his methods, though they also had similar reasons for their mediation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 05:15 PM

What.

It's not reproducing the cliches you're imagining. And it isn't hard to read - far easier than Jim Carroll's unformatted rants despite being many times bigger.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 05:02 PM

I haven't read Fakesong and, having regard to the damning criticisms of it, I am little inclined to read it. Therefore it is from a position of ignorance that I enquire: is Harker's notion of fakesong to do with the collectors misrepresenting the content of the songs (by bowdlerising or other distortions) or misrepresenting the status of the songs as products of the peasantry? Or what?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 04:26 PM

On the subject of academic works being impenetrable to us plebs:
I must have joined a website called Academia at some point and they keep sending me emails of attached copies of theses and published papers. Whilst most of them are indeed very heavy-going for the likes of us, they can contain a goldmine of info, and we mustn't forget these people have been going into this from the far end of a fart so they leave no stone unturned.

The latest one was on the works of Ravenscroft. What I could follow was fascinating. All the evidence displayed which went into detail on his life story would suggest that all of the material in the 4 books came from other printed and manuscript collections and from contemporary plays. Whilst he was an anthologist like Child the material was largely London-based and was intended for the use of the well-to-do there. Of course that doesn't affect the half dozen or so pieces that eventually were recovered from oral tradition in later centuries.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 04:06 PM

There are 344 pages in the thesis bit. I can empathise with the language barrier. However, I think like me you would be able to follow his thrust. There is some technical musical stuff in there but you can always skim over this like I did.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 02:50 PM

Don't you think it a little to academic for me Steve -- after all !!!!
I communicated with Dave at length before he wrote it

I confess I find most academic-speak extremely pretentious and impenetrable
I once attended a lecture by Mike Pickering at a Sheffield Conferencem along with my friends, Barry Taylor and Terry Whelan - none of us understood a word of what he said (Terry has recently done a course in social Anthropology at Salford University)
I wrote a review of the lecture for Dance and Song and mentioned our difficulty
Mike took up my review in the next edition of D and S - all three of us didn't a word of his response
His book is one of the few that lies unread on our bookshelves

I once made it a rule that I wouldn't spend too much time reading stuff I wouldn't give to people like Tom Lenihan and and Walter to read - I understand far more easily what they had to say than I do those who write in "the language that the stranger does not know (to quote a mushy Irish song)
I'll think about it if I think I'm going to live that long
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 02:05 PM

Beware of Storm Boris, it'll be a lot worse!

Jim,
This is a genuine suggestion and you may already have done it. Dave Hillery's thesis is readily available online. Just Google 'Dave Hillery Thesis'. It's a longish read but well worth it. And contrary to what I said elsewhere it is very academic, very knowledgeable and very well researched, BUT accessible to the likes of thee and me. He compares the lives and repertoires of Jack Beeforth (N Yorks), Walter, Frank Hinchliffe (West Yorkshire) and Joseph Taylor (N Lincs). It even mentions the contributions of one Jim Carroll.

I would be very pleased to read your thoughts on it.

Non-compartmentalisation or compartmentalisation of repertoire have got sod all to do with a singer's intelligence or worldliness. it is affected by a whole set of factors.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 01:47 PM

None of the collectors I know ever said anything like that.
Amen too that Steve – it was said to us by a well, known folkie (initials T. F.) (brother-in-law of Tom Munnelly), in response to our description of Walter expressing his opinions on different songs
Full quote “How could he think that, he’s a simple countryman – he must have been got at”
It is repeated every time someone suggests that the old singers didn’t discriminate between their different genres of songs, albeit in different words, as you did above Steve
“WP was very much an exception in his compartmentalising of songs.”

In our experience, singers were very aware of the differences though you had to approach them with a little thought, as Jean Richie did in my example

I would have replied to this earlier but we’ve been out of electricity for a couple of hours thanks to Storm Maggie Thatcher (we name our storms differently on the West Coast of Ireland
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 10:58 AM

>>>>>>"simple countryman who didn't know any better"<<<< That statement must have come from the first revival middle-class collectors. None of the collectors I know ever said anything like that.

Jim, I'm sure you'll soon put me right, but the impression I'm getting is that you only have any amount of knowledge of one English country singer, the number of times you mention Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 10:51 AM

"WP was very much an exception in his compartmentalising of songs."
There is no evidence whatever that this is the case      - the singers were never asked at the time there were living traditions and, (at the risk of being accused of repetition) the little we did, both with the Travellers and in the West of Ireland, points to the contrary being the case - like they say in QI - "Nobody Knows"
It shows a degree of contempt for the traditional singer to suggest that they didn't differentiate between the different genres in their repertoire - folk song is unique in both its form and its function - if I can spot that, why can't a rural singer
Again, at the risk of being accused of repetition, I never get tired of quoting jEan Richie's account of her collecting in Ireland in the 50s

"“I used the song Barbara Allen as a collecting tool because everybody knew it.
When I would ask people to sing me some of their old songs they would sometimes sing ‘Does Your Mother Come from Ireland?’ or something about shamrocks.
But if I asked if they knew Barbara Allen, immediately they knew exactly what kind of song I was talking about and they would bring out beautiful old things that matched mine, and were variants of the songs I knew in Kentucky. It was like coming home.”

That was our experience exactly - they knew the difference and were well able to describe them when asked
One of the greatest gaps in our knowledge of folksong is the view of the singers, which has lefr the field wide open to adopt the "simple countryman who didn't know any better" to our view of singing
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 08:57 AM

jag
These are just as much 'communities' as anything that went on in the nineteenth century, different of course, but still communities.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 08:50 AM

>>>>>>The eternal Big Lie was that they didn't<<<<<

Can't let this one go as the truth is almost exactly the opposite of what is being claimed. WP was very much an exception in his compartmentalising of songs.

I'll tell you what, Jim, you give me a list of all those English source singers who compartmentalised like this and I'll give you a list of those that definitely didn't and we'll see who gets the furthest.

It was largely the collectors who were compartmentalising and the singers only did it to please the collectors.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 08:26 AM

"'mediating' in Harker's terms."
"Reporting" in common parlance
the losdaed term "mediating" automatically assumes censorship and bias - not proven by anybody to date - certainly not Harker
"that I need explaining to me."
I'm more than happy to do that - I have done so on other threads
I would have liked to do so in relation to Walter but we've been forbidden to talk about him for a month
Most of us - collectors and singers of folk songs - are from a different (alien's a funny word) culture which is why we need to discuss and understand it
Folk songs are certainly entertainment, but the cultural baggage they carry makes them so much more - unwritten history being only part of this
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 07:56 AM

Sorry, missed the Preview box.

... the collectors who make a fuss of it are standing outside of an alien culture looking in and describing it to others on the outside - 'mediating' in Harker's terms.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 07:52 AM

I am not suggesting anything of the sort.

From my experience of non-club social occassions where people 'make their own entertainment', and I include pub sessions in that, the idea of not 'singing other peoples songs' is so normal as to be not worth mentioning except to crass newcomers.

So I am left thinking that the collectors who make much of 'ownership' of particular songs (in the way Walter Pardon describes first-hand) are describing something else that I need explaining to me.

Either that or the collectors who make a fuss of it are standing outside of an alien culture looking in. Most of the 'source singers' grew up in a time when people started work at 14 or earlier and so were adolescents working alongside adults. Very different from most, but not all, of the collectors.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 07:30 AM

Are you suggesting the clubs, based on songs once made and owned by communities of the past are communities in themselves
Usually nowadays the songs sung there are either oned with a little (c) attached to them or have been copyrighted as arrangements
I gat tired of someone standing up ans saying "I'll sing a Martin Carthy song" and blasting out a three-hundred year old ballad
What goes on in clubs is 'revival' of old forms (or is supposed to be but quite often isn't
"Folk" and "tradition are two sides of the sem coin - one denoting who the songs belonged to, the other, the journey they had made to become what they were
That's gone now - it's hard enough to get the songs recognised as "the songs of the people" nowadays - (although Topic have done their best with their magnificent series)
Make no mistake, the older singers differentiated between the folk songs and those they picked up from the music halls and popular performers
The eternal Big Lie was that they didn't
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 07:09 AM

Thanks for your response Steve (and sorry about the typos in my post)

Jim - how does the 'ownership' of songs differ from common courtesy appropriate in situations where people get together to share songs, tunes and stories? It's bad manners to come out with someone elses 'party piece' or start the tune that someone else always starts.

I think the question is on topic because it relates to 'mediation' in the way Harker uses the term. I meant to ask on the Walter Pardon thread, where it struck me that though it was important in the context of him recording his recollections it wasn't special in the context of a boy learning to fit in with the behaviour of his elders.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 20 - 06:31 AM

Can't be "passed on orally"
I am saying no such thing Steve- of course they can
To reduce the tradition to the passing on of songs is to superficialise it - it is far for complicated than that and involves identifying taking ownership, localising and adapting the songs by communities rather than individual adaptation
The tradition ceased to exist when people stopped making songs or when print made significant adaptation unlikely
The songs were repeated rather than owned and they lost much of their social significance - the listeners became bums-on-seats rater than active participants and re-creators - then the media and 'popular' (in the 'pop' sence replaced the tradition
One of the most significant things we discovered in our work in the West of Ireland was the existence of a massive repertoire of locally made songs. largely anonymous, created to cover almost every aspect of human existence   
One local man described them - "If a man farted in church in those days someone made a song about it"
We thought this was limited to Count Clare, but it transpires that every County in Ireland had similar
Those songs drew from and fed into the older traditions - when they died, so did the song-making (a few local song-makers carried on) but their songs are always identified with the maker and not claimed for the 'folk'
This is only a small part of what constitutes the tradition

I have no doubbt that the British people wwere just as capable songmakers as the Irish - the bothy songs, or the radical 19th century pieces to express grievences, or the improvised shanties, or teh miners songs from the pit areas... all are examples of the "common man's" ability and desire to make songs expressing their lives and feelings

"Usuasl suspects" is a term of abuse used by "usual suspects"
We all know how each other is going to respond in certain arguments - I certainly know how you are as you know how I am
Such terms of abuse will, at the very least, foul the atmosphere of any discussion (at the very least)
Leave it out please Steve
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 08:11 PM

Thanks Steve, Deliberate deceit on the part of the Faker, in the light of that definition do you or anybody else have any views about C.J Bearman and Mike Yates opinion of Harker?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 05:53 PM

Hi jag
I don't think anyone is saying all of this is cut and dried. There are many overlaps and grey areas. However most of the academic pieces I am avidly soaking up seem to suggest (and Jim is also saying it if I read him right) that what went on in families and communities when the songs were passed on orally/aurally can no longer take place in anything like the same way as it did prior to say 1920 (arbitrary). There is no cut off point as it was gradual process. Nearly all of those survivals are gone or will be gone in a few years. (We can argue about a very few possible exceptions) but this is the general situation. One thing that has replaced this (and it is just one thing) is that thing set up and known as The Folk Scene, or the second revival, which ought to be considered as perhaps a new tradition with new methods of transmission.

Apart from that who knows what researchers in a century's time will make of it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 05:47 PM

Jag: Thanks for your comment. I read the into and then moved to the bit on Lloyd. Lloyd does spin a narrative, in his book on Folk Song in England. You may well be right about the early chapters, I'll see when I go back and read them, but Harker does criticise Lloyd's account, on various grounds, lack of evidence being one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 05:44 PM

A polite request. Can we distinguish please clearly between 'Fakesong' the book and 'fakesong' the phenomenon? Otherwise things could get confusing.

As far as I'm concerned fakesong implies deliberate deceit on the part of the faker so this isn't a general discussion of how songs are passed on.

Apart from a very few examples none of the first revival collectors claimed their published songs were not bowdlerised and all of them left us with the corpus of material as taken down to best of their ability. Any deception came in the form of how and where the songs originated and in that sense there was definitely an agenda well documented.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 05:41 PM

Possibly through ignorance on my part I am not convinced about the concept of a source singer. If in the past a song could skip generations, possibly with the help of something written down ‘first hand’, or skip families if it was a neighbour not a family member who picked up thread, or at greater distance was picked up from the pub in the next town or a traveller family who passed through then I am not convinced that you singers of the last revival will not be seen as just another step in the songs’ journeys in 100 years time. And thats without the possibility that their may have been a diversion into a broadside or chapbook somewhere along the way.



in 100 years time


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 05:35 PM

Thanks for those detailed responses Steve. I will take a back seat for a bit and give them some thought.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 05:18 PM

Interesting question which also leads to how we treat any learning of a song using modern technology. We've had similar questions before such as the validity of learning songs from YouTube. To the vast majority of people none of this is any sort of issue.

The only perspective I can give you is that all of my family songs I now sing I learnt after I became a folksong collector. I don't consider myself in any way to be a source singer, but that's just my opinion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 05:06 PM

So far as ‘handing on’ is concerned is learning from a tape all that different to writing down grandad’s old song and then later becoming known for singing it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 04:58 PM

Joe
if that juvenile last post upsets any of your mods just delete it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 04:57 PM

100


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 04:57 PM

This idea of offspring learning the songs of their parent traditional singers from tapes has occurred before. Roger Hinchliffe had little interest in his dad's songs until Frank passed on. Ian Russell then persuaded him to take on his dad's repertoire, and he now performs this repertoire at song gatherings etc. Personally I can't see anything but positives in this. There is certainly no deception so we are out of the realms of 'fakesong' here, obviously. There are 2 points perhaps to make which I don't think will be controversial. Future researchers will be able to come along and compare the versions sung by the parents and their offspring, and anyone wishing to go direct to the source can easily do so. Of course to anyone just interested in singing this is all irrelevant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 04:50 PM

>>>>>>I remember Roy Palmer commenting on one of Bert Lloyd's re-writes- 'Would you rather have that or not?'<<<<
deja vu here. I've said on many threads I don't know anybody who didn't admire Bert's mediations. It's what he said and didn't say about them that worries researches. To the singing community, and I'm part of that, they are diamonds.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 04:47 PM

>>>>>What if the 'new' version is absorbed into the tradition,and sung a couple of decades later, then collected again with still more alterations? <<<<<
I think I have come across probable examples of this. The simple answer is if they have gone back into the tradition then they are traditional but any researcher worth their salt would want to know about the mediation. Your Sharp example fits in with this. I can only answer personally, I have just read DaveH's thesis and he gives an example from Frank Hinchliffe's repertoire. I also have come across examples. Personally I record everything and present everything so it doesn't affect me. However, I must confess that having recorded as much of a singer's repertoire as possible I would personally value those songs that had more likely been much longer in tradition. I can't speak for others. What about you?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 04:44 PM

On the basis of my reading so far, which isn’ t as far as yours Pseudonymous Harker says nothing about the historical narratives that the mediators told and is unconvincing about the subjectivities and cultural attitudes of the mediators. Its as if their position in his Marxist scheme of things leaves nothing to say.

In Part 1 the folk don’t seem to exist.

Maybe this discussion will convince me to read on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 04:34 PM

Nick, your post presents a multiplicity of scenarios, all of which deserve individual responses, most of which I can only answer with a personal opinion. Before I answer them, what is your opinion on the mediations made by Percy, Scott, Buchan, Jamieson, and notoriously the one mentioned by Richard for which there is undeniable proof.

Despite what one usual suspect is writing no-one I know is blanket criticising anyone. We all appreciate the enormous beneficial work done by those who have gone before us, but we should not treat them as gods. It is useful at least to researchers to be able to point out their errors if only for better understanding of the subject.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 04:24 PM

On the basis of my reading so far:

Harker's central topic isn't which songs are and are not folk songs, it's as much or more about the historical narratives that the mediators told about these songs and about the subjectivities and cultural attitudes and activities of people in the past. For example Lloyd's book on folk song in England.

So one thing he criticises about Lloyd is his assumption that he knows what people in the olden days would have been thinking and feeling, about what Harker calls their 'psychology'. He gives examples of statements about such things that he finds lacking in evidence. I think this is probably a fair point.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 02:30 PM

Jim: >Richard, The combative tone in which Steve stated his alternatives indicated that somehow the status (whatever that meand) made Sharp and his collegues either biased or downright dishonest

Some of the earliest collectors were certainly dishonest: messing about with what they collected and passing it off as authentic. And it seems pretty clear that Bert went so far as to invent sources for a few songs that he cobbled together. But I don't think any of us are claiming dishonesty for Sharp and the other collectors of that period, except maybe an occasional exception like Baring Gould's practical joke on Child about The Brown Girl.

As for being biased: yes they certainly were, at least in how they chose what to collect and what to ignore. They collected the sorts of songs that they had gone out looking for. One can agree or disagree with their bias but one can hardly deny it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 01:31 PM

OK I'll have a go then..
Fakesong a term used for a Traditional Folk Song that has been altered or censored by an individual without the approval of Dave Harker.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Hi Lo
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 12:42 PM

To me it is the "controversial" books that ARE worth reading, including Mien Kampf. If we only read those things that raise no questions or set off alarms, we will never understand both sides of a story.
As for "elites"..I hate that word, it is always used as a pejorative, as if having attained expertise through hard work amounts to an unfair advantage.
I would like very much to read the book in question because it IS controversial.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 12:01 PM

Howard Jones must obviously have read the many popular and academic articles, album notes and radio and live performance scripts I've written over the years to be able to comment so knowingly that my sole interest in folk song "is that it represents working-class culture" and that I'm uninterested in the "artistic merits" of traditional song. Will he give specific quotes from my writing to demonstrate this?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 11:36 AM

Richard, The combative tone in which Steve stated his alternatives indicated that somehow the status (whatever that meand) made Sharp and his collegues either biased or downright dishonest

Do we accept the version of history presented to us by the elite, and what happens when new research shows some of this to be plain lies, or heavily biased?
There is no "new evidence" that they were either
Certainly they were of their time as were all pioneers, and they made mistakes, but to denigrate their work, although now fashionable among the Neo researchers, I find unacceptable and openly offensive (especially remembering the lifelong pleasure their work has given me)
I have to say that when I first stated my reservations on the theory that over 90% of our folksongs originated on the broadside presses I was met with the same insulting responses
All Steve can offer is his own opinion - nobody knows for certain the answer to any of these questions and probably never shall
Unless we can conduct these discussions with respect for each other and thos who came before us we stand to lose everything we have got so far - and the songs with it, if they lose their uniqueness (a serious possibility as things are going)
Our own researches among source singers indicates that while the old crowd seem to have got some things wrong, that got far more right than they are being given credit for

Incidentally, at the same time as I was being accused of being a "starrty-eyed naivete for beiliving that the folk created their own folk songs I was also told that the Peter Buchan controversy had been long done-and-dusted
That is far from the case as well
Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 11:35 AM

Thanks for the heads up about it being online Pseudonymous. I've read Part 1. For now that is enough for me to accept the opinions of most reviewers. I may come back to it when I read about one of the later 'mediators'

It's a curious work of scholarship that, right from the start, presents all the 'data' in the context of its conclusions (or initial prejudicies?), the way one would setting out a conspiracy theory - "and then there is this.."

His treatment of John Broadwood (pages 84-85) is interesting. I don't think he found any 'mud that will stick'. From Harker's description Broadwood seems to have 'packaged' what he took the trouble to collect (adding harmonies but keeping the tune) rather 'mediated' it. Is 'Peasantry' condescending when it comes from a 19th century toff but not when 20th century Marxists are forming 'Peasants Associations'?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 11:27 AM

I'm still waiting for the definition of a Fakesong. Is it a song re-written for whatever reason by a collector? What if the 'new' version is absorbed into the tradition,and sung a couple of decades later, then collected again with still more alterations? Is it still Fake? Is it Fake because of the 'class' of the collector, but OK if the alterations were made by a retired country ploughman of factory worker?
How many collectors working in the field have been presented with a gem of a song, but then discovered that the singer learned it at school from C#'s book. Do we switch off the tape recorder, or is that elitist?
By the way Caroline Hughes descendants and friends learned her songs from Kennedy's cassette tape after her death, I know I was there and discussed it with them. Are they traditional singers? None of it adds up really for me. The best that can be achieved is pointing out alterations and deceptions and giving the reader a choice. I remember Roy Palmer commenting on one of Bert Lloyd's re-writes- 'Would you rather have that or not?' The good manners of owning up to a rewrite was notably missing in Bert's case, but it does not warrant the mauling that Harker gave him (or anybody else who got the same treatment). Grind your own axe by all means, but don't chop anybody up with it, it might end up on your own head.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 11:05 AM

Yes, Dick, to be clearer, what I would have put if it wasn't already obvious was, any controversial book in your particular field is always worth reading as I would assume 'Mein Kampf' would be to anyone interested in WWII history or the rise of the Nazis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 20 - 10:52 AM

not every controversial book is worth reading, eg mein kampf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 28 May 10:14 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.