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By Sarah Joanne Davies

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Typifying the approach of most other scholars examining illegitimacy-related songs (particularly as case studies), Neilands focuses upon past environments rather than present-day contexts. Likewise, he is inclined to give far greater attention to reconstructing the socio-historical environment in which his song sample was circulated, than to recreating their performance context. h.. historical research, as demonstrated by Pickering ("The Farmworker"). In some cases, this can be accomplished through the field interview, where details concerning past performances of particular songs within the chosen corpus still exist within living memory (see Kodish).

See Chapter 4). During the second half of the twentieth century there was a backlash against this Victorian censorship. g. The Idiom, The Everlasting; Marrowbones). In the 1960s, writers such as Gershon Legman and Kenneth Goldstein drew attention to the extent of this earlier neglect in relation to erotic and sexually explicit kinds of material. g. Goldstein, "Bowdlerization" 380-81). Legman was acutely aware of the hypocrisy surrounding the exclusion of sexual materials from published collections, given the prevalence of violent and gory deaths in folksong compilations such as Child's (Lloyd 198).

Lloyd's approach to his material was problematic because, like a number of other scholars, he sought to take historical writings as his starting point whilst drawing upon songs from an extremely wide pool of material in support of the "truths" which he discovered (cf. Neilands 3). This approach was flawed, however, as it allowed him to bypass the problems posed by songs which were partially or completely at odds with socio-historical reality, by a process of deselection. Lloyd never resolved this issue and was therefore forced to make some rather improbable suggestions about this "illegitimacy" material.

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An investigation into attitudes towards illegitimate birth as evidenced in the folklore of South West England by Sarah Joanne Davies


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