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The importance of Source Singers

Jim Carroll 17 Mar 20 - 12:11 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Mar 20 - 12:22 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Mar 20 - 12:33 PM
Lighter 17 Mar 20 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Starship 17 Mar 20 - 01:04 PM
Brian Peters 17 Mar 20 - 01:24 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Mar 20 - 01:31 PM
r.padgett 18 Mar 20 - 03:16 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 20 - 03:41 AM
The Sandman 18 Mar 20 - 04:28 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 20 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 18 Mar 20 - 06:41 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 20 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,CJ 18 Mar 20 - 12:19 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 20 - 12:44 PM
The Sandman 19 Mar 20 - 02:52 AM
The Sandman 19 Mar 20 - 03:33 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 20 - 04:26 AM
The Sandman 19 Mar 20 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 19 Mar 20 - 05:08 AM
The Sandman 19 Mar 20 - 05:11 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 20 - 05:36 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 20 - 06:15 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 20 - 06:48 AM
The Sandman 20 Mar 20 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 20 Mar 20 - 06:48 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 20 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Starship 20 Mar 20 - 09:22 AM
The Sandman 20 Mar 20 - 10:36 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 20 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Starship 20 Mar 20 - 10:50 AM
Iains 20 Mar 20 - 11:03 AM
JohnH 20 Mar 20 - 11:16 AM
Vic Smith 20 Mar 20 - 11:53 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 20 - 12:09 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 20 Mar 20 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 20 Mar 20 - 12:55 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 20 - 01:03 PM
The Sandman 20 Mar 20 - 03:30 PM
The Sandman 20 Mar 20 - 03:41 PM
Iains 20 Mar 20 - 06:14 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Mar 20 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 21 Mar 20 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Mar 20 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 21 Mar 20 - 03:12 PM
The Sandman 21 Mar 20 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 23 Mar 20 - 05:28 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 20 - 05:32 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Mar 20 - 06:17 AM
Howard Jones 23 Mar 20 - 09:10 AM
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Subject: Origins: The imporyance of Source Singer
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 12:11 PM

Earlier I posted this on the Harry Cox thread


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Subject: RE: Origins: The imporyance of Source Singer
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 12:22 PM

Sorry that went off before I'd evens started
THis is one of the postings that I would lave liked to see debated on the now closed thread, perhaps it might be used here to open a discussion on the importance fo our old singers
Jim Carroll

A number of events stand out when meeting source singers which sum up my feelings towards their contribution to folk song

Martin Reidy was a toothless old bachelor who lived with his dog on the slopes of Mount Callan
When we met him, he had no electricity or running water and lived in a three room traditional cottage roofed with Moher flagstones, part of which (over what used to be his bedroom) had collapsed, so he moved to the other end of the house
Up to the time he became known as a local singer, he'd never travelled further than our County Town, Ennis (about ten miles away)
When he was taken to perform at The Cork Folk Festival, he stepped out of the car, looked up and down the busy main street and said "A fine bit of a village"
He had the longest songs I'd ever heard - one lasting over fifteen minutes
We'd been recording him one afternoon when he turned and said, "You know, I was delighted when you people started to record my songs - I was so worried they were going to die when I did I tried to teach Topsy (his dog) to sing them"
MARTIN

Pat MacNamara was a singer and storyteller from North Clare, not a great singer, but with many dozens of songs, and lon, long stories which he told superbly - mainly wonder tales
We recorded him over three years and came away with a goldmine each time
The last time we visited him, the afternoon before we left for home, he gave us a list of songs and stories he said he hadn't sung for us yet and would "tell to us next time you come over"
He said, "If I'm not here, come up to the graveyard and I'll tell them up to you"
At Christmas, we received a Mass card from the local publican, Mrs Considne, telling us Pat had died
PAT MACNAMARA

Also from North Clare, Martin Howley was a singer and old-style concertina player with a fascinating repertoire of rare songs, including the only version of 'Fair Margaret and Sweet William' (Child 74) to be found in Ireland (or anywhere else for a very long time) which he'd got from a heavy-drinking local Travelling woman - he confused everybody by referring to it as "The Old Armchair"
On our last visit to him, he had been ill so we didn't expect him to sing for us
After five minutes he said, "Have you the tape recorder"
Pat said we'd been told he was ill and didn't want to bother him with that; he replied: "I'm a poor man (a road labourer); I have nothing to leave but my songs - I want you to have them".
Martin died the following winter of cancer of the eye which could have been easily cured, had he not preferred to put his trust in St Joseph's Holy Well at Liscannor, which had 'the cure' for such things
MARTIN HOWLEY

It's when you meet people like these, who have loved and cherished these songs all their lives and for some strange reason have been "grateful" to those who disrupted their lives and took advantage of their hospitality to record them, that you realise how important they were to them - it is a betrayal of their trust not to treat them and their songs with respect and not to pass on their precious legacy


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Subject: RE: Origins: The imporyance of Source Singer
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 12:33 PM

Should have included these links
MARTIN REIDY
PAT MACNAMARA
MARTIN HOWLEY

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The imporyance of Source Singer
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 12:51 PM

> you realise how important they were to them - it is a betrayal of their trust not to treat them and their songs with respect and not to pass on their precious legacy

Well said, Jim.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The imporyance of Source Singer
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 01:04 PM

Ditto what Lighter wrote.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The imporyance of Source Singer
From: Brian Peters
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 01:24 PM

Some lovely comments from the singers there, Jim.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The imporyance of Source Singer
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 01:31 PM

"Some lovely comments from the singers there, Jim."
They were full if it (lovely comments, that is)
Walter Pardon once summed up his long version of Van Diemans land in a single sentence - "That's a long old song, but it was a long old journey"
I don't think ou can beat that for succinctness
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: r.padgett
Date: 18 Mar 20 - 03:16 AM

Very few source singers still with us sadly ~ but surely their memory is important as are their songs and life

It is good to know that their songs and voices have been recorded ~ now we are of course left with what is, has and should be done with these recordings in terms of "the living tradition" ~ I believe that revivalist singers should always listen very carefully to "how" these songs were sung as the source may well have been greatly influenced by his/her source and new learners may lose the songs sense and understanding

Ray


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 20 - 03:41 AM

My feeling exactly Ray
There has never been the opportunity we have at present to examine what these singers said and sang - I only hope there is enough interest left to take advantage of that opportunity
I was struck while watching 'The Norther Fiddler' by how the younger generation of musicians haven't jused used what the older generation, like John Doherty, left, but have embraced it and made it part of their own musicianship, the result being that some of them are playing as good, occasionally better than their forebears
As Paddy Glackin has pointed out on numerous occasions, twenty odd years ago we believed we would be the last generation to appreciate this music and song
Now, he, his brother Kevin, and Kevin's daughter have become leading figures   in the traditional music renaissance, simply by going back to the sources rather than constantly searching for 'a new sound' (as was once tried)
Now they are doing both comfortably
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 20 - 04:28 AM

What comes across to me is that Jim and Pat saw them as friends the singers were as important as the songs. the songs belong to us all, they do not belong to the collector, although we must be thankful to the people who collected them even if very occasionally the song collector did not treat the source singers with respect.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 20 - 05:15 AM

"occasionally the song collector did not treat the source singers with respect."
In Fairness Dick, most did - a few gluggers
It's when the songs got taken up that the problems began
The copyrighting of 'arrangements' is, to my mind immoral
All folk songs are somebody's arrangements - the ones who in the ear of the Music industry get to claim their as their property
Sure - all people have a right to be rewarded for the work they put in, but surely that must include the source singer ?
A suitably compromise for me would be to make it mandatory for anyone claiming arrangements of traditional songs to contribute a percentage of their claim to a fund which somehow benefits the continuance of the music
EFDSS seems the logical arbiter on that, but given the path they seem to be taking..... !!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 18 Mar 20 - 06:41 AM

I never met Harry Cox nor Walter Pardon, but am very grateful for the research and recorded material made available by Jim C in particular.

If he's right about younger folks in Ireland listening to the source musicians & singers rather then the perfectly valid 'revival' versions by such as De Dannan and the Dubliners, then that is very healthy indeed!

I never watch TV nor listen to FOLK programmes, but have been recently been very impressed by one Lisa O'Neill, heard on 'Front Row' on BBC radio and also an amazingly atmospheric storyteller called Clare Muireann Murphy on Michael Rosen's 'Word of Mouth'. thMaybe they are examples of this trend, because they really were quite striking to an old traditionalist (HOWEVER DEFINED!) like me-they've obviously been listening!
I've never forgotten early encounters with such as Willie Scott, Paddy Tunney, Jack Elliott and Bobby Casey and for me they were a crucial influence, so let's hope young folk absorb a bit of it, as well as the social context?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 20 - 07:26 AM

It's true about the young ones Jim - you only have to watch some of the many programmes One of the mosy exciting aspects is the emergence of family members of musical families like those from ELIZABETH CRONIN's family
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,CJ
Date: 18 Mar 20 - 12:19 PM

Jim, having spoken to Nell, I don't believe she is actually related to Elizabeth Cronin. I seem to recall that Elizabeth Cronin became a Cronin by marriage and even then, Bess Cronin's husband's family weren't / aren't actually related to Nell Ní Chróinín's. Fine singers both, of course, and I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 20 - 12:44 PM

Thanks CJ - I wasn't too sure, but there was a programme on young singers that featured Nell where she was filmed outside Liz's home - maybe I'm assuming wrong
Cronin is a common name in that part of the world - I suppose you know the song, 'Trip to Gougane

"We had Buckleys, and Healys, and Sullivans too
The Learys, a Connell, a Roche and a Drew
Such a crowd of McCarthys I ne’er saw before
And the Cronins were there by the dozen and score
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 02:52 AM

The copyrighting of 'arrangements' is, to my mind immoral"
the amount of money that is paid for arrangements is tiny in comparison to composed music, it ids in my case more about the acknowledgement of artistic and creative music arrangements are the work of a person or people and their work should not be stolen by others, that is in my opinion the point of copyrighting, not the few coppers that available.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 03:33 AM

PERSONALY I do not object to anybody using my arrangements providing they credit me when they perform them and credit me when they record them , it is not about money.
likewise i will generally mention the souce singer for example windy old weather i mention harry cox, talk about the point of the song and a liitle about the singer, it is abouit respect and acknowledgement.
Kennedy was disrespectful, he pinched my arrangements and tried to sell them and he got a rep for not treating source singers as well as he should


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 04:26 AM

We differ then Dick
I'm not suggesting for one minute that you shouldn't be acknowledged for anything you've written, but when it comes to traditional songs, you a only one of a very long line
No-one has ever had to ask a traditional singer's permission before they can sing one of their songs - why should anybody have to asks yours ?
When it comes to paying for the right to use 'an arrangement, that becomes an atherosclerosis (a nice big word for the academics) - a blockage in the arteries of a music that is in the public domain
When you introduce the payment element into public domain music it also has the effect of blurring the line between that which is free to all and that which isn't and invariably sets the PRS- IMRO vultures a-swooping - an added expense to a musical genre with enough difficulties already
I'm sure you are aware of the distasteful McPeake's - Rod Stewart wrangle ofev 'Will You Go Lassie, Go'

I got very tired when going around the London clubs, of hearing singer after singer stand up and announce "I'm going to sing a Martin Carthy song" then give forth with something we got from Harry Cox or Sam Larner or Charlie Wills
It may be nit-picking, but you tend to notice that sort of thing
I still get very angry when I think that an 'arrangement' of an extremely rare ballad - the rarest ever - could be bought by an already well-heeled musician who has little claim to folk anyway
Doubly so when you remember that the singer it was obtained from died from the results of malnutrition after having been found squatting in a derelict house in Roscommon
That his admirers have put up a plaque to his memory is to be admired, but I would much rather he was treated as a human being when he was alive

An vital part of understanding the significance of our folksongs is understanding where they came from and who gave them to us, which is why I tend to bridle when I believe they are being misrepresented or disrespected
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 04:57 AM

jim its not about singing the song, it about using an EXACT instrumental arrangement that is someone elses artistic work, neither is it about the money it is about acknowledgement, mentioning the arrangement, for example if a performer got up and sang brigg fair the correct thing is to say this is carthys guitar arrngement, the source singer was joseph taylor, it just requires a little bit of thought ,and knowledge and interest in the roots of the music


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 05:08 AM

"An vital part of understanding the significance of our folksongs is understanding where they came from and who gave them to us"


But on the basis that nobody knows where they came from, better to say that. Otherwise you are just acting as an ideologically-inspired mediator or starry-eyed fantasist.

All this stuff about I like Shakespeare and therefore I can make aesthetic judgments about whether a song was written by the labouring classes or put together by a hack and I judge that this is in the former category isn't really a crowd puller but that is what a lot of it amounts for (with the exception of MacColl, who is, put simply, God).


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 05:11 AM

however we do know the source singers , and mentioning them is of importance


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 05:36 AM

"But on the basis that nobody knows where they came from"
We know where we got them just as w e know what you think of those who gacve them to us
I seem to remember you are one of those who would with to claim 'arrangements'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 06:15 AM

I don't intend to mar this so-far friendly thread with a head-to-head with abybody
I opened it to discuss the cvlue of traditional singers, fout from the paper-bound academics I believe they have been under attack for some time now
They have been shifted from being the possible makers of out folk songs to passive recipients who parrot them, their songs become copyright-able if arranged and it is "starry-eyed fanaticism" to speak up on their behalf
I don't thing there is need for me to say more - my point is being made for me far more adequately than I could possibly manage

MacColl and Seeger did more work with young and inexperienced singers than anybody else in the revival and neither believed in sky fairies
They left a body of work on singing behind that has yet to be examined, never mind tried
I hope to open a thread on their work as a singing researchers rather than a wartime politicians and banjo strummers, if I am allowed to
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 06:48 AM

"far more adequately than I could possibly manage"
Especially considering my typos there - in the middle of breakfast - sorry!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 06:03 AM

any musical arrangement whether it is by Vaughan Williams or Martin Carthy IS COPYRIGHTED to protect the artistic effort of the musician, to steal other peoples arrangements and not acknowledge it is known as plagiarism.Msartin is dilgent in acknowledging source singers as are most revival singers of trad material these days


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 06:48 AM

I'm not convinced about this 'arrangememts' business, Dick. I couldn't copyright my 'arrangements' because like most singers/musicians with a base in traditional material, every time I play a tune or sing a song, it's a slightly different version!
OK- sometimes I just forget bitsthe words/notes....
Isn't that partly what makes our music so enjoyable- when you have a tune in common with someone of similar ability, when you actually play it together for the first time, it's a one-off experience because it's NOT arranged.

I can see the point of copyright and arrangements, and I abhor slavish copying, but applying these too strictly gets far too close to the classical approach for me


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 07:05 AM

Vaughan Williams has made folk songs something else entirely - he ised the tunes, not the words
Martin Carthy should know better than to copyright folk songs
The only time MacColl ever fell out with Like Kelly was when the Dubliners copyrighted folk songs he learned when he was living in England   
Says a lot about Ewan that he would point that out to a friend, just as it says a lot about Kelly who took his advice
All folksongs are arrangements by their very process of continuation
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 09:22 AM

"All folksongs are arrangements by their very process of continuation"

Interesting observation and a good one. The copyright process is a shambles as it is, and until such time that copyrights gain international accord/agreement the process will continue to be a mess. There are many songs that have multiple 'owners' when in fact only one person created the song. 'Shenandoah' is one such example. IMO, no one other than the original creator of the work should have a copyright for that song, and the writer is long dead. I expect arrangers will scream blue murder about that, but then so will the re-arrangers and the re-re-arrangers. 'Lakes of Ponchartrain' is another example. Copyrighting someone else's work is not right, but it happens frequently. It's a disgusting practice.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 10:36 AM

no one copyrights the songs they copyright an arrangement, that is their own artistic work., their arrngement


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 10:37 AM

It could be made less so by making it mandatory for those who wish to to make a donation to a fund to assist the continuance of popularising folk song, i my opinion
I have no idea who could administer such a fund, but once it is agreed in principle, I'm sure someone could be found
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 10:50 AM

That's true, Sandman. Pardon me for confusing theft and pilferage.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Iains
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 11:03 AM

Just started reading this thread
Cronin is a common name in that part of the world - I suppose you know the song, 'Trip to Gougane
I am assuming it is Gougane Barra midway between the Borlin Valley and
Ballingeary (the Cork Gaeltecht) Plenty of Cronins in both areas and Ballylicky, and north on the Kerry side is the fiefdom of the Healey Raes at Kilgarvan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: JohnH
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 11:16 AM

When a singer misses out a verse or a line or two, by forgetting or learning from a "defective" source, does that count as an arrangement? I can think of some that have been learnt from well-known singers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 11:53 AM

Jim Bainbridge -
I couldn't copyright my 'arrangements' because like most singers/musicians with a base in traditional material, every time I play a tune or sing a song, it's a slightly different version!

This puts Jim in the same class as a lot of traditional performers. Let's just consider a few that I know (or knew) well:-
* Jim's greatest hero (and mine) was Davie Stewart. I was fortunate to hear him many times during his latter years. His melodeon accompaniments are endlessly inventive and he made his own musical rules for them. He sounds a lot of the time like a piper who has taken up the squeezebox (which he was!) The words of the songs were never settled and he could invent verses as he performed to suit the situation. On his Topic album he ends off one of his songs with a few lines suggesting that it would be a good time to stop recording and have a cup of tea.
* You could never expect Gordon Hall to sing a song in the same way twice. If his songs were not long enough to start with, he found ways of segueing seamlessly from one song into another. I can remember him singing The Sussex Molecatcher and some time later he had blended it into The Drowned Lover and I remember thinking "When did that happen?" He would sometimes sing a song straight and then go into his parody of it.
* I have many recordings and printed versions of songs sung by Willie Scott including quite a number that I made myself. Willie's changes of phrasing and use of words were quite slight. It felt to me that he was unlessly trying, consciously or unconsciously to polish his songs into the perfect version.
* In the last 50-odd years, I have heard four generations of The Copper Family singing - five if I include the recordings of Jim & John - and the famed home-made harmonies of their singing change from generation to generation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 12:09 PM

I am assuming it is Gougane Barra
That's the one - a superb example of both a loclly made song and West Cork Humour (for from Con 'fafa O'Driscoll - worth seeking out)
We fisrt heard it from Diamuid Sullivan, from that area
Jim Carroll

Full text here
Trip to Gougane
I am one of those jolly young lads from the cross
I’m fond of amusement and fond of a glass
With a thirst I can’t quench and a heart that is free
Sure everything else plays the divil with me
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

On that holiday morning just after first mass
We started our away on our trip from the cross
In two hansom cars that were hired for the day
All waiting there ready to take us away
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

We had Buckleys, and Healys, and Sullivans too
The Learys, a Connell, a Roche and a Drew
Such a crowd of McCarthys I ne’er saw before
And the Cronins were there by the dozen and score
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

We had girls also all dressed up so neat
And to make our enjoyment entirely complete
We paid for them all without making a case
With the worth of our money knocked our of their waist
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

‘Twas to sweet Ballingeary we first did draw near
Where we moistened our lips with some drops of good beer
Then we started again just as fleet as the fawn
And about on o’clock we rolled into Gougane
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

We were both tired and thirsty when the horses did stop
And each man was smacking his lips for a drop
We jumped down from the cars and our band we struck up
And we marched in a body straight into the pub
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

There were some that went boating on a lake near at hand
While others went drinking till they couldn’t stand
Sure we thought we’d see sights that would dazzle our eyes
Yerra divil the sights, only mountains and skies
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

So we started for home then before ‘t would get late
And the horses were going at the divil’s own rate
I thought that they surely would fall down on the road
Before they could carry such a drunken old load
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

When we reached Ballingeary we looked for some bread
But ‘t was boxes of biscuits they gave us instead
And their bellies being empty by each mother’s son
We finished twelve boxes before we were done
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

No good porter the owner had in his Hotel
But a bad brand of stout that had failed him to sell
And in order to fool us this clever old coon
Good porter was hid in a private back room
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

The people came running to see what was the score
Some ran to the windows and more to the door
Saying who are these people all dressed up so swell
Others saying they’re swanks from the Abbey Hotel
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

We returned to the cross when our trip it was o’er
Where we filled ourselves up with the porter once more
We recovered our senses next morning at dawn
And that put an end to our trip to Gougane
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

Notes
The song, often sung by the late Johnny Cronin of Inchegeela, is very popular in the Muskerry area of West Cork and Gougane. It refers to a jolly excursion to the great beauty spot Gougane Barra where St. Finbar had his monastery.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 12:15 PM

I've heard a couple of song-makers (and singers of this material) speaking of how erroneous words have become the usual version (of a line). And this has become the case with regard to familiar verses by a poet from Monaghan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 12:55 PM

Vic, I wouldn't put myself in the same class of those source singers,, I just think it's an unconscious attitude among people who've listened to those great influences & absorbed more than the notes?

Yes Davie Stewart was a wonderful, if unpredictable performer & if a little bit of that has rubbed off on me, I'm very happy about that.

About ten ?? years ago & quite independently, your pal (& mine) Dan Quinn & I put the same tune on individual CDs about the same time.

It was 'Lena- a Schottische' which I'd picked up from a 78 by
the International Novelty Quartet - I think Dan said the same.

Anyway, we were at the same event somewhere & when we found out the coincidence, we decided to do a duet version!

It was great fun & had that frisson I mentioned earlier when playing a tune with another musician for the first time. However, at the end, we realised our versions were complementary but quite different!
Dan then said, quite rightly, that neither version was bore much resemblance to the original!!
-could we have copyrighted it as a joint arrangement?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 01:03 PM

"the Healey Raes at Kilgarvan"
Known in West Clare as The CODFATHERS
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 03:30 PM

Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: JohnH - PM
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 11:16 AM

When a singer misses out a verse or a line or two, by forgetting or learning from a "defective" source, does that count as an arrangement? I can think of some that have been learnt from well-known singers."
no, i am talking about instrumental arrangement
what jim bainbridge says is irrelvant, the fact that we all on occasions play an arrangement differently live, does not alter an arangement when it has been recorded for example on a cd, lp cassetee
someone else comes and uses that recorded arrangement of a song puts it on a recording without acknowledgement ,this is exactly what kennedy did to me and he sold his bootleg for financial gain, is that ok ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 03:41 PM

so kennedy thought because he collected the song he owned it and also owned the musical a arrangement, nobody owns a traditonal song but they do own their own musical creative recorded arrangement that is the law whether you like it or not,


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Iains
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 06:14 PM

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 12:09 PM
Thanks for the words to the song Jim.
Here is another from Inchigeela: Inchigeela Lass
https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4921720/4893577/5178767?ChapterID=4921720


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 03:32 AM

Thanks for that Iains
That collection is the most important one to finally become public in Ireland, as yet totally unexplored
I saw it in its originl glory in UDC about 1975, in a line of floor to ceiling slide out filing cabinets - about a dozen of them, full of schoolbooks containing handwritten songs, stories and pieces of lore taken down by hand by children from their local neighbours
The man who took us around, Bo Almquist (strange feller) told us they would make it available one day - a long time to wait
If anybody wants evidence that people living in the countryside could make songs - that's where to go - thousands of songs just like that one
THIS ss one complaining about women changing their hairsyles, made in Corofin, a few miles north of here, sometime in the 30s
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 06:34 AM

Dick, maybe you should be more specific about what exactly PK did to you before sounding so bitter?- is it on another thread?
I have no idea, although I know a lot of people have said similar things about him.
If you record an arrangement of a 'traditional' song or tune and copyright that arrangement, whatever the law says, it's totally against the spirit of the music in that it restricts its natural development through history.
The fact that charlatans have copyrighted songs with no known author is a sad fact of life, and copyrighting 'arrangements' is only a little less damaging as far as I'm concerned- whose music is it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 07:27 AM

Caan't fault that Jim
Kennedy was a shark but doing what he did, on a smaller scale is just as immoral
(the other) Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 03:12 PM

..and he left a hell of a mess behind him. The fallout was still there when I was collecting in the 1980's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 03:35 PM

jim bainbridge, i am talking about an arrangement of a song , not other people singing the song. it is not against the spirit of the music to expect people to acknowledge somebody else creative arrangement , the music is about passing on the songs acknowledging source singers and if using an arrangememnt that is someone elses artidtic work acknowledging it i am not botherd about the pittance from trad arr, i have discussed kennedys action before. it does not restrict its movement people can make up their own arrangements, as i did.
right now i have to find an old second hand car, my gigs have been cancelled, i havent got time for this


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 05:28 AM

Yes Dick- plenty of problems these days- best of luck with yours. We obviously disagree, but maybe we'll continue this later.

The thread title however is something I totally agree with, and I think you do too.


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 05:32 AM

Re: Dick, maybe you should be more specific about what exactly PK did to you before sounding so bitter?

Musical Traditions have an article (MT article 212) called 'Peter Kennedy - The Darker Side', with contributions from various people who came into contact with Kennedy. This is what Mike Yates had to say (hope that he won't mind me using this).

The following points are random and set down as they have come into my head:
1. I once phoned Peter Kennedy to talk about an unrelated matter, when I mentioned that I had been recording George Spicer for a Topic LP. There was a pause, then Peter said, “You can’t do that. His songs are all copyrighted to me.” I explained that I was not using any song that Peter had previously recorded from George, when Peter was working for the BBC, and Peter replied “No, he signed a contract which says that any songs remembered by him in the future will be my copyright.” To be honest, I’d never heard such rubbish in my life. So, I just laughed and said something like, “OK. See you in court, then.” Needless to say, we never heard from PK when the Topic LP came out.
2. When I visited the Appalachian singer Clarice Shelor in Virginia in 1980, I was asked if I knew PK. I said yes, and was told that Peter had previously visited Clarice, spending no more than 20 minutes with her, during which time he managed to record a few songs. Peter had said that he was late for an appointment, hence the hurry, and that he would return the following day. “But he never came back. I wonder what happened to those recordings?” I just did not have the heart to tell Clarice - a lovely lady, by the way - that the recordings were then available, to buy, on one of PK’s Folktrax cassettes.
3. When I began to collect in south-east England, I soon came to expect the question, “Do you know Peter Kennedy?” and I soon realised that a positive answer was not necessarily a good thing. I lost track of the number of English singers who had been recorded by him and who had heard no more from him.
4. Kenneth Goldstein sent PK copies of some recordings made by the American collector George Carpenter. These were sent as a present and clearly marked for his own use only. These were promptly issued by Kennedy as two Folktrax cassettes - but withdrawn when Kenny got to hear of this. Kenny was livid. (Told to me by Kenny Goldstein).
5. PK always carried a one-page contract form with him, that he would have singers sign, once he had recorded them. He told me that the idea came from Alan Lomax, who always used such a form.
6. I’m quite certain that many of the Scottish songs issued by PK on Folktrax cassettes were issued illegally. Take, for example, the Jean Elvin songs recorded for the BBC by Seamus Ennis. These were issued as part of a Folktrax cassette. I have issued a Jean Elvin song on Kyloe (a Hamish Henderson recording) and when I contacted Jean’s family was not surprised to learn that they had no idea that the songs had been issued by PK. He also issued material by Willie Mathieson; again, when I contacted the family, they had no knowledge of these recordings being issued. (Recordings not made by PK, I should add).
I recall that Kennedy objected to Topic using ‘his’ BBC recordings for Vol.19 of Topic's VoP series. He demanded payment and Topic finally agreed to pay him, so that the set could appear. I believe that Kennedy was the only collector that Topic paid for use of material for the series.


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 06:17 AM

Kennedy reached the peak of his vulture-like behaviour with the matere=ial he was sent of Traveller John Reilly by collector, the late Tom Munnelly
When Tom started out, Kennedy was helpful with advice so, when he 'discovered John Reilly, he sent a number of his songs 'for your interest only'
John was in desperate straights and died as a result of his illnesses, so Tom decided that all proceeds should go to a fund to help Traveller children
- Tom informed Kennedy of this
Shorly afterwards, the recordings appeared on the Folktrax label, no payment, no acknowledgement
No payment was ever made and no appeal ever acknowledged
As Seamus Ennis, who worked with him on the BBC project, once said about him - "That man was a thief"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 09:10 AM

It should perhaps be pointed out that the copyright in an arrangement and the copyright in the song itself are quite separate things. The arranger cannot claim copyright over the song itself. Where royalties are payable, these are shared between the arranger and the composer. Where the composer is "trad" that doesn't increase the arranger's share. Furthermore there has to be a degree of complexity and originality for the arrangement to be copyright, simply putting the three chord trick to a melody isn't sufficient.

The same goes for transcribing a traditional song - the transcription is copyright, not the song itself. No one can reproduce that particular transcription without permission, but they can make their own transcription from the original source and they will own the copyright in that.

This gives musicians protection for their own artistic contribution while leaving the original material in the public domain.

There may have been cases where others have succeeded in registering copyright in a traditional song to which they are not entitled. The copyright agencies cannot be expected to know the entire corpus of music they manage, so mistakes can be made. Where there is a known composer they can be expected to protect their own copyright, but folk songs don't have the same protection unless someone is willing to challenge an unjustified claim. Kennedy got away with his alleged activities because no one was able to challenge him. That is a fault in the system but it is one of enforcement, not principle.


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