In which I reveal my folky side. Not a part of my youth; something I’ve learnt recently. The Martin Carthy version (with Eliza on violin, which is where this started, as I was looking for some of her playing for another purpose) is just superb. [[Wikipedia]] has the story if not the words; this is a reasonable written version. If you want, you can listen to some American telling you the bleedin’ obvious.

Did I mention the Famous Flower of Serving Men? or Bold Sir Rylas (see-also the 10th April news)?

And the contrast with some other versions is painful. Steeleye Span were apparently famous in their day. Or there is the man and guitar version. Modern folk seems to be much better.

While I’m here, a brief comment on RC welcoming RCE. RC is climate by scientists. RCE is… very partisan economics by… who? I couldn’t find their names. Their cherry-picking of the economics literature is more reminiscent of the unlamented co2science than RC. General perspectives appears to be a pean to Stern with no hint of any possible problems, which as those who have read me being ratty about Stern will realise I disagree with. The page about discounting alone is perhaps more interesting. But just a list of studies isn’t much good. Again, the RC model is intelligent commentary on papers, not just a list of abstracts. Here they have a rebuttal to Tol listed, but somehow lack the space for Tol’s original abstract. In short, I don’t trust them.


  1. #1 Vasha

    I’m with you, I think the trend toward minimal accompaniments and “harsh” sounds in certain segments of modern folk music is a good thing. The fiddle sound is great, certainly. But a similar style was always around, you just have to know which older recordings to look for. For obvious reasons, this particular performance follows on from what the Watersons were doing in the 70s.

  2. #2 Hank Roberts

    Mike made several inline replies in the RC/RCE thread that may help. Agreed, a forum for intelligent commentary would be nice to see and isn’t there — set the “intelligent” filter around 1.0 Grumbines or higher, though.

    Mike’s later inline responses say researchers are trying to assess the stuff, wherever that’s happening.

  3. #3 Dunc

    Yeah, but without the likes of Steeleye Span, there would be no “modern” folk – it would still be Arran-jumper clad Ewan MacColl impersonators.

  4. #4 Robert Grumbine

    Some ages back, in sci.environment days perhaps even before William arrived, Michael Tobis and I talked about the idea of having a scientific discussion on the group. Discussion, as opposed to debate. But, the truth being that we don’t agree on everything, nor do William and I, nor any pair of scientists. How such a discussion plays out, however, is pretty drastically different than the norm in newsgroups (then) or blogs (now). Also much more educational for all, the protagonists included or especially.

    Hank, should I be mortally wounded that I was at the bottom of your scale :-)

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