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Dave Harker, Fakesong

GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Feb 20 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 20 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Feb 20 - 01:19 PM
RTim 01 Feb 20 - 01:23 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 20 - 01:25 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 20 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Feb 20 - 01:56 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 20 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Feb 20 - 02:14 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 20 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Lighter 01 Feb 20 - 03:29 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Feb 20 - 03:59 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 20 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Feb 20 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Feb 20 - 04:22 PM
Richard Mellish 01 Feb 20 - 05:25 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Feb 20 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Feb 20 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Feb 20 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Lighter 01 Feb 20 - 08:25 PM
RTim 01 Feb 20 - 09:40 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Feb 20 - 03:17 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Feb 20 - 03:49 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Feb 20 - 04:33 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Feb 20 - 05:10 AM
Jack Campin 02 Feb 20 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 02 Feb 20 - 05:58 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Feb 20 - 06:37 AM
Vic Smith 02 Feb 20 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Feb 20 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Feb 20 - 07:12 AM
Jack Campin 02 Feb 20 - 07:19 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Feb 20 - 07:20 AM
Vic Smith 02 Feb 20 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Feb 20 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Feb 20 - 12:00 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Feb 20 - 03:15 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Feb 20 - 03:21 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Feb 20 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Feb 20 - 04:01 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Feb 20 - 04:03 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Feb 20 - 04:05 AM
Jack Campin 03 Feb 20 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Feb 20 - 04:54 AM
Jack Campin 03 Feb 20 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Feb 20 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 03 Feb 20 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Feb 20 - 06:33 AM
Vic Smith 03 Feb 20 - 06:34 AM
Vic Smith 03 Feb 20 - 06:36 AM
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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 12:52 PM

@ Steve: sorry grey matter falters again; you are of course right to correct my spelling of Bearman. I only have one of his pieces, by the way, the 2000 piece called 'Who were the folk...'.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 12:52 PM

Checkmate, I think
Jim Carroll


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

Jim's eloquence speaks for itself.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: RTim
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 01:23 PM

Question - Is Harker still alive? If so - what is he doing today ?

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 01:25 PM

"Jim's eloquence speaks for itself."
So does your inability to challenge these extremely fundamental points, I'm afraid
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 01:32 PM

THIS SEEMS TO BE IT
SOM INTERESTING POINTS MADE HERE
Particularly:
"Your article also talks of "a controlling manipulator who presented a false idyll of rural England by excluding anything that didn't fit his agenda" – clearly based on David Harker's research in the 1970s and 1980s. But later research showed that Harker's statistical methods were based on false assumptions."
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 01:56 PM

"But later research showed that Harker's statistical methods were based on false assumptions."

My, I am surprised to hear this! Out of the blue, as it were.

I would be grateful for a reference, and also for an explanation of which of Harker's statistical methods the piece in question deals with. Descriptive or analytic? On what page of Harker does this statistical analysis appear?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 02:09 PM

"I would be grateful for a reference,"
The work of most field workers, before and after Harker have contradicted his claims with what they found
Yoy problem has always been that you reject out of hand anything they doesn't fit your precoonceptions
Scolarship throughout the twntieth century has been solidly based on what was found by Sharp, even though it has always been admitted that those finding needed adapting
No-one up to Harker, claimed that he and his colleges faked anything - that is a new nastiness introduced to the scene
Nor did anybody attempt to play down the role of the singers, as you have consistently
As witj any dispute on something that has been agreed as long as has folk song - it is the job of the challengers to proved evidence, not the rest of us to defend a century plus worth of research
You refuse even to put Harkers claims to the acid test of putting it up against the songs and the views of the singers
As the song goes:
"So bing your witness luv and I'll never deny you"
Jim Varroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 02:14 PM

Jim's logic and clarity are models to us all.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 02:57 PM

Ducking and diving again
I order to be effective sarcasm requires something you apparently don't possess - wit
I've answered your points fairly clearly, even for somebody as new to all this as you obviously are - have the courtesy to answer mine
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 03:29 PM

> No-one up to Harker, claimed that he and his colleges faked anything

Not quite correct, Jim, though it is certainly true that "fake" is often used invidiously.

The poet James Reeves didn't use it when he published "Idiom of the People "in 1958, which presented the unbowdlerized texts of songs collected by Sharp in England which the publishing constraints of the time forced him to alter, soften, or partially rewrite.

In "The Everlasting Circle" (1960) Reeves did the same for texts collected by Baring-Gould, Hammon, and Gardiner. Though Baring-Gould seems to have been more of a prude than Sharp, he too had to rewrite songs (sometimes extensively) to get them published at all.

Allegedly Child too very occasionally suppressed (rather than alter) a line or a stanza.

And we all know about Stan Hugill's chanteys

All American collectors suppressed or bowdlerized even mildly erotic texts. Few even noted them down, Robert Gordon and Vance Randolph being the outstanding exceptions.

G. Legman, later the editor of Randolph's large collection of bawdy songs - all from the Ozarks - complained in the early '60s of what he *did* call "fakery" in connection with the early collectors. He was talking solely about the bowdlerization and suppression of texts.

Legman wondered strenuously why Child had not included the Percy manuscript's text of "The Lobster" in his collection of ballads. He called Percy the "first" and B-G the "worst" of the "fakers."

One wonders if Harker was influenced by Legman's largely accurate, if hyperbolic and intemperate attacks, then decided to "show" in the face of the evidence that "fakery" was rampant, cynical, and pervasive.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 03:59 PM

Hi Jon
Are you referring to Legman's The Horn Book? If so I have my reading for tonight. Unfortunately, I've got 'Blow the candle out' but not the first volume. Which of them do you recommend for the fakery info?

Yes 'The Crabfish' would have fulfilled all of his criteria and filled many pages with its antecedents, much better than many of the ballads he did include.

I really wish we could get to grips with different types of mediation rather than lumping them all together. Percy and B-G were both highly acclaimed in their own times for their bowdlerisations which were done for very valid reasons. B-G did actually fake a few ballads that he sent to Child, but this pales into insignificance when held up against someone like Peter Buchan who maintained until he died that all of his material came straight from oral tradition unmediated when even his most ardent apologists accepted he 'eked them out', and of course Scott regretted his mediations publicly.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 04:11 PM

Yes, Steve, I believe I'm thinking of "The Bawdy Song in Fact and Print" in The Horn Book (1964).

A much shorter version of the article appeared, I think, in a journal a couple of years earlier.

I also seem to recall that Legman accused Child of suppressing a stanza of "Trooper and Maid" in the Addenda to Volume 5.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 04:17 PM

@ Lighter: re your last paragraph:

a) Harker does indeed mention Legman, and mostly in the narrow context you indicated earlier in the post in terms of bowdlerization and suppression of erotic texts. See eg p 118. This by the way refers to the 1861 "2nd edition" of ESB, not to the ESPB. Harker has a comment on the values of Child's world in which sadism, murder, butchery and any amount of violence are silently condoned whereas a bit of harmless eroticism has to be hidden away in a Motherwell type reference in the Index.

b) For me, the idea that Harker's book is one in which he attempts to show that 'fakery' of songs was "rampant, cynical and pervasive" misrepresents the book and its aims. I think this point was touched upon earlier in the book. I suppose some people (present company excluded) may get this idea from the title, imagining it to refer to fake songs, when Harker's idea is broader than that.

c) Further, as previously discussed, Harker singles out some antiquarians/researchers, including Motherwell and Ritson, as having a more scholarly approach than others.

So I don't personally feel there is much in the book 'Fakesong' to support the supposition in your last paragraph.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 04:22 PM

My point a is a little garbled, but people can easily turn up the original via Harker's book. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 05:25 PM

Pseudonymous > Harker has a comment on the values of Child's world in which sadism, murder, butchery and any amount of violence are silently condoned whereas a bit of harmless eroticism has to be hidden away in a Motherwell type reference in the Index.

Didn't Child himself comment somewhere about the irrationality of being able to publish all that nasty stuff but unable to publish anything about normal healthy sex?

Jim > As with Harker, there has been no attempt to examine ‘the forgeries’ in question – the songs that were collected and presented as ‘the voice of the people’ by Sharp and his colleagues and later on by those who accepted (more or less, with reservations), those who followed them into the field – the Lomaxs and the Library of Congress researchers, the BBC team, Goldstein, Mike Yates, Hamish Henderson, Peter Hall, David Buchan, Hugh Shields, Tom Munnelly…… (all taken in by the big con)

There has been discussion on this thread and elsewhere. As Steve G points out, there have been various kinds of mediation. Certainly some collectors "improved" their texts to a greater or lesser degree, but there have not been very many total "forgeries", and most of those were from some of the earliest collectors two-hundred-odd years ago, not from the more recent collectors, though Bert seems to have been guilty of a few. Wasn't Harker's beef more about the nature of the collecting process rather than anyone faking the actual songs.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 06:05 PM

This is precisely what I'm trying to differentiate, Richard, and what Pseu is saying as well. The mediation can refer to individual ballads, or to only collecting/publishing certain portions of the material, or to misrepresenting a whole genre. In extreme cases, Buchan being the strongest suspect, but Scott stood accused over Kinmont Willie and others, the creation of whole new ballads being passed off as from tradition.

My own personal interest is not with the bowdlerisation which was natural and a necessary evil, but with the deception, and my biggest beef is that we know it happened but we can never know completely the extent of it. I think I share this worry with poor old Ritson.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 06:54 PM

Interesting that "Bowdler" was a man who took the rude bits out of Shakespeare, of which there are very many. It isn't just 'folklore' that got the Victorian prude treatment.

@ Steve, yes, Ritson, and as I keep saying Harker praises Ritson. I think I am as aware of anybody of Harker's weaknesses, but it does frustrate me when I feel that people are damning Harker on the basis of false ideas about what he was attempting.

@ Richard: "Wasn't Harker's beef more about the nature of the collecting process rather than anyone faking the actual songs."

This is closer to my interpretation. For me, though, it isn't just the 'collecting process' that Harker has a beef with, it's the consequent representations about working class/lower class culture and attitudes that he takes issue with.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 07:05 PM

"Checkmate, I think" ?????????????????


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 08:25 PM

> Didn't Child himself comment somewhere about the irrationality of being able to publish all that nasty stuff but unable to publish anything about normal healthy sex?

It have been more than exceptional had Child done so in the 1890s, or at any time during the Victoria era. And it's difficult for me to imagine him even thinking it.   

Consider his headnote to "The Keach in the Creel," a humorous ballad which he somehow forced himself to include, despite its including a passage that was "brutal and shameless almost beyond description."

Nowadays Mudcatters have argued over what the hell passage he could have meant!

No, the statement you allude to was made by the above-mentioned Legman in the early '60s - and frequently thereafter.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: RTim
Date: 01 Feb 20 - 09:40 PM

So no one cares or knows if Harker is still alive....??

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 03:17 AM

"Not quite correct, Jim, though it is certainly true that "fake" is often used invidiously."
It's beyond question that people have always questioned what was published in the early days, but most people were intelligent enough to put that editing into the context of the times rather than the maliciousness of "fake" or even "mediation" (just as malicious in its way)
That implies a personal action based on personal taste and prejudice
These people were working in the post-Victorian period and had be careful what they published - probably the most popular target for the critics of 'cleaning up' was Baring Gould
They tried to get the songs accepted into schools and there was no way that, say, 'Strawberry Fair'. with it's "locks and keys" was going to make it into the classroom
The most visionary among them kept unedited texts and published the cleaned-up stuff, which was fair enough
I was always intrigued by the tune and reference to the song 'The Girl from Loestoft' (or 'The Hole in the Wall' which was published in the Journal as a tune only with the note that the words were unfit for polite eyes
I was delighted to find that Lomax recorded it from Harry Cox some time in the 1950s but to date it has never been widely distributed

Legman probably over-emphasised the sex bit with some of his statements, but he certainly acted as a breath of fresh air to song scholarship (and was frowned on in his native America for doing so)
We wrote to him when we found we were unable to get hold of volume two of 'The Rational of the Dirty Joke' (entitled No Laughing Matter') - I still have a his reply telling us that we could get a copy from a seedy publisher in Soho - the same firm that published the soft porn 'Rude Food'
Even in the seventies, bawdy material was difficult to obtain - Britain was still stinging from the Lady Chatterley trial

There is nothing whatever wrong with criticising these people as long as it is done fairly - Harker brought an end to all that with his career-enhancing spitefulness - and now, it seems, his disciples have taken up the cudgels
Some of these postings give me the impression of toy poodles snapping at the heels of giants - these people opened a door to a wonderful world for many of us - there's little sign of gratitude from some quarters
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 03:49 AM

Jim
As most of your post is accurate and thoughtful I am responding.

Once again though I urge you to think carefully about what you are condemning. By blanket criticising you are being at least as unfair as Harker.

>>>>>>"mediation" (just as malicious in its way)<<<<<< Really? Do rethink what you are saying here, or perhaps look up the word in a dictionary.

You are way off the mark with your last statement. You obviously have not read the thread or have ignored it. Everyone here has heavily criticised Harker, including me. However you are beginning to look as if you think there is not a single word of truth in Harker's book.

Until you get away from this 'coffin kicking' belief, you can make no sense here. Harker has no disciples here, least of all me.

'Little sign of gratitude'. Absolute poppycock and it is your blinkered approach that lets you believe this.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 04:33 AM

"As most of your post is accurate and thoughtful I am responding."
It would be helpful if you didn't patronise Steve - we know as much as each other about these things, and each of us has knowledhe that the other doesn't, so I suggest we take that as read
You have yet to respond to any of my points - you are one who has taken your hatchet to some of our giants indiscriminately so - once again, your advice on 'blanket criticism' rings somewhat hollow
Some of what Harker said said had been said by many before him - the one thing you can't accuse him of is 'originality'
What he cornered the market on was ham-fisted brutality in his handling of pioneers who were knew to the field - this spoiled a unique chance to examine the weakness and strengths of their work by forcing us into corners
I can think of a similar occurrence when Fred McCormick did a deplorable hatchet job on the Elizabeth Cronin book
I've followed the thread carefully and have put it into context of what has gone before with other arguments - the 'who made our folksong' one being foremost
We don't know the answers to many of these questions and probably never will so the dishonest 'done deal' approach that you tend towards presents a hurdle we have to clamber over before we can even start to discuss things
It is not uncritical to describe the attributes of these collectors, but suggestions of 'lies' and incompetence get in the way of fruitful discussion
So far we haven't got around to discussing what Harker had to say properly because were still clambering over your first hurdle

Harker fucked up - his sledgehammer approach probably destroyed any chance of a decent analysis of folk song until our generation clears the stage for an untainted new crowd
I believe much of what Harker started still hangs like a miasma over today's folk scene - that's why we have less and less researchers and singers of real folk songs
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 05:10 AM

Incidentally
'Little sign of gratitude'. Absolute poppycock"
I am not the only one to have noticed this
Mike Yates commented on it several times before he stopped posting and I detect more than a little more of the same in Brian Peters's postings - though both are far gentler souls than I am
A bit of self-analysis wouldn't go amiss Steve
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 05:13 AM

The latest work by Harker I can find reference to is his book on Robert Tressell and "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists", 2003 (I haven't seen it but that would have been well worth doing). So I'd guess he is no longer working.

I don't have "Fakesong" but I do have Harker's earlier "One for the Money" which contains a chapter titled "Fakesong" which is a precis of the later book. As he says, he isn't attacking Sharp himself, but the followers who refused to examine where he was coming from. Which seems fair enough to me. The rest of the chapter is a history of the English second revival, and seems to me to be as good as you could get in the space, though as usual in Anglocentric accounts, Scotland hardly exists and continental Europe really, really doesn't exist.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 05:58 AM

Tim …
Dave Harker is indeed still alive and attended a meeting of the Traditional Song Forum when it met in Newcastle a year or two ago. He lives back up in the north-east again after many years in Manchester.
He has recently published a series of books on north-east singers and song writers:
Billy Purvis: The first professional Geordie
Cat-Gut Jim the Fiddler: Ned Corvan's Life & Songs
The Gallowgate Lad: Joe Wilson' Life and Songs

All three were reviewed in Folk Music Journal.

Derek


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 06:37 AM

I enjoyed this thread, but the moment Jim came along I thought it was doomed. Especially when he started lecturing us on how to have a debate and the rules of discussion and then imagined that the skill of his input had stunned me into silence. I have learned a lot from the contributions of all, and would have liked to continue to discuss Sharp's theoretical work and Harker's section on Lloyd, which does have some delightful bits of sarcasm in it, and they are spot on. But can you imagine trying to discuss a critique of Lloyd with Jim? We've been there: it'll be insults all round, first name 'Bert, anecdotes about Jim being the chauffeur for Bert and bizarre denials that Bert ever did anything political... .

Oh well, all good things must end.

Thank you everybody.

Maybe one day Jim will work out why Harker did not include Tom Munnelly in his book. But I think the challenge may be beyond him. It onvolved switiching the brain on


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 06:38 AM

As far as I can out from this thread, the article from 2003 by Mike Yates on the Musical Traditions website has not been referenced here. It is called Jumping to Conclusions with a subtitle of Mike Yates examines a row that is bubbling away beneath the surface of British folksong scholarship.
As we might expect from Mike, it is well researched and argued and cogently written and totally relevant to this thread. However, despite being highly critical of Harker, it does not attempt to be the final word; it is an examination rather than a definitive conclusion. It seems to seek responses from Harker and perhaps those who support him to answer charges made and points raised by him. After all this is a discussion an as John Moulden has already stated in this thread (and I have already quoted):-

I wish it could be understood that the point of discussion is not to win an argument but to reach understanding and to be grateful to all those who contribute.


This makes a triumphalist claim that a game has been won sound rather ludicrous.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 07:11 AM

Hello Vic
I had read Yates' piece. Harker thanks Yates in his book, but clearly the relationship between the two has not been smooth. Yates links to Bearman, which I have been studying, and who has some rebuke for Sharp as well as for Harker. I had been thinking of seeing if people wanted to discuss Bearman in detail, but I think I have burned my boats as far as this thread is concerned.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 07:12 AM

Sorry, should have thanked Vic for the ref. MUDSTRAD is an excellent source of reading materials.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 07:19 AM

I'm going to read "One for the Money" right through. As well as the section on the revival it has a chapter on pitmen's songs, disentangling the present understanding of them (which Lloyd had a large part in) from the historical facts (which are substantial). It isn't an all-out debunking of Lloyd but does build up a much more (believably) detailed story. I suspect the real snarky stuff will be where he discusses Dylan.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 07:20 AM

"Scotland hardly exists and continental Europe really, really doesn't exist."
I think this an excellent point - it's far too often forgotten that with folk song, particularly the ballads, we are dealing with an international phenomenon which has drawn its influences from way beyond Britain
Both Scotland and Ireland hold many clues as to how the oral traditions worked and the fact that they survived longer in these places (particularly among the Travellers) than they did in England makes the information more accessible
Ireland's massive song-making tradition is a strong argument in the "who made our folksong" battle, in my opinion

I've just finished digitising several sets of albums we purchased abroad - a six vol. Hungarian set, a magnificent 10 vol. set we brought in Crete, and recently a 4 vol, set of 'The songs of Smyrna' - great examples of how it can be done, given the will
Anybody who would like copies.... of course

"it'll be insults all round,"
I would remind you that you hold the honour of being the only person on this forum to open a thread specifically to attack a fellow poster - as for your comments on my work being "unreliable" when you haven't even seen it.....
I think Macbeth had the right of it when he said " Stand not upon the order of your going,. But go"
Jim Carroll
    NOTE TO JIM CARROLL AND PSEUDONYMOUS: I had to delete a number of your messages. I will not tolerate combative posts from either one of you. Stick to the facts of the discussion, and quit attacking each other.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 08:14 AM

MUDSTRAD is an excellent source of reading materials.
Ahem! I think that you meant MUSTRAD (diminuation of MUSical TRADitions)
No, there is nothing muddy about Mustrad whereas.....


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 09:47 AM

@ Vic: thanks for the correction. :)


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 12:00 PM

So are we getting a list of the articles you have published in journals then?


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 03:15 PM

Vic
Many thanks for that reference to Mike's article. An excellent appraisal of the then situation. His statement of his realisation that Sharp was a giant in the field and very influential, no-one could possibly argue with. No-one I know is seeking to undermine Sharp's physical legacy.

I personally also have no quibbles over how he and others published the material when the originals were faithfully set down to the best of their ability and available technology.

My only misgivings lie in what I and others perceive to be a misrepresentation of how the material was created and evolved.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 03:21 PM

Oh, and I really think Mike and Brian are well capable of speaking for themselves.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Feb 20 - 06:07 PM

Whilst it's relatively quiet I'll add a little info to my 3rd line above but leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Sharp had a smallish collection of broadsides but most were of the mid 19th century. However he must have been at least aware of some of the larger collections at the BL, Oxford and Cambridge.

Baring Gould and Kidson had already been in the field for 10 years before he came along. Baring Gould had spent many hours in the BL looking at street lit collections and his notes to Songs of the West show a very good knowledge of the evolution of many of the songs. Kidson was already a musical historian before he even got interested in folk song and his first FS book 'Traditional Tunes' shows a good knowledge of the relationship between print and oral tradition and indeed popular song.

However both Baring Gould and Kidson were 200 miles away from London when it all kicked off when Sharp arrived. Sharp soon established his authority.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 04:01 AM

If I may go back a step to fill out what I understand Steve to be saying in his 'third line above' and his last post:

For the benefit of those who have not read Harker, his section on Sharp has five sections. He draws on a range of materials for it, including Sharp's diaries, his writings, and works about Sharp. He cautions against using later editions edited by Maud Karpeles as, he says, these are themselves interesting objects as examples of 'mediation': in other words she took out bits Harker would rather she had left in etc.

Harker's 5 sections are:

1 Early life 2) The 'discovery of 'folksong' (inverted commas as used by Harker) 3 English Folksong: Some Conclusions (this is an examination of Sharp's theoretical statement, which is available free online and which I have read only some of as yet) 4) Song Collecting (this goes up to about 1907) 5 Song Publishing.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 04:03 AM

Pleased that the nastiness has been deleted - for my part, I will have nothing more to do with such mud-slinging and I suggest everybody else does the same - now maybe we can get down to the real discussion
I put up what I believe to be the real omission here has still to be answered
A long discussion about the how we understand folk song without any reference to either the songs or the singers is utterly ridiculous
If these songs are fakes - discuss them and expose their fakery

The collectors have been far more efficiently covered than in Harker's axe-ginding 'Fakelore'
Works like Dorson's 'The British Folklorist' and 'Peasant Customs and Savage Myths' give excellent accounts of the earliest collectors
D K Wilgus's 'Anglo American Folksong Scholarship since 1898' puts Harker's efforts in the shade - an indispensable 'bible' for anybody wishing to learn how our folksongs were gathered
The collectors themselves wrote their own handbooks to collecting, all containing the techniques they used laid bare - Sandy Ives, Ken Goldstein and Bruce Jackson - and Sean O'Sullivan's 'Handbook of Folklore' stands over all these as a magnificent and extremely detailed search-list
Written accounts of the projects themselves - Henry Glassie's 'Passing the Time' and, 'Stars of Ballymenone' and more recently. Len Graham's 'Joe Holmes' show the collectors in action and the results of their work
Bob Copper's, Songs and Southerner Breezes' says more about English collecting in a few paragraphs than does Harker's entire book
The now sadly defunct 'Tocher' and many of the articles carried in 'Scottish Studies' contain masses of information on how the Scots collectors worked
- I was delighted to obtain a copy of Marin Graeb's book on Baring Gould recently - a detailed account of how the BBC collectors 'Roved Out' is long overdue

Instead of Harker's back-biting begudgery, which has long been rejected by most folk-song lovers, these are the works that need to be visited and re-visited if we are to make an honest judgement on what has been passed on to us
Child, Motherwell, Buchan, Burns, Sharp, Grainger and the rest, laid the foundation for all this as collectors and anthologists - to debunk their work as Harker did is to destroy the foundations that our folksong, music and lore stand on

Wilgus wrote in his introduction to '1898';
"This is a critical history of folksong study not only because any history must be critical, but because the writer's in no sense 'above criticism' - For the battle continues. The current folk-music revival is a product of many factors, but it is not causing a renaissance of scholarship. Folksong scholarship never died"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 04:05 AM

"Oh, and I really think Mike and Brian are well capable of speaking for themselves."
They have
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 04:19 AM

I haven't read "Fakesong" for a while, but from where I've got with "One for the Money", it's really an appendix to that earlier book (an expansion of one chapter in it) rather than a self-contained work. And the scope of Harker's project is impressive. The bibliography of OftM alone is a colossal piece of work.

So please lay off the glib sniping. This guy deserves to be taken seriously.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 04:54 AM

Harker states that Child’s theory was influenced by three main people: Sir Hubert Parry, Carl Engel, and Francis Barton Gummere.

1 Parry taught at the Royal College of Music and wrote a choral used at Coronations, and the music for Blake’s ‘And did those feet in ancient times’, though I don’t think he understood Blake’s bitter irony and I’m certain he would not have liked Blake’s politics. Sharp had ambitions to be an art musician and did use ‘folk’ music he had collected in his ‘art music’ as did others of his time of course.

2 Gummere is lit focused, not a musicologist. He had ideas about the origins of music and dance.
Examples of his style and of what for me is somewhat evidence-free theorising are here:
https://www.bartleby.com/library/prose/2028.html

Harker says Sharp took his three-part account of ‘folk’ from Gummere, the three elements being a) continuity b) variation and c) selection. Harker regards Sharp’s theory as social Darwinist; presumably Harker would prefer a more Marxist account of this history of song, such as in A L Lloyd but less ‘vulgar’ to use Harker’s expression.

3 Carl Engel is the only one of the three I had never heard of before reading Harker so yet again I learn something. One of his specialities was ‘national musics’, and we know that producing ‘national music’ of a sort that could be taught to children for example was something Sharp was especially interested in.

For more on Engel, see here:
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo1.ark:/13960/t3223gm0x&view=1up&seq=19

I thought this background was interesting, but would be interested to hear whether other posters feel that Harker is right in highlighting these three and so on.

Put together they would help explain why Sharp went looking for folk song in bits of Somerset that he regarded as full of ‘peasantry’, (to anticipate a discussion of Bearman which may or may not take place here). For as Harker points out, he did not go to Bath, Shepton Mallet, Taunton, Bristol, Yeovil etc etc. And while it is true that Sharp’s notes incude much that he did not publish, and that this material has been useful to people coming after, I think that Harker is claiming that Sharp might have/did ignore stuff that people were singing that he, Sharp, decided was not folk. In that Harker includes as a possibility songs in the modern minor (melodic presumably) as opposed to the modal material that I personally know Sharp was fond of noting and remarking upon. I think Harker is keener on accounts that are more fully representative of actual ‘working class’ culture as a whole as it existed.

So this is my attempt at seeing the background against which to think about what Steve said in his last couple of posts. Happy to be corrected if wrong. Hoping this is a constructive if long contribution to the thread.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 05:09 AM

Parry was a socialist, pacifist and feminist and most certainly DID understand what Blake was about. "Jerusalem" was written as a Suffragette anthem.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 05:16 AM

I put up what I believe to be the real omission here has still to be answered ????????????


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 06:25 AM

Jim's comment about Bob Copper's 'Songs and Southern Breezes' is particularly apposite. Out of print for many years we have reprinted it - I think it's a great book and illustrates perfectly how well suited Bob was to the task of 'collecting' songs, stories and dialect. I guess from a countryman's point of view it 'takes one to know one' which is why he was so successful. It also took the foresight of an Irishman, Brian George, to put the whole BBC collecting scheme into operation and to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 06:33 AM

I fact checked what Harker said about Sharp's 'dubbing the negros as of an inferior race' against the VWML original and transcript, and what Harker said is fully accurate and represents Sharp's own account of what he said. See p 202 of Harker.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 06:34 AM

Bob Copper's, Songs and Southerner Breezes' says more about English collecting in a few paragraphs than does Harker's entire book
Two letters too many - it should be "Southern" but otherwise could I also help to bring attention to the reprint of this totally admirable and underrated book? A notice in the current Living Tradition brings attention to this as well as on the homepage of the magazine's website and The Copper Family website suggests that you buy it from Amazon.
The man behind this reprint s the utterly admirable man (an a good friend for 50 years now) Jon Dudley.


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Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Feb 20 - 06:36 AM

I seem to have cross-posted with Jon!


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