‘God was in France all Friday’: incoherence from the inside

Mary-Ann Constantine and Gerald Porter

in Fragments and Meaning in Traditional Song

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262887
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734441 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

‘God was in France all Friday’: incoherence from the inside

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses a comparison of the scholarly criteria used to describe ‘nonsense’ with the attitudes of singers, in the mutually related areas of lexical corruption and narrative collapse. The anxiety of corruption and nonsense and narrative collapse in the Child ballads of Nelson Ridley are examined in this chapter. The chapter concludes that incoherence is the state of not being whole or of being ‘not all there’.

Keywords: scholarly criteria; nonsense; attitudes; lexical corruption; narrative collapse; nonsense collapse; narrative collapse; Child ballads; Nelson Ridley; incoherence

Chapter.  8637 words. 

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.