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39 the same community. Preston's alternative reading, which suggests that songs have always had the potential to generate a vast range of different meanings, even within the same performance clearly also challenges Renwick's position. This is because singers and audiences take an active role in the creation and reception of meaning. The variety of received meanings in relation to any given song therefore reflects the wide spectrum of identities within the group at any one time and is seen more as part of a process than Renwick's view allows.

Scholars such as Kodish (see below) have already demonstrated that singing traditions are in a sense unique because they tend to adapt and incorporate aspects of their socio-historical environments. Stewart seems reluctant to acknowledge the arbitrary nature of her system of categorisation. This is exemplified by her use of the word "success". Although she makes clear her working definition of the term, she fails to make explicit exactly, how, why, and from whose perspective it was formulated. We can only 15 Her approach might be compared with the stage two feminism referred to by Moi, in her review of "feminist" approaches to literary criticism (12).

Renwick uses a sample of 152 English folksongs specifically concerned with a sexual relationship to this purpose (55). His commentary accompanying these songs, many of which 34 feature out-of-wedlock pregnancy and illegitimacy, is slanted accordingly. Songs relating to this thesis, though discussed at some length in two of Renwick's chapters, are never considered as a separate corpus of material. This is partly because, in contradistinction to Gammon and Neilands, Renwick uses structure, rather than subject matter as his main organising principle.

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