folk songs of the worldby charles haywood;folk songs of europeby maud karpeles

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  • Folk Songs of the World by Charles Haywood; Folk Songs of Europe by Maud KarpelesReview by: S. J. SackettThe Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 81, No. 319 (Jan. - Mar., 1968), pp. 79-81Published by: American Folklore SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/537447 .Accessed: 10/12/2014 09:09

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  • Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. Collected by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax. (New York: The Macmillan Co., I965. Pp. xxxviii+ 43I, introduction, index. $8.95).

    Everybody who has read Wilgus' book on folksong scholarship knows the defects of the Lomaxes' collection, now in its fifteenth printing of the I938 "Revised and Enlarged" edition. Let us not, therefore, dwell on them now but instead remark the fact that in the years which have intervened between its first publication in 1910 and now, no one has done the job better, and express our gratitude to Macmillan for keeping in print what is still the best collection of cowboy songs ever made.

    Fort Hays Kansas State College S. J. SACKETT Hays, Kansas

    Folk Songs of the World. By Charles Haywood. (New York: The John Day Co., I966. Pp. 320, preface, bibliography, index, illustrations. $I0.95).

    Folk Songs of Europe. Edited by Maud Karpeles. (International Folk Song Antholo- gies; New York: Oak Publications, I964. Pp. xx + 268, bibliography, index. $2.95). Since these two collections are similar in intent and approach, they may profitably

    be considered together. Of the two it is hard not to give the preference to that of Miss Karpeles.

    Both are samplings of songs from many countries; Professor Haywood's book gives i80 songs from 125 countries (1.44 songs per country), Miss Karpeles' 183 songs from 30 countries (6.i songs per country). It would be impossible for Miss Karpeles' col- lection not to give the more representative taste of what a nation's folksongs are really like. Professor Haywood himself apologizes for his defects in this particular (p. 5); and, while it would be unfair to accuse Professor Haywood of not accomplishing what he himself knew to be impossible, perhaps it is not unfair to inquire why he attempted a job that he knew beforehand could not be done well.

    Professor Haywood supplies, as Miss Karpeles does not, a commentary on the musi- cological aspects of the songs he includes. This, however, is not an unmixed blessing. There is no reason why a good musicologist, as Professor Haywood most assuredly is, should also be a good writer; the John Day Company deserves a scathing rebuke for having failed to provide him with an editor to smooth out the infelicities of his style and to help him adjust his scholarship to his audience. With regard to the latter point, it is hard to imagine the degree of musicological sophistication that Professor Haywood requires, for his ideal reader is evidently someone who needs to be told that the word tempo means "speed" (as is explained on p. I23), but who can read the following sentence without any explanatory aids: "The melodies generally show symmetrical con- struction, moving toward the dominant, with a recapitulation, or with slight variation, ending on the tonic" (pp. o08-o09). One of the least defensible aspects of the book is that Professor Haywood frequently makes long quotations-several sentences or even paragraphs-without identifying his sources. Only his quotation marks defend him from the charge of plagiarism; his practice is bad scholarly manners, not only because he denies the reader the opportunity of locating the sources from which his

    Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. Collected by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax. (New York: The Macmillan Co., I965. Pp. xxxviii+ 43I, introduction, index. $8.95).

    Everybody who has read Wilgus' book on folksong scholarship knows the defects of the Lomaxes' collection, now in its fifteenth printing of the I938 "Revised and Enlarged" edition. Let us not, therefore, dwell on them now but instead remark the fact that in the years which have intervened between its first publication in 1910 and now, no one has done the job better, and express our gratitude to Macmillan for keeping in print what is still the best collection of cowboy songs ever made.

    Fort Hays Kansas State College S. J. SACKETT Hays, Kansas

    Folk Songs of the World. By Charles Haywood. (New York: The John Day Co., I966. Pp. 320, preface, bibliography, index, illustrations. $I0.95).

    Folk Songs of Europe. Edited by Maud Karpeles. (International Folk Song Antholo- gies; New York: Oak Publications, I964. Pp. xx + 268, bibliography, index. $2.95). Since these two collections are similar in intent and approach, they may profitably

    be considered together. Of the two it is hard not to give the preference to that of Miss Karpeles.

    Both are samplings of songs from many countries; Professor Haywood's book gives i80 songs from 125 countries (1.44 songs per country), Miss Karpeles' 183 songs from 30 countries (6.i songs per country). It would be impossible for Miss Karpeles' col- lection not to give the more representative taste of what a nation's folksongs are really like. Professor Haywood himself apologizes for his defects in this particular (p. 5); and, while it would be unfair to accuse Professor Haywood of not accomplishing what he himself knew to be impossible, perhaps it is not unfair to inquire why he attempted a job that he knew beforehand could not be done well.

    Professor Haywood supplies, as Miss Karpeles does not, a commentary on the musi- cological aspects of the songs he includes. This, however, is not an unmixed blessing. There is no reason why a good musicologist, as Professor Haywood most assuredly is, should also be a good writer; the John Day Company deserves a scathing rebuke for having failed to provide him with an editor to smooth out the infelicities of his style and to help him adjust his scholarship to his audience. With regard to the latter point, it is hard to imagine the degree of musicological sophistication that Professor Haywood requires, for his ideal reader is evidently someone who needs to be told that the word tempo means "speed" (as is explained on p. I23), but who can read the following sentence without any explanatory aids: "The melodies generally show symmetrical con- struction, moving toward the dominant, with a recapitulation, or with slight variation, ending on the tonic" (pp. o08-o09). One of the least defensible aspects of the book is that Professor Haywood frequently makes long quotations-several sentences or even paragraphs-without identifying his sources. Only his quotation marks defend him from the charge of plagiarism; his practice is bad scholarly manners, not only because he denies the reader the opportunity of locating the sources from which his

    BOOK REVIEWS BOOK REVIEWS 79 79

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  • quotations come, but also because he denies his sources the proper credit for their contributions to his work. For a scholar of Professor Haywood's reputation, his con- duct in this regard is wholly reprehensible.

    Two exceptionally interesting features of Professor Haywood's book are that he includes three versions-American, Italian, and Swedish-of "Lord Randal" and that he presents the original folksongs used by Tchaikovski for a theme in the 1812 Overture and by Puccini in Madame Butterfly. It would be most interesting if someone of Pro- fessor Haywood's stature were to make a collection of folksongs which had given inspiration to composers.

    The large number of languages represented in both books is remarkable when one considers that the editors provide English translations, in the same meter as the originals, for all the songs. While the numbers of languages from which Miss Karpeles has translated is impressive, the achievement of Professor Haywood is even more so, for Miss Karpeles had more help than he and did not attempt any non-European languages.

    In both books the translations are very uneven; some are singable, some are accurate, a few are both, a good many are neither. Considering the extreme difficulty of the task of translating the words of songs-especially folksongs, which need to sound artless and idiomatic when you are through with them-the results in both books are on the whole commendable.

    The only song which I was able to find which appeared in both books was an Estonian one called "Kui mina alles noor veel olin." The translations by Miss Karpeles and Professor Haywood are so sharply different that one of them must simply be erroneous; since I know no Estonian, I cannot judge which one. The first stanza follows (I have omitted repetitions):

    Estonian Karpeles Haywood Kui mina alles noo