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Review: Walter Pardon - Research

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


Jim Carroll 03 Jan 20 - 11:15 AM
Brian Peters 03 Jan 20 - 10:16 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 20 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Jan 20 - 09:49 AM
Stanron 03 Jan 20 - 09:44 AM
Brian Peters 03 Jan 20 - 09:39 AM
Vic Smith 03 Jan 20 - 09:03 AM
Jeri 03 Jan 20 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Jan 20 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Jan 20 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Jan 20 - 07:11 AM
Howard Jones 03 Jan 20 - 07:08 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 20 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Jan 20 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Jan 20 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Jan 20 - 06:38 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 20 - 05:38 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 20 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Jan 20 - 04:40 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jan 20 - 03:15 AM
Joe Offer 17 Nov 19 - 10:20 AM
Iains 17 Nov 19 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,HiLo 17 Nov 19 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,jag 17 Nov 19 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,jag 17 Nov 19 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM
Brian Peters 17 Nov 19 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,jag 17 Nov 19 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 09:02 AM
Howard Jones 17 Nov 19 - 08:54 AM
The Sandman 17 Nov 19 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 08:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 19 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 07:09 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 07:04 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Nov 19 - 06:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 19 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 05:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 11:15 AM

Walter heard all the songs he sang at family gatherings - he only sang 'Dark Eyed Sailor because "nobody else wanted it" - he was too young to be accepted as a serious singer by the gathering, but he absorbed what was sung and later, when he decided to write them down, he scored the survivors of the family to fill in his memory gaps

It's worth remembering that most of the English Folk repertoire of the twentieth century was taken from singers who had hardly experienced a living tradition - Sharp and co worked on the basis of gathering the songs before those who had them died as the tradition was very much in decline at the beginning of the 20th century
The situation was a little different in Ireland as the singing traditions survived much longer, but even so, Tom Munnelly constantly referred to his collecting work as "a race with the undertaker" (Tom was mainly working with English language singers)
The only thriving oral Tradition to be collected from was that of the Travellers - the Irish and Scots particularly
Their 'non literacy' and their 'social pariah' status makes what was collected from them the nearest examples we have of a purely oral tradition
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 10:16 AM

Seeing this thread reopened represents something of a mixed blessing, since on past form a lot of firefihting is going to be required again.

The OP's post at 04.40 on January 3rd contains several highly questionable statements:

The material tended to say as much about the ideological perspectives of those writing it as it did about Pardon himself. This applies to Mike Yates' use of a Marxist approach for one essay... Put briefly and simplistically, and following Hillery, the ideology in question could be described as that of the 2nd UK folk revival.

For a start, the ideology of the 2nd folk revival - at least in it's approach to traditional song - owed more to Cecil Sharp than Karl Marx, so it's not valid to skate between the two as though they were one and the same. At no point has it been shown that research into WP's singing owes anything to Marxism, other than a couple of references to a Mike Yates article not actually quoted, and the fact that MacColl and Lloyd were Marxists, so well... it's obvious, innit?

There were contradictory or unclear ideas about, for example, the sources of his songs and about whether he 'preserved' the tunes by playing them on his melodeon or whether, due to the musical limitations of that instrument, he changed them, this explaining how come his tunes were different at times from those traditionally used for the songs in question.

A melodeon is limited in not being fully chromatic, and in its limited range of keys. Neither of these would prevent me from picking out the melody of pretty well any song from, say, Sharp's collection, or 'The Voice of he People' on the instrument, since folksong melodies characteristically use simple scales. It's also not valid to compare WP's tunes with those 'traditionally used', since one of the defining characteristics of traditional song is melodic variation: there is no single 'traditional tune', and most of WP's are recognisable as variants, albeit often particularly interesting ones. WP may of course have mis-remembered these melodies, but the same could apply to any singer of orally-learned material.

The methods used by some of those investigating Pardon did not seem to me to be rigorous: there was use of leading questions, for example.

This claim has been made repeatedly over the course of this thread, but no examples have been quoted, and no appropriate analysis made of the reasons why the research is unsatisfactory. It's not academically acceptable merely to make a statement on the basis of a vague impression gained from unquoted material. Elsewhere the OP expresses dissatisfaction with interviewing as a valid technique, without suggesting an alternative method for finding out the singer's background, motivation method of learning songs, etc. What would be preferable - a Rorschach Test?

he is said to have learned his songs 'the traditional way', though how far even that is true seems questionable, given his own assertions that he did not sing them at the time.

Apart from the fact that he did sing 'The Dark-Eyed Sailor' at the time (and was certainly not unique as a traditional singer in having one song that was his recognised property for public occasions), whether he sang them or not in the period between learning them from family members, and performing them many years later, has no bearing on the the question of whether he learned them 'in the traditional way'. Some of the best-known recorded traditional singers were regular performers in pubs, singing competitions, etc, but many others were racking their brains for half-remembered fragments from their youth, at the behest of a collector.

One last question I can help with:

Just out of curiosity, does anybody know which Union, if any, was Pardon a member of? I ask because I have seen his 'trade unionism' lauded, yet Hillery describes him as a self-employed small businessman

On November 9th, Jim Carroll posted:

"Walter was very proud of his family’s association with the early Agricultural Union movement. When George Edwards restarted the Agricultural Workers Union in Norfolk in 1907, the first one started by Joseph Arch in the late 19th century having folded, Walter’s father Tom had the second Union card issued, Nos.1 and 3 going to men from nearby villages. Forty years later, all three men were awarded silver medals for their services to the Union. Walter learnt a number of songs, parodies and rhymes connected with the Union..."

Happy to be of assistance.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 10:05 AM

"I suspect if this keeps being about the individuals involved in the discussion "
When postings directly denigrating those who worked with Walter (with the poster having no knowledge pf that work) it becomes obvious that the intention is to make the discussion about something else other than Walter
While this continues (this is not the first time it has happened since this individual descended on us) your team will continue to close discussions, chalking up yet another no-go area

Walter is a magnificent subject for discussion - Mike Yates's current project of releasing previously unheard recordings and the British Library's plans to put our recordings of him on line present people with an excellent opportunity to learn more about this important source singer
It would be a crying shame to allow anything to mar that opportunity
Jim Carroll

Walter's views on singing - in his own words
Q.         Do you think that when you started singing in the clubs and festivals, do you think you are singing any different than you were singing when you were younger?
W.P            Dash, yes, I think so.
Q Do you know in what way?
A.         Oh, I don't know, put more expression in probably; I think so. Well, but you see, you take these, what we call the old type... the old folk song, they're not like the music hall song, are they, or a stage song, there's a lot of difference in them, I mean a lot of these... some ... it all depend what and how you're singing. Some of them go to nice lively, quick tunes, and others are... you don't do 'Van Dieman's Land'... If there's a sad old song you don't go through that very quick. Like 'Up to the Rigs' is the opposite way about.
I mean, we must put expression in, you can't sing them all alike. Well most of the stage songs you could, if you understand what I mean. According to what the song is you put the expression in or that's not worth hearing; well that's what I think anyhow. And as I never did sing them, you see, there was no expression I could put in."


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 09:49 AM

Brian, you are right about music and broadsides, this point was also made on the MUDCAT site.

Another snippet of interest for me is that Pardon was engaging with folk music on the radio at this time, if I have read his reference to Bob Copper accurately. Because one thing I am interested in is trying to build up a picture of what you might call 'influences' or at least the soundscape Pardon had lived in/through, as he might not have been 'influenced' by what he heard on the radio. Another snippet I picked up from wider reading was that he attended the Methodists as a child: that would have been a source of musical and singing experience if my own Methodist childhood is anything to go by.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Stanron
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 09:44 AM

I'll echo the thanks Vic. The information that there were working men who could read music and play instruments is also interesting.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 09:39 AM

Many thanks, Vic, for that contribution, and I look forward to reading the Bellamy piece. One interesting snippet I've found on a very brief perusal is WP's account of his grandfather's having learned his songs from broadsides:

My grandfather got the songs from broadsheets, apparently: that's how they were brought round, so they always told me. He could read music, you see; that was unusual...
He learned to play the clarinet, so you see he could take the music off these broadsheets. As he could read music, he got the tune, whereas a lot of these poor old men around here - you never had to go very many mile 'til you hear these tunes altered all out of proportion, because they had'em just by word-of-mouth, and I think that's why his tunes were so good.


It's pretty clear from this that WP had never actually seen a broadside, since the vast majority never included the music. So the reason for the quality of the tunes must lie elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 09:03 AM

Pseudonymous wrote:-
Relating to material on Pardon: I have found a couple of references to magazine articles which I cannot locate. One is by Peter Bellamy (published in Folk Review, August 1974, pp.10-15) and the other by Karl Dallas (published in Folk News, August 1977, pp.14-15). I have searched Jstor in vain.
Glad to be able to help because I have both. I have text scanned the article that you refer to in Folk Review I also wrote for that magazine in those days and have all the copies.
Pages 10 and 11 have the transcripted interview. Most of page 10 is taken up by an excellent line drawing of Walter Pardon by Dave Carless.
WALTER PARDON, a fifty-nine year old carpenter living in a small North Norfolk village, has recently emerged as the most important English source-singer since Harry Cox. Of the forty-odd songs he has so far transmitted, the majority are unique variants and many are previously uncollected in any form. His singing is that of a remarkably accomplished and original stylist, and will be put on record by Bill Leader later this year. He recently talked to PETER BELLAMY about his songs and the family and village from which they sprang.
I was the only one of the family who went in for carpentry, all the rest were farm hands - on the farm all day, and when they weren't, they were talking about it. That's why they used to like those songs like 'The pretty ploughboy' and 'All jolly fellows that follow the plough' — they was in great demand. These songs were sung at Christmas by the whole family; I never sang them in pubs myself. There was a lot of pub singing around here in the past, but not so much in my time. My uncle Billy used to sing — this all came from my Mother's side of the family, you see. My grandfather was Tom Gee. That photograph, that's of my uncle Billy Gee. He was an outstanding fellow. He was born here in this house. 1 learned nearly all my songs off him; he was born in 1863. Most of the songs he got fr.om my grandfather. My uncle Tom, at Bacton, he knew a lot, but they were different from what Billy's were. Most of them come from the one man: he knew a hundred, my grandfather did, but in them days there was no collecting whatsoever, no tape-recorders or anything like that. When he died, he took a lot with him; my uncle sang a lot to me, but he never learned them all. My other uncle, at Bacton, he sang different ones. He used to come at Christmas time, when we had the old family party. There'd be nearly twenty in here; (this room was bigger then), there was so many here, we used to have the tea in two goes. My mother's sister, Ruth, she used to be a fine singer, but my Mother's brothers' and sisters' children, they never learned any of the songs; 1 was the only one who knew any. The last one. But I only sang 'em for myself and for the family, never in pubs. They used to be ridiculed here. They used to say: "Why don't you learn some new songs? We don't want to hear them old things!" They were termed antiquated. That is so! Now. Harry Cox, he used to sing up the Catfield Crown, I believe, but I never did meet him. I heard him on the sound radio, and I did see him on television when they gave him a badge or something. I know Sam Lamer was singing well, too, but 1 never did meet him either. They were the only two I knew about; I don't think there was a great lot in my time, not in this area. My grandfather got the songs from broadsheets, apparently: that's how they were brought round, so they always told me. He could read music, you see; that was unusual. The reason was, he was born so long ago (surprisingly enough, he was born when George IV was king, and he died in 1830). In his young time, Knapton church had a gallery; the choir sat in the gallery - there was no organ or anything like that -- they supplied the music with clarinets and string instruments. He learned to play the clarinet, so you see he could take the music off these broadsheets. As he could read music, he got the tune, whereas a lot of these poor old men around here - you never had to go very many mile 'til you hear these tunes altered all out of proportion, because they had'em just by word-of-mouth, and I think that's why his tunes were so good. The playing in the churches, that finished very early around here, about 1850 I think, when my grandfather would've been a young man in his twenties. My uncle Billy, he said he remembered when a man-o'-war sunk off Ireland, and someone composed a song about it, and two men come along here with one of those broadsheets and sung the song over to my grandfather. I don't know if he bought it, but I was told the words and music, was ruled on it, and they charged a penny. That was how they got them into the villages. I asked Uncle Billy how it was that my grandfather managed to learn a hundred, ' cause that was very seldom he went out of the village — perhaps one day in the year to Norwich, or occasionally to North Walsham,
and he said that was how they got round: by
broadsheets. None of 'em got saved in the family; there was only one old song that I ever did find. 'The transports', wrote out by hand. I never did see any of the broadsheets; they must have got destroyed somehow or other. A lot of the things that were my grandfather's have survived in this house, though - that chair, and the grandfather clock, and that old Queen Anne table....
I was born in this house, and my mother was too. 1 haven't been out of the village much myself, except during the war. when I got sent all over the country, but I was lucky - they never sent me out of England 'cause I was working my trade. I was apprenticed in the next village here - Paston. You've heard of the Paston Letters, have you? There's a very famous old barn there, too, a tithe barn, 1581.
The church in this village here, it's got the finest roof in the county, double-hammer beam, with about 140 huge angels in, with their wings outspread, all holding something in their hands - one's got a hammer and nippers, and another one is playing an old-fashioned lute, all that sort of thing. Some of them, their faces look- as if they've been tarred, and they say Cromwell's soldiers done it. That's one thing this village is noted for, and the other is that it was the headquarters of the smugglers hereabouts. There's a garden here in the old times was always dug, never cropped. That's where the contraband was put in. Apparently there was a tunnel ran under the shop, 'cause not long ago some builders was here making a soak-away, and they broke into the tunnel. No doubt they pushed some of their stuff in there, but that was a long time ago. Yes, this was the headquarters of the smuggling, that's about the only thing the parish was noted for! My uncle told me that when he was young there was old men around here who knew all about this smuggling; I reckon it must have died out about 1830. Of course they never would own that they'd done any themselves - they was still afraid, you see, even then. I think that was done on a large scale - so was poaching. My uncle Billy, what had the songs, he was a good man with a gun. His old double-barrelled twelve-bore, that's still here in the shed, and also his equipment for making his own cartridges: powder-flask, shot-flask, wad-cutters, everything what he used to use. He told me years ago they had these muzzle-loaders; he showed me how to set a snare. There was also another instrument here that he used to make bee-skeps with out of brambles. There was a lot of old things here, but my uncle sold them. There was an old wheat-dibbler, shaped like an egg on the bottom, they used to push it in the ground and then drop the wheat in. I've still got a lot of the equipment my mother used to brew beer with — big wooden funnels, and that sort of thing. I've still got the big stone jars she used to put the beer in; some of them came from a brewery at Trunch, they've got primroses on them. The brewing, that was done just before the harvest started. The beer was brewed for the harvest, and a lot of it was drank, too!
Uncle Billy worked on a farm most of the time, and then on the Mundesley golf-links, cutting greens, that sort of thing. His hands were drawn down with rheumatism so he could only move a thumb and finger on each hand. He was taken away from school, you see, and sent to work on the farm when he was seven or eight year old, and his hands used to get so wet. He reckoned that's what caused it; at one time he used to play the fiddle, but by the time I was born his hands got locked like that, and he couldn't move his fingers about on the strings. But he was a very fine singer, had a powerful tenor voice, far away in front of anyone else whatever he sung. No-one approached him. He used to do" a lot of singing in the pubs in his young-time. I don't know where he got 'Old brown's daughter' from; he most probably learned that in a pub in North Walsham called the Mitre Tavern (that's been finished with long ago) where they had a room specially for dancing and singing. There'd been men bringing violins for that.
I haven't sung these songs much over the years, just to myself, you know. That took me all winter' to put them down on that tape for you, 'cause so many of them have lain dormant, and it took me a long time to remember them. Some them are terrifically long in length, as you know! I never thought anyone'd ever want to hear them again. No-one else had bothered to learn them, only me.
This accordion, I bought it in Norwich ten year ago this Summer; sixteen pound ten. My uncle Walter, he paid ten shilling for his, and that's just about equal in value, 'cause that's what his week's wages were.
My favourite of the songs is 'The rambling blade'. I've heard other versions of it on the wireless, but I like this tune the best. I learnt that song sitting on my uncle's knee. That's the truth, that's how I used to learn 'em. He used to lift me up, and I'd sit looking up at him while he sung. He used to sing 'Caroline' a lot, and 'Bonny bunch of roses', and 'Generals all' ('Marlborough'. as you call it). 'The transports' he never did sing much — that took too long, I suppose! 'Cock-a-doodle-doo' he didn't sing at all; that came from my uncle at Bacton — that's the sort of song he used to like, and 'The cobbler' - a bit ribald, you know!
I used to play fiddle, years ago, but that was only amateur playing, all on top of the strings. Do you get a professional, he'd draw his hand right down to the bridge, but I could only play up there. I always liked the accordions the best.
There were hundreds of songs sung in here, 1 never did get to learn all of them - everything from 'The cobbler' and 'Lord Lovel' right down to 'The long long trail a-winding.' That was popular during the First World War, and a lot of others you couldn't properly call folk songs: 'The ship that never returned', 'Miner's dream of home', Tn the shade of the old apple tree' and so on. It'd all depend who used to sing, you see. They were the new songs at that time.
Some of the songs we had were very well-known, I think, like 'The dark eyed sailor', 'Jack Tar', 'The banks of the sweet Dundee', I think that's fairly common. Some of them are fairly well stretched about the country. I've heard that Bob Copper on the wireless sing different versions of the songs. My uncle Bob saag 'Jones ale was new'. That was Bob Gee's copyright, you might say. No-one'd sing that but him, and he sung that just like he talked: there was no English in it hardly! We knew what it was, but anywhere else they'd very near want an interpreter! That originated from my grandfather, so did 'The huntsman' and 'Rat-cliffe highway* they were his songs, and I think the bulk of the others were too. It's a pity the lot haven't survived; some of them I never did learn, 'cause they more or less had a copyright on them; they'd never infringe each others' copyright" to a particular song. After a song there'd be applause, and they'd shout 'Ar soide th'bork!', or 'Our side of the baulk! (or beam)' meaning appreciation for the song from the people sitting that side of the room.
We used to have a Harvest Frolic, too; that's another thing what was done. There'd be singing and dancing there; that was held in the barn that the small-holders hired. That'd be cleared completely out, all the implements'd be put outside, and Uncle Walter used to do all the accordion playing. That all finished when I was a schoolboy. I had an uncle who was a good step-dancer, and they used to do these old 'swing-dances', more-or-less Victorian style, you know. They'd be singing and dancing in there till after twelve. Lots of beer drank, same as there was in here. Christmas night; lots of noise; but there's only me here now. My father was the last one to die, and when I was left here on my own that was melancholy; that's why I had it all changed in here, to make a different atmosphere. Yes, I do miss those good old times.

WALTER PARDON'S SONGS TRANSMITTED UP TO 10.2.1974
Cupid the Ploughboy
The Rambling Blade
Let the Wind Blow High or Low
Caroline and her young Sailor
You Generals All (Brave Marlborough)
The Pretty Ploughboy
The Transports (Van Dieman's Land)
Jack Tar (J.T. Ashore)
I Wish, I Wish
The Dark-Eyed Sailor
Ratcliffe Highway (The Deserter)
Lads of High Renown (Poacher's Fate)
The Broomfield Wager
Trees They Do Grow High
A Ship to England came
The Huntsman
The female cabin-boy
Banks of the Sweet Dundee
I'll Hang my Harp on a Willow-tree
Old Brown's daughter
The old miser
The British Man of War
Jones' Ale
The Bush of Australia
The Bonny Bunch of Roses
Lord Lovel
Peggy Bawn
Mowing the Barley
Seventeen come Sunday
Jolly waggoners
Cock-a-doodle-doo
The bold fisherman
The poor Smuggler's Boy
The Raggle-Taggie Gypsies
The Green Rushes
Help One-another, Boys
The Ship That Never Returned
The Cunning Cobbler

Dave Carless has a second drawing which is reproduced at the top of each of the next four pages which are given over to transcriptions of the tune and words of four of the songs:-
pg.12 Peggy Bawn
pg.13 The British Man of War
pg.14 Old Brown's Daughter
pg.16 A Ship to England came

I will also text scan and post the Peter Bellamy article in Folk News (both Peter and I wrote for that one as well) when I have time but I will be busy in the next few days - deadlines for two articles approaching and some songs and tunes to learn and rehearse for upcoming gigs.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 08:56 AM

If "vexatious pain in the neck" means "obsessive", I agree. Eight posts between 4:40 and 7:48 is a little psycho. Please learn to edit.

I'd love to hear about Walter Pardon, and don't care much for a discussion of how to properly address people, or accusations of aggressiveness. You know - meta stuff.

I suspect if this keeps being about the individuals involved in the discussion rather than the actual subject, it won't last.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 07:39 AM

I agree with Howard Jones about calling somebody you have not met by their given name. The bare surname seems to me more respectful and it is conventional and usual.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 07:36 AM

Regarding getting threads closed, I refer to the comments posted by Joe Offer above.

I don't intend to discuss further until I am sure that the thread I intended to start, focussing on research methods, ideology and lack of clear factual information, etc.is considered a legitimate topic for the 'knowledge' section of Mudcat. I don't see why it should not be: comment on linked ideas has been part of a PhD cited on this thread. It is or should be possible to discuss such matters without it being said one is making 'accusations' or being 'combative' and 'aggressive'.

Relating to material on Pardon: I have found a couple of references to magazine articles which I cannot locate. One is by Peter Bellamy (published in Folk Review, August 1974, pp.10-15) and the other by Karl Dallas (published in Folk News, August 1977, pp.14-15). I have searched Jstor in vain.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 07:11 AM

Just out of curiosity, does anybody know which Union, if any, was Pardon a member of? I ask because I have seen his 'trade unionism' lauded, yet Hillery describes him as a self-employed small businessman, or words to that effect, and suggests that this is why his parents put him to an apprenticeship, so that he would not be an employee.

@ Jim Carroll: I answered your question precisely. You may of course make whatever inferences you like from my response.

But for me, you have no basis for your conclusion that I have no grounds for my comment. The reason for this is that you have not asked the right question, which would be one about methods, not one asking for a list of pieces that I had heard about. I commented that I found some research methods dubious. What is your understanding of the phrase 'research methods'?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 07:08 AM

It is usual practice when writing about someone in such a context to refer to them initially by their full name and then by their surname only, and I agree that it should not be seen as disrespectful. I faced a similar dilemma when contributing much earlier in this thread. I never met him, and I saw him perform only once. For me to call him "Walter" would feel disrespectful, it would seem presumptuous and over-familiar. To write "Walter Pardon" every time would be long-winded, while "Mr Pardon" seems too formal.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 06:58 AM

I take it from that evasion that the answer to my question is a resounding "NO" in which case, you have no grounds for your accusations
I will not respond you aggression such as yours and strongly suggest that nobody else will
That way we might, just might be able to manage to treat one of our most important traditional singers with the decency and respect he deserves
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 06:50 AM

I would be interested to hear my interlocutor's views on the pros and cons of the interview as a research method, and ways in which well-known flaws such as interviewer bias can be avoided.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 06:48 AM

I am asked the following question:

Can we assume from your comments that you have listened to the interviews carried out by Pat and I, Mike Yates, Bill Leader, Karl Dallas, Roy Palmer.... and all those who took the tie and trouble to travel to remote East Anglia to visit and share his company
If not, on what grounds to you base..... "The methods used by some of those investigating Pardon did not seem to me to be rigorous" ?

The 'grounds' (to use the questioner's word) I have for more my honest statement of a reasonable assessment are, as stated in the quoted piece, 'the methods used by some of those investigating'.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 06:38 AM

You might start by referring to him was Walter, or, if you insist, Walter Pardon - that is how those of us who knew and respected him knew him

Yes, indeed I might, but I choose to use the bare surname, a convention which certainly does not imply any lack of respect.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 05:38 AM

Can we assume from your comments that you have listened to the interviews carried out by Pat and I, Mike Yates, Bill Leader, Karl Dallas, Roy Palmer.... and all those who took the tie and trouble to travel to remote East Anglia to visit and share his company
If not, on what grounds to you base..... "The methods used by some of those investigating Pardon did not seem to me to be rigorous" ?
Such aggressive statements do not auger well for this discussion
Some of your other questions imply that Walter was a liar as they are based on what he said

I strongly suggest that you re-thing your combative approach to this subject before another thread on Walter is closed
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 04:47 AM

You might start by referring to him was Walter, or, if you insist, Walter Pardon - that is how those of us who knew and respected him knew him
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 04:40 AM

1 Extant 'Research' on Walter Pardon

I had prepared a list of all the references I could find to articles that mentioned Pardon, but I put it on one side when the thread was closed and I suspect I shall have to start all over. There is only one main 'academic' source, though I have found passing references in other texts. I'll put this up later if the thread survives. It is more up to date than any of the lists I have found online.

2 The Intended Topic of This thread: it may be worth checking that it is acceptable to moderators. I called the thread 'Review: Walter Pardon Research', meaning that I hoped it could 'review' the written (and filmic) work about Pardon

May I set out again the topic that I intended this thread to cover. I assumed that the word 'knowledge' as applied to this section of Mudcat might include debate of a slightly more abstract sort about the literature on folk music in general and on Walter Pardon in particular. The word 'review' in the thread title was intended to indicate this.

Why did I think this sort of thread might be interesting? There are several reasons. I noticed several things when going through the stuff about him that I found online:

A The material tended to say as much about the ideological perspectives of those writing it as it did about Pardon himself. This applies to Mike Yates' use of a Marxist approach for one essay even though I am happy to accept Yates' assertion that he is not a Marxist, just a person who sometimes finds a Marxist approach useful. Put briefly and simplistically, and following Hillery, the ideology in question could be described as that of the 2nd UK folk revival. I am too young to have been involved in this, and it seems a matter of 'historical' interest to me in terms of 'knowledge' about folk music. I intend no disrespect to those involved, but It seems obvious to me that as the zeitgeist changes, as they do over time, more and more people will take this sort of approach, just as people now look back on Child and think about how his approaches to the ballads reflected his historical context.

B There were contradictory or unclear ideas about, for example, the sources of his songs and about whether he 'preserved' the tunes by playing them on his melodeon or whether, due to the musical limitations of that instrument, he changed them, this explaining how come his tunes were different at times from those traditionally used for the songs in question.

C The methods used by some of those investigating Pardon did not seem to me to be rigorous: there was use of leading questions, for example. This casts doubt on some of the 'findings' set out as a result. One example of a technique which might be questioned in places would be the use of questions requiring 'yes/no' answers. I am sorry if those involved feel upset by my pointing this out, but it is certain that if in the future people go back to these interviews to try to get a handle on Pardon these points will be made. I do not wish to disrespect the passion or commitment of the investigators involved, but I have no doubt that the approaches to an investigation can affect the results.

I fully accept that I have only recently encountered the work of Walter Pardon. He is seen as important, as far as I can make out, because he is said to have learned his songs 'the traditional way', though how far even that is true seems questionable, given his own assertions that he did not sing them at the time.





2 a


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jan 20 - 03:15 AM

I think Walter's contribution to folk music was astounding. As was that by the Copper family, Fred Jorden, Scan Tester and many other source artists. At the risk of being set upon though I will admit that not all of it is my cup of tea and not being able to listen to more than a few songs at one sitting. I know this is my fault and by working at it I may get more out of their work by working at it but, to be honest, I don't want to do that. Shallow? Maybe. Short of time? Definitely!

Jim did very kindly send me a CD set of "The song carriers" some years back. Thanks again Jim:-) I did find it hard going at times but persisted and learned a lot. I must try to find them again. Or download another set? Is that still an option? At the risk of thread drift into other source artists though, does anyone have any recommendations for what a Gnome of limited attention span and a liking for English dance music may enjoy?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 10:20 AM

OK, the thread is closed.


Jim Carroll wanted a public explanation. Here it is.

Here are the statements posted by Jim Carroll, after he had been warned to stay on topic and not to engage in combat. These statements got the thread closed:
    As far as Pseudonymous role in all of this, given his behaviour, he should not even be here - he has (hllf) been described as a (T)roll by a moderator and no troll should ever be taken seriously
    What next - should we hold an enquiry as to whether Travellers are "Thieves, poachers and scavengers" alongside discussing their role as Tradition Bearers?

    "Carroll/Shaw "
    It really is time this abusing o membesr stops Jowe - it is becoming trollism in its own right
    There are no "factions" here
    Jim Carroll

    I am going to respond to Jowee's remarks fully in the hope that he has the courage yo leave my reply up
    I do not "go bonlers if someone disagrees with me"
    If I do, can someone produce an example of my doing so
    I have not insuted anybody here (apart from the toll who has opened a hate thread aime at me and spread personal and inaccurate details over the forum (whih were left there several days befor being removed)
    I argue as articulately as I am able whenever I disagree with something
    If that is going "bonkers" I must get a new dictionary
    I have been told by a mod (not Joe) that I must stop arguing - Joe has described by doing so publicly as "troublecausing"
    If we can't disagree passionately ofver things we feel are important, what the hell can we fo

    Noe Joe - where exactly have I gone "BONKERS"

    Steve Shaw has been dragged into this yet he has posted twice to this thread and we hardly meet on other threads, yet he is presenting us as some sort of a Cabal
    Soething appears to be going on here and I have no idea what it is Perhaps a public explanation might be in order
    Jim Carroll

    Thak you for giving what I said consideration Joe - really is appreciated
    Jim

    I've said why I recte openly to trolls Steve
    As much as I agree with you in general, the fact that the one in question has been allowed to behave as he has unchecked for about three years tended to duggest that ignoring him wasn't working I didn't make my reactions a running bttle (as I used to), but I felt in necessary to remind people who should have stopped him years ago that he was still at it
    As you say, the reaction was to place the blame on his victims, so one became a pair, so to speak
    Jim

    Aa reluctant as I am to post to this thread until the toll is dealt with


2 January 2020. OK. I'll reopen this thread, but I'll leave all the extraneous crap in it to show why this thread got closed in the first place. Please use this thread to discuss Walter Pardon, and nothing else.
-Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor-


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Iains
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 10:15 AM

Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 06:03 AM
Thanks. I'm off out of the thread but I shall continue to follow it with interest, as long as it's about Walter,

So why drag me into your pathetic puerile squabbles shaw? I have contributed zilch to this thread.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 10:14 AM

Yes, I am a guest poster...that does not make me a troll. On this forum anyone who disagrees with Jim is a Troll. Jim is a victim...of his own lack of self awareness and his inability to see any point of view but his own.
As a result of having read parts of this thread I have gone away and listened to a fair amount of Walter Pardon, about whom I knew very little. What I heard I enjoyed for the most part. However, I could not listen to a lot of him at once as I find it hard to make out the words..is that just me or is he a bit of a mumbler ?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 10:08 AM

Brian Peters wrote:

"It's getting quite tedious having to keep coming back and rebut some of the nonsense that keeps pouring forth, but it needs to be done in case gullible readers are taken in."

Brian, I am with you on some of this, though I feel you might have expressed yourself with greater courtesy.

May I refer you back once again to the opening post in this thread:

"A basis for discussion.

Walter Pardon: Fact, Fiction, and Ideology.

Walter Pardon (1914 – 1996) was a carpenter, singer and melodeon player (largely self-taught) from Knapton, Norfolk.

Let us try to sort out a few facts about Pardon upon which everybody might agree. This is more difficult than one might think. As soon as one starts to compare different sources it seems that material presented as ‘fact’ by one source is contradicted by another, and is, after all, not so much a fact as an inference. Therefore, what follows is intended as a first draft, to be corrected in the light of any further evidence."

That seems quite clear to me. I am happy that this sets out my perspective. Outlining the ideologies underpinning the way Walter Pardon has been presented is, perhaps, one way of preventing 'gullible' people from simply accepting what they are told, hook, line and sinker without critically examining the material they are being presented with.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 10:04 AM

Pseudonymous, I think you misunderstand. I think not using someone else's party piece is default good manners. On that basis Walter not singing some of the songs that that he did sing later is unremarkable.

I find it curious that mention of such etiquette is so common in accounts of older singers. As if the singers of the revival needed to be reminded of what was natural. I wonder if they wiped their feet when they came inside.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:53 AM

I have no intentuion of helping re-open a discussion on Walter's eating habits based on gossip that should never have happened in the first place
twenty years after his death, as far as I am concerned it has no place here
Jim


ha ha ha ha ha


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:43 AM

Jag

I've encountered this stuff about not singing other people's songs at sessions. It happens. And within families, I can imagine traditions develop in terms of who sings what.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM

As it happens, I read the story about what Pardon asked his neighbour for when he went there for his tea as demonstrating his good manners. You ask for something that does not trouble your neighbour too much, something modest. And you never ever tell your host you did not like what you were offered. The stuff I forced down as a child due to this rule (jellied chicken stuff is an example I shall not forget and still gag at the thought of).

For me the key thing in that interview was the concern of Pardon's friends in the village to protect him from potential harm after his discovery, which they seemed to think might have adverse effects on him. Luckily, as far as we can see, this did not happen. He may even have made a bob or two out of it.

Different people will interpret the 'text' ie the film differently. Fact of life. Part of what makes it difficult to get at 'truth' about Pardon, as it happens.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:24 AM

I crossed with a couple of posts there. I don't see why it's important that he didn't sing the whole repertoire when he was younger.

I don't get this mystique surrounding people not singing other peoples songs. It just sounds like good manners to me.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM

But whether or not I shall feel inclined to share the list here is another question. We don't much like the way I have been insulted and smeared.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM

Aa reluctant as I am to post to this thread until the toll is dealt with
"He then started singing them in his own style. Is that correct?"
Yes he did
I have no intentuion of helping re-open a discussion on Walter's eating habits based on gossip that should never have happened in the first place
twenty years after his death, as far as I am concerned it has no place here
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Brian Peters
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:14 AM

It's getting quite tedious having to keep coming back and rebut some of the nonsense that keeps pouring forth, but it needs to be done in case gullible readers are taken in. I'm still waiting for the OP's response to my spotting his inaccurate portrayal of Roly Brown's review,but let's proceed to a couple of other dodgy claims:

"If I remember aright, even the claim that Pardon's grandfather learned his songs from broadsides has been challenged on this thread"

You do not remember aright. Jim Carroll reported WP's own opinion that his grandfather learned songs from broadsides, but goes on to say that the picture is 'confused' because it rested on hearsay evidence from Uncle Billy. That's hardly a 'challenge', more a caveat.

"So why should anybody be wanting to debunk the idea that Pardons granddad learned the songs from broadsheets?"

Nobody actually tried to 'debunk it', though (see above).

"The grounds for the challenge was itself potentially dubious, claiming that the family were 'hoarders' which for me evokes images of people with some sort of clinical condition."

I've searched the thread and can find no mention of 'hoarders', or even a hint of it. Exact quote, please?

However, it seems that Pardon himself stated that he believed that the broadsides were thrown out when there was a clear out after his grandfather's death."

Again, a source would be useful, rather than "it seems". It's often unclear whether statements like this are referring to interview material pasted verbatim into this thread, or other sources at the end of (not always functional) links.

More to follow...


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:13 AM

"The key here is Pardon's assertions that he did not sing the songs." (Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 07:04 AM)

That does not square with what Walter told Jim

"They each had their own particular songs for these occasions. Apparently no-one wanted THE DARK EYED SAILOR so that was Walter’s song, or sometimes WHEN THE FIELDS WERE WHITE WITH DAISIES. They all knew the tunes but everybody was very protective of their own songs and did not want others to learn them. As the favourite youngster, Walter was the only one to whom Billy Gee would give his songs but none of his contemporaries wanted them anyway; they would only learn new songs as they came out." (Jim Carrol 09 Nov 19 - 05:58 AM)

By the way, I just noticed that the Carroll/Mackenzie essay that comes from was titled "A Simple Countryman?". Note the question mark.

If I understand the various writings correctly, most of the songs in Walter's repertoire came from his family, as a youngster he sang some of them (two are listed) and learned others from his uncle Billy and from the singing of his family. He then started singing them in his own style. Is that correct?


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

Hillery's thesis threw up a few more items for the 'resources' list in the form of articles about Pardon which I did not have on my original list. I'll draw up a list of these later.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:02 AM

When asked by researchers after his discovery, Pardon was asked about differences between the way he sang songs at that time (ie after his discovery) and the way he sang them in the past. Pardon says quite clearly that he cannot answer the question because he did not sing them.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:54 AM

Speaking for myself, I interpreted the comments about Walter's food preferences as nothing more than affectionate reminiscences by people who were acquainted with him.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:36 AM

The traditional way of singing was often around the home an example was Sarah Makem there was a bbc film made in the 60s that bears this out. Walter sang at home, so it seems he was singing in a similar situation to the ulster singer Sarah Makem. Sam Larner differed from this in that he was a singer who sang AT HOME in pubs, so what?


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM

Dave the Gnome :) :)


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:28 AM

I shall assume, unless Joe Offer explains that this is wrong, that it is acceptable to critique and comment upon the research methods, reasoning, and ideological bias of those who have produced material relating to Walter Pardon, including Jim Carroll.


My view is that it should be possible to offer such a critique without it being taken as a personal assault or responded to as such.

If this assumption is incorrect, I would be happy to hear it, as this would clarify things.

I shall also assume (bearing in mind before anybody raises this, that one should not necessarily be applying aesthetic criteria from what the Americans call 'art music' to vernacular singing, that it is possible and reasonable to offer a view on the quality of Pardon's performances, as these survive via recordings, that is other than adulatory. Again, if this is not acceptable, I should be glad to know it.

@ pfr takes one to know one :)


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:22 AM

Still a draft.


So we have some 'facts' about Knapton, drawn largely from Shepherd's study of that village in the 20th century. It was not cut off in Pardon's youth, as has falsely been asserted within the Pardon industry.

It had local gentry and skilled craftsmen as well as a range of more and less specialised agricultural labourers and gardeners.

It had a railway station in the 19th century. It had both church and chapel, and one of the chapel luminaries, Amis, was also a figure in the history of the Labour movement. Pardon is known to have attended youth groups run by the chapel. It had a range of music, barn dances to fiddlers.

There was a school in Knapton in the first half of the 18th century, not a church school. Not certain but must have been endowed/paid for by somebody, presumably some of the local gentry? It was not a church school, that is clear.

It had the beginnings of a tourist industry as early as before WW II.
Social events ranged from Sunday School outings to presentations of the plays of Shakespeare. There were some council houses in Knapton pre WW II. They got electricity in the 1940s (47 I think)


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:17 AM

Walter was described as having eccentric eating habits

No he wasn't. A good friend of his commented that he liked to have a fried egg with brown bread and vinegar for his tea when he went to her house so that is what she gave him. No one but you is describing that as eating like a pig or being eccentric. You are, once again, being irrational. Or to give it another name, bonkers. I dread to think what you would call me if I told you what I eat!


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:08 AM

Back to the beginning:


A basis for discussion.

Walter Pardon: Fact, Fiction, and Ideology.

Walter Pardon (1914 – 1996) was a carpenter, singer and melodeon player (largely self-taught) from Knapton, Norfolk.

Let us try to sort out a few facts about Pardon upon which everybody might agree. This is more difficult than one might think. As soon as one starts to compare different sources it seems that material presented as ‘fact’ by one source is contradicted by another, and is, after all, not so much a fact as an inference. Therefore, what follows is intended as a first draft, to be corrected in the light of any further evidence.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:56 AM

And if I have said something which does not reflect the facts (few as they appear to be), happy to be corrected and to learn, which was partly the point of the OP. Win win situation for me.

Thank you all.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:48 AM

I am struggling to find evidence that Pardon ever sang his songs in a traditional way ie context, as opposed to concerts and folk clubs, all of which are modern non traditional contexts.

The idea that his style was learned from Billy is contradicted by a lot of other evidence, including Pardon's own.

My granddad was a better singer.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:09 AM

It seems to me it might be a good idea to get a thread entitled Walter Pardon, uncritical praise and fan contributions only. Because then somebody might say something to the point regarding his singing style and technique. Apart from Carthy's over the top praise of his 'timing' (AKA strook), there has been surprisingly little. I know this is difficult, (and again, Hillery sets out some of the more technical difficulties in describing music) but it was striking to me that so few people have found anything to say on this, even those who want to prevent anything other than adulation.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:08 AM

"That is how walter as descibed"
Walter was described as having eccentric eating habits
As far as I am concerned bringing up the eating habits of anybody, particularly one of Britain's most important traditional singers is beyond belief
I know Walter well enough to know he would have been both embarrassed and bemused at such behaviour as he would have been about one posters (in the past) describing elderly people's dress habits as "tit trousers"
Such insensitive (at the very least) behaviour has no place in discussions of our old singers
I suspect your continued "bonkers" assertion is is a sign of guilt as much as anything else - at least I hope it is
I suggest you try putting yourself in the place of the person you are writing about Dave

I've said why I recte openly to trolls Steve
As much as I agree with you in general, the fact that the one in question has been allowed to behave as he has unchecked for about three years tended to duggest that ignoring him wasn't working
I didn't make my reactions a running bttle (as I used to), but I felt in necessary to remind people who should have stopped him years ago that he was still at it
As you say, the reaction was to place the blame on his victims, so one became a pair, so to speak
Jim


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:04 AM

Recap

1 A helpful poster early in the thread mentioned a thesis by David Hillery, which is very interesting. Hillery compares the work of several 'traditional' singers, including Pardon.

I shall have more to say on this later. However, at one point, he shows awareness of the issues I raised at the outset, namely the biased ways that Pardon and his life are sometimes presented. Hillery's point is a wider one. He homes in on the way the places where folk singer live tend to be presented. He thinks that these places tend to be described as isolated. He thinks this is because it suits the agenda in terms of something like cut off from the wider world, more likely to be unaffected by outside influences.

This is exactly what I thought (as mentioned above) when I found within the output of the Pardon industry (look that word up in a dictionary if you find its use here odd) assertions that Knapton was in the early years of Pardon's life 'cut off'. The 'evidence' for this was that the roads were not 'made up' (made of tarmac?). Quite apart from the fact that we had a thriving economy before tarmac was invented, so the idea is itself very very odd, those who came up with it and even published it seem not to have done their background research. This would have demonstrated, as I said, that Knapton had a railway station in the 19th century, serving both passengers and goods.

But I was pleased to see that I am not the only one who looks back at the literature produced in the Revival and more generally on folk and sees how biased and selective its reporting can be.

2 I double checked on Pardon's early links with the Methodist chapel in Knapton. Shepherd's history of the place lists several names as attenders at a youth group there. Pardon's name appears along side others; the list seems to have come from old records, and it includes other residents born at around the same time.

Knapton during Pardon's time experienced all sorts of music and culture, including amateur Shakespeare, entertainments with wind-op gramophones etc.

3 If I remember aright, even the claim that Pardon's grandfather learned his songs from broadsides has been challenged on this thread, and this comes from Pardon himself in an early interview. The grounds for the challenge was itself potentially dubious, claiming that the family were 'hoarders' which for me evokes images of people with some sort of clinical condition. However, it seems that Pardon himself stated that he believed that the broadsides were thrown out when there was a clear out after his grandfather's death.

4 It has been explained that the importance of Pardon comes because he learned his songs the traditional way. Of course, he didn't learn them in quite a traditional way, and I think Hillery also picks up on this. The key here is Pardon's assertions that he did not sing the songs. Singing the songs might be viewed as a key part of learning in the traditional way.

5 @ Steve Shaw: This thread is not meant to be a 'love in' in praise of Walter Pardon. It is meant to take a look at the way he has been presented via sleeve notes, web pages, lectures, etc etc and to try to sort out fact from opinion.

6 Yes, I am an anonymous poster. Deal with it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 06:03 AM

You may be a moderator, Joe Offer, and you may think what a great idea it is to calm things down with your cod-moderate posts, but this sort of Aunt-Sally stuff is not only fake news but it is also highly inflammatory:

I fully realize that the Carroll/Shaw faction thinks all this is the fault of Mudcat, that we should control anyone that Carroll/Shaw deems to be objectionable. And for the most part, they are correct in thinking that such people and posts are objectionable. I won't argue with them on that - but yet they claim that Mudcat is "supporting" these objectionable people, which is certainly not true.

There is no "Shaw/Carroll faction." We do not ask you to control people on the basis of our finding them "objectionable." The objectionable nature of posts is generally self-evident and those posts don't need any "deeming" by me or Jim or anyone else. I for one have not accused you of "supporting" objectionable posters, though your arbitrary treatment of the people here who you don't like is positively eyebrow-raising at times when set alongside the indulged horrid behaviour of trolls who call people Jew-haters, bog-trotters, Abbottamus and the rest, and yes, I've raised that with you a number of times. You are rather good at excusing yourself from taking the awkward actions you should be taking (in m'humble - it's never my gig) and you do it by shoving the blame on to victims. As for Jim, I and a number of others have pleaded with him, in the forum and by private message in many occasions, to ignore troll posts, so I have no idea as to what you mean by "faction." I absolutely agree that the best policy is to blank these people out. But by blaming the victims of trolling, which appears to be your only modus operandi, you are simply inflaming the situation. I've got very good in recent weeks at ignoring Iains, but it still irks me to see moderators having a go at Jim and not him when Jim, ill-advisedly in my opinion (and Jim is fully conversant with my opinion, be assured), chooses to respond. Even if you can't see it, I can plainly see which of the two of them is infinitely worse.

Quite right, I haven't posted anything much at all about Walter Pardon but I've read the thread. But I would ask anyone who thinks that this somehow disqualifies me from posting to the thread, let me just remind them that I've been a signed-up member of this forum for many years and I unfailingly post under my one and only real name. So save your criticisms, please, for the anonymous non-member who opened this thread in the first place. Thanks. I'm off out of the thread but I shall continue to follow it with interest, as long as it's about Walter, and there's much constructive comment about him to be made in spite of this thread's bastard nativity.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 05:58 AM

That is how walter as descibed

No it wasn't. Yet another bonkers assertion.


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Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 05:21 AM

"Oh - and he ate like a pig"
That is how walter as descibed and if you describe putting that up as "not quite bonkers" we have different attitudes toward our traditional singers
We really are on opposite sides here, aren't we
Thak you for giving what I said consideration Joe - really is appreciated
Jim


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