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Review: Walter Pardon; Research

05 Nov 19 - 11:36 AM (#4017283)
Subject: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.

The Facts?

There seems to be general agreement that Pardon was discovered as a singer in the 1970s, during a 20th century folk “revival”. According to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Pardon (accessed 3rd Nov 2019), this discovery happened when Pardon’s younger relative, Roger Dixon, to whom Pardon had sung songs when he was a boy, persuaded him to record a number of songs on tape.

Another useful source is the MUSTRAD web site has a section on Pardon, incorporating sleeve notes from a 2000 issue of a selection of his work (Article MT052). Mike Yates and Rod Stradling provided this resource. I refer to it as ‘MUSTRAD’ throughout. However, as will become clear, the Mustrad material includes contradictory information and the material in it needs evaluating carefully to distinguish fact from opinion.

Pardon’s parents were called Thomas and Emily (nee Gee), and he was their only child. It seems to be common ground that Pardon came from a musical family. He grew up and lived in a farmhouse previously occupied by his maternal grandfather, Thomas Cook Gee. The 1861 census gives Thomas’s address as ‘Hall Street, Knapton.’ The Hall in question would be Knapton Old Hall, a late 16th century farmhouse which is now a listed building. Pardon’s farmhouse was called Parr’s Farm Cottage.

Thomas Cook Gee is said to have played clarinet in a church band. Pardon has been cited as stating that Thomas could read music. Thomas and his wife Ruth had 12 children (source Familyhistory.org), at least five of whom in their turn made music or sang: Pardon’s mother, Thomas, Walter (a melodeon player, see the full MUSTRAD piece which is below), Alice and Billy. Some of the male members of the family had in the past been involved in singing in the public house. It would appear that Pardon himself did not, the tradition having died out by the time he came to a suitable age. Walter was literate, education being compulsory in England when he was born. He knew some history, citing the date of Forster’s Education Act in an early interview. In the 1930s, during a time of economic depression, Pardon spent a lot of time with his uncle, Billy (1863/4 ? - 1942), who is believed to have taught Pardon a number of songs. During World War Two, Pardon served in the British Army, again as a carpenter. He never married, and he lived for most of his life in the house where he had grown up.   From 1957, when his father died, Pardon lived there alone. There was a long period, possibly stretching to 20 years, when Pardon did not sing, but played tunes to himself on a melodeon.

Pardon had access to much of the standard technology of his time: he had a collection of 78rpm records and a radio.

Pardon’s route on to the folk scene seems uncontroversial. As has already been explained, Pardon was ‘discovered’ by a second cousin (sometime incorrectly described as a nephew), Roger Dixon, who became a teacher of history and then later the Rev Roger Dixon < https://www.mardles.org/index.php/magazine/blogs/item/169-roger-dixon-s-important-role-in-the-discovery-of-traditional-norfolk-singer-walter-pardon> (accessed 4th November 2019). Dixon had taken an interest in Pardon’s singing while a boy. Eventually, Dixon persuaded his uncle to record himself singing, and the question of whether Dixon lent Pardon a reel-to-reel tape recorder or whether Pardon has its own has different answers in the material. Dixon passed the recordings on to a ‘revival singer’ called Peter Bellamy, a former pupil of his. Bellamy contacted Bill Leader, who was among other things a sound recordist, who issued two albums of Pardon’s work and retained the copyright of at least some of it.

After his discovery, Pardon sang in public for eight or nine years, mostly, it would appear, in The Orchard Gardens public house quite club close to home. A number of records of his work were issued. He was interviewed a number of times and was the subject of two films.      
According to Jim Carroll, writing on the Mudcat discussion forum <23rd March 2009 >, it was not always possible for Pardon’s booking agent, Carroll’s partner Pat Mackenzie, to obtain gigs for Pardon: ‘Oh, we don't book singers like that; we only cater for the modern stuff.’
Pardon’s public singing career came to an end in 1989, when he felt that his voice was no longer up to the job. His singing, and some of his spoken words, may be heard free online using ‘Spotify’.

The Sources

I have already referred to the Mustrad information. This discussion of the background to the issuing of some CDs of his work, apparently dating from 2000, may be found on the MUSTRAD web site here (accessed 3rd Nov 2019). It is liner notes to a double CD release. This material, valuable in many ways, raises a number of important questions about the presentation and framing of Pardon and his work.
A number of people took recordings of Pardon’s singing, including himself (for Roger Dixon); Bill Leader; Mike Yates; Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie (some of whose recordings were proposed for a release that did not happen, various perspectives on this are expressed online); Sam Richards and Mike Yates.   Yates produced what was intended to be a recording of the whole repertoire, and wrote a series of pieces on this, for MUSTRAD.

Pardon was interviewed by a number of folklorists and journalists. Accounts of some of these interviews have been published, and recordings of at least one are available on line at https://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Reg-Hall-Archive/025M-C0903X0048XX-0700V0 (accessed 3rd Nov, 2019). Unfortunately, we do not always have dates for these recordings, though the BL one is dated. Transcriptions by Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie of one (or more?) interviews with Pardon were posted onto a Mudcat discussion thread headed ‘Traditional Singers Talking’ by Jim Carroll in 2014. These are undated, unfortunately. However, they raise important and interesting questions about research techniques and interviewer bias which I shall discuss below. Moreover, the thread itself is a source of lively debate about a number of related issues.   

As already indicated, two films were made about Pardon: one, called ‘The Ballad and The Source’, was by a visiting American called John Cohen; the second, narrated by Brian Gaudet, was made by Edge TV long after Pardon’s death. This latter film may be viewed on YouTube. It shows Pardon’s home to be called Parr Farm Cottage or house, currently valued at over half a million pounds (Zoopla).

I have already mentioned the MUSTRAD site’s section on Pardon. Also available on that MUSTRAD site is a piece that Pardon himself wrote for publication, following discussion with active members of the folk revival at that time. This piece was a reminiscence of a local pipe and drum band in which some of Pardon’s own family had played. http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/pardon2.htm#kdfb (accessed 3rd Nov 2019).

In addition, in 1981 Pardon was interviewed by Peta Webb for a BBC2 television programme called ‘The Other Music’. See < https://eatmt.wordpress.com/walter-pardon> accessed 4th November 2019.

Other material relating to Pardon available online includes a number of obituaries,

Problems With The Data

1 Where did Walter get his songs?

I’ll begin by noting that it is not always possible to establish precisely where Pardon learned a particular song. I don’t know if this is important, but it seems to be true, and worth stating on that basis. While some sources seem to suggest that he learned all of them from his uncle Billy, it has been stated (Mustrad) that he sometimes gave contradictory accounts of where he learned a particular song to different interviewers.   Peta Webb writes that Pardon told her he learned some from his mother and some from other uncles.   Mustrad cites Mike Yates as believing that Pardon got most of the words for one song in the CD compilation from a book called ‘The Wanton Seed’ by Frank Purslow.   Finally, Mike Yates asserts on Mustrad (Article MT054 - from Musical Traditions No 1, Mid 1983) that Billy owned a book entitled: “The National Agricultural Labourers' and Rural Workers' Union Song Book.” Some of Pardon’s material is in this book and may therefore have come from it via Billy. Mike also asserts that he does not think that Walter would link together the material in this essay, which is headed by a quotation from Marx, in the same way that he does.

And where did Grandfather Thomas get the songs he supposedly passed on to Billy? MUSTRAD demonstrates how many songs sung by Walter can be demonstrated to have 19th century origins: on one level they look like the popular music of Thomas’s time. Pardon seems to have asserted that his uncles Billy and Tom learned their songs from, their father, and that he got them from broadsides. He gives Billy as the source of this information. MUSTRAD provides us with further food for thought, and, for once, the information is presented as a conjecture rather than as fact: ”The late Al Sealey told me of an informally organised 'pub circuit' of music hall gigs which used to operate in East Anglia right up to the early 1930s, where second-string semi-pro performers would put on shows of their own songs together with the popular hits of the day. This might help to explain the huge number of good, though not widely known, music hall type songs still to be found in the area.”

2 Where did Pardon get his style?

Similar problems about obtaining precise knowledge extend to assertions about the origins of Pardon’s style. If memory serves me right, this is another area where Mustrad presents different theories, ranging from his style comes direct from Billy (implication being presumably it is authentic/tradition/folk, to assertions by Pardon that his style is his own, especially the downwards swoop he uses time after time at the end of a word.

3 How did Pardon conceive of the songs he sang?

In an early interview , Pardon is quite explicit that he and his family did not think they were singing folk songs. He states that he did learn some folk songs at school. This interview seems to me to be important because it could be argued to represent Pardon’s thinking at the start of a career in which he would be associating with many people with strong, often ideologically-based, views about what ‘folk music’ is/was/ought to be.

4 How Did Walter Remember So Many Songs?

While Pardon in one of his earliest interviews described writing down words of songs Billy sang, as Billy had missing fingers and could not write. Martin Carthy in the Edge TV film asserts that Pardon kept them alive by rehearsing them in his head. Somewhere else it is said that Pardon started writing songs down after Billy died. But if so, who is to say where he found the words he wrote down?

MUSTRAD SITE

Again, I emphasise that this site is a valuable and interesting resource. If interested, search the site using ‘Walter Pardon’ as a search term. Many of the pieces seem to have been produced as part of commercial packages of Pardon’s music. But as soon as one begins to read it carefully, one realises that in places it offers contradictory information, and that much of the text represents inferences, generalisations and opinion, rather than facts. This is not necessarily a criticism; but it is, I believe, a fair observation. To be fair, in a piece on ‘The Socio-Political Songs of Walter Pardon’, Mike Yates writes: “It should be stressed at once that these songs have been placed together by myself: and not by Walter, who I suspect would not link them together in the manner that I do.” What is welcome here is Yates’ ability to recognise and acknowledge his own ideological framework. At several points material on the Mustrad pages acknowledges that contradictory information relating to Pardon is already in the public sphere.

Another interesting comment is one made by Roly Brown http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/pardon1.htm (accessed 5/11/2019) to the effect that nobody has considered the possible links between Pardon’s work and his collection of 78 rpm records. My thought here is that the last thing that the folklore establishment would be interested in doing is comparing the singing style on these 78 rms with Pardon’s own. Some of the songs are now digitally available, and there seems to me to be very strong similarities, in, for example, some of the trills Pardon uses from time to time.


This MUSTRAD site includes a list of songs in Pardon’s repertoire, together with comments on the authorship and dates of origin of some of these songs.   (NB This information may or may not represent the current state of knowledge and thinking on the songs.) The web site is ‘signed’ at the bottom by Rod Stradling and Mike Yates. Michael Yates certainly wrote four sections: ‘Walter’s Recorded Legacy’, ‘The Walter Pardon Discography’, ‘The Walter Pardon Repertoire’ and ‘The Listings of Walter Pardon’s 78 RPM Gramophone Records’.

This site is divided into sections, including one entitled ‘In his own words’. It refers to ‘several conversations and interviews (see Credits below)’ but the credits have proved impossible to locate, and on that basis, it is difficult to know when Pardon said what and to whom. Another section is headed ‘Personality’. This includes information about Pardon’s house. Because the author regarded Pardon as having ‘major status as a singer’ by this time, and says that the meeting giving rise to this section took place not long after a US visit, we can date the visit to sometime in or just after 1976. Pardon is described as an avid reader who liked to discuss what he had read.   As is to be expected, the pieces are something of a mixture of fact, opinion and anecdote. At one point, the writer mentions notes he took when he met Pardon, but the online text seems to have been produced decades later and it isn’t clear exactly what the notes were about.

While journalistically it makes sense to create word pictures of a person drawing on a range of interviews given over time to different people, what this makes it difficult or impossible to do is to trace how the subject of the piece changed over time.

A person who, early after his discovery, was denying singing folk songs cannot have spent so much time surrounded by the ideologues of the revival without picking up on their attitudes, without understanding, in a sense, what they want from him and the language in which they discuss song. The 'data' on Pardon as a traditional singer supposedly produced by so many interviews is hopeless polluted by all this, not to mention the leading questions that his interviewers appear to have been so fond of using.

I think this may be true especially of a man with a sense of history, demonstrated in the early interview where he cites the date of Forster’s Education Act. For me, claims about what Walter said or thought taken from interviews in which the most obviously leading of questions are asked, claims often designed to support a narrative in which Walter features as a ‘traditional’ or ‘folk’ or ‘source’ singer are hopelessly bogged down in a methodological and philosophical mess.

One can see that Pardon ticked a number of boxes for the enthusiasts of the 70s revival: he was elderly, he was rural, he sang old songs, he sang in tune, he was amenable to being recorded (in circumstances where he lost the copyright, I note) and he seems to have enjoyed performing in public.


05 Nov 19 - 11:51 AM (#4017290)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

All a bit too much to take in right now,
but I'm doing a bit of homework
inbetween domestic chores, and dealing with today's new problems..

The last time I made any effort to find out about 'source singers'
was a good 10 to 15 years ago,
and I've forgotten nearly all of it by now..

So this is a useful refresher, thanks...


05 Nov 19 - 12:06 PM (#4017292)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

Yes as Brian Peters says on another thread Walter Pardon appeared at Whitby ff circa 1977 ~I remember being there! He sang two songs and then Watersons sang and he sang two and so on I remember ~ chorus songs I believe

That was the only occasion I saw him!

Quite a bit of biography and notes on his early vinyl and latterly CDs ~like "Put a bit of powder on it father" all I suspect still available from Musical Traditions?

Ray


05 Nov 19 - 12:14 PM (#4017294)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Ray

I don't know what is available now, though E Bay might be a place to look! We could compile a list of what is now available new and put it here. There is a discography in the Mustrad materials, and one online too at discogs, though this does not seem to be complete.

See also the marketplace here:
https://www.discogs.com/sell/list?artist_id=1705261&ev=ab (NB I'm sure other sources are available, as they say, and I am not recommending any. I use Spotify, which has plenty.)


05 Nov 19 - 12:22 PM (#4017296)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I can see lots of little mistakes myself already, eg having established that Roger Dixon was not a nephew I then refer to Pardon as his uncle! But it is a start in drawing stuff together.

I did search MUDCAT using Walter Pardon as a search term before posting, by the way, and I think the main bits are represented or mentioned. But as it says, this is a draft and open to revision.

One thing I would like to know (and maybe Mudcat isn't the place) is whether the Thomas Cook Gee on the electoral register for Norfolk prior to 1915 is Walter's grandfather. Because there were some requirements, and it seems to me that a man in a position to learn to read music may have been a little higher up the social scale than the lowest paid ag lab. It would be nice to fill in a bit more social history, but that's just me. Things fluctuated, I have ancestors who could write and had some sort of small-holding, then in the next generation they are signing with crosses and working in pits (but still getting TB).


05 Nov 19 - 12:35 PM (#4017298)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Just a suggestion..

according to family legend..

[ I really must do some proper family tree digging..]

My grandad went straight from orphanange to army as a band boy.
I'm guessing the military might have educated him to read music...

If so army service might be a factor in late 19th cent / early 20th cent,
labouring class music education & skills...???

While a soldier, and later as a respected Dunkirk veteran,
my grandad also played popular songs in dance bands and pubs...


05 Nov 19 - 12:44 PM (#4017299)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Starship

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/pardon2.htm


05 Nov 19 - 12:48 PM (#4017300)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Also, his brother in law, my great uncle, was a self-taught multi instrumentalist.
Uncle had a spotty pre ww2 work history in menial factory jobs and such.
He also had a reputation as a bit of a work shy layabout.
That I again guess would give spare time for self education and free thinking,
until being shoved into essential war factory work..

Sometime along the way he learnt to read music for playing in pub sing songs...

Which is how I remember him from the 1960s...

Working class self education movement and public libraries
matterd significantly in the early 20th century...


05 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM (#4017301)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Thank you starship. I do reference this in the opening piece, but it is useful to have a quick link.

Put a bit of powder on it:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=put+a+bit+of+powder+on+it+father&view=detail&mid=E67624FB087B38234C8CE67624FB087B38234C8C&FORM=VIRE


05 Nov 19 - 12:50 PM (#4017302)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry better link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=86&v=XKmYiSA_Xyg


05 Nov 19 - 01:09 PM (#4017304)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

not forgetting worker's social clubs in provincial towns in the early 20th century..

Centres for a pint, some grub, entertainment, recreation, and education...


05 Nov 19 - 01:12 PM (#4017305)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

PFR

I too had wondered about the military bit. It is often said that soldiers did sing a lot, so it makes sense to assume that some influences may have crept in there.

I had an ancestor who was a military music professional and blush to think of some battles he would have fought in. I know that if you went down this route you did get a good grounding, and many made a career in music after leaving the army. But I doubt they would have given training apart from marching in time to a carpenter in Aldershot! My ancestor was more or less a rag and bone man (scrap metal dealer) in later life, though he also did concerts in the park.

I agree about self improvement late Victorian early 20th century. Libraries, I remember those!


05 Nov 19 - 01:16 PM (#4017308)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry pfr And another relative I had played pub piano purely by ear, despite being very deaf, and could not read one word of music. No idea at all how he learned: should have asked. Much much too late now! People do have amazing musical talent without training!

Sorry I was thinking that Pardon might have at some level been influenced by his military service. I realise you were on a different track. I must not fall into the trap of not reading before responding, there is enuff of that …

Bacon and egg butty time.


05 Nov 19 - 01:56 PM (#4017314)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Brian Peters

Good that this thread is now up and running, though I don't have much time to contribute just now. Briefly:

"...he and his family did not think they were singing folk songs. He states that he did learn some folk songs at school."

My understanding is that traditional singers in general didn't refer to their repertoire as 'folk songs', at least until they met academics or folk revivalists who did. It was usual (and Jim will tell you more) to call them 'old songs', or 'Daddy's songs', etc. If WP differentiated the 'folk songs' he'd learned at school from those in his family repertoire, we can only assume that his school was not using Sharp and Baring-Gould’s book, since WP would have surely recognized common titles, and the general style. Perhaps he was taught that the ‘National Songs’ Sharp so despised were actually folk songs?


05 Nov 19 - 02:09 PM (#4017321)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say by this article. It seems to me, although this may be coloured by some of your comments on another thread, that you are somehow trying to debunk the idea of Walter Pardon as an important traditional singer. You even seem to suggest that he was really no such thing. I'm sure Jim will be along in due course to challenge this but in the meantime here's my two penn'orth.

Firstly you seem to have a misguided idea of what a traditional singer should be. The idea that a folk singer should be an illiterate peasant untouched by outside influences was inaccurate even in Cecil Sharp's time. Pardon was a man of the 20th century, more or less contemporary with my own father, and of course he had some education and was literate. Of course he was exposed to the gramophone, the radio and the television, and it would be naive to expect that his singing style might be completely untouched by these influences. However it would also have been influenced by the singers in his family and his village. His style was his own, as to some extent is any singer's, and from one point of view is representative only of him. Most other traditional singers had their own individual styles. Nevertheless it is an example of a mid-20th century singer who has been part of a singing tradition passed on over at least three generations, but not one which existed in a state of isolation.

You also seem to cast doubt on his sources. Broadsides and written sources do not disqualify someone from being a traditional singer. Singers took songs from wherever they could find them and written sources have long been known to be part of this. You also wonder where he got found the words to his uncle's songs when he came to write them down. Could they not have been in his head? 150 songs is a respectable number, but I expect most modern singers know at least that many. I reckon I could muster a similar number if I put my mind to it, although of course it would take time to dredge them all from the recesses of my memory. What made him exceptional was that most other traditional singers had been recorded when they were much older and could recall only relatively few songs.

The concept of "folk song" is an academic one used by outsiders, and I doubt any source singer thought of their material as "folk song". I'm sure Jim will explain exactly how Pardon thought of the different songs in his repertoire. When Pardon associated the term with school I suspect he may have been thinking of Cecil Sharp's piano arrangements which were inflicted on generations of schoolchildren, and which would appear very different to his own songs.

However it is probable that he took his position in the folk revival seriously and wanted to maintain and increase his repertoire. I am reminded of another traditional singer, Fred Jordan, who was not averse to adding songs to his repertoire from revival singers, and who rather played up his "country yokel" image.

You seem to imply he was exploited when his songs were recorded. It is usual for copyright in a recording to belong to the record producer, who has after all paid to produce it, and is also better placed to enforce copyright claims. The copyright is in the recording itself, not the songs on it. What we don't know is what financial arrangements Bill Leader made with him. From what I can gather he seems to have been trusted by most of those he recorded.

You seem to think that Pardon is disqualified, or at least devalued, as a traditional singer because he was exposed to outside influences, had a broad repertoire which did not just include folk songs, and was involved with and perhaps influenced (polluted?) by the folk revival. Instead he should be seen in context, as an example a modern 20th century person who was a successor to an older singing tradition and singing culture, which still continues today in parts of East Anglia.

Did he receive undue attention simply because he being slightly younger than most of the other traditional singers he had survived for longer and was able to be recorded and to perform outside his local environment? Perhaps, after all there were so few traditional singers left by then so any that were left were seized on, but his clear ability as a singer, as a song carrier and as an interpreter of those songs should stand for itself.

Incidentally, this article by Peta Webb on EATMT is worth a read.


05 Nov 19 - 05:02 PM (#4017352)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

as far as i understand Walter did not live in a large farmhouse, Jim should know.
Who Did Walter leave his house to? a large farmhouse , i very much douBt it PSEUDONYMOUS


05 Nov 19 - 05:17 PM (#4017358)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello and thank you for the discussion.

1 Responding to a point about copyright in the recordings made of Walter, this idea came from a discussion on the Mustrad web site. The link ref is and the quotation is "Some months later … I heard from another source that Topic had decided against the second record as the copyright to four of the Bill Leader recordings they wanted to include was owned by Dave Bulmer of Celtic Music, and thus that its production costs would be too high. Back to Mike Yates … we agreed that MT would, again, publish the record." The author is Ron Stradling.

2 Language like 'song carrier' and 'traditional singer' beg a lot of questions. It is the ideology (whether or not this reflects the truth) and the way it has affected the comments made about Pardon in the writing about him that I have encountered which interests me. Also the passion with which some people are attached to these concepts. Nobody appears to know what traditional singing was like (and this has been discussed on Mudcat).

3 Regarding Victorian Popular Music: I refer you to the material on Mustrad, especially the sections tracing the origins of material Pardon sang. I was very much taken with the number of songs for which specific composers could be found.

4 Regarding what Pardon said about himself and the songs, this raises questions about what you might call 'qualitative research methods'. And about the reporting of findings. I hint at some of these issues in the intial discussion paper. I'll repeat part of my thoughts here: for me the starting point has to be what seems to be the earliest interview with Pardon (one I think has been selectively quoted from in the past, the one you can listen to on the British Library Site. He says they did not think of themselves as singing 'folk songs' and that they called them 'old songs'. He says he heard some folk songs at school. He himself said he believed that his grandfather got them from broadsides. If that source doesn't count as Victorian popular music ….

5 I would not argue that Pardon probably came to believe that he was important. A number of the references I cite lead to people stating that they told him they thought he was, partly to persuade him to be recorded if I remember correctly. It seems to be crystal clear that his understanding would have been 'polluted' (your word, not mine, with respect) by the milieu into which he found himself pulled. One could suggest, though I accept this might be a viewed as or even be bit provocative, that he 'went native'?

6 I am not particular seeking to imply that Pardon was in any sense exploited, or that the copyrighting of his work was improper or not normal. I hope nothing I wrote gave that impression. However, I do have an impression that there was a clear attempt for whatever reason to market his singing on a commercial basis. Whether a project was financially viable is an explicit criteria discussed on Mustrad. If anything the point I was making was that the revival, like it or not, and possibly in opposition to the inclinations of some of its leaders (and perhaps to my own, I am no fan of capitalism) was involved in commercial projects. So I am writing if you like against any romantic notions that there might be that the revival was commerce free in some idealistic romantic sense.

7 It is incorrect and I feel a little unfair to state that I think a 'traditional singer' should be an illiterate peasant untouched by outside influences.

8 Thank you for the reference to Peta Webb. I had found that and already referenced it in my draft, together with comments about how some of what it says in that conflicts with/differs from accounts found elsewhere. My point was one about how different writers create different pictures/tell different stories about the same figure. You will find the reference in the list of interviews. Happy to add any other examples people have to the resource list. This is one reason for posting a draft.

9 On the concept of 'folk song' being an academic one, I can think of a lot of highly non academic people, including some people who appear hostile to 'desk jockeys' who use the term freely!

10 Regarding 'debunking' that isn't how I would put it. Deconstruct might be something like it. Investigating how the various accounts reflect the ideologies/views/ideas of those who put them forward, as, I suppose the contributions made to my draft may begin to illustrate anew. So for example, some of the points where different accounts emerge in the literature, including precisely what Pardon said about the songs and comments on his style and its origins seem to me to be underpinned by the prior beliefs of those making them.

11 In a sense I am trying to do some basic history. These accounts of Pardon are secondary sources. The question to ask is precisely what 'bias' (trying to use the word non-judgmentally) the person who produced that source may have.

12 In my draft, I refer to work produced by Jim Carroll, and to the discussion of it after he typed some of it into a Mudcat thread. I comment on this in respect of research methods. I would ask you to find it and consider for yourself whether or not the questions asked are open or closed, leading or otherwise etc. Clear or open to interpretation both by Pardon and by those reading it? Do we get dates, contexts?

Thank you for reading and contributing. Any further references would be appreciated.





11


05 Nov 19 - 05:27 PM (#4017359)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello Sandman.

Thank you for your contribution. You can see pictures of the farmhouse in the film made by Edge TV. It has an attached barn and outhouses. Much more like a farmhouse than a mere farm cottage. I don't need to ask Jim Carroll: I can look at the pictures. And so can you. Here is the reference again (it is in the original post).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=51&v=B95JAQe1Wtc

Obviously it wasn't a farm-workers' cottage when Pardon himself lived in it, as he was not a farmer. But it would be interesting to know on a social history basis how come he continued to live there: maybe it was in effect a lifetime lease he 'inherited', as happened in my own family at a time before renting got so systematised and time-limited, maybe some landlord could not find a better tenant and farming methods had moved on.


05 Nov 19 - 07:54 PM (#4017394)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

1) The "Bulmerisation" of Leader's records is a whole can of worms. The Mustrad comment simply refers to Topic being unable to use the tracks they wanted because the copyright was now in the hands of Bulmer, but I don't see what that has to do with any evaluation of Walter Pardon's singing or his role.

2) All these terms can be loaded. By "song carrier" I meant someone who was a source of songs, most if not all of which he had learned orally. By "traditional" I meant someone in an environment where the songs are passed on within a community over a period of time. Is there any question that these don't apply to him?

3) It's not questioned that a great deal of his material came from music hall and other sources. He also sang actual folk songs. Jim has insisted in various threads all over Mudcat that WP made a distinction between them.

4) The collectors have mostly been amateur enthusiasts, not professional ethnolomusicologists. They had no training and learned on the job. No doubt errors were made in the way they conducted their interviews, but that is the material we have, and it's better than nothing.

None of the old singers described their repertoire as "folk songs". That is a term which was applied by the collectors and folk revival enthusiasts

5) If he did "go native" as you put it, so what? In what way are you suggesting this somehow devalues him or his music?

I took the word "polluted" from your original post, albeit in a slightly different context, hence the question mark.

6) Depends what you mean by "commercial". If you want to make money from selling records then issuing recordings of traditional singers is not the way to go about it. These do not have a large market, even among people with an interest in folk. Producing a record costs money and that has to be recovered somehow through sales. These were produced in order to preserve the music and make it more widely available I suggest you read this Living Tradition article about Bill Leader and Topic. I doubt they made anyone very much money.

7) I am sorry you think this is unfair but you give the impression that you think that WP's exposure to 20th century culture somehow devalues him as a traditional singer in some way.

9) Perhaps academic was not the best word. My point, as made above, is that traditional singers did not use this term which was what the collectors called it. WP apparently regarded this as referring to songs he had learned at school rather than his own songs, but I am not sure what point you are making out of this.

10) Jim is probably the best person to respond to this

11) This is quite a small number of people we are talking about and their biases are probably fairly well known even when they are not made expressly clear

12) Again, this is for Jim to answer but I would refer to my answer to point 4.

I am still not sure just what you are trying to find out. On the other thread you seemed to say you were not impressed by his singing. Many who have listened to a lot of traditional singers would not agree with you, but that is a matter of taste. So what is it that you think needs re-evaluating? I still get the sense that you question whether he was really "traditional" or that you feel that the presence of so many songs in his repertoire which a not folk somehow disqualifies him as a traditional folk singer. Or is it that he did not exist in an isolated bubble but had contact with wider musical culture and eventually the folk scene?


06 Nov 19 - 01:23 AM (#4017407)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Just on the point about commercialisation, and again, without intending to criticise, on Mudcat there is a post relating to one Dave Bulmer by Fred McCormick. Some work of Pardon is on his list of works that Bulmer allegedly (I cannot vouch for the truth or otherwise of this) had the rights to and sat on, 'robbed' is the term McCormick uses. Just a little detail that interested me in the story of Pardon and what I shall loosely in case of upsetting anybody refer to as the 'folk' world.

Hope this is of interest.


06 Nov 19 - 01:43 AM (#4017409)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And of course there is a Carroll/Mackenzie article on Pardon in a collection published by the 'Old Kilforboy Society' that is missing from my references. And a piece on Mustrad, here, with, and no surprise here, reference to 'acrimonious discussion:) Said piece also appears to suggest (happy to be corrected if it does not appear to suggest this) that people have suggested to Carroll that he 'got at' Pardon. Something to add to the resources section of the next draft.


06 Nov 19 - 01:46 AM (#4017410)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

This is my favourite bit from the Pardon interviews, at the moment.
When asked whether he sings the songs differently now (undated time of interview) than he did in the past, Pardon eventually states: And as I never did sing them, you see, there was no expression I could put in.


06 Nov 19 - 02:23 AM (#4017412)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

I would say check out Musical Traditions ~MT on line and a lot of the Walter Pardon's lyrics should still be there as well as CDs even if early vinyl is like gold

Ray


06 Nov 19 - 02:24 AM (#4017413)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

Pseudonymous are you G Wallis


06 Nov 19 - 02:29 AM (#4017415)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

of course this is a matter of opinion but imo he was not in the same class as harry cox, however we are indebted to carroll and mckenzie for all their recodrings and the noting and preserving of his repertoire


06 Nov 19 - 02:32 AM (#4017417)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

and o course peter bellamy and all the revival singers who encouraged walter to sing ou.t


06 Nov 19 - 03:10 AM (#4017422)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GeoffLawes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B95JAQe1Wtc Documentary on Youtube


06 Nov 19 - 06:38 AM (#4017439)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Thanks to all. Keep the ideas coming!

Ray

I have name-checked the Mustrad articles in the OP, though I since found one I had not seen before.

Sandman

Thanks.

Of course, opinions will differ on Pardon, and this seems to me natural and reasonable. It might I think reasonably be argued that Mike Yates did most to preserve Pardon's repertoire. For he produced two CDs including work which Carroll has stated on Mudcat pages he would not have released because he did not consider it to be folk. I think Yates' view was that it was more important to have a full picture of all the songs Pardon knew.

My OP includes a list of all the people I could find who had recorded Pardon. Mackenzie and Carroll seem to have been unique in a focus on spoken word as opposed to sung recording. I have included references to Mudcat posts in which Carroll pasted some transcripts of Pardon speaking. I have also pointed out that these transcripts are not dated, which I personally think is a gap in the data.


GeoffLawes

Thanks for this. I had already put this as one of two films about Pardon that I had found. It is the one by Edge TV. It is where I found the film of him at his home.   There is also I think a third which is of a memorial event, and features a group of people singing, some of whom use harmony. Martin Carthy is on it, and gives a fine performance.


06 Nov 19 - 07:05 AM (#4017444)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Howard

Thank you for your long and considered posts.

I can see why you don't feel certain stuff is relevant to an evaluation of Walter and his work. However, one of the things I am trying to do is to get an overview of what has been written and I suppose said about Walter.

As I make clear, this material often turns out to present not fact or not just fact but also opinion and, if you like, evaluation. As I begin, I think, to show, differences between the various accounts appear.

It interests me that, as I see it, those people who have considered and written about Pardon's life and singing appear to do so through the lenses of their own 'ideological' views, whether consciously or not. Sometimes, as in the case of Mike Yates, who seems to me to have been one of the best writers on the topic, the writer is explicit about his own approach, at other times this is not the case.

Having read a number of instances on Mudcat in which Pardon has been discussed, I can see that there has been some lively discussion about the uses to which references to Pardon, claims about his thoughts, actions and attitudes, and extracts from interviews have allegedly been used to back up broader generalisations about 'the tradition'/'traditional singers'. I know that some posters on Mudcat have engaged in such discussion, and though the tone might at times have been heated, the discussions do address some difficult questions.

In a broad sense, I am looking towards what you might call a discussion of 'research methods'. This is something like a 'case study'. So if you define 'research' broadly as the generation of new knowledge, then using Pardon's life and work to justify a broader generalisation would be 'research' and questions about the validity etc of this would be questions about research. I am not the first, as I have explained, to ask this sort of question.

Questions about research methods relating to the material produced within the folk scene on Pardon have also already been raised in relation to the collection of recorded material and the use of interviews as basic data for further research. This is clear from comments made by Jim Carroll to which I have already referred.

If in 50 years time, somebody sets out to look back at the material on Pardon, I suppose that they may well have to address these questions about the bias/underlying ideology of those whose work they are using?

They will be facing questions as I have about what is fact, what opinion, what evaluation, what selectively reported etc.

So, to sort of repeat, I am not only interested in Pardon and his singing and life, I am also interested in the uses to which this has been put and the different ways in which he is thought of by those who draw upon his work in support of their own writing/lecturing etc.

I think we can agree that the folk world is one in which there are varying points of view. Most terms used within it are contended, though differences in views on Pardon do not always clearly reflect a particular position.

I have tried to use words carefully here, but know from experience that online discussion is tricky to get right, with the best of intentions.

Thanks all for the contributions.

Regarding who I am. I am me. I have been involved in what you could loosely call folk music on and off all my life, including the dreaded Morris and other branches. There was lots of music in my childhood, and a variety of music was played by my family in past generations. and I have taught my own children songs I learned from my parents, not many but some. I do not sing, but I try to play instruments. I used to have a melodeon but the sound of it drove me bonkers, the family, and the neighbours, up the wall so I sold it (for more than I had paid for it, it being a German made Hohner model). I have had a version song 'collected' though this was co-written and is acknowledged as such in its new home. It reflected the way We saw the world at that time. Whether this would count as 'folk' I do not know, as we first learned it via recorded material albeit of folk performances of various sorts.

I have academic qualifications including a degree in English Literature and, a certificate in Law (post grad level). I have been trained in research methods (different context). I have been an educator with credentials in various sectors. I have taken course on music theory, and so, for example, when references on modes appear in the work on Pardon, I have a good understanding of what this is all about.

I have read quite a few books on folk music of different sorts, and have followed with interest some of the discussions of these on Mudcat.

That is quite enough about me.


06 Nov 19 - 07:13 AM (#4017447)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

One thing missing from my list of resources (for compiling such a list is one of my aims) is any peer reviewed material. I don't know if anybody has any information on this?


06 Nov 19 - 07:30 AM (#4017448)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST

About fifteen years ago somebody - it could have been Dave Hillery - was doing a Doctorate at Durham University on Walter Pardon. Don't have any further details, but he may be worth looking up.


06 Nov 19 - 07:47 AM (#4017453)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Thank you guest. I'll see what I can find.

Later

I have discovered the work of Matthew Ord who seems to have written on sound recording in the folk revival. Maybe another point of view?


06 Nov 19 - 07:53 AM (#4017454)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

https://theses.ncl.ac.uk/jspui/bitstream/10443/3720/1/Ord%2c%20M.%202017.pdf

Well this will keep me from under anybody's feet for a while!

And it has a reference to Phil Tagg in it. Better and better!


06 Nov 19 - 08:25 AM (#4017463)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

When I was resident at Dingles Folk Club circa 1977/8, I often used to MC the club and one night I had the honour of MC-ing and meeting Walter Pardon. I saw his singing style first hand and also his rapport with an audience (a very large one as I remember). He received an extended round of applause at the end of the night.
I found Walters singing style a pleasure to hear, and his approach was much the same as Bob Lewis and Bob Copper, both of whom I met that same year. The Irish in me makes me lean toward the likes of Joe Heaney and Len Graham, and a more lyrical approach with decoration and structural variation. Walter Pardons legacy can be heard in the singing of Damien Barber, Andy Turner Ron Taylor and of course Dick Miles, who take that straight forward unadorned approach to singing that can be so effective. (but not when I try it unfortunately)
Walter Pardon was so very unusual in that he was a relatively modern singer with a huge repertoire of songs, the likes of which had only been found a century earlier in the repertoires of Henry Burstow, or some of the West country singers note by Sharp, Gardiner and Hammond.
Walter always had that extra verse that no-body else had.
The only affectation he used in his singing was his trademark descending intonation at the end of every verse of just about every song. His pacing is a lesson in restraint, and every word is delivered as if it matters, which of course it does. Bellamy believed that Walter Pardon had been ignored by the revival,(related in conversation to me) however I feel Peter was getting rapidly more and more disillusioned as we all know to our cost.
Dig that CD out and listen to Walter again. I always find it worth the effort.


06 Nov 19 - 08:45 AM (#4017464)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

Pseudonymous, if your intention is to consider collecting methodology then your subject should be the collectors. The way you have framed this (especially in the light of some of your comments on the other thread from which this one sprang) have made it appear, to me at least, like a thinly-veiled attack on Walter Pardon himself. I am still not entirely convinced this is not the case.


06 Nov 19 - 09:01 AM (#4017468)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Thanks Nick.

Pending the contribution of Jim Carroll, as predicted by another poster above, I have been thinking of some questions it might be interesting to ask him about Pardon and Jim's work with him.

Perhaps this could be a joint effort, with people chipping in ideas for a final version (which would not necessarily be produced by me)?

Just a thought.

I would like to know

1 When, where, how, Jim first met Pardon.

2 How many times Pardon stayed with Jim and Pat in London.

3 How many times Jim or Jim and Pat visited Pardon in Knapton.

4 When was the last time they met Pardon face to face?

5 Was this before or after their move to Ireland (I have no clear idea of the date of this, sorry)

Also Jim, has posted on Mudcat three sets of Q and A with Jim and Pat doing the Q. I'll call these A, B and C. They seem to have come from notes for a lecture given in Ireland. The thread is Folklore Traditional Singers Talking

A posted 18 May 2014 6.20 am and begins JC If you had the choice, Walter

B posted 19 May 6.04 and begins
10 PUTTING EXPRESSION IN. J C   Do you think that when you started singing in the clubs and festivals, do you think you think you are singing any different than you were singing when you were younger?

C posted 19 May 10.14 am and begins:
09 IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE
J C When you're singing at a club or a festival, who do you look at, what do you see when you're singing?

W.P   I don't see anything

J C You don't look at the audience?

W P No, that's why I like a microphone: I'd rather stand up in front of a microphone, than anything, 'cause that's something to look at. That's what I like, this sort of thing in front; you can shut the audience out.

I wonder whether we might learn the dates each of these (ie A B and C was recorded, and perhaps where. It would be interesting to know whether there had been any run through with Pardon. It would be interesting to know what if any planning of questions and subject matter there had been in advance.

Nick: thanks for your input. I will listen again. But Spotify has a very full selection. I had been listening to some of the songs Walter had on 78 rpm. I found some strong stylistic similarities, but I cannot remember which singer it was now. More later on this perhaps. The list is on the Mustrad pages. The material on Walter includes various claims on the origins of his style, which is one of the problems I found when trying to make sense of it all. There are two descending swoops. One not just at the end of a verse but more often. Then another higher pitched one that sounds very music hall to me. I'll try to provide an example. I seem to recall discussing Walter's style with somebody who denied that he used any ornamentation, glad to find you see that he does use some, and it was precisely that feature I found on a 78 song. One problem for me is that sometimes he just sounds a little elderly and for some reason that isn't floating my boat - as they say - just now.



Thanks again to all.


06 Nov 19 - 09:50 AM (#4017476)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

we really are indebted to walter who was determined to keep the songs alive and all who visited him , i remember sam richards used to go and visit him, and hearing him say to tish stubbs we had better eat before we get there, cos walters idea of a meal was a banana


06 Nov 19 - 10:19 AM (#4017478)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

sounds like a man after my own heart as that is exactly my lunch today with Birds Custard made from powder.


06 Nov 19 - 11:36 AM (#4017499)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

I'm told Walter's favourite tea was a fried egg Brown bread and butter and vinegar. Brings tears to the stomach.


06 Nov 19 - 12:32 PM (#4017513)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST

Yes! That was in the film about him! Could have been worse, with white bread!


06 Nov 19 - 02:16 PM (#4017534)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Another snippet of information for the piece, this one on how Walter got to gigs. Brian Peters recalls that he shared some gigs with the Watersons and travelled with them.


06 Nov 19 - 02:25 PM (#4017537)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Did anyone ever check out his record or cassette collection,
if he had one...???


06 Nov 19 - 02:52 PM (#4017544)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

Right I have these vinyl records:

A proper sort ~ Leader LED 2063

Bright Golden store ~ Home made Music (Mike Yates 19830

A Country Life ~ Topic 12 TS 392

Our side of the Baulk ~ Leader LED 2111

I also have MT CD 305-6 "Put a Bit of Powder on it Father" recordings made by Mike Yates between 1978 to 1982 ~ it says! MT 2000 some 49 tracks on 2CDs

Ray

I suspect some re recordings from the vinyl ~ non Mike Yates probably on other vinyl as stated above ~yea not checked that yet!


06 Nov 19 - 02:53 PM (#4017545)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

If anybody was really interested in what Walter was about they would have taken up my offer of a copy of the article about him - so far not a peep
It seems it's sufficient to just undermine the fact that he was England's Tradional singers by suggesting that the information given about him was false and he learned what he knew about folk from albums - and he relied on the Watersons for bookings
For Christ's sake
No wonder the revival in England is in the state it is in
Jim   
Oh - and he ate like a pig
You should know better Nick, with your background
Too cold to open a window


06 Nov 19 - 03:18 PM (#4017556)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

There is a list of the 78 rpms on the Mustrad site. I mentioned this in the OP. As time has passed, we can listen to at least some of the actual tracks online, they have been digitised.

The ref is http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/pardon2.htm#78s

I was surprised how much Irish material there was. There is also some accordion music. Vera Lynn, Paul Robeson, music hall type stuff, Boys of the Old Brigade, a lot of Jack Daly.

Here is a link to one of the pieces, Down in the Field Where the Buttercups Grow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=90&v=_YgVtn2zcj0


06 Nov 19 - 03:21 PM (#4017557)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

i think we are indebted to Walter, and to all the people who collected and made friends with him


06 Nov 19 - 05:26 PM (#4017580)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

[Oh - and he ate like a pig
You should know better Nick, with your background]
i dont think nick said that neither did anyone else


06 Nov 19 - 05:53 PM (#4017590)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave Sutherland

Apologies that I haven't read everything on this post yet but on the subject of the Waterson's connection in 1976, as part of the American Bicentennial, Roy Harris was tasked with taking a team of English folksingers across to USA to perform as part of the celebrations. This team consisted of The Watersons/Martin Carthy, Pete Elliott of Birtley, Roy and Walter Pardon. Lasting friendships were made on this tour and as a result I saw Walter perform at Birtley folk club, I think, later that year or early 1977; the club was still in the Three Tuns and Walter performed 4 x 15 minute spots. Peter Bellamy also told the story that on that tour of USA Walter met our Queen.


06 Nov 19 - 06:18 PM (#4017592)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

So he wasn't actually that old then...

I know middle aged folks looked ancient to us teenagers back in the 1970s,
but in 1977 - the year of punk rock - he was the same age my mrs is now...

..and she'd get the right hump, if anyone suggested she was getting on a bit, let alone past it...

He could still have gone disco dancing if he wanted to...


06 Nov 19 - 06:25 PM (#4017594)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello Dave, and thank you for this.


I have found some Roy Palmer recordings on the BL web site; these were not in the resources on the original post, so I've added them to the resource list on my 'master copy'.


https://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Roy-Palmer-collection/025M-C1023X0124XX-1000V0

If you haven't heard these before, enjoy!


06 Nov 19 - 06:50 PM (#4017598)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

And not one of you have had the good grace to even comment
You all out to be ashamed of yourselves
Jim Carroll


06 Nov 19 - 07:39 PM (#4017612)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

I actually recorded the night Walter Came to Dingles. Guess who lent the recording out and never got it back? (I think the person in question actually taped over it) Now in retrospect it would have made a valuable addition to the Nick and Mally Dow collection at the BL sound archive.
In those days I did not think anybody was interested. I fully intend to listen to all recordings at the BL however I was quite surprised how many are restricted. Roy Palmer is not by the way, and neither are mine. It would be a help if they were available for download. Why? well you could listen in the car for a start. Hands up how many people tend to listen there rather than competing with the TV at home. Back to Walter Pardon, I've been listening to him since the first LP, and still feel I have plenty to learn from him.


06 Nov 19 - 07:48 PM (#4017614)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello Nick

I noted that not all the BL stuff can be heard. I found an explanation in terms of copyright here: https://sounds.bl.uk/Information/About/

Also, as a library one has to be a member, which may affect things.

HE students seem to get greater access, so if you knew somebody maybe you could get better access.

The BL has more or less the only copy of various songs, poems and plays written by a direct ancestor of mine, but as it would cost me hundreds of pounds to get copies and even being a visiting reader is hedged about with difficulties I'll probably never read it.

Do you think it is worth mentioning your lost recording (was Dingles a particular place?) in my amended OP or not?

I don't have a car, so not sure about that!


06 Nov 19 - 08:42 PM (#4017622)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Howard, I hear and respect your comments. I am grateful for them as the are interesting and reasonably phrased.

I fully admit to being less than one hundred percent a fan of the work of Walter Pardon. I think that it's sort of all right. Nothing much to write home about whichever way you look at it. This does not equate to having an intention to mount a veiled attack on him. I don't intend to 'veil' anything, and hope I have been quite clear, in, for example, responding to your questions as fully as I can.

So here are some tentative thoughts in response again to what you have put.

I have said that he was 'lionised'. I believe that this is the case, and coming across him late in life, it is very striking. By 'lionised', I mean something like treated out or made into a celebrity. Glorified, honoured, acclaimed.

The very language in which he is spoken of demonstrates this. Meaning no disrespect to those who use it and who are quoted below:

'I have plenty to learn from him'
'determined to keep the songs alive'
'his pacing is a lesson in restraint'
'still regarded as an important figure in British folk song and that will continue to be the case while the subject is remembered.'
'important source singer'
'one of the few outstanding folksingers left in England today'
'traditional singer'
'one of the important traditional singers whom Norfolk produced during the 20th century.'

and more overtly political (though much of the language and thinking of the post-war folk boom was implicitly political):

'confirmation of the fact that the world-view of 19th century rural agricultural workers was enlarged directly as a result of the dialectical effects brought about by the processes of capitalism.'

These are value statements with which I don't necessarily agree, but what strikes me more than anything is that they seem to be imbued with a particular set of assumptions, beliefs, values, an ideology in other words, as in .

Well that isn't true because there is more than one set here of values here: some are overtly Marxist, as for example Mike Yates, who in one article on Pardon goes on to suggest that Sharp's view of 'folk' won't do and a new one is needed (maybe he has been reading the end of Lloyd's book or influenced by the work and political programme of MacColl). I refer to Yates in the OP.


Regarding other comments that have been made. I had not until just now read anybody suggesting that Pardon actually learned songs from a recording, and had not made that precise suggestion myself (though I can't see why people should be so alarmed at the idea), but I have just found precisely such a suggestion in yet another Mustrad article, this time by Mike Yates (2003)

Sorry, cutting off short. You chose the word 'debunk' and I think felt that I wanted to dismantle Pardon's reputation as a great traditional singer and so on. Debunk isn't a word I would choose. What interests me is getting a handle on how it came about that so many people are convinced that things that seem to me to have been sort of thought up mid to late 20th century are historical facts.

For example, take the phrase 'traditional singer'. As far as I am aware, nobody knows much about what traditional singing might have sounded like. There are discussions about this on Mustrad too. There are no recordings of it, obviously.

I think on one level, changing tack for a moment, 'reading' a performance of a song is like 'reading' a poem: it isn't a matter of getting the information from the poem, it is always a matter of interpreting what is there. So I am sure that people like Nick will take inspiration from Pardon's style; what I am less sure of is that in so doing they are in any particularly meaningful sense tapping into any great stylistic tradition. Indeed, I have seen it argued that the relatively unadorned style popular with many male 'revival' singers came into fashion post WW II.

This may strike you as heresy, and the emotional response of some people is strikingly clear, but they are reasonable views to take.

I really don't feel that there is anything 'veiled' here: I had hoped that the OP made the sort of approach clear!

Thank you for reading if you did.


06 Nov 19 - 09:49 PM (#4017625)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"You all out to be ashamed of yourselves"

Jim's back then...

Jim - your over reactions to what you misread of other peoples intentions,
don't achieve anything positive for anybody...

I've been in real life situations where me and mates in a pub are having a good lively conversations,
when someone eavesdropping over on another table, picks up on a few words misheard out of context,
then goes off on one berating us for something they misunderstood...

Folkies listening to Walter Pardon, or any old source singer, with fresh ears, for the first time in their lives in 2019,
will decide for themselve's if they like what they hear...

If they do like it, and are curious to discover more about these singers,
they might ask some questions which could seem discourteous to real experts like yourself,
but the questions are not laced with malice...
However, your cranky far too over protective response can be counter-productive,
discouraging new listeners from making the effort to find out more from folks like you...

We know you and how you can respond sometimes, but newcomers don't...
I say in all sincerity as a mudcatter who likes and respects you,
that when you work yourself up into moods like this,
you more likely do more harm than good..
It is not a positive effective way to promote your passion for traditinal singers to potential newcomers to folk music...

[btw, just read your over the top outburst in the 2019 thread while I was proof reading this post..]


06 Nov 19 - 10:03 PM (#4017626)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"It seems it's sufficient to just undermine the fact that he was England's Tradional singers by suggesting that ........
he learned what he knew about folk from albums
?"

Jim - Btw.. it is the most natural thing in the world for music fans and musicians
to be inquisitive about each others record collections..

It is a friendship making sharing activity, where we learn about each other's favourites and influences.
Taking pleasure in our personal tastes, and finding out what we have in common;
suggesting others have a listen to something we think they might enjoy...

It is one of the first automatic things to do when first in a new aquaintances home - an ice breaker...

IT IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN A BAD THING...

There is no shame if Walter had 78s or LPs he liked, and took inspiration from..
We all do it...


07 Nov 19 - 03:48 AM (#4017631)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

It is very simple. The songs and singing style come first. Respect for the man usually follows, and genealogical and academic research follows on from that.
I would suggest that anybody who is in doubt about 'Traditional singing style' should listen and learn from McColl's unsurpassed Song Carrier programmes. Nit picking arguments about value judgments etc, are of no interest when placed against the simple value placed on the songs by most Traditional singers. 'I want you to love the songs as much as me.'
Most academic arguments are usually self serving and end in silence, from an ever decreasing circle.


07 Nov 19 - 10:47 AM (#4017635)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Nick

Thank you for your contribution. However, to me it seems contradictory. On the one hand, you appears to object to 'academic arguments', on the other you refer to McColl, whose work within what they call/called 'the revival' was most certainly based upon theoretical/academic thinking.

There are I believe a number of accounts of the Song Carrier project. It was shot through with theory.


07 Nov 19 - 11:00 AM (#4017636)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I'm in agreement with a lot of what pfr says about Pardon: my thinking is that some people may object to the idea that he may have been influenced by 78s because they are ideologically committed to a particular view of Pardon and get agitated when faced with ideas that conflict with or cast doubt on it.

'It's simple'. People can take a simple view or a more nuanced one. For me, people are entitled to take whichever view they like. With respect, I don't buy the idea that 'academic arguments' are self-serving, or see why if this sort of point is valid it doesn't also apply to simple arguments.

It also seems to me fairly plain that when Pardon was discovered, this marketing and lionisation did not go from first liking his songs and singing and then following on. I was looking at something today that said the writer took a long time to get to like his work. But that person had been involved in all the surrounding 'stuff'. Can't just think who it was now


Supporting the same view of the history of the discovery and 'marketing' of Pardon within the left wing world of the folk revival, is something else I read recently, by a person who said that the early recordings of Pardon weren't very good because it had been decades since he had sung.

As I see it, whatever genuine friendships may have sprung up, Pardon was taken up because he ticked boxes on the McColl etc ticklist of what counted as traditional/folk. This seems to me to be as close as a 'factual' account, if simple, of what happened.

This is my view, that's all.


07 Nov 19 - 11:06 AM (#4017637)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Martin Carthy is quoted on film as saying Pardon was very exciting indeed when he had only heard about him second hand from Peter Bellamy. That is another piece of evidence in support of a view that the initial enthusiasm for Pardon had little to do with the quality of his singing or the style he sang in. This is from the EDGE TV film, the same one in which a neighbour describes what she fed to Pardon when he came for a meal, which he seemed to do frequently. She seemed to like him, said his friends in the village tried to ensure he did not suffer as a result of all the attention he was getting from the folklorists.


07 Nov 19 - 11:13 AM (#4017638)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Is this you Nick? Nice song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=48&v=7OxsaeBBCs4

Off topic I know. Sorry.


07 Nov 19 - 11:22 AM (#4017640)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And on it being 'simple', well take a 'simple' phrase like 'folk song'. Can anybody who has followed the multiple, often acrimonious discussions on this thread, and MUSTRAD, and, it appears other fora, believe that deciding what is and is not a 'folk song' is a simple matter. And, and this is my interest, which you don't have to share, my interest is in how these different ideas and views inform/shape/bias what people have had to say about Pardon. I got thinking about it because the stuff I found about him was far from 'simple'; it was, as I say, often contradictory and the answer to the contradictions often seems to be that they reflect the differing ideologies and perspectives of the people whose comments I was reading. Sometimes, as in the case of Mike Yates (whose work I speak well of in my opening piece) the theoretical approach is discussed and open. Often, and I think this is a rather typical old left strategy the ideology is kept behind, under wraps.

Did anybody ever say to Pardon, I've been a card carrying communist and I am really happy because you support my view that folk music represents the superstructure in my class based dialectical view of history? I should be surprised to hear it if they did.


07 Nov 19 - 12:02 PM (#4017641)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

That is Nick, Pseudonymous. Not just talented but an all round good bloke.


07 Nov 19 - 12:15 PM (#4017648)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

It is not an unreasonable question for somebody new to this subject
to ask if Walter had a radio or a telly...
Providing regular contact with the modern age, current affairs, Pop culture,
even specialist folk music programmes...???

My working class ancestors were technologically savvy enough
to enthusiastically equip themselveswith the modern marvel of crystal radio...


07 Nov 19 - 12:25 PM (#4017653)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

I don't object to academic arguments at all, but for the most part academics write, agree with, disagree with other academics.
Not a crime of course but all of them for me seem to miss the point.
Which is, it's about singing for the sake of singing. You choose your medium and the parameters of that medium and work within it, if you wish to stay true to any tradition, or reinterpret it if you don't. Which incidentally is what McColl said in the song Carriers. Not better or worse just different, were his exact words.
If you don't like a particular singer fine leave it at that, there is no need for academic justification. I'm not wildly keen on Phoebe Smith, which for a man who has been with Gypsies for over 30 years is quite an admission, however I love Caroline Hughes and have met her family and friends. End of story for me.


07 Nov 19 - 12:28 PM (#4017654)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

My view like I suspect many other singers interested in the old and traditional songs is to pick up songs of interest and that have social historical and perhaps good choruses to learn and entertain people at song and music sessions

I have over the years learnt some of Walter's songs from aforesaid Vinyl and CD sources

This interest led me to research the background to the songs themselves ~ I have to admit that I only looked at Walter Pardon the man to a small degree ~ I as I say only ever saw and heard him live once ~ I was certainly impressed an the sleeve notes were and are a good source of information on all matters as far as I care!

Ray


07 Nov 19 - 12:29 PM (#4017655)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: RTim

GUEST,Pseudonymous - Yes - it is Nick Dow singing the Cyril Tawney song "Sammy's Bar" - again off topic.
In relation to thread - this is NOT a Trad. song....but is one that will likely end up in the Tradition.....like several of Cyril's....

Tim Radford


07 Nov 19 - 12:47 PM (#4017658)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Let's hope so!


07 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM (#4017659)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

These words again: 'trad', 'the tradition'. Theoretical concepts.

MacColl seems to have had great leadership qualities: he laid down a particular aesthetic, which perhaps is best understood in terms of the context in which he worked, and it seems from these threads that he acquired a set of devoted 'acolytes', as well carving out a career and a decent livelihood for himself.


07 Nov 19 - 12:58 PM (#4017662)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Relevance of MacColl to thread: links between his teachings and the approaches of some of those who marketed and lionised Walter Pardon.

I think MacColl wrote some nice songs. It's not a topic I would want to get into too much here as there is enough about him on Mudcat and it quickly gets heated. Which seems to prove my thinking but …

On sleeve notes, I found out that these have mixed worth quite a long time ago in a different context, and that folklorists do not always do their research properly or interrogate those whose writing they take bits from as if they were gospel. If I remember correctly, this is one area relating to Pardon - and generally - where there have been lively and at times acrimonious discussion- as evidenced on the Mustrad site. One mans' carefully researched notes are another man's set of semi-literate notes so full of mistakes that it is impossible to list them all. Another cite of contested viewpoints within the folklore world.


07 Nov 19 - 01:14 PM (#4017666)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

Why should i be ashamed of mentioning walters fondness for bananas, the human touch, it makes no difference to my respect for his repertoire. Harry Cox was an animal lover,they were people not just singers


07 Nov 19 - 01:43 PM (#4017677)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Why should i be ashamed of mentioning walters fondness for bananas"
Why the **** should anyone be so ***** rude to comment on his eating habits especially ion these terms
"I'm told Walter's favourite tea was a fried egg Brown bread and butter and vinegar. Brings tears to the stomach."
Christ knows where that came from anyway - it's pure nasty invention and totally unnecessary - and you know it
I wonder how Nick would react to travellers being described in such a degrading way - or do I !!
Jim


07 Nov 19 - 01:47 PM (#4017680)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Dick They were probably all people existing in a wider social context,
not isolated in lives that fit a folk theorists idealised view of who and how they should be...???

However, back in the 1960s I did have older family
who were so deeply rural and detached from the modern world,
that they could have been living in a previous century
where piped water, gas supplies, and electricity had yet to be invented...

As far as I know they were not singers or custodians of other folklore...
Just ordinary folks cut off from the modern world, scratching a living off the river and fields...
Of no interest to song collectors...

But, then again, neither had they been discovered,
and had their lives documented by big city social anthropologists...

But if they had, they'd have made sure they made as much cash as they could
off gullible city slickers...


07 Nov 19 - 02:02 PM (#4017688)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Vic Smith

Nick Dow -
I'm not wildly keen on Phoebe Smith, which for a man who has been with Gypsies for over 30 years is quite an admission, however I love Caroline Hughes and have met her family and friends. End of story for me.
I agree totally with this statement, Nick. To my ears, Caroline is the most moving of all the English gypsy singers. Yet I reckon that if you played recordings of Phoebe & Caroline to 100 people with an interest in traditional song, then the vast majority would favour Phoebe because, palpably, Phoebe has the better voice. It is s combination of several subtle factors that she has in her treatment of songs that make Caroline's nicotine-riddled voice and makes her, for me, such an exciting singer.

Oh... and whilst I am addressing you, those tracks of Gypsy singers that you copied on to my laptop in Tenterden are exquisite. Mary Lee and Bartley Wilson - both superb.

Whoops! Serious thread drift. Perhaps we need yet another new thead to deal with this.


07 Nov 19 - 02:34 PM (#4017694)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Oh FFS, get a grip, Jim. The documentary linked above mentions that Walter liked brown bread and butter with a fried egg and vinegar. It also mentions that he used to cycle to the local ironmongers on a Saturday, had a green gate and popped in to his neighbours for a cup of tea regularly. Are you going to take offence at all of these? These facts just add to what is known and give people a feel for who Walter was, not just what he did.

We understand. He meant a lot to you and did a lot for traditional folk music. But he was, after all, just human. The documentary pointed out on a couple of occasions that he was down to earth and told it as it was. Which is exactly what Nick did when he mentioned Walter's favourite food. I doubt very much Walter would have taken offense at much. You have made it an art form.


07 Nov 19 - 02:41 PM (#4017698)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

jim, you are being ridiculous.


07 Nov 19 - 02:43 PM (#4017699)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Oh FFS, get a grip, Jim."
No Dave - you get a grip - I came to discuss folk song not witness the abuse of old singers
Yes - he was a human being - is that how you treat your fellow human beings
I don't know where Nick got his information but what he described was as far from his favourite food as you can get
Walter was a very plain and frugal eater - an old bachelor who fended fot himself - not the figure of fun you have chosen to make him
You really have no shame - have you
Jim


07 Nov 19 - 02:43 PM (#4017700)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Oh FFS, get a grip, Jim."
No Dave - you get a grip - I came to discuss folk song not witness the abuse of old singers
Yes - he was a human being - is that how you treat your fellow human beings
I don't know where Nick got his information but what he described was as far from his favourite food as you can get
Walter was a very plain and frugal eater - an old bachelor who fended fot himself - not the figure of fun you have chosen to make him
You really have no shame - have you
Jim


07 Nov 19 - 02:47 PM (#4017702)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

Jim

"Christ knows where that came from anyway - it's pure nasty invention and totally unnecessary - and you know it

With your expertise on all things Walter Pardon I am surprised(?) at your ignorance as to the source of this 'pure nasty invention'.

It is from a short film readily available on You Tube and was related by a neighbour I believe from the same village who it seems sometimes invited Walter to stay for a meal and this was one of his favourites.
I suspect she knew Walter even more than you did.

Why do you stay permanently in attack mode? Try lightening up a little.


07 Nov 19 - 02:49 PM (#4017703)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Thanks Vic you're welcome.
I suppose I had better explain the Walter Pardons tea comment in terms that even Jim Carroll can understand, for the sake of the integrity of this thread. It was a quote from the documentary available on YouTube, my comment afterwards was supposed to be light hearted. The guest who commented afterwards seemed to get it.
I just can not be bothered to get into another fruitless argument with the above mentioned. There is an old saying 'Never argue with a fool' so I think I'll take heed. So maybe when the squealing has subsided after the inevitable comeback to this post we can return to an interesting subject.
Back on thread then...
I still feel that it is unwise to over complicate our reaction to any singer. I had a conversation with Roy Palmer on that very subject, and there's the rub as he said. How subjective can we safely be as Folklorists. I still have not worked that one out.


07 Nov 19 - 02:53 PM (#4017705)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

I suggest you take it up with the lady that made the comment about his favourite tea on the documentary then, Jim. Either she is mistaken or you are. Either way, it is not an offensive comment.


07 Nov 19 - 02:57 PM (#4017709)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

"As far as I am aware, nobody knows much about what traditional singing might have sounded like. There are discussions about this on Mustrad too. There are no recordings of it, obviously."

I find that an extraordinary statement. Obviously, we only have recordings from the time recording technology became available, but that takes us back to at least 1908 when Grainger recorded Joseph Taylor. Taylor was then in his mid-70s so he is an example of a singer from the second half of the 19th century. Grainger recorded a number of different singers and musicians at around that time and the British Library has 340 of his recordings.

Percy Grainger collection

We have all the volumes of VoTP, as well as other recordings by Topic, Leader, Veteran, Mustrad and other labels which cover the 20th century and right up to the present day. These are just examples which are commercially available, it doesn't include those in private collections or libraries. If you don't regard them as "traditional singers" you obviously have a very different idea of what that means than I, and I believe most others, do.

If we are to have a meaningful discussion, will you please explain what you take "traditional singer" to mean, and why the recordings I have mentioned are not of traditional singers?


07 Nov 19 - 03:08 PM (#4017712)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

SHOCK HORROR - Folk singer eats banana...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Freddie Starr munching a hamster pales in comparison...


07 Nov 19 - 03:54 PM (#4017718)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

LOL well posted Punk.

Just another thought. I never saw a traditional singer perform in the way that Walter did. Harry Cox had that 'far away' look in his eyes as he sang and so did Bob Scarce.(That was on film though) Johnny Doughty was the epitome of the showman singer when I saw him, most of the travellers take their turn seated round the fire. Walter Pardon stood erect but relaxed with his hands behind his back, and seemed totally in control of everything and everyone around him. Quite an experience for me as a young singer.


07 Nov 19 - 04:10 PM (#4017721)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

Jim, Pauline Godbold did not make any denigrating comment but stated a fact.
Jim you visited and befriendec Walter after PETERBELLAMY discovered him as I understand it Cliff and Pauline Godbold [ woman intervoiewd in film], knew him for years before this. Jim would you kindly desist.


07 Nov 19 - 04:22 PM (#4017723)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

I take exception to bein accused of denigrating Walter because I said he used to like a banana .


07 Nov 19 - 04:49 PM (#4017724)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Time flies like an arrow

Fruit flies like a banana


07 Nov 19 - 05:16 PM (#4017732)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Thanks Howard,

Not sure why you are finding stuff so 'extraordinary' when up to the point when you get theoretical (which I think you do) I agree. We are looking back to the early days of recording, turn century. So nothing extraordinary there.

The discussion I referred to interested me because some people found the singing very high, and this did not fit what they expected to hear and some started to find reasons why the recording did not fit what they thought that the facts should be.

The piece by Matthew Ord helps us to see that a tape recorder is not quite the 'pure' record of what was there one might assume, any more than 'the camera never lies'. This was one of the interesting parts of the package. Indeed, one thing MacColl did in the radio shows was apply techniques from film to sound recordings, a sort of montage technique. Yet it gives a sense of being 'real life', the nitty gritty..... I do think he was a clever person and very good at using modern technologies. Maybe today he would be a film maker?

For me the questions about what you put as I understand it might include:

1 What makes people label those whose singing was recorded at the turn of the 20th century 'traditional' instead of just people whose singing was recorded?

2 How when we listen to a recording made of an elderly person at the turn of the 20th century might we somehow be back in the early 19th, for this is how I have read your comment? (please correct me if this is not the way you intended it to be read)

Regarding 2, it seems to me that the backward jump in time is an inference. It would be an inference to say that a singing style recorded at the later time enabled us to peer back into earlier singing styles. This is perhaps a good example of the sort of problem indicated in the heading to my original piece, it's about fact, inference, theory, ideology.

I could say it was 'extraordinary' that people made leaps like this, but it seems to be the way it sometimes goes...

Tonight I had fried egg, brown bread and butter, vinegar and an orange afterwards. Then a banana and some tinned custard. Love to say there are no flies on me but maybe this would be a step too far (swats the air).

Thanks to everybody for the discussion.


07 Nov 19 - 05:25 PM (#4017734)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

What does the vinegar go on?

My Dad used to eat raw bacon rind and bits of bread with salt on. He was Polish though. Or is that racist and abusive?


07 Nov 19 - 05:50 PM (#4017737)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

raw bacon rind, tick.


07 Nov 19 - 06:01 PM (#4017742)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Just to help out Pseudo. Traditional refers to an accident of birth. A singer is a Traditional singer if he or she has been born into a family who sing songs and a member of that family passes them on to you. So I learned a number of music Hall songs Traditionally. The next qualification is Folk Singer. I have met numerous Traditional Folk Singers and learned songs face to face, but it does not mean that I am one. I am a revivalist, and about as close to the tradition as any one can get without being born to it. The third unwritten qualification is style. There are Traditional singers who have lost their family style of singing, and sing with a style gleaned from country music or art music.
Walter Pardon was born to the music, had a vast repertoire and an exemplary Traditional singing style. That's why he's important.
It's as easy as that imho.


07 Nov 19 - 06:18 PM (#4017746)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

what does the vinegar go on, well apparantly its a tradtional use for piles, you pile on the vinegar on the piles, its similar to a yorkshire tradtional remedy for whhoping cough in which it was the custom to eat a dead mouse, but themouse was better with some vinegar


07 Nov 19 - 06:23 PM (#4017748)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

Pseudonymous, I find your claim that there are no recordings of traditional singers to be "extraordinary" because there are very clearly plenty of recordings (albeit not enough). The difference between us seems to be that you do not regard these singers as "traditional". So what do you mean by that term? When you say there are no recordings of traditional singers, what sort of singers do you have in mind? Or are you saying the entire concept of a tradition is a myth, fuelled by ideology?

1 What makes people label those whose singing was recorded at the turn of the 20th century 'traditional' instead of just people whose singing was recorded?

Because they were part of a culture where singing was part of the life of a community, and where songs were passed around between singers, usually orally. We know this because that is what the singers themselves told the collectors. That is what I, and I believe most people with an interest in the subject, understand by "tradition". What do you understand by it?

2 How when we listen to a recording made of an elderly person at the turn of the 20th century might we somehow be back in the early 19th

I think you have misread me. I was saying that although Joseph Taylor was recorded in 1908 he was then in his mid-70s, so his singing can be regarded as an example of a singer from the second half of the 19th century.

Regarding 2, it seems to me that the backward jump in time is an inference. It would be an inference to say that a singing style recorded at the later time enabled us to peer back into earlier singing styles.

I agree. As a young man Joseph Taylor would have learned his singing from earlier generations so we can surmise that his style was influenced by early 19th century singers, but that can only be speculation. We can't know what those previous generations sounded like.

You appear to be challenging what we mean by "tradition" and "traditional singer". Nothing wrong with that, but please explain what you understand them to mean, or at least what is wrong with the current understanding of them.


07 Nov 19 - 06:26 PM (#4017750)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Vinegar on a mouse in Yorkshire? Never. Yorkshire relish surely.


07 Nov 19 - 06:28 PM (#4017751)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"you pile on the vinegar on the piles"

Our local chip shop would definitely throw you out
for trying to do that at the counter...


07 Nov 19 - 06:49 PM (#4017759)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry Howard, I see what you mean now. By 'traditional' in this case, I will have meant older than the turn of the 20th century. So in the case where a tradition is seen as something that has duration through time, earlier examples. Hoping you find the point less extraordinary now, and apols for any misunderstanding attributable to my too hasty and ill=formed posts. Thanks again for the discussion. No time to think about other points you make now: all interesting.

By the way it was a fib about the egg. That was yesterday, today was a chippy tea and in future I shall put the sugar on the banana and the vinegar on the chips.


07 Nov 19 - 06:57 PM (#4017763)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

..As long as nobody gets the wrong end of the stick
and is offended thinking we shamefully suggested Walter ate mice...


07 Nov 19 - 07:07 PM (#4017764)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Or maybe gets the wrong stick altogether. It's gone pleasantly quiet! Maybe that nobody has hit himself over the head with the wrong stick. We can but hope.


07 Nov 19 - 07:49 PM (#4017778)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Joe G

I've just dipped into the last page of this discussion out of interest.

Judging by that brief impression it appears that people are having a civilised discussion - arguing generally politely, contesting each other's statements, raising interesting points. Then Jim arrives all bluster and antagonism (maybe there was some exchanges earlier that led to this?).

I find this sad as Jim obviously has lots of information to impart and is doing a great job at preserving the tradition. Please Jim realise we are all on the same side - your interjections sometimes bear the mark of a troll - deliberately trying to provoke dissent which others rise to - I very much hope that is not what you are trying to do but you seem to continually wish to stir up trouble - surely of no benefit to anyone. Accept that others have different views to your own but discuss them rationally. We would all get a lot more out of any discussion if you did rather than continually fly off the handle. My comment is meant kindly - please don't fly off the handle with me


07 Nov 19 - 07:55 PM (#4017779)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Joe G

Ah I've read the previous page now and see that pfr has made a similar comment. Well that's probably 100


07 Nov 19 - 08:28 PM (#4017783)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

I like Jim, whether he likes me liking him or not..

But as much as I'd benefit from knowing him in real life,
I suspect he could be a bit of a high maintenance friend to be around socially...???
Would I be constantly on egg shells thinking any innocent thing I say could be taken the wrong way,
and he'd be off on one...

I had enough of mates like that when I was younger and more patient...
Even worse when you're gigging in the same band..
one of 'em was a right sulker...

However, if I was active in organizing a social history project,
[something I've done in the past..]
recording the memories of very elderly folks,
some with confusion and more aggressive symptoms of dementia,
tolerance and empathy would be essential skills...

It's too easy for us to fall out with each other over petty matters blown up out of proportion
in the hothouse of mudcat,
but we need to remember we are an aging membership.
Some of us are simply getting crankier - nature is unkind like that.

So full respect to song collectors carefully persuading old singers
to trust them recording their memories..

One older lady I was sent to record,
[a retired shop keeper, very Conservative..]
was so vain, mean spirited, and vindictive,
I've avoided being involved in such history projects ever since...
Especially after I had to spend hours afterwards in sound editing, listening to her voice on repeat...

So I definitely appreciate the hard work of our folk song collectors...


07 Nov 19 - 08:34 PM (#4017784)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Ah, butter on the brown bread - and the piles!


07 Nov 19 - 10:12 PM (#4017790)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Howard

You appear to be challenging what we mean by "tradition" and "traditional singer". Nothing wrong with that, but please explain what you understand them to mean, or at least what is wrong with the current understanding of them.

Reasonable question. Ever encountered Wittgenstein on the meanings of words?

1 As I tried to explain, I'm interested in how different definitions have influenced the way Pardon has been written about and described and presented.

2 I am more interested in what happens, which may or may not then end up having a more or less useful label attached to it than in setting out with some definition (derived from 'faith' or Marxist base-superstructure thinking, or whatever) and seeing the world through that particular lens.

To try to make this point: how would you define a martian wattquaxl bird? How can we discuss it unless we define it. A poor parody but maybe it makes a point??

3 So I don't think I have any particular preference among the options.

4 I'd even be happy with 'something with an unknown composer' if that made enough people happy, but it won't of course.

5 It's looking as if there are no new references for Pardon, though having read Ord's work on the Revival I have thought that the covers of the CDs etc are part of the message that was put out about him. Ord is fascinating if you like a long read and don't mind the odd bit of theory.

Sorry not to be more helpful, not being evasive, just pretty open minded about the topic (when not thinking of language games) today. Might get all evangelical on a particular defn another day, but mayby not.

It is beginning to look like I'm not going to get any more material on Pardon. I cannot find that thesis that was mentioned. There are a couple of articles mentioned on Mustrad but I think these may be ones already on that site.

Thanks again to everybody who has sustained what has been an interesting and actually quite civilised discussion punctuation by the odd bit of bonkers humour. Pity we cannot manage this more often.


08 Nov 19 - 12:06 AM (#4017796)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

By the way I found David Hillery's thesis: it was as I suspected Newcastle University not Durham. Excited to read it: it isn't about Pardon but about vernacular song from a North Yorkshire Hill Farm. I'll be interested to see how he goes about collecting and analysing his data.

By the way, on one of the Roy Palmer tapes, Pardon explains that the farms including his had been smallholdings, and that they shared the barn. This may explain how his ancestor had the 'property' qualification to get on the electoral register pre the universal franchise, if indeed it is as I suspect the same ancestor. This fits with the fact that Billy was in a union for farm labourers and small holders. It may be that Billy came in the latter category.


08 Nov 19 - 12:31 AM (#4017797)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Take it all back, it features some analysis of Pardon's singing, comparison sections. Interesting to read. Makes point I did that there are some conflicting views …

Also provides a couple of further references


08 Nov 19 - 02:09 AM (#4017801)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

on the subject of Bananas, Billy Cooper the hammered dulcimer from hingham norfolk, who taught billy bennington, was a greengrocer and was known as banana cooper, because he used to sell dodgy overripe bananas.
Before anyone accuses me of being disrespectful, i had relatives who lived in the village of hingham who remembered billy practising his dulcimer on summer evenings and telling me what a delight it was to listen to him.
Jim some of us had connections with east anglia long before you came on the scene, and all we are doing iis telling it how it was. I only hope Walter purchasesd quality bananas for his lunch, and never had the nisfortune to encounter one of billys bananas


08 Nov 19 - 02:44 AM (#4017808)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

The Angel fisheries in Whitby has sugar on the counter along with salt and vinegar. Of course the inevitable happened to someone I was with and they put sugar on their chips. The girl behind the counter commented that was always happening. Wouldn't you think that they would make a slight change to the arrangement?

Anyway. They don't sell mice. With or without vinegar.


08 Nov 19 - 02:51 AM (#4017809)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

So we have established that Walter's eating habits were nothing special and he may have eaten an odd banana

So what else might we look at? Yes I found his singing style and pronunciation easy to follow, indeed some of the record sleeves carry the words ~ quite a boon really

Ray


08 Nov 19 - 02:54 AM (#4017812)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

You are for it now, Ray. Claiming that the bananas that Walter ate were odd...

:D


08 Nov 19 - 03:19 AM (#4017815)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"I like Jim, whether he likes me liking him or not.."
I don't care one way or the other PFR - I've never been here to be liked or otherwise; my sole interest is to promote the music I have invested my life in, to pass on what I believe I've learned and to learn more from people I belived (and no longer do) shared my interest

I find your comment about my social like both arrogant and unfair - - you want to get to know me socially, ask someone who has been in contact with me personally
My PMs now number 582, overwhelmingly messages sharing ideas outside the nastiness of some of these discussions, or giving access to our archive, or arranging to add to it with those far more interested in folk song than those who take part in these appalling brawls
You want too know me in a relaxed mood - there's enough of that for me on the jokes thread

I came here for serious discussions on folk song - I've been pretty depressed at what I found
The ones I immediately too to have either passed on or moved on - Sandy Paton, Mike Grosvenor Myer, Malcolm Douglas..... the few others hardly ever post nowadays - wonder why !!
I've long become used to tthe fact that an intelligent discussion on the groundbreaking work done by MacColl, Seeger, Parker and The Critics... is a waste of time - too many small minds with big chips on their shoulders
Pity

The latest disgusting kicking of our friend of two decades, Walter Pardon, has finished it for me
First he was kicked off a thread because his singing was no longer relevant to today's revival - I'd long suspected that anyway
Then, this wonderfully intelligent , knowledgeable and generous old man who won over everyone he came into contact with was, was too stupid to work out for himself that the songs he referred to (and listed iin his notebooks) as 'folk' were unique, because he sang 'other songs'   
He was apparently gullible enough to be influenced and naive enough to be led away by ruthless "middle-class" researchers and collectors
The final straw was this disguising presentation of an ignorant peasant who ate anything he could lay his hands on
Walter would rather have cut his tongue our with a bread-knife rather than give offence to anybody - would that some of those better-educated, 'more enlightened' inheritors of his generosity treated him to the same respect he treated everybody he met.
If you believe continuing shit like "Ah, butter on the brown bread - and the piles!" to be 'petty', god help the recipients of your knowledge on social history'

I don't know whether I'll post again - I shall avoid some of those who I have met on these discussions like the plague - I find them insulting, every bit as inflexible as they accuse me of being, and largely lacking in knowlege and interest in the music I believe to be folk
Life's too short to bother with people who behave like this

I've spent the last week or so re-arranging my PCloud in order to make it an access facility for singers, manly because my trip to Belfast made it plain there are those out there promoting folk song, running classes, helping new young people become singers.... everything needed for a healthy future for folk songs
Maybe we can persuade some of them to send missionaries to England to promote an interest in their wonderful traditional songs and singers beyond what someone 'Chinese whispered' they used to have for breakfast when they were still around and being generous in giving us the songs they loved.
I thought I knew the Godbolds - if they are the source of that appalling rumour, they must be different ones who doted oo Walter and would never have spread such nasty and represented rumours about that wonderful generous old man - they'd have been as ashamed to have been linked to such a story as those still reveling in it here patently are not

Some here (far too few) have hooked up to our on-live PCloud Song facility -, which is now being re-organsised, extended and made more user friendly
When it is completed, I will re-post a new link - those who have my e-mail address can re-apply
I've realised it's an execise in pissing against the wind to as some people to take a serious and responsible attitude to 'The People's Art'

I'll leave you to your corpse-kicking
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 03:19 AM (#4017816)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"You are for it now, Ray. Claiming that the bananas that Walter ate were odd..."
See what I mean
Jim Carroll


08 Nov 19 - 03:19 AM (#4017817)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"You are for it now, Ray. Claiming that the bananas that Walter ate were odd..."
See what I mean
Jim Carroll


08 Nov 19 - 03:33 AM (#4017821)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

jim for fuck sake you are being ridiculous, no one is kicking Walter.Jim you are being so silly the best thing you can do is look at the link and the people recalling walters memory fondly.[ including pauline godbold talk about tilting at windmills. you have not looked at the film and yet you continue to make ill informed comments about it, and the people who recall Walter with fondness, stop wasting everyones time, go and look at the link


08 Nov 19 - 03:41 AM (#4017823)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Come on then Jim, how is discussing a very innocent comment made by a good friend of Walter's in any way "corpse kicking" or nasty? She said what he liked for his tea and what she always used to give him. I, nor anyone on this thread as far as I can see, can see anything wrong with it. I am more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and let you convince us that discussing what a man ate is denigrating and abusing him.


08 Nov 19 - 03:43 AM (#4017824)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

listen jim, we all like walters singing, we all have the greatest respect for his preserving of the repertoire, we all think it good that bellamy and others looked after Walter, now go and listen to the link and if after doing so you still continue this tom foolery. i suugest you desist


08 Nov 19 - 03:53 AM (#4017825)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

Walter only ate even bananas, he would never have eaten an odd banana.


08 Nov 19 - 04:08 AM (#4017829)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Egg, brown bread and Vinegar! No bigger than the average pub starter. Does that mean Walter lived in a 'World without Courses'
Sorry I'll get me coat.


08 Nov 19 - 04:18 AM (#4017837)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry I'll get me coat.
Very wise Nick, this thread has become a musical 'Lord of the Flies' with the head of England's finest traditional singer on the top of the 'pig-pole', thanks too you

"listen jim, we all like walters singing,"]
Patronising shire Dick - you're enjoying kicking this dead old man as much as the rest of them - Dave too
What the he'll's the matter with you all - it's not full moon again is it !!
Jim Carroll


08 Nov 19 - 04:36 AM (#4017844)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GeoffLawes

39 Recordings on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRxZAeyLrf0&list=PLakEhBfePSAwqFw3TmOZ5DS2tN3uvfXt3
1The Pretty Ploughboy2A British Man'o'war3The Deserter4Two Jolly Butchers5The Handsome Cabin Boy6The Bold Fisherman7The Loss of the Ramillies8The Rambling Blade9Raggle Taggle Gypsies10Lord Lovell11Bold Princess Royal12The Rakish Young Fellow13The Banks of Sweet Dundee14 I Wish, I Wish15The Trees They Do Grow High16Uncle Walter's Tune17The Lawyer (Or Mowing the Barley)18One Cold Morning in December19Talk About Ownership of Songs20The Cunning Cobbler21The Maid of Australia22The Jolly Waggoner23Jack Hall24Peggy Bawn25Let the Wind Blow High or Low26Broomfield Hill27A Country Life28The Dandy Man29The Hungry Army30The Devil and the Farmer's Wife31The Bush of Australia32Cupid the Ploughboy33The Female Drummer 34 An Old Man's Advice 35 The Dark Eyed Sailor 36 The Poachers' Fate 37 Jack Tar Ashore38 A Ship to Old England Came39Van Dieman's Land


08 Nov 19 - 04:37 AM (#4017846)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Yesterday Pseudonymous asked the question, 'Did anybody ever say to Pardon, I've been a card carrying communist'. This reminded me of something that happened to me in America in 1979. I was at the home of the Appalachian singer Dan Tate and I noticed a rifle behind Dan's front door. Dan was blind and so I asked him why he had the gun. Dan replied, 'Well Mike, I've heard of the Red Menace and if they come over my mountain I'll be ready for them.' The day before, Dan had been telling me about the famous people who, over the years, had called to see him, including 'Alan' and 'Pete', two people that he really liked. 'Alan' was Alan Lomax and 'Pete' was Pete Seeger. I didn't have the heart to tell Dan that, so far as many Americans were concerned, Lomax and Seeger were the 'Red Menace'.


08 Nov 19 - 04:54 AM (#4017850)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

Pseudonymous, "early twentieth century" is an entirely random cut-off point (and in fact we do have those recordings of C19th singers, albeit they were made in the early years of the C20th). It is true that Sharp and the other collectors at that time thought they were capturing the dying embers of a tradition just before it died out completely, but the sort of community song culture I described in my earlier post continued into the C20th and even up to the present day, if only in a few places.

Are you suggesting that "tradition" does not in fact exist? Are you suggesting that the idea of "tradition" is simply a left wing, even Marxist, concept?

Are you suggesting that Walter Pardon and all the singers recorded for VoTP and the other recordings I mentioned are not "traditional" and should be considered simply on their ability as singers and not as representatives of a tradition or examples of a traditional style?


08 Nov 19 - 04:57 AM (#4017852)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

I hve no idea if Walter ever met a communist of an type, but you can bet he'd have greeted them with the same warmth and humanity he did everybody (including Peter Bellamy, whose father was a Blackshirt)
Nice story with a strong message Mike and very apt, given the way McCarthyism has shown it's face on this forum thanks to the behaviour of an anonymous troll

THanks for that list Geoff - a much-needed blast of fresh air
I'm at present working on putting an extensive selection of Walter's songs and talk in order to make it available on PCloud
Pity some of those in this ritual degradation-dance aren't going to make use of it
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 04:57 AM (#4017853)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

jim, listen to the clip and stop being silly, nobody is denigrating walter.why dont you go away with this squit you havent even listened to the clip,everybody in that clip praises walterincluding pauline godbold,for gad sake cop on you are just making yoursef lok foolish, listen to the bloody clip


08 Nov 19 - 05:05 AM (#4017857)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

No explanation of how mentioning what Walter ate is denigrating or nasty then.

I'm glad really. If you could have justified it I would have had to give myself a dressing down for talking about the unusual things my Dad ate.


08 Nov 19 - 05:07 AM (#4017858)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Dick's had a go at being reasonable with Jim, so has Dave, so has Punkfolkrocker and so have various other people. I'm afraid I have to agree that he is behaving like an idiot deliberately. He just seems to want to place himself and his views at the head of the queue, and we must all form a respectful line behind him. If we refuse he will demand that which he believes is his rightful place at great length, and with vitriolic turn of phrase.
I think the only answer is to ignore him if we possibly can. I know we all get that sinking feeling of 'Oh God here he is again that's the end of a pleasant thread' however if we try not to rise to it, which is quite difficult I know, (especially for me after what he has just written above) he might get the message (or not). So onward and upward.

Mike Yates story was fascinating.


08 Nov 19 - 05:15 AM (#4017861)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B95JAQe1Wtc jim fucking well listen to this before you make any more comments


08 Nov 19 - 05:39 AM (#4017865)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

" jim fucking well listen to this before you make any more comments"
Not interested Dick - Walter's eating habits were his own business and should never be discussed publicly - they have become part of a hate-fest here
Pauline spoke of Walter as a friend and an inspiration - here he has been presented as an anachronistic freak who has no place on a thread on today folk scene
I-m finished with this disgusting shit - I expected more from you with your reliance on good traditional songs

As the political Elepant has been raised (by someone with a thing about 'Pikeys')
I never heard Walter openly express a political opinion - he was, as Pat and I are, humanists with a small h.
One time when we were discussing Thatcher's brutalising of the miners, Walter said, "My Uncle Billy would have loved to have met you two" - I treasure that as the most complimentary thing ever said to Pat and I

Walter's family were very much a part of George Edwards's re-establishment of Joseph Arch's Agricultural Workers Union and weer proud card-carrying members of that admirable organisation
Even though you have no respect for Walter as a singer (or a human being, it sometimes seems) I strongly recommend you read Mike Yates's superb article on the period on the internet magazine, Musical Traditions
Be very careful though, you might learn something if you drop your guard and open your minds
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM (#4017869)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Did anybody else see Walter Pardon live at Dingles Folk Club? It's such a long time ago I could do with my memory refreshing.


08 Nov 19 - 06:05 AM (#4017877)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Neutral Observer

Well, this thread - Review: Walter Pardon; Research - should really have been named - Project: Trolling Jim Carroll. Well done pseud, you got 'im good 'n' proper. You knew one of his emotive spots and you set up a trap. I'd hoped Jim'd have seen through the obvious facade, but there you have it. Not sure what you're wanting to achieve, other than winding up an old man, but I hope you're happy, at least.

I find this dismantling of great singers to their bare bones most tiresome. I always wonder of the dismantlers - and what exactly is it that YOU'VE done in your life? It seems to me it's the people who have done the least, contribute the most to petty minded vulturing like this.


08 Nov 19 - 06:37 AM (#4017880)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Thanks Obbo - much appreciated
I was aware I was being wound up - I really am not that think, but was happy to pull the rats out of the wainscoting - all in a good cause and second to actually gettin people to take folk song seriously, which I have come to realise is out of the question
I may be getting on in years, but I'm now achieving more than I have ever done - go examine tha Clare County website or dip into the PCloud site when it's up - we made sicx radio programmes over the last few years and a local flm coming up
My Irish Child Ballad project is probably the most ambitious but will be the most important
Who said growing old was depressing - just visiting this site is nowadays
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 06:42 AM (#4017881)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Maybe we may get a straight answer out of you then, (not so) neutral observer. Do you view any mention of what Walter ate a "hate fest" or denigrating or nasty in any way? If so, why? Do you think that anyone has tried to demonize Walter or portray him as a freak? If so, where?


08 Nov 19 - 06:44 AM (#4017882)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

As I was saying. Anybody else witness Walters magnificent performance at Dingles.


08 Nov 19 - 06:56 AM (#4017885)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello Howard

Thank you for your input. No, I am not suggesting that 'tradition' is a Marxist concept. What I am pointing out, accurately, I think, is that some people have used it in a Marxist sense, including, obviously, Marxists like Ewan McColl and Bert Lloyd.

At the risk of repeating myself, what interests me is the way in which Pardon has been presented and analysed through various theoretical lenses, and Marxist has been it seems to me dominant. Mike Yates, as I said, was perfectly open about his Marxist approach, which seems to me to be good practice in terms of critical analysis: it is the done thing in some circles to make one's theoretical framework clear: it is seen as part of the intellectual challenge of drawing up and presenting the analysis.

I do not think that pointing out that a person is or was Marxist equates to carrying out a witch hunt. It is striking when one encounters works such as that of A L Lloyd as I did, from the perspective of one coming to it much later in time, a later generation, how much it reflects the left in post war Britain.

On one level, and putting this simplistically, it comes across as dated, and I don't think I am alone in this.

For example, Matthew Ord writes in his piece how 'gendered' be finds the work of that group, and in this I think he is correct. It stands out like a sort thumb to those of us who have moved on from the old post-war orthodoxies which, it seems to me, people like Lloyd and MacColl in their different ways, represent. Ord cites Althuzzer at one point: I think he is seeking to move beyond the 'vulgar' Marxism of some of Lloyd's early work (eg the first history of folk lore, the one based on AL Morton's history of England, which I do possess a copy of).

Similarly, David Hellier is quite at home with the idea that there is a 'tradition' but he does not frame it within the Marxist propaganda of McColl and Lloyd (and nobody with an open mind it seems to me can deny that this was their project, specifically a Moscow supporting type of Marxism, I have met Maoists in my time!) Hellier, it seems to me, is possibly writing in some sense 'against' the Marxism as if I remember correctly he described Billy and Pardon as small businessmen.

It seems obvious to me that as time passes, their work and those of their contemporaries within that group will inevitably be considered by more and more people who see it as something in the past, which it is, reflecting the - sorry to use the words again - ideologies of post war Britain.

What have I done with my life? What I could. Including making music, some of it, on the simple definition offered by Nick Dow, definitely folk music and already collected to boot.

My information on the union which Billy was a member of comes from a piece by Mike Yates on the Mustrad web site. Yates seems to have taken a particular interest in this, as evidenced by the piece. Were I to write up my draft, I would cite Yates as a reference on the topic. As I have said, he is one of the writers whose work on Pardon I have enjoyed.

Sandman, I forgot to acknowledge your G Lewis comment.

I forgot to thank the 'guest' who provided me with the Hillery information: it turned out to be Newcastle (which I guessed at because I knew the Vic Gammon link, I might have tried Sheffield next?). So thank you.


08 Nov 19 - 07:01 AM (#4017886)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

I was never lucky enough to see Walter live.

The only traditional singer I came across was Fred Jordan when he appeared at Fylde Folk Festival. I found it not my cup of tea at first but the more I heard, the more I enjoyed what he did. Traditional singing is not my favourite facet of folk music and, given the choice, I prefer a good mix of styles and sounds. But I certainly appreciate that traditional singers were the source and inspiration for many of the modern day acts and I definitely enjoy a certain amount of "source singing"


08 Nov 19 - 07:11 AM (#4017888)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Just out of interest, here is a post made some time ago by Joe Offer

OK, Jim, here's how it is: you seem to have dementia or some sort of psychological problem that does not allow you to participate in a discussion without turning it into combat. You know lots of good stuff about music, and yet you seem to turn every discussion into a discussion of yourself and how you are offended. Most of us here, don't give a rat's ass HOW offended you are and who offended you. We want to talk about music, not about Jim Carroll.
You posted two messages in this so-called ballad thread, and neither one has anything to do with music. That is unacceptable. If you can't carry on a discussion here without getting in a fight, then YOU are unacceptable.
I'm going to close this thread, and I don't want to see any more discussion about thread closure. And particularly from you, Jim, I don't want to see any discussion about anything but the actual topic of the thread.
You are a consistent troublemaker here, and have been for years. We simply cannot allow you to continue doing that, no matter what the source of your problem is. If all you want to do is fight, go somewhere else - but stop clogging Mudcat with your ridiculously petty squabbles. From now on, when you are at Mudcat you are expected to be on what your mother would call "your best behavior." I shouldn't have to treat you like a child; but most often when you're here, you act like a child. Stop it.
Thank you.
Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor

This thread is closed.


08 Nov 19 - 07:15 AM (#4017889)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry, I spelled Althusser incorrectly.


08 Nov 19 - 07:20 AM (#4017890)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Wow! Joe Offer sounds more exasperated than the rest of us. That says it all.
Fred was a fine man and singer by the way Dave.


08 Nov 19 - 07:26 AM (#4017891)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And I can see where Joe was coming from.


08 Nov 19 - 07:36 AM (#4017892)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Didn't get to meet Fred, Nick but I can certainly concur that he was a fine singer. I had not come across such traditional singing before, only second hand via revivalists such as yourself and Peter Bellamy. As I said it took me a good few songs to get into it. Once I did, it was great!


08 Nov 19 - 08:03 AM (#4017895)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,NO

Quoting that Joe Offer post, giving you permission to behave like a bully.

“Quick lads, the big man says we can bully the Carroll man. Get stuck in”

We see similar things across the USA , right now.


08 Nov 19 - 08:23 AM (#4017901)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Vic Smith

We see similar things across the USA , right now.
Well, firstly can I point out that post comes from the USA because Joe Offer is an American and secondly ask yourself how many years of frustration the volunteer adminstrator of this site suffered and how many hours he has spent dealing with this before this outburst came.
I met Joe Offer once when he was over here at Whitby Folk Festival and had a long conversation with him. He seemed to be a very gentle and even-tempered guy.


08 Nov 19 - 08:56 AM (#4017904)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

On a personal note, I (and my family who read this stuff) have been rather concerned about the use of language relating to physical violence in posts addressed to me by Jim Carroll. Twice he has alleged that I have been given a 'kicking' and recently he indulged in some fantasy relating to members of the Carthy family lynching me with a rope. At first I was shocked to think that the Carthy's were such people; but of course this is the imagination of the poster.

The fact that I do not register as a member has been mentioned, often sneeringly. I'll turn this around: in what world would it make sense to register and risk receiving PMs on a site where language like this is used.

I may be back to continue the discussion. I enjoy a discussion and a lively exchange of views. But not this sort of thing. For now I'll be busy elsewhere.

Best wishes
Sue


08 Nov 19 - 09:02 AM (#4017905)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jeri

Clue: when people stop talking about the subject of a thread in favor of going after other posters, you'll get it closed.


08 Nov 19 - 09:08 AM (#4017907)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I can't even make a joke about my own haemorrhoids without him having a go!


08 Nov 19 - 09:09 AM (#4017908)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And before you ask, I use germoloids. It spoils the taste if you use butter.


08 Nov 19 - 09:11 AM (#4017909)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Pity if it were closed: it would be interesting to hear what people think of Hellier's respectful and interesting comparisons of several 'traditional' (read him yourself to see how he uses the term) singers, including Pardon.


08 Nov 19 - 09:26 AM (#4017914)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Sorry can't find the link. Would you mind posting it again. Not your fault, my rapidly declining Laptop I suspect.


08 Nov 19 - 09:40 AM (#4017919)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

anyone who does not listen to a link but decides on what has or has not been said is prejudging or prejudiced.
nobody has insulted walter, at all two well respected friends and collectors made a casual remark in my presence that they had better get something to eat before they visited walter pardon because his idea of a meal was a banana has been turned [by jim] in to a denigration of walters eating habits,absolute poppy cock


08 Nov 19 - 09:54 AM (#4017923)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

Pseudonymous, if you wanted to discuss ideological influences on collectors that has been fairly thoroughly discussed both on here and in print. It's usually fairly obvious when a writer is looking at something from a certain perspective, and if you don't share that perspective you can ignore, or challenge, their conclusions.

I'm not sure what difference it makes to the actual subjects. I don't think it has helped this discussion to make it about one particular singer, when it might have been better to have been more focused on writers' interpretations of traditional singing. Bringing WP into it has perhaps been a distraction.

However since he has been brought into it, he is particularly prominent on Mudcat because whenever Jim, who is a very prolific poster, wants an example of a traditional singer he usually goes to WP. At the time WP was not the only traditional singer who performed on the folk circuit. He was highly regarded by most with an interest in traditional singing, but I don't think you can attribute that entirely to ideology - he was a fine singer and a confident if modest performer, with a large repertoire. Whilst this is subjective, he certainly appeared to me to be among the best I heard, but I don't think he was "lionised" much more than the others.

All these traditional singers were valued because of the connection they provided to the tradition. For some there may have been an ideological element, but above all it was about the singing.


08 Nov 19 - 10:07 AM (#4017926)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

For Nick

Hope this works

http://theses.ncl.ac.uk/jspui/handle/10443/158

"Vernacular song from a North Yorkshire hill farm : culture, contexts and comparisons" is the title.

Howard: Thanks again for your contribution. I hear what you are saying, but I still think that the case study approach is an interesting one. It cuts down the variables. We should be able to discuss any singer without being concerned about any particular mudcat member, and I am sure everybody would welcomed and has welcomed any helpful contribution to the discussion.


08 Nov 19 - 10:15 AM (#4017927)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

When Neutral Observer made the comment that Jim could have been set up on this thread, I was already coming round to this idea myself. Now Pseudonymous writes that he/she has twice been given a kicking. Jim actually wrote that it was Walter Pardon who had been given a kicking. And where does this 'Carthy Family lynching' come from? If from a previous thread then Pseudonymous has previous knowledge of Jim. Then, out of the blue, Pseudonymous adds Joe Offer's previous threat to Jim. Interesting this, or am I beginning to see a complex anti-Jim conspiracy here?
And while I am on, just for the record I am not a Marxist (though I have studied Marxism at Uni and do sometime find it useful to use Marxist ideas to help me understand history). I find it odd that in one place where I am called a Marxist, Pseudonymous used the phrase 'Card carrying Communist' in the next line. Am I being tainted here by word association?
If this is a set up, then it is a very well thought out one. Recently somebody set Jim up with a very bad-taste 'joke' (which, I am glad to say was quickly removed) but the more I think about this I do wonder what is going on.


08 Nov 19 - 10:40 AM (#4017935)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Thanks for the link. Just for the record I have no desire to 'set up' Jim or anybody else. I'm going to make the odd light hearted comment probably because I've been a performer for 40 years. It never entered my head it would be pounced on and turned into a fiasco. Unfortunately it takes Jim Carroll to do that. I just wanted to post my first hand memories of Walter Pardon because I thought they might be an asset to the thread, and could be of interest to the original poster. I don't think anybody else here had any intention of deliberately starting a stupid row with JC, in fact if you look at my other posts and other peoples we are all actively trying to avoid a row.
The only deliberate offence given here is by JC himself-to me to Dick to Dave to Punk to anybody at all.
So-let me try and defuse it a bit. There is great respect for Walter Pardon, there is great respect for most of the posters on here, as Joe suggests above there would be for JC if he would realise that behaving the way he does regularly on Mudcat simply spoils a valuable asset to our mutual love of Folk Music. We are allowed to disagree without it becoming a personal abuse contest. So if another light hearted comment is made like the one I made about the quote from the film could JC at least give me or anybody else the benefit of the doubt before going off on one.


08 Nov 19 - 11:00 AM (#4017940)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Howard,

I do think about what you say, believe me, which is why I am returning despite having other stuff to be doing. It is useful to have people challenge what you say, if it's done in the right spririt etc.

I hear what you say about approaching Pardon for the 'music' if you like, the singing, and feel I understand because this is how I often approach something: I like this, what can I learn from it albeit at my lowly level of skill. Nothing wrong with that, part of my 'tradition' to misuse an overworked word. Far from there being anything wrong with it.

It may even be as you imply that JM's frequent refs to Pardon were part of bringing him to the forefront of my consciousness: I don't really know, there is a world outside the Mudcat bubble. I certainly took trouble to reference in my original post the contributions Jim and Pat had made relating to him, and you can check back to confirm this.

I had sworn not to get involved in discussing JM but it seems unavoidable, but I'm not sure that by selecting a different singer (an idea put into my head by your comments) I might have avoided the problems I perceive (rightly or wrongly) to have arisen since JM came back from a break and joined in this thread. Because he has made over 27,000 posts and is likely to want to join in more or less whatever.

I will say that if I had not in some sense had an interest or sort of liking on some level for Pardon I should not have chosen him. And if people say you need to work on it to get to like him then that is what it seems to me on one level I have been doing.

I'm with Nick Dow but having trawled back over years of threads I don't hold out much hope. People fond of JM may reflect that the main 'heritage' he will be leaving for the future is likely to be 27,000 posts on Mudcat. How that will affect people's willingness to take his research projects seriously is another question. But one worth asking if your name is JM.

But I shall be listening to Pardon and some other singers if I can get all the music as I hope to spend some time enjoying the thesis and comparison.

Have a good weekend everybody.


08 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM (#4017942)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello Mike
Thank you for the clarification on your position regarding Marxist thinking. That is exactly the sort of helpful clarification which takes the discussion forward.

The 'card carrying communist' remark was partly flip, though I stand by the underlying thinking; sorry if it caused offence.


08 Nov 19 - 11:21 AM (#4017943)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Re background, you can search Mudcat using my name as a search term and it will bring you up previous discussion, including some of the thread about the current state of folk song. This is all there for anybody to see.   

Once again, have a nice weekend.


08 Nov 19 - 11:30 AM (#4017945)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Thanks for the drawing together of links to articles about Walter Pardon and to his singing. I think the articles stand OK on their own and, despite warning here, I am not left feeling I may have been led astray.
As Howard Jones says "It's usually fairly obvious when a writer is looking at something from a certain perspective"

However, I am not sure what perspective is behind the opening post. To say that a carpenter born in 1919 was literate is a bit like saying he still had all his fingers and thumbs - only worth mentioning if it was not the case. Likewise mentioning that he knew some history. Most 'working people' of that generation did not have access to secondary education but many of them followed their interests through books and took part in civil society in various ways. As a bachelor Walter maybe had more time for reading than most.


08 Nov 19 - 11:58 AM (#4017949)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

When I was a teenager, the town library had an impressive collection of Topic,
and other folk record Label LPs.
I spent a lot of time looking over the sleeves,
even collected Topic catalogues from the local record shop.
Curious about the old photos..
But can't remember the extent to which I listened to any Trad folk source singer LPs from the library.

This was at a time when folk rock in the pop charts was turning me onto investigating deeper into trad folk...

But from my 20s to 30s I forgot most of what I found out...

That's why I now find a thread like this on Walter Pardon useful.
But, Pseud's convoluted academic approach is a painful reminder of my degree/post grad courses a lifetime ago...

AS for Jim's outrage, it is a ridiculous over reaction to what he all too frequently misconstrues.
.. and is cause for concern for folks who like and respect him...

The "Dementia" word was raised a few posts back..
My life has been overwhelmed coping with my mum's dememtia..
Music has taken a low priority back seat, which is very disheartening.

From my perspective, all older mudcaters should be sensible, swallow their pride,
and see a doctor to discuss tests for dementia.
Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial...

It won't be as uncomfortable as our first prostrate probe...


08 Nov 19 - 12:20 PM (#4017957)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

How dare you people continue as you asre and how dare anybody bring up something I have been in dispute with a modrator for some time ago - that dispute goes far deeper than the matter in hand
Enough
I have bbeen at the centre of ab avbusive attack by Pseudonymous since I pulled him up about his racist behavior towards Travellers

Since then has has turned his attention on Walter Pardon, with the assistance of some others here
If any of you believe that to be fitting behaviour for anybody professing to have the vaguest interest in folk music, then hou come from a different planet than mine#
Travellers have given us more songs and stories than most social groups oin Britain - to write them off as THIEVES, POACHERS, AND SCAVANGERS is totally unacceptable in my world, but those are the exact words used by this abusive troll = ain't that right, ,Pseudonymous ?
Walter appeared on the scene and for twnty years sang his songs and passed on his experiences as England# last large repertoire source singer generously and without hesitation
Again, to Pseudonymous, he was an indifferent and unimportant singer who was gullible enough to be duped into using teh term "folk song" - is that true or not true Pseudonymous ?

When we met Walter in 1975 we discovered he had read every Charles Dickens novel at least three times over and could quote freely from them in casual conversation
At the time, Thomas Hardy was merely a film (Far From the Madding Crowd) and a name on the library shelves - Walter, who had read all his novels half-a--dozen times, encouraged me to read them, so tried, 'Tess' and got as hooked as he was - I have since all of Hardy and most of Dickens thanks to Walter
We have a recording of an interview we did on Walter's literary tastes, where he says "Two of the greatest crimes in literature was the hanging of Tess and the drowning of Maggie Tulliver" (I had to look up who the latter was)

Pseudonymous - if you insult me or anybody once more I will ask that you be stopped from posting to this forum - nobody has insulted you so I suggest you behave like an adult and do likewise - you are a guest here
Similarly, if you (or any of your fellow granddad-bashers use Walter as a target fro your sick humour I will request that this thread be closed
It is totally that one of England's finest source singers be used as target practice by people who obviously know or care about English folk song
How it has been allowed to reach this stage is totally beyond me - this forum should be about promoting and respecting our folk benefactors, not taking the piss out of them - especially when they have been dead as long as Walter has and is not around to speak for himself
Jim Carroll


08 Nov 19 - 12:24 PM (#4017958)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Couple of typos thare for the usual suspects to pick up on
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 12:33 PM (#4017961)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"People who aim the word "dementia" as a term of abuse should be thrown off this forum - not sure what you do about if when it's a mod who does it
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 12:51 PM (#4017963)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Who are you referring to when you say "How dare you people continue as you asre", Jim? Just those who disagree with you? Everyone on the thread? Specific people on the thread? If you want to set up a challenge like "how dare you", you need to be specific as to who it is aimed at.

However, as Jeri says, if you are aiming to get the thread closed, stop talking about the subject of a thread in favor of going after other posters. I guess, seeing as you have shown an intense dislike of what is being said, this is what you are trying to achieve.

I understand that Walter.was a kind and generous man, particularly to you, so rather than aiming random broadsides at all and sundry, would you care to share your personal experiences of him?


08 Nov 19 - 01:01 PM (#4017966)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I have never ever written anything racist about travellers.

You are quite right that the words quoted appear in my post Jim. However you are not right to state that they represent my view on the travelling community.

This is a vile misrepresentation. And to make and repeat it is beneath contempt.

And, regrettably, it is typical of Jim first to unjustly hurl this abuse at me and then to deny ever having insulted anybody. In this case he has simply taken words out of context.

What I actually did was to criticise what I considered to be inappropriate stereotypes of travellers. I noted that travelling people interacted economically with people from the non-travelling community, which was why it was 'unfortunate' (I realise this is a weak word) that they were so often stereotyped in the words quoted by Jim.

I am not the first to complain that Jim did not read my post properly and I shall not be the last. But it is there on the thread for anybody to read.


08 Nov 19 - 01:13 PM (#4017968)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"I have never ever written anything racist about travellers."
I've just quoted you - do you deny you wrote that ?
You in fact went on to ask "how else do they live"

"Who are you referring to when you say"
Would you like me to quote your "banana" comment in full Dave
I was brought up to talk about older people with the same respect you would if they were in their presence
I suggest you come off your high horse and read your own postings
I don't use the term "snide" unless I believe it to be accurate
I have no intention of causing this thread to close by making it an "I said- you said" battle
The disgraceful way Walter was referred to by several people - Pseud being the first" and most persistent - is still up far viewing (unfortunately)
You need to make sure you take longer spoons when dining in such company
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 01:14 PM (#4017969)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

If this thread is to be of any use at all, it needs to be about Walter Pardon and not descend into trolling, personal abuse and over-reaction carried over from previous threads. I'd also say to Jim that, as far as I've understood, only the OP has made negative comments about his singing, and most other posters have praised it.

Like Howard Jones, whose contributions contain a lot of good sense, I'm interested in the OP's motive in opening the discussion. Putting all our present knowledge of Walter Pardon's repertoire, singing style, life experiences etc. in one place would be no bad thing. However, when the argument from the outset appears to be that everything we thought we knew is thrown into question by the (undefined) ideology and bias of those who met and recorded WP, I begin to suspect an agenda. Dave Harker's thesis in 'Fakesong' was that all previous scholarship was part of an overarching conspiracy to tell lies about working-class culture, and there seem to be echoes of that here.

Going back to the original and subsequent posts by Pseudonymous, there's a rather odd obsession with the possible influence of recordings on WP's singing style. It's not out of the question, but the evidence cited is misrepresented, for example:

Another interesting comment is one made by Roly Brown http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/pardon1.htm (accessed 5/11/2019) to the effect that nobody has considered the possible links between Pardon’s work and his collection of 78 rpm records. My thought here is that the last thing that the folklore establishment would be interested in doing is comparing the singing style on these 78 rms with Pardon’s own. Some of the songs are now digitally available, and there seems to me to be very strong similarities, in, for example, some of the trills Pardon uses from time to time.

What Roly Brown is actually saying is that the booklet notes to the 'Put a Bit Of Powder' CD include a list of WP's 78 collection, but do not directly compare that repertoire with WP's own. He is clearly not talking about singing style. As far as the repertoire goes Brown finds the overlap 'negligible' and the list of 78s 'somewhat gratuitous'. There is no cover-up here. What, in any case, is 'the folklore establishment'? Is Roly Brown to be considered part of it and, if not, why not? What grounds are there for claiming that said 'establishment' would have been anything other than intrigued to find a traditional singer's style to have been influenced by commercial recordings? The same review states that 'Walter rarely decorates', and there is no mention of 'trills' - I never detected any and nor, apparently, did Nick Dow.

Here's another odd remark that seeks somehow to undermine WP's status:

"Somewhere else it is said that Pardon started writing songs down after Billy died. But if so, who is to say where he found the words he wrote down?"

The suggestion here seems to be that WP probably obtained his texts from print, recordings, or possibly even made them up himself. It ignores the most likely explanation, which is that he simply remembered them. I can recall many song lyrics I heard regularly as a child, even ones I've never heard (or sung myself) since. There's no shortage of examples of traditional singers remembering lengthy ballads heard in their youth.

And here's an agenda-driven claim:

"A person who, early after his discovery, was denying singing folk songs cannot have spent so much time surrounded by the ideologues of the revival without picking up on their attitudes, without understanding, in a sense, what they want from him and the language in which they discuss song. The 'data' on Pardon as a traditional singer supposedly produced by so many interviews is hopeless polluted by all this, not to mention the leading questions that his interviewers appear to have been so fond of using."

No examples are cited of 'leading questions', but the assumption in this (to me as well as Jim Carroll) patronising and rather offensive statement is that Walter Pardon was a suggestible old man, and we can safely discount the opinions he expressed because they've been planted in his silly head by the dreaded 'folklore establishment'. Never mind that he, by all accounts, was an intelligent man with strong and articulate views of his own. As I said elsewhere, the whole point of trying to learn WP's opinions about the songs was that so few song collectors of an earlier era bothered to do this kind of thing. Most interested parties would celebrate the approach, rather than attempt to undermine it. Jim Carroll's account is that WP maintained a distinction between the older songs in his repertoire and the Music Hall material, as did certain other traditional singers. He also made a clear association between melodies in the non-major modes (melodeon bellows finish extended) and the antiquity of the song.

Here's another questionable point:

"He himself said he believed that his grandfather got them from broadsides. If that source doesn't count as Victorian popular music …."

Actually the OP's original description (on another thread) was 'Victorian pop songs', which was clearly pejorative. Even his diluted version is inaccurate, though. For a start, broadsides typically included no music. Secondly, as the Roly Brown review cited by the OP makes clear, the broadside repertoire we are talking about here 'entered the domain of singers [from] the late eighteenth century up to and including the biggest surge of broadside production during the 1830s and 1840s'. Victoria ascended to the throne in 1737. No doubt many of the same broadside texts were still available when WP's grandfather was a young man (though this would not explain where he got the tunes), but that does not make them cultural products of the Victorian era.

Lastly, Pseudonymous really needs to get to grips with what 'tradition' means in this context. It's about songs being passed on between generations and communities - nothing to do with anonymity, antiquity or performance style. And it's usage has nothing to do with Marxism.

I'm glad Mike Yates has joined the discussion, that makes two contributors who know more about Walter Pardon than most.


08 Nov 19 - 01:15 PM (#4017971)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Re commenting on Pardon' literacy.

1 I took a wide view of the potential audience here. Not everybody will be aware of the history of education in England. So I felt it worthwhile to sketch out. In any case, it isn't that simple: I have worked in adult literacy and I can assure that there still are some people who for one reason or another cannot read and write, sometimes because for family reasons they slipped through the net, or because school did not suit them, persistent truancy, family problems, all sorts of reasons.

2 Pardon's reading habits are explained in the texts referred to in the opening post.

3 Re JM's threats to request that this thread should be closed, and at the risk of appearing childish: oooo, I'm shivering in my shoes. Lighten up!


08 Nov 19 - 01:27 PM (#4017973)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Walter's literacy came from his family's progressive belief that the way to make the world a better place was through self-education (pretty well the attitude taken by MacColl and many of his generation)
When Walter died we discovered an un-returned Library among his things a three volume copy of a Bronte novel - it was stamped the' North Walsham Working Mens' Library'
The activists of that period found the established education system wanting so they set up their own
Not everybody will be aware of the history of working class education in England, as someone,somewhat pompously put it recently
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 01:27 PM (#4017974)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

I am beginning to fear the worst about JC after that outburst. I think this is a job for Joe Offer and it's not one I would like. I will totally understand if this post is deleted.


08 Nov 19 - 01:35 PM (#4017975)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Would you like me to quote your "banana" comment in full Dave

Yes please, Jim. I would.


08 Nov 19 - 01:43 PM (#4017978)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

On literacy and schooling, I have the example of a much loved great aunt. One of 14 children she had polio as a child and was never sent to school because they did not live and she was in an iron lung a lot of the time. Her father, who had been a coal miner but lost his health underground did teach her to read at home using a bible which was the only book they had around. So, yes I do think it is worth pointing out both that Pardon was literate and that he was well read, both of which I did in the original.


08 Nov 19 - 01:47 PM (#4017979)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Thank you Brian for a thoughtful post which I shall read when I have time.


08 Nov 19 - 01:48 PM (#4017980)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

However, I will comment that the term 'tradition' has been shown within Mudcat to be a contested one.


08 Nov 19 - 02:16 PM (#4017990)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

"the term 'tradition' has been shown within Mudcat to be a contested one."

I'd be careful about citing Mudcat - for all its good works - as a definitive source.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


08 Nov 19 - 02:34 PM (#4017993)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Yes please, Jim. I would."
Sorry Dave - it's still up on the other thread
Go look it up yourself (search just above "snide" - that should find it)

"has been shown within Mudcat to be a contested one."
The three man and a dog that make up Mudcat (most of whom refuse to discuss origins) - tradition has been clearly established and defined since the middle of the 19th century and there are libraries of books on the subject- those who dispute it usually do so because it's inconvenient not to

"I will totally understand if this post is deleted."
I would like to see your introducing Walter's so-called eating habits onto this forum deleted but - hey - we can't always get what we want
I remind you that it was Pseudo who introduvced Joe into this discussion, not me
I'm willing to leave it the - I suggest you do the same

Brian
The question of broadside in Walter's family is a somewhat confused one
Walter certainly thought his grandfather had them but, as his main source of informant, Uncle Billy, was dead when Walter began to take an active interest, nothing is guaranteed clear
Walter's grandfather's family were extremely poor - so much so that he was forced to leave the land and go to sea and his family were deposited in the local workhouse - they were referred to locally as "Mother hen and her poor chickens"
Broadsides would have been a luxury, certainly in later days

The whole question of broadsides is being far too simplistically in my opinion
Thede "hacks" were notoriously bad poets producing songs that were 'chalk' to the traditional songs 'cheese'
Did the singers but them, take them to their poorly lit cottages and set out to knock of the corners
Usually, the transformation of a broadside usually depended on a healthy oral tradition to use as a polishing tool - as far as I can make out, none such existed around Knapton
Walter's family were involved in church singing yet there's no sign of that influence in any of his songs and his texts are pretty good, even though he's added verses to some of them

From our work in Ireland, I have become convinced that the broadside to oral tradition journey wa very much a two-way street and that the hacks were quite likely to have scribbled plots and verses of traditional songs from visiting tradesmen and made the sow's ears that appeared on the streets
Singers from Clare certainly bought the 'ballads' (Travellers' song-sheets'), but the two impressions we got were either that "you didn't mess with the printed word' or they were used to fortify already existing songs
Tom Lenihan said "you couldn't trust them" but used a coule to fortify part songs
Mikeen McCarthy described going into the printers in Tralee with his father's songs and reciting them over the counter in order to turn them into song-sheets - a printed oral tradition produced by a non-literate Traveller
Mikeen said he responded to suggestions like "why don't you take your daddy's .... into the printer - we'd bu that one
We asked Mikeen if he ever know of songs being written for 'The Ballads' - he replied, "why, we had more than enough among ourselves

I'm trying to write some of this up at present (when everything else if out of the way)
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 02:34 PM (#4017994)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Yes please, Jim. I would."
Sorry Dave - it's still up on the other thread
Go look it up yourself (search just above "snide" - that should find it)

"has been shown within Mudcat to be a contested one."
The three man and a dog that make up Mudcat (most of whom refuse to discuss origins) - tradition has been clearly established and defined since the middle of the 19th century and there are libraries of books on the subject- those who dispute it usually do so because it's inconvenient not to

"I will totally understand if this post is deleted."
I would like to see your introducing Walter's so-called eating habits onto this forum deleted but - hey - we can't always get what we want
I remind you that it was Pseudo who introduvced Joe into this discussion, not me
I'm willing to leave it the - I suggest you do the same

Brian
The question of broadside in Walter's family is a somewhat confused one
Walter certainly thought his grandfather had them but, as his main source of informant, Uncle Billy, was dead when Walter began to take an active interest, nothing is guaranteed clear
Walter's grandfather's family were extremely poor - so much so that he was forced to leave the land and go to sea and his family were deposited in the local workhouse - they were referred to locally as "Mother hen and her poor chickens"
Broadsides would have been a luxury, certainly in later days

The whole question of broadsides is being far too simplistically in my opinion
Thede "hacks" were notoriously bad poets producing songs that were 'chalk' to the traditional songs 'cheese'
Did the singers but them, take them to their poorly lit cottages and set out to knock of the corners
Usually, the transformation of a broadside usually depended on a healthy oral tradition to use as a polishing tool - as far as I can make out, none such existed around Knapton
Walter's family were involved in church singing yet there's no sign of that influence in any of his songs and his texts are pretty good, even though he's added verses to some of them

From our work in Ireland, I have become convinced that the broadside to oral tradition journey wa very much a two-way street and that the hacks were quite likely to have scribbled plots and verses of traditional songs from visiting tradesmen and made the sow's ears that appeared on the streets
Singers from Clare certainly bought the 'ballads' (Travellers' song-sheets'), but the two impressions we got were either that "you didn't mess with the printed word' or they were used to fortify already existing songs
Tom Lenihan said "you couldn't trust them" but used a coule to fortify part songs
Mikeen McCarthy described going into the printers in Tralee with his father's songs and reciting them over the counter in order to turn them into song-sheets - a printed oral tradition produced by a non-literate Traveller
Mikeen said he responded to suggestions like "why don't you take your daddy's .... into the printer - we'd bu that one
We asked Mikeen if he ever know of songs being written for 'The Ballads' - he replied, "why, we had more than enough among ourselves

I'm trying to write some of this up at present (when everything else if out of the way)
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 02:35 PM (#4017995)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Why the .... did that happen
Jim


08 Nov 19 - 02:48 PM (#4018001)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Sorry Dave - it's still up on the other thread

What other thread, Jim. I post to many. If you are not prepared to quote my "banana" comment in full, why offer to do so? You are obviously implying I said something that you have taken offense at, yet again. Why not just tell me what I am supposed to have said? Or, yet again, again, are you just blowing not air?


08 Nov 19 - 03:21 PM (#4018008)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I haven't read the most recent posts, but this is 'the story' as I see it:

There was a thread on the state of UK folk, which did go off topic and this was partly me voicing thoughts I had been having. At the polite request of Joe G who started that thread, and because of the tone of it, and because I hoped to continue the discussion, I opened this thread.

I started it with a longish piece, specifically labelled a draft, in which I tried to put every 'reference' I could find to Walter Pardon, including links to his repertoire, lists of interviews, articles, films. I drew on and acknowledged in particular the work of Mustrad, another wonderful site.

If anybody was 'set up' it was me, and I did it, as I invited comments and feedback as well as additional sources, and obviously this being Mudcat I was aware some feedback might be strongly worded, strongly felt and so on. And up to a point there is nothing wrong with that.

I think there have been valuable contributions of many sorts, including not least the thoughts of those who have seen Pardon perform, not just how they felt but where he performed.

I have made notes and in some cases amended the draft, which was a draft and have on balance got a lot out of the thread.

If it is closed on the demand of unhappy posters, I shall still have taken a lot from it.

And once again I thank those who have taken the time to express their feelings and thoughts in response to the original post.


08 Nov 19 - 03:25 PM (#4018009)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Brian, yes Mudcat not necessarily definitive, but often interesting and lively.


08 Nov 19 - 03:49 PM (#4018011)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Jim Carroll

I don't know whether you are aware of the idea of taking words out of their context and twisting them? Because it seems plain to me that this is precisely what you are doing with my words in relation to the travelling community.

I am not denying that the words you quote appear in my thread. They did, but it is clear from the context that I did not do so because they represent my view. So I have no interest in denying that I typed them.

To explain this as simply as I can, one could quote from the works of Donald Trump without approving his policies.

The post is there in its context for people to read.

I was, I suppose, making the old point that once literacy had been invented there could be no such thing as a 'pure' oral tradition.

And in pointing out the economic links between the travelling community and those around them, I was pondering how interactions would take place. An example from memory would be knife mending: as a child in the country I recall travelling people sharpening my mother's kitchen knives. We also bought trinkets from them. Rightly or wrongly, my mother believed that they secretly marked the house to show others that it was a place they could call. Now I am not claiming that we ever sang songs to or with them, but the point that there was interaction is reasonable, and you yourself have made it often.

I don't want to make a big thing of it, but at one time I was involved in community relations work, lobbying local councils to obey the Caravan Sites Act before it was repealed, something I think was wrong. I was twice invited into a traveller's caravan, one family who considered themselves Romany travellers, and one who had Irish origins. At another time, I have worked with a traveller who came forward as an adult wishing to learn to read and write.

I have made my views on your posts relating to this issue clear. You appear to think you are some great crusader: that isn't how you come across to me. From my perspective you have jumped to ill founded and unfair conclusions on the basis of nothing but what is in your own head. I'll leave it there.


08 Nov 19 - 04:19 PM (#4018013)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Thinking about adult literacy got me thinking about discussion skills, and some useful pointers are here. How to disagree politely, I seem to be forgetting how to do it.

https://www.eapfoundation.com/speaking/discussions/agreeing/


And more advice here


https://www.eapfoundation.com/speaking/discussions/


08 Nov 19 - 04:19 PM (#4018015)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Patronising and pretentious? Moi?


08 Nov 19 - 06:14 PM (#4018029)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

Brian,
Like you I also suspect Sue has an agenda, more than one agenda perhaps, but most of the initial post is presenting available information and trying to put together an overall picture which is mostly reasonably balanced (IMO). Rather than condemn the facts and opinions presented it would be better to discuss them in a reasonable and reasoned manner, particularly the contradictory evidence, and also in a wider context comparing Walter with other source singers and their repertoires. This can easily be achieved by ignoring any kneejerk OTT reactions. Sometimes by throwing in one or two controversial opinions as Sue has done it can provoke a more lively discussion (but without getting personal or resorting or twisting what is being stated).


08 Nov 19 - 06:32 PM (#4018033)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Pseudonymous. You didn't say in the OP that Walter was well-read. If you had done you would not have needed to say that he was literate.

That he enjoyed and was very familiar with well-crafted story telling seem very pertinent to me when considering his songs.


08 Nov 19 - 07:29 PM (#4018043)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Joe G

By Sue I assume you mean Pseu, Steve?


09 Nov 19 - 01:05 AM (#4018061)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello Jag, your point 1 this is a reasonable and helpful suggestion. I have had to pick myself up off the floor. point 2 I had to ask 'did this sort of thinking really occur on Mudcat?' Speaking as a massive fan of Charles Dickens myself (though not sure about him on trade unionism) this was one aspect of Pardon that appealed to me. Though of course Dickens had massive appeal before Pardon's time with newly literate readerships in his own times. So thank you for both points.

I am quite happy for 'people' to 'suspect' that I have an agenda. Not sure I like the language but I can live with it. But I do have some sort of 'thesis' and this brings me back to the house Pardon lived in and the language (I am thinking some people here will be able to tune in to this sort of analysis) he was presented in.

Time after time I read he live in a farm labourers's cottage. His maternal grandparents had lived there, the Cook Gee family (dating from a 19th c marriage between a Cook and a Gee). Yet when I listen to the BL stuff I hear Billy explain that it had been a 'smallholding'. In other words, lived in by smaller scale tenants.

I have ancestors similar, some blacksmiths into the bargain. Up to mid 19th century. To me it was obvious that it had been a farmhouse of sorts as opposed to a labourer's cottage. You only have to look at the film of it And again, obviously it was not a farm labourer's cottage in the days when Pardon lived there, as he was a carpenter. Pardon was a skilled worker, not a labourer. Yet his house is demoted from 'had been the farmhouse on a smallholding' to 'labourer's cottage' in accounts of his background.

To me it is reasonable to suggest that such semiotic choices in presentation play into the theoretical and political leanings of the people who discovered and marketed him.

I have sent for a history of Knapton, getting tangential but then I always like to get things in context.

On the 'card carrying communist' comment discussed before. On reflection, this isn't so far off the mark. Now once again my language (these are quick notes) may not be the most tactful, but Topic Records was in some sense what you might roughly call and I say might a communist party front originally, linked with other CP projects. Now if I am wrong here, happy to be corrected. I am sure I hae read that this is the case. Not trying to criticise anybody here, just thinking in historical terms.

Thank you


09 Nov 19 - 02:51 AM (#4018064)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Cj

Ok. Topic Records a Communist Party front? I'm intrigued.

Any evidence there? At all?

"Roughly" doesn't excuse your making of statement.


09 Nov 19 - 03:55 AM (#4018069)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim Carroll
I don't know whether you are aware of the idea of taking words out of their context and twisting them? Because it seems plain to me that this is precisely what you are doing with my words in relation to the travelling community."
A word of advice
If you start postings with this aggressively abusive tone you are going to find yourself ostracised as others have been for attempting to talk down to people

If you make a statement, kindly have the balls to stand by it and not hide behind "someone else said it"
As far as your racist outburst towards Travellers - you said what you said and that sort of degrading language has no place in discussions on folk song

The relationship between orality and literature is a complex one - you appear to be treating it on the "Do you still beat your wife - yes or no" level
We spent some time examining the relationship - not by scrambling around the net looking for suitable cut-'n-pastes, but actually spending time with the people involved
Judging by the lack of requests for the article based on Walter describing his attitude to folk song, people are as disinterested in what he had to say on folk song as they are on what I have to say, and would much rather pontificate on the subject by removing the singers from the equation

Of course there is no such thing as a "pure oral tradition", just as there is no such thing as a printed folk song that hasn't relied on orality
Nobody will ever know which came first - we can only make intelligent guesses - if we put in the work we might just be able to come to some sort of a conclusion based on the little the singers were allowed to say
The only certain thing in all this is ONCE YOU ACCEPT THAT "THE FOLK" WERE CAPABLE OF HAVING MADE THEIR OWN SONGS, THEN YOU NEED TO ACCEPT THAT THEY PROBABLY DID

"a Communist Party front"
Can we assume from your choice of antedeluvian language that you have yet to emerge from The Cold Way ?
Please don't make these threads a platform for your own obvious extremist right wing views; they have as little place in these discussions as do your formerly expressed contempt of Travellers
Jim Carroll


09 Nov 19 - 04:00 AM (#4018070)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

the cold way?


09 Nov 19 - 04:01 AM (#4018071)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Any evidence there? At all?
Please don't allow this individual to make this a platform for his own political views
It's worth remembering that had he and his kind had their way Walter Pardon's family and their workmates would have found themselves being tried in an Un-East Anglian Activities Court
Jim Carroll


09 Nov 19 - 04:02 AM (#4018072)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Cold War Dick - sorry
Jim


09 Nov 19 - 04:22 AM (#4018076)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

I believe oral communication predates the written word by quite a while. If this is true then there is no guesswork involved as to whether the oral tradition or printed songs came first. Or am I missing something?


09 Nov 19 - 04:32 AM (#4018079)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Or am I missing something?"
You are not Dave, but as far as folk song is concerned, some people would have us believe that the folk were incapable of making their songs and had to go out and buy them
Oddly, that idea finds favour with those who regard Topic and the folk revival as a "Communist plot" - a pretty 'political' view, I would have thought (but certainly not 'Communist')
Jim


09 Nov 19 - 04:55 AM (#4018082)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Looks like a farmworkers cottage to me on Google Maps Pseudonymous. Most of what you see on the film is the farm. Look for the barn with the slit windows on Streetview. Seems like the cottage entrance still has the round nameplate.

I had a relative born in about 1895 who was an estate labourer. His tied cottage was about that size but had outbuildings and rented land to make it up to a smallholding.


09 Nov 19 - 05:10 AM (#4018084)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

You could have asked
Walter's home was originally a single storey labourers cottage standing on its own small piece if land - it was 'modernised' in the 1950s)
The barn to the left (on the village side) belonged to a local farmer, and had nothing to do with the cottage
The village once had a shop but never had a pub, so all singing locally was done at Harvest Suppers of at family parties
A description of the home singing can be found in the sleeve notes of the album, 'Our Side of the Baulk'
'The baulk' was the long support beam that ran the length of the house - if those sitting on one side of the room thought that the other side were getting more than their fair share of the singing, the cry would go up, "Our side of the baulk"

Walter only ever sang one song at these gatherings, 'Dark-Eyed Sailor' because "Nobody else wanted that old thing"
Jim Carroll


09 Nov 19 - 05:58 AM (#4018090)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

A lot of space, but this seem to be the only way to get Walter heard in this strange discussion - it's a pity it was necessary
Jim Carroll

From
Dear Far Voiced Veteran, (Essays in hounour of Tom Munnelly OKS 2007

A Simple Countryman?
Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie
“Popular tradition, however, does not mean popular origin. In the case of our ballad, the underlying folklore is Irish de facto, but not de-jure: the ballad is of Oriental and literary origin, and has sunk to the level of the folk which has the keeping of folklore. To put it in a single phrase, memory not invention is the function of the folk”. [our italics]                                                                                                                                                               
Note by Phillips Barry to ‘Lake of Col Finn’, in the Helen Hartness Flanders collection, New Green Mountain Songster, Yale University Press, 1939
The writer of the above note, American Phillips Barry, was regarded as an eminent folk song scholar in the early part of the 20th century. Aside from a distaste for the phrase “sunk to the level of the folk”, it seems somewhat dismissive of the talents of those who gave the collector for whom he was writing, many wonderful examples of the oral song tradition. Of course, memory is of utmost importance to the singer but the act of creation involved in singing also embraces ‘invention’, a process developed from thought and imagination. To be fair to Barry, his statement is at variance with a number of comments that he makes in the Foreword to the above collection. There he writes of “the folk singer’s prerogative to be also folk composer, to recreate textually and musically a song he has learned”. It is this latter assertion that has been our experience over the thirty years during which we have been talking to and recording singers, and we would like to draw on our work with the English singer, Walter Pardon, as illustration. All quoted passages are taken from interviews recorded between 1975 and 1993.

East Anglia in South East England has proved a fertile area for traditional song, probably due in part to its relative isolation [see map]. Norfolk, in particular, produced three fine singers in the 20th century: farmworker Harry Cox from Catfield; Sam Larner, a fisherman from Winterton; and lastly, Walter Pardon of Knapton, a carpenter from a farming background, each living within twenty miles of each other. In the earlier years of the 20th century, collectors like Ralph Vaughan Williams and E.J. Moeran were finding the county a rich source of traditional song: particularly noteworthy was Moeran’s work in the l920s with Harry Cox. In the 1950s, the BBC’s mopping up campaign was still unearthing singers with a wealth of material despite the fact that, by that time, the singing tradition in England had entered a steep decline and, indeed, had almost died out, leaving us with a handful of traditional singers and a somewhat larger number of what Ewan MacColl aptly described as ‘song carriers’: people who had not necessarily been part of the singing tradition but, for one reason or another, had clung on to some of the old songs and music. Although lucky enough to catch Harry Cox and Sam Larner in the flesh just once, we were able to spend twenty years with Walter Pardon, the youngest of the trio, from 1975 until his death in 1995.               

Walter was born in 1914 into a family of mainly agricultural workers employed on local farms and also as gardeners and groundsmen at local golf links. Knapton is a small rural village, a couple of miles from the sea at Mundesley and the same distance from the market town of North Walsham; it has no pub and the single small shop closed years ago. When Walter was growing up, the roads were unmade which meant outside influences were very few. Walter was born and lived all his life in the same house that his mother and her siblings were all born in and into which Walter’s maternal grandparents moved when they were first married, probably about the mid-19th century. His mother’s father was apparently the main source of the family songs and played clarinet in the church gallery, in the choir, and was a bellringer. His maternal great grandfather had moved to the village from North Walsham in about 1820. The earliest Walter knew of his father’s family connection with Knapton was his great, great grandfather’s grave, dated 1851.

Walter was an only child and so became the focus of attention, not only of his parents but also of the two bachelor uncles [his mother’s brothers, Walter and Billy] who lived with them. Walter appeared to have had a happy childhood but times were hard. As a boy, he, along with other children, helped on the land: pulling beet, pitching hay up on to the stacks, etc. At that time, the children’s summer holidays were determined by the dates of the harvest; the farmers told the schools when they were going to start so that the holidays could coincide. They worked from dawn to dusk six days a week. Walter was told of earlier times:

“Years back the children, when they used to hollow out the turnips and mangles, instead of cutting them out right clean like they done when I remember, they, little children, crawl in between the rows and pull them out with their fingers”.

He related how his Uncle Billy was sent off to work alone on one occasion:

“There’s a long loke [boreen], a mile long and he was sent down the loke to work alone and he said to one of the men, ‘How shall I know the time, no watch?’ So the man say, ‘When you can see two stars with one eye, leave off work’. So Billy could see two, come up into the yard and John Blanchflower [the farmer] was there; he said, ‘You left off early Billy’. Billy said, ‘I was told when I could see two stars with one eye I could leave off’. And the old man look up and he say, ‘I can see more than two so you’ve got a right to stop work’. So that’s how he got out of that one all right”.

Walter spoke of his great grandfather, unusually named Brown Pardon, who worked for a farmer in Knapton and they quarrelled:

“I think he swore at the old man. Anyone who answered back, you see, that was instant dismissal in them days then, this would be, I should think, in the early 1850s or even 1840s. He was given instant dismissal and no-one would employ him. My grandfather and his three sisters, he had to keep them and their mother. He’d got no money so he went to Yarmouth and went to sea, like Sam Larner did, you know, this trawling. My grandfather and his sisters and the mother had to go into Gimmingham Workhouse while he was away at sea, ‘cause no-one would employ him. There’s a man told me that when his mother was a little girl, they all come past the house crying to think they had to go in the workhouse; she cried to see them cry. But father said my grandfather told him he liked it in the workhouse, it was warm and he was fed. Well, they’d have starved, workhouse or starve, so they went in there until he could come home with some money”.

Walter was apprenticed as a carpenter in the neighbouring village of Paston when he left school at 14 and he worked mainly locally, probably within a radius of 20 miles, cycling to work each day. He never lived away from Knapton except for his four years War Service when he was employed as a carpenter on various Army camps about the country.

The Gees, his mother’s family, were musical: singers and instrumentalists. In the past, they had played fiddles, concertinas, clarinets and accordeons but Walter had only heard his Uncle Walter who played melodeon and Jews Harp. Walter learnt songs from his family: his mother, his Aunt Alice and, principally, his Uncle Billy. Billy, who was born in 1863, had a great number of songs from his father, Tom Gee, who was well known as a singer with a very large repertoire. Walter remembered, as a child, sitting on Billy’s knee and absorbing the songs and tunes. He was about seven years old when he learnt his first complete song, THE POACHER’S FATE.

The family was constantly acquiring songs: from neighbours, gramophone records, etc., and Walter knew several Irish songs from workers who had travelled to the area to work on the land [we found several Irish names in the area, e.g. Murphy and Cahill]. The singing was done at Harvest Frolics, the celebrations after the harvest, which died out while Walter was young, and at Christmas parties. Apparently so many people came to the cottage then that they had to have meals in two sittings.

“I can remember going, it’s finished now, the old beer stalls at North Walsham. I think the man is dead now, Arthur Harvey. I don’t know how many years back, I got four little bottles of nips I think they were, put in a bag. He says, ‘Is that all you want?’ I says, ‘Yes, that’ll be enough for me’. ‘My word’, he said, ‘It’s a lot of difference now than what used to be carted in to your house. There used to be a lot come’. I say, ‘Yes, very near twenty’. He say, ‘I carted more beer to that house ready for Christmas night than any house I went to and I went miles!’ ”.

There would be conversation, music, singing and dancing at these parties but always perfect quiet for the songs. The living room had an exposed beam running across the ceiling called the baulk and the shout would go up, “Our side of the baulk” after someone had sung from one side of the room and they would take turns across the room. 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.

“There used to be Christmas night and the Harvest Frolics, yes. Well they sung the songs as they learnt as new. The ages stretched so much, you see, from the oldest down to the youngest and there was years difference, you very near knew when they were born by the songs, you see. They’d be the folk songs that went back probably to the eighteenth century, early nineteenth; then when the younger ones come along, songs would be sung what they learned perhaps in the eighteen or nineteen hundreds, up to early perhaps nineteen twenty. So they all learnt them as new, as they come out in their time. And there was only me learnt the old ones, you see, what had gone back, what grandfather sung.
The Harvest Frolics finished when I was a boy, anyhow. Then that gradually died as the old people kept dying; then the old Christmas parties finished altogether, so there was no more left to carry it on and no-one left but me who knew the songs”.

There was no pub singing in Walter’s time but he knew that there had been in the past which Billy had taken part in from the age of about seventeen [1880], at the Mitre Tavern in North Walsham in particular.

“They had a singing room there and that was where they used to assemble with accordeons and flutes and fiddles and singing and step dancing, all that sort of thing. And he used to go up Thursday nights, walk up, that’s market day in North Walsham. That was the night they held the singing”.

Walter heard Billy sing only once in a pub: after an Agricultural Workers’ Union meeting at the Crown in Trunch, the next village. 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; for example:

                               OLD MAN’S ADVICE
(To the tune of My Grandfather’s Clock)

My grandfather worked when he was very young
And his parents felt grieved that he should,
To be forced in the fields to scare away the crows
To earn himself a bit of food.
The days they were long and his wages were but small,
And to do his best he always tried,
But times are better for us all
Since the old man died.

For the union is started, unite, unite,
Cheer up faint hearted, unite, unite,
The work’s begun, never to stop again
Since the old man died.

My grandfather said in the noontide of life,
Poverty was a grief and a curse,
For it brought to his home sorrow, discord and strife
And kept him poor with empty purse.
So he took a bold stand and joined the union band,
To help his fellow men he tried,
A union man he vowed he’d stand
Till the day he died.

For the union………………………               

My grandfather’s dead, as we gathered round his bed,
These last words to us he did say:
Don’t let your union drop nor the agitation stop,
Or else you’ll soon rue the day.
Get united to a man, for it is your only plan,
Make the union your care and your pride,
Help on reform in every way you can,
Then the old man died.

For the union…………………….

Influenced by his family’s love of song and music, Walter developed a deep interest in the songs – he said he supposed he’d inherited it. After his Uncle Billy died in 1942, he began writing down his family’s songs on scraps of paper and in exercise books; one notebook was dated 1948. Including fragments, we recorded over 200 songs from him, with a solid base of some 100 complete songs, largely traditional.

It is interesting to study Walter’s tunes which are often similar to familiar versions but subtly different. It is difficult to say that this is exactly how he learnt them, although he thought so. During the long period of not hearing them, at least 20 years, he kept the songs alive for himself by playing the tunes on the melodeon. Did they perhaps get changed then? Were certain phrases easier for him to play on the melodeon? Or was it simply his own creativity, that he preferred certain musical phrases to others? We’ll never know, of course, but certainly Walter’s tunes are a little different to standard versions and very distinctive.

Walter was aided in putting together songs which he had heard but never sung by his prodigious memory. He was able to describe local lore and events not only from his own experience but those which had been recounted to him by his elders. He could recall long vanished field names, local words and names of animals, farm implements, etc. We gave him an exercise book once and asked him, if he had time, would he write down some of the sayings, proverbs, stories, dialect words, etc. Shortly after, he had filled every page completely with close writing; bought two more books and filled them in the same way.

Aware that Walter had been putting together the family repertoire, his cousin’s nephew, Roger Dixon, who had also been interested in the songs from a boy, endeavoured to persuade him to put some on tape.
Eventually, having bought a tape recorder, Walter set about it and later described his efforts at recording himself:

“I used to think I could manage to sing the old RAMBLING BLADE; I put it on and it sound so blooming horrible I wiped it right out; oh, that did sound dreadful. I don’t think that was as bad, perhaps, as I thought it was but that was a long while, trying different things until I thought that was better as I kept hearing it, you see. And I know that was about October, 1972, when I started it. Oh, I don’t know, it took about up to Christmas time to fill one side; I used to forget there was verses in the songs, you see, I used to keep wiping it out and putting them on again. That took a long time to get them up into the pitch I could sing them in, not having sung the things. Well, I got one side done somewhere from the October up to the Christmas1972 this was. And I know when it come over to the following New Year, I was in here one Saturday night and that was bitterly cold; oh, that was a wind frost, wind coming everywhere. I was that cold, I had a big fire going one side and that little stove the other. So I thought then I’d do some more taping so I got warmed up; I had a strong dose of rum and milk, and I had another one. And so I got the tape recorder going, I can remember well enough, that was CAROLINE AND HER YOUNG SAILOR, and when I finished it was the best I ever did do. Well, I found out I drank more than I should, I had to keep right still, that was true. In fact, I was drunk. and then of course I went to bed; I never did have any more. And the next morning when I got up and tried it I knew I was, how that was coming out with all the words all slurred, so I wiped it all out. Well, I found then as I kept going, that it wouldn’t pay to drink anything. Anyhow, eventually that was filled up in the March; that was March 1973”.

Roger Dixon passed these tapes to Revival singer Peter Bellamy, a former pupil of his and, recognising Walter for the superb singer that he was, Peter passed them on to record producer, Bill Leader, who went to Knapton and recorded material for two albums: A PROPER SORT and OUR SIDE OF THE BAULK.

This opened up a whole new world that Walter had not known existed: first at the Norwich Festival and later at folk song clubs throughout the country.

“I had a vague idea they had folk clubs of some description: all these doctors, solicitors etcetera, would go and sing in someone’s big house. I never realised, you see, working people done that, never knew a single thing about it”.

From the outset, Walter’s approach to his new-found celebrity was professional: To him, performing was a job to be done properly and for which he prepared carefully, so that he did not forget words or pitch wrongly and he only ever drank shandies – slowly. He gave a lot of thought to his singing and always stressed the importance of singing naturally, as spoken. He had his own positive ideas and he became very disturbed at the way in which some audiences would completely ignore, for instance, the speed at which he was singing and would draw out the choruses painfully slowly so that he found himself way ahead and trying to adapt to the audience. He considered, quite rightly, that this was very discourteous, if nothing else, and he dropped one song from his working repertoire for that reason. He told us that his Uncle Billy, his greatest influence, sang “quite steady and straightforwardly” and, although Walter did not think he sang as fast, he must have been affected by Billy’s style to a degree; he always resisted the temptation to drag out ballads. Referring to pacing a song, he said you had to have the right ‘strook’; perhaps Norfolk dialect for stroke but he spelt it for us: STROOK.

It is perhaps surprising that the collectors working in Norfolk missed a family of singers such as the Gees but it was certainly quite phenomenal that, out of the blue, appeared a singer of such ability with such a large, rich and varied repertoire and such splendid tunes. The ease and conviction with which he handled his material [classic ballads, bawdy songs, Victorian parlour ballads, Union or Music Hall songs] was striking as was the informed, intelligent and emotional response to them, particularly the depth of his involvement.

It is revealing to note his choices when asked to list six songs for a performance:

“THE PRETTY PLOUGHBOY would be one, that’s one; THE RAMBLING BLADE would be two, VAN DIEMAN’S LAND three, LET THE WIND BLOW HIGH OR LOW, that’d be four, BROOMFIELD HILL, that’s five, TREES THEY DO GROW HIGH, six, that’d be six”.

These are all from the classical traditional repertoire, including one Child ballad, of which he had several. BROOMFIELD HILL was certainly one of his favourites:

               BROOMFIELD HILL   [Child 43]
‘A wager, a wager with you, pretty maid,
My one hundred pounds to your ten,
That a maid you shall go into yonder green broom,
But a maid you shall never return.’

‘A wager, a wager with you, kind sir,
Your one hundred pounds to my ten,
That a maid I shall go into yonder green broom,
And a maid I shall boldly return.’

And when she arrived down in yonder green broom
She found her love fast asleep,
Dressed in fine silken hose with a new suit of clothes
And a bunch of green broom at his feet.

Then nine times did she go to the soles of his feet,
Nine times to the crown of his head,
And nine times she kissed his cherry red lips,
As he lay on his green mossy bed.

Then she took a gold ring from off of her hand
And placed it on his right thumb,
And that was to let her true love to know
That his lady had been there and gone.

Then nine times did she go to the crown of his head,
Nine times to the soles of his feet,
And nine times she kissed his cherry red lips
As he lay on the ground, fast asleep.

And when he awoke from out of his sleep
‘Twas then that he counted the cost,
For he knew that his true love had been there and gone
And he thought of the wager he had lost.

He called three times for his horse and his man,
The horse that he bought so dear;
Saying, ‘Why didn’t you wake me out of my sleep
When my lady, my true love, was here.’

‘Oh master, I called unto you three times,
And three times I blew on my horn,
But I could not wake you out of your sleep
‘Til your lady, your true love, had gone.’

Farewell and adieu to her loved one in gloom,
Farewell to the birds on Broomfield Hill.
A maid she did go into yonder green broom
And a maid she remains forever still.

“Yeah, that sounds an old tune, don’t it? Nine has gone in, the witch’s number”.

Walter maintained that a good imagination was essential to the singer and felt that his singing had matured in this respect since his first public performances:

“…….put more expression in probably; I think so. Well, 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……. it all depend what and how you’re singing. Some of them go to nice lively, quick tunes, and others are....... well, if there’s a sad old song you don’t go through that very quick…… 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.

Walter’s always thoughtful evaluation of songs was interesting. He said that, if he performed before a big crowd, he liked to sing THE PRETTY PLOUGHBOY: “because it ends happily; so many ended with being transported or shot or something going wrong; like VAN DIEMAN’S LAND - a sad old song”. He also said it “was a long old song but it was a long old journey” – an indication of the strength of his sympathy and identification with the story.

J. C.    When you’re singing in a club or at a festival, what do you see when you’re singing?
W. P.   Actually what I’m singing about; like reading a book. You can always imagine you can
            see what’s happening there; you might as well not read it.
P. M.   How do you see it, as a moving thing or as a……..?
W. P.   That’s right. The pretty ploughboy was always ploughing in the fields over there; that’s
            where that was supposed to be.
J. C.    How about VAN DIEMAN’S LAND?
W. P. Well, that’s sort of imagination what that was really like; I mean, Warwickshire; going
            across, you know, to Australia; seeing them chained to a harrow and plough and that sort
            of thing; chained hand-to-hand, all that. You must have imagination to see, I think so.            
            That’s the same as reading a book: you must have imagination to see where that is, I think   
            so; well I do anyhow.
P. M.   But you never shut your eyes when you’re singing, do you?
W. P.   No, no.
P. M.   So if you haven’t got a microphone to concentrate on; if you’re singing in front      
            of an audience, where do you look?
W. P.   Down my nose, like that!

Walter’s ability to differentiate between the various types of song in his repertoire belied the popular perception of the traditional singer as being totally non-discriminatory. This is how he explained how he judged the age of his tunes with the aid of his accordeon:

“…………Well yes, because there’s a difference in the types of the music, that’s another point. You can tell VAN DIEMAN’S LAND is fairly old by the sound, the music, and IRISH MOLLY and MARBLE ARCH is shortened up; they shortened them in the Victorian times. And so they did more so in the Edwardian times. Some songs then, you’d hardly start before you’d finish, you see; you’d only a four line verse, two verses and a four line chorus and that’d finish. You’d get that done in half a minute; and the music wasn’t as good. Yes, the style has altered. You can nearly tell by THE BROOMFIELD HILL, that’s an old tune; THE TREES THEY DO GROW HIGH, you can tell, and GENERALS ALL.
Nine times out of ten, I can get an old fashioned ten keyed accordion, German tuned, you can nearly tell what is an old song. Of course, that doesn’t matter what modern songs there is, the bellows always close when that finish, like that. And you go right back to the beginning of the nineteenth and eighteenth [century], they finish this way, pulled out, look. You take notice how GENERALS ALL, that got an old style of finishing, so have THE TREES THEY DO GROW HIGH, so have THE GALLANT SEA FIGHT, in other words, A SHIP TO OLD ENGLAND CAME, that is the title, THE GALLANT SEA FIGHT. You can tell they’re old by the drawn out note at the finish. Well, a lot of them you’ll find, what date back years and years, there’s a difference in the style of writing the music. Like up into Victorian times, you’ve got OLD BROWN’S DAUGHTER; well that style started altering, they started shortening the songs up, everything shortened up, faster and quicker, and the more new they get, the more faster they get, the styles alter. I think you’ll find if you check on that, that’s right”.

Walter had a quiet sense of humour, which was often reflected in his choice of songs, such as, THE STEAM ARM, DARK ARCHES, THE DANDY MAN and THE CUNNING COBBLER; this last he described as “Chaucerian”.

He also had quite a few non-traditional songs that he had heard and learnt, but he sang them in the same traditional style as his other songs. He always maintained a quiet, still stance; he had no affectations and never imitated music hall mannerisms. He had only fragments and tunes of several songs so he put them together from books and broadsheets; he virtually reconstructed one song to fit his tune and chorus. He said he had to “cut the words” to fit his tune; he “liked the words to go out with the nice flow of the tune”. The only song which, to our knowledge, was completely new to him was, in fact, a poem by Thomas Hardy. He made a tune for THE TRAMPWOMAN’S TRAGEDY, which is written in ballad form, but he never learnt it or sung it in public.

Walter had always read a lot and probably even more so after his father died in 1957 leaving him living alone for nearly 40 years. Hardy, Dickens, H.E. Bates, Zane Grey - he had quite catholic tastes, probably with a preference for the Victorian writers but mainly just for a good story which he remembered with amazing clarity, often quoting from books that he had not read for perhaps 20 years or more.

Walter was proud of his family’s songs and he considered it very important that they were sung well in public. Having lived a fairly sheltered life, not having seen many live performances, he found himself, at the age of 59, suddenly propelled into a strange, new world which he took calmly and modestly in his stride. However, because of his intense involvement with his songs, he did find performance quite draining and, at the age of 75, he felt that it was difficult for him to maintain the high standards he had set himself and so decided to stop singing in public.

We first met Walter in 1975 and became very close over the following twenty years. He was a wonderful companion, a real delight, a very humourous, gentle, kind man, incredibly generous with his material and his time. The first time we called on him as complete strangers, we had only been chatting a short while when he asked, “Have you a tape recorder with you?”

Walter put great store on passing the songs on; on several occasions he said “They’re not my songs, they’re everybodys”. This, to a degree, went against what had happened in the past, especially within his own family, where the singers had jealously guarded their songs, even to the extent of altering words or omitting verses if they thought there was somebody present trying to learn them. He was insistent that it was generally recognised that, at home, some songs ‘belonged to’ certain singers and that nobody else would sing them in the presence of the ‘owner’. However, throughout his life he persisted with his belief in the common ownership of songs:

“I saw a chap at Happisburgh this summertime, he said he knew songs, he said, ‘I always refuse to let anyone have them. Once you let someone else have them they aren’t yours’. Well, I say, that is true, but I say, when you die you take all the knowledge of the songs with you, so someone might as well have the benefit after you are dead”.


09 Nov 19 - 06:06 AM (#4018092)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

jim what happened to Walters cottage after he died, did he have any relatives that inherited it, did he die intestate?


09 Nov 19 - 06:08 AM (#4018093)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Thank you for that post Jim. It's something I would wish to copy and keep.
I'm off to have a two week holiday at the home for the bewildered after reading this thread, and your last post has just saved my sanity.
Honestly genuine thanks.
Nick


09 Nov 19 - 06:16 AM (#4018098)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Many years ago, when Jim, Pat and myself were living in London we discussed the possibility of working together on a book about Walter and his songs. But Jim and Pat moved to Ireland and I moved up to Northumberland and the idea fizzled out. Having read Jim's article, printed above, I am certain that this would have been a highly important publication. It really does annoy me to see how Jim, who has done so much important work over many, many years, in England, Scotland and Ireland, is belittled. Yes, he can be a pain at times. But his outstanding field work deserves far more recognition that it seems to get at times.


09 Nov 19 - 06:46 AM (#4018104)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Yes, thank you, Jim. A very good piece to go along with the documentary. I would recommend anyone interested in Walter to read your essay and watch the documentary. I wish you would stick to that type of post and temper your more extreme responses. We treasure your knowledge and don't want to lose you on this forum. I don't think you will like my reply to Mike though. Please take a breath and count to 10 before you respond to anything.

Mike. No one, as far as I can see, has belittled any of Jim's work or his contribution to folk. In fact it is the wealth of knowledge he possesses and so generously shares that makes it difficult to say this. It is his getting getting hold of the wrong end of the stick, taking offense where non is intended, denigration of the people who are now running folk clubs and general petulance that people rail over.

We should not be discussing individual posters though but the topic in question so this will be my last word on that topic.


09 Nov 19 - 06:58 AM (#4018107)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - I'd suggest you need a little bit more evidence than you have
before you start judging and accusing folks in public forum of being racist and far right...

Just because you jump to a conclusion that somebody is racist/far right
does not make it so in reality...

If you are proven wrong in this, your're the one who will need to back down and apologise.

Mudcat should not be a place where we hang people on suspicion,
then ask the corpse questions later...

..and you know I am just as anti racist/far right as you are...

Pseud for or all the intellectual/academic pretentions
["semiotic" this early on a Saturday morning fer f@ck's sake...],
aint exactly a clear effective communicator...
But from what I can make out from the verbiage,
there is not enough to go on so far to back up your hasty accusations.

I am neither tolerant of racism,
or gratuitous false accusations of racism...

Let's just calm down, keep it as friendly as we can, and exercise a bit more caution before jumping to conclusions...

I'd like to come out of the end of this thread knowing far more good quality information
about Walter Pardon and similar singers,
than I do now...
Or knew decades ago but have forgotten...

So let's please concentrate on the positive educative possibilities,
rather than the aggro...

I don't have time to read your new big post until this evening,
got to visit my mum,
but I look forward to learning from it later when I travel home...


09 Nov 19 - 07:24 AM (#4018111)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

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

I was still writing when that was posted..


09 Nov 19 - 07:31 AM (#4018112)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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


09 Nov 19 - 07:39 AM (#4018114)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 07:40 AM (#4018115)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Thank you Jim. A very interesting read.

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 07:51 AM (#4018118)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM (#4018122)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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


09 Nov 19 - 08:15 AM (#4018123)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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


09 Nov 19 - 09:01 AM (#4018130)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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


09 Nov 19 - 09:01 AM (#4018131)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

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


09 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM (#4018136)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 09:49 AM (#4018138)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

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

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

Reuben's Corner photos

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

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 10:10 AM (#4018140)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Keith Price

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


09 Nov 19 - 10:11 AM (#4018141)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST


09 Nov 19 - 10:12 AM (#4018142)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Keith Price

OPP's sorry Mike Yates as well


09 Nov 19 - 10:25 AM (#4018143)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 10:42 AM (#4018146)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 10:53 AM (#4018147)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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


09 Nov 19 - 11:44 AM (#4018151)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Derrick

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


09 Nov 19 - 11:59 AM (#4018153)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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


09 Nov 19 - 12:03 PM (#4018154)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 12:17 PM (#4018158)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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


09 Nov 19 - 12:31 PM (#4018159)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Nick and Derrick of course
Jim


09 Nov 19 - 12:37 PM (#4018162)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

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

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM (#4018165)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 01:12 PM (#4018168)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 01:18 PM (#4018169)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM (#4018170)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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


09 Nov 19 - 01:51 PM (#4018174)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 02:07 PM (#4018178)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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


09 Nov 19 - 02:21 PM (#4018182)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

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


09 Nov 19 - 02:31 PM (#4018183)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

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

Ray


09 Nov 19 - 02:51 PM (#4018185)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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

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

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 02:54 PM (#4018186)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 03:02 PM (#4018188)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 03:13 PM (#4018190)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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


09 Nov 19 - 03:30 PM (#4018192)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

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

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


09 Nov 19 - 04:02 PM (#4018195)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

You've banished Walter from your thread

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


09 Nov 19 - 04:25 PM (#4018202)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Joe G

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


09 Nov 19 - 06:17 PM (#4018219)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

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


09 Nov 19 - 07:08 PM (#4018225)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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

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


10 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM (#4018248)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


10 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM (#4018249)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

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

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

Ray

Is this still Walter Pardon ~ or thread drift sorry


10 Nov 19 - 03:52 AM (#4018255)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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


10 Nov 19 - 04:08 AM (#4018256)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

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


10 Nov 19 - 04:11 AM (#4018257)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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


10 Nov 19 - 04:15 AM (#4018258)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

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


10 Nov 19 - 04:48 AM (#4018262)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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


10 Nov 19 - 05:16 AM (#4018263)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

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

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

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


10 Nov 19 - 06:06 AM (#4018269)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

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

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

Ray


10 Nov 19 - 06:09 AM (#4018271)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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

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

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


10 Nov 19 - 06:10 AM (#4018272)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

@Hootenanny. About Walter's house.

In the OP Pseudonymous referred to it a as a 'farmhouse' and was suggesting that Walter's family was better off than the authors of some accounts sought to present. In a later posts he refers to it looking "Much more like a farmhouse than a mere farm cottage" and says "Time after time I read he live in a farm labourers's cottage".

So I checked what was shown in the film against Google Earth/Streetview. The film opens with and lingers on a larger house that is on the other side of the road. From above (the satellite view) I interpret Walter's house as having been ancilliary to a substantial farm.

My bad for using the term 'farm labourer's cottage'. None of the writers who's words are found on Mustrad call it that. I find it slightly prejudicial. Mike Yates or Rod Strandling say 'farm workers cottage'.

I live in a village for which local historian put together a house-by-house account cross-referenced to census records at a time when living memory went back to 1900. Families were packed incredibly tightly in small houses, children were boarded out with neighbours. An unmarried lady slept for years behind a curtain on a landing (the one I am sitting on at this computer). Farm workers rented houses had pig-sty's and they worked large vegetable gardens and some had a few animals.

So, contrary to the angle presented in the OP, the descriptions of Walter and his family - and what you and Jim say about his house - seem to me very credible for carpenter in a rural village.


10 Nov 19 - 06:12 AM (#4018273)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"is Walter not part of the body of folk song source singers?"
I suggest you go ask whoever delibeately set up a Walyer Pardon thread to divert discussion on him elsewhere Ray
Not me
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 06:22 AM (#4018276)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Joe G

I think that the OP of this thread did that in recognition of the fact that not everyone who is interested in the current state of the UK folk scene wanted to read or scroll past long heated discussions about WP but would rather actually discuss the folk scene as it is now.

For someone who says he doesn't want to start an argument Jim you seem to be over antagonistic at times.


10 Nov 19 - 06:25 AM (#4018278)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

Whoa was the original thread not about Walter Pardon?

What was RE: Review about ~ seems the baby may have gone out the plug 'ole

This thread is too long and seems to have lost its way

Ray


10 Nov 19 - 06:26 AM (#4018279)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: r.padgett

Sorry no it's not too long just got muddled as to it's purpose or aim if there really is a clear one

Ray


10 Nov 19 - 06:39 AM (#4018281)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry Lads
If you want to continue this kindly do so on your own thread
We can't discuss Walter and his fellow source singers there, why do you want to bring your stuff here ?
I have always believed that the major problem with today's scene is its abandoning of the music that it was set up to sing and enjoy in the first place
It has been torn up from its roots to make room for an unidentifiable something else
That has been confirmed by the fact that Walter has no place in a discussion on today's scene
I don't mind coming over to the 'scene' thread to discuss that, but I'm damned if I'm going to be part of cluttering up this one
This is not unlike the clubs where you are told "if you want folk song you need to look somewhere else - not necessarily just catering for folk song"
Sorry - finished
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 06:41 AM (#4018282)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

Okay Jim,
I am definitely NOT trying to be antagonistic here. I am simply seeking clarity.

You seem to place a lot of weight on Walter's discrimination and compartmentalisation of his repertoire. That is beyond question. You also seem to indicate that this is typical of source singers in England. I presume from that you have studied what is known about other traditional singers like Harry Cox for instance. I have also studied this sort of information and done a lot of recording of source singers in the 60s and 70s. I only know of one other singer, quite celebrated at the time, who was capable of/desirous of compartmentalising his songs in this way, and he was a celebrated entertainer in his own community in West Yorkshire (Arthur Howard). For every singer who is known to have done this I can name at least 30 in England who didn't, even dear old Fred.


10 Nov 19 - 06:43 AM (#4018284)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Ron
You have contributed very little to this thread and yet have decided that it got muddled and lost its way
Isn't that a little ..... what's the word I'm looking for??
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 06:43 AM (#4018285)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

Jim,
For God's sake lighten up!!!!!


10 Nov 19 - 06:45 AM (#4018286)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

Of all the many people I have come into contact with you are maddeningly the one with the biggest chip on their shoulder by far. Without this you would undoubtedly be one of the heroes of the folk fraternity.


10 Nov 19 - 07:01 AM (#4018291)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

I think you may be a bit mixed up, Jim. This is the Walter Pardon thread that was started by Psuedonymous because the "current state" thread, started by Joe G, was getting bogged down on one topic. As far as I can see there is no problem discussing source singers on the "current state" thread but for an individual singer to become the focus on there was wrong, hence this one. This thread is to focus on Walter Pardon so back to business...

Questions for the experts.

Wiki has Walters mother as Edith but official sources have her as Emily. Anyone know which is right or was she born Emily and known as Edith?

The same Wiki article has Roger Dixon as Walter's nephew but I can see no record of Walter having any siblings. Did he have siblings or was Roger not his nephew?

The owners of the farm that the cottage was attached to were the Dixon family. Is Roger related to them or is that just coincidence?

More to come I'm sure :-)


DtG


10 Nov 19 - 07:25 AM (#4018292)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Think you might be mistaking me for Somerset House Dave

Steve - I said nothing out of order there - please don't start a fight - I'm having enough problems swatting flies
I said exactly what I inted=nd to do and why
Where else can peope go - to the EFDSS site to listen to indifferent singer-songwriters ?
To clubs who have admitted that they no longer know what folk song is but don't want to discuss it ?
To researchers who have now thrown early pop songs and music hall songs into the folk melting pot ?
No thanks very much

I answered you very civilly and set out what I was intending to doo without criticising anybody
Sorry - this thread is becoming very cluttered
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 07:35 AM (#4018293)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

I see,
So you don't really want to discuss other traditional singers in comparison with Walter. We can't force you!


10 Nov 19 - 07:39 AM (#4018295)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

JIm
You obviously haven't spotted all of the material on the EFDSS site that was collected by Sharp, the Hammonds, Gardiner, Lucy Broadwood, Kidson, Carey, Butterworth, Carpenter, Baring Gould etc., along with all the Roud Indexes. Could somebody provide a blue clicky please?

Or is it just that you are dismissing all of this?


10 Nov 19 - 07:40 AM (#4018296)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

Er I thought we were discussing Walter anyway. Are YOU getting your threads mixed up again? The title is just above the posting box.


10 Nov 19 - 07:46 AM (#4018299)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

I think Dave's questions were aimed at Sue.


10 Nov 19 - 07:54 AM (#4018301)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

Who is Ron by the way?


10 Nov 19 - 08:08 AM (#4018302)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Question about Walter's categorisation of the tunes. Jim quotes him as follows:

"Nine times out of ten, I can get an old fashioned ten keyed accordion, German tuned, you can nearly tell what is an old song. Of course, that doesn’t matter what modern songs there is, the bellows always close when that finish, like that. And you go right back to the beginning of the nineteenth and eighteenth [century], they finish this way, pulled out, look."

Box players - what is that telling us about the tunes?

I was once told by a D/G box player, when being encouraged to pick up tunes by ear in a session, that finishing with the bellows extended was a strong pointer to E minor (that included E Dorian). Was Walter suggesting something like that?


10 Nov 19 - 08:10 AM (#4018303)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

THis is intolerable
None of you have taken a part in these discussion =s
You come here and claim that this thread ahs lost its way or gone on to long
You flood the thread about one of England's most important singers with family incidentals with
Now I am being told I am wasting my time in trying to share our archive with singers (many of whom are now using it)
You won't allow discussion to take place on the other thread and now you seem set fair to wreck this one
Is this really what today's revival has come to ?
I started none of this but I have little doubt I will be blamed for it
Enough is enough eh fellers !!!
Jim Carroll


10 Nov 19 - 08:25 AM (#4018308)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

"I was once told by a D/G box player, when being encouraged to pick up tunes by ear in a session, that finishing with the bellows extended was a strong pointer to E minor (that included E Dorian). Was Walter suggesting something like that?"

I'm sure he was, Jag, and I went into this on an old Mudcat thread to which Jim had posted that piece of information. I also mentioned it above but didn't explain the detail.

Whether that's a reliable marker of antiquity is dubious, since plenty of old songs are in the major, but it's certainly true that Music Hall songs are (to the best of my knowledge) never in the Dorian.


10 Nov 19 - 08:58 AM (#4018309)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

Personally i think harry cox was a better singer than Sam larner and abetter singer than Walter, but a subjective opinion only. Iprefer Walters singing to Sam Larner, they are all good, and their charcters are reflected in their singing to some extent


10 Nov 19 - 09:03 AM (#4018310)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Can I just say that we made it quite clear in our article that Walter used the melodion as a guide for himself to judge the age of tunes - whether it was accurate or not is immaterial - it worked for him and in our experience, his judgement of tune ages was pretty fair
We recorded him elsewhere on this subject and he said that the only tune he can remember ever being thrown on was 'Black-Eyed Susan' (he discussed this with Mike Yates who wrote an article on his tunes, I think)
I'm no musician, so I can't say whether his method was right or wrong, and to be frank, if I could, I wouldn't try to prove him wrong - if it worked for him, it worked for him - end of story
Walter wasn't a good musician - he never claimed to be and I never saw him play his melodeon or his fiddle in public
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 09:05 AM (#4018312)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

I'm not suggesting that you are trying to prove him wrong Jag, Jag but others have before now
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 10:06 AM (#4018321)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Personally i think harry cox was a better singer than Sam larner and abetter singer than Walter, "
It is subjective Dick and I don't think it helpful to put our old singers into a pissing competition - five over a pint or a meal but not on a public forum where some of Walter's old friends might be looking in
Personally, I found all the old singers I listened to brought something to our folksongs that was largely lacking in revival singers - I always regarded it as a third dimension - a depth of feeling for and understanding of the subject matter
Far too many singers nowadays attempt to sell the song rather than 'tell it'
The old Irish singers used to say, 'tell me a song' - that works for me
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 10:36 AM (#4018325)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

Jag,

Re Walter's home. Jim describes it thus:

Walter's home was originally a single storey labourers cottage standing on its own small piece if land - it was 'modernised' in the 1950s)

To clarify "modernised", in the photographs to which I refer It is a two story house of quite reasonable size but there is a pretty clear distinction on the end wall showing the outline of a smaller single storey building.

So it seems to be correct that Walter did live in a small cottage until the 1950s. Jim's phrase "modernised" appears to mean doubled in height.


10 Nov 19 - 10:57 AM (#4018328)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"appears to mean doubled in height."
It was altered significantly inside, but I'm not sure how
I've n idea where the old bedroom was - I should imagine that it followed the Irish layout of a large all-purpose room which you entered at the centre and two small bedrooms at either end - some Irish cottages have an additional tiny loft room reached by a ladder
'Modernisation changed it to a small lobby in the centre with a flight of stairs facing the front door, a living room on the left and a kitchen/scullery on the right
Upstairs two bedrooms and a bathroom
At the far end from the road there was a coal bunker


10 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM (#4018336)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Vic Smith

Steve Gardham wrote:-
You seem to place a lot of weight on Walter's discrimination and compartmentalisation of his repertoire. That is beyond question. You also seem to indicate that this is typical of source singers in England. I presume from that you have studied what is known about other traditional singers like Harry Cox for instance. I have also studied this sort of information and done a lot of recording of source singers in the 60s and 70s. I only know of one other singer, quite celebrated at the time, who was capable of/desirous of compartmentalising his songs in this way.

I find this very interesting and would like to extend it to the influence of their contact with the folk revival had on the source singers, their singing and their repertoire. Initially, I would like to stick to my own experience of what I remember of these singers and folk clubs in Sussex from the 1960s and 1970s onwards.
I have only realised in retrospect that the contact between the clubs and the old singers in Sussex was closer and more symbiotic than in other parts of the country - not all the clubs, of course, but certainly our club in Lewes along with the clubs in Horsham and Chichester. Other clubs saw that, for example, an evening with The Copper Family or Gordon Hall ensured a good crowd and (I suspect) booked them for that reason. Some comments on individuals: -

The Copper Family never, to my knowledge added to or augmented or changed their songs through their extensive contact with the folk clubs, though I know that the way that they sung them was discussed. I remember Bob telling me - in the presence of his son, John, that he had said when running through the songs, 'Hang on, boy, slow down a bit.... We're the Coppers; we're not The Young Tradition." Peter Bellamy was a huge fan of the Coppers but in his turn, John Copper was a huge fan of Peter. However, if you compare the speed of the early family recordings. Bob & Ron with their fathers, Jim & John with the current speed of songs in a live family performance then those early recordings you will find that generally, the old boys sang faster. Any singer will tell you that when you are in front of an enthusiastic audience that knows and loves the choruses that the pace of the song will be slowed.

George Belton lived near the Chichester club and was there every Friday and would turn up at our Saturday club pretty frequently whenever he could get a lift (usually Bob Lewis or Mary Aitchison). He and Johnny Doughty were the only ones who ever, as far as I remember, ever learned modern songs that he had heard in clubs. His way with Sydney Carter's Mixed Up Old Man became one of his party pieces, but the clubs also had another effect on his repertoire. Sometimes a younger singer would be singing a traditional song and his bright old eyes would light up and at the end of the song he would go into a huddle with his wife. A few weeks later he would turn up with a different version of that song. I am convinced that contact with folk clubs and festivals had a positive effect on his 'dormant' repertoire from his younger days.

George Spicer was the one who was most wary of folk clubs and was full of incisive questions about them - (Why do a lot of your singers sing with their eyes closed?) - but he must have got enough out of them to come back time and again. He was always the 'go to' person for an entertaining song after a darts match, a produce show or a cricket match - he was an umpire in village cricket for over 40 years. The skills that he had gained in singing in those circumstances proved to be very useful in folk clubs. His son, Ron, on the other hand loved folk clubs right from his first visit. He and Doris were our most regular supporters for over a decade. He started off with his dad's song but then he learned all sorts of others at a phenomenal rate, mainly traditional but country comedy and modern as well. I could point you to some of his modern songs that have been given a Roud Index number.
Johnny Doughty was certainly what you would call a character. He was another who could command an audience and had no trouble putting himself over in front of an audience. I had helped Jim Lloyd construct the line-up a concert at the Gardner Centre at the U. of Sussex and Johnny was amongst them. The concert was to be recorded and broadcast. Johnny kept stepping to the side of them and he sang directly to the audience. After his first song, Jim, as compere, came on and Johnny was asked to come backstage to be told - by me - to sing into the microphones. "Those bloody things are a nuisance. I can't see people's faces." I don't think his songs were broadcast. At one of the National Folk Festivals, Eddie Upton was his minder. Johnny had been asked to open a concert there for The Spinners and he was very worried about this. What would he suitable to sing in that situation? His wife made a suggestion. "Don't be daft, Meg! I learned that one off one of their records!"

Gordon Hall is a unique case amongst these singers. He actively sought out songs, versions, different tunes and I was one of the people that Gordon had long telephone conversations about where, for example, could he find more versions of Hind Horn. He wrote hilarious parodies of traditional songs, set his own tunes to broadsides like The Chichester Merchant (Roud 29941 ). His interest went far beyond the English tradition. His elder brother Albert moved to France after the 2nd World War and Gordon learned French songs from his brother. I had conversations with Gordon about which Portuguese Fado singers we liked just as I had chats with Bob Copper about early country blues.
Bob Blake was lovely as a singer and as a person. He had mixed for years with his contemporaries from the pre-folk revival singers in Sussex. To me he was one of them. Tony Wales. Nick Dow, John Howson, Mike Yates all collected songs from him but on investigation Mike found that Bob had not learned the songs from his community and therefore he was not a traditional singer. Quite a difficult decision and at one time, Mike waqs berating himself over this. My own view on this in that if a bird sings like a cuckoo, flies like a cuckoo and is a nest parasite, then it is probably a cuckoo. Bob Blake's recordings can be found in the Roud Index.


10 Nov 19 - 12:32 PM (#4018340)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

In a thread about Walter Pardon I see nothing wrong in trying to find out as much as possible. What is wrong with trying to get a feel for "family incidentals"? It may even enable researchers to get a better feel for the man himself. Looking at census records, for instance, lets us know who was living in the cottage while Walter grew up and tells us that during WW2, while Walter was away, an airmen from the nearby airfield lodged there.

While there is no doubt that Walter was a fine singer and generous man, important to the folk revival, he was also a man with many other facets. Things like his family relationships, his other interests and, yes, even what he ate all go to painting the full picture. Sorry if that offends your sensibilities yet again, Jim.


10 Nov 19 - 12:54 PM (#4018344)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

I think the fact that he was 'well-read' is important. The information that his grandfather played clarinet in the church band presumably came from Walter. How much of what Walter knew about a church band came from the family and how much did he get the same way as a lot of us - via Thomas Hardy.

His observation about the meleodeon bellows pull "And you go right back to the beginning of the nineteenth and eighteenth [century], they finish this way, pulled out, look." begs the question - how did he know those tunes went back that far. What else had he read?


10 Nov 19 - 01:21 PM (#4018348)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"What is wrong with trying to get a feel for "family incidentals"?"
Why the grin of you were serious Dave - you have shown no interest in Walter or his singing, why on earth would you want to know about mother's names or cousins
I'd have thought that Walter's importance as as singer would have kept a serious folkie occupied for years ?

Walter said he 'felt' they were old to him and by and large he was right, according to musician friends anyway - I'm no authority
He seemed to approach folk songs with the attitude "I know one when I hear one" - I never knew him to be wrong about that

Can we clear up this thing about his reading
Walter read because he loved good storytelling - I would suggest he was no different than those Londoners who queued up fot the next instrumental of Nicholas Nickleby - a well-told story was a good book to him, be it Dickens, A G Henty, Frank Richards or Zane Grey
He approached literature in the same way as the Travellers we found approached the big ballads
He had a phenomenal memory for the plots and characters in his books - and elsewhere
We watched once watched Malcolm Taylor's jaw fall open once as he reeled off the top of his head the names of the players in about five-years worth of English Test matches
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM (#4018349)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Installment of Nicholas Nickleby - of course
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 01:36 PM (#4018352)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

I've been away from this thread over 24 hours
and come back to catch up,
only to find the same old same old petty squabbling
bloating, distracting, and ruining what should be an ideal focused opportunity
to learn more about Walter Pardon...

I, and other seekers of information/education, would hope to gain better than this
from his old friends, and serious folk experts...

Newcomers to the subject of revered old source singeres
are entitled to ask reasonable questions about their lives and personalities;
and the social context they existed within.
That is what late 20th, and 21st century education trains enquiring younger folks to do.
To aquire the skills of critical analysis..
Not to soak up scraps of recieved biased 'wisdom'...

Curt grudging dismissive replies do not help anyone...

Imho.. None of the questions I've read here so far are that outrageouly prurient, or offensive
to Walter Pardon's memory...


So then, did Walter prefer Y fronts, jockey shorts, long Johns, or go commando...???


10 Nov 19 - 02:06 PM (#4018358)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Yes.. see wot i did there...?????

That is an example of a truly crass trivialising stupid question..
just so's folks can keep things in perspective...

Though to an underwear social historian it is probably a very profound question
relating to research conducted on post war working class traditions...???


10 Nov 19 - 02:14 PM (#4018361)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Why the grin of you were serious Dave

There was no grin, Jim. It is a question mark.

you have shown no interest in Walter or his singing

I have been interested in Walter's singing since I first heard it at least 30 years ago. I am also interested in him as a man. Hence the questions. What I am getting less and less interested in is the Jim Carroll show and your increasingly irrational rants.

If you cannot answer my questions, that's fine. No problem. But that is no reason to have a go at me for asking.


10 Nov 19 - 02:46 PM (#4018364)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"If you cannot answer my questions, that's fine."
Please don't do this Dave - I'm gettng a litle tird of your passing the buck
Yiou may have been interested in Walter as long as you say but that has not mainifested itself here in any way shapoe or fiorm and they ' unimportant family details
How about the couple of hundred songs walter put back into the repertoire - not interested in them

"only to find the same old same old petty squabbling"
Squabbling suggest a two-way street - I have just tried to pass on information about Walter and wan't doing too bad until we were invaded by people who hadn't put in much of an appearance beforehand telling us we'd gone on too long and the subject was meandering nd then trying to drift the thread onto exactly the subject that Walter had been barred from   

"So then, did Walter prefer Y fronts, jockey shorts, long Johns, or go commando...???"
Yeah - that's about their level - I really don't need judgement from someone who mars threads with something like that
I'll try again tomorrow
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 03:29 PM (#4018371)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

not interested in them

Of course I am. I am also interested in the man and his family. These things are not mutually exclusive you know.

As I said, there is no problem if you cannot answer my questions or find them trite. Other people may like to know though so, if you are not interested, please do not interfere.


10 Nov 19 - 03:35 PM (#4018372)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

I can see how people who knew Walter may uneasy about the personal details. I find tabloid-like interest in details living people only known from a public presence distastful.

However, Walter is gone and if he is to be held up as the end of a thread of traditional song then some domestic and socio-economic details help us bridge the ensuing gap*. He left texts that hang together well without unintelligible bits from miss-hearing. It sounds like he had the ability and opportunity to do any polishing needed to make the stories work.

For whatever reason we appreciate the "our side of the baulk" stories. Does it help us imagine we were there receiving some of the transmission?

* folklorist would probably disagree but it sounds to me as if the gap is fairly well bridged by people who knew and heard him and some of the other later source musicians. I asked earlier - how does a 21st century pub song and tunes session compare with what went on in the 'singing room' at the Mitre Tavern?


10 Nov 19 - 03:42 PM (#4018373)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

No tabloid type interest at all, Jag. Just a genuine interest to know more.


10 Nov 19 - 03:55 PM (#4018378)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

I understand that Walters house was sold after his death, does anyone know who sold it and who bought it.


10 Nov 19 - 04:07 PM (#4018379)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

vic smith said
The Copper Family never, to my knowledge added to or augmented or changed their songs through their extensive contact with the folk clubs, though I know that the way that they sung them was discussed
i disagree and would draw your attention to the old dun cow caught fire,as sung by harry champion
there was Brown, upside down
Mopping up the whisky on the floor
"Booze, booze, booze" the firemen cried
As they come a knockin' at the door
"Don't let em in till it's all mopped up"
Someone said to MacIntyre.
And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire

MacIntyre was presumably nearest the door. This is roughly the same as Harry Champion version and makes more sense than the version bob copper possibly altered

And there was Brown upside down
Lappin' up the whiskey on the floor.
"Booze, booze!" The firemen cried
As they came knockin' on the door (clap clap)
Oh don't let 'em in till it's all drunk up
And somebody shouted MacIntyre! MACINTYRE!
And we all got blue-blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire.


10 Nov 19 - 04:32 PM (#4018381)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

It is subjective Dick and I don't think it helpful to put our old singers into a pissing competition.
no pissing competition just my subjective opinion, it is hepful to newcomers to tdytional song to be made aware of other singers, joseph taylor phil tanner,harry cox, three outstanding singers.


10 Nov 19 - 05:12 PM (#4018388)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

Hi jag,
There is a wonderful film of a session in the Blaxhall Ship in the 50s with lots of old source singers performing. I have a vague recollection it is online somewhere, but if not the film along with several others of British traditions is available from EFDSS on a DVD. I have recorded some sessions in the 60s and remember some pub sessions from about 1962.
There was very little of what we would call 'folk song' being performed, Still I Love Him, Old Johnny Booker maybe and lots of wartime songs and sod's opera pieces from WWII, rugby songs. Of course some would say that what was being sung was all folksong because the 'folk' were singing em. A common one was My Brother Sylvest from about 1906. My uncles picked up songs just after the war in the forces and some of them were folk songs still being sung.

Not sure what you mean by a 21st century pub song and tunes session. I don't think a tunes session if such existed before WWII would have been anything like those of today. What went on in the Blaxhall Ship is not the same as a modern day singaround in that they didn't go round the room in a particular direction and being very much a local event they knew each other's repertoire, but the strict rule was 'one singer one song' and nobody would dare encroach on anyone else's repertoire until the singer had passed on.


10 Nov 19 - 05:17 PM (#4018392)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

I can recommend Ginette Dunn's 'The Fellowship of Song' as a detailed study of pub sings and repertoires in East Suffolk which includes the Blaxhall Ship.


10 Nov 19 - 06:54 PM (#4018402)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Back from singing and just catching up.
Before I left Jim, you made a very interesting observation that I would like you to say a few more words about if you will.
You referred to Telling a song rather than Selling a song, which I think is an excellent turn of phrase.
The selling a song aspect of performance would refer to 'Showman Singers' (that's how I understood it). Walter Pardon was certainly Telling a song, however his contemporaries Johnny Doughty, and Sam Larner (to a lesser extent) were showman singers.
My question is, do you believe that the showman singer is a more modern style of performance, influenced by the Music Hall for example, or have they always been with us? (As far as you know-I know you're not the oracle or have a crystal ball) Secondly I have not come across an overtly song selling performance in the Irish tradition, or have I not looked hard enough. It also occurs to me that singers may have separate repertoires for pub and home. I understand that this is getting into the discipline of context.

Finally I would like to continue picking your brains about John Reilly, however I am aware this might need to be a separate thread. Let me know if you don't mind.
My question is actually about five questions really, so thanks in advance.


10 Nov 19 - 07:00 PM (#4018404)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Dick me old mate MACINTYRE is rhyming slang for fire!!! Wot abaart all those bloomin' days we spent in the smoke? Dint cha' learn nuffin??
Gawd 'n Bennett


10 Nov 19 - 08:39 PM (#4018409)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"I can see how people who knew Walter may uneasy about the personal details."
I have no problems with the personal details Jag - I might have if Walter had not been the wonderful, friendly and intelligent man that he was, but that wasn't the case
What has appalled me here is the insulting and trivialising on one of three of England's most important singers
First, after us being told on the other thread that he was a poor singer whose position in the oral tradition was 'dubious' - we were told he had no place on a discussion about today's revival - somebody actually showed him the door by pushing him onto another thread
I was peeved at this and decided not to take part until the discussion degenerated into a snide discussion about what he had for breakfast
That went on for a little while until Nick and I struck up a discussion beween us
This morning (sorry yesterday morning) a handful of heroes turned up - someone who had participated in the breakfast bit told us that the thread had run its course and had lost direction, someone else told be I was wasting my time trying to give our recordings of Walter and others away and went ballistic when I explained why thought it was important, accusing me of having a chip on my shoulder - then back to the trivialising by replacing discussions on his Walter's singing with unimportant questions about obscure relatives by someone who had shown no interest in Walter as a singer - not a sign of Walter as an important singer on the horizon
Sorry folks - I really don't believe that is the way to honour one of England's great folk singers

I have an added problem with this
Pat and I collected for over thirty years - we're still at it spasmodically
We made friends with nearly everybody we recorded - Mikeen McCarthy and Mary Delaney became our closest friends among the Travellers - so when someone writes them off as "Thieves, poachers and scavengers", they are friends he is insulting
Walter's friendship lasted twenty years until his death - we visited him regularly (not just to record) and he stayed with us often - Pat has around forty of the letters he wrote us before we had a phone installed for him
I would have been pissed off at the treatment he has received if he had never known a song
Sorry - needed to get that off my cheat - now perhaps we can move on

Nick - welcome back - hope you had a great day singing
I'll deal with this more fully tomorrow if you're up to it but for now
One of the things we first noticed with some of the older singers is their custom of internalising a song - they didn't try to push it but they appeared to be reliving something and passing on information rather than performing
Blind Travelling woman, Mary Delaney would occasionally stop singing and say - "Sorry - it's too heavy"
We thought she was having trouble with the pitch, but in fact she was becoming overwhelmed by what she was singing about - this happened with big ballads and comic songs alike
It took us four goes to get a full recording of 'Well Done Donnelly' (The Tinker) and Kilkenny Louse-House, without her bursting out laughing
West of Ireland singers would grab the hand of one of the listeners and wind it around in a circle while starting straight at their face, "telling their song" one-to-one
Mikeen McCarthy was an intimate singer - I've heard people comment that audience members felt he was singing specifically for them because of his conversational style

I don't think this was just an Irish thing
Harry Cox became so absorbed in his song that he would occasionally spit out a comment on the story - he did this with 'Betsy the Serving Maid' and Van Dieman's Land and I'm sure there were others
I think Sam was different - I never saw him live but I was quite surprised when I was told he was quite physical when he sang (confirmed on the wonderful 'The Singer and the Song' film
He may have gestured, but the timbre of his voice makes him quite an intimate singer
We've already discussed Walter's use of the microphone or "lookinng down his nose" in order to cut out the audience
Sorry - it's a bit late for this - maybe tomorrow
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 10:26 PM (#4018416)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

nobody has insulted Walter.
NICK,The salient point in relation to vic smiths post was the wording somebody SAID TO MCINTYRE. and that bob copper had possibly altered it


11 Nov 19 - 12:17 AM (#4018420)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - most of what disgruntles you this last week or more,
is down to you persistently misreading and misconstruing the intentions
of other posters..
Then amplifying it out of proportion in your own mind...

That is objective fact, clear for anyone following this thread to see..
Folks participating here [bar one possible exception...???]
do so out of respect for Walter Pardon,
and a desire to learn more about him.
Nobody is here to destroy his reputation.

Only you won't realise this,
or do, but are stubbornly refusing to recognise the positive intentions
of your fellow mudcatters..???

This has been explained to you time and time again,
yet you continue complaining about things you have mistakenly taken the wrong way...

It is so frustrating..
we need you here because of your wealth of knowledge,
and your love of promoting folk music.

But the irrational petty disruptive way you are behaving
is undermining all the positive good you bring to mudcat.

Never the less, I seriously value your input here when you manage to stay on topic..
I will continue sifting out the useful posts and info in this thread,
and bookmark it for reference.
While I listen to his tracks online...

My interest in Walter Pardon renewed as direct result of this thread existing...


11 Nov 19 - 01:07 AM (#4018422)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Joe Offer

Jim, we just want to know about Walter Pardon. That's all.

We don't want to fight - we just want to learn about him.

He is one of the most interesting people in folk music.

-Joe-


11 Nov 19 - 02:38 AM (#4018425)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"We don't want to fight - we just want to learn about him."
Neither do I Joe
I've spent half this thread trying to get past Walter's culinary idiosyncracies when it should have been discussing Walter as a singer
I didn't "misread" that - that's what people chose to do
I have masses of information on Walter if I am allowed to put it up in an atmosphere where it will be treated with sensitivity and intelligence
I'd give my right arm to be allowed to do so
I have no intention of discussing our diffenences - I've said wht I believe nees to be said on that
If people want to go on with Walter I'd be more than happy to
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 02:55 AM (#4018427)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

I understand that Walters house was sold after his death, does anyone know who sold it and who bought it.


11 Nov 19 - 03:10 AM (#4018429)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"I understand that Walters house was sold after his death, does anyone know who sold it and who bought it."
Why - are you looking for somewhere to live Dick
I would guess it was ought up by someone locally - it certainly hasn't had much done to it from the look of it
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 03:20 AM (#4018430)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Yes I've read that somewhere. A singer or member of the audience taking your hand. Almost like a connection to the rest of humanity from the world of the song. Until now I thought this happened with Sean Nos singers only.
I am pretty busy today and out singing again tonight. If I don't answer immediately I promise I have not lost interest Jim.


11 Nov 19 - 03:38 AM (#4018433)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Just thought, to get this going again perhaps a discography of Walter might help (it may be out-of-date)
These are all worth searching out - I can help if anybody is looking for something specific

Walter Pardon Discography
A Proper Sort; Leader LED 2063 Yorkshire 1975   
Our Side Of The Baulk Leader LED 2111 Yorkshire 1977
An English Folk Music Anthology Folkways FE 83553 New York 1981
A Country Life Topic 12TS392 London 1982
Bright Golden Store Home Made Music HMM LP 301 London 1984
Up To The Rigs Peoples Stage Tape 11 Totnes, Devon 1987
The Horkey Load [Nos. 1 and 2] Veteran Tapes VT108 & VT 109 Suffolk 1988
Hidden English Topic TSCD600 London 1996
Voice Of The People [Nos. 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 14, 15, 17, 18] Topic TSCD651 to 670 London 1998
A Century Of Song E.F.D.S.S. EFDSSCD02 London 1998
A World Without Horses Topic TSCD514 London 2000
Put A Bit Of Powder On It Father Musical Traditions MTCD 305-6 Glos 2000

"I have not lost interest Jim."
Delighted to hear it Nick - I'd like to hear some of your findings on English Travellers sometime
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 05:53 AM (#4018443)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Walter's repertoire
Jim

All Along The Barley
A11 For TheGrog (inc.)
All Jolly Fellows (frag.)
All The Little Chickens In The garden
As I Wandered By The Brookside
Bacton Abbey Rhyme (French Invasion)
Balaclava
Banks of Sweet Dundee
Banks of The Clyde
Bells Are Ringing For Sarah.
Best Old Wife In The World (frag.)
Birds Eggs Rhyme Black Eyed Susan
Black Velvet Band (chorus only.)
Blow The Winds I O (see Ten Thousand Miles)
Bold Fisherman
Bold Princess Royal
Bonny Bunch Of Roses
Bright Golden Store
British Man Of War
Broomfield Hill
Bumble Bee Rhyme
Burningham Boys (frag.)
Butter And Cheese And All (see Greasy Old Cook)
Bush Of Australia (see Maid of Australia)
Calendar Rhymes
Caroline And her Young Sailor Bold
Carrion Crow
Charge of The Light Brigade (see Balaclava)
Cliff Hornpipe (melodeon)
Coltishall School Treat (frag)
Come And See The Kaiser (Harland Road)
Come To Me In Canada
Cook And The Masher (see Greasy Old Cook)
Country Life
Cuckoo (frag)
Cunning Cobbler
Cupid The Ploughboy
Cock-a-Doodle-Doo
Dandy Man
Dark Eyed sailor
Darling Dinah Kitty Anna Maria (frag)
Derby Ram (frag)
Deserter
Devil And The Farmer's Wife
Dolly Varden Hat (frag)
Down By The Abbey Ruins        (frag)
Dow By The Dark Arches
Duke Of Marlborough        (see Generals All)
Early In The Morning        (melodeon)
Fai'hful Sailor Boy Farmer's Boy
Farmer's Boy Parody (see I'll Have No Union)
Famyard Song (frag)
Female Cabin Boy
Female Drummer        
Footprints In The Snow
French Invasion Rhyme (see Bacton Abbey Rhyme)
Game Of Dominoes (frag)
Generals All
Geniveve
Goodbye King (election parody)
Gooseberry Tree
Gorgonzola Cheese (frag)
Grace Darling
Grandfather1s Clock
Grand March (melodeon)
Greasy Old Cook
Green Bushes
Green Grows The Laurels (frag)
Handsome Cabin Boy (see Female Cabin Boy)
Hanging On The Old barbed Wire
Hang Tom Dolphin (Bell rhyme)
Harland Road (see Come And See the Kaiser)
Hard To Say Goodbye To Your Own Native Land
Has Anybody Seen Our cat (frag)
Haste To The Wedding (melodeon)
Help One Another Boys
Here'sTo The Grog (see All For The Grog)
Here's To Those        (toast)
Here We Sit (rhyme)
Hockey Tar Tarry Tee (frag)
Hold The Fort
Home Boys Home (frag)
Hungry Army
Huntsman
Husband Taming
I Don't Care If There's A Girl There
If I Were A Blackbird
If I Were A Policeman
If Those Lips Could Only Speak (parody)
I'll Be All smiles Tonight (frag)
I'll Beat The Drum Again (see Female Drummer)
I'll come        Back To You Sweetheart
I'll Hang        My Harp On A Willow Tree
I'll Have No Union (see Farmer's Boy Parody)
I'm Yorkshire, Though In London
In Our Backyard Last Night
The Irish Girl (see Let The Wind Blow High Or Low)
Insect Rhymes
Irish Molly
I Traced Her Footprints (see Footprintsin The Snow)
It's All For The Money (frag)
It's Hard To Say Goodbye To Your Own Native Land
I Wish, I Wish
I Wore A tunic
Jackie Boy (frag)
Jack Hall
Jack Tar On Shore
John Barleycorn (frag)
John Reilly (frag)
Jolly Butchers (see two Joily Butchers)
Jolly waggoner Jones' Ale
Jump Out Of Bed (When The Cocks Begin To Crow)
Kitty, Come, Come (frag)
Kitty Wells
Lads in Navy Blue
Lads of High Renown (see Poachers fate)
Lawyer (see Mowing the Barley)
Little Ball of Yarn
Local rhyme about farmer
      " ladybirds
      " snails
Lord Lovell
Loss of The Rami lies
Maid of The Mill (frag)
Maids of Australia
Marble Arch
Men of Merry England (frag)
God Bless Him (toast)
Miller’s Three Sons
Miner's Dream of Home (frag)
Miner's Return
Mistletoe Bough
More Trouble In My native Land
Mother Shipton's rhyme
Mowing The Barley (see The Lawyer)
My Little Blue Apron Is Full (frag)
My Old master Told Me        (frag)
Nancy Fancied a Soldier (frag)
Naughty Jemmima Brown
Not For Joe (frag)
Oak And The Ash (frag)
Oh Joe, Do Let Me Go (frag)
Old Brown's daughter
Old Joe, The Boat Is Going Over (melod)
Old Man's Advice
Old Mother Pittle Pots (f rag)
Old Woman of Yorkshire
One Cold Morning In December
On The See-Saw (melod)
Parson Brown (frag)        
Parson And The Clerk        
Pegc Band (old version)        
Peggy Band (John Clare version )        
Polly Vaughan (frag)        
Poacher's Fate        (Lads of High Renown)        ,
Poor Little Joe        (frag)        
Poor Roger Is Dead        
Poor Smuggler's Boy        
Pretty Ploughboy
Raggle Taggle Gypsies        
Rakish Young Fellow        
Rambling Blade        
Ramilies (see Loss of The Ramilies)
Rigs of London (see Up to The Rigs)
Ring The Bell watchman        
Rise Sally Walker
Rosin-A-Beau        
Sailor Cut Down        
Saucy Sailor Boy        
Seventeen Come Sunday        
Shamrock, Rose and Thistle (frag)        
Ship To Old England Came        
Ship That never returned        
Ship sailed Away From Old England (frag)        
Silver Threads Among The gold        
Skipper And His Boy        
Slave Driving Farmers        
Soldier (Butcher) Boy        
Somebody Had To fetch The Flag        
Sons Of Labour        
Spanish Cavalier (frag)        
Spanish Ladies        
Stars and Stripes and John Bull Forever (frag)
Steam Arm        
Stick To Your Mother Son
Strawberry Fair        
Susan, The Pride Of Kildare        
Suvlah Bay        
Sweet Belle Mahone (frag)        
Ten Thousand Miles (Blow The Winds 1O)        ,
That’s How You Get Served When Your Old (frag)
They-ll Do It (frag)        
They Don’ t Grow On Tops of Trees
Thirty Nine/Forty Five Star        
Thornaby Woods        
Topman And The Afterguard        
Trampwoman's Tragedy        
Transports (see Van Dieman's Land)
Trees They Do Grow High        
Turning The Mangle (frag)        
Two Butchers (see Jolly butchers)
Two _ovely Black Eyes        
Uncle Walter's march (melod)        
Uncle Walter's Tune (melod)        
Unnamed Tune (melod)
Up To The Rigs        
Van Deiman's Land
Wake Up Johnny        
Wanderer        
Wearing Of The Green (frag)        
We're All Sawing        
Weather Rhymes        
We've Both been Here Before        
Wheel Your Perambulator (frag)
When Father Joined The Territorials (frag)
When London's Asleep        
When The Cocks begin To Crow        
When The Fields Are White With Daisies        
When You wake Up In The Morning        
While Shepherds Watched        
Whistling Woman (rhyme)
Will You Come Back To Bombay        (frag)        
Wind Blows High        
Wing Wang Waddles        
Wish They'd Do It Now (frag)        
Woman Dog an Walnut Tree (rhyme)        
Woman's Work Is Never Done (frag)
Would You Like To Know How Bread Is Made (frag)
Wreck of The Lifeboat        
Wreck of The Ramilies (see Loss of The Ramilies)
Write Me A Letter From Home
Yarmouth Hornpipe (melod)
Your- Bother John (rhyme about local farmer)


11 Nov 19 - 07:19 AM (#4018449)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Thanks Steve.

I tracked down the Blaxhall Ship film (http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/5) after finding the Lomax recordings and some recent Ship Inn sessions on Youtube. It's relevant to what the information about Walter, alongside the "current state of folk music' discussion had me thinking. As Howard Jones said earlier "Pardon was a man of the 20th century". The participants of the revival new a lot of people of his generation.

If we focus on people's behaviour and repertoire as a whole, not just your "what we would call 'folk song'" how much of the revival is really a progression? Circumstances change (and it looks like they heat the pubs better now) but people don't much - otherwise we wouldn't understand the characters in the old songs or the books that Walter read. People got together at the Mitre Tavern in 1880, at the Ship Inn in the 1950s and at pubs in 2019 to sing a mix of old and new songs. But isn't it a progression rather than a re-enactment?

Walter looked back to his Uncle Billy and grandfathers day, those who heard him look back to Walter and other source singers. In the 'current state of folk music' thread Vic Smith quotes Jim Causley saying "Our generation hasn't got them, we have got you lot."


11 Nov 19 - 08:00 AM (#4018455)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Regarding Pardon's repertoire:

There is a list of songs sung by Pardon on the MUSTRAD pages. These pages were refenced in the original post on this thread.

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/pardon2.htm#rep

A quick check suggested that the following, from the BL site, which some sources say he knew, were not on the MUSTRAd pages. But it was a quick check and may be incorrect.

Molly my Irish Molly
Broomfield Hill (may be Broomfield wager which is on)
Give my love to Nancy
More Trouble in My Native Land

Re Discography: Mustrad also features a discography, which I hope they will not mind me citing here, with full acknowledgements of the work of Mike Yates/Ron Stradling in putting the information on Pardon together:

Walter Pardon Discography:

EFDSS CD002
Bright Golden Store
Folkways FE38553
The Deserter
Lord Lovel
The Maid of Australia
Harmonium HM719
The Trees they do Grow Hogh
Home-Made Music LP301
Blow the Winds I-O
Bright Golden Store
Caroline and her Young Sailor Bold
Come Little Leaves
Hold the Fort
Naughty Jemima Brown
Old Joe the Boat is Going Over (melodeon)
The Parson and the Clerk
The Poor Smuggler's Boy
Rakish Young Fellow
Rosin-a-Beau
Thornaby Woods
Two Jolly Butchers
Uncle Walter's March (melodeon)
Leader LED2063
A Ship to Old England Came
A British Man-of-War
The Dark-Eyed Sailor
Jack Tar Ashore
Let the Wind Blow High or Low
The Miller and His Sons
Old Brown' s Daughter
The Poacher's Fate
The Rambling Blade
The Trees They Do Grow High
Van Diemen's Land
Leader LED2111
Balaclava
Down By the Dark Arches
Grace Darling
I'll Beat the Drum Again (The Female Drummer)
I'll Hang my Harp on a Willow Tree
Jones's Ale
The Old Miser
The Pretty Ploughboy
Up to the Rigs (of London Town)
The Wreck of the Ramillies
You Generals All (Lord Marlborough)
Musical Traditions MT CD 305
All Among the Barley
Black-eyed Susan
Blow the Winds I-O
The Bonny Bunch of Roses-O
Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold
A Country Life
Cupid the Pretty Ploughboy
The Green Bushes
Hold the Fort
If I Were a Blackbird
I'm Yorkshire Though in London
Little Ball of Yarn
Lord Lovel
An Old Man's Advice
The Parson and the Clerk
Polly Vaughan
The Poor Smuggler's Boy
The Saucy Sailor
Seventeen Come Sunday
The Skipper and his Boy
Thornaby Woods
Musical Traditions MT CD 306
Alice Grey
Ben Bolt
Bound to Emigrate to New Zealand
Cock-a-Doodle-Do
The Cuckoo
The Dandy Man
Down by the Old Abbey Ruins
For Me, For Me
The Harland Road
Here's to the Grog
The Huntsman
Husband Taming
If I Ever Get Drunk Again
The Marble Arch
The Mistletoe Bough
Nancy Lee
Naughty Jemima Brown
Not for Joseph, Not for Joe
The Old Armchair
Old Joe the Boat is Going Over
On a See-Saw
Put a bit of Powder on it, Father
Rosin-a-Beau
Saving Them All for Mary
Slave Driving Farmers
Two Lovely Black Eyes
Uncle Walter's March
Uncle Walter's Tune
Up the Chimney Pot
Wake Up Johnny
When the Cock begins to Crow
Wheel Your P'rambulator
While Shepherds Watched
Your Faithful Sailor Boy
People's Stage Tapes 11
At Rambling Green
Balaclava
Down by the Dark Arches
I'll Hang my Harp on a Willow Tree
The Maid of Australia
Old Brown's Daughter
The Parson and the Clerk
The Pretty Ploughboy
The Rakish Young Fellow
The Reason Why (One Cold Morning in December)
The Rich Irish Girl (Let the Winds Blow High or Low)
Up to the Rigs of London Town
Van Diemen's Land
Root and Branch CD1
Won't You Come to Me in Canada
Topic 12TS392
A Country Life
An Old Man's Advice
The Bold Princess Royal
The Broomfield Wager
Cupid the Ploughboy
The Dandy Man
The Devil and the Farmer's Wife
The Hungry Army
I Wish, I Wish
Jack Hall
One Cold Morning in December
Peggy Bawn
Raggle Taggle Gypsies
Uncle Walter's Tune
Topic TSCD514
The Banks of Sweet Dundee
The Bold Fisherman
The Bold Princess Royal
A British Man of War*
The Cunning Cobbler
The Dark-Eyed Sailor*
The Deserter
The Devil and the Farmer's Wife
The Female Drummer*
The Handsome Cabin Boy
The Jolly Wagoner
The Lawyer (Mowing the Barley)
The Loss of the Ramilies*
Maids of Australia
The Pretty Ploughboy*
The Rakish Young Fellow
The Rambling Blade*
The Trees They do Grow High*
Two Jolly Butchers
Topic TSCD600
The Broomfield Wager
Topic TSCD651
Peggy Bawn
Topic TSCD652
A Ship to Old England Came*
Jack Tar Ashore*
Topic TSCD654
Van Diemen's Land*
Topic TSCD656 Raggle Taggle Gypsies
Topic TSCD660 Let the Wind Blow High or Low*
Topic TSCD664 The Hungry Army
Topic TSCD665 I Wish, I Wish One Cold Morning in December
Topic TSCD667 Jack Hall
Topic TSCD668 The Poacher's Fate*
Veteran Tapes VT108 Spanish Ladies Sons of Labour
Veteran Tapes VT109 Black-Eyed Susan The Topman and the Afterguard
Veteran Tapes VTC1CD Sons of Labour
Notes: Songs marked with an
asterisk on Topic CDs are alternate takes to the same songs issued on Leader albums.
VT108/9 are cassettes.
MT CDs 305 and 306 are issued together as a double set.


11 Nov 19 - 08:26 AM (#4018459)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Pardon was a man of the 20th century"
Not sure what that means Jag - Walter's songs dated back to the 19thc 18thc, - even early and they entertained many of us throughout the latter half of the 20th century ]
Are you saying that 21st century singing enthusiasts are no longer capable of enjoying them ?
Does culture from the past really come with a sell-by date
I sat among a room-full of people of all ages a couple of weeks ago in Belfast and we listened to everything from ancient ballads to recently composed songs made using old techniques - no accompaniment - no amplification - just people listening to songs well sung

Without encroaching on the other thread, I think the pitiful number of clubs and the much reduced audiences on the club scene has proved pretty conclusively that what has replaced Walter and his like on the folk scene is far less successful than what brought us together
I would be interested to be proved wrong - I would also be interested to know why 21st century urban Britain is so different than 21st century Northern Ireland in not being able to accept songs and peformances from the past
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 08:56 AM (#4018463)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"I would be interested to be proved wrong - I would also be interested to know why 21st century urban Britain is so different than 21st century Northern Ireland in not being able to accept songs and peformances from the past"

Jim - but you are bound to be proved wrong,
because you are making too massive an over generalisation..
Music lovers do "accept songs and peformances from the past"
The evidence is plastered all over the internet...

I wish I'd had all that is available now when I was a kid,
when our music awareness was limited by meagre provision on TV and radio...

.. and the small town record shop with hardly any back catalogue stock...

We hardly knew of anything that existed outside the weekly pop charts back then...


11 Nov 19 - 08:59 AM (#4018464)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

'Without encroaching on the other thread ….. what has replaced Walter and his like on the folk scene is far less successful than..'

With respect, as I understand English vocabulary, this comment is, or, let's use hedges with politeness in mind, this comment may be 'encroaching' on this thread, not the other one. For it is that thread and not this one which has as its topic the current state of folk music in the UK.

I have just listened again to Pardon' Maid of Australia on Spotify. I found it as embarrassingly horrid as I did the first time I listened to it. It appears to me (and I know this is just my personal response)( to be a mixture of what is almost something approaching a male rape fantasy and colonial exoticism. Its date, who knows? Its language: some of it presumably deliberately anachronistic at the time of composition eg damsel.

Story: narrator, foreign to Australia, presumably a colonialist of some sort, snoops on a native Australian female bathing in the nude. He skin, he notes, is black. She trips on coming out of the water, he then saves her and (in what is presumably a 'baudy' pun) announces that he entered 'the bush of Australia'. Any explicit 'come on' on from this woman, whom even the persona of the song appears to be aware is just dressing and behaving according to the mores of her own culture, may be in the mind of the persona. But, like many a woman in such fantasies, she joins him in 'sporting' in the 'highest of glee'. He then left her.

I struggle to see why the compilers of this anthology chose to represent English folk song with this. I'm not convinced that he sings it even at the right pitch since it sounds like he is struggling to hit the lower notes. I do not believe for one moment that putting this sort of song on stage in the 21st century would solve the problems of the UK folk scene. It seems to me more likely that it illustrates some of the things that were wrong with the 2nd Revival.


11 Nov 19 - 09:06 AM (#4018466)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

(The evidence is plastered all over the internet..."
Not in my experience - but we're not talking about a passive - "eyes on screens" involvement in the music - we always had records we could buy and and sit at home and listen to
We are discussing a situation were we could sing to our peers and fellow enthusiasts
One of the arguments about the club scene has always been that it is an artificial way of enjoying folk song - I cannot think of anything more artifical that staring at a screen or a tiny image on an iphone tpo get your fulfilment
The facts of tha matter are that it is not the general public who have chnaged in their tastes but it is the crowd who have taken over the folk scene who hacve decided they want to do something else
Folk remains potentially as relevant as it always was

This argument doesn't belong here so let's takwe our thread drift elsewhere
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 09:12 AM (#4018467)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"but we're not talking about a passive - "eyes on screens" involvement in the music"

But how else are we expected to enjoy "peformances from the past"
if not from recordings and moving pictures..???

Roll up roll up.. Folk TARDIS time trips to the past
book a session now, and you'll be back home tonight even before you left.....!!!???


11 Nov 19 - 09:15 AM (#4018468)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

btw.. I've not had time to look yet,
but do any of the documentaries mentioned in this thread
actually containg footage of Walter singing live to an audience,
with maybe some of his in between songs banter...???


11 Nov 19 - 09:19 AM (#4018469)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

Jim, Jag was quoting me from very early on in the thread, when I was trying to understand the terms of the original post, and in particular what I interpreted as suggesting that WP's exposure to modern culture somehow somehow meant he could not be properly regarded as an example of traditional singing style

Here's what I said in context

Firstly you seem to have a misguided idea of what a traditional singer should be. The idea that a folk singer should be an illiterate peasant untouched by outside influences was inaccurate even in Cecil Sharp's time. Pardon was a man of the 20th century, more or less contemporary with my own father, and of course he had some education and was literate. Of course he was exposed to the gramophone, the radio and the television, and it would be naive to expect that his singing style might be completely untouched by these influences. However it would also have been influenced by the singers in his family and his village. His style was his own, as to some extent is any singer's, and from one point of view is representative only of him. Most other traditional singers had their own individual styles. Nevertheless it is an example of a mid-20th century singer who has been part of a singing tradition passed on over at least three generations, but not one which existed in a state of isolation.

It became clear from later posts that by "traditional singer" the OP meant from before the early 20th century. My point was that WP's style should be seen as that of a 20th century singer, part of a tradition which continued throughout that century and into this, albeit much reduced. Whether or not that was influenced by external factors (on which I make no comment) shouldn't devalue it in any way - tradition moves on and reflects the society it is part of.


11 Nov 19 - 09:25 AM (#4018470)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Walter sang more or less in the manner people probably always sang folk songs - he certainly learned from his uncles who were product of the 19th century
I'm not talking about listening to old recordings

Walter didn't do 'in-beween banter as far as I know - he took his singing seriously and sang - Bert Lloyd commented on this when Walter was taken to America foir the Bi-Centennial celebrations
He seldom even drank while performing
There are examples of him on film
If you regard fol song as a thing of the past - why involve yourself in it
You must hate Shakespeare
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 09:27 AM (#4018471)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Just a quick answer to your reference to my Traveller recordings.
I'm a bit like the Peter Kennedy incident you described at the moment.
Very briefly (because it's not on thread really) I was over on Marton Moss in Blackpool, putting a canvas on a living wagon for a Gypsy family (the Lee's) Mary Lee fetched me a brew and asked how much they owed me. I said nothing if you sing me one of your songs (no chance-she only sings when she thinks nobody is listening!) She disappeared and came back with two CD's and gave them to me. I was expecting the latest from the 'Wolf Tones' In fact what I got was the Lee, Wilson, Gorman family recorded in 1970. The CD's were made badly from an ancient reel to reel tape recorder, recorded by 'a Beatnick' according to the family. I think he had his eye on one of the young Gypsy Lasses at the time. All I know is his name was Ian. One of the younger Lee's transferred the tapes, missing the end of songs and coming in late on others.Then threw the originals away !!!!! The CD's were chucked in a drawer and ended up getting scratched. I rescued the recordings, and did my best with them.
The family do not want them published, but have given me permission to sing the songs and trust me to pass them on to those who will not do a Peter Kennedy as you described Jim. So far in Ireland Len Graham, and Lankum have the recordings. If you contact Len Graham he will let you have copies this post is my permission. However don't be too disappointed. There are no great singers and mainly fragments of songs, but some great versions and unusual tunes. My recordings of Peter Ingram are on the BL sound archive and 'The Voice of the people'.
kind regards
Nick


11 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM (#4018472)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Regarding the issuing of recordings of Pardon, MUSTRAD has a story about this, though I am not sure I have the events correct and clear.

I'll start with a quotation from Mike Yates' MUSTRAD contribution, from the introduction to the "Put a Bit of Powder on it, Father" CD issue:


In 1999, Topic Records asked me to write the notes to their forthcoming Walter Pardon CD - A World Without Horses (TSCD514). I had not been involved in the production of the album, nor had I chosen the songs that were to be included. The original producers, Jim Carroll and Pat MacKenzie, had originally hoped that Topic would issue a double CD using many of their recordings of Walter. It seems that Topic felt that these later recordings failed to show Walter at his best and so Jim and Pat withdrew from the project, leaving Topic with a single CD that was without notes or documentation.

Ron Stradling continues the story:

"The recent history of this pair of CDs - the start of which can be seen above - is strangely convoluted. Almost two years ago, after parting with Topic, Jim and Pat asked me if I would be interested in releasing the 'second' CD - and I readily agreed. We exchanged a letter or two, but they then got involved in a protracted move to Ireland which seemed to take up most of the summer. I phoned them several times afterwards, but it seemed clear that they had lost motivation for the project.

Some months later, while talking on another subject with Mike Yates, the second CD got mentioned and he suggested that he could do one quite easily. Again, I readily agreed. The next thing I heard was that Topic had reinstated the second CD - consisting mainly of Mike Yates recordings!"

Keen readers of Mudcat threads, might, at the mention of one or two names in the above posts, wonder whether any heated controversial discussion ensued. And so did I. A search of the MUSTRAD site threw up a link to the following page, headed "Enthusiasms, No 3". Yates and or Stradling are, if I read this aright, said to have written 'a total distortion of the truth' with some readers unable to grasp why any of the background history should have been committed to print in the first place.


I don't really want to comment on that particular controversy. But I will suggest that through reading we get some sense of the context within which Pardon's singing was recorded and marketed for sale. And on that basis it is relevant to the stated topic of this thread (if not to the thread and how it has developed on a broader level as a conversation).

Enjoy!

I have been reading a book about Knapton. Maybe more to follow.


11 Nov 19 - 09:40 AM (#4018474)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Vic Smith

Dick wrote: -
vic smith said
The Copper Family never, to my knowledge added to or augmented or changed their songs through their extensive contact with the folk clubs, though I know that the way that they sung them was discussed
i disagree and would draw your attention to the old dun cow caught fire,as sung by harry champion


Well, Dick, it is true that this song is associated with Harry Champion but the fact is that The Copper Family were singing that song before folk clubs came along as well as songs by The Mills Brothers, Louis Armstrong and others.


11 Nov 19 - 09:45 AM (#4018475)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"If you regard fol song as a thing of the past - why involve yourself in it
You must hate Shakespeare
"

Jim - what's the point and need for comments like that...???
I'm used to you, but others could see that as unecesarily antagonistic and dismissive..

My approach is to call you out on being so presumptious and wrong about me and others here...

1 - I obviously see folk as past present and future,
to accuse me of anything otherwise is sheer bollocks.
Just another example of you misreading my intentions,
and justifing your misunderstandings
by making up false ideas to put in other people mouths...

"Oh, if you say this, you must mean that.."

sorry to disapoint you, but I endeavour to say exactly what I mean at all times...

You persistently convince yourself other folks, even mudcat mates who agree with you ,
say and mean things they never did...

This is so exasperating...!!!

You can't even agree with people who agreee with you...!!!???

All you are doing is having imaginary arguements with yourself,
while we wait patiently as we can for you to regain the plot...

2 - wtf has Shakespeare got to do with this..
that's just another one of your tangential obsessions..

Anyway, back to Walter..

Did he ever perform or record with backing musicians and singers, or was he strictly solo...????
All I've heard online so far is unaccompanied...


11 Nov 19 - 10:00 AM (#4018476)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST

Pseud wrote :

'A search of the MUSTRAD site threw up a link to the following page, headed "Enthusiasms, No 3". Yates and or Stradling are, if I read this aright, said to have written 'a total distortion of the truth' with some readers unable to grasp why any of the background history should have been committed to print in the first place. '

FWIW, Enthusiasms 3 deals with John Moulden, not of the stuff cited.

A link would be useful, perhaps?


11 Nov 19 - 10:02 AM (#4018477)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST

Ok, I see it now : Enthusiasms 23 is the one.


11 Nov 19 - 10:11 AM (#4018479)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

'Fraid there's nothing strange about all this - any more than there is about your reasons for raising it
We approached Topic in view to making a possible double CD of Walter
As we didn't wish to make just another collection of songs we put together a combination of songs, anecdotes, parodies, opinions, etc and sent it to Topic
Tony Engle held onto it for a time and eventually sent us a letter, which we still have. saying he didn't feel that's what Topic wished to do - he also said he thought Walter, who was then getting on, wasn't at his best on some of the tracks
Tony also commented on the fact that many of the recordings had the sound of clocks in the background (Walter had a large collection of them - including a loud Russian tin clock purchased from The Daily Mirror)
We accepted Tony's decision and backed out, laving the field clear for Mike to do his excellent 'Horses'
Somewhere along the way someone got the wrong end of the story, but as we have the original correspondence on file, including Tony's letter, there is no question about what happened

We have made several albums from our own recordings, Tom Lenihan, Around the Hills of Clare, From Puck to Appleby, Early in the Month of Spring..
It has always been or practice to include the spoken word on them so the people aren't presented as just 'performers' - Topic didn't wish to do this - their loss, as far as I'm concerned

As few clarifications - no idea where the 'two years ago' came from - We have now lived in Ireland for over twenty years

"marketed for sale"
We have never been paid for producing CDs - only one of our singers was paid - a pittance
These were labours of love on all our parts
For our two anthologies we recieved half-a-dozen free copies which were to be shared out among the performers - go count them

Sorry to spoil your potential juicy bit of scandal
Why do you do this (rhetorical question, of course)
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 10:12 AM (#4018480)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

I suppose we could actually try thinking the best of each other for a change. Would make for easier reading. I'm off again singing until tomorrow, and living in hope as I go down the road.


11 Nov 19 - 10:15 AM (#4018481)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

" suppose we could actually try thinking the best of each other for a change."
Amen to that
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 12:25 PM (#4018482)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

It would appear that Walter Pardon was one of the first children to attend Knapton's Methodist Sunday school. Methodism was fairly strong in Eastern England. Knapton had both church and chapel. This book about Knapton is quite interesting. It gives us quite a good sense of the context, I think. I can relate to this because I have ancestors myself who were Methodists (though of a rather coal mining than industrial sort on the whole). It is by Gillian Shepherd, published in 2011 published by 'Biteback Publishing' and there is a companion volume called 'Knapton Remembered' which it would also be interesting to read.

Also, in case anybody has not seen it, there is a snippet from 2014 on Pardon in here, starting about 48 minutes in, though I am thinking that most of us will have heard this line of argument before:

http://pipers.ie/source/media/?mediaId=25853

And extracts from the interview on which this is based, which I think is referenced in the original quotation, has been typed out on a mudcat thread also dated 2014 and called 'Traditional Singers Talking'.

People can make what they will of the research methodology involved. It might be interesting and on-topic to discuss it.

It is a matter of fact that Pardon was marketed for sale, and that there were lively discussion about how to do this, what should be in the package! There have been discussions also, for example, about whether 'Put a Bit of Powder on it' should have been released. I think it was argued that it did not show Pardon as a traditional singer. All this seems to be relatively factual.


11 Nov 19 - 12:38 PM (#4018483)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Re Enthusiasms: sorry if it was my incorrect reference. It is no 23, and here is a link: https://www.mustrad.org.uk/enth23.htm

Among the subjects discussed are what sort of notes should accompany CDs, what selections of material should/should not be released, at what stage was Pardon singing well (one participant says he was not very good at first and needed time to get good at it) (ie how to market ie advertise, promote, vend the work of Walter Pardon, these CDs were for sale). It seems to me to be beyond doubt that Pardon was marketed, even if nobody made much money from it, and some people made nothing.

We also encounter within this 'enthusiasms' pages, examples of bald assertions of what purport to be fact about Pardon which are not really substantiated by evidence and which seem to me to conflict with what Pardon actually says in the very early interviews accessible to the public via the BL web site.



Thank you.


11 Nov 19 - 02:01 PM (#4018485)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

You have obviously done some research, Sue, so can you answer the questions I posed before?

Was Walter's mother called Edith, as the Wiki article says, or Emily as the official records say? Or was she born one but known as the other? It happens!

The Wiki article lists Roger Dixon as Walter's nephew but I can find no listing of any siblings Walter had. Was Roger not a nephew or did Walter have siblings?

Both these need to be corrected if the Wiki article is wrong.

One final one, for now! The family that own the farm that Walter's cottage was tied to, were the Dixons. Was Roger related to them?


11 Nov 19 - 02:23 PM (#4018488)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

I am sorry that Pseudonymous has decided to dredge up the facts surrounding the Topic and Musical Tradition CDs - which have nothing to do with Walter Pardon (wasn't he the subject of this thread?) To say that there was 'a total distortion of the truth' without placing this in context, might seem to some that Rod Stradling and myself were distorting the truth about Walter, when this was not the case. Again, I am left wondering just what Pseudonymous is up to. He/She seems to be throwing little 'bombs' into the discussion and then sitting back to see what happens.
The facts are that I wrote the Topic CD notes when asked to do so by Topic, and in a manner that they requested, and this was after Jim & Pat pulled out of the project. Similarly, I only offered to let Rod Stradling use some of my recordings of Walter after Jim & Pat had left that project. This did cause some friction between Jim & myself, but we have known each other for other 50 years and, I am glad to say, that we are still friends.
This has nothing whatsoever to do with Walter.
While here, I might just mention something else that has been previously said here, namely the about film made by John Cohen. I took John to meet Walter and I was the sound engineer for the film.


11 Nov 19 - 02:31 PM (#4018489)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,ike Yates

'There have been discussions also, for example, about whether 'Put a Bit of Powder on it' should have been released. I think it was argued that it did not show Pardon as a traditional singer. All this seems to be relatively factual.'

This is utter rubbish. I have yet to meet a 'traditional singer' who did not/does not have all types of songs in his/her repertoire. Pseudonymous, have a listen to any other Musical Traditions singers' CDs and you will hear that singers can have very wide repertoires indeed. I would assume that anyone on Mudcat would already know this.


11 Nov 19 - 02:48 PM (#4018491)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Rod Stradling and myself were distorting the truth about Walter, when this was not the case. "
It most certainly was not Mike it was, as I said, a misunderstanding
Our somewhat inadequate friend is attempting to settle old scores and no doubt, will try again in the future - sorry you got in his sights
THt fact that he chooses to do so from the safety of anonymity tends to underline what he is
"This has nothing whatsoever to do with Walter."
It is somewhat distressing that he is making Walter one of his targets here
We can't do too much about that but Walter can rest in the knowledge that that he's in good company - he has already targeted the Travellers as "Thieves, poachers and scavengers" so Jeannie, Belle, Alec and Sheila can all have a bit of a giggle over their ambrosia tonight

"these CDs were for sale"
Companies like Topic and Musical Traditions work on the basis of using the prifits from the better known artists (Carthy et al) to finance the source singers albums which invariably sell at a loss
Walter's fellow East Anglian, 'Sam Lerner's album recently sold only three copies - Stradling almost certainly sent out three time as many review copies to get it publicised
You world do better to try to get your facts straight rather than spending your time trawling teh net looking for iffy facts to to sear your felow posters with

"Roger Dixon"
As it seems so world-shattering - Roger was the nephew of Walter's cousin, Hubert, who lived several doors away down the lane
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 02:52 PM (#4018493)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

As far as 'Powder' showing Walter not to be a traditional singer, I suggest you read Mike's 'The Other Songs' on the Musical Traditions site
It's hard to stop this sort of nonsense one the culprit gets his teeth into it
Jim


11 Nov 19 - 02:55 PM (#4018496)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Thanks, Jim. I shall submit that correction to Wiki


11 Nov 19 - 03:00 PM (#4018498)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

By the way, this is one ofthe songs we were intending to use on the Topic project - I don't think is has been included on any other of Walter's albums
Jim

The Steam Arm
Such a curious tale I’m about to unfold
To one and all, what I’ve been told,
About a soldier stout and bold,
Whose wife ‘he had such a terrible scold.

Right toora loora loory addity, right to loora dear,
Right toora loora loory addity, right to loora dear.

At Waterloo he lost an arm,
Which caused him pain and quite alarm,
In length of time he grew quite calm,
For a shilling a day was a sort of a balm.
Right toora loora……………            

The story goes that every night
His wife would bang him left and right,
He thought in time, just out of spite
He’d have an arm, cost what it might.
Right toora loora……………..         

All at once he hit upon a scheme,
He’d have an arm that’d go by steam,
A ray of hope began to gleam,
That the force of arms would bring esteem.
Right toora loora……………..         

The arm was made and fixed on to,
A stump of his shoulder both neat and true,
You’d think it there by nature grew,
For it stuck in its place as tight as glue.
Right toora loora………………                  

In coming home, he reached the door,
His wife abuse began to pour,
He pulled a small peg and before
He’d time to think, she lay flat on the floor.
Right toora loora…………………….            

And soon the house with police was filled,
And half of them he damn near killed,
The arm it was so very well drilled,
That once in action, could not be stilled.
Right toora loora……………            

They took him up before the mayor,
The arm kept going all the while there,
The mayor said, shake your fist if you dare,
The steam arm knocked him right out of the chair.
Right toora loora………………..               

They shut him up in Tom Gee’s barn,
Thinking there he’d do no harm,
And all at once they had an alarm,
Down came the wall and out popped his arm.
Right toora loora…………………..        

Now he wanders about all in a fright,
He can’t get rest neither day nor night,
The arm keep going with all its might,
A-cutting away from left to right.
Right toora loora………………..        

“That’s Harry Sexton’s Steam Arm”.


11 Nov 19 - 06:02 PM (#4018526)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello ike Yates

1 You raise the question whether the debates on the Enthusiasms pages of Mustrad are relevant to the topic of this thread. The topic of this thread was 'Walter Pardon; Research'. In carrying out research on the subject of Walter Pardon, one encounters material relating to the way his work was marketed, and debates relating to this, much of which is on the Mustrad site. Therefore, they are, I would suggest, relevant.

The post about which you raise concerns did refer people back to the Mustrad site, and it did not claim to have any answers or take sides on any misunderstandings or disputes that took place. I do not think there needs to be any concern that people might get the wrong end of any stick by reading the quotations from it out of context.

The original post references the Mustrad site as a source on Pardon, and you may find it helpful to refer back to this original post (while bearing in mind that thanks to the helpful contributions of some posters, that post would be revised before re-posting). It might give you some idea of the thoughts I had after looking at Mustrad and elsewhere for thoughts about Pardon.

2 Reading the Mustrad site does leave one aware of a number of controversies and difficulties relating to how the man and his work are to be seen. An example explicitly acknowledged, possibly by Mike Yates, is precisely where Pardon learned particular songs, as he is said to have given different accounts to different researchers of where he learned a particular song. Other problems are outlined in a 2000 article by Roly Brown. http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/pardon1.htm

3 I made the point that it has been argued that the 'powder' set should not have been released as it did not show Pardon as a traditional singer. I wrote "There have been discussions also, for example, about whether 'Put a Bit of Powder on it' should have been released. I think it was argued that it did not show Pardon as a traditional singer. All this seems to be relatively factual."

Your response to this, in so far as I understand it is a) that nothing of the sort has ever been argued as nobody who knew anything about folk would advance such an argument and b) in some sense I am so ignorant myself that I do not know that traditional singers usually have wide repertoires and this contributes to me talking 'utter nonsense', such that you would expect better from a person on Mudcat.

You are perfectly entitled to your point of view, of course. It seems to me (having the benefit of knowing what I do and do not know) that you are wrong about my state of knowledge.

I confess that I do not share your optimistic view about the state of knowledge of Mudcatters. Morever, I find that some of them struggle to engage in a sensible discussion about the contested concepts and ideologies that underpin so much of their thinking! I don't claim to be perfect myself here, of course. But I make an effort!

But for me, in a discussion, it might have been more helpful if you had simply asked me for a reference, for the evidence I was drawing on. In case you would like to read one such discussion, I refer you to the Mudcat thread headed 'Does it Matter What Music is Called'?

That thread also demonstrates that much discussion about folk and traditional music is underpinned by contested concepts and ideologies. They are the topic of the entire threads!

4 Thank you for the information about being the sound engineer on the film. I've made a note of it, and apologise if you feel this should have been mentioned before but was not.

Mr Carroll's allegations that I have made racist comments are wholly inaccurate, an example of what punkfolkrocker refers to as taking things out of context and twisting them. I mentioned racist attitudes to travellers with disapproval.

Dave the Gnome

Wiki isn't always a good guide. On Roger Dixon's relationship to Walter, Roger himself explains it in the Edge TV film, reference already given. He goes back further than one generation to trace a link, but there may have been more than one link. In Shakespeare's day the word simply meant 'relative', so it can be used loosely. In may day, one called all sorts of people 'uncle' or 'aunty', friends of one's parents, maybe at some point Dixon did refer to Walter as his uncle? Who knows?

You may be right that a person might be known by two names, I think that the

By the way, I suspect Pardon had some Scottish ancestry: it appears that many Scots came to Norfolk because of their expertise in farming, and a male ancestor married a Scottish woman. But I'm not claiming this left a great imprint upon the family.

I'm assuming that the former farmhouse Pardon lived in was, as the film hints, called Parr Farm. I may be incorrect here. I know that Pardon himself said there had been smallholdings and they shared the barn. The book on Knapton I mention above says some 'farms' in Knapton were as small as 5 acres. It has some info on Parr Farm, saying, if I remember aright that Roger Dixons family were there, people called Dixon. I'll maybe check this.


The census gives the girls in Thomas Cook Gee and his wife Ruth's family as Elizabeth, Maria, Emily and Alice. (using 1871, 81 and 91). I cannot see an Edith. Ruth was born in Paston (nee Thirtle).


11 Nov 19 - 06:11 PM (#4018528)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry pfr for mess in last post. Trying to do two things at once.


11 Nov 19 - 06:35 PM (#4018532)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

The information that Walter went with the Methodists seems to me so interesting that I am disappointed that nobody else asked him about his early religious experience. It has been stated that none of his family sang in pubs: well, Methodists wouldn't would they? Interesting connection between this and Arthur Amis (1905 - 2000), who attended Knapton School for a time - as Pardon will have done - and also worked for a while in Knapton.


11 Nov 19 - 07:53 PM (#4018541)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Can I suggest that this individual is treated as a troll before this useful and enjoyable thread is closed
Jim Carroll


11 Nov 19 - 08:36 PM (#4018543)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

From Old Songs, New Discoveres – selected Papers from the 2018 Folk Song Conference
Jim Carroll
Joseph Taylor in Lincolnshire, from whom Percy Grainger noted ‘Brigg Fair’, also sang in his church choir, as well as at the music festival where Grainger first heard him, and had always had a keen interest in music. His granddaughter relates that he even called his dog Minim, because it had one spot on its back, saying, ‘he couldn’t be a crotchet, he has no stick, and anyhow he must have a musical name’.
That Taylor was musically self-aware was acknowledged by Grainger, albeit somewhat condescendingly: ‘He most intelligently realizes just what sort of songs collectors are after, distinguishes surprisingly between genuine traditional tunes and other ditties,and is, in every way, a marvel of helpfulness and kindliness.

Likewise, in Cumbria we find singers with wide and diverse repertoires choosing to sing only certain songs in particular contexts: ‘folk songs’ if they were requested, dialect songs at appropriate gatherings, hunting songs or songs on farming themes at hunt and shepherds’ meets, and so on. An example is John Collinson who, after winning the Kendal Folk Song Competition in 1905, was subsequently visited by both Percy Grainger and Anne Gilchrist, who also collected from two other singers in the Kirkby Lonsdale area,


11 Nov 19 - 08:36 PM (#4018544)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

From Old Songs, New Discoveres – selected Papers from the 2018 Folk Song Conference
Jim Carroll
Joseph Taylor in Lincolnshire, from whom Percy Grainger noted ‘Brigg Fair’, also sang in his church choir, as well as at the music festival where Grainger first heard him, and had always had a keen interest in music. His granddaughter relates that he even called his dog Minim, because it had one spot on its back, saying, ‘he couldn’t be a crotchet, he has no stick, and anyhow he must have a musical name’.
That Taylor was musically self-aware was acknowledged by Grainger, albeit somewhat condescendingly: ‘He most intelligently realizes just what sort of songs collectors are after, distinguishes surprisingly between genuine traditional tunes and other ditties,and is, in every way, a marvel of helpfulness and kindliness.

Likewise, in Cumbria we find singers with wide and diverse repertoires choosing to sing only certain songs in particular contexts: ‘folk songs’ if they were requested, dialect songs at appropriate gatherings, hunting songs or songs on farming themes at hunt and shepherds’ meets, and so on. An example is John Collinson who, after winning the Kendal Folk Song Competition in 1905, was subsequently visited by both Percy Grainger and Anne Gilchrist, who also collected from two other singers in the Kirkby Lonsdale area,


11 Nov 19 - 08:42 PM (#4018546)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Returning to Matthew Ord's piece: his title was 'Sound Recording in the British Folk Revival: ideology, discourse and practice 1950 to 1975.

Two of the people whose help he acknowledges feature in the 'discourse' relating to Walter Pardon: Bill Leader and Rod Stradling.


He makes the following statement at the outset, one which chimes with my thinking as I encountered the material that I did encounter and have refenced about Pardon (though his focus is mainly - but not exclusively - on the sound recordings, whereas I have looked at online discussions as well:

"The revival's recording practice took in a range of approaches, and contexts, including radio commentary, commercial studio productions and amateur field recordings. This thesis considers how these practices were mediated by revivalist beliefs and values, how recording was presented in revivalist discourse, and how its semiotic resources were incorporated into multimodal discourses about music, technology and traditional culture."

I hope that anybody who has read the opening piece will see why when I came across this piece, I found it so very interesting.

It would be interesting to discuss how far Ord's ideas apply to the material on Pardon that we have found so far. Maybe more on this later.


12 Nov 19 - 02:25 AM (#4018558)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Yes, it was the census records I was going off. There is also a family tree on ancestry.com done by a member of the Pardon family. You would think that with all these researchers, who knew Walter so well, one of them may have picked up on little inconsisties like different names for his mother!


12 Nov 19 - 03:54 AM (#4018570)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Psuedonymous "I'm assuming that the former farmhouse Pardon lived in was, as the film hints, called Parr Farm. I may be incorrect here. Where does 'former farmhouse' come from? The film shows that it was called "Parrs Farm Cottage" Two people posting on this thread have said that it was formerly a smaller habitation. We can see on the film that it had been something different, maybe stone built.


12 Nov 19 - 03:56 AM (#4018571)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Does what Walter says in the interview about visualising the stories in the songs and novels helps explain his good memory for them?


12 Nov 19 - 04:10 AM (#4018575)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

This appears to have moved on from undermining the validity of the singers reputations as 'tradition bearers' to attacking the work carried out by 'revival' collectors
I have noted in other arguments that the trend in today's research scholarship has become largely based on tearing down the work of pioneers and replacing it with modern paper-chasing
This began seriously with the publication of David Harker's somewhat depressingly distasteful 'Fakelore', a sort of 'assassin's handbook' which was dedicated to 'taking out' all the earlier collectors by taking their work out of the contexts of the times they were living in - giants like Child, Sharp, Kidson, Broadwood.... whose work was based on face-to-face conversations with the singers
The attention now seems to have switched to modern collectors like Reg Hall, Mike Yates, Roy Palmer, Bob Thomson and Pat and I (must remember to get the locks changed)

I've never been part of the academic side of folk song - I found it far too Ivory Towerish and self absorbed - a club that had evolved its own language to keep outsiders out
I have always believed that one of the greatest gaps in our knowledge of folk music and song is the absence of the voices of the singers and musicians down the ages who gave us our songs and music - and a lifetime of enjoyment
The revivalist collectors have, to some small degree, managed to fill part of that gap   
Reg Hall, melodeon, fiddle and piano player and dancer, spent many, many hours talking to the older generations of folk musicians and singers in London and elsewhere - he even helped set up a magazine based on what they had to say, 'Ethnic'
Mike Yates took the songs and voices of Travellers, Mary Ann Haynes, Jasper and Levi Smith, Joe Jones and great East Anglian, Walter Pardon.... and made their voices accessible to a wider audience
Roy Palmer, a member of the Grey Cock Folk Club, spent hours talking to Cecila Costello and George Dunn
One of the great experts on broadsides, a giant we lost to the US, Bob Thomson, caught Harry Cox's last years on tape and interviewed singers from North Norfolk and Cambridgeshire adding vastly to our knowledge and enjoyment of folk song - Bob first appeared on the scene singing folk songs with his friend, Mike Herring

I don't know if Newcastle University based Matthew Ord ever met a traditional singer or ever sang a song, but somehow I doubt it
Jim Carroll


12 Nov 19 - 04:29 AM (#4018581)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Thank you for your useful and relevant contribution, Jim.


12 Nov 19 - 04:30 AM (#4018583)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I don't know. Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie have claimed that they helped him to remember songs that he thought he had forgotten. So it isn't as if he held all of them whole in memory over all the years he did not sing with others.


12 Nov 19 - 04:45 AM (#4018591)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry that last was in response to jag.

We have so little of the raw data on which conclusions about Pardon are based easily available that it isn't always easy to decide what Pardon was referring to. Some of his comments appear to have been related to what he thought while he was singing in public, a task he seems to have found somewhat nerve-wracking as he says something to the effect that he likes a microphone to hide behind. Selected extracts from one or more interviews have been posted on Mudcat threads, if you wanted to judge for yourself … I think it is on a thread entitled 'Traditional Singers Talking'.

In a very early interview, Pardon says that he wrote lyrics down in the presence of Billy. He explains that Billy could not write them down as he had injured his hand. This is in one of the British Library archive interviews available online. However, if Carroll and Mackenzie had to help him to learn ones he thought he had forgotten (and we don't appear to know how many these comprised, or which ones), perhaps he lost or destroyed the notes he made at the time of learning? As so often, precise knowledge about Pardon is so difficult to come by.


12 Nov 19 - 04:55 AM (#4018597)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

It seems to me that Matthew Ord has more musicality in his finger than some people who opine that he has probably never sung a song have in their ….

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=matthew+ord&&view=detail&mid=2BD089741184911661872BD08974118491166187&&FORM=VDRVRV


12 Nov 19 - 04:57 AM (#4018598)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Matthew Ord at Cecil Sharp House

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEwCUeJR7vQ


12 Nov 19 - 05:26 AM (#4018600)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

This began seriously with the publication of David Harker's somewhat depressingly distasteful 'Fakelore', a sort of 'assassin's handbook'

I've never been part of the academic side of folk song - I found it far too Ivory Towerish and self absorbed - a club that had evolved its own language to keep outsiders out.

I could not agree more! I've thought this way for decades.
Nick


12 Nov 19 - 05:47 AM (#4018601)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Pseudonymous. Walter's own words about visualising the stories of songs and the books he read are in one of the audio interviews. His tone of voice, and the fact that he includes mention of books that he read, suggests to me that it was what he did, rather than something he was led into by an interviewer asking about performance. I am not going to go back and find it to type it out.

His own words.

I don't see how the Roly Brown review of the CD (it is in the 'reviews' not the 'articles' section of mustrad) contributes anything to a 'research' discussion. The only new information is some observations about other versions of a few of the songs but that could be got by following the information in the booklet. In fact, I think that by not adding anything it does its job a being a review better.


12 Nov 19 - 06:21 AM (#4018610)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

This appears to have moved on from undermining the validity of the singers reputations as 'tradition bearers' to attacking the work carried out by 'revival' collectors (Jim Carrol).

Jim, I thought it started out that way.

Until someone tells us how Walter knew that some songs went back to the 18th century so that he could then notice that the tunes were different repeating his view leaves a big gap in the logic - it is a circular argument.

But none of the knowlegable writers have disagreed with the general idea or what he says about the structure of the later songs. We don't know how he 'knew' that some songs were old, but we do know how he knew that many were more recent.

I don't think the possibility that a newer ballad with an old-sounding tune could slip past Walter (or the folklorists) devalues Walter's observations. But I am skeptical when Walter's view is used by someone else as evidence in another debate especially when his own caveat "nine time out of ten" is not included.

One of the English folksong book writers (not sure if it was Sharp or Lloyd) did a tally of the modes used in songs. The results show that although clasically trained musicians make a fuss about the unfamilar- to-them modes a lot of the old tunes are actually in a major key. The medieval churchy types didn't call it 'modus lascivous' for nothing.


12 Nov 19 - 06:47 AM (#4018615)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Jag:

1 I had had a similar thought about the idea that older songs were 'modal' ie basically minor as opposed to major as indicated by them ending on a pull on a two row diatonic melodeon.

2 This appears to have moved on from undermining the validity of the singers reputations as 'tradition bearers' to attacking the work carried out by 'revival' collectors … I thought it started out that way.

I might quibble about the emotive force of some of the language used here, especially 'undermine' and 'attach', but basically you are correct.

The aid was to critically examine the way Pardon and his work were presented, and the difficulty (which I had found, as an alert reader) in distinguishing fact, myth, opinion and bias in the various accounts of him which I had found. Including in this is a 'critical' (ie less than slavish adherence) examination of the various and contested ideologies underpinning the work on and about him.

I am not apologetic about this: we can be assured that in the future people will take precisely this approach to the output of the 2nd revival: in fact time has moved on to the point where is it seen as 'history'.


12 Nov 19 - 06:57 AM (#4018618)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Obviously he could tell from the content of some songs that they were old. It seems clear from some of the interviews that this is what he is doing. So we do know this.

Plus, the man had been surrounded by and had interacted with people from the Revival: one cannot credibly argue that any knowledge he had was 'inherited' as part of the tradition.

But once again, we risk over-generalisation on the basis of a few selected extracts from what may or may not have been a vast bank of raw data.

Which brings us onto methodological considerations (ie questions about the best ways to go about carrying out research into questions like 'what did Walter Pardon know about his songs, and where did he get that knowledge from'.


12 Nov 19 - 06:58 AM (#4018619)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And if people choose to interpret this as a personal 'attack' or whatever, then that is really as far as I am concerned their decision. Whatever!


12 Nov 19 - 07:11 AM (#4018620)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

The point on a tendency to over-generalise about all singers within what is called in another piece of question begging rhetoric 'the tradition' (note use of definite article, not the indefinite) on the basis of inferences drawn from encounters with Walter Pardon was made on Muscat by The Sandman. The responses to his reasonable point were predictable in their tone and content.

I forgot to say thank you to a few people who had made contributions to the discussion.


12 Nov 19 - 07:23 AM (#4018621)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim, I thought it started out that way."
It did indeed, but I thought we'd moved on from that nastiness - in fact I know we did
Walter didn't know how far any of them went back - none of us do, but he certainly felt some of them did, which was a tribute to their authenticity, in my opinion
As I have said, he was a prodigious and catholic reader - his choice of books included historical writers like Charles Reide, Harrison Aisworth and some of the classics I have mentioned
His take on history may not be necessarily accurate but it was certainly vivid and he used it to inform his songs
Walter associated his songs - tunes and all - to their historical subject matter - he had more instinctive feel about his songs than any unread folkie I have met - those who choose to educate themselves are a different matter altogether - that's what make them better singers IMO

We once asked non-literate Traveller Mikeen McCarthy, what his oldest song one - he replied, without hesitation, 'The Blind Beggar', a song entered in the Stationers Register some time in the 17th century   
We never told him that, but he mght well have picked it up from the sign hanging outside the notorious pub of that name on Whitechapel Road, around the corner from the site he was camped on
We asked blind Traveller Mary Delaney the samwe question - back like a shot came the answer, 'Buried in Kilkenny' - (Lord Randal)   
The first Traveller we recorded, 'Pop's' Johnny Connors introduced his version of Edward (@What Put the Blood') like this:

“I’d say the song, myself, goes back to.... depicts Cain and Abel in the Bible and where Our Lord said to Cain.... I think this is where the Travellers Curse come from too, because Our Lord says to Cain, “Cain”, says Our Lord, “you have slain your brother, and for this”, says Our Lord, says he, “and for this, be a wanderer and a fugitive on the earth”.
“Not so Lord” says he, “this punishment is too severe, and whoever finds me”, says he, “will slay me, “says he “or harass me”.
“Not so”, says Our Lord, says he, “whoever finds Cain and punishes or slains (sic) Cain, I will punish them sevenfold”.
And I think this is where the Travellers curse come from.
Anyway, the song depicts this, this er....
1 call it Cain and Abel anyway; there never was a name for the song, but that what I call it, you know, the depiction of Cain and Abel.”


One of the most common descriptions we got from the singers we met was "that song is true"
It didn't mean they necessarily believed that the events actually happened - rather, they felt that they might wel have - they felt authentic

As far as Walter's tunes are concerned, I go along with Mike Yates's idea that it is directly related to his memorising them on a melodeon, they certainly were unique
I often think some 'scholars' often over-complicate something that is blindingly simple
Jim


12 Nov 19 - 07:29 AM (#4018623)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Pseudonymous. In view of the separate thread you have posted about Jim Carroll, I personally think it's time to ask for some credentials if you don't mind.
I have no right to speak for anybody but myself, however to put my mind at rest please could you answer the following.

Could you tell me where your interest in Folk Music began Are you a singer or dancer or regular member of an audience.

Secondly as you obviously have some academic interest and training, and you have received the time and knowledge of some of the leading Folklorists in the UK on this thread, and not to mention the lesser names such as myself, where can we find your contributions? May we read your articles in the Journal, or in any Magazine? Have you even contributed a CD review?

Thirdly have you undertaken any field work, or even made recordings in a Folk Club?

To be blunt Pseudo who the hell are you? Why do you find it necessary to use a handle with the word Pseud attached to it. What is your real name?
I believe these to be valid questions, and should be easy for you to answer in one or two lines.


12 Nov 19 - 07:50 AM (#4018627)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

1
Regarding Parr's Farm, Hall Lane, Knapton, the book on Knapton (dated 2011) states that at the time of writing Willie Puncher (b 1937) who was brought up there, farmed there. The family still do, you can google it.

It also states that Roger Dixon's uncles George and Hubert, Aunt Ruth and Lucy lived for a time at the farm. I cannot find a date for this, but it says that George farmed there.

If Pardon's farmhouse (and I am sure on the basis of what he says himself in one interview that it was originally a farmhouse as opposed to a 'farm labourer's house/cottage) was not Parr's Farm, then the question arises of why the people who made the film chose to insert footage of a sign giving that name. And on that, one person's analysis of the semiotics and/or the intentions of the film maker (who presumably had his own biases) is as good as another.

NB Simple definition of semiotics: Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols, in particular as they communicate things spoken and unspoken. Common signs that are understood globally include traffic signs, emojis, and corporate logos. Written and spoken language is full of semiotics in the form of intertextuality, puns, metaphors, and references to cultural commonalities.

2
The book includes some quotation from Roger Dixon (and draws heavily on first person accounts by people who lived in or were connected to Knapton in the 20th century). The Gees (ie Walter's mother's family, the one Dixon had links to), according to Roger Dixon, would tell 'all sorts of tales about music-making in the past'. Dixon does not make a judgment about how far such 'tales' were an accurate reflection of history. But, and this interests me, the example Dixon gives is not one about 'a tradition' or 'the tradition' is it might be defined by one of the sub-groups on Mudcat but one about the church. 'One [tale] was the family formed the church band in the reign of William IV in the 1830s, before the Robinson family provided the first harmonium in the church'. For an account of music in churches, I seem to recall that Vic Gammon has a piece on it.

The name 'Cook Gee' (as in some of Walter's ancestors, including his Uncle Billy, seems to have first arisen early in the 19th century when a Cook married a Gee, and to have spread quite widely thereafter. There may have been more than one marriage between a Cook and a Gee I suppose.


12 Nov 19 - 08:02 AM (#4018630)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Regarding the relationship between Pardon's melodeon playing and the tunes he used for songs: I would be interested to see any data on this originating with Pardon himself. What I can find appears to be conjectural.

Nick Dow. What I have and have not done is irrelevant. And swearing at people does your cause nothing.


12 Nov 19 - 08:03 AM (#4018631)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Nick Dow: I have made an effort to thank all those who have made constructive contributions to this thread. If I missed anybody I apologise.


12 Nov 19 - 08:07 AM (#4018632)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

"If Pardon's farmhouse (and I am sure on the basis of what he says himself in one interview that it was originally a farmhouse as opposed to a 'farm labourer's house/cottage) was not Parr's Farm, then the question arises of why the people who made the film chose to insert footage of a sign giving that name "

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B95JAQe1Wtc&feature=youtu.be&t=70


It says "Parrs Farm Cottage".

The map shows it to be next to a farm. Lots of farms have cottages attached. They were for workers or extended family. It is still possible to get planning permission for an "Agricultural Dwelling" on land that could otherwise not be developed for housing.


12 Nov 19 - 08:08 AM (#4018634)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Though I will say that one thing I hoped for when I opened a thread on Jim Carroll was that he might use it to post his anecdotes and opinions, as his arrival on this one caused sinking feelings and quickly affected the tone, adversely in my opinion. I regret to comment on this, as I had intended to avoid it, but I am with those who made comment to that effect.

I gave an account of myself above, and do not propose to repeat it here, if that is reasonable?

It is perfectly acceptable to post posts and start threads anonymously on Mudcat, though they prefer it is one uses a consistent name, which I am doing. Mudcat actually warn you against putting private information on line. It is common sense, especially given the venomous nature of some of the discussions on other threads.


12 Nov 19 - 08:19 AM (#4018635)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Nice to have you back - hope the singing went well
"To be blunt Pseudo who the hell are you? "
You really are wasting your time - people like this can't operate in daylight - haven't ever read Bram Stoker ?
If he had done anything worthwhile he would be wearing it like a badge -
He's been asked this before and has demurred
I've never been sure of the anonymity policy of a forum like this - I only know of one other individual on who uses a mask to inflict ridicule and abuse on others - most posters who use a 'funny name' are quite happy to discuss their own involvement in the subjects - those that refuse top place a huge question mark over their motives as far as I'm concerned
For the sake of this threadm, I really think we ned to open the curtains and let the daylight in
Let's move on please - all of you
Jim


12 Nov 19 - 08:20 AM (#4018637)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST

'Mudcat actually warn you against putting private information on line. '

But you feel it alright to put someone else's information online despite the person in question's objections against the thread in question?


12 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM (#4018642)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Yes Jim I'll move on.
Psuedo's answer if you can all it that, has shown me what we're dealing with.


12 Nov 19 - 09:03 AM (#4018646)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"NB Simple definition of semiotics: "

thank you for that... how considerate...

I wasted too many years of my life on that academicese bollocks back in the 1980s...

It is part useful analytical tool,
but from my painful experience up to post grad level,
a tool misused by elitist ego tripping middle class social inadequates...

I have now had my day spoiled waking up to the memory of my worst lecturers,
and their favourite reading list text books which we were forced to waste huge chunks of our grant on...

One in particular, was a spiteful sociopathic piece of work,
who enjoyed her power over the fate of young impresssionable and vulnerable students...

..and she had the gall to self identify as a marxist progressive...

She was a nastier more vindictive human being than any of the tory inclined academic staff...

So thanks for the reminder...

Pseud, I don't trust you are what you want us to think you are...?????

.. and if you are.. I'm not impressed by your over convoluted, poorly communicated writing...

So things aint changed too much then in the academic world since the 1980s...


12 Nov 19 - 09:13 AM (#4018648)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

" I opened a thread on Jim Carroll was that he might use it to post his anecdotes and opinions, "
No you didn't - your past hostility from the first time we encountered each other has made it clear that out opinions of each other coincide - your addressing me as "Carroll" confirms that - fine by me, I would feel uncomfortable otherwise
It is unfortunate that you have managed to involve at least one other that I feel I need to respect, even thought we haven't always seen eye-to-eye on some things
So far, your opening that thread has only managed to backfire in your face - you have done what needed to be done in showing why you are here
Thanks for that, at least
Now let's all move on please
Jim


12 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM (#4018656)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Jim, following something that you said above, I had a look at the thread about you that was opened by Pseudonymous. I see that this has now been closed. Frankly, I feel that it should be removed. As I have said before, I have become very doubtful about Pseudonymous and his/her intentions on this thread. Accordingly, I will not be adding anything further to the thread. Nor will I be adding to any other threads that this person may start.


12 Nov 19 - 09:39 AM (#4018657)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

"This thesis considers how these practices We're mediated by revivalist beliefs and values, how recording was presented in revivalist discourse, and how its semiotic resources were incorporated into multimodal discourses about music, technology and traditional culture.""

I find this kind of jargon really off-putting. I'd far prefer to read the kind of commentary, expressed in articulate but straightforward language, by real experts in this field like Jim Carroll, Mike Yates and Nick Dow.


12 Nov 19 - 09:42 AM (#4018659)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Thanks for your input Mike
I'm truely sorry you were dragged into this
I hpoe you will continue to put in an appearance - I'm about to open a thread on Travellers and I would dearly like your experience to be part of that
Jim


12 Nov 19 - 09:45 AM (#4018661)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

"Regarding the relationship between Pardon's melodeon playing and the tunes he used for songs: I would be interested to see any data on this originating with Pardon himself. What I can find appears to be conjectural."

It was a direct quote from Walter himself. What's conjectural about that? You do understand that he used to play the tunes of his songs on the melodeon, right?


12 Nov 19 - 10:00 AM (#4018667)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Maybe a real Walter Pardon friend/enthusiast could sift the wheat from the chaff in this thread,
and open and transfer it to a new properly and expertly curated Walter thread...???

Where both genuine critical analysis and newbie questions are tolerated
as part of valid positive discussion.


12 Nov 19 - 10:10 AM (#4018670)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

I just scanned through the conclusions of Matthew Ord's thesis. It's in more normal English than the abstract. It doesn't seem to be about the sort of field recording that was done at Walter's house. It may be a little relevant to organisational process of getting them onto CD or not.

For me Walter's clocks, and that they were still in the room, give an air of authenticity!


12 Nov 19 - 10:26 AM (#4018674)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Gardham

Regarding Walter being referred to as 'Uncle'. This could be a red herring, but my good friends the Waterson family always referred to him as 'Uncle Walter' particularly when they were singing his songs. Perhaps all of these people who knew him well were simply using it as a term of endearment.


12 Nov 19 - 02:45 PM (#4018742)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Walter's clocks, and that they were still in the room, give an air of authenticity!"
I'm afraid you never heard a Russian tin clock Jag - pretty bad
We usually managed to get it taken out of the room but many of our sessions took place in the course of conceration, when Walter said something we wanted to record
I personally didn't think the album we submitted was that bad - all of our albums were recorded as 'kitchen sessions' but we have good equipment and usually managed to get excellent recordings

One of the worst experiences as when we were recording a teller of long stories
At one stage, his brother across the room, interjected, saying "Packie - you have that wrong" and hooked the microphone out of my hand
I watched our AKG go bouncing across the stone kitchen floor - fortunately it was undamaged
Jim


12 Nov 19 - 03:26 PM (#4018750)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Packie Russell?


13 Nov 19 - 03:30 AM (#4018785)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

The information about Roger Dixon illustrates another point about the Pardon 'industry' to use a metaphor. He was not a farm labourer. Nor was his father. Yet it is possible to read that Pardon's family had been farm labourers since the year dot. So in effect, once again, the information selected by Revivalists, many of whom were on the very far left, and had an exp0licit political agenda around folk music, gives us a slanted or biased view of the reality, if, that is, we take it for granted and fail to subject it to some thoughtful scrutiny.


13 Nov 19 - 03:37 AM (#4018787)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

On tape recording, and sound recording generally, Ord has some useful points. The original is worth reading, what follows is my version, along the same lines of thinking.

First, there is nothing traditional about a person singing into a microphone in the company of the sound technicians.

Ord points out that in many ways the practices of the Revival, including sing arounds in clubs were designed to give a feel of authenticity and tradition, but were in fact highly artificial happenings. Background noises on tapes (such as Pardon's clock ticking) on one level give the impression that what is being recorded is 'real life' - as opposed to artificial, but this does not affect the non-traditional situation.


13 Nov 19 - 03:41 AM (#4018788)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Packie Russell?"
No, Packie Murrihy, a local man with hour-long stories
His father was reputed to have started a story on Monday night, broken it off after an hour and taken it up again it every night, through to Friday
The wonder tales in Clare are episodic and allow a teller to do that

"Pardon 'industry"
Your hate campaign against Walter is becoming as offensive as your thread
Perhaps a 'Pikey's Out' type bonfire like that in Lewes would be to your taste
Could you please sop this attack on one of England's finest singers please or - if you don't, could people please ignore it in the hope he/she goes away
This is getting very disturbing
Jim Carroll


13 Nov 19 - 03:50 AM (#4018789)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello Jag

Thank you for your contribution. I'll try to explain why Ord's piece is relavant again. He is discussing how to interpret sound recordings, and how within the Revival and afterwards, sound was used to convey messages. What we can take about it is general ideas, his description of the Revival thinking (which we all know about if we have read about Lloyd and MacColl). Nobody is suggesting that Ord's piece is specifically about MacColl.

There is no mention of my house in my book of household do it yourself. This does not mean that the ideas in it are not relevant to my house!

I had not seen the posts about the clocks in recent threads before posting. But here is an example of something on some Pardon tapes - as well as in relation to the whole 'Revival' (interesting word-choice in itself) which we can use ideas from Ord to think about.


13 Nov 19 - 03:58 AM (#4018790)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Carroll

If you cannot discuss a topic without resorting to this sort of emotional nastiness, then perhaps it might be better not to bother? For me, it does your credibility as a wanna be researcher no good at all. Who in the future is going to believe or credit as reliable or 'scholarly' the output of a person who conducts themselves like this on threads about research.

There has been very little decent 'research' on Pardon, the thesis comparing his style with some other singers is about the only thing I have found. Calling people who turn on their brains when reading the output of the Revival Pardon industry names does nothing to advance their case.

It is worth looking up some old exchances between The Sandman and Carroll on the topic of the sort of broad generalising claim that Carroll makes on the basis of his assertions about Pardon. The Sandman had some good points, but these were largely met with invective.


13 Nov 19 - 04:15 AM (#4018793)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"If you cannot discuss a topic without resorting to this sort of emotional nastiness, "
Anybody who denigrated singers like Walter Pardon deserves all the nastiness they get
You didn't know water - you hadn't even heard of him before you came here - you don;t like or understand his singing and you are relying on scraps and Chinese Whispers you can gig up from the internet#
How dare yyou calim thare has been no decent research on Walter - Pat and I spent twenty years recording what he had to say and have archived it so it won't be lost
Mike Yates recorded Walter at lenghth and has proiduced a number of tremendous articles on his researches
Roy Palmer recorded Walter and pased on what he found
When Walter was 'discovered' Bill Leader, Dave Bland and Karl Dallas recorded him and his songs at length (we have all those recordings)
Sam Richards an Tish Stubbs recorded him and produced a cassette of his performance at Totnes
Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson formed a huge admitation for Walter and spoke of him in glowing terms wherever he sang
You get to hear of him and withing five minutes you are attempting to rip his reputation to shreds and you refuse even to identify yourself
Ho dare you

You represent everything that iw wrong in modern folksong scholarship - an obsession to tear down the work of everybody else to make room for your own (except, in your case, you haven't done any work
Please go away - your be=haviour towrds this gentle, talented, intelligent, generous (and very dead old man it totally unacceptable at all levelts - on both an academic and human level
My name is Jim Carroll, by the waqy, were you never taught the social graces
JIM CARROLL


13 Nov 19 - 04:43 AM (#4018798)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,CJ

Pseud, anyone who saw your thread about Jim (that was rightly deleted) will know fine well that you are nothing but a troll. Anything previous that you posted is now seen in a completely different light - coloured by your ridiculous agenda.

Why on earth you choose to spend your time on earth trolling an old man I have no idea, but perhaps you should reconsider your life choices.


13 Nov 19 - 05:15 AM (#4018805)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

CJ

Thank you for your input. I guess different people have different ideas about things.


13 Nov 19 - 05:16 AM (#4018806)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I dare say it because it is true. There is a difference between 'decent research' and making tape recordings.


13 Nov 19 - 05:22 AM (#4018808)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And my point precisely is that the Pardon Industry made great use of anecdotal scraps of gossip, selected and published to meet its agenda.

If some people on here are within a little 'bubble' and cannot or will not see them, then that would be their problem.

I say it like I see it.

And it also seems to me you cannot have it both ways. If you hold out a claim to be a 'researcher' then part and parcel of this is that your research methods will be subjected to analysis, evaluation and comment. You should be able to explain and justify them. You should be able to engage in such discussion in a reasonable manner.

Poking a microphone at somebody and asking them leading questions is not I would suggest a way to produce 'decent' note that word research.


13 Nov 19 - 05:23 AM (#4018809)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

But it is Jim's reputation in future years he sullies by these outbursts. They may live on long after all of us are gone. So really it is his problem, not mine.


13 Nov 19 - 05:26 AM (#4018811)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Of course, the fact is that I started this thread and Jim came along and trolled it just when it was going quite nicely. In fact I deliberately started it when he had said he would not be posting, as it seemed unlikely to get anywhere much after he came back, and that proved to be the case. Even his pals were telling him to back off, and they got their heads snapped off!

But thank you all for your contributions.


13 Nov 19 - 05:29 AM (#4018812)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

"Ord points out that in many ways the practices of the Revival, including sing arounds in clubs were designed to give a feel of authenticity and tradition, but were in fact highly artificial happenings." We know that. Academic works often need include statements of what most people thinks are obvious.

"there is nothing traditional about a person singing into a microphone in the company of the sound technicians." We know that as well. If Jim was a sound technician (I am not doubting that he is competent with equipment) aiming at a recording that could be published, rather than capturing something that would pass, then I think he would have had the clocks moved out.

Academic works often need to include statements of what most people thinks are obvious.


13 Nov 19 - 05:31 AM (#4018813)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

One to more pleasant things

"Packie Russell?"
We recorded Packie once - not only was he one of the finest concertina players I have heard, but he also had a number of songs which he never sang
He gave us a dirty - almost obscene version of 'The Gaberlunzie Man' aptly named 'Tom Tadger'
Clare Library refused to put it up on our website - quite rightly
Packie was an example of what go wrong if you don't cherish your tradition bearers
He and his two brothers, Micho and Gussie played regularly in O'Connors's Bar in Doolin when we first viited Clare - we met our friend, John Lyons at one of their sessions for the first time
Dookin became the target for tourists, mainly Yanks with twelve-string guitars and gradually the Russels (with the exeption of Micho) were edged out so the visitors could listen to each other rather than good music
The would give Packie a pint and sit him in the corner, out of harm's way and top him up regularly
Packie became unable to play and just sat in the corner and drank
Luckily, a couple of devotees, particularly our friend, Donal Maguire, recorded enough of his playing to lave record of what wonderful musician Packie was
Here in Miltown, whenever someone arrives with a bodhran, we send them up to Doolin where they will be welcomed with open arms
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 05:32 AM (#4018814)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Psuedonymous, I have been of the opinion since the opening post that you started this thread to troll Jim.


13 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM (#4018819)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

" I have been of the opinion since the opening post that you started this thread to troll Jim."
Don't think so Jag - people like him need to create their own stage in order to be noticed
A twenty-odd year dead old singer is as easy a platform as any - he's not here to answer for himself
He didn't know Walter, he doesm't want to know Walter - it was either him or Travellers
Can we leave him to stew in his own bile please otherwise he will have succeeded in closing yet another thread with his hate-filled ignorance
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 05:49 AM (#4018820)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Pseud - I gave you benefit of the doubt..
Now I'm even more inclined to think the worst of who/what you are,
and the dubious agenda you may be pursuing...

You have lost the trust of mudcatters,
We are not prepared to indulge your elitist academic pretentions'
You have rendered yourself no longer welcome here.

If, however, you are a genuine academic seeking information and feedback,
then the onus is on you to make a positive effort to fit in better,
and communicate with us in 'plain English' style that is more apropriate for this kind of forum...

http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/


13 Nov 19 - 05:51 AM (#4018822)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

I poke too soon
He ha=is now turning his tender attentions to the Traveller thread
Can some Mod please put a stop to this Troll wrecker ?
Jim Carroll


13 Nov 19 - 05:52 AM (#4018823)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I'm young enough to see the Stalinist milieu in which Carroll, Lloyd and MacColl operated as 'history'; for youngsters like Ord it must seem very much like a 'foreign country'.


13 Nov 19 - 05:52 AM (#4018824)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry - should have finished
I have asked that he be boycotted on the Traveller thread - can the same be done here
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 06:10 AM (#4018830)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Not being old enough to know many people of the last 'left school at 14 and got a job' generation, who could have been Walter if they had his interests, explains a lot.


13 Nov 19 - 06:11 AM (#4018832)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Another point, and I think this is in Ord, but if not no matter since I think it's quite well known, is that many in the 'Revival' saw themselves as somehow 'authentic' in a sense of not being part of capitalistic society, and presumably this may be why objection was made to the use of the phrase 'Pardon Industry'. However, the term is apt, to use a phrase favoured by Carroll 'Go read a book', in this case a dictionary.

The use of surnames in referring to the work of 'researchers' is conventional and I don't have a problem with it.


13 Nov 19 - 06:13 AM (#4018833)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"My research applies a cultural-historical approach to the intersection of ideology and musical practice in British folk and popular music. In 2017 I completed my AHRC-funded PhD thesis which combined ethnographic and desk-based research to explore the cultural significance of sound recording in the British post-war folk revival. I am interested in the role of recording and other media technologies in folk music cultures, and have published chapters on the role of recording within the British folk-rock movement, and on the media activism of the songwriter Ewan MacColl. In December 2017 I was appointed postdoctoral fellow on an AHRC Creative Engagement project on the development of music tourism in Scotland. I am currently preparing articles on contemporary English folk field recordings, and on theories of cultural transmission in folk music historiography. In addition to my research activities, I remain an active musician with significant professional experience as a singer and guitarist in a range of folk and popular styles."

Matthew Ord
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

On my PC desktop, I have two folders..

"Obnoxious Pricks" and "Good Guys"..

I suppose I ought to consider opening a third folder for the less easily definable spectrum inbetween...

Now.. what to title it...?????


13 Nov 19 - 06:28 AM (#4018837)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

pfr

At least somebody, unlike Carroll, bothered to find out about Ord before delivering themselves of a judgement from on high that he would never have sung a song - and, on that basis was excluded from the elect who are destined for heaven (or something like that.


13 Nov 19 - 06:29 AM (#4018838)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

"There has been very little decent 'research' on Pardon, the thesis comparing his style with some other singers is about the only thing I have found."

Abject nonsense. Field research is of prime importance here - comparisons can come later.

"The Pardon industry"

Bizarre and quite delusional.

"Carroll"

Beyond pathetic.

Pseudonymous, you do realise you've lost the room, don't you? Your attempt to troll Jim has ironically given him the opportunity to share some interesting information and get a decent discussion going, while you throw rocks from the sidelines. Stop digging would be my advice.


13 Nov 19 - 06:34 AM (#4018840)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Pseud - we couldn't give a toss about academic research conventions..
This is an informal internet forum for ordinary intelligent folks
to enjoy sharing information and ideas.
not a structured University campus where impressionable young adults
are brainwashed into talking elitist academicese...

Cut out your condescending bollocks..
Or have you forgotten how to relate to ordinary folks outside academia...!!!???

I know I did for a few years after post grad..
So I can understand if you are finding it difficult...

Even if only half of mudcatters have degrees or higher,
that's enough folks to see what a dick you are making of yourself
adopting such an inapropriate overtly academic persona in our forum...


13 Nov 19 - 06:40 AM (#4018842)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST

I might or might not agree with whoever described the material on Pardon that is available online as 'scraps'. This includes, of course, work by Yates, Stradling, Carroll etc. But they might want to term it 'research'.


13 Nov 19 - 06:51 AM (#4018843)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

They were, collecting, documenting and cross-referencing to other sources something that they thought to be of worth. Ask them if they considered it to be research.


13 Nov 19 - 08:23 AM (#4018864)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

'But they might want to term it 'research'.
Thanks for that guest (but I'd be more comfortable if you could pit in the forenames)
Out troll has been using names as a term of abuse
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 09:19 AM (#4018872)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Highly amused to see that among the sources cited by Ord is one Mike Yates. This discusses some weaknesses of the phonograph as a recording tool....


13 Nov 19 - 09:53 AM (#4018885)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,John Moulden

I have not read all of this but it certainly appears to contain criticism and some ridicule - from various contributors - of(a) traditional singer(s)and researcher(s)and to be conducted in a vituperative, not to say angry, style. Personally, I have disagreements with many of the ideas and personalities I get from others - as, no doubt, some have issues with me and my ideas, but I see no point in muddying argument and confusing the results of years of research and thought with forms of speech that border on nastiness. Research and debate should be carried on in a spirit that allows differences to be sorted out, to contribute - not to put someone down - even between the lines of discussion. If this thread is to produce a worthwhile c.ontribution to understanding any or all traditional singers it needs not to be expressed so poisonously. Show a bit of respect, whether you think it's due or not; otherwise all you contribute is a nasty taste.


13 Nov 19 - 10:27 AM (#4018888)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Guest

'Highly amused to see that among the sources cited by Ord is one Mike Yates. This discusses some weaknesses of the phonograph as a recording tool.... '

Even funnier is the fact that Yates was talking about the Phonograph - an early recording machine that was prone to distortion - and not about modern tape and digital recorders. Pseud's implied argument is invalid.


13 Nov 19 - 11:03 AM (#4018902)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Nice story told about Grainger usin the phonograph in Lincolnshire (apocryphal maybe
One of his singers (George Wray ?) asked fro a recording of Lord Bateman to be played back to him
When Grainger obliged the singer sai "That bugger learned it a damn sight quicker than me"
Jim Carroll


13 Nov 19 - 12:08 PM (#4018921)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

I'll cnace my arm again in the hope I'm not overloading the forum
Feel free to tell me I am
Jim

Walter Pardon.

Given at Eyam Festival, Derbyshire and at Cecil Sharp House 1996.

Today we’d like to talk to you about our good friend, Walter Pardon, the man we knew and recorded for 20 years, singing and talking about his life and music. Walter died last year at the age of 82 and we are assuming that you know a certain amount about him: his 4 LPS, recorded by Bill Leader and Mike Yates, his TV and radio interviews, his part in a John Cohen film, his trip to the States for the Bi-centenary celebrations, his EFDSS Gold Badge, and all the critical acclaim he received during the 15 years or so he was performing. (If you don’t, the display boards put together by Doc Rowe will certainly help)
We would just point out that the recordings we will be playing of Walter singing and talking about his singing were not made for publication purposes and you will find certain amount of background noise, particularly a clock! And Walter sometimes speaks with his pipe clamped in his teeth which doesn’t help with clarity.

WALTER PARDON was probably the last of a long line of fine Norfolk singers. In the earlier years of this century, collectors like Ralph Vaughan Williams and E.J. Moeran were finding the county a rich source of traditional song: particularly noteworthy was Moeran’s work in the l920 with Harry Cox, the farm worker from Catfield. The BBC’s mopping up campaign in the1950s was still unearthing singers with a wealth of material despite the fact that, by that time, of course, the singing tradition had entered a steep decline and, indeed, had virtually died out, leaving us with a handful of traditional singers and a somewhat larger number of what Ewan MacColl aptly described as ‘song carriers’ people who had not necessarily been part of the singing tradition but, for one reason or another, had clung on to the old songs and music. However, Norfolk gave us three of this country’s most important singers: Harry Cox, fisherman Sam Lamer from Winterton and, lastly, Walter Pardon of Knapton.
Let’s start with Walter’s version of a song collected quite often towards the South West of England and which also appeared on broadsides. Vaughan Williams noted a version in Essex in 1904 but only quotes the first verse in the Folk Song Journal, stating: “The rest of the words are not suitable for publication and have little interest, except, perhaps, in giving a modern example of the kind of rough fun which we find in Chaucer’s Clerke of Oxenforde.” Thank goodness Chaucer idea of humour was more appreciated by the working folk of rural Norfolk. In fact, Walter himself made the same connection with Chaucer. So here is:
THE CUNNING COBBLER
Walter was born in 1914 into a family of mainly agricultural workers employed on local farms and also as gardeners and groundsmen at Mundesley Golf Links. He was born and lived all his life in Knapton, a small rural village a couple of miles from the sea at Mundesley and the same distance from the market town of North Walsham.
Knapton has no pub and the only small shop closed years back. When Walter was growing up, the roads were unmade so it meant travelling by donkey cart or bicycle through mud in winter and dust in summer, for shopping for instance. There were travelling salesmen who called with bread, fish, meat, etc. even ice cream Also peddlers with household items and Walter once saw a travelling musician but was told there had been more before his time. As a boy, Walter, along with ether children, helped on the land in the evening and weekends: pulling beet, pitching corn up on to the stacks, etc. At that time, the children’s summer holidays were determined by the dates of the harvest; the farmers told the schools when they were going to start so the holidays then coincided. They worked from dawn to dusk 6 days a week.

Both sides of Walter’s immediate family were born in Knapton: 12 Gees (his mother’s family) and 6 Pardons. Walter was an only child so became the focus of attention not: only of his parents but also the two bachelor uncles (his mother’s brothers) who lived with them. Most of the family lived close by but one uncle emigrated to the United States. Walter told of his great grandfather who was sacked by a farmer, he thought for answering back, which meant instant dismissal in those days, and so was blacklisted locally and forced to go to sea and his family into the workhouse.
Walter was apprenticed as a carpenter in the neighbouring village of Paston when he left school at 14 and he worked mainly locally, probably within a radius of 20 miles, cycling to work each day. He never lived away from Knapton except for his four years in the Army but he didn’t go overseas then, being employed as a carpenter on various Army camps about the country. It was the Army ruined his poor feet: square bashing in boots that were too small for him!

The Gees, his mother’s family, were musical - singers and instrumentalists. In the past, they had played fiddles, concertinas and accordeons/melodeons - Walter didn’t differentiate between them - but Walter had only heard his Uncle Walter who played melodeon and Jews Harp. Walter learned songs from his
family; his mother, his Aunt Alice and principally his Uncle Billy. Billy had got a lot of songs from his
father, Tom Gee, who was well known as a singer with a very large repertoire. They obviously learned
songs from anyone and anywhere; Walter knew several Irish songs and he said they learned their songs
because they liked them. The singing was done at Harvest frolics, which died out while Walter was young and at Christmas parties. - Apparently so many people came to the cottage then that they had to have meals in two sittings -. There would be conversation, music, singing and dancing at these parties but always perfect quiet for the songs. The living room had an exposed beam running across the ceiling called the baulk and the shout. would go up, “Our side of the baulk” when someone had sung from one side of the room and they would take turns across the room. They each had their own particular songs for these occasions. For instance: ‘Generals All’ from Billy, his favourite; ‘Jones’s Ale from Uncle Bob, ‘Bonny Bunch of Roses’ from Uncle Tom and so on. 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. Walter, the favourite youngster, was the only one Billy Gee would give his songs to but none of Walters contemporaries wanted them anyway; they would only learn new songs as they came out. Walter had to write the songs out to learn them but they were all in Billy’s head; Walter never saw him write any out.

WALTER TALKING ABOUT OWNERSHIP OF SONGS, etc.

There was no pub singing in Walter’s time but he knew there had been in the past which Billy had taken
part in; the Mitre Tavern in North Walsham in particular at the end of the last century. (Billy was born
in 1863) Walter only heard him sing once in a pub, after an Agricultural Workers’ Union meeting at the
Crown in Trunch, the next village, when he was asked to sing the song about “smoke and fire”. Billy did
not recognise this description but Walter prompted him: it was ‘Generals All’. Here’s Walter singing it:

GENERALS ALL.

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 had the second Union card issued, No.1 going to a man from Gimminqham, a nearby village. 40 years later, both men were awarded silver medals for their services to the Union. Walter learned a number of songs, parodies and rhymes connected with the Union; here is one such:

OLD MAN’S ADVICE

Influenced by his family’s love of song and music, Walter developed a deep interest in the songs – he
said he supposed he’d inherited it - and he used to write down the words on scraps of paper and in
exercise books. One book we got from him is dated 1948, six years after his Uncle Billy’s death. He was
aided in putting together the songs - which he had never sung - by his prodigious memory. He could
remember local lore and events not only from his own experience but which had been recounted to him by his elders. It was sometimes not until later that you realised you had been listening to a tale of something that had happened before Walter was born. He could recall long vanished field names, dialect words and names of animals, farm implements, etc. He related some family toasts: here are two of Tom Gee’s:

“Here’s a toast to Malcolm. May God bless him, the devil miss 'im, the wife kiss 'im and the child piss ‘im”
And:

“Here’s to those who love us and those who don’t love us. To those who don’t love us, may God turn their hearts. If he don’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankle bones so we know the buggers when they walk”.

Walter had always read a lot and probably even more so after his father died in 1957 leaving Walter living alone for nearly 40 years. Dickens, Hardy, H.E. Bates, Zane Grey - he had quite catholic tastes, probably with a preference for the Victorian writers but mainly just for a good story and he remembered the stories with amazing clarity. He could quote from a book that he hadn’t read for perhaps 20 years or more. And he got so involved with them. Thomas Hardy was a favourite but -“They shouldn't have done that to Tess - terrible”.

Walter’s cousins’ nephew, Roger Dixon, had been interested in the songs from a boy and endeavoured to persuade him to put some on tape.

Eventually, having bought a tape recorder Walter set about it in the autumn of 1972 and later described to us his efforts at recording himself:

“I WAS DRUNK”; AND HIS IDEA OF FOLK CLUBS.

Here is a part that first tape:        -

BRITISH MAN 0’ WAR

Roger Dixon passed these tapes to Peter Bellamy, a former pupil of his when he had been teaching and, recognising Walter for the superb singer that he was, Peter introduced him to the world that, as he said, he had no idea existed. Without Roger’s persuasion and involvement, we might never have heard that unique singer, Walter Pardon.

It is perhaps surprising that the collectors working in Norfolk missed such a family of singers like the Gees but it was certainly quite phenomenal that, out of the blue, appeared a singer of such ability with such a large, rich and varied repertoire and such splendid tunes. For Walter Pardon was very special. The ease and conviction with which he handled his material, ,either classic ballads, bawdy songs, Victorian parlour ballads, union or Music Hall songs was striking, as was the informed, intelligent and emotional response to his songs, particularly the depth of emotional involvement with ALL his songs. It has been said that his style was impersonal but this was far from the case. His understanding of and feeling for the songs was highly personal and it showed.
While he did not necessarily place a greater value on any category, he was articulate in defining the different types of songs. This ability to differentiate was once scoffed at by a noted folklorist in conversation with us: “How could he do that - a simple countryman?”
When asked to choose 6 songs to sing, it is interesting to note Walter’s selection:

WALTER CHOOSING SIX SONGS.

Walter maintained that a good imagination was essential to the singer; just listen to this - an artist describing his art:

TALK OF EXPRESSION AND PICTURES etc.

Walter’s always thoughtful evaluation of songs was interesting. He said that, if he performed before a big crowd (which he did at a Fairfield Hall concert), he liked to sing The Pretty Ploughboy because it ends happily; so many ended with being transported or shot or something going wrong. Like Van Dieman’s Land - a SAD old song. He also said it “was a LONG old song but it was a long old journey - a marvelous analysis of it.
Walter had only fragments and tunes of several songs so he put them together from books and broadsheets, for example ‘Rakish Young Fellow’ and ‘Down by the Dark Arches’. He had two verses, chorus and tune for ‘Dark Arches’ and he asked us to try and get him a text. Mike Yates kindly supplied a broadsheet copy but this had no chorus, and the words of the verses he had did not match. He virtually reconstructed the song to fit his tune and chorus. He said he had to “cut the words to fit his tune; he “liked the words to go out with the nice flow of the tune”. This is a recording made by Sam Richards at the Torquay Folk Club in 1982.

THE DARK ARCHES

Welter learned a few songs in the Army but said that most he heard were “rubbish - outright rude”. In fact the version of ‘The Topman and the Afterguard’ he heard in the Army was “obscene’, so he had to learn a new text for that. This next song is one of the parodies he learned at that time. The 39/45 Star was a medal awarded to everyone who served in the War and was apparently treated with a degree of contempt by its recipients. It was known as the NAAFI or SPAM medal; Walter wasn’t sure which.

THE 39/45 STAR

The only song which, to our knowledge, was completely new to Walter was, in fact, a poem. He had done a World Service interview with the Music broadcaster, John Amis, who subsequently sent him a book of Thomas Hardy’s poems. Walter made a tune for The Trampwoman’s Tragedy, which is written in ballad form, and sang it to us - from the book so we don’t think he ever learned the words. Here is a sample of it:

THE TRAMPWOMAN’S TRAGEDY

Walter did learn some songs from gramophone records, 78s, for example, ‘When The Fields were White with Daisies’ and ‘The Old Rustic Bridge By the Mill’. Some Music Hall material he learned from a family friend, Harry Sexton, who was quite a character. A local Jack of All Trades, Harry went north to work at one period and often visited Middlesborough Music Hall. This is song ‘The Steam Arm’ that Walter got from Harry who, in turn got it from a local man, which Walter sang to us with a description of the performance at a Christmas gathering, complete with the necessary gestures, like this:

THE STEAM ARM


Here he is parodying the way Harry Sexton sang:

GENEVIEVE

Including fragments, we recorded from Walter Pardon some 200 odd songs. With a solid base of some 100 songs, largely traditional, it is interesting to study Walter’s tunes which are often similar to familiar versions but subtly different. It is difficult to say that this is exactly how he learned them, although Walter thought so; or have they been ‘Walterised”? During the long period of not hearing them - at least 20 years, as Walter went into the Army in 1942 which was the, year his Uncle Billy died and the last Christmas party was 1952 when his mother died - he kept the songs alive for himself by playing the tunes on the melodeon. Did they perhaps get changed then? Were certain phrases easier for him to play on the Melodeon? Or was it simply his own creativity? That he preferred certain musical phrases to others? We’ll never know, of course, but certainly Walter’s tunes are that bit different and very recognisable. And he did say he could tell the age of songs by the tunes; listen to this:

AGE OF TUNES

Walter gave a lot of thought to his singing as you have heard and, although he always stressed the importance of singing NATURALLY, as you spoke, - this was a carefully thought out response, quite the opposite to commonly held views – aired at some length in Dance and Song on one occasion - that singing is as natural to the “peasantry” as to the birds; you just open your mouth and this beautiful music flows forth all by itself.
Walter had his own positive ideas about singing and he did get very disturbed at the way in which a lot of audiences would completely ignore, for instance, the speed at which he was singing and would draw out the choruses painfully slowly so that Walter was way ahead and trying to adapt to the audience.        He considered, quite rightly, that this was very discourteous if nothing else. He actually dropped one song from his working repertoire for that reason. He        told us that his
Uncle Billy, his greatest influence, sang quite steady and straightforwardly and, although Walter did not think he sang as fast, he must have been affected by Billy’s style to a degree. Listen to
the way he paces ‘The Trees They Do Grow High’; he always resisted the temptation to drag out ballads.

THE TREES THEY DO GROW HIGH

Walter always showed a natural professionalism on stage. To him it was a job to be done properly and for which he prepared so that he did not forget words, or pitch wrongly in performance, and he only ever drank shandies,- slowly. And this was a man who became a public performer in his sixties after living a fairly sheltered or insular life, probably never having seen many live performances; suddenly propelled into this strange new world, which he took calmly and modestly in his stride. However, he did find performance quite draining so, at the age of 75, he felt it was getting rather too much for him and difficult for him to keep to the high standards he set himself so he decided to stop singing in public. Walter was always very definite about his decisions; no umming or ahhing - just a straightforward Yes or No.

We first met Walter in 1975 or 76; can’t remember exactly but we became very close over the following 20 years. He was a wonderful companion - a real delight. A very humourous, gentle, kind man, incredible generous with his material and his time. The first time we called on him as complete strangers, we had only been chatting for a short while when he asked, “Have you a tape recorder with you”?

He really wanted to share his material. He couldn’t understand when he heard two singers arguing about who should sing one of his songs; “they’re not my songs” he said, “They belong to everybody.” A rather different attitude to his forebears.
We gave him an exercise book once and asked him, if he had time, would he write down some of the local sayings, proverbs, stories, dialect words, etc. Well, he filled that with close writing - no gaps -filled every page completely; then went out and bought a couple more and filled them in the same way. He had his pride but he was not above laughing at himself. He was getting quite irate once at the media taking the mickey out of country people, you know, Mummerset accents, and he said they always make out country people say “oo aar” to everything. Well, I said to him, gently as possible, “But you say oo aar sometimes, Walter”. He just looked at me, thought for a moment and quite seriously said “oo aar”. Then realising what he had said, he just burst into laughter. That was Walter pardon for you.

We are in the process of putting together a double CD of recordings of Walter, singing and talking, which Topic will be producing next year. It will probably be called THE RIGHT STROOK. S-t-r-o-o-k, which according to Walter is an old Norfolk expression. It is not easy to explain completely but pace certainly comes into it. Walter said the old singers “always sang fairly steady”. “A lot of them now is in too much of a hurry to get through a song”. He said it was the same with playing music - too fast nowadays, no-one can keep up. Must play the right strook or step dancers, for example, couldn’t get all their steps in. But it’s more than just pace. We recorded an Irish singer, Tom Lenihan, in Co. Clare and he said you had to “Put the Blas on it”. He also equated it with speed, not too fast but not drag it out either. He always maintained that the story was the most important aspect of a song; like Walter saying you must have imagination. It’s putting yourself in the song, believing in it, getting involved in it and therefore you tell the story at the right pace to communicate it.

RAMBLING BLADE


Texas Gladden quote:

Texas Gladden spoke of having an image in her mind for every one of these old stories. “I have a perfect mental picture of every song I sing. I have a perfect picture of every person I learned it from, very few people I don’t remember. When I sing a song, a person pops up, and it's a very beautiful story. I can see Mary Hamilton, l can see where the old Queen came down to the kitchen, can see them all gathered around, and I can hear her tell Mary Hamilton to get ready. I can see the whole story, I can see them as they pass through the gate, I can see the ladies looking over their casements, I can see her as she goes up the parliament steps, and I can see her when she goes to the gallows. I can hear her last words, and I can see all just the most beautiful picture.”

Some of the images conveyed so vividly through the ballads have been passed on in this way for more than five hundred years. Today we have Texas Gladden's mental images, which were transmitted via the acetate discs recorded by Alan Lomax in I942, now entering a new millennium on digital CD.

Lomax quote:
Alan Lomax makes some stunning characterisations of Gladden's singing, reflecting his long concern with traditional singing styles. In the notes to the I948 Disc album Texas Gladden Sings Blue Ridge Mountain Ballads, he wrote “Texas sings her antique ballads in the fashion of ballad singers from time immemorial. The emotions are held in reserve: the singer does not colour the story with heavy vocal under-scoring; she allows the story to tell itself and the members of her audience to receive and interpret it in accordance with their own emotions.”


13 Nov 19 - 12:23 PM (#4018925)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"Welter learned a few songs in the Army but said that most he heard were “rubbish - outright rude”. In fact the version of ‘The Topman and the Afterguard’ he heard in the Army was “obscene’, so he had to learn a new text for that."

Jim - that's something I was wondering but got distracted from asking...

If anyone listens to Walter's recordings to learn songs,
are they now in 2019 considered 'best' available full lyrics,
or did he sing bowdlerized versions
more acceptable to the Mary Whitehouse brigade of half a century ago.....???

If I for example were to study his recordings as a starting point,
would I need to seek out more robust and earthier earlier versions
that were locked from public ears back then...???


13 Nov 19 - 01:38 PM (#4018934)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

As far as I know, he never bowdlerized any song
He was reluctant to sing 'Maid of Australia' when we first met him because Pat was there but he agreed to after a couple of minutes discussion
He wouldn't sing his early Topman and the Afterguard ever, but he liked the form of the song so h found another version

We have the the family songs he wrote in his notebooks ain teh 1940s - he never altered anyof them as far as I am aware
What he did was to search out verses that he knew were missing, but he told us which ones he did that with - he was very careful not to mislead anybody
The 'Dark Arches' story summed up his approach
Whenwe got him the text from Mike, we first recorded what he knew and asked hi that if he gave the full version to anyone else he told them where it came from - he always did, as far as we know

There is a strange attitude that traditional singers learned their song and then locked themselves away waiting for a collector to turn up
It really wasn't like that
Every singer we ever met learned the si=ongs because they liked them and they liked singing
That never left them - while they continued singing they continued to learn song
In Walter's case, the only new song Walter ever learned wa 'The Trampwoman's Tragedy' - a poem he turned into a song
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 01:53 PM (#4018938)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Can I just say in contrast, when Clare singer, Tom Lenihan, who we also became very friendly with, first sang for us and gave us one of his most beautiful songs, 'Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow', which we said we'd been told about, he took the verse out which is a diatribe about the fickleness of women, because he thought it might offend Pat
When we realised he had, we went back to him and he sang it in full without hesitation
Iim


14 Nov 19 - 04:13 AM (#4019006)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST

Another example of potentially conflicting information about Pardon:

1) people in the folk revival helped him remember words to songs that he had forgotten, in some cases he remembered only scraps

2) friends in the revival brought printed song books and the songs he didn't remember were filled out using these books. This was done tastefully resulting in some good end results.

It may be that both are true. Not sure how the first was done, no information.

As so often the information is anecdotal, and imprecise. So there is not claim that he had forgotten the majority, or that the majority were put together.


14 Nov 19 - 04:17 AM (#4019007)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry that last post was me.

I found one song with a clear assertion it was filled out using printed books, there is another song mentioned on Mustrad where a writer suspects or perhaps guesses would be a better word that a particular book was used.


14 Nov 19 - 04:51 AM (#4019013)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

"Regarding the relationship between Pardon's melodeon playing and the tunes he used for songs: I would be interested to see any data on this originating with Pardon himself. What I can find appears to be conjectural."

It was a direct quote from Walter himself. What's conjectural about that? You do understand that he used to play the tunes of his songs on the melodeon, right?

And you do understand what I mean by 'data on this originating with Pardon himself', but obviously not. Or you might have given a reference to that data. Too much trouble?

The conjectural stuff, as a moment's thought on this might have shown, is the discussions on whether the tunes were distorted by his habit of playing them or trying to play them on the melodeon. Right?


14 Nov 19 - 05:53 AM (#4019034)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

I would like to thank Jim Carroll for providing more information about the Pardon 'industry'.

Had you read Jim's last long contribution before pushing the conspiracy theory in your Another example of potentially conflicting information about Pardon... post ?

In that talk they were quite 'up front' about Walter reconstructing some songs "Walter had only fragments and tunes of several songs so he put them together from books and broadsheets, for example ‘Rakish Young Fellow’ and ‘Down by the Dark Arches’. He had two verses, chorus and tune for ‘Dark Arches’ and he asked us to try and get him a text. Mike Yates kindly supplied a broadsheet copy but this had no chorus, and the words of the verses he had did not match. He virtually reconstructed the song to fit his tune and chorus. He said he had to "cut the words to fit his tune; he "liked the words to go out with the nice flow of the tune". (from Jim Carrol's 13 Nov 19 - 12:08 PM post)

Similarly they told of his range of material "The ease and conviction with which he handled his material, ,either classic ballads, bawdy songs, Victorian parlour ballads, union or Music Hall songs was striking"

It looks like you are miss-representing the messengers in order to attack them.

You are digging round in circles.


14 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM (#4019094)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Walking around the streets in 2019 we kinda got used to strangers
walking and talking to themselves...

In them old days we could be certain they were nutters.
Now we got to consider miniturised Bluetooth headsets..

But what a strange turn this thread has taken today...

Pseud - if you haven't already stated it, even if you have but it's lost in the verbiage,
please remind us of your purpose for this thread,
your vested interst in Walter Pardon.
Are you planning a paper of some sort for publication or peer review...???
A media project...???
A movie script [Castiong note for Walter - Harry Enfield]...???

What exactly...????

..otherwise you are making yourself look like a bit of a nutter stalker...

Are you a distant Pardon relation with a revenge grudge
like an Agatha Christie or Scooby Doo villain...???


14 Nov 19 - 10:01 AM (#4019101)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

To clarify that my 14 Nov 19 - 05:53 AM post opens with a quote from one of several posts from Pseudonymous that have vanished.

Thanks to Jim for the text of the Eyam/SSH talk.


14 Nov 19 - 10:04 AM (#4019104)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jeri

Pseudomonas provokes Jim, and Jim, who has absolutely no immunity to tro...provocation picks up ball and runs with it.
Please, if the posts go meta, bitching about one another or other posters, I will put this as politely as possible - shut the fuck up.

Thank you.

Please carry on discussing Walter Pardon, and someone, when you feel inclined, delete this damned message.

(I'm feeling like the kids are in the back seat, and one keeps whining "Mom, he/she keeps TOUCHING me!" Peace, out.)


14 Nov 19 - 10:10 AM (#4019107)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Stilly River Sage

The proper line is "Don't make me stop this car!"


14 Nov 19 - 10:46 AM (#4019118)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Joe G

Are we there yet Mum? ;-)


14 Nov 19 - 10:51 AM (#4019119)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

I feel sick...


uuurggh.. sorry.. I couldn't open the window...


14 Nov 19 - 11:10 AM (#4019124)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

I wanna pee again
Jim


14 Nov 19 - 11:25 AM (#4019127)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

This is starting to sound like a band travelling back from a gig
in the back of a minivan...


14 Nov 19 - 11:47 AM (#4019131)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,HiLo

I know very little about Walter Pardon and was hoping that this thread would be a pleasant discussion of him. However, it has become, like a number of other threads, an unpleasant bit of combat. Why do these things become about one argumentative person and not about the subject at hand. I am disappointed as I DID want to learn more but, same old, same old.


14 Nov 19 - 12:12 PM (#4019140)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

Regarding WP's melodeon playing, Pseudonymous writes:

"And you do understand what I mean by 'data on this originating with Pardon himself', but obviously not. Or you might have given a reference to that data. Too much trouble?

The conjectural stuff, as a moment's thought on this might have shown, is the discussions on whether the tunes were distorted by his habit of playing them or trying to play them on the melodeon. Right?"


If you expressed yourself more clearly (and took the trouble to do basic stuff like distinguishing between quotes from previous posts and your own contributions), it might be easier to see what you're getting at. Another handy hint, by the way, is that attempting to patronise other posters doesn't raise the tone of the discussion.

Here's what I take to be the relevant passage from Jim's account - though since you didn't bother to cut and paste it I can't be sure:

"During the long period of not hearing them, at least 20 years, he kept the songs alive for himself by playing the tunes on the melodeon. Did they perhaps get changed then? Were certain phrases easier for him to play on the melodeon? Or was it simply his own creativity, that he preferred certain musical phrases to others? We’ll never know, of course, but certainly Walter’s tunes are a little different to standard versions and very distinctive."

I see nothing unreasonable in raising these questions - they're precisely the kind of thing I'd have been asking in Jim's place. One of the questions often asked about song variation is whether it's a matter of individual creativity, faulty execution or imperfect memory. If a singer with tunes as flamboyant and intricately ornamented as - say - Joseph Taylor - had used a melodeon (in many ways a crude instrument) as an aide-memoire, it's reasonable to consider whether those tunes might have been changed along the way.

One possible way in which a melodeon might act as a leveller on melodies would be if the player knew only how to play 'on the push', in which case everything would come out in the major. But we know this wasn't the case with WP. I'd also say that the melody for something like 'A Ship to Old England came would be quite counter-intuitive on a melodeon, which suggests that he wasn't dumbing down tunes by remembering them in this way.

I need hardly add that many of the same questions regarding individual creativity would apply whether or not a melodeon had been involved. And Jim's would have been an inferior account (the world, indeed, would be a duller place) without the kind of'conjecture' you seem to find objectionable.


14 Nov 19 - 12:36 PM (#4019144)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

HiLo
There's enough of Walter himself here to get anybody's head around what h was about without anybody having to act as an intermediary

As far as Walter preserving the tunes of his songs, I think he approached tunes as Peggy Seeger argued they should be, he stripped them down to their basic forms and remembered them that way
We once asked him what his Uncle Billy sounded like and he immediately said, "Like Joseph Taylor" - Walter most certainly doesn't
I know that Dave Bland or Bill Leader once played him some of the Lincolnshire recordings, so he wasn't pulling the name out of the air
I've never been sure whether Taylor consciously decorated his songs or, as it is sometimes suggested, his 'decorations' were in fact controlled vibrato
I've always regarded what Ned Adams does at the end of line one of 'The Bold Princess Royal' to be an example of pure decoration
If Walter was remembering the basic tune, perhaps the melodeon is the ideal instrument for doing that
It's along time since I read Mike Yates's article on Walter's tunes - must look at it again
Jim


14 Nov 19 - 12:45 PM (#4019148)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

HiLo - I'll paste my post from earlier.

"From: punkfolkrocker - PM
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 10:00 AM

Maybe a real Walter Pardon friend/enthusiast could sift the wheat from the chaff in this thread,
and open and transfer it to a new properly and expertly curated Walter thread...???

Where both genuine critical analysis and newbie questions are tolerated
as part of valid positive discussion.
"

It is frustrating when useful information and ideas get buried,
even deleted as collateral damage,
when threads break down into chaotic warfare...


14 Nov 19 - 03:09 PM (#4019181)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"Maybe a real Walter Pardon friend/enthusiast"
I didn't question this at the tim because I thought i t implied there weren't any of thiose already here, despite mine, Mike Yates's and Brian Peters's postings
Personally, I thought I'd put up enough of Walter speaking for himself to make the statement superfluous anyway
THre greatest gap in our knowledge of folk song is teh absence of the singers' opinions
e have that here in spades from an extremely intelligent man
Jim


14 Nov 19 - 03:46 PM (#4019194)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - It didn't need to be questioned.. no hidden implications...

I simply meant you, or one of the othe folks you have in mind...

You really must try to be less paranoid and supicious
of me and other innocent folks...


14 Nov 19 - 04:46 PM (#4019199)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: RTim

At least with all this talk about Walter P. (who I have known about since the late 1970's) it made me find the recordings of him I have and listen to them again...and to read Michael Yates notes in "A World Without Horses"....

I have an opinion about his singing - but will keep it to myself.......

Tim Radford


14 Nov 19 - 05:09 PM (#4019207)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

and it made me contact the man to whom I lent my recordings to see if they were still in existence. Watch this space, now peace is proclaimed.


14 Nov 19 - 05:23 PM (#4019209)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

For me, it is not good enough to assert that tape recordings of Parson provide anything like a transparent window on to the man. I have explained the reasons for this, I feel.

Undated quotations are particularly unhelpful.

Then, there is the additional question of the validity of interpretations of what he said, when they get advanced in support of some broader theory about 'traditional singers.

I would have no interest at all in yet another biased, selective and ideologically driven presentation, there are too many of these already. It would not address any of the problems outlined in the original post.

A decent presentation would present assertions that have been made, dated, with the evidence provided in favour of them (if any) cited. Rather as Wiki might expect.

By the way, the original post cited Mustrad as a source. Prior to presenting I searched these threads using the site search facility and I made notes. It is an interesting exercise.


14 Nov 19 - 05:31 PM (#4019213)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Regarding Pardon's supposed use of the term 'folk song'. In one of the earliest interviews I cited, one on the BL website, he is asked whether they called the songs 'folk song's. He replies that they did not: they called them old songs. Folk songs, he says, were something he did at school. So the question is why he started to use the term, and the answer may well be either what he learned at school, plus what he picked up in the Revival.


14 Nov 19 - 06:35 PM (#4019231)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

For me, and this is I know just one point of view, it would help if background information on Knapton was at least reasonably accurate. For example, it won't do to state that because the roads were not made up in Walter's youth, outside influences were few.

Just for starters, there was a railway station serving both Knapton and a neighbouring village dating from 1898 for passengers and freight. Cattle used to be sent out by train.

There seems to have been a post office from early times. Local men fighting in WW 1 sent letters home.

There was a school there prior to Forster's Education Act (mentioned by Pardon in an early interview), so we can presume that Pardon attended school locally. A picture headed 'Knapton School' 1919 in the book shows less than 30 children in total.

At least one farmer made additional money in the hard 1920s by taking in paying guests in summer.

According to the book I cited before at the turn of the century there was some car ownership, the rector, the doctor, a cattle dealer (who also used a horse and cart - presumably on roads that were not 'made up?)


14 Nov 19 - 06:47 PM (#4019235)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: RTim

I note that NO ONE has made the point that Walter P. seems to have been Single all his life......added to the fact his family ware Methodists and he did not go to the pub.

It seems he only left the village to spend time in the Army- and then as a Carpenter therefore unlikely to have seen any conflict......He seems a very mild mannered and ordinary guy ....and probably very shy. His singing style is not "mannered" in any way....simple and even a little boring, however he did sing about subjects he did not experience himself...

Tim Radford


14 Nov 19 - 08:15 PM (#4019240)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"added to the fact his family ware Methodists and he did not go to the pub."
Walter wasn't a churchgoer and liked a drink in moderation
His family were connected with rather lovely local church as musicians but I am not aware they were in any way God-botherers - I never heard Walter pass a view on religion, one way or the other
THe Methodists played a part in rural Trades Unionism in the 19th century, so there may be a family connection there
He never married but there was a lady.... she died a long time before we knew him - Walter asked to be buried in the same church where she is buried
The only time he lived away from home was when he was called up for the Army during the war
He was excused going abroad as his trad was considered essential to the war effort - he spent it working on various military airports - he was based in Richmond, in Yorkshire

The last word I would unseto describe Walter's singing was 'boring - he was an intimately quiet singer whose singing invited the listener to share his stories rather tha pushing them in their faces - Mikeen McCarthy was similar in approach
With Walter, you met the song half-way - my preference every time

I have no intention of responding to anybody who refers to this gentle polite old man as "Pardon" - I find that extremely ill-mannered and disrespectful, especially after what has gone before

"Regarding Pardon's supposed use of the term 'folk song'"
Walter's "supposed" use of the word folk song has appeared in transcripts I have put up
Either I am being accused of faking transcripts or the writer isn't bothering to read what Walter had to say - either is possible, given .....

"Jim - It didn't need to be questioned.. no hidden implication"
Didn't suggest you were - Stop being paranoid
I was merely pointing out the fact that Walter has proved to be able to speak for himself
Jim Carroll


14 Nov 19 - 11:45 PM (#4019261)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - it's a simple point I made...

This thread could have been a useful resource for information on Walter Pardon.
Where both genuine critical analysis and newbie questions are tolerated
as part of valid positive discussion on:

His songs.
His voice.
Relevant aspects of his biography.
Analysis of his significance.
etc...

AS it is, this thread has been trampled into a quagmire of shite,
by an OP who has turned out to be a bit of a stalker nutter with dubious motives,
and the consquent conflict caused...

All I suggested was if a volunteer could be bothered,
then the best of this thread could be cherry picked
and used to set up a new Walter Pardon perma thread that is possibly moderated.

Who would you think would be best up for the idea...???


15 Nov 19 - 03:00 AM (#4019274)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

There is another thing that needs to be corrected in the Wiki article. It says that he was based in Aldershot during the war. I presume that you are right, Jim, and he was actually based in Richmond so you should submit a correction. You always complain about the inaccuracy of Wiki - Now is your chance to put at least one thing right!


15 Nov 19 - 03:28 AM (#4019278)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

I think that might be true too Dave - he was moved about during the war
I mentioned Richmond because that's the place he remembered with most fondness

" cherry picked"
I couldn't agree more P (why do people have to pick three-barreled names - makes lfe very difficult the morning after the night before)
There's plenty more to be said about this important singer - not just by me
I know Mike had a great deal to say about him, as did many others
Bert Lloyd eulogised over his singing after they met in America during the 200 Anniversary celebrations
Jim

"We have few singers - perhaps none - with such a clear memory for song words & such a fine regard for tune shapes as Walter. I don’t know that he is much bothered about “authenticity” - the folklorists got to him too late for that! But he knows what’s what about a song and he can distinguish neatly between folk products and commercial compositions. He should do; after all, he’s a cultivated chap and a discerning reader (you should hear him on the respective merits of Thomas Hardy & Kipling!) who walks around with a headful of folk songs not so much because he regards them as bits of heritage, but for a far better reason - because he likes the stuff. His voice is still young, and he can handle any sort of song with finesse - big ballads, broadside romances, Victorian tearjerkers, even bawdy bits. He’s a pleasure to know, a joy to listen to. Bravo, Walter, the pick of the bunch.
A L Lloyd" 'A Country Life' Topic TSDL392, (1982) (recorded and edited by Mike Yates)


15 Nov 19 - 05:10 AM (#4019300)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

I find it fairly easy to distinguish the truth about Walter , particularly as i knew people who knew him personally.
I think Damien Barber knew him, why dont you contact him


15 Nov 19 - 05:14 AM (#4019302)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

I don't understand the point about the A L Lloyd sleeve notes "illustrates once again the point made at the outset that Pardon was taken up and marketed by the far left"

Taken in isolation I don't think it even hints that A L Lloyd was of the political left. Knowing that he makes me think he was keeping his political stance out of his comments. Though I am curious over the mention of Walter's view of Kipling. But that also reminds me that "at the outset" Walter was introduced to the 'revivalists' by Peter Bellamy.

Is there any record what Peter Bellamy's viewed Walter's singing and meterial?


15 Nov 19 - 05:21 AM (#4019306)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Sorry, typos. "...Knowing that he was [of the political left] makes me think..." "Is there any record how Peter Bellamy's viewed Walter's singing and meterial?"


15 Nov 19 - 07:49 AM (#4019338)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,folklorist

>>>Deispite having potted copiously on the sunject, he displays neitre knowledge of or interest in Traditional Music and his ferevent attempts to silence or denigrate the views ofr anybody vaguely left of Attilla the Hun indicates a political rather than a cultural agenda<<<

It would be very difficult to disagree with this statement.
It would be even more difficult to be able to read it.
It would be more difficult still to work out what this person is on about.

How do you people cope with this?


15 Nov 19 - 08:05 AM (#4019340)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,HiLo

" Planted by an extremist group"...this just gets more and more bizarre..does it not ?


15 Nov 19 - 09:14 AM (#4019357)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

The section of dialogue quoted above by Pseudonymous, headed: '9. IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE', contains no 'leading questions' at all, as far as I can see. For an interviewer to ask a singer unused to performing in front of any kind of an audience how he reacts to a folk festival crowd is a perfectly sensible question. It is WP, not the interviewer, who brings up the the idea of 'seeing' the action of a song.

This is probably the most elaborate and obsessively pursued troll thread I've witnessed in all my years on Mudcat. The OP appears to believe that cutting and pasting a few pieces from Mustrad, then trying to throw doubt on other people's work by lobbing in vague and unsubtantiated accusations of 'inconsistency', 'conjecture', 'bias', etc., constitutes 'research'. There a lot wrong with Dave Harker's work, but Harker is F. R. Leavis compared with this individual. Watching him/her waggling a sagging stick of rhubarb in futile challenge to genuine researchers like Jim Carroll and Mike Yates is like witnessing one of those BBC 'debates' between a distinguished climate scientist with a lifetime of experience and an ignorant shouter with a political agenda.

"I now am trying to fit in with the level of discussion on this site (as per eg Brian Peters)."

I always try to remain polite on Mudcat, but the sheer volume of misinformation here, and the Quixotic fanaticism with which the agenda has been pursued, has tested even my patience. The remark about 'The Pardon industry' is one of the most ludicrous I've ever seen on Mudcat, and was the last straw, I'm afraid.


15 Nov 19 - 12:42 PM (#4019401)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

It's taken too big a chunk of my afternoon catching up with this thread...
But there is a perverse fascination, akin to them olden days tourists
visiting Bedlam to laugh at the loonies...

Some of the loonies, I'm sure might have been very well educated erudite folks
before their minds snapped...

If pseud is a genuine academic, I'd caution from my own observed experiences,
that there is a lot of mental instability in higher education institutions...

This is somethging that needs to be addressed,
Universities must work harder on their Duty of care for students and academic staff...


16 Nov 19 - 02:55 AM (#4019462)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Joe Offer

Here's a YouTube playlist of Walter Pardon recordings:

Pseudonymous, you have some worthwhile things to say, but much of this thread is taken up with your personal attacks on Jim Carroll, and his whining responses. This makes a good mess of what could be an important topic of discussion. Keep this discussion to the topic of discussion. Otherwise, I will have to shut it down.

-Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor-


16 Nov 19 - 04:41 AM (#4019482)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Shaw

I must confess that I haven't been following this thread too closely, but, having just caught up, I must say that "whining responses" seems like a very inappropriate and, ironically, a whining response to Jim. I read what Brian says and I recall that he is always polite and mild-mannered here (as in real life). It really is ridiculous that an unsigned-in anonymous person can wade in here by starting a thread that appears to have vexatious intent. It feels like the Wild West. Anyway, that's what I think and I'm sticking to it. And to Irish tunes...


16 Nov 19 - 05:34 AM (#4019490)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Keith Price

"Jim Carroll and his whining responses"Joe Offer that's a disgraceful comment in the context of this thread.


16 Nov 19 - 05:53 AM (#4019493)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

Thank, but please don't get this thread closed lads - it is too important and mostly enjoyable
Jim


16 Nov 19 - 06:44 AM (#4019509)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Shaw

Got it, Jim.


16 Nov 19 - 07:44 AM (#4019520)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Keith Price

Same here, Jim.


16 Nov 19 - 07:54 AM (#4019522)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

Thank you Joe Offer for the youtube playlist.

I think it would be really good, and in keeping with having "research" in the subject line if someone (Pseudoymous?) collected all the references to sources of information relevant to Walter scattered in this discussion and put them into one post without any comments. However, I am not going to read it again to do that.

Most of the criticism of the way that those who met Walter Pardon presented him seems to relate to concerns that there would be with any account relying mainly on interviews and first-hand anecdotes. I am sure the difficulties have been well-chewed over by journalists and oral historians. Sometimes without an appropriate question something would not be said and would be lost forever. With no questions something that was unclear would never be clarified of rephrased in a better way. What seem to be inconsistencies could not be clarified.


16 Nov 19 - 08:24 AM (#4019528)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

THere has never ben any question that anybody ever interfered with what Walter had to say about folk song - this has been plucked out of the air and the fact that it has been presented in a political light, it is clear where it is coming from
It is based entirely on the discredited argument that singers were incapable of thinking for themselves
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?

Walter's recordings are already archived in full in several places and in the not-to-distant future will be put on line by The British Library - I suggest that this distasteful aspect of what otherwise should have been a hrealthy discussion of a much loved traditional singer should be formly placed in the dustbin of history

There really is much more to learn of this fine singer without cluttering it up with scurrilous innuendo
Jim Carroll


16 Nov 19 - 08:28 AM (#4019531)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

Jag - you touch on a point I wanted to raise,
before this thread went completely kerplunk...

Weekly and monthly music papers and magazines
have filled millions of pages with interviews, articles, and criticism since the mid 20th century...
My youth revolved around the NME, Melody Maker, Sounds
and various other short lived publications..
That's basically how most of us aquired our music knowledge decades ago...
The journalism could be frivolous, or deadly earnest..
The NME would encourage young writers who were pretentious tosspot
wannabe intellectuals,
randomly dropping in trendy university jargon words like 'paradigm','hegemony, and 'semiotics'
to make themselves sound clever and superior...

But it was predominently jobbing jounalism, or enthusiastic fanzine writing..
Doing it mostly for love of music.
Not bloody elitist too far up their own arseholes academics,
hijacking music,
scrabbling for academic status and research funding...

Granted though, the more pretentious NME writers made some of us curious
about those unfamilar clever sounding words,
preparing us for our own problematic encounters with such 'specialist' academic vanity jargon
on our own degree courses...


16 Nov 19 - 08:44 AM (#4019536)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

As I try to refrain from presenting my personal opinion as statements of fact...

I omitted the word "parasites" and phrases like "vampires sucking the life out of music",
and possibly far worse that could occur to me,
when I refer to certain types of music academics...


16 Nov 19 - 10:27 PM (#4019622)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Joe Offer

It's got to the point where I'm grateful for Mudcat shutdowns, because it gives us a chance to breathe. Walter Pardon is a fascinating person to study, and this should be a very fruitful discussion. I acknowledge that Pseudonymous appears to be targeting Jim Carroll, and that is unfair. But Jim Carroll goes absolutely bonkers when anyone disagrees with him, which makes him a ready target for whatever troll wants to come around and make trouble. In short, Jim Carroll draws trolls like flies, because it's certain that Jim will put on a good show whenever anyone says anything that sets him off.

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. The fact of the matter is that there is a limit to the amount that we can control objectionable posts. Once a message is posted, most of the damage has already been done. I suppose that deletion might serve in a way to "punish" the offender, but I honestly think that is of little value - trolls look for immediate effect, and deleting a message five minutes after it's posted has little effect. And when we delete messages, it destroys the continuity of the discussion and more-or-less destroys the thread.

So, instead of responding to requests that we delete objectionable posts, we ask Mudcatters not to respond to such posts, and to stay out of combat. A few objectionable posts don't do any harm if the discussion continues, but if the "good guys" respond to the challenge to battle, the thread is sunk. So, we ask Mudcatters not to do battle. It really doesn't matter who's right or wrong - it's the battling that ruins threads.

It has been our principle for a long time to close threads when they get bogged down in battle, and to delete messages only sparingly. Some moderator - I don't know who - tried to fix this thread by deleting dozens of messages, but it really didn't fix the problem. I undeleted a few messages that were on topic, but I'm not going to undelete them all - and I'm not going to let such mass deletions happen again. For the most part, Music threads that end up in battle, will be closed.

So if you don't want a thread to be closed, don't do battle, even if you're sure you're right. I'm currently watching the "Current state of folk music," "Travellers," and Walter Pardon threads. All of these threads have been the site of skirmishes. If the skirmishes become battles, the threads will be closed.

Thank you.

-Joe Offer-


16 Nov 19 - 11:17 PM (#4019626)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Brian Peters

Point taken, Joe, but the trouble is that inflammatory and (more importantly) grossly misleading posts can be expressed in the most anodyne language but nonetheless incense those of us who are passionate about the topic and the need for accuracy.

    Yes, and MY point is that it doesn't matter. We need people to respond rationally and factually, without alarm or hysteria - and only about the topic of discussion. That's the only way we can keep the peace here. If people insist on responding to provocation, the result is pandemonium. And the point is that this thread is supposed to be about Walter Pardon.
    -Joe-


17 Nov 19 - 01:43 AM (#4019632)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: punkfolkrocker

"And the point is that this thread is supposed to be about Walter Pardon."

Joe - that's the problem.
It soon became aparent that this thread wasn't about Walter Pardon.
The OP's intention was more likely to exploit Walter Pardon merely as a device
for launching an attack on a previous generation of UK Folk researchers...

Which is why I suggested extracting any useful information and ideas
this thread elicited under false pretences,
to form the basis of a new dedicated 'factual' Walter Pardon resource thread...
Possibly a moderated perma thread if a knowledgable Walter P enthusiast
could be interested in taking it on...???

Then just abandon this thread to sink into oblivion...

If the OP still wants a serious discussion on the unreliability of amateur / hobbyist / non-scientific research methods,
then it's up to Pseud to try again with less malicious intent,
or smug academic conceit...
He/she/they may have lost our trust for now,
but some of us may be fairly forgiving folks if we think a second chance is deserved...???


17 Nov 19 - 03:52 AM (#4019646)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"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


17 Nov 19 - 03:58 AM (#4019648)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

Steve Shaw has not contributed to this thread has he?
I am going to start a thread about Harry Cox, in my opinion one of Englands finest trad singers


17 Nov 19 - 04:08 AM (#4019652)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: 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

I


17 Nov 19 - 04:17 AM (#4019658)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

I did that in a hurry and when I was somehat stunned
Here's the corrected version without the typos

I am going to respond to Joe's remarks fully in the hope that he has the courage to leave my reply up
I do not "go bonkers if someone disagrees with me"
If I do, can someone produce an example of my doing so
I have not insulted anybody here (apart from the troll who has opened a hate thread aimed at me and spread personal and inaccurate details over the forum (which 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 "trouble-causing"
If we can't disagree passionately over things we feel are important, what the hell can we do

So 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


17 Nov 19 - 05:05 AM (#4019673)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

Where did you go bonkers?

Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 06 Nov 19 - 02:53 PM

...
Oh - and he ate like a pig
...


Maybe not quite bonkers but I wouldn't say it was a sane response to Nick's innocent comment either. There are plenty of other examples of your inappropriate and often confusing responses to inoffensive posts that you seem to be attacks.


17 Nov 19 - 05:11 AM (#4019676)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,JoeG

Well said Joe

I keep trying to keep the 'Current state' thread on track and amicable but it isn't easy


17 Nov 19 - 05:21 AM (#4019679)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"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


17 Nov 19 - 05:58 AM (#4019684)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

That is how walter as descibed

No it wasn't. Yet another bonkers assertion.


17 Nov 19 - 06:03 AM (#4019687)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Steve Shaw

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.


17 Nov 19 - 07:04 AM (#4019696)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 07:08 AM (#4019698)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

"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


17 Nov 19 - 07:09 AM (#4019699)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 07:48 AM (#4019715)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 07:56 AM (#4019717)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 08:08 AM (#4019721)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 08:17 AM (#4019725)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Dave the Gnome

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!


17 Nov 19 - 08:22 AM (#4019726)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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)


17 Nov 19 - 08:28 AM (#4019728)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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 :)


17 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM (#4019729)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Dave the Gnome :) :)


17 Nov 19 - 08:36 AM (#4019730)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: The Sandman

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?


17 Nov 19 - 08:54 AM (#4019734)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Howard Jones

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.


17 Nov 19 - 09:02 AM (#4019736)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 09:06 AM (#4019737)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 09:13 AM (#4019740)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

"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?


17 Nov 19 - 09:14 AM (#4019741)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Brian Peters

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...


17 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM (#4019743)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Jim Carroll

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


17 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM (#4019744)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 09:24 AM (#4019745)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

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.


17 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM (#4019754)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 09:43 AM (#4019756)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 09:53 AM (#4019760)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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


17 Nov 19 - 10:04 AM (#4019762)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,jag

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.


17 Nov 19 - 10:08 AM (#4019764)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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.


17 Nov 19 - 10:14 AM (#4019770)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: GUEST,HiLo

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 ?


17 Nov 19 - 10:15 AM (#4019771)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Iains

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.


17 Nov 19 - 10:20 AM (#4019774)
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
From: Joe Offer

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