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If you don't like ballads......

Steve Gardham 13 May 19 - 02:57 PM
Steve Gardham 13 May 19 - 02:55 PM
Steve Gardham 13 May 19 - 02:49 PM
Iains 13 May 19 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 13 May 19 - 09:37 AM
punkfolkrocker 13 May 19 - 09:01 AM
Iains 13 May 19 - 08:45 AM
Iains 13 May 19 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 13 May 19 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 13 May 19 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,Kenny B ( Inactive) 13 May 19 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 13 May 19 - 05:56 AM
Iains 13 May 19 - 04:18 AM
GUEST 13 May 19 - 04:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 May 19 - 02:20 AM
Andy7 12 May 19 - 06:54 PM
Steve Gardham 12 May 19 - 05:16 PM
Steve Gardham 12 May 19 - 03:59 PM
Jack Campin 12 May 19 - 03:28 PM
Steve Gardham 12 May 19 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Swingin' Dick 12 May 19 - 02:00 PM
Dave the Gnome 12 May 19 - 01:59 PM
punkfolkrocker 12 May 19 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 12 May 19 - 01:37 PM
Steve Gardham 12 May 19 - 01:07 PM
Jack Campin 12 May 19 - 11:51 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 19 - 11:26 AM
Steve Gardham 12 May 19 - 11:24 AM
GUEST 12 May 19 - 11:01 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 19 - 09:34 AM
GUEST 12 May 19 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 12 May 19 - 07:18 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 12 May 19 - 07:16 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 19 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 12 May 19 - 06:51 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 19 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 12 May 19 - 06:07 AM
Iains 12 May 19 - 04:46 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 19 - 02:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 May 19 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 11 May 19 - 05:21 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 May 19 - 04:45 PM
Steve Gardham 11 May 19 - 03:00 PM
Jeri 11 May 19 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Hilary 11 May 19 - 11:52 AM
Jeri 11 May 19 - 11:39 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 May 19 - 11:11 AM
Jack Campin 11 May 19 - 10:55 AM
Jim Carroll 11 May 19 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 11 May 19 - 09:52 AM
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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 May 19 - 02:57 PM

Likewise Service.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 May 19 - 02:55 PM

Iain
Rime is indeed a 'ballad', a 'literary ballad' and that's official.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 May 19 - 02:49 PM

As is obvious from the last dozen or so postings there are many types of ballads and to make things a little clearer the use of a qualifying adjective would help, folk ballad, broadside ballad, traditional ballad, literary ballad, Child Ballad, big ballad, etc.

Though we get several writers claiming that a ballad is not a ballad unless it is sung, this is actually wrong. A good percentage of ballad performers recited their ballads, and this was very likely more prevalent in earlier centuries. Bell Robertson, Greig's most prolific source for ballads couldn't sing a note and recited all her ballads.


Big Al was actually referring to the big ballads (Child Ballads) in his original post and he was comparing them with folk/broadside ballads and songs.

Beowulf can't be a ballad for a number of reasons. Firstly it was written long before any ballads were in existence, and secondly although it has narrative it has none of the other attributes of a ballad. There are plenty of threads that list the characteristics of the majority of Child Ballads, which themselves can be split up into a number of categories. As I wrote earlier Child felt obliged to include items in his canon that only had a few of the characteristics mainly because his most pressing remit was to be inclusive rather than exclusive, although personally I'd rather he'd gone for the latter.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Iains
Date: 13 May 19 - 09:50 AM

@ Pseudonymous.   In Shakespearean times a performer was required to be licensed by the nobility or the crown. They were regarded as a threat.
Perhaps they are still a threat today if departing from the given narrative.

The link below gives further confusion( I found the link while trying to establish if the rime of the ancient mariner was a ballad)



https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-ballad-and-vs-epic/


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 13 May 19 - 09:37 AM

@ Iains

The version I have been looking at is the online equivalent of the old hard copy multiple volume (30 plus) one, and it has a lot to say. The first recorded written use of the term ballad in the sense of song is in the phrase 'ballad book'. Because the dictionary gives examples of usages over time, it hints at attitudes to ballads. A lot of the quotations criticise 'ballads' for being 'lewd' for example.

I was amused by the following 17th century quotation:

To thrum a Guitarr to 2. or 3. Italian Ballad tunes, may be agreable for once, but often practised is ridiculous.

And this quotation was sad:

The last refuge in their life (beggery excepted) the poore helpe of Ballad-singing


Maybe this latter indicates where we shall end up when the present 'austerity' programmes hae done their worst? Back to singing for your supper, if, that is, you don't get banned from anywhere where the people might cough up a coin or two?


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 May 19 - 09:01 AM

Here's a youtube video...

I'd considered starting a thread for it, but never bothered..
So it might fit in here for additional contextual material.
I can't vouch for the academic quality, but it's an interesting half hour documentary
on the history and social status of the Hurdy Gurdy and it's players
over several centuries..

It might be slightly relevant in this thread...???

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv52jaxkHPw


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Iains
Date: 13 May 19 - 08:45 AM

From: GUEST,Pseudonymous - PM
Date: 11 May 19 - 09:39 AM
Further to your post the OED defines a ballad as:
ballad noun
    1 A poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas. Traditional ballads are typically of unknown authorship, having been passed on orally from one generation to the next.

      2 A slow sentimental or romantic song.


Origin

Late 15th century (denoting a light, simple song): from Old French balade, from Provençal balada ‘dance, song to dance to’, from balar ‘to dance’, from late Latin ballare (see ball). The sense ‘narrative poem’ dates from the mid 18th century.

So coming back to the original post if one does not like ballads,
is this the entire genre, or the presentation?
Surely ballads comprise an extremely healthy percentage of folk music, both ancient and modern?


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Iains
Date: 13 May 19 - 07:27 AM

Pseudonymous
There are no absolute answers. At what point does narration actually morph to acting/singing. Recitation accompanied by changes of intonation, gestures, twanging a "harp" were all used to create an "ambience" for delivery of the story/saga/history etc.
If a balladic presentation worked it is more thanlikely it was used.


http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/dir/traditions/europe.html

. The (Welsh) Laws of Hywel Dda, originally compiled around 900 A.D, identify a bard as a member of a king's household. His duties, when the bodyguard were sharing out booty, included the singing of the sovereignty of Britain—possibly why the genealogies of the British high kings survived into the written historical record.

“...a profoundly important truth about musical instruments everywhere: they are intimately connected in folktale, myth, and legend to local symbols of rebirth. Thus, legend relates that Hermes made the first lyre from a turtle carapace; similarly, the first Arab lute was modeled after the body of a beloved male child; the Finnish culture hero Väinämöinen made the first zither, kantele, from the body of a giant pike; the Celts made their first legendary harp from whalebones. In each case, the symbolically significant creature is "reborn" as an ”instrument which "sings" as well as appears in a shape reminiscent of the creature modeled.”

https://www.libraryireland.com/Druids/Irish-Bards.php


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 13 May 19 - 07:12 AM

AH bugger! It's ok Dave, the fish aren't biting.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 13 May 19 - 07:03 AM

I then went off to learn more about the chanson

What you should have learned is that (like "lied" in German, "song" in English or "canto" in Italian) it has no very definite meaning, and people have applied the word to unrecognizably different things over the centuries.

Brel was not doing anything like what a Renaissance composer did.

There are languages that have hard and fixed terms for different kinds of vocal music - Turkish is quite good at that. Western European languages prefer to leave you guessing.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Kenny B ( Inactive)
Date: 13 May 19 - 07:01 AM

Where do the ballads of Robert service stand in the realms of Balladry.

The Cremation of Sam McGee - Johnny Cash

Are they considered as unworthy works as a bored but talented scotsman trying to make a bob or two, or the subsequent barrack room ballads which were recited by servicemen in messes and barrack rooms for centuries to relieve the tedium particularly in the days of national service in the years before the juke box.

Are music hall monologues considered ballads or possibly mere unworthy trash.

How are the works of J Milton Hayes and Rudyard Kipling regarded in terms of ballads.

Im interested to see current views on the subject


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 13 May 19 - 05:56 AM

The link provided by Iains above contains ideas that one could pick away at. For example, it discusses medieval performances, yet Beowulf is believed by many to be older than medieval originally. There are many academic controversies, some of them echoing the sorts of discussion that are had about the origins of folk song. I am not aware of any evidence that it was sung. I was ht about it on a history of English Lit course, where it was given as an example of 'alliterative' verse, with other features being marked out as typical of material produced at the time eg the use of litotes and kennings and the caesura.


My view is that not all narratives count as 'ballads'. The ballad song generally has a specific form, verse lengh, rhyme patterns.

I don't think one could mount a convincing argument that Beowulf is an example of a ballad.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Iains
Date: 13 May 19 - 04:18 AM

Can the original performance of Beowulf be classed as a ballad?


https://www.bagbybeowulf.com/background/medieval_epic.html


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 19 - 04:12 AM

Richard Thompson's song is a contemporary ballad from the late 20th century, using guitar accompaniment. Why should he write one that sounds 300 years old if it isn't ?


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 May 19 - 02:20 AM

I mentioned Jaques Brel earlier and just did a little more research on him. On Wiki it says "He is considered a master of the modern chanson". I then went off to learn more about the chanson and found the following. "A chanson (French pronunciation: ?[??~s?~], "song", from Latin cantio, gen. cantionis) is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular."

From the same article, "The earliest chansons were the epic poems performed to simple monophonic melodies by a professional class of jongleurs or ménestrels. These usually recounted the famous deeds (geste) of past heroes, legendary and semi-historical. The Song of Roland is the most famous of these, but in general the chansons de geste are studied as literature since very little of their music survives." I

So, is a chanson also a ballad and is, as I suspect, Jaques Brel a modern Ballad singer?


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Andy7
Date: 12 May 19 - 06:54 PM

"What detracted from what we expect of a ballad are the vocal gymnastics and the elaborate accompaniment. One of the main characteristics of the big ballads is that they tell the story in an impersonal way in the third person."

Yes, a very good point.

We want ballads to be well told, and we really appreciate that. But we don't want, or need, the performers of those ballads to try dazzling us with their vocal and instrumental skills ... impressive though those skills may well be!

There's a fine line to be trod, between drawing in, and engaging, your audience with your skill in performing a ballad, and allowing that skill of yours to become the main focus, rather than the ballad that you're singing.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 May 19 - 05:16 PM

This first person/third person difference makes for an interesting comparison. Very few of the big ballads are written in first person and those that are usually start off with the narrator in first person but soon disappear to let the story unfold in third person. Likewise the broadside ballads, many start 'As I walked out' but it soon develops into the narrator describing what he has observed and the narrator takes a back seat. Many of MacColl's Radio ballads are essentially written in first person for a good reason, they are an attempt to put the listener alongside of the narrator as in Shoals of Herring, and this style has been followed by numerous songwriters since, particularly those writing about occupations. Pop song ever since the days of Music Hall and probably earlier has been overwhelmingly dominated by first person, even those that vaguely resemble ballads.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 May 19 - 03:59 PM

Jack,
One of the many inspired by the Percy explosion, but nearly all of them fall down for one reason or another, usually too clever by half, too much description or too elaborate. There is a book on the literary ballad. I did have a copy but it had little to do with the folk ballad so I got rid of it. I think possibly the nearest thing written by a literary giant sometimes found in oral tradition is Scott's 'Jock of Hazeldean' based on bits of Child Ballad John of Hazelgreen. When teaching about traditional ballads in English lessons I used to use 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' by Keats to demonstrate how the literary ballads differed from the traditional, in fact Coleridge's 'Rime' as well. I seem to remember playing a video of a Rime recital illustrated. It was all a long time ago.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 May 19 - 03:28 PM

Another one maybe: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Standard metre, strong story and characters, but too long (the wedding frame has to go). Has anybody collected an orally transmitted version with a tune?


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 May 19 - 03:05 PM

SD, Richard Thompson. Okay extremely popular, very talented.
Taking the very basics of what a ballad is in folksong terms, yes it could creep in, it seems to be telling a story, the bits I could follow anyway. What detracted from what we expect of a ballad are the vocal gymnastics and the elaborate accompaniment. One of the main characteristics of the big ballads is that they tell the story in an impersonal way in the third person. The narrator is generally not part of the story, merely an observer.Please don't take this as a criticism of the performance: I enjoyed the video. A modern ballad? Yes! But it has little in common with the older folk ballads.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Swingin' Dick
Date: 12 May 19 - 02:00 PM

Here's a ballad, with nearly 1 and a quarter million "hits" on "Youtube" :

https://youtu.be/j0kJdrfzjAg


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 May 19 - 01:59 PM

Oh, don't start that again Ian!


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 12 May 19 - 01:41 PM

"The Ballad of Batman and Joker"... that'll be a favourite 200 years from now...


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 12 May 19 - 01:37 PM

The myriad ballads being written by folk singers today add to the folk process of course. MacColl and Seeger's output being a case in point.

I doubt the ability to write folk songs stopped in 1954, eh?


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 May 19 - 01:07 PM

They did, Jack, but many of these records still reside in the libraries and archives belonging to those families. We do occasionally come across them when a family ceases to exist. I have seen some 16th century ones that itemise costs of providing equipment for servants and younger family members for a sword dance team. The only word we have left to describe these entertainment organisers is unfortunately 'minstrel' which tends to conjure up somebody playing a lute. The truth was more likely someone with multiple talents in entertainment.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 May 19 - 11:51 AM

We know about the lutenist who called himself "Graysteil" and performed his eponymous epic for James IV of Scotland around 1500 because the Lord High Treasurer kept track of his wages. (A musician/dancer called "Wantoness" got paid similar amounts; we don't know her repertoire but she seems to have danced in the nude).

Didn't the English aristocracy track their expenditure on song and dance?


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 19 - 11:26 AM

Nobody actually knows who wrote either the ballads or the folk songs
Work has been done to establish the earliest printed versions of them, but that in no way guarantees the 'author' didn't copy them down from elsewhere
In my opinion, logic suggests that 'the folk' were as likely to have made them as anybody
The 'insider knowledge', use of vernacular and folklore and the 'democratic' and partisan nature of how the plots were handled makes that a strong likelihood
Thee can be no doubt that 'ordinary' people (especially the non-literate ones) were more than capable of song-making - if they could, they probably did
Jim


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 May 19 - 11:24 AM

Whilst there is minimal evidence for the assertion that minstrels made some of the ballads, they were still around when the earliest ballads were being made, say 16th century. They were indeed patronised (old meaning) by the nobility in earlier centuries and provided family entertainment of all kinds. It seems reasonable to suppose they made up pieces in the current style that flattered their patrons and insulted the patrons' enemies. However, by the 15th century the nobility were turning to other newer forms of entertainment, and the minstrel was forced to find new audiences and employment. Some will have taken their talents into London and large cities where the rising middle classes were becoming a lucrative market. People like Wm Elderton took to writing ballads for the presses, still flattering the nobility but also the newer markets.

All of this is pure conjecture, based on reading about the history of the period, and what survives. Please feel free to pick it apart.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 19 - 11:01 AM

The library of Congress link provided above says that some ballads were written by minstrels working in the houses of "noblemen". It provides no references for these assertions. I know that many people have a romantic image of the 'minstrel' of old but it may not reflect reality.

A book I have by an expert in Medieval English poetry says that some people believe that minstrels may have played purely instrumental work, not 'ballads' or songs of any sort at all. It also says there are no accounts of 'minstrel' performances or of their repertoires.

The reference given for this view is Greene R L (Ed) (1962) Selection: A Selection of English carols, Oxford.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 19 - 09:34 AM

"Elizabeth LaPrelle."
Just looked her up - gorgeous singer
Thanks for that
Jim


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 19 - 09:26 AM

I just came from a ballad workshop hosted by Elizabeth LaPrelle. If her singing doesn't touch your heart, you are not alive.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 12 May 19 - 07:18 AM

Just to be clear, they, the library, borrow it on 'inter library loan' then I borrow it from them and they charge me 50p towards their costs. I think they like doing it as it makes work a bit less boring for them.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 12 May 19 - 07:16 AM

Ah, Hootennay, but my library is good at borrowing stuff for 50p a time, and I have a card so I get a free one every so often. This is how I got to read a copy of Sharp's (or Karpeles' rather) songs from the Appalachians.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 19 - 07:07 AM

"I don't think Child liked any of the English versions of the song, but again, I would be happy to be corrected."
Must admit, it's my least faourite ballad - though the Irish offshoot, Streets of Derry is exquisite
I wonder how many people know Child wrote a song on The American Civil War - had he vere sung it, he would have been classed as a singer/songwriter
Jim


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 12 May 19 - 06:51 AM

I like the versions of Gallows Pole by Led Zep and Robert Plant.

Leadbelly did a version called 'Mama Did You Bring me any silver'.

But I think, and I am happy to be corrected, that an earlier version than either of Leadbelly's was recorded. Leadbelly's second version is lovely.

I don't think Child liked any of the English versions of the song, but again, I would be happy to be corrected.

But it does have the 4 stress, 3 stress, 4 stress 3 stress of 'classic' ballad metre. It also has the repetition of particular phrases that is typical of some ballads, and which tends to undermine a view that ballads are just pared down narratives: for me they have what I'll call for the sake of argument 'poetic' features as well as narrative and music.


There is of course a lot of discussion of this song on mudcat.


For me the story of this song illustrates a good point about ballads; they can be interpreted by musicians and performed in a range of musical genres effectively.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=76&v=X9DuDgzGjtE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzTX9NFBJWo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muGN_1N_ykI


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 19 - 06:15 AM

Some of the most entertaining uses of ballad experimentation are to be found in the magnificent HARRY SMITH COLLECTION
Jim


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 12 May 19 - 06:07 AM

Hootennany, sounds like an interesting read. I agree that it is generally accepted that Afro-Americans often sang pieces derived in part from British ballads.

On Child, what he said about ballads in the encyclopaedia article he wrote has been discussed on another thread. Suffice it to say here that he explicitly rejected the idea that ballads were composed or written by what he calls the 'lower orders' of society. But his views on their origins generally seem based upon what has to be guesswork about the social structure of pre-literate societies, so to be taken for what they are: conjectural. Yet in places he states them as if they were proven facts.

An interesting point is that he asserts that rhyme came into use in the 9th century, the age of Alfred the Great and Viking presence in the British Isles.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Iains
Date: 12 May 19 - 04:46 AM

A broad view:

https://www.loc.gov/collections/songs-of-america/articles-and-essays/musical-styles/traditional-and-ethnic/traditional-ballads/


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 19 - 02:57 AM

" having allowed himself to be influenced by others. "
A little dismissive of a great and highly respected scholar, I think
Child was not 'influenced' by others any more than anybody who co-operates with fellow scholars is
He didn't define his criteria, but they seem pretty obvious - he called his ballads 'Popular' - "of the people", and he drew them largely from collections assembled by others working in the same area
To undermine his conclusions is to undermine those of all of them - something nobody has ever been able to do, in my opinion
No work on the 'Popular' ballads has been carried out to challenge his choice and he remains unchallenged, head and shoulders above the rest
Child, like Sharp and his colleagues, was a pioneer breaking new ground - all need to be respected and treated as such
For me, the highest compliment he ever received was to be placed on Dave Harker's hit list - praise doesn't come any higher than that.

The term 'ballad' has a further definition in Ireland - mention it to the older generation and they immediately associate it with the ballad sheets sold around the fairs and markets of rural Ireland right up to the 1950s   
These consisted of random songs gathered and sold by unlettered Travellers - we recorded descriptions of these being printed and sold.
A Traveller friend described how he took his father's songs to a local printer, recited them over the counter and negotiated a number to be printed and a price
He would then sing them on the streets or around the pubs on market day - a perfect example of the oral tradition being put into print
There is an hilarious description of the singer, Mikeen McCarthy trying to teach the air of a song to a well-paying customer on the double CD of Traveller songs, 'From Puck to Appleby'
Mikeen described how he would put his father's songs on 'the ballads' when requested to by local people - "Why don't you put 'The Blind Beggar' on them - I'd love that one?"
Jim


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 May 19 - 07:14 PM

the only one of his works i can call to mind is the one he wrote in the Bell Tower of the Tower of London when he witnessed the execution of poor Anne Boleyn and her alleged lovers.

i distrust experts. that work of Wyatt is so btilliant, if you compiling a collection, who wouldn't want it, or a veriant of it inside their bailliewick.

why wouldn't a country and western singer, a blues singer ot a folksinger want a great story like that as part of repertoire?


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 11 May 19 - 05:21 PM

Al, you're welcome. Can't do links like yours, so thanks for giving one.

The OED is interesting, as it gives examples of the various definitions in use: I can get at it by typing my library card into the county library digital link at home. Maybe you can do this where you are?

I looked up this again recently when reading a piece on blues relating to a claim that a 'lyric' by Thomas Wyatt was a) a folk song b) a ballad c) proto-blues. They aren't even sure that at that time (ie Wyatt's) 'lyrics' were to be sung, and today the word can mean something like a poem that isn't a narrative. And the piece in question was not a 'ballad' on any definition! But to claim Thomas Wyatt wrote folk stuff seemed a bit of a stretch to me.

Pseud


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 May 19 - 04:45 PM

thanks pseud!


http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/ballads/early_child/#what


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 May 19 - 03:00 PM

Of several definitions of 'ballad' all equally valid, in terms of literature/folk song it does indeed simply mean a song or poetic piece with a discernable narrative. Like anything else this doesn't have finite boundaries. The term 'Child Ballad' sometimes rendered by the Scots as 'big ballad' or 'muckle sang' simply relates to that amorphous collection assembled by Professor Child. Whilst no-one would disagree that he assembled the majority of pieces of literature that would fit certain loosely held criteria, he never qualified what the boundaries were precisely, or fully explained the criteria he used, and indeed his reasons for inclusion seem to have changed as he assembled the anthology, having allowed himself to be influenced by others. However, this collection/anthology has not so far been surpassed, nor has his tremendous knowledge of their histories, and analogues in other cultures. Bertrand H Bronson used Child's selection to supply a study of all the extant tunes to the ballads in 1959 in his 'The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads'.

In summary, in our context therefore, the word 'ballad' describes most of what was printed on broadsides and collected in the folk canon.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jeri
Date: 11 May 19 - 11:58 AM

Thanks!
I think when you send an e-mail to everybody on the list, you're less likely to try to side-track discussions into troll territory and personal battles.
Plus, it's easier for them to kick somebody off the list if they DO consistently go that route.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 11 May 19 - 11:52 AM

Ballad-L is still going. Here's the link to sign up. https://list.indiana.edu/sympa/subscribe/ballad-l


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jeri
Date: 11 May 19 - 11:39 AM

Is ballad-l defunct? Listserve - info here: BALLAD-L


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 May 19 - 11:11 AM

"Power Ballads"

Heavy Rock singers doing slow soppy love songs
to get yer mum & old nan buying their records...


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 May 19 - 10:55 AM

I've found two possibilities: "Child Ballads" and "Ballad Lovers Unite!". Both already have some Mudcat members and obviously won't tolerate negativistic supercilious hectoring.

Problem with FB is that it's so rubbish as a collective memory.. It's a very shallow well, but at least you won't get some grunting poisonous thing every time you lower the bucket.


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 May 19 - 10:15 AM

"If making things up is lying then many ballad singers and writers are also liars."
If they were passing them off as truth, they would be Dave - same with Grimm
"Is there a Facebook or other forum where this discussion could be carried on with Jim blocked from accessing it? "
Just what we need - Jack with his blue pencil
Finished with this particularly distasteful aspect - back to ballads

"Henry Martin, the Gallant Frigate Amphitrite"
Henry Martin is - 'Amphitrite', as far as I know, has nver been regarded as one
Child was a bit vague as to how he judged them - I've always thought it was the sparse way they were constructed - little description and hardly any commentary, just stories
Pseud's link is a pretty dood summing up
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 11 May 19 - 09:52 AM

Interesting to read a) what the OED has to say on the word and its various meanings over time and b) the discussion on this web site:

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/ballads/early_child/#what

This web site discusses the poetic form and some characteristic features, while accepting that generalisations are difficult and tend to fall down. It raises questions about how old the 'genre' actually is.


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