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The current state of folk music in UK

GUEST,Pseudonymous 30 Oct 19 - 04:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 04:42 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM
The Sandman 30 Oct 19 - 04:21 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 04:07 AM
r.padgett 30 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM
r.padgett 30 Oct 19 - 03:51 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 03:23 AM
The Sandman 29 Oct 19 - 10:42 PM
The Sandman 29 Oct 19 - 10:10 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,Joe G 29 Oct 19 - 07:58 PM
Brian Peters 29 Oct 19 - 05:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Oct 19 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Starship 29 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 19 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Starship 29 Oct 19 - 03:49 PM
punkfolkrocker 29 Oct 19 - 03:43 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM
Jack Campin 29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM
Stringsinger 29 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 12:52 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Starship 29 Oct 19 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 29 Oct 19 - 12:00 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 11:21 AM
GUEST 29 Oct 19 - 11:04 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 09:51 AM
Vic Smith 29 Oct 19 - 09:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 19 - 09:25 AM
Brian Peters 29 Oct 19 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 29 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 29 Oct 19 - 08:48 AM
Jack Campin 29 Oct 19 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 29 Oct 19 - 08:38 AM
Vic Smith 29 Oct 19 - 08:10 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 08:06 AM
Vic Smith 29 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 07:52 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 07:43 AM
Jack Campin 29 Oct 19 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 29 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM
Jack Campin 29 Oct 19 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 29 Oct 19 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive) 29 Oct 19 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 29 Oct 19 - 06:55 AM
Jack Campin 29 Oct 19 - 06:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 19 - 06:11 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:44 AM

Folk song, by its very nature and origins is the act of communal sharing of each other's experiences

Nonsense. Not if it's singing songs hundreds of years old which nobody can agree about who wrote and what it is about.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:42 AM

It wasn't my success figure Jim. It was a figure quoted in a Wiki article and is in doubt anyway. How many more times do I need to tell you?

You can keep whinging on about how it is not like the good old days as much as you like as well. It doesn't stop me and countless others enjoying the healthy current state of folk in the UK. I really don't care what you think. I will believe the evidence of my own experience.

Dick, sorry you are not getting the bookings. Maybe the market is saturated?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM

Sorry Dick - with respect, a healthy scene was when guests were a welcome break from norm, not an end in themselves - the clubs stood or fell by the quality and the hard work of their residents, not how much you could afford to pay a guest

If you ever wanted a slogan for the folk scene try - REAL FOLK CLUBS DO IT FOR THEMSELVES
That way, both the amateur and the paid professional are the winners
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:21 AM

A club scene with ony 130 or 186 clubs (your "success" figures Dave) is not healthy - it's on life-support and waiting to be switched off" furthermore many of those clubs are not weekly guest booking clubs as was the case 30 years ago


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:07 AM

"Folk music is in pretty good condition"
Sorry Dave - you can repeat this until the cows come home and it doesn't make it any truer
It most certainly isn't and it won't be while nobody knows what it is
Folk song, by its very nature and origins is the act of communal sharing of each other's experiences - what you describe is people having to pay to become audiences or switching on the box to watch people perform
The media had hold of folk music once before and they demanded tha singers sat on hay-bales and dressed up like yokels, and sang anodyne songs that wouldn't scare the ladies or the horses - when they found it wasn't 'popular' they spat it out and turned elsewhere - and 'The Folk Boom' was over
Handing the songs back to the media is a betrayal of everything we stood for and it's shown in the crap that's doled out in The British Folk Awards ot programme two of the Sam Henry tribute
A similar thing is being tried by the Irish media at present - I turned on the RTE Folk Awards for five minutes last night and turned it off in disgust - it was as depressing as reading some of these postings
The media is the last thing to hold up as 'success'

The Festivals were showcases for the best - a display of what could be achieved - they were never the alternative to the clubs they are being trumpeted as now - they were a breather from the real thing

There is no reason that people shouldn't know what folk song is - it's uniqueness sets it apart from any other form of composition - you only have to open a collection and see waht it is - The Greig Duncan Collection wiill do or the massive Carpenter Collection or the stuff on the British Library or the Lomax on line web-sites
You want new songs to learn - I was exploring the Helen Hartness Flanders web-site a couple of months ago - full of English, Irish and Scots ballads and folk-songs that were taken to America at the end of the 19th century - just before Sharp and his crowd were mopping up their gems
These are not easy listening because of their condition, bu jaysus - if I was building my repertoire I'd think all my birthdays had come at once
The only reason people can claim they don't know what folk song is is because they don't want to

Folk song in Britain (England at least) is dangerously near extinction as a performed art and pretending it isn't is an act of euthanasia
The clubs gave us folk songs in a big way in the first place and their camaraderie and mutual respect built a scene where we could maybe disagree and maybe choose different aspects of this music/song, but we all moved in more-or-less the same direction   
A club scene with ony 130 or 186 clubs (your "success" figures Dave) is not healthy - it's on life-support and waiting to be switched off
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM

~~ from travellers as collected ~ they are surely the song Carriers ~ songbooks carry words and tunes ~ pleased that the likes of Jon Boden have put their collections available to give the tune and words ~ however the collected traditional singers give that "bit" more in their interpretation of the songs ~ so which better to try to emulate in the folk song clubs?

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:51 AM

Many recordings of singers and songs including traditional ballads exist the recordings provide an insight in to HOW the songs were being sung and owe their existence in many cases to that oral transmission


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:23 AM

Anyway. Back to the state of folk music in the UK.

Folk music is in pretty good condition. Not only can we go to clubs, sessions, festivals, concerts and all sorts of things to hear good folk music anytime but it is getting more exposure on mainstream media than it has for a long time. Most people on here seem to be in agreement. The disagreements arise from differing views of what folk music is.

Of course the Mudcat is only an online forum and may not reflect the true situation but, in my experience, there is not much wrong with the folk scene as it stands.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 10:42 PM

jack campin dismisses jeanie robertson belle stewart lizzie higgins,in this statement . And some of them hyped themselves very effectively with a combination of arcane mystique and guilt-tripping that had nothing to do with musical quality or distinctiveness.
of course jack, is second only to god in being an arbiter of musical quality and guilt tripping , is jack a priest? has he spent so much time in the confessional he knows so much about guilt tripping.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 10:10 PM

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle - PM
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:33 PM

I never realised English folksong had so little to do with English people."
A comment that is debatable, however we are talking about the uk folk revival that involves scotland wales and northern ireland.
Ihave never heard such disgraceful inaccurate twaddle as this boolocks from jack cmping the man that on a previous occasion also insulted one of Englands great revival performers RoyHarris [Burl aka mudcat] upsetting Roy Harris very much, JACK YOU ARE A WONKER
subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin - PM
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM

The fact that the Travellers Vic mentions are dead rather makes the point that they were't hyped

It makes no such point. They were. And some of them hyped themselves very effectively with a combination of arcane mystique and guilt-tripping that had nothing to do with musical quality or distinctiveness.

Though neither Henderson nor MacColl/Seeger would have gone to the loony extreme you're doing and imply that we wouldn't know any of their songs without them.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 09:08 PM

Sorry Joe
I have tried to giv my opinion of the state of the Revival - that fact I feel myself to do so from the point of someone who was there a few years after it began makes it difficult to do so without referring back to how it was - even a couple of decades ago
I think the fact that there are people around who regard Walter Pardon, one of the last of our great benefactors in supplying us with our repertoires as an embarrassing poor singer and the Travellers who supplied us with a large and important part of our repertoire and gave us hours op pleasure at our clubs as "thieves and poachers", while so many stand by in silence (with a few notable exceptions) and allow this to happen, says everything that needs to be said about the state of folk music in the UK today.
Somewhere along the way the folk scene has lost its way and forgotten why we came together in the first place.
Many of us became involved not only to sing and listen to the songs but to try to put them into our lives by researching them aand passing them on to those following us in the hope they would get as much out of them as we did
Now we can't even discuss between ourselves what we are passing on and why - it is virtually impossible to discuss these subjects without screaming at each other - as for those we used to look up to with respect - this last distasteful episode has summed that up pretty well

If I have come away with anything, it is the impression that it is a total waste of time trying to drum up any British/English interest in all those recordings we have made of all those wonderful, knowledgeable, talented and generous people - I might just as well weigh them down and throw them in the Shannon

I won't do this of course - they are far to precious to be wasted because some people today just don't care
It's been shown over hear that youngsters can surprise you and take up the baton when you least expect it
I live in the hope that what has gone on here is not representative of the rest of the scene

My thanks Brian - I really needed your blast of intelligent dedication

WHAT DO YOU THINK MARY ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:58 PM

I'm starting to lose the plot...... It's becoming like one of those TV dramas where you have to put the subtitles on and then wished you hadn't ;-) Seriously though I think we are starting to lose the wood for the trees. I appreciate the detailed comments here and have read them all but there does seem to be tangents that have been gone off at more than they perhaps needed to be. But hey that's Mudcat and I am not going to complain but perhaps we could refocus on the current state of folk music in the UK?

Also a reminder to please be respectful to each other. It does no one any favours if insults are traded

As you were ;-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 05:04 PM

"they [travellers] are major contributors to both our pleasure and our knowledge"

I don't see how anyone with a knowledge of traditional singing could dispute this comment of Jim's. Not only have traveller communities maintained old ballads in oral tradition long after settled communities abandoned them, but their versions are full of departures from 'standard' texts and often have really interesting tunes. Go and listen to Caroline Hughes - I don't think there was a broadside in sight when she learned her repertoire.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:33 PM

I never realised English folksong had so little to do with English people.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM

"Do you not understand irony, Starship?" Yes Dave. But lots of sloppy work gets called irony when in fact it's just sloppy work.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:03 PM

Do you not understand irony, Starship? Cementing on spilling and grandma wild aching errors is a common vehicle fro comeby.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 03:49 PM

"We all need to proof read our posts better,
and ensuer wwe read properly and understood other mudcatters posts,
before we reply..."

It's difficult not to agree with you.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 03:43 PM

It's a fact of life that Jim tends to misread things,
gets the wrong end of the stick, and confuses which mudcatter says what...

Jim knows this, and is big enough to apologise
and confess to being a bit of a pain in the arse sometimes...

We all need to proof read our posts better,
and ensuer wwe read properly and understood other mudcatters posts,
before we reply...

However this is mudcat, where we are an ageing membership,
prone to circumstances and health conditions
which too often impair our understanding and judgement...
.. and it aint gonna get any better...
Some of us more far gone than others..

I know I'm long overdue a visit to specsavres...

Any way mudcat long ago confirmed why I'm worried about ending up in an old folk[ie]'s home...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM

Sorry missed a bit
You and me are 'Buffers' (Non - Travellers) - the English Travellers refer to us as 'Gorgies'
If you send me an e-amil address (and you want them, of course) I'll let you have three radio programmes on our work with with Travellers (we're rather proud of them)
They were made by local broadcaster, Paula Carroll (no relation so we're not guilty of nepotism)
The partial list of Traveller Trades given by Mikeen McCarthy in programme two gives the lie to the scurrilous "poaching/thieving/foraging etc" image that some people tend to throw about
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM

The fact that the Travellers Vic mentions are dead rather makes the point that they were't hyped

It makes no such point. They were. And some of them hyped themselves very effectively with a combination of arcane mystique and guilt-tripping that had nothing to do with musical quality or distinctiveness.

Though neither Henderson nor MacColl/Seeger would have gone to the loony extreme you're doing and imply that we wouldn't know any of their songs without them.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM

"Was Margaret Barry a Traveller?"
Sort of - she was a street singer but I was once told she came from a settled background - she partnered the great fiddle player, Michael Gorman for a time in London
We have come across a couple of songs in Shelta - 'Stash all the Pavvies' (Look at all the Travellers) was one of the first songs we recorded; Tom Munnely issued one on his 'Songs of the Irish Travellers' album (Bernie Reillys Cant song, I think)
Travellers were still making songs when we started recording them - one of the best was 'Poor Old Man', a song about a feud between two Travelling families.
One of the best studies of Irish Cant/Shelta was carried out by schoolteacher Pádraig Mac Gréine PÁDRAIG Mac GRÉINE, who was still working with Travellers (and driving) right up to his 100 birthday - a truely amazing and admirable human being

21 - Poor Old Man (Roud 2509)   ‘Pop’s’ Johnny Connors

Three lines lilted.

"What brought you down from Kerry?" says the poor old man.
"Sure it’s the Connors’s is the blame and don’t the country know the same,
And look at them running down that lane," says the poor old man.

"Bad luck to you, young Gerry," says the poor old man.
"If you cook a stew* you don’t cook it near Ballaroo*
If you will, you’re bound sure rue," says the poor old man.
Three lines lilted.

"Oh, they were coming through Ross Town
And they had ponies big and brown,
And at me they did lick," says the poor old man.

"Bad luck to you, young Gerry," says the poor old man,
"I’ll run to take up my stick and I’ll got orders to drop it quick;
I’ll not, I’ll roar and squeal," says the poor old man.

"Bad luck to you, young Gerry," says the poor old man,
"But wasn’t I an unlucky whore, for to barricade my door?
Wasn’t I an unlucky whore?" says the poor old man.

[* Ballyroe, Co Kerry; * stew: great alarm, anxiety, excitement]

According to the singer, this song refers to a fight that took place in the town of New Ross, Co Wexford, sometime in the nineteen-thirties, between two travelling families, the Connors and Moorhouses. After a battle in the town, the Connors, coming off worst, fled and barricaded themselves in an abandoned cottage. The Moorhouses climbed on to the roof and brought the fight to a swift and bloody conclusion by tearing off the thatch and dropping down on their adversaries.

Other travellers have confirmed that the fight took place but they said that it was between two different branches of the Connors. Nobody is sure when the events took place although they thought it was over territory.
We were told: "The Waterord Connors was tinsmiths and the Wexford Connors didn’t want them coming into Wexford selling it."

One Traveler referred to the incident as "The second Battle of Aughrim"! The song is a parody of An Sean Bhean Bhoct, (The Poor Old Woman).


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM

Jim,

The Travellers are fascinating.

Was Margaret Barry a Traveller?

Are there any songs in the Shelta (Cant) language?

Romani use the term “gadgja” for outsiders equivalent to “buffer”.
Where does the term buffer come from?

Ewan's song was the first I heard of them. Then there was an article about
a community of Travellers from Tennessee or North Carolina.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 12:52 PM

My apologies at lashing out to Vic by the way - I was furious at Pat having been brought into this wrangle by someone who is prone to that sort of thing and knee-jerked at Vic
Sorry Vic - I won't do it again until the next time I do it
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 12:16 PM

Thanks Starry
That seems to be the same list
It's actually incomplete from their own archive
Whoever compiled it didn't manage to crack the combination on the safe that houses Tom Munnelly's collection
Tom was a great admirer of Traveller singing - Irish and Scots, mainly because of his catching the same ballad bug Pat and I have
One of the finst pieces of ballad singing I have ever heard was from Rosdcommon Traveller Marting MacDonagh singing Young Hunting - they really don't come any better than that
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 12:06 PM

I have not compared the lists, but if this is any use to you, Jim, here you go.

https://songcollectors.org/collecting/about-collecting/equipment/irish-traveler-song-list/


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 12:00 PM

According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, the far right in the US is also taking to 'folk song'.

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/10/09/alt-right’s-new-soundtrack-hate


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM

Just come across this extremely incomplete of Irish Traveller songs on Facebook
It's been posted by a Traveller woman and doesn't even begin to scratch the surface, but it's indicative of the number of songs contributed by Travellers
Jim

Barbary Allen Andy Cash
Mowing The Hay Andy Cash
The Half Crown Andy Cash
Marie (Maureen) From Gippursland Bill Bryan
The Factory Girl Bill Cassidy
Pretty Polly (false night upon the road / Outlandish knight) Bill Cassidy
Enniscorthy Fair Bill Cassidy
Sam Cooper Bill Cassidy
Biscayo Bill Cassidy
The Sea Captain Jean “Suace” Driscoll
Constant Farmer’s Son Josie Connors
Lady In Her Father’s Garden Mary Cash
I’ve Buried Three Husbands Already Mary Delaney
Green Grows The Laurel Mary Delaney
The Kilkenny Louse House Mary Delaney
Phoenix Island Mary Delaney
Navvy Shoes Mary Delaney
New Ross Town Mary Delaney
What Will We Do When We Have No Money? Mary Delaney
Donnelly Mary Delaney
Town Of Linsborough Mary Delaney
Charming Blue Eyes Mary Mary Delaney
If Ever You Go To Killkenny Mary Delaney
Fourteen Last Sunday Mary Delaney
Peter Thunderbolt Mary Delaney
In Charlestown There Lived A Lass Mary Delaney
What Put The Blood? (Child 013) (Edward) Mary Delaney
My Brother Built Me A Bouncy Bower Mary Delaney nee riley
Selling The Ballards Mikeen McCarthy
Malone (The Half Crown) Mikeen McCarthy
Finn MacCool And The Two-Headed Giant Mikeen McCarthy
Dingle Puck Goat Mikeen McCarthy
One Fine Summer Morning Mikeen McCarthy
Early In The Month Of Spring Mikeen McCarthy
Go To The Water Mikeen McCarthy
Flowery Nolan Mikeen McCarthy
The Blind Beggar******** Paddy Reilly
Maid Of Aughrim Peggy Delaney
There Is An Alehouse Pop’s Johhny Connors
Gum Shellac Pop’s Johhny Connors
Poor Old Man Pop’s Johhny Connors
John Mitchel Pop’s’ Johnny Connors
Rambling Candyman Rich’ Johnny Connors
Appleby Fair Rich’ Johnny Connors
Charlestown Town (Bottany Bay) Irish Travelers
Come All you Loyal Travellers
Queer Bungary ady
Blind Beggar
William Scallon
The Banks of Newfoundland
The Banks of the Nile
The Boys of Barr na Shráide
Coolhesta’s Glory (on the bridge of Graig’)
The Factory Girl T1S1-01
The Fair of Ross T1S1-01
The Green Fields of America T1S2-01
Killaloe Town T1S2-01
Willy Leonard T1S2-01 Willie O’Connors
Devil in the pisspot, The Crabfish
Mickey Connors, Wexford johnny barnes mary mcgras Mary McGrath
As I went out walking one morning in May Mary McGrath
Donnybrook fair Mickey Connors
Ellen Brown Mary McGrath
William Scallion William Scanlon
Willie leonard – Lakes of Coolfin Winnie O’Donnell,
Bernie Reilly’s Cant Song Bernie Reilly, Meath
False Labmkin (Lancombe)The Lord and His lady John Reilly Jnr,
I wrote to you Nelly
John Reilly – As i went out a walking down by a riverside John Reilly Snr, Roscommon
Lady Margret Martin McDonagh, Roscommon
Tricolour house every rose grows merry and fine Mary McDonagh, Leitrim
Come all you young rebeles
I am a true born Irish man a traveller am I
I Wish I lived in Carrickfergus
Sweet William Kitty Cassidy –
Jaglin the Cobbler
The Trees they grow High – Long Growing
Paul and nancy hogan Mary Connors
The lovely banks of lee Mary Connors
Come all ye loyal lovers Mary Connors
I wish I was in New Ross (let the wind blow high or low – the Irish girl)
The blind man he can see (2) Mary Connors with chorus
Young kate from ballinamore Paddy Doran
Where are you going, my pretty maid Paddy Doran
Dungarvan Paddy Doran
The black velvet band Paddy Doran
Down by blackwaterside Paddy Doran
Seven little gipsies Paddy Doran
Three jolly sportsmen Paddy Doran
The dark-eyed gipsies Christy Purcell
The tree in the bog Christy Purcell
Sweet athy Christy Purcell
The lodging house at Carrick-on-Suir Christy Purcell
William Scanlon Christy Purcell
The pride of Inishmore Christy Purcell
The bandy-legged mule Christy Purcell
The fair at spansil hill Christy Purcell
Dingle puck goat Christy Purcell
Puck fair Christy Purcell
WHAT BROUGHT THE BLOOD (Edward) Mary Connors with chorus
THE BLIND MAN HE CAN SEE Mary Connors with chorus
THE LITTLE BALL OF YARN*********** Winnie Ryan
THE COTTAGE OUTSIDE MAROO Lal Smith
LONDONDERRY TO THE COAST OF KERRY Winnie Ryan
JULIA DONOHOE Winnie Ryan
I AM A POOR GIRL MY LIFE IS SAD – Blackbird******** Winnie Ryan
THE GARDEN WHERE THE IRISH PRATIES GROW Winnie Ryan
YOU RAMBLING BOYS OF PLEASURE******* – van diemans land Lal Smith
GOING TO MASS LAST SUNDAY*********** Winnie Ryan
I AM A MAID THAT’S DEEP IN LOVE******** Lal Smith
THE THRASHING MACHINE Annie O’Neil
THE ROAD TO KILLALOE Lal Smith
WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY BEDROOM WINDOW – Grey Cock********
DUBLIN CITY
Doran
WHEN I WAS IN HORSEBACK – sailor cut down in his prime Mary Doran
OXFORD CITY Mary Doran
THE COUNTY TYRONE******** Lal Smith
Lullaby: HUSH LITTLE BABY******* Winnie Ryan
THE GALTEE FARMER Lal Smith
DEAR OLD KERRY Lal Smith


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 11:21 AM

"Always thought that it was Scottish and Cowdenknowes,"
It is Scottish, it is rare to get it from a source singer and even rarer to get it from a singer from Northern Ireland
I think most of us were introduced to it by MacColl's singing _ I was anyway   
I used the spelling given in 'British Ballads from Maine' - I am aware that it is probably incorrect
The Maine collection includes many other obviously Scots ballads taken from Irish singers - the 'The Two Magicians' for instance
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 11:04 AM

The Broom of Cowden Knowes" - Is one of Ireland's rarest Child Ballads???

Always thought that it was Scottish and Cowdenknowes, all one word, named after the farm/estate just south of Earlston in the Scottish Borders.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 09:51 AM

Thanks Brian - I hope that helps clear the foetid atmosphere that has been allowed to enter this discussion
The fact that the Travellers Vic mentions are dead rather makes the point that they were't hyped but have ben around for far longer than the revival
I only hope that someone will get around to putting up Peter Hall's magnificent collection on line one day - the CD Rom of Scots Travellers that Musical Traditions issued some time ago ought to have been enough to prove the Travellers worth as song carriers

We're hoping that Limerick Uni will put up our Irish Traveller collection, not just for the songs but also for the massed of information on how they operated in a living Tradition and passed between the settled and Travelling communities
Ironically, the Travellers in Ireland played a great part in putting their orally learned songs into print via their prominent involvement in the 'ballad-selling' trade

The Folk enthusiasts should have learned what might be lost from Gavin Grieg's adopting this negative and dismissive attitude towards Travellers
A piper on his estate in New Deer was overlooked as a possible source for songs when Grieg was hunting for them because he was a Traveller
When the School of Scottish Studies was set up, the Traveller banged on their front door and gave them one of the few Robin Hood Ballads found in Scotland

I've been working on Irish versions of Child Ballads - one of the most interesting source singers, a Famine Refugee who fled to New England, got some of Ireland's rarest Child Ballads from itinerant fruit pickers - Queen Eleanor's Confession, Hind Horn and (unbelieveably) The Broom of Cowden Knowes.

My late friend, Tom Munnelly, was delighted at the acknowledgement to John Reilly's contribution to Bronson's 'Tunes of the Child Ballads'

"Tom Munnelly, in sheer goodwill, sent me a tape of his spectacular find of “The Maid and the Palmer” (Child no. 21), from Irish tradition"

He treasured Bronson's letter saying "your finding this rare ballad has immortalised your name in ballad scholarship"

Some people didn't need to 'Go to Specsavers to see what was before their eyes   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 09:29 AM

Thomas McCarthy will be in Lewes on 8th December to run a day long TRAVELLER LIFE, SONGS & STORIES WORKSHOP at the Elephant and Castle. On the previous evening he is booked to sing the songs that he learned from his family ay the Lewes Saturday Folk Club.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 09:25 AM

I think Nick and Mally Dow would dispute that the traveller culture is long passed as well!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 09:05 AM

"Not one of the ballads in Child's collection came through any Traveller source, neither did anything Sharp collected..."

In Child's case, we simply don't know - he was not a field collector, so he could not have known the provenance of all his ballads, nor would his sources necessarily have chosen to record such information.

We do know, though, that Cecil Sharp collected from traveller singers, since he gave a vivid account of a visit to a gypsy camp where he met one Betsy Holland, a young mother who presented him with "the finest and most characteristic bit of singing [he] had ever heard". You can find Sharp's photographs of her and other members of her community online at the VWML site. He also wrote of setting out to collect songs from gypsy singers in the Forest of Dean. The interest in travellers as song carriers is hardly a late 20th century affectation.

"The fad for Traveller culture (hyped up by Hamish Henderson and MacColl/Seeger) is now long past in the folk scene. There are only two active British performers I can think of who still exploit it..."

I don't know about Scotland, but some of the younger singers in England are very interested in songs collected from travellers - Emily Portman, for instance. The rendition by her group The Devil's Interval of Queen Caroline Hughes' 'The Cuckoo' is one of the best modern interpretations of any traditional song I've heard in recent years.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM

And I have a particular contempt for people who cry 'racist' on spurious grounds in their own self-defence. It does the anti-racist agenda no good. Indeed, a lot of current 'folk music' in the UK comes from the young alt-right and pours scorn on anti-racism and for that matter feminism of all sorts and liberalism and tolerance, picking holes in cries of 'racist' and 'Nazi'. And this stuff is often acoustic, if posted on line, written by 'ordinary people' and as much 'folk music' as stuff by MacColl and Lloyd ever was. But nobody on this thread has seemed interested in learning about this or doing anything about it.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 08:48 AM

I am sorry but what he posts here is posted by the real Jim Carroll. Unless somebody is pretending to be him. He chooses to do it freely, and has to live with the impression of himself he gives. To claim this isn't what he is 'really like' seems irrational to me.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 08:42 AM

Every single one of the Travellers mentioned in Vic's post is dead.

For the current generation of folk performers, the fad is over, and Traveller culture is only one of many sources they draw on. It has no unique importance.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 08:38 AM

I'm not apologising for anything I put.

And it isn't worth the effort to request that Jim responds to what was written, and not to what wasn't. Because I don't suppose he will change his habits after all this time.

Just more evidence for me that what Jim says isn't reliable. Because what he says about me isn't.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 08:10 AM

Jim wrote
"Illiterate and extremely impoverished Traveller John Reilly gave us about ten big ballads, including the long-disappeared Maid and the Palmer
I know damne well, as you should, that Sheila Douglas, Timothy Neat - and the School of Scottish Studies as a whole are proud of the contribution made by Travelers - The Journal 'Scottish Studies' is full of articles on and examples of Traveller culture
Books like those by Betsy Whyte, Sheila Stewart, Willie McPhee, Duncan Williamson and those on Jeannie Robertson by Gower and Porter are filling shelves on their contribution to Scots culture.

All the books that Jim refers to are on my shelves and I consult them frequently. All the people that he names are in my opinion, the heroic figures of our music. I would not detract a single name from his list but would want to add all their recordings which speak for themselves; and I would add Charlotte Higgins, Jane Turriff, Lizzie Higgins, Stanley Robertson.... I could go on but I would just like to add that I have met all the Scots listed by Jim and by myelf and feel that my life has been enriched by these meetings.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 08:06 AM

Thank you for encouraging personal attacks by adding your own Vic - much appreciated
For your information - Pat and I met and married in the seventies and have worked together for the near half century we have shared

Can I suggest than anybody genuinely interested in folk song ignores these personal attacks now involving my family life in the hope that a mod deletes them rather than closing down this discussion
This reall doed bring 'em out of their closets
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM

Pseudonymous wrote:-
God help his wife, I have often thought, if he is remotely like this at home.
Rather a cruel and uncalled for comment, I would have thought.
The persona that Jim portrays on Mudcat is intensely irritating and I have crossed swords with him on numerous occasions as have many people here. We all know the aspects of his posts that we find utterly frustrating and it is difficult to know why he does it. It must give him some sort of perverse pleasure.
However, to assume that the particular type of character that he displays here aligns with the actual Jim Carroll shows simplistic thinking.
I have never met Jim, probably never will, but I do know that outside of Mudcat and in my communications with him by email and by private message, I find a man that is polite and entirely generous with information that he has gained and by sharing aspects of his vast personal archive.
Neither have I met Pat but I do know that they have worked together on a huge number of projects together in song, lore and story collecting, in preparing and releasing some of this material, radio programmes, archiving, presentations at academic conferences, books, articles, etc. This record suggests that they are a good team.
I don't know anything about their relationship, but I do know that what I have quoted at the beginning of this post, I find more hurtful than anything Jim has ever written. I also know that the pair of them have devoted years of their lives - unpaid to various aspects of the furtherance of the study of folk song, particularly amongst the travelling community and that we owe them a debt of gratitude.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:52 AM

" poaching/thieving/foraging "
Interesting summing of of tinsmiths, newsdealers and rural agricultural workers who eventually took to scrap metal salvaging, house clearance, tarmacking and now fancy drive designing - strait from the pages of a Ukip pamphlet
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:43 AM

"And none of his print sources mention Travellers at all."
Nor does anyty of them go mention farmers or fishermen or any particular social group
The 'fad' as you so intelligently put it' for Travelers goes back to the early Irish collectors y who filled notebooks from singers and storytellers like The like Delargy who filled notebooks from singers and storytellers like The Sherlock Family and made a point of notint their importance as song and tale carriers
English collectors like Charlotte Burne and Alice Gillinton were taking songs down from Travellers
One of the earliest albums by Topic was of The Willet Family sweet fuck all to do with macColl, Henderson (or anybody else you care to take a pop at)
If MacColl Henderson et al drew attention to the importance of Travellers as tradition carriers, they should be credited for drawing attention to an important aspect of a usually despised social group - not accused of "hyping" anything up
I'd be interested to know if you count Pat and my thirty years of work with Travellers, or that valuable stuff turned up by Mike Yates, is part of your "hyping up"
Illiterate and extremely impoverished Traveller John Reilly gave us about ten big ballads, including the long-disappeared Maid and the Palmer
I know damne well, as you should, that Sheila Douglas, Timothy Neat - and the School of Scottish Studies as a whole are proud of the contribution made by Travelers - The Journal 'Scottish Studies' is full of articles on and examples of Traveller culture
Books like those by Betsy Whyte, Sheila Stewart, Willie McPhee, Duncan Williamson and those on Jeannie Robertson by Gower and Porter are filling shelves on their contribution to Scots culture
I suggest a quick trip to 'Kist o' Riches' might benefit those who doubt this   

Thravellers may be of no interest to those folkies to whom folk "isn't really their thing", but to those of us who are involved. I casn assure everybody - they are major contributors to both our pleasure and our knowledge

I'm really not sure what is going on here

"God help his wife, I have often thought, if he is remotely like this at home. "
Can this abuse attempt to involve my home life be deleted please - it is personally offensive and totally uncalled for
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:41 AM

But communicating songs didn't come into it. They were not like the Gypsy professional musician caste of eastern Europe.

One exception, the itinerant tailors of western Ireland described by David Thomson in "People of the Sea" - but nobody would call them "Travellers" - they were ethnically different and had homes to go to.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM

My thinking is that Travellers - of Irish, Scottish or other background - had to communicate with the rest of society to make a living, unless they lived by poaching/thieving/foraging etc as unfortunately reputed. Otherwise, how did they live?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:07 AM

Not one of the ballads in Child's collection came through any Traveller source
Nobody knows where all Child's ballads came from - he was largely working from print despite his despising the broadsides


And none of his print sources mention Travellers at all.


We know that in the twentieth century they were a major source in Scotland

They were a minor source. By an enormous margin, most of what people sing or play now has never been transmitted through them.


There is no reason why that shouldn't always have been the case

There is not a flicker of reason to believe that. Travellers were even more marginal in past eras, with less opportunity to communicate with the rest of society.

The fad for Traveller culture (hyped up by Hamish Henderson and MacColl/Seeger) is now long past in the folk scene. There are only two active British performers I can think of who still exploit it, Thomas McCarthy and Sam Lee. Nobody in Scotland does.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 06:58 AM

Sorry to sum up, I would prefer to discuss the state of folk music in the UK with somebody with recent experience, and ideally with some experience and knowledge of music per se and without this load of baggage. And I get a bit fed up of the few who pussy foot around him, and appear to feel guilty about hurting his feelings, to be honest.

God help his wife, I have often thought, if he is remotely like this at home. Are there folk songs on such topics?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive)
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 06:56 AM

Since artists have been introduced to keep this thread running I would suggest that GOYA is the message for folks on here that don't support acoustic music venues and DEGAS is my opinion of the folk who just talk about it and don't really support "folk / acoustic" venues.

Long Live acronyms!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 06:55 AM

For me Jim's comments on Shakespeare suggest that he has, despite his long associations with the political left (a history which I to some degree share, though I am younger and was never a communist), never come to any kind of critical analysis of the way that particular playwright has come to be lionised as a 'great' of British history. This is about various things including patriotism, selective readings of his plays, and what might crudely be described as British Cultural Imperialism.

I think he is now - even perhaps subconsciously - setting out to portray himself as culturally sophisticated and discerning because this backs up his claim (which is relevant to the credibility of his claims to be the Big I Am relating to the current state of folk music in the UK) to be qualified in terms of bourgeois art appreciation to pontificate on which folk songs are 'great art' as produced by the lower orders as opposed to 'crap' produced by men of middling rank who got paid for it (leaving out Irish Travellers who got paid for it, who don't count as producing crap, apparently).

And yes, he contradicts himself all the time, and his famous definition of folk is a cumbersome and unwieldy composite. This relates to several things including a) his insistence on including MacColl within it and b) political bias and c) the element of subjective 'aesthetic' judgment which is the main basis for his decisions about what songs are and are not folk music. If he likes them they are, if not, not.

What I first noticed about this Jim Carroll who I first encountered through these threads, having never heard of him before, was his aggression and rudeness, his frequent use of metaphors relating to violence and toilets and such like, coupled with a tendency to go into sorry for himself mode when anybody really stood up to what looks very much like bullying. I speak as somebody who resigned from below the line as a result of insults heaped by this man.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 06:50 AM

Another partly-folk event spotted on FB which isn't a folk club. "Lord Bateman" would be a perfectly appropriate song for the context.

18 hours of music for 18 days of the Lebanese revolution

In solidarity with the joyful revolution bubbling across Lebanon, I will be playing an 18 hour concert at my home this coming Sunday to celebrate 18 days of the revolution.

The concert will start at 6 am and end at midnight. I will be playing electric guitar/electronics and curating the day.

I would like to invite all my fellow musicians, performers and artists (as well as non-musicians, non-performers and non-artists) to join us for this 18 hour long celebration.

This is a small gesture of support to help fuel protestors on the streets of Lebanon and support them in bringing about change in a country in desperate need for change.


This is in Edinburgh, I'll provide more details for anyone who messages me.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 06:11 AM

I am serious, Jim. On everything mentioned you have said you prefer the old to the new. It does not get us anywhere but helps me to understand where you are coming from. There is no better or worse as far as I am concerned and has sweet FA to do with the current state of folk so, as you are fond of saying, I think we are done with that.


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