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Review: Walter Pardon; Research

Related thread:
Walter Pardon - which song first? (45)


punkfolkrocker 09 Nov 19 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Nov 19 - 07:31 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,jag 09 Nov 19 - 07:40 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Nov 19 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 09 Nov 19 - 09:01 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM
Howard Jones 09 Nov 19 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Keith Price 09 Nov 19 - 10:10 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 19 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Keith Price 09 Nov 19 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,jag 09 Nov 19 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,jag 09 Nov 19 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Nov 19 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Derrick 09 Nov 19 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Nov 19 - 11:59 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 12:03 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 12:17 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 09 Nov 19 - 12:37 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM
The Sandman 09 Nov 19 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Nov 19 - 01:18 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,jag 09 Nov 19 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Nov 19 - 02:07 PM
Howard Jones 09 Nov 19 - 02:21 PM
r.padgett 09 Nov 19 - 02:31 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 02:51 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Nov 19 - 02:54 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 03:02 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 19 - 03:13 PM
The Sandman 09 Nov 19 - 03:30 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Nov 19 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,Joe G 09 Nov 19 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 09 Nov 19 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Nov 19 - 07:08 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM
r.padgett 10 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Nov 19 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 10 Nov 19 - 04:08 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Nov 19 - 04:11 AM
The Sandman 10 Nov 19 - 04:15 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Nov 19 - 04:48 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Nov 19 - 05:16 AM
r.padgett 10 Nov 19 - 06:06 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Nov 19 - 06:09 AM
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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 07:24 AM

.. and I agree with wot Dave says..."Date: 09 Nov 19 - 06:46 AM"

I was still writing when that was posted..


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 07:31 AM

Could we look forward to a Jim and Pat Carroll section on the BL Sound library, or a Mike Yates one for that matter? This could be a second thread I fully realise, but the chance to listen to some recordings would be more than welcome. It may be there is another website where they are stored?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 07:39 AM

"accusing folks in public forum of being racist and far right..."
This feller has expressed his hatred of Travellers and accused Topic Records and the pioneers of the revival of being part of a communist plot (horse and carriage, as far as I'm concerned)
I would point out that the first reaction to the Traveller incident was to deny it outright and when he realised that was unsustainable, he claimed that just because he said it it didn't mean that it was his opinion
What more "evidence" do you want

Anti-Traveller rhetoric is now fully recognised as racism
I am not the first to have questioned his behaviour - his Cold War accusations should have no part in this discussion
I make no pretence of my being a socialist humanitarian - I have no intention of staying silent while I am made a target of somebody's political agenda

"your're the one who will need to back down and apologise."
I have no problem whatever with this when I have been proved wrong
This individual has deliberate and consistently targeted my with personal abuse since our first encounter(reminiscent of someone else on this forum)
In fact, the "dementia" quote he used behind my back while I was away for three days came at the end of a long campaign of personal abuse supported by someone who has been around long enough to know better
The actual quote totally ignored what had gone on on the thread that was closed
No need to take my word for it - the closed "ballad" thread is still available for examination
I may argue strongly and persistent on these threads but I seldom if ever personally insult anybody
Hope your visit to your mum goes well - perhaps you can fit me in sometime :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 07:40 AM

Thank you Jim. A very interesting read.

It leaves me scratching my head over the views you expressed in the discussion Steve Roud's book. What Walter describes his family doing, particularly with the 'new songs', and what he did with them as handed on to him seem to be examples of some of the processes Roud suggests were active in the evolution of 'what the folk sang'.

Seperate to that, how do you think what went on in the singing room at the Mitre Tavern compares with a pub song and tunes session now?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 07:51 AM

"Could we look forward to a Jim and Pat Carroll section on the BL Sound library, or a Mike Yates one for that matter?"
We've recently been contacted by Janet Topp Fargion who says she ne has funding to put our collection on line - I'm hoping that this will include all the interviews - they make up a large and in many ways most important part of the collection
(By the way Pat is Pat Mackenzie and it is The Carroll/Mackenzie Collection)

Our Clare recordings (songs only) are already on like on the Clare County Library site under 'Carroll/Mackenzie Collection and John Joe Healy Collection (instrumental music)   
There was discussion that our Traveller material might be used as the basis of a Traveller on line site by Limerick University's World Music Department
At present, I'm developing PCloud access to the part of our archive that wasn't recorded by us - anyone is welcome to participate in that on request - everything tehre will be downloadable
Thanks for asking
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM

The Carroll Mackenzie collection, Sorry.
Downloadlable is a major plus point. I am having to use Dropbox to get recordings to interested parties. I hope as time goes on more and more material will become accessible. Nice to have a bit of good news.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 08:15 AM

Meant to sat that I've always hoped the Mike's magnificent collection would be put on line
Mike's generosity in allowing me access to his recordings way back in my Manchester days played a great part in my becoming involved in research and collection - it would be good to think others could be inspired as I was
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 09:01 AM

Wholeheartedly agree. My opinion was endorsed by the late Roy Palmer who said to me that Mike Yates collection was the equal of Cecil Sharp's. I can't argue with that. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I wish I could have had his abilities when we were collecting in the 1980's. I am only 67. Younger than those who inspired me, and only 29 when I found my first important singer. How I wish I had asked different questions, had access to knowledge and recordings that I now have. However you can't put an old head on young shoulders. I was given leads to other singing families but I had no money, I was newly married and had inherited children. Need I say more.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 09:01 AM

I downloaded that article by Jim Carroll years ago, have referred back to it frequently, and have enjoyed reading it again now. It makes the earlier charge in the OP that 'the data is hopelessly polluted' very hard to take seriously.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM

"What Walter describes his family doing, particularly with the 'new songs',"
Walter sang all the songs he liked in his own style - this didn't mean he regarded them as coming out of the same stable - he made it perfectly clear that he did not
Steve is now using his index to suggest that Walter and his generation did not discriminate -   basically, "if the folk sang it it's folk'
There are some songs taken from Walter on Steve's list which Walter specifically said were not folk which, I believe, presents us with a problem - can we regard pop songs of yesteryear as 'folk songs' because Harry, Sam and Walter happened to sing them ?
If Phil Tanner had been a Welsh miner and a member of a Miner's Operatic Society, would Nessun Dorma have become a folk song ?
What if they all sang Hank Williams songs, or songs from Frank Sinatra's repertoire... would they merit Roud numbers - if not, why not ?

I was drawn to becoming involved in folk song as deeply as I have because of their uniqueness and their social significance as history-carriers
The products of the Popular Music Industry don't come anywhere near that function
Largely, they remain static and unchanged - no significant versions - just still-born songs

Don't get me wrong - Pat and I would have been totally lost without the Roud index - for our own collection and now for further research into Irish versions of Child Ballads
Unfortunately I find myself no longer able to point to The Roud index and say, "If you want to know what a folk song is - look there"

I've been in the throes of writing an article on the relationship between print and the oral tradition for a long time now - unfortunately, Steve's index features in it - I hope we don't fall out over our differences
I met Steve in Belfast a couple of weeks ago - so far, so good (I know he must be perfectly aware of my opinions)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 09:49 AM

It is unwise to draw conclusions about buildings from their outward appearance or to make assumptions about what a "farm labourer's cottage" might have looked like. Besides, even if it were a smallholding, to call it a "farmhouse" seems over-promotion.

One of my favourite books in the "country childhood" genre is "Reuben's Corner" by Spike Mays about growing up in a hamlet on the Essex-Cambridgeshire border in the 1920s. I was staying in Saffron Walden earlier this year and took the opportunity to visit Steventon End as the hamlet is now known. If the link works, these are the photos I took:

Reuben's Corner photos

These cottages were being lived in by farm labourers at that time. The brick and flint cottage is where Spike and his family lived, and one is still known as "Wuddy's Cottage" after the farm worker in the book who lived in it. They now look very desirable properties and I doubt a farm labourer could afford to live in them now.

What was then the farmhouse is the rather fine large building with tall chimneys.

(If you want to read the book (and I recommend it) it has been republished under the truly awful title "The Only Way was Essex")


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 10:10 AM

This is Mudcat at it's best. Thank you Jim Carroll, Brian Peters, Nick Dow, Jag and Howard Jones, more like this please.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 10:11 AM


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 10:12 AM

OPP's sorry Mike Yates as well


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 10:25 AM

@Howard Jones. I meant it looks to me more like a farm labourers cottage than a farmhouse. The film and satellite image show a substantial group of buildings that would be one or more farms. Up until the 1950s farms required several workers and there may be more than one generation of the family present. So smaller houses about theme are common.

Do we know if Walter owned the house or rented it?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 10:42 AM

Thanks for your response Jim. I think it's a matter of semantics. You say Walter distinguished the types of song. The CD notes reproduced on Mustrad back that up with references to other sources.

I can believe that there were equivalents of Walter in the 18th century and before.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 10:53 AM

I think Steve is between a rock and a hard place with the index. A classic example is 'Down in the Fields where the buttercups all grow' sung by two(?) generations of traditional singers but a 'relatively modern' composed song. Should it be in the Roud index? Personally I would not miss it, but that's not the point. Likewise some of the super variants ' The Dark eyed sailor'. If we are able to pin down the author what then? Most answers to this are not wrong in themselves but raise more questions than they answer. So where do we draw the line. Jim's opinion is as good as any other. As some of you know I am involved in Folk art as well as song. If a Gypsy Wagon is painted Traditionally in correct livery, it is Folk Art. Is it less Folk because we know the painter? As Bert Lloyd said, is a Folk pot less of a Folk Pot because we know the potter? So maybe in the long run we will be censured for not collecting some of the rarer music hall songs sung by our informants.
I don't know, but I might play safe.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 11:44 AM

Jim's post at 9-41 and Nick's at 10-53 cover the problem of what is acceptable as a traditional folk song and what is not. as Nick says we know the buttercup song was music hall song but it was known and sung by
two generations of traditional singers. I sing it having learnt it from singers on Dartmoor, I doubt if they knew its source any more than I did for many years. Both they and I sing it because we like it and so do our listeners. The idea that a folk song is pure only if it comes from the ordinary people is true in the very strictess sense. If a song is adopted by ordinary people and passed on to following generations itis still a part of that community so is it an honoury folk song,possibly.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 11:59 AM

So should it have a Roud Number? I've no idea. Steve has to make the decision. Rather him than me. Down in the fields appeared on a 78rpm record. It's still on YouTube I think. While we're at it so did Buttercup Joe, but that is much older and was collected by Gardiner, however it is very probably early music hall. Sung by Mr. Garratt, who ever he was. It's in the Silver Medal song book, along with 'Out in the Green fields' still sung in Beaminster Dorset within the last decade. Roud number or not? Figure that one out! I can't.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 12:03 PM

"I can believe that there were equivalents of Walter in the 18th century and before."
I have to say, it does depend on how you phrase your question sometimes
Many singers specifically identified their songs, but not always in the terms we would recognise
Blind Traveller singer Mary Delaney referred to the songs I would describe as folk as "Me daddie's songs" - when we recorded him he has half a dozen songs - Mary probably had over 100 - she was referring to the type of song rather than their source
Mary had as many Country and Western songs which she refused to sing for us because "I only learned them 'cause that's what the lads ask for down in the pub.
Fiddle player, Junior Crehan (aged 75 when we first recorded him) referred to his as 'traditional)
Traveller Mikeen McCarthy called his 'Fireside songs'
Mikeen, swho sang in the street and had his father's songs printed to sell at the fairs and markets, broke his repertoire down into styles - 'street songs', 'pub songs' and 'fireside songs', all with descriptions oof how the styles varied (and why they did)   
All the singers we asked 'visualised their songs (even blind Mary- Mikeen said it was "like sitting in the pictures", Walter mentally 'dressed' his characters in period costume...
These people were very concious of the difference in their songs (at least those who had participated in a living folk culture were)
I have to say this 'visualisation' of songs was first drawn to my attention by Bob Thomson who described New York State singer, Sarah Cleveland having done the same

"Is it less Folk because we know the painter?"
I don't believe they are Nick - I don't believe anonymity to be a defining factor - but it is a strong tendency
Both Clare and the Travellers we met had a very active song-making tradition, yet among the dozens we recorded we could only find the name of the song maker of about four of them (for certain)
We actually recorded descriptions of two songs being made, but on both occasions (settled and Traveller) neither speaker could give us the name of the makers (both were made by groups of people who "threw lines and verses at each other"
For some reason, certain songs seemed to get sucked into the local traditions immediately so they became, Miltown or Quilty or Clare or Traveller songs - the singers 'took ownership' of their orally passed on songs distinct from their pop or printed songs
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 12:17 PM

Can I add that, as far as I'm concerned, I'm happy to accept that there are marginal cases - Nick mentions Buttercup Joe, I would add the Irish song A Stor Mo Chroi
Both have known authors and neither have departed far from their original form, but nobody would argue that they haven't become firmly established in the traditional singers's repertoire
When it comes to the folk arts, there are no rule-books, bt as an active researcher I need to set some perimeters to my identifications
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 12:31 PM

Nick and Derrick of course
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 12:37 PM

"So should it have a Roud Number? I've no idea. Steve has to make the decision.".

It's not an easy one. Cecil Sharp gets a lot of stick for having been selective, but would his collection have been improved if he'd included all those versions of 'Grandfather's Clock' he so despised?

I'd guess that Steve Roud is very reluctant to play God by deciding which of a singer like Walter Parson's pass muster and which do not.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM

"I'd guess that Steve Roud is very reluctant to play God "
Can I just say that Steve didn't always have this problem
When he got his hands on our recordings he had no hesitation in rejecting 'The Ballad of Jon F Kennedy' (quite rightly)
Anthologists and scholars have always "played God" in song identification, Sharp, Child Gavin Greig.... in saying "this is a folk song - this is not"
You have to do this when you are dealing with an art form or genre

Walter was prone to selecting and rejecting songs in this was himself
We once asked him if he knew 'Farmer's Boy' - his reply surprised (and amused) us   
He said "That song was written by someone who didn't know the difference between wheat and barley"
You can't put it more firmly than that
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 01:12 PM

jim, didnt stop him from singing crap[my subjective opinion[ like old browns daughter, let us compsre the story and the lyrics
    There is an ancient party at the other end of town,
    He keeps a little grocery store and the ancient's name is Brown;
    He has a lovely daughter, such a treat I never saw,
    Oh, I only hope someday to be the old man's son-in-law.

    Old Brown sells from off the shelf most anything you please,
    He's got Jew's harps for the little boys, lollipops, and cheese;
    His daughter minds the store, and it's a treat to see her serve,
    I'd like to run away with her, but I don't have the nerve.

    And it's Old Brown's daughter is a proper sort of girl,
    Old Brown's daughter is as fair as any pearl;
    I wish I was a Lord Mayor, Marquis, or an Earl,
    And blow me if I wouldn't marry Old Brown's girl.
The sun had set behind yon hill across the dreary moor
When weary and lame a poor boy came up to a farmer's door
Can you tell me where'er I'll be and of one who'll me employ
To plough and sow, to reap and mow
And be a farmer's boy, and be a farmer's boy

My father's dead, my mother's left with five children great and small
And what is worse for mother still I'm the eldest of them all
Though little I am I would labour hard if you would me employ
To plough and sow, to reap and mow
And be a farmer's boy, and be a farmer's boy

The farmer's wife cried, Try the lad, let him no longer seek
Yes father do, the daughter cried as tears rolled down her cheek
For those who would work 'tis hard for to want and to wander for employ
Don't let him go, let him stay
And be a farmer's boy, and be a farmer's boy

The farmer's boy grew up a man and the good old couple died
They left the lad the farm they had and the daughter for his bride
Now the lad which was the farm now has often thinks and smiles with joy
To bless the day he came that way
And be a farmer's boy, and be a farmer's boy

    Well Poor Old Brown now has trouble with the gout,
    He grumbles in his little parlour when he can't get out;
    And when I make a purchase and she hands me the change,
    That girl she makes me pulverised, I feel so very strange.

    And it's Old Brown's daughter is a proper sort of girl,
    Old Brown's daughter is as fair as any pearl;
    I wish I was a Lord Mayor, Marquis, or an Earl,
    And blow me if I wouldn't marry Old Brown's girl.

    Miss Brown she smiles so sweetly when I say a tender word,
    But Old Brown says that she must wed a Marquis or a Lord;
    Well, I don't suppose it's ever one of those things I will be,
    But, by jingo, next election I will run for Trinity.

    And it's Old Brown's daughter is a proper sort of girl,
    Old Brown's daughter is as fair as any pearl;
    I wish I was a Lord Mayor, Marquis or an Earl,
    And blow me if I wouldn't marry Old Brown's girl.

    Blow me if I wouldn't marry Old Brown's girl.
whats the difference? they are both sentimental music hall type songs


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 01:18 PM

That's interesting. It's almost exactly what Bert Lloyd said. Folk Music differs from other music as day does to night, but when does night become day?
Having your own musical parameters is not only necessary but practical, as you have said Jim.
When all is said and done it boils down to this for me. We may not know what Folk Music is, but we certainly know what it isn't.
That said I try to judge everything on it's own merits, and not be too upset if it crosses my red lines, unless it's racist.
Oh Lord! What do I say about Johnny Doughty singing 'Will you marry me?'
'If I were to buy you a big Black N****r
To wait upon you and cook your dinner,
Then will you marry &co

I've just censored a Folk Song! Jim you are correct there are no easy answers. The more I learn the less I know.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM

In many ways Dick, that was a song that was influenced by outsiders
People praised it to the skies - I don't think I ever saw him sing it publicly without someone requesting it
To me, it's obviously an early music-hall song - not to my taste either, but I'd have never said that to Walter
I can't remember if we ever discussed it with him so I can't honestly say how he regarded it
The difference, I would have thought, was that as a countryman from a farming background he would have judges such a song on its authenticity comared to his own background
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 01:51 PM

Sorry Jim, me question wasn't clear - but thanks for the answer!

I was meaning that there would be 18th century Walters (and Mary Delaneys) who had 'new' songs in their repertoire, polishing them and inserting them into a less discriminating aural tradition.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 02:07 PM

I don't believe anonymity to be a defining factor - but it is a strong tendency -Jim Carroll
That is the most concise and compelling argument for subjectivity I have ever heard. It will do for me, but I fear it will not do for an army of Folklorists, musicologists and all round egg heads who believe musical values cannot be measured. I tend to make a tactical retreat.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 02:21 PM

Unfortunately the Folk seem to have been contrary buggers who insisted on singing the songs they liked, rather than the ones folklorists thought they should be singing.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 02:31 PM

and why not ~ songs are there to be sung for entertainment and enjoyment of self and others are they not?

Ray


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 02:51 PM

"I was meaning that there would be 18th century Walters"
I'm still not sure what you mean
People didn't select folksongs - they chose songs to sing which became 'folk' by their absorption - the definition was done by outsiders, the acceptance was the beginning of the making of a song which then evolved into a folksong
The process whereby that happens is and I believe will remain a mystery - we didn't spend enough with the singers to find out why they identified with and passed on their songs - we can only guess that

I never get tired o quoting the Jean Richie statement from when she was collecting songs in Ireland, though I'm sure ther are many who get tired of my doing so

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

Why on earth should Irish country-people identify with a (possibly English) ballad that predates The Great Fire of London ?
But they did

I've just heard that an old singer we recorded (now aged 98) is till very much with us and anxious for company
Joe Coneely was extremely vocal as to why he selected and rejected his songs - he dad six Child ballads in his repertoire and around ten other excellent songs - he probably knows many more but chooses not so sing them   
Perhaps we'll get a chance to ask him why
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 02:54 PM

Unfortunately the Folk seem to have been contrary buggers who insisted on singing the songs they liked, rather than the ones folklorists thought they should be singing.

Yay! And that is where we come full circle to the state of folk in the UK and what is folk music :-)


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 03:02 PM

Ray - Howard
Liking a song makes in no more than a song somebody likes
Traveller John Reilly 'liked' 'Poor Blind Orphan Boy' but he sang around thirteen big ballads and knew they were important
These included The Well Below the valley (Maid and the Palmer) which Bronson went into ecstasies about (Tom Munnelly recorded it)
John not only knew it was important, but had spotted the incest nature of the song defined it as a 'forbidden song' in the Traveller community

We didn't go out with the idea that anybody "should" sing anything - we went out hoping we would find folk songs - with a great deal of success, I'm pleased to say
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 03:13 PM

"Yay! And that is where we come full circle to the state of folk in the UK and what is folk music :-)"
You've banished Walter from your thread - play fair and keep your backslapping self-congratulations out of his
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 03:30 PM

"Peter Bellamy recorded Old Brown's Daughter in 1975 too for his eponymous album Peter Bellamy. He commented in the album's sleeve notes:

    The Pardon family is also responsible for this extraordinary comic song. Whether its roots lie in the rural tradition or the Music Hall, it's difficult to say. It has been in the Pardon family repertoire for at least three generations."
This bears out what you say Jim, and the song was a music hall song.
Another song that became popular in the folk revival "dark eyed sailor" seems to have been treated with disdain by walters relatives


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 04:02 PM

You've banished Walter from your thread

I did no such thing, Jim. It was Joe G's thread. Pseudonymous started this one. I have nothing at all to do with Mudcat management. Why on earth would you say I had any influence on either thread? You have just posted some brilliant and relevant stuff about Walter. Why spoil it by making silly comments like that?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 04:25 PM

There was no 'banishment' involved, Jim. I merely suggested that as there was clearly much that people wanted to say about one particular singer then it might be better to start a new thread. That would allow the original thread I started to focus on its title and note there has been much detailed discussion here which is surely a good thing? It also saves any Mudcatters who are not interested in WP but are interested in the current state of UK folk music having to scroll past such detail. I hope that explains my reasoning.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 06:17 PM

Call it thread drift or of no importance but somebody above was enquiring about Walter's house. I think that it had been referred to as a farm labourer's cottage which in my mind conjures up a cramped small single storey structure.
This evening I was looking at some photographs which I took on one of my visits of Walter outside his home,it certainly is not what I would describe as a farm labourer's cottage. A two storey house with a large green area in front which Walter explained to me was where the family had their bowling green!


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 07:08 PM

Did you meet John Reilly Jim? If so do you have any views on Trish Nolan? I met her at Whitby Folk Week she was chaperoned (as travelling girls must be) by her uncle. I'm proud to say she fell in love with my voice, however she was a bit out of her depth in the festival. Do you have any interest in what she is doing and do you see any sort of continuity with John Reilly.

(For mudcatters who are not aware Trish Nolan is John Reilly's niece.
By the same token if I say 'The Well below the Valley' and 'Tipping it up to Nancy' you will be aware of a couple of well known songs from his repertoire. No offence to you just for those who may not know the names.)


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM

Nick
No - I never met John Reilly - he was 'discovered' and had died before we started visiting Ireland
We were close friends with Tom Munnelly, who gave us all of John's recordings (happy to pass them on to anybody who wants them), and told us a great deal about his tragically short life.

For those who don't know, Tom discovered John squatting in a derelict house in Boyle, Roscommon, was staggered by his repertoire and took American scholar to meet him
Tom visited John several times and saw his health degenerating, so he and some friends in Dublin tried to arrange bookings to raise some money for him - Christie Moore became one of the main promoters of this wonderful singer -
Irish traditional music organisation, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann refused to help as they said John "was not a sean nós singer"
The last time Tom visited John he had to climb through the window - John had collapsed, was rushed to the local hospital where he died of the effects of malnutrition
John had a large number of Child Ballads, the most important being 'The Maid and the Palmer' (Well Below the Valley) - as is always the case with source singers, John never received a penny for his songs -
I find it ironical that the copyright of the Christy Moore version now lies with a well heeled middle-of-the-road 'folkish' musician

One of the really anger-making incidents for me was, when Tom Munnely gave Peter Kennedy a copy of John's recordings "For your own personal interest" (Kennedy had once been helpful when Tom was first starting out as a collector)
Kennedy issued them on his Folktrax label without permission or payment
John was dead by then and Tom had arranged that any payments from his songs should be donated to a planned school for Traveller children
Kennedy refused to respond for requests for a donation and the recordings remained for sale (as far as I know, that is still the position)
Pat and I, along with Tom, were once asked to take part in a T.S.F. conference at C# House - we all agreed until we heard Kennedy was to be a speaker, so we all backed out - we were invited back a year later
We attended a conference with Tom in Sheffield once without realising Kennedy would be there - watching Tom and Kennedy was like a re-run of High Noon

I hadn't realised that John had a Niece - thanks for that
I am delighted to hear it - I'll look her up

Hoot
I described what happened to Walter's house above (09 Nov 19 - 05:10 AM)

"seems to have been treated with disdain by walters relatives"
Not really Dick - it was a very common song and, as Walter was little more than a child, they gave it to him - everybody had their own songs in those days

I've said that the National Sound Archive at the B.L. is putting our collection on line, for which I'm very grateful
The last month or so has made me very aware of the growing interest in traditional song in Ireland, so I have decided to create an on-line resource to pass on some of our archive (I've been doing this in a somewhat disorganised way for some time now - about time I stored it out)
It will include the BBC collection some of our recordings and those given to us by Tom Munnelly, Hugh Shields, the field recordings made by Ewan and Peggy etc... along with radio programmes, books and articles - etc
It will also have a section on the work MacColl did with the Critics, including voice and relaxation exercises (with explanations)
It will be left on line via PCloud and also downloadable
If anybody wishes to avail themselves of it just send an e-mail address and I'll link you to it
I'll be working on it for some time to come so anybody wishing to use it now should bear that in mind and keep up to date - there's a lot to choose from

"There was no 'banishment' involved, Jim"
I really have no intention of spoiling what I am finding a very enjoyable and fruitful discussion with an argument
It was made clear to me that Walter had no place in a discussion on today's revival, which I have sadly accepted
As far as I'm concerned, today's revival is the loser and has my sympathy - I'm happy to leave it at that
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM

Walter Pardon has for me been a good source of song material ~for me folk songs ~ granted not (all) of the Child Ballad ilk but following the "Saturday" night sort of entertainment that people followed pre Television etc

Yes folk songs have been handed down over the years within families and within Communities and picked up by all and sundry ~ farm labourers, navvies and ordinary people who have and had an interest ~ simply we have moved again and if you wish to categories and parcel songs from an academic view point simply fair enough ~ life goes on ~ and songs are still being written in the "folk" style and some damn good songs too worth the singing ~ as I life and stories go on as is the nature with human beings and their faults and good deeds

Ray

Is this still Walter Pardon ~ or thread drift sorry


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:52 AM

This thread seems to be 'taking its own feet' Ray and is now encompassing other major figures on the folk scene
With respect, we can't talk about Walter on your thread - it's a little unfair that you should come to where we can talk about him with the same arguments that are taking place elsewhere
I didn't draw the line - you did
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 04:08 AM

Thanks for your reply Jim. I'm tied up singing all day. I will read and reply properly soon. T
N.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 04:11 AM

"I'm tied up singing all day"
Lucky bugger - wish I was
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 04:15 AM

Jim, you hsve not said what happened to Walters cottage after he died did the state inherit it, did he intestate.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 04:48 AM

"Jim, you have not said what happened to Walters cottage after he died did the state inherit it, did he intestate."
I'll find out and let you know
Have looked in occasionally via Google Earth - it's been kept intact without major alterations though the hedged vegetable garden has gone as have the line of sheds behind the house
One of them was a wheeled shepherd's hut - we tried to get a rural useum to take it, without much luck
You can look it up yourself on Google Earth - if you travel along Hall lane from the village you will come to a rather magnificent restored thatch Barn on the left, about half way along - Walter's is the next house
The picket fence has ben restored - it always was a bit iffy

Walter's nephew, Roger Dixon, kindly gave us the original tape Walter made of himself at the funeral and we have his two notebooks which contain his family's songs
The Dancing Doll he made is now on display at The Irish Traditional Music Archive
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 05:16 AM

JIm
Once again hearty congratulations on having your material placed on the BL site. AS far as I'm concerned this is a major step in the right direction.

As far as accessing your very generous offers is concerned I know of a great number of people who would love to wallow in your collection, myself included. The reality is that there are mountains of material coming available to us due mainly to modern technology and it would take 3 or 4 lifetimes to make use of it all. We all quite rightly have our specialisms and priorities.

Just one personal question to satisfy my own curiosity: Did you ever record anyone else in England in anything like this depth?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 06:06 AM

"it's a little unfair that you should come to where we can talk about him with the same arguments that are taking place elsewhere
I didn't draw the line - you did"

Lost me sorry ~ is Walter not part of the body of folk song source singers?

Ray


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 06:09 AM

"We all quite rightly have our specialisms and priorities."
I am of the opinion that there is nowhere near enough and very little that can be downloaded
There is nothing whatever that I can find on how traditional singers regarded their singing and even if there was the more we can get of this gold-dust, the better
As far as the decade of groundbreaking research done by the Critics Group.. you need a bullet-proof vest if you mention anything to do with MacColl   

My intention is to make material accessible in an easily searchable form to those who might not know their way around the scene and don't necessarily want to part of an in-crowd

No, we didn't record any other English singers in this depth - but we did extensively in Ireland and among the Travellers - at greater length with the latter
We do have quite a lot of this type of work done by people like MacColl and Seeger, Charles Parker, Roy Palmer, Lomax and Bob Thomson - all should be invaluable to those wishing to learn about singing
All of this tends to confirm our own work and strengthen my opinion that singers were not the "natural as songbirds" performers they are far-too-often painted
Jim


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