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By M. Schneider

This ebook strains the musical and cultural achievements of this modern musical phenomenon to its starting place within the Romantic revolution of the 1790's in England while conventional strategies of literature, politics, schooling and social relationships have been challenged as they have been within the 1960's.

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Additional info for The Long and Winding Road from Blake to the Beatles

Sample text

Can there be a better example of a spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling than an ancient ballad, conceived in the throes of an elemental passion, and carried into the present by its power to communicate timeless human truth? ” Though Wordsworth employed the clippity-clop ballad meter in many of his lyrics composed between 1797 and 1804, including some of the “Lucy” poems, “Expostulation and Reply,” “Tables Turned,” “We Are Seven,” and “Anecdote for Fathers,” the element of traditional balladry that found its way most frequently into his verse was the melancholic indeterminacy of the stories the ballads told.

Chapter 1 Th e Tr a ns at l a n t ic Roo t s of Roc k Rom a n t ic ism There is the biggest country-and-western following in Liverpool, besides London. I heard country-and-western music in Liverpool before I heard rock ‘n’ roll. The people there—the Irish in Ireland are the same—they take their music very seriously. There were established folk, blues, and country-and-western clubs in Liverpool before rock ‘n’ roll. —John Lennon, Beatles Anthology, 10 Anyway, we wrote half of your folk songs in Liverpool.

Put simply, Wordsworth built a bridge between folk and high literary culture. In so doing, he changed the way that the traditional arts were viewed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The story of Wordsworth’s own songcatching and the subsequent history of Wordsworthian songcatching in America will point to the pivotal role that this early nineteenth-century poet played in shaping Anglo-American literary culture of the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Wordsworth’s exaltation of the virtues and far-reaching human significance of rural life led to a series of recurring folk revivals on both sides of the Atlantic, one of which was the skiffle craze of the mid-1950s that ignited the musical/poetic aspirations of the boys who would become the Beatles.

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