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New Ancient Ballads?

mousethief 10 Mar 18 - 01:42 PM
David Carter (UK) 10 Mar 18 - 02:13 PM
Bev and Jerry 10 Mar 18 - 05:48 PM
Roz 10 Mar 18 - 10:55 PM
Brian Peters 11 Mar 18 - 09:23 AM
mousethief 11 Mar 18 - 09:57 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 18 - 10:04 AM
Brian Peters 11 Mar 18 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 11 Mar 18 - 12:37 PM
David Carter (UK) 11 Mar 18 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 11 Mar 18 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Rigby 11 Mar 18 - 06:11 PM
mousethief 11 Mar 18 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,RA 11 Mar 18 - 07:43 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 18 - 07:53 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 18 - 08:02 PM
Bill D 11 Mar 18 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Kristoffer Ross 11 Mar 18 - 09:19 PM
Deckman 11 Mar 18 - 09:38 PM
Reinhard 12 Mar 18 - 12:35 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 18 - 05:17 AM
Brian Peters 12 Mar 18 - 05:24 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 18 - 06:20 AM
David Carter (UK) 12 Mar 18 - 07:12 AM
Deckman 12 Mar 18 - 07:36 AM
Bill D 12 Mar 18 - 08:46 AM
Bill D 12 Mar 18 - 09:05 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Mar 18 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Kristoffer Ross 12 Mar 18 - 11:48 AM
Brian Peters 12 Mar 18 - 02:18 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Mar 18 - 02:54 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 18 - 04:01 PM
Deckman 12 Mar 18 - 06:36 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Mar 18 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Eliza c 13 Mar 18 - 03:49 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 18 - 04:38 AM
David Carter (UK) 13 Mar 18 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Eliza c 13 Mar 18 - 10:54 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 18 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Rigby 13 Mar 18 - 12:39 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 18 - 01:26 PM
TheSnail 13 Mar 18 - 09:14 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 18 - 05:39 AM
TheSnail 14 Mar 18 - 07:38 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 18 - 08:12 AM
TheSnail 14 Mar 18 - 09:33 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 18 - 10:43 AM
Steve Gardham 14 Mar 18 - 05:25 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Mar 18 - 08:23 PM
Pappy Fiddle 14 Mar 18 - 10:53 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Mar 18 - 10:46 AM
Richie 15 Mar 18 - 07:52 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 18 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Adam 15 Mar 18 - 09:52 PM
TheSnail 16 Mar 18 - 07:00 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 18 - 07:30 AM
TheSnail 16 Mar 18 - 07:34 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 18 - 08:21 AM
TheSnail 16 Mar 18 - 12:10 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 18 - 12:20 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 18 - 12:20 PM
StephenH 16 Mar 18 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,CJ 16 Mar 18 - 04:31 PM
Raedwulf 16 Mar 18 - 06:52 PM
TheSnail 16 Mar 18 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,Kristoffer Ross 16 Mar 18 - 09:38 PM
GUEST 17 Mar 18 - 11:24 AM
GUEST 17 Mar 18 - 11:34 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Mar 18 - 01:08 PM
TheSnail 18 Mar 18 - 06:17 AM
Raedwulf 18 Mar 18 - 11:04 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 18 - 11:19 AM
Iains 18 Mar 18 - 11:24 AM
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Subject: New Ancient Ballads?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 01:42 PM

Have any of the "modern" (like, first became popular (charted) in this century) artists done any Child Ballads or other traditional stuff? I'm a high school teacher and would love to point to someone my kids would know.

mt
o..o
=o=


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 02:13 PM

Ed Sheeran has done the Parting Glass, which isn't as far as I know a Child ballad, but it is Roud 3004. Alexander Armstrong has done it too, though he isn't mostly known as a singer.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 05:48 PM

Do any of your kids know who Bob Dylan is? If so, here's a list of 20 songs he "wrote" based on Child Ballads:

Go to www.sffmc.org and click on "folknik online", then on "current issue". Scroll way, way down to the bottom of the page and voile.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Roz
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 10:55 PM

Anais Mitchell recorded a whole album of them in 2013, and the lead singer of Fleet Foxes released a version of The False Knight On The Road a couple of years ago, too.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 09:23 AM

Nirvana, 'In The Pines'.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 09:57 AM

Nirvana is oldies to these people. They were all conceived ten years after Cobain died. Bob Dylan might as well never have existed. I have the Anais Mitchell CD -- isn't it lovely? I'm afraid these "modern" artists have abandoned the classics entirely. :(


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 10:04 AM

I realise I am a serial complainer, but I'm afraid I find very little of the modern British renditions of traditional ballads particularly inspiring - for me, I find them 'performances' rather than interpretations for me, ballads are stories that happen to have tunes rather than vehicles for tricksy instrumental displays.
Would be delighted to be proved wrong
I find myself re-playing the old collections - the Riverside series, the early Folkways stuff, The Long Harvest and particularly 'Blood and Roses' if I want to remember what ballad singing is about - the traditional collections like 'The Muckle Sangs' still give a buzz though!
Ireland was never particularly noted as a source for Child Ballads, but the late collector, Tom Munnelly, counted 50 of them as being still extant among the older generation right into the 1980s - some of them rare survivals that had disappeared elsewhere in the English-speaking world - Traveller, Martin McDonagh's 'Lady Margaret' (Young Hunting) remains for me one of the finest example of traditional ballad singing I've ever encountered.
Many of these can be found on the recently re-released 'Early Ballads in Ireland 1968-1985'
A few years ago a Wexford Couple, Aileen Lambert and Mick Fortune, got the suppoort of the National Library of Ireland and organised a number of of lunchtime concerts throughout Ireland entitled, 'Man Woman and Child' - it worked wonders in reminding Ireland that it had a rich tradition of ballad-singing - it's no longer uncommon to hear them sung arounfd nowadays
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 10:44 AM

Nirvana is oldies to these people. They were all conceived ten years after Cobain died.

Really?

So what do they think of Anais Mitchell?


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 12:37 PM

Alasdair Roberts has recorded quite few.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 01:54 PM

Ok, guys, I know this is a folk forum, but sometimes I think that people here are a bit unrealistic about the reach of the genre, and the artists who perform in it. There is no way that the average British 16 year old will have heard of Alasdair Roberts, and although I stand to be corrected I suspect that there is no way that the average American 16 year old will have heard of Anais Mitchell. Folk is a niche, and not one that teenagers in general inhabit. The original post asks for artists who charted this century, and those operating in the folk niche won't have. Nic Jones never even charted for goodness sake. I don't think that Bert Jansch did. Fairport convention got to number 21 with a French translation of a Bob Dylan song. Steeleye Span were a bit of an exception, they had two chart hits, one a medieval carol, and the other a song from the 1820s (so semi-traditional).

The OP asked for 21st century chart artists who had covered traditional songs. I can still only think of Ed Sheeran. Sure, 50 years ago there was Bob Dylan, and sure, he still records, but the only traditional stuff on any of his 21st century albums is Christmas Carols.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 03:20 PM

The OP asked have any modern artists done Child Ballads or other trad stuff. It then gave first charted in this century and would be known as examples of what type of things are being looked for. That doesn't mean some of the examples are totally irrelevent so it'd be a crime to mention them. Both Roberts and Mitchell are young and perform said material so whilst they don't hit the OP criteria in some respects they do in others. Of course they are not well known outside their genre but just because kids don't know about them it doesn't mean they shoudn't or couldn't! If we're talking specifically pop/rock artists then for really young kids even really recent performers are old news. The nearest I can think of just off the top of my head would be Natalie Merchant who did a folk album with some trad songs on it including "The House Carpenter's Daughter" and "Wayfaring Stranger" though her solo recording career started in the mid-90s so not quite within the time frame. But let's face it for very youngs kids Natalie would even be a fogey - so even we're talking solely people who are in the pop charts at the moment then yes it is a pretty barren field. There is Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops who have charted in the US album chart be it the lower reaches and to be fair any folk artist who has charted is probably going to be in the lower reaches. So do we mean big international pop stars who sing trad songs - then it is going to be pretty slim pickings. Perhaps Susan Boyle but she'd be as relevant to young kids as Alexander Armstrong would be.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 06:11 PM

Richard Dawson performs quite a few traditional songs, though I'm not sure how many of them he has recorded.

Mind you, the music of Richard Dawson is something of an acquired taste for both old and young.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 06:50 PM

My criteria were not some kind of "gotcha" designed to frustrate people trying to answer the OP. I was trying to formulate basically "That my students will have heard and appreciated." That I can use as a springboard to bridge the gap between what they listen to on Spotify and what I want them to be interested in (the oooold stuff). (Sorry about the mixed metaphor.) Surely the concept of what I want here isn't too difficult to understand.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 07:43 PM

How about the American duo Anna and Elizabeth? I don't think that they have 'charted' at all but they are great, also 'modern' as in contemporary and their new album is due to come out very soon on Smithsonian Folkways.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 07:53 PM

Surely if you are trying to introduce youngsters to ballads you pick the best examples of the singing rather than seeking 'names' - seems an exercise in the futile to give them poor representations of the genre
The problem with all culture is that it is not enough to introduce people to i cold but to win people for it - some of us learned that one the hard way big time
Don't patronise youngsters by underestimating them
There are a growing number of young people here in Ireland who are taking up the songs without them having to be sanitized
The music has been guaranteed a two generation future by youngsters being introduced to it in the ray form - hopefully that can happen with the songs with a little thought
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 08:02 PM

It Just occurred to me
I'm not a great fan of her ususal repertoire, but I would have no hesitation in sitting a group down in front of the film 'Songcatcher' and let them hear Iris Dement's stunning ballad singing in the Appalachian context
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 08:58 PM

Here's a fairly complete list of recordings of ballads... see if you recognize any artists the kids 'might' know.

https://www.childballadrecordings.com/all


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Kristoffer Ross
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 09:19 PM

Hey, Mousethief!
    Speaking as an 18 year old, how about The High Kings? I don't know of child ballads they've done, but they certainly fit the "other traditional stuff" category. I got very into them about 4 years ago, but my tastes seem to be turning back to the traditional roots, while they move further away. However, Memory Lane is still a darn fine album, even if not the most traditional style.
    Thanks,
Kristoffer


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 09:38 PM

BILL D ... My Gosh ... what an incredible collection of music you have posted for us. I've listened to recorded songs, and singers, I never thought I'd hear again. Give your self a HUGE pat on the back here's a BIG thank you from me ... bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Reinhard
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 12:35 AM

Halewijn' Child Ballad collection is a wonderful resource for quite some years now; you may know it from its old place as the Child Ballad Data Base. But the revamping with its addition of the YouTube links makes it even better.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 05:17 AM

AS GOOD AS IT GETS HERE
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 05:24 AM

"Surely the concept of what I want here isn't too difficult to understand."

It's not difficult to understand, but it's very difficult to satisfy. Mainstream modern pop music is such a world away stylistically from traditional song and balladic storytelling that it's hard to imagine any popular artist outside the more esoteric fringes making a go of it. The High Kings, mentioned above, are doing the same kind of thing as the Clancy Brothers were doing fifty years ago and, though it's great that Kristoffer has found a way into traditional song through their music, most of Mousethief's high school class would find them as alien as any Bob Dylan track.

I tend to agree with Jim Carroll here. Rather than look for a modern celeb to 'sell' the concept, you could try the approach of saying "just listen to this great story" and let the ballad speak for itself.

The suggestion of Anna and Elizabeth was a good one too. Although, again, kids raised on modern pop are going to find their sound pretty weird, they are young performers who mix traditional authenticity with a youthful desire to experiment.

We have to remember that, even in the days when Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span were attracting young audiences with electric settings of old ballads, they were still a minority interest when compared to 'chart' artists of their day. Young listeners have often been attracted to folk precisely because it's non-mainstream and a bit weird.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 06:20 AM

Can I say that on a number of times I was invited to talk to young people in schools in London
I chose to take what I believed to be well-sung, accessible versions of songs, talk little about the song and play them
At now time was I ever able to follow up these talks, but the immediate response from a few of the listeners always left me with feeling that at least some of what I played and said cauuht the interest of some
You never try to please all of the people all of the time if you have any sense.
One of the most rmarkable afternoons we ever spent was when pat and I took one of our Irish Traveller singers, Mikeen McCarthy, to sing, tell stories at a school's event based around Travelling people
I was extremely doubtful that Mikeen, with his broad Kerry/Traveller accent would get through to a roomful of South-East London youngsters - (aged between 12 and fifteen)
The room was sewt quite formally a few rows of chairs, and more around the room - about thirty listeners in all
Mikeen launched into his first song, 'The Blind Beggar' (entered in the Stationers Register in the 1600s, so not exactly a chart-topper) - to a surprisingly enthusiastic response.
He talked about life on the road and told a story 'Go For the Water' - a tale version of 'Get Up and Bar the Door'
Gradually, the kids abandoned their chairs and aformes a large semicircle around Mikeen's feet
He continued like that, holding them transfixed for nearly two hours, then, when he finished, they clustered around him asking questions
Still gives a buzz of satisfaction to write about it.
You never know what effect you are going to get but please don't try to sll them something that's not what you tell them it is - there simply isn't any point
Whatever you decide, good luck
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 07:12 AM

Bellowhead, although they have broken up now, got into the UK album charts with their last two albums (at 16 and 12), with contemporary arrangements of mostly traditional songs.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 07:36 AM

Being 80 (180?) now, I find myself remembering what were my first exposures to this folk music that has driven me all my life. I can clearly trace the people, the songs, the searches from when I was about thirteen onward. But recently, I remembered what might have been my very first exposure. It was when I was in grade school. I was maybe nine or ten years old. The teachers ordered us all onto busses and spread us out on a gym floor in some other school. Then nto a stage walked a man named Bruce. He played a banjo and sang songs to us. I was enthralled.

After all these years, that clear memory is returning. So, never doubt what impact you might have on youngsters when you make the effort to teach and expose them to these treasures and our heritages. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 08:46 AM

Gee, Bob... I am 'only' 78½. Check your PMs for more info on songs not linked to Youtube,


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 09:05 AM

BTW... in the list I posted above, the first hit in Child #1 takes you to The Devil's Nine Questions sung by Elizabeth LaPrelle of Anna & Elizabeth... then there are many songs by them. I was fortunate to have met Elizabeth and her family 10 years ago and hosted her first paid house concert gig in my basement.

   She and Anna are carrying on the traditions quite well, and becoming quite well known in Europe as well as in the US.

Some 'youth' don't need to be pushed to appreciate the old stuff.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 10:43 AM

There aren't any traditional ones, nor were there likely to be.
However, thinly spread among the tinkly dross we get the occasional piece that tells some sort of story and by using some of these you can then discuss the difference with the bulk of the mush and let the students come out with this themselves. From there you can introduce them to some of the older ballads, preferably those with lots of action and excitement. You might then have a chance of getting one or two interested. When doing this I would use examples performed by young people.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Kristoffer Ross
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 11:48 AM

I cannot help but note this, both in the thread and out of it: Having a singer come in and perform for students was what made an impression on them, rather than playing a record, whoever was on it. Depending on how your school management thinks, that might be worth a try.
~Kristoffer


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 02:18 PM

"Having a singer come in and perform for students was what made an impression on them, rather than playing a record"

YES!


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 02:54 PM

"Having a singer come in and perform for students was what made an impression on them, rather than playing a record"

That is obviously preferable and I've done that on numerous occasions in the last 20 years, but this usually costs money and certainly in the UK money is very tight in schools at the moment. Perhaps a video might be a compromise.

I feel an idea forming. The EFDSS are sending young performers into schools at the moment. Perhaps they can afford to put out an educational video of young performers performing some of the more popular ballads and talking about the ballads and why they sing them.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 04:01 PM

" but this usually costs money "
Whenever somebody says this it tends to bring a feeling of longing for those 'blue remembered hills" when people 'did' folksong for the love of it
Those days are summed up nicely for me bt broadcaster/collector Caiaran Mac Mathúna's story of when he was recording in Kerry in the i950
He spent a night recording tunes from an old fiddle player and, at the end of it, he said "now there's the question of a small recording fee"
The old man thought a minute and finally said, "Well, there's no money in the house right now, but I'm taking a bullock to the mart tomorrow if you don't mind waiting"
Does nobody do anything for the love of it any more (not talking about travelling expenses, or a bed for the night - just payment for singing or talking)?
I have to say that there are very few people singing nowadays that I believe to be worth their salt as singers (especially ballads) - raising money for a cause maybe - but little else.
I never forget that (despite peculiar theories doing the rounds these days) the vast majority of our our traditional songs were made because somebody had something to say rather than wanting payment
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 06:36 PM

I've always known that the moment "MONEY" enters the scene, the scene changes for the worse. Suddenly "MONEY" becomes the focus instead of what's really important. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 06:55 PM

Not an easy subject to reconcile. We can rail against it and lament a dim and distant past when most of us went out for nothing, but the fact is all of us on this forum live in a capitalist society and folk music is not necessarily just a hobby/obsession for all of us. It's easy for us long-retired people to offer to do things for nothing/love but surely we aren't saying that no-one should be allowed to make a living out of it. Brian would soon come back on that one.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Eliza c
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 03:49 AM

Hi all,
    I’m a bit old, but the album this song comes from is largely made up of songs from the Chetham’s Library broadside ballad collection. There are quite a few Child Ballads in my previous work too. This album entered the charts at no.26 last year.
Other tradheads I can think of, though not famous, include Emily Portman and Lucy Farrell (killing lots of birds with one stone in the Furrow Collective here: https://www.facebook.com/thefurrowcollective/posts/1507614112641467)

Cheers
Xe
https://youtu.be/65EUATYEAEc


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 04:38 AM

"but surely we aren't saying that no-one should be allowed to make a living out of it. Brian would soon come back on that one."
Of course we are not Steve - some of my best friends and mentors and all that...!!
I am saying that if lack of finances becomes a major problem in something as important as introducing young people to folk song it does not auger well for the future of our music - Bob Nelson just summed it up far better than I could.
The revival sprang into existence as a reaction to the 'Pink Toothbrush/Blue Toothbrush' pap that was being fed Britain's young people - a break away from the machine - we wanted to make our own music independent of the industry
It worked for quite a while - a song movement completely dependent on unpaid labour, all putting in the time, thought and effort because they wanted things to happen - even a few who were being paid for the music willing to share what they had or knew.
It seems that a combination of a failure to distinguish folk from pop-pap and a desire to "make it" in folk has put the music back to a position where we need top put some thought into where we go from here .
I really don't think your "Capitalist society" comments help in any way - we've always had to live in one of them - for me, the music was a welcome break from a day on the docks, a easy from working life, not a way out of it.
I was actively part of the folk scene throughout my working life - all our collecting was done in the evening, when we had washed off the days dirt, eaten, loaded the tape recorder into the car and driven off to a Travellers site, or at weekend's, or on annual holidays.....
I took time off work to give daytime talks to schools and colleges - I sacrificed an annual holiday once to put the BBC records on tape for the VWML.
I was no different than the most of the folkies of those days - no "retired people" to rely on then!
It seems to me that the club scene took a serious dip when 'making an album' or 'getting gigs' took the place of making sure the music got out to the people who needed to hear it.
There again, I've always been a "starry-eyed romantic", haven't I!!
Veteran fiddle player Junior Crehan, once summed up the situation for me perfectly when he told me over a Guinness, "The music began to go downhill once money was introduced - we would think they were mad if somebody offered us money to play - that made it too much like work"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 09:45 AM

Well I had never heard of that before, its Max Bygraves apparently. But I don't think young people were listening to Max Bygraves in 1959, they were listening to Lonnie Donegan, Cliff Richard and Billy Fury. The folk revival took place at a time of development of British music across many genres, it was a time of increased self confidence. And in the 60s, Britain was the place to be. Jimi Hendrix came here, Paul Simon came here, Jackson C. Frank came here. I am not really sure what point you are trying to make Jim, but if its that the folk revival was a reaction against what was happening in the rest of the music industry at the time, I don't agree with it.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Eliza c
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 10:54 AM

That’s interesting, David. My dad says the very reason he and many of his peers got into folk music-through Lonnie Donnegan-was as a reaction to things like ‘i’m a pink toothbrush’. He says it a lot xe


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 12:25 PM

"but if its that the folk revival was a reaction against what was happening in the rest of the music industry at the time, I don't agree with it."
I was there Dave - Pink and Blue Toothbrushes and all.
Actually, skiffle was the first shift away from being a passive audience - after that came American folk - Guthrie et al.
Maaccoll and Lloyd were singing American stuff when Lomax took tham by their collective collars and pointed to their own home-grown stuff.
Donegan arrived from the Jazz bands (Crave River - Chris Barber) who we listened to at The cavern before in became infested by Beetles
WE stopped just listening and began to make our own music - all pretty well documented
Now, it seems, were heading back full circle with a decline in clubs, superstars and the natural selection of old age.
The point I am making (a number of them actually) is that unless we pay attention to the state of the club scene and draw in some younger people, all thhis will have been an "awfully big adventure" - for those lucky enough to have been around to enjoy it.
I get a little self conscious pointing to what has happened in Ireland, but thanks to the hard slog of a few people who didn't wander about claiming they didn't know what folk song was, thousands of youngsters have poured into the scene, are playing and singing (to a lesser extent) like the best of the past, and the music has been guaranteed at least another two generation's worth of future
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 12:39 PM

They are definitely not a chart act, but Granny's Attic are a young band doing interesting stuff within the English tradition.

One thing that I find frustrating and a bit puzzling is when artists who come up through the folk clubs doing traditional material and doing it very well then choose to make albums of self-penned songs, instead of recording the traditional songs. For instance I think both Olivia Chaney and Sam Carter are excellent interpreters of traditional song, but apart from the Offa Rex album, you'd not know that from the bulk of their recorded work. Is that because they feel they have to go in that direction in order to get attention outside the folk scene?


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 01:26 PM

"Lonnie Donnegan-was as a reaction to things like ‘i’m a pink toothbrush’. He says it a lot xe
I think he's right, though it was a shame when he bacame nearly as bad wit 'Did your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavour' and 'Nobody Loves Like an Irishman' (still a standing joke among the elderly ladies here in Wild West Clare - "they ought to try living with one"
Jim Caarroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 09:14 PM

Jim Carroll
unless we pay attention to the state of the club scene and draw in some younger people

Who is "we" in this context? What positive contribution to the club scene in the UK are you actually making, Jim?

(I should know better.)


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 05:39 AM

I'm talking about the music in general Brian - I forgot that I need to produce my British passport in order to comment on what's happening in Little England nowadays
Despite the fact that I now live in Ireland, most of my life was spent involved in the English revival alongside some of the most important movers and shakers, and a large part of our work was with one of England's most important folk song sources
Rule Britannia, eh wot!
You most certainly should know better
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 07:38 AM

What positive contribution to the club scene in the UK are you actually making, Jim?


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 08:12 AM

ou really don't have to repeat yourself Bryan
I've always thought that anybody who takes the trouble to make a comment on something important makes a contribution - if you only want 'positive' contributions, that tends display a defensive insecurity which is an indication that all is not ell in the State of Denmark, if not rotten.
Do you really believe that a club scene that can't rustle up enough support to involve young people in folk song because it cannot afford to do so has much of a future?
We've ben over the question of setting a standard for what happens at the clubs and not having to gamble a wasted night out when you go to a folk club and don't find any folk songs, or unaccompanied singers of folk songs being made feel unwelcome, or singers singing from crib-sheets or mobile phones because they can't be arsed to learn their songs..... all raised by others on this forum - I'm not alone in thinking all is not well - just the handiest target for Little Englanders to point out I'm no longer part of the scene
The problem you LEs have is that,, thanks to the internet, you no longer have room to brush what is happening under the carpet - nowhere to hide any more.
I'm at preset involved in scanning down interesting articles from our folk magazine collection before we give them all away to somebody who can make use of them - fascinating stuff!
Some of the demands for improvement in the clubs and the warnings of what would happen if they didn't take place are truly prophetic - and they didn't need the help of Gypsy Rose Lee
My apologies Bryan - sorry for still caring
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 09:33 AM

I repeated the question because you didn't answer it.
You said "unless we (i.e. including yourself) pay attention to the state of the club scene (not the music in general) and draw in some younger people.
I made no reference to your chosen place of abode and, yes, I think positive contributions are preferred.
What contribution are you actually making? Now, not thirty years ago.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 10:43 AM

I've tried hard enough Bryan - can't even find a home for Walter Pardon's recordings nowadays - God only knows how Walter himself would have fared in todays scene
Still remember Pat trying to get him a booking thirty years ago and being told "we don't do anything like that, we're a folk club"
It's no longer my job to do anything - I'm not part of the British club scene any more
I can only hope to find a home for the archive that me and a bunch of others accumulated over the time we were part of the revival - Limerick University seems to be the nearest it'll ever get to the UK
A bunch of us did our best to get funding to assemble the recordings and the research that was scatter all over the place in order to make it readily available and give it a chance of surviving, for which we got the co-operation of the then N.S.A. -
We had a limited success when N.S.A. took our collection (then it's grown four-fold since then) and expanded their ethnomusicological approach to include British material - the end result was the 'Bright Golden Store' website, limited, but at least something.
It always has been up to the clubs to get their collective acts together and give British (I should say "English" - Scotland has made some strides in recognising their heritage) the chance of a future.
The present - "anything goes at whatever standards" approach clearly hasn't worked and your "iceberg, what iceberg?" complacency is not going to change that situation.
I get rather tired of being treated as a foreign interloper by people like you - I've done the work and I will continue to try to pass it on until I run out of puff
The British revival is the most defensive "don't you dare criticise us" art movement I have ever encountered - it's even invented a private language - "folk police", "finger-in-ear", to ward off any form of criticism - what next - garlic and holy water?
I've always described the work of organisers like you as essential to the future of folk song - you and Joy Ashworth and Ted Poole and all the other folk-face workers have my undying respect for that, but your aggressive and often insulting attitude to those expressing honest opinions that don't suit your smug complacency sometimes appals me.
I don't give a toss about your opinion of me personally, but I do worry about what has happened to the music that I have spent a lifetime enjoying, as a singer, listener and researcher.
I would like to think that those who follow us will get the same opportunities we have
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 05:25 PM

.......and yet another thread gets waylaid!


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 08:23 PM

".......and yet another thread gets waylaid!"
And yert another load of questions remain unanswered Steve
This thread was is about passing on ballads and folksong to the next generation - I can't see it's wandered too far off that point - correct me if I'm wrong
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Pappy Fiddle
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 10:53 PM

I came across something I found interesting that your students might also. There's a very old book from the 1600's called El Libro de Buen Amor by Juan Ruiz and it contains a lot of stuff, sorta like Canterbury Tales. One poem, "Enxienplo del Ortolano é de la Culebra" has been turned into more than one contemporary song that will surprise you. First, a translation of the poem (by me, with some help from some educated Mexicans, the spanish is 1600's remember) I didn't try to make it rhyme but the original did, really well.

There was a gardener, quite simple and without malice In the month of January with fierce weather Walking in his garden, he saw under a pear tree A little snake, half dead she was.

With the snow, and with the wind, and with the cold ice The snake was unconscious from cold The pious man, being dazed by life, Was much pained over her, he wanted to give her life.

He took her in his cloak and carried her to his house He put her in the fireplace, close to good coals; The snake revived - before he burned her up! And crawled into a crevice of that rustic kitchen.

This good man fed her every day Of the bread and of the milk and of whatever he ate She grew with great vigor, with the food that she got, So that it would have appeared to anyone this was a huge serpent.

The summer has come and the appointed rest When there's no fear of wind or of ice She came out of that crevice, vicious and furious. And commenced to bite the people there in the inn with venom.

Said the gardener, "Get out of this place! Don't do harm here!" She became enraged, She hugged him so fiercely, she would choke him Squeezing him really cruel, till he died.

The bad man rejoices in giving poison for honey, And for fruit, giving pain to friend and neighbor; For piety, deceit; tearing up the good that comes to them! That's just how it came to me from you...

This last line because the poem is part of a larger story, two women are arguing and this was a "discourse" by one of them.

The upshot is that this has been turned into popular songs such as

The Snake - Johnny Rivers

The Snake - Al Wilson (same exact song, I forget which one was released first, at that time I was in HS and didn't even know we were being fed two different records)

The Snake - Mediaeval Baebes: this one attempts to reproduce the Spanish altho I don't think they are pronouncing it right. But when a dozen pretty girls are on stage singing, who cares if they are pronouncing it right?


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 10:46 AM

Jim,
Why you don't start your own thread with your load of unanswered questions clearly set out I don't know. I've done my best to answer them in the past.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Richie
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 07:52 PM

Hi,

I'm reworking the Child ballads, I like the relatively new Irish versions of "Rosemary Fair," as reworked by sung by Frank Harte (1967) and others.

Also I've been listening to fairly recent Irish versions of Child 3 "False Fly" by Frank Quinn and Barry Gleeson-- after all the earliest version is Irish.

Kids are open to any folk music and live performances are best, that's why there are grants and in-school programs.

Richie


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 08:06 PM

"Why you don't start your own thread with your load of unanswered questions
As I said Steve, the question here revolves arounfd the passing of our songs to the upcoming generations,
I full accept and apologise for responding to the "what did you do in the folk war daddy" taunts which were not of my making, but apart from that, I make no apologies
It is not up to anybody here to restrict the discussion to what the thing it should be, so please don't - it really isn't your job
"I've done my best to answer them in the past.""
And please don't patronise me again - I don't come to you for answers, I respond to you when I believe your arguments are flawed
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Adam
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 09:52 PM

To return to the original question, might school children know Sam Lee from his contributions to the Guy Ritchie "King Arthur" soundtrack? He's a rather fine interpreter of traditional song.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 07:00 AM

.......and yet another thread gets waylaid!

Not really, Steve. This thread is essentially about how to involve a new generation with traditional music. Jim has agreed that this is something WE should be doing. I have enquired, with little success, as to what he is doing to this end. A man with his depth of experience has much he could contribute.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 07:30 AM

Sorry Briyan - lst word on this bickering match
I have described at length what I am doing - where our which we can't find a home for in Britain has been deposited and will be made accessible
Our work on the Clare County Library website speaks for itself - that has ensured that future d=generations of enthusiasts will be able to listen to the best of Irish traditional singing
Limerick is considering doing the same for the Traveller collection
If they can' manage Walter's recordings, maybe there's a County Library in Norfolk that might find a home for one of its finest sons - no room at the folk song revival inn !!
We've passed on as much as we can privately (yor club wasn't interested) and anybody who has ever asked for use of our material has been given it.
We've been involved in issuing around a dozen or so albums of field recordings
Probably our greatest achievement was, when Clare Library put our collection on line, The Council appointed two singers in residence to visit schools and, using our recordings, attempt to involve the pupils in traditional singing
It's had to know what more we can have done and are continue to do
If you still don't know what we have done or are doing, I really don't know what to say
The job of passing he song traditions on to the next generations of British youngsters is YOUR job - we're far too old to commute
Please stop making this a personal slanging match - I said what I said in response to the question
You get young people interested in traditional song by taking responsibility for it and treating it with respect - I don't believe attempting to water it down by looking for superstars as role models will do the trick
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 07:34 AM

I've always described the work of organisers like you as essential to the future of folk song - you and Joy Ashworth and Ted Poole and all the other folk-face workers have my undying respect for that,

Wow! That's a turn up. I'm honoured to be included in such company. (I expect you know that Ted Poole died last week after fifty years of support for the Swindon Folk Club of which he was a founder.)
I have to say, I have never heard you express any such feelings before. You generally seem to regard us with contempt.

I really did hope I would get an answer to my simple question, "What are you actually doing NOW towards promoting traditional music to a new generation?" but I hoped in vain.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 08:21 AM

"I have to say, I have never heard you express any such feelings before"
Then you have never read what I have witten Bryan - I have always said it - including in our arguments
My criticism is not of your work in your club, but your complacency of what is happening elsewhere
"but I hoped in vain."
My point is made perfectly - you are deliberately ignoring what I have just written
It will probably take the rest of my life to put a half centuries work in collecting and assembling an archive in usable form for future enthusiasts to make use of - the simple act of passing on our collection will take a couple of years
A litle ovr two years ago, pat and I, along with two appointed librarians finished nearly two years work in putting our Clare song collection on line
Much at the cost of "normal" life, I spend ten hours a day digitising, listing , annotating and transcribing our personal collection for future use
If we're lucky to live and stay compus mentis long enough - we might just get it finished
We haven't really begun work on the hundreds tapes of the workshops and reserarch we were part of, especially the nearly ten years worth of Critics Group recordings for passing on to the MacColl family
You are now being obtuse to the point of spitefulness
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 12:10 PM

Oh dear, I really didn't want it to go this way.
You haven't answered my question and you've got steadily more abusive.
Concentrate on your archives.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 12:20 PM

Course I haven't Bryan !!
Everybody can see that - you make up your own answer -0 it's the only one you're likely to accept
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 12:20 PM

Course I haven't Bryan !!
Everybody can see that - you make up your own answer -0 it's the only one you're likely to accept
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: StephenH
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 01:09 PM

If Guest "Eliza c" is who I think it is, then there is someone who, I
think might appeal to a young crowd. Although not really familiar to
a mass pop audience, Eliza Carthy, along with her Wayward Band, presents
folk/traditional song and instrumentals in a fresh and visually appealing way. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78w4D05rqi0)
I know it doesn't fit mousethief's criteria really but I guess I just wanted to acknowledge EC's efforts. They come from a place
of love and respect for tradition combined with a desire to incorporate
sounds from outside that tradition.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,CJ
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 04:31 PM

Bryan TheSnail - you’re coming across as a total nincompoop. Not funny, not clever, just a point scoring bully.

We all know Jim can be argumentative, but he’s replied to your insanely pedantic bit of fluff perfectly well. Please drop it.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 06:52 PM

I'm not here very much these days, and I'm not that much of a folkie, truth be told (it's a long story; don't ask!), but I have to agree wholeheartedly with CJ. In my limited experience of him, Jim can be an argumentative bugger, he ain't always right, and it can be next to impossible to get him to stop & consider (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! ;-) ).

But persistently accusing him of not answering, Bryan, is complete & utter bullshit. He has given you loads of information about what he has done & what he is, right now, doing. And he has not, in my reading of this thread, been abusive in the slightest.

How about you answer your own bloody question, since you're so keen on repeating it. What are YOU doing towards etc?


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 08:54 PM

GUEST,CJ and Raedwulf
Sorry I can't reply in full just now. Early start tomorrow as I'm the club rep at an all day workshop with John Kirkpatrick and will obviously be going to his performance at the club in the evening. I hope to get back to you on Sunday although I may be involved in some chair moving duties (all part of the job) and I'm behind on my admin for the club and this years festival.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST,Kristoffer Ross
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 09:38 PM

Maybe I shouldn't have suggested the performer thing. I didn't realize it would dredge up such animosity.
    I'm honestly sorry about that.
    ~Kristoffer
(Also, the blank message above was my accidental post.)


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 18 - 11:24 AM

It is more common, I think, for Scandinavian language ballads to reach higher levels of popularity through their modern recordings. For example, the Swedish folk rock band Garmarna record a lot of trad ballads in their style. Their album Guds Spelemän (from the 1990s) was very popular, and became very influential, especially among the harder rock and metal scene. So since then the traditional Swedish ballad Herr Mannelig has been covered a fair bit by such bands.

Folk metal is perhaps pretty niche, but it is more youth orientated at least, and maybe less niche in some parts of the world. Several bands that have recorded Herr Mannelig (in Swedish) are not from Scandinavia at all, but from Germany and eastern Europe.

Video with a live performance
(in Swedish) by the German band In Extremo. There are obviously a lot of people there ....

Anyway, that's just an example.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 18 - 11:34 AM

Also if the 1990s counts (it doesn't), the first place I heard The Cold Rain and Snow was from The Levellers, the the first place I heard Silver Dagger was from St Etienne (Like a Motorway). (also not Child ballads ...)


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Mar 18 - 01:08 PM

My apologies all - this argument has no place here
"For example, the Swedish folk rock band Garmarna record a lot of trad ballads in their style."
One of the problems for me is that the ballad structure is a narrative one - probably the purest narrative form among all folk song - miss a line, even a few words, and you're quite likely to have lost the lot - literally
From what I know of Scandinavian ballads, it is the same with them.
Folk-rock, electric folk, even over-fussy accompaniment... distracts the attention from the story and, more often than not, drowns the narrative and transforms the song into something else - not necessarily worse or better - just different
Give a newbie that to listen to and you are not attracting them to balladry
I find myself in an odd situation here in the rural West of Ireland
There are no folk clubs but there are dozens of 'singing circles', mainly singing the more popular non-narrative songs   
I had more-or-less abandoned my ballad repertoire when I decided to give it another go and made a point of working out a careful introduction to all my unfamiliar songs - it seems to have worked
I now find myself being approached at the end of sessions and questioned about my songs
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 06:17 AM

What are YOU doing towards etc?
Well ,I won't give a full CV but for a start I am one of the organisers of Lewes Saturday Folk Club.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Raedwulf
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 11:04 AM

Great. Now how about acknowledging that you know what Jim has been doing, instead of insisting that he hasn't told you, or spuriously claiming he's been abusive to you? Because that's the actual point being made to you; not just by myself, either.

I am many miles from Lewes. But the way you have behaved here would not make me eager to attend your club, were I nearby. Maybe you should go off & have a think, sir.


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 11:19 AM

Thanks Wulfie - but I'd rather we be allowed to move on from this if it's all the same with you
There will probably be plenty of other opportunities to sort this out in the future unfortunately
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ancient Ballads?
From: Iains
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 11:24 AM

The pogues still regularly hit the christmas charts and last performed in 2014(Ithink). They certainly performed some traditional material

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_recorded_by_the_Pogues


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