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Folk music of England

Folk music of England
Music of the United Kingdom History Early popular music 1950s and 60s 1970s 1980s 1990s to present Varieties England important musical forms, including sea shanties, jigs, hornpipes and forms of dance music, such as those used for Morris dancing. It can be seen as having distinct regional and local variations in content form and style, particularly in areas more removed from the cultural and political centres of the English state, as in Northumbria, or the West Country. Cultural interchange and processes of migration mean that English folk music, although in many ways distinctive, has particularly interacted with the music of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Because of the close cultural connections between England and the USA, from the late twentieth century, the term has also been used for forms of music based on American roots music, traditional and folk music. English folk music has been the subject of a number of ’revivals’ and periods of resurgence, particularly since the late nineteenth century. It has been seen as an important element of English national and working-class identity. It has also interacted with other musical traditions, particularly classical and rock music, influencing musical forms and producing musical fusions, such as electric folk, folk punk and folk metal. There remains a flourishing sub-culture of English folk music, which continues to influence other forms and occasionally to gain mainstream attention.

Scotland Wales Ireland Caribbean and Indian

Genres: Classical - Folk - Hip hop - Opera Popular - Rock - Jazz

By year: 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003
2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007

Awards Charts

Mercury, BRIT Awards, Gramophone Awards UK Singles Chart, UK classical chart, UK Albums Chart

Festivals Cambridge Folk Festival, Creamfields,
Download Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Eisteddfodd, Glastonbury Festival, Homelands, Isle of Wight Festival, Royal National Mod, The Proms, Reading and Leeds Festivals , T in the Park, V Festival


NME - Melody Maker - Mojo - Q - The Wire - The Gramophone

National "God Save the Queen" anthem Regions and territories Birmingham - Cornwall - Manchester Northumbria - Somerset - Anguilla - Bermuda - Cayman Islands - Gibraltar - Montserrat - Turks and Caicos - Virgin Islands Folk music of England is a form of popular music, often contrasted with courtly, classical and later commercial music, for which we have evidence from the later medieval period. It has been preserved and transmitted orally, through print and later through recordings. The term is used to refer to English traditional music and music composed, or delivered, in a traditional style. English folk music has produced or contributed to several

In the strictest sense English folk music has existed as long as England has been occupied, since it seems likely that music has always been created outside of the religious and court centres. The Venerable Bede’s story of the cattleman and later ecclesiastical musician Caedmon indicates that in the early medieval period it was normal at feasts to pass around the harp and sing ’vain and idle songs’.[1] But since, even after the invention of musical notation, until the late medieval period only ecclesiastical music, then later that of court musicians, tended to be recorded, we have little knowledge of its form or


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Folk music of England
While there was distinct court music, members of the social elite in the later medieval period and into the sixteenth century also seem to have enjoyed popular forms of music and even to have contributed to it, as Henry VIII did with the tavern song ’Pastime with Good Company’.[7] Peter Burke argued that late medieval social elites had their own culture, but were culturally ‘amphibious’, able to participate in and affect popular traditions.[8]

The mid-Sixteenth century to the Eighteenth century
With the growth in wealth and leisure-time for the noble classes, tastes in music began to diverge sharply. By the mid-sixteenth century there were distinct styles of music enjoyed by the differing social classes. Renaissance influences made the acquisition of musical knowledge an almost essential attribute for the nobleman and woman, and the ability to play an instrument became a necessary social grace.[9] There was also an internationalisation of courtly music in terms of both instruments and content: the lute, dulcimer and early forms of the harpsichord were played; madrigals were sung; the pavane and galliard were danced.[10] For other social classes more instruments like the pipe, tabor, bagpipe, shawm, hurdy gurdy, and crumhorn accompanied folk music and community dance.[11] The fiddle, well established in England by the 1660s, was unusual in being key element in both the art music that developed in the baroque, but also in folk song and dance.[12] By the mid-seventeenth century folk music was sufficiently alien to the aristocracy and middle sort for a process of rediscovery was needed to understand it, along with other aspects of popular culture such as festivals, folklore and dance.[8] This led to a number of early collections of printed material, including those published by John Playford as The English Dancing Master (1651), and the private collections of Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) and the Roxburghe Ballads collected by Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1661 - 1724).[4] In the eighteenth century there were increasing numbers such collections, including Thomas D’Urfey’s Wit and Mirth: or, Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719-20) and Bishop Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English

Original score of Pastime with Good Company (c. 1513), held in the British Library, London. content.[2] Some later tunes, like those used for Morris dance may have their origins in this period, but it is impossible to be certain of these relationships.[3] From the end of the fifteenth century we have printed ballads that suggest a rich tradition of popular music. We know from a reference in William Langland’s Piers Plowman, that ballads about Robin Hood were being sung from at least the late fourteenth century and the oldest detailed material we have is Wynkyn de Worde’s collection of Robin Hood ballads printed about 1495.[4] In the late medieval period there was a clear distinction between ecclesiastical and courtly secular music on the one hand, and that of the people in general on the other, but some forms of popular music were clearly religious in tone and influenced by religious musical themes. This is particularly clear in the case of English carols, which derived from a form of circle dance accompanied by singers which were popular from the midtwelfth century.[5] From the fourteenth century they were used as processional songs sung during festivals, particularly at Advent, Easter and Christmas and to be written to accompany religious mystery plays.[6]


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Poetry (1765).[4] The last of these also contained some oral material and by the end of the eighteenth century this was becoming increasingly common, with collections including John Ritson’s, The Bishopric Garland (1784), which paralleled the work of figures like Robert Burns and Walter Scott in Scotland.[4]

Folk music of England
performances in ale houses into theatres and became the dominant form of English popular music for over a century.[16] This combined with increased literacy and print to allow the creation of new songs that initially built on, but began to differ from traditional music as composers like Lionel Monckton and Sidney Jones created music that reflected new social circumstances.[17]

The Nineteenth century

The first British folk revival 1890-1920
These developments, perhaps combined with changes in the nature of English identity, led to a much more intensive and academic attempt to record what was seen as a vanishing tradition. This movement was concerned with not just England, but also Britain and Ireland. It was based around the transcribing, and later recording, of songs by remaining performers. Pioneers of this movement were the Harvard professor Francis James Child (1825-96), Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), Frank Kidson (1855-1926), Lucy Broadwood (1858-1939), and Anne Gilchrist (1863-1954).[4] Kidson and Broadwood were important in the foundation of the Folk Song Society in 1898. Later, major figures in this movement were Cecil Sharp (1859-1924) and his assistant Maud Karpeles (1885-1976) and the composers Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1951), George Butterworth (1885-1916), and the Australian Percy Grainger (1882–1961).[4] Of these, Child’s eight volume collection The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-92) has been the most influential on defining the repertoire of subsequent performers and the music teacher Cecil Sharp was probably the most important in understanding of the nature of folk song.[4] Sharp produced the five volume Folk Songs from Somerset from 1904-9 and founded the English Folk Dance Society in 1911, an indication of his parallel interest in dance music. His lectures and other publications attempted to define a musical tradition that was rural in origin, oral in transmission and communal in nature.[4] It has been criticized, particularly by David Harker as having a romanticized view of agricultural society, of ignoring urban and industrial forms of music such as work songs and those performed in music hall, and of bowlderising the texts.[18] The focus on collecting performed songs also disregarded

Cecil Sharp, portrait by Glyn Warren Philpot. With the Industrial Revolution the themes of popular music began to change from rural and agrarian life to include industrial work songs.[13] Awareness that older forms of song were being abandoned prompted renewed interest in collecting folk songs during the 1830s and 40s, including the work of William B. Sandys’ Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833), William Chappell, A Collection of National English Airs (1838) and Robert Bell’s Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England (1846).[14] Technological change made new instruments available and led to the development of silver and brass bands, particularly in industrial centres in the north.[15] The shift to urban centres also began to create new forms of music, including from the 1850s the Music hall, which developed from


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the complex, but important, relationship between printed and oral forms, particularly the role of broadside ballads, which were sometimes records of existing songs and sometimes the origin or transmission point for others.[4] Although collectors, from Grainger in 1905 onwards, experimented with new recording technology, it was generally rejected and there was a concentration on transcribing folk song in England, in contrast to America, where John Avery Lomax made extensive recordings for the Library of Congress from 1933.[19] This is thought to have created difficulties, since subtleties of performance have been lost and collectors often adjusted notation to fit their own, often classical, views of music or to fit their own preconceptions.[8] There was also a strong nationalist element in the motivation for collecting folk song.[20] As part of a general mood of nationalism in the period before the First World War, the Board of Education in 1906 officially sanctioned the teaching of folk songs in schools.[21]

Folk music of England
form of classical music, known as the English ’national’ or ’pastoral school’.[4] It was argued by Sharp that up to that point English ‘art music’ had relied heavily on European composers and styles and was therefore indistinguishable from other national forms. In a search for a distinctive English voice many composers, like Percy Grainger (from 1905), Ralph Vaughan Williams (from about 1906) and George Butterworth (from about 1914) were also collectors and directly utilized their discoveries in composition. Vaughan Williams was also the editor of the English Hymnal (1906) and utilized many collected tunes and set poems to them to produce new religious songs.[21] Similarly other composers such as Gustav Holst (1874-1934) and Frederick Delius (1862-1934) wrote music that utilized sections, cadences or themes from English folk music. By the 1940s this particular tendency among composers had begun to subside and other fusions would be more significant in the second folk revival.[22]

Folk song and the English ‘pastoral school’ 1900-50

The second British folk revival 1945-69
Folk-song collecting continued after World War I, but with the tradition disappearing there were fewer singers available and the nationalist impulse had subsided.[21] In 1932 the Folk-Song Society and the English Folk Dance Society merged to become the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).[13] With new forms of media such as the phonograph and sound film meant that from the 1920s American music began to be increasingly important and even dominant in popular British culture, leading to a further sharp decline in traditional music.[23] English folk song might have become a purely academic interest had it not been for a second wave of revival with a very different emphasis. The second revival in England followed a similar movement in America, to which it was connected to it by individuals like Alan Lomax, who had moved to England in the era of McCarthyism.[21] Like the American revival, it was often overtly left wing in its politics, and the leading figures, Ewan McColl and A. L. Lloyd, were both involved in trade unionism and socialist politics. It built on the work of the first revival, utilizing many of its resources. McColl recorded many of the Child Ballads and Lloyd eventually joined the board

Percy Grainger. One of the major effects of the folk song revival was the creation of a distinctive English


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of the EFDSS.[4] The society was also responsible for sponsoring BBC Home Service radio program, "As I Roved Out", based on field recordings made by Peter Kennedy and Seamus Ennis from 1952 to 1958, which probably did more than any other single factor to introduce the general population to British folk music in the period.[4] However, the second revival differed in several important respects. In contrast to Sharp’s emphasis on the rural, the activists of the second revival, particularly Lloyd, emphasized the work music of the nineteenth century, including sea shanties and industrial labour songs, most obviously on the album The Iron Muse (1956).[4] It also took a more charitable view of the ‘morally dubious’ elements of traditional folk than the first revival, with Lloyd recording an entire album of erotic folk songs, The Bird in the Bush (1966).[4] Most important among their responses were the foundation of folk clubs in major towns, starting with London where McColl began the Ballads and Blues Club in 1953.[4] These clubs were usually urban in location, but the songs sung in them often harkened back to a rural pre-industrial past. In many ways this was the adoption of abandoned popular music by the middle classes.[21] By the mid 1960s there were probably over 300 folk clubs in Britain, providing an important circuit for acts that performed traditional songs and tunes acoustically, where some could sustain a living by playing to a small but committed audience.[21] A significant factor in the early growth of the revival was the foundation of Topic Records as part of the Workers Music Association in 1939 and becoming a commercial company in 1957.[21] A. L. Lloyd as artistic director wrote many of the sleeve notes for the records and sang on several of their albums.[4] Also important were occasional radio shows, such as Lomax’s Ballads and Blues, McColl’s Radio-ballads (1958-64) and the Song Carriers (1968).[4] Criticisms include the restrictive emphasis on native language and unaccompanied performance as well as a view of the industrialised working class that was as romantic as Sharp had been about agricultural workers. Most of those attending folk clubs were not working class or rural workers, but the urbanized middle class.[21] Nevertheless, despite these issues, and the limited scale of the revival, it meant that English folk music

Folk music of England

Performing with The Imagined Village at Camp Bestival - 20th July 2008 continued to be a living and performed tradition. Major traditional performers included the Copper Family, The Watersons, the Ian Campbell Group, Shirley Collins and Martin Carthy.[24] The expansion of the revival scene has been attributed to the short-lived British skiffle craze of 1956-8.[4] Spearheaded by Lonnie Donegan’s hit ‘Rock Island Line’ (1956) it dovetailed with the growth of café youth culture, where skiffle bands with acoustic guitars, and improvised instruments such as washboards and tea chest bass, played to teenage audiences.[25] Beside the many later jazz, blues, pop and rock musicians that started performing in skiffle bands were a number of future folk performers, including Martin Carthy and John Renbourn.[4] It also brought a greater familiarity with American roots music and helped expand the English folk club movement where American folk music also began to be played.[21] The fusing of various styles of American music with English folk also helped to create a distinctive style of guitar playing known as ‘folk baroque’. Pioneered by Davy Graham, Martin Carthy, John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, it


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mixed English, blues and jazz elements in a distinctive form of fingerstyle.[4]

Folk music of England

Progressive folk
The process of fusion between American musical styles and English folk can also be seen as the origin of British progressive folk music, which attempted to elevate folk music through greater musicianship, or compositional and arrangement skills.[4] Many progressive folk performers continued to retain a traditional element in their music, including Jansch and Redbourne, who with Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson, and Terry Cox, formed Pentangle in 1967.[4] Others totally abandoned the traditional element and in this area particularly influential were the Scottish artists Donovan, who was most influenced by emerging progressive folk musicians in America like Bob Dylan and the Incredible String Band, who from 1967 incorporated a range of influences including medieval and eastern music into their compositions.[26] Some of this, particularly the Incredible String Band, has been seen as developing into the further sub-genre of psych or psychedelic folk and had a considerable impact on progressive and psychedelic rock.[27] There was a brief flouring of English progressive folk in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with groups like the Third Ear Band and Quintessence following the eastern Indian musical and more abstract work by group such as Comus, Dando Shaft, The Trees, Spirogyra, Forest, and Jan Dukes De Grey, but commercial success was ellusive for these bands and most had broken off or moved in very different directions by about 1973.[26] Perhaps the finest individual work in the genre was from artists early 1970s artists like Nick Drake, Tim Buckley and John Martyn, but these can also be considered the first among the English ‘folk troubadours’ or ‘singer-songwriters’, individual performers who remained largely acoustic but who relied mostly on their own individual compositions.[28] The most successful of these was Ralph McTell, whose ‘Streets of London’ reached number 2 in the UK Single Charts in 1974, and whose music is clearly folk, but without and much reliance on tradition, virtuosity, or much evidence of attempts at fusion with other genres.[29]

Simon Nicol and Ric Sanders of Fairport Convention on stage at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2005 Electric folk is the name given to the form of folk rock pioneered in England from the late 1960s, by the band Fairport Convention.[21] It uses traditional music, and compositions in a traditional style, played on a combination of rock and traditional instruments.[4] It was most significant in the 1970s, when it was taken up by groups such as Pentangle, Steeleye Span and the Albion Band.[4] It was rapidly adopted and developed in the surrounding Celtic cultures of Brittany, where it was pioneered by Alan Stivell and bands like Malicorne; in Ireland by groups such as Horslips; and also in Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man and Cornwall, to produce Celtic rock and its derivatives.[30] It has been influential in those parts of the world with close cultural connections to Britain, such as the USA and Canada and gave rise to the sub-genre of Medieval folk rock and the fusion genres of folk punk and folk metal.[4] By the 1980s the genre was in steep decline in popularity, but has survived and revived in significance as part of a more general folk resurgence since the 1990s.[4]

Folk punk
In the mid-1980s a new rebirth of English folk began, this time fusing folk forms with energy and political aggression derived from punk rock. Leaders included The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Oyster Band, Billy Bragg and The Pogues. Folk dance music also became popular in the 80s, with the English Country Blues Band and Tiger Moth. The decade later saw the use of reggae with English folk music by the band Edward II & the Red Hot Polkas,

Electric folk

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especially on their seminal Let’s Polkasteady from 1987.

Folk music of England
The peak of traditional English folk, like progressive and electric folk, was the mid- to late-1970s, when, for a time it threatened to break through into the mainstream, however, by the end of the decade it was in decline. The attendance at, and numbers of folk clubs began to decrease, probably as new musical and social trends, including punk rock, new wave and electronic music began to dominate.[4] Although many acts like Martin Carthy and the Watersons continued to perform successfully, there were very few significant new acts pursuing traditional forms in the 1980s. This all began to change with a new generation in the 1990s. The arrival and sometimes mainstream success of acts like Kate Rusby, Nancy Kerr, Kathryn Tickell, Spiers and Boden, Seth Lakeman and Eliza Carthy, all largely concerned with acoustic performance of traditional material, marked a radical turn around in the fortunes of the tradition.[24] This was reflected in the adoption creation of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2000, which gave the music a much needed status and focus and the profile of folk music is as high in England today as it has been for over thirty years.

Folk metal
In a process strikingly similar to the origins of electric folk in the 1960s, the English thrash metal band Skyclad added violins from a session musician on several tracks for their 1990 debut album The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth. When this was well received they adopted a full time fiddle player and moved towards a signature folk and jig style leading them to be credited as the pioneers of folk metal. This directly inspired the Dublin based band Cruachan to use traditional Irish music in creating the Celtic metal subgenre. Attempts have been made elsewhere to replicate this process with examples ranging from the Middle Eastern folk music of Orphaned Land, the Baltic folk music of Skyforger and the Scandinavian folk music of Korpiklaani. In Germany this trend is more closely associated with the neo-medieval music known as medieval metal.

Traditional folk resurgence 1990-Present

Folk clubs
Although there were a handful of clubs that allowed space for the performance of traditional folk music by the early 1950s, its major boost came from the short-lived British skiffle craze, from about 1956-8.[21] New clubs included the ‘Ballad and Blues’ club in a pub in Soho, co-founded by Ewan MacColl.[13] As the craze subsided from the mid 1950s many of these clubs began to shift towards the performance of English traditional folk material.[21] Many became strict ‘policy clubs’, that pursued a pure and traditional form of music.[13] By the mid 1960s there were probably over 300 in Britain.[21] Most clubs were simply a regular gathering, usually in the back or upstairs room of a public house on a weekly basis.[4] They were largely a phenomenon of the urbanised middle classes and known for the amateur nature of many performances.[4] There were also ‘residents’, who performed regular short sets of songs.[31] Many of these later emerged as major performers in their own right, including A. L. Lloyd, Martin Carthy, and Shirley Collins.[4] A later generation of performers used the folk club circuit for highly

Eliza Carthy


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successful mainstream careers, including Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrott, Ian Dury and Barbara Dickson.[21] The number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s, in the face of changing musical and social trends. But the decline began to stabilize in the mid-1990s with the resurgence of interest in folk music and there are now over 160 folk clubs in the United Kingdom, including many that can trace their origins back to the 1950s.[32]

Folk music of England

Folk music and the radio
The difficulty of gaining regular appearances on television in England has long meant that radio has remained the major popular medium for increasing awareness of the genre. The most consistent source of folk music on radio, was BBC Radio 2. In 1967 "My Kind of folk" was broadcast on Wednesdays. In 1970 "Folk on Friday" began, presented by Jim Lloyd. In 1972 it became "Folk on Sunday".[33] "Folkweave" was presented by Tony Capstick 1975-8. "Folk on Two" (Wednesdays) began in 1980. In 1998 Jim Lloyd retired from the program and was replaced by Mike Harding. In 2007 it was renamed "The Mike Harding Folk Show". Ian A. Anderson, editor of "fRoots", also presented the occasional series for Radio Two. He hosted a World music program on "Jazz FM" and then spent 10 years broadcasting on the BBC World Service. He now hosts "fRoots Radio" on the web.[34] For over twenty years Charlie Gillett presented World music on BBC London, until 2006. Although it is rarely mentioned, John Peel frequently included folk music of his "Top Gear" show on Radio One from 1968, but dropped it suddenly when punk arrived.[4]

The Cambridge Folk Festival 2008 is Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, which since 1979 has provided a venue for folk, electric folk and rock artists and now attracts up to 20,000 people a year as well as performances for Fairport Convention and their friends.[35] Like rock festivals, folk festivals have begun to multiply since the 1990s and there are over a hundred folk festivals or varying sizes held in England every year.[36]

Forms of folk music
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative story and set to music. Many ballads were written and sold as single sheet broadsides. They are usually narrative in structure and make considerable use of repetition.[37] The traditional ballad has been seen as originating with the wandering minstrels of late medieval Europe.[37] There have been many different and contradictory attempts to classify traditional ballads by theme, but commonly identified types are religious, supernatural, tragic, love, historic, legends and humour.[37]

Folk festivals
Folk festivals began to be organised by the EFDSS from about 1950, usually as local or regional event with an emphasis on dance, like the Sidmouth Festival (from 1955) and the Keele Festival (1965), which was abandoned in 1981 but reinstituted three years later as the National Folk Festival. The EFDSS gave up its organizing role in these festivals in the 1980s and most are locally run and financed.[4] One of the largest and most prestigious English folk festivals at Cambridge was founded in 1965 and attracts about 10,000 people.[4] Probably the largest

A carol is a festive song, usually connected with a religious festival, particularly Christmas. They were derived from a form of circle dance accompanied by singers, which was popular from the mid-twelfth century.[5] From the fourteenth century they were used as processional songs, particularly at Advent, Easter and Christmas, and to accompany religious mystery plays.[6] They declined after the Protestant Reformation which banned many religious festivals, but some famous carols were written in this period, including ’The Holly and the Ivy’ and they were more


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strongly revived from the nineteenth century and began to be written and adapted by eminent composers.[38]

Folk music of England
Children’s songs, unlike folk songs, have remained part of a living and continuous tradition, for although added to from other sources and affected by written versions, most adults pass on songs they learned from oral sources as children.[41]

Children’s songs

Erotic folk songs
It has been noted by most recent commentators on English folk song, that love, the erotic and even the pornographic, were major traditional themes and, if more than ballads are considered, may have been the largest groups of printed songs.[43] Many collectors in the first revival either ignored such songs, or bowdlerized them for publication, as Francis Child and Cecil Sharp did in their collections.[20] In the second revival, erotic folk song was much more accepted as part of the canon of traditional song, helped by the publication of books such as Gershon Legman’s, The Horn Book: Studies in Erotic Folklore (1964) and Ed Cray’s, The Erotic Muse: American Bawdy Songs, which printed many previously unpublished songs (1968).[44] In England A. L. Lloyd was the key figure in introducing erotic songs to the canon, lecturing and publishing on the subject, he recorded The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs in 1959, and then The Bird in the Bush, Traditional Erotic Songs in 1966 with Frankie Armstrong, and Anne Briggs.[4] He drew a distinction between erotic songs, that dealt with love and suggested sexuality through innuendo (like ’The Bonny Black Hare’ and ’The Bird in the Bush’) and pornographic songs that were explicit and unworthy of attention.[45] Some authors find these distinctions more difficult to maintain, however, although erotic songs became part of the standard fare in folk club and among electric folk musicians, relatively few of the more explicit songs have been placed on record.[46]

John Newbery’s A Little Pretty Pocket Book The earliest vernacular children’s songs in Europe are lullabies from the later medieval period.[39] From soon after we have records of short children’s rhyming songs, but most nursery rhymes were not written down until the eighteenth century.[40] The first English collections were Tommy Thumb’s Song Book and a sequel, Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book, are both thought to have been published before 1744, and John Newbery’s, Mother Goose’s Melody, or, Sonnets for the Cradle (c.1785), is the first record we have of many classic rhymes.[41] These rhymes seem to have come from a variety of sources, including traditional riddles, proverbs, ballads, lines of Mummers’ plays, drinking songs, historical events, and, it has been suggested, ancient pagan rituals.[41] Roughly half of the current body recognised ’traditional’ English rhymes were known by the mid-eighteenth century.[40] From this period we sometimes know the origins and authors of rhymes, like ’Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, which combined an eighteenth century French tune with a poem by English writer Jane Taylor and ’Mary Had a Little Lamb’, written by Sarah Josepha Hale of Boston in 1830.[41] The first, and possibly the most important collection to focus in this area was, James Orchard Halliwell’s, The Nursery Rhymes of England (1842) and Popular Rhymes and Tales in 1849.[42] At the height of the revival Sabine Baring-Gould produced A Book of Nursery Songs (1895), and Andrew Lang produced The Nursery Rhyme Book in 1897.[40]

The hornpipe is a form of dance music thought to have taken its name from a English reed instrument by at least the seventeenth century.[12] In the mid-eighteenth century it changed from 3/2 time to 2/2, assuming its modern character, and probably reaching the height of its popularity as it became a staple of theatrical performances.[47] It is most often associated with the Sailor’s


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Hornpipe, but has formed the basis of many individual and group country dances into the modern period.[48] Like many dances it was taken up in Scotland and Ireland and given a distinctive national character and moved to America with emigration.[49]

Folk music of England
seventeenth century, particularly in pastoral areas, but was suppressed, along with associated festivals during and after the English Civil War.[53] It recovered after the Restoration in 1660 but was in steep decline after agricultural and industrial revolutions by the nineteenth century, when collectors like Cecil Sharp recorded the practice, particularly from versions of dance he found in the Cotswolds.[13] This led to a revival of the tradition, although it may also have affected form and practice.[54] Morris dance took something of a back seat to unaccompanied singing in the second revival, but received a further boost when it attracted the attention of electric folk musicians like Ashley Hutchings, who produced several albums of dance music, including the influential Morris On series from 1972.[4] Traditionally Morris dance was accompanied by either a pipe and tabor or a fiddle, but from the mid-nineteenth century most common instruments were the melodeon, accordion, concertina and drums.[55] Particularly in Cotswold and Border morris, many tunes are linked to particular dances. Morris dance survives in the distinct local traditions of Cotswold morris, north-west morris, Border Morris, rapper dance and Long Sword dance.

Jigs are a form of dance music developed in England to accompany a lively dance with steps, turns and leaps. The term jig was derived from the French giguer, meaning ’to jump’.[12] It was known as a dance in the sixteenth century, often in 2/4 time and the term was used for a dancing entertainment in sixteenth century plays.[50] The dance began to be associated with music particularly in 6/8 time, and with slip jigs 9/8 time.[49] In the seventeenth century the dance was adopted in Ireland and Scotland, where they were widely adapted, and with which countries they are now most often associated.[51]

Morris dance

Protest songs
Perhaps the oldest clear example of an English protest songs is the rhyme ‘When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?’, used in the Peasants Revolt of 1381.[56] Songs that celebrated social bandits like Robin Hood, from the fourteenth century onwards can be seen as a more subtle form of protest.[57] With the Levellers and Diggers in the mid-seventeenth century, more overt criticism surfaced, as in the ballad ’The Diggers’ Song’.[58] From roughly the same period songs of protest at war, pointing out the costs to human lives, also begin to appear, like ‘The Maunding Souldier or The Fruits of Warre is Beggery’, framed as a begging appeal from a crippled soldier of the Thirty Years War.[59] With industrialisation from the eighteenth century.[60] A surprising English folk hero immortalised in song is Napoleon Bonaparte, in songs such as the ‘Bonny Bunch of Roses’ and ‘Napoleon’s Dream’.[61] As labour became more organised songs were used as anthems and propaganda, for miners with songs like ‘The Black

English Elizabethan clown Will Kempe dancing a jig from Norwich to London in 1600 A morris dance is a form of English folk dance, usually accompanied by music, and based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers, often using implements such as sticks, swords, and handkerchiefs. The name is thought to derive from the term ’moorish dance’, for Spanish (Muslim) styles of dance and may derive from English court dances of the period.[52] References have been found that suggest that morris dance dates back to the mid-fifteenth century, but claims of preChristian origins are now largely dismissed.[3] Morris dance appears to have been widespread in England by the early


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leg Miner’, and for factory workers with songs like ‘The Factory Bell’.[62] These industrial protest songs were largely ignored during the first English folk revival of the later nineteenth and early twentieth century, but were recorded by figures like A. L. Lloyd on albums such as The Iron Muse (1963).[4] In the 1980s the anarchist rock band Chumbawamba recorded several versions of traditional English protest as English Rebel Songs 1381-1914.[63] Ewan MacColl became the leading writter of English protest songs in the 1950s, with pro-communist songs such as ’The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh’ and ’The Ballad of Stalin’, as well as volatile protest and topical songs concerning the nuclear threat to peace, most notably ’Against the Atom Bomb’.[64] The leading voice of protest in Thatcherite Britain in the 1980s was Billy Bragg, whose style of protest song and grassroots political activism was mostly reminiscent of those of Woody Guthrie.[65]

Folk music of England
from the nineteenth century.[66] Shanties were usually slow rhythmic songs designed to help with collective tasks on labour intensive sailing and later steam ships. Many were in the form of call and response songs, with one voice (the shantyman) singing a lead line and the rest of the sailors giving a response together. There were derived from varied sources, including dances, folk songs, polkas, waltzes and even West African worksongs.[67] Since different songs were useful for different tasks they are traditionally divided into three main categories, short haul shanties, for tasks requiring quick pulls over a relatively short time; halyard shanties, for heavier work requiring more setup time between pulls; and Capstan shanties, for long, repetitive tasks requiring a sustained rhythm, but not involving working the lines.[67] Famous shanties include, the ’Drunken Sailor’ and ’Blow the Man Down’. There was some interest in sea shanties in the first revival from figures like Percy Grainger.[68] In the second revival A. L. Lloyd attempted to popularise them, recording several albums of sea songs from 1965.[4]

Sea shanties

War songs
In England songs about military and naval subjects were a major part of the output of ballad writers from the sixteenth century onwards, including one of the earliest British ballads ‘The Ballad of Chevy Chase’, which deals with the events of the Scottish victory of the Battle of Otterburn in 1388 and may date to the early fifteenth century.[69] The conflicts between England and Spain in the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries produced a number of ballads describing events, particularly naval conflicts like those of the Spanish Armada.[59] The English Civil War (1642-1653) produced a sub-genre of ‘Cavalier ballads’, including ‘When the King Home in Peace Again’.[70] Many of these were adapted and reused by Jacobites after the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.[71] The Anglo-French Wars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw more descriptive works, usually couched in patriotic terms, but some, like ‘Captain Death’ (1757) dealt with loss and defeat.[59] As regimental identities emerged songs were adopted for marching, like ‘The British Grenadiers’, based on a seventeenth century dance tune.[72] Output became a flood during the Revolutionary and

Sailors working at a capstan with musical accompaniment Sea shanties are a form of work song traditionally sung by sailors. Derived from the French word ’chanter’, meaning ’to sing’, they may date from as early as the fifteenth century, but most recorded examples derive


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Napoleonic Wars (1797-1815), seeing numerous patriotic war songs, like ‘Heart of Oak’ and the emergence of a stereotype of the English seaman as ‘Jolly Jack Tar’, who appeared in many ballads and on stage.[73] As the musical hall began to take over the lead in popular music and folk song declined, folk song ceased to deal with contemporary wars in the later nineteenth century.

Folk music of England

Work songs
Work songs include music sung while conducting a task (often to coordinate timing) or a song linked to a task or trade which might be a connected narrative, description, or protest song. The two main forms of work song in England are agricultural work songs, usually are rhythmic a cappella songs sung by people working on a physical and often repetitive task, like the ’Harvest song’ common in south-west England.[74] The songs were probably intended to increase productivity while reducing feelings of boredom.[75] Rhythms of work songs can serve to synchronize physical movement in a group or gang. Industrial folk song emerged in Britain in the eighteenth century, as workers took the forms of music with which they were familiar, including ballads and agricultural work songs, and adapted them to their new experiences and circumstances.[76] Unlike agricultural work songs, it was often unnecessary to use music to synchronise actions between workers, as the pace would be increasingly determined by water, steam, chemical and eventually electric power, and frequently impossible because of the noise of early industry.[77] As a result, industrial folk songs tended to be descriptive of work, circumstances, or political in nature, making them amongst the earliest protest songs and were sung between work shifts or in leisure hours, rather than during work. This pattern can be seen in textile production, mining and eventually steel, shipbuilding, rail working and other industries.[76] The red party attending the red ’obby ’oss in the Padstow mayday festival. songs and carols share the same root as Breton tunes.[78] From the late middle ages the fiddle (crowd in Cornish), bombarde (hornpipe), bagpipes and harp all seem to have been used in music. The Cornish bagpipes died out, as elsewhere in southern England, in the sixteenth century, but have recently been re-created.[79] From the mid-nineteenth century accordions became progressively more popular as a folk instrument in the county, as in the rest of the West Country. There is long and varied history of Cornish dance from the medieval period, with records of strong traditions of morris dancing, mumming, guising, and social dance.[80] These seem to have been interrupted by the Reformation and Civil War and Commonwealth in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.[81] However, there was revival from the late eighteenth century and seasonal and community festivals, mumming and guising all flourished.[82] In the nineteenth century a strong tradition of nonconformity and temperance may also have affected dancing and music adversely and encouraged choral and brass band movements, while traditional tunes were used for carols. Some community events survived, such as the ’Obby ’Oss festival in Padstow and the Furry Dance in Helston.[83] Folk songs include ‘Sweet Nightingale’, ‘Little Eyes’, and ‘Lamorna’. ’Trelawny’ is often sung at sporting events and is seen by many as an unofficial anthem.[84] Few traditional Cornish lyrics survived the decline of the language, but in some cases lyrics of common English songs became attached to older Cornish tunes.[85] Some folk tunes have Cornish lyrics written since the language revival of the 1920s.[85] Modern Cornish musicians include the former Cornish folk singer

Regional traditions
The music of Cornwall is often noted for its similarity to that of Britanny and, as a result of the close physical and cultural ties between the two peninsulas, some older


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brenda Wootton and the Cornish-Breton family band Anao Atao.[85] Recently bands like Sacred Turf, Skwardya and Krena, have begun performing electric folk in the Cornish language.[86] The Cornwall Folk Festival has been held annually for more than three decades.[87]

Folk music of England
theatrical productions was probably one of the most influential musicians of the post revival period.[92] East Anglia made a contribution to the electric folk scene of the 1970s, producing the short-lived, but more recently reformed, bands Midwinter and Stone Angel, based in Great Yarmouth and the more successful Spriguns of Tolgus from Cambridge, who produced four albums.[93] The most successful folk artists from the region in recent years are probably the Essex born Billy Bragg and the Norfolk born Beth Orton.[94] The region is home to numerous folk clubs and hosts many folk festivals, including Steeleye Span’s Spanfest at Kentwell Hall, Suffolk and the Cambridge Folk Festival, generally seen as the most prestigious in the calendar.[95] Since 2000 the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust has been promoting folk music in the region, organising a ‘Traditional Music Day’ every year in August.[96]

East Anglia
Despite enjoying relative geographical uniformity and history East Anglia is often seen as the region of England with the weakest attachment to regional identity, at least outside of the historical kingdom of East Anglia.[88] Like many regions of England there are few distinctive local instruments and many songs were shared with the rest of Britain and with Ireland, although the distinct dialects of the regions sometimes lent them a particular stamp and, with one of the longest coastlines of any English region, songs about the sea were also particularly important. Along with the West Country, this was one of the regions that most firmly adopted reed instruments, producing many eminent practitioners of the melodeon from the mid-nineteenth century. Also like the West Country it is one of the few regions where there is still an active tradition of step dancing and like the Midlands the tradition of Molly dance died out in the 1930s.[89] The region was relatively neglected by folk song collectors of the first revival. Lucy Broadwood and Cecil Sharp collected in Cambridgeshire, as did and Vaughan Williams as well as in Norfolk and Essex from 1905, but most important regional figure was composer Ernest John Moeran, who collected over 150 songs in Norfolk and Suffolk in the 1920s.[90] The second folk revival led to the discovery of many East Anglian folk musicians, including Suffolk melodeon player Oscar Woods, Norfolk singers Sam Larner (1878-1965), Harry Cox (1885-1971) and Walter Pardon (1914-96); Suffolk fiddler Harkie Nesling (1890-1978); Suffolk singer and bargeman Bob Roberts (1907-82), many of whom recorded for Topic Records.[91] Perhaps the most influential folk dance musical album was English Country Dance Music (1965), put together by Reg Hall and Bob Davenport with largely Norfolk musicians, it was the first instrumental recording of folk instruments.[24] Also from Norfolk was Peter Bellamy, who in solo projects, with the Young Tradition and in


Street vendors in an eighteenth century print Despite being the centre of both folk revivals and the electric folk movement, the songs of London were largely neglected in favour of regional and rural music until relatively recently. London, unsurprisingly, was the most common location mentioned in English folk songs, including ‘London is a Fine Town’, and the ‘London Prentice’ and it was the centre of the broadside publishing industry.[59] From the seventeenth century to the nineteenth, street singers were characteristic of London life, often selling printed versions of the songs they sung.[97] The capital was home to the Folk-Song Society and the English Folk Dance Society from the late nineteenth century, but the most distinctive form of London music, its many street cries, were not considered folk music by mainstream collectors


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and were recorded and published by figures such as Andrew White in Old London Street Cries ; and, The Cries of To-day (1885).[98] Both Ewan McColl and A. L. Lloyd gravitated to London in the 1950s, it was the base of Topic Records and it was there that the first folk clubs were formed before they spread out across the country.[4] It was also the home of folk musicians like Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol who formed Fairport Convention, and many artists, like Bert Jansch and Davy Graham, moved there in order to be able to pursue their careers or for the greater networks and opportunities the capital allowed.[99] More recent performers of folk music include Noah and the Whale, Emma Lee Moss and Mumford and Sons.[100]

Folk music of England
Jackson in her study of Shropshire folk lore.[103] Cecil Sharp’s interest in the region was largely confined to the south, particularly the Cotswold morris villages of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, which provided him with an archetype of English ceremonial dance.[13] From 1905 Percy Grainger was actively collecting in Lincolnshire, acquiring recordings of songs that would provide the basis for his Lincolnshire Posy (1937).[104] It was not until the early 1970s that the broader heritage of the region, including the many industrial and work songs associated with mining or The Potteries, began to gain serious attention.[105] Despite this neglect there was an active folk scene in the region, which produced several key artists of the second revival from the 1960s, including Anne Briggs from Nottinghamshire, The Settlers from the West Midlands and from Birmingham one of the most influential groups of the period, the Ian Campbell Folk Group, which numbered among its members later electric folk musicians Dave Swarbrick and Dave Pegg.[21] Slightly later a number of folk groups came out of Derbyshire, including The Druids, Ram’s Bottom Band and Muckram Wakes, which included one of the most highly regarded modern performers John Tams.[21] Lincolnshire has produced Martin Simpson, perhaps the most highly regarded guitarist of his generation.[106] Birmingham’s position as a centre for folk music has been emphasised by its place as the home of the Birmingham Conservatoire Folk Ensemble, led by former Albion Band fiddler Joe Broughton, which provides something of a clearing house of promising young folk musicians.[107] The regions has numerous folk clubs and host many major folk festivals, including those of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, Loughborough in Leicestershire, Shrewsbury in Shropshire and Warwick.[108]

The Midlands
The English Midlands, with its lack of a clear boundaries and obvious identity, was one of the areas that attracted relatively little interest in the folk revivals, however, it does possess distinct folk traditions and has produced a number of important performers. Perhaps unsurprisingly the sound of Midland folk music is less distinctive than for many other regions. We know that there were some particular local instruments, such as the Lincolnshire bagpipes, but the last player, John Hunsley, died in the nineteenth century and no actual examples of the pipes have survived.[101] From the nineteenth century the instruments used appear to have been much like those in other regions, with fiddles, accordions and eventually silver and brass. Although, some traditions, like Molly dance died out in the 1930s, the Midlands retained strong traditions of both ceremonial and social dance, particularly in the south Midlands and Cotswolds and in the distinctive Border Morris from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.[24] The region also furnished some important material for folk songs, including a (disputed) claim by Nottinghamshire for one of the most popular series of ballads, that of Robin Hood, while local places appear in songs such as ‘The Leicester Chambermaid’ and ‘Oxford’ or ‘Worcester City’.[102] Folk song collecting in the first revival was much less comprehensive than for many other regions. In the 1860s Llewellynn Jewitt, collected songs from Derbyshire, and some songs were printed by Georgina F.

The North West
Although relatively neglected in the first folk revival North West England had a rich tradition of balladry stretching back at least to the seventeenth century and sharing in the tradition of Border ballads, including what is often said to be the finest, ‘The Ballad of Chevy Chase’, thought to have been composed by the Lancashire born minstrel Richard Sheale.[109] Lancashire in particular was a common location for folk songs, including


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
‘The Lancashire Miller’, ‘Warrington Ale’ and ‘The soldier’s farewell to Manchester’, beside several local Wassailing songs.[109] With a variety of dialects and acting as something of a crossroads for the cultures and immigrants of England, Scotland and Ireland, there is a distinctive local character to folk music, which expressed itself in local enthusiasm that emerged as a major factor within the wider folk movement in the second revival. The key event in the history of folk music in the counties of the north west of England was the Industrial Revolution, which divided the region economically and culturally into a northern, often highland and pastoral region, in Westmorland and Cumberland from a more urbanised and industrialised southern zone with large and growing conurbations like Manchester, and Liverpool, where changing social and economic patterns emerged in new traditions and forms of folk song, often linked to migration and patterns of work, these included processional dances, often associated with rushbearing and the Wakes Week festivities and forms of step dance, most famously clog dancing.[110] These were very different to the forms of dance that collectors like Cecil Sharp had encountered in the Cotswolds and were largely dismissed by him as contaminated by urbanisation, yet they were, and remain a thriving tradition of music and dance.[13] A local pioneer of folk song collection in the first half of the nineteenth century in Lancashire was Shakespearian scholar James Orchard Halliwell, and he was followed a little later by John Harland, William E. Axon, Thomas T. Wilkinson and Sidney Gilpin, who performed a similar service for Cumberland.[111] Most of these works, although important in unearthing, and in some cases preserving, locally relevant ballads, largely depended on manuscript sources, rather than oral collection and often did not give tunes, but only lyrics.[109] It was not until the second folk revival that the full range of song from the region began to gain attention. The region not only produced one of the major figures of the revival in Ewan McColl, but also a local champion in Harry Boardman, who from 1965 onwards probably did more than anyone to popularise and record the industrial folk song of the region, in several albums and books.[112] The region produced no significant bands in the electric folk movement of the 1970s, but it can claim one of the most significant

Folk music of England
figures, as Maddy Prior was brought up in Blackpool. However, perhaps the most influential folk artists to emerge from the region in this period were folk troubadour Roy Harper and comedian and broadcaster Mike Harding.[113] More recently it has produced some significant performers including guitarist Ken Nicol and mother and daughter singer songwriters Chris and Kellie While.[114] The region is home to numerous folk clubs, many of them catering to Irish and Scots folk. Folk festivals include Flyde Folk Festival at Fleetwood in Lancashire.[115]


Billy Purvis (1784-1853) one of the last travelling minstral pipers of the south of Scotland and the north east of England. The ancient region of Northumbria possesses a distinctive style of folk music with a flourishing and continuing tradition.[24] The region is particularly noted for the unique Northumbrian smallpipe and strong fiddle tradition in the region that was already wellestablished in the 1690s. Northumbrian music is characterised by considerable influence from other regions, particularly southern Scotland, other parts of the north of England and Ireland.[24] Local tunes were collected from the mid-eighteenth century by figures


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
including Henry Atkinson and William Vickers and in the first revival by John Bell, Bruce. J. Collingwood and John Stokoe.[116] The Northumbrian Small Pipes Society was founded in Newcastle in 1893 and the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society in 1928, and they are generally credited with keeping the distinctive tradition alive.[117] Border ballads were a major part of those collected by Francis James Child and make up most of the sixth volume of his ten volume collection of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-98).[118] The second folk revival saw a number of acts drawing on this work, and enjoying some success and probably the most influential piper from the region was Billy Pigg.[23] Performers such Louis Killen, The High Level Ranters and Bob Davenport brought Northumbrian folk to national and international audiences.[24] The 1970s saw folk rock bands like Lindisfarne, and the more traditionally focused Jack the Lad and Hedgehog Pie.[24] More recently, Northumbrian folk music, and particularly the use of the Northumbrian pipes, has become one of the liveliest and most widely known forms of folk music in Britain, with artists like fiddler Nancy Kerr and piper Kathryn Tickell gaining international reputations.[24] Currently the region has over thirty active folk clubs and hosts several major folk festivals, including the Traditional Music Festival at Rothbury.[119]

Folk music of England
several figures, with probably the most important being Martin Carthy from Hertfordshire. The most significant electric folk group from the region were the Oyster Band, formed in Canterbury, while guitarist John Martyn came from Surrey and fiddle player Chris Leslie from Banbury in Oxfordshire. From the current crop of young folk musicians probably the most prominent are Spiers and Boden from Oxfordshire and Chris Wood, born in Kent. The region is host to numerous folk clubs, and festivals, including the Oxford festival and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention in Oxfordshire and St Albans in Hertfordshire.[122]

Sussex has had an impact on the history of English folk music above its size. This was due to a flourishing tradition of folk dance, mummers plays and folk song, but also in part because of the rural nature of the county in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and yet its relatively close proximity to London. It was thus a rich and convenient place for the for collectors of the first folk song revival, including Kate Lee, Lucy Broadwood and W. P. Merrick.[123] Sussex material was used by the composers of the English pastoral school, for example in Percy Grainger’s arrangement of the ‘The Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol’, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ use of the tune ‘Monk’s Gate’ as a setting for John Bunyan’s ‘To be a Pilgrim’ and George Butterworth’s arrangement of ’Folk Songs from Sussex’.[124] Most important of the collector’s sources were the Copper Family of Rottingdean, who emerged as authorities on folk song and eventually as major recording artists.[125] Sussex folk song also had a formative impact on one of the major figures of the second revival, as it was as a child of five in Sussex that A. L. Lloyd first heard folk music.[126] Other performers include include Scan Tester, Henry Burstow and the sisters Dolly and Shirley Collins. Sussex songs were also the foundation of the repertoire of the influential Young Tradition.[127] The county has over twenty folk clubs and other venues hosting folk music by organisations such as Acoustic Sussex. There are also annual folk music festivals at Eastbourne, Crawley and Lewes.[128]

The South East
See also: #Sussex and #London Even excluding Sussex and London, Southeast England has been one of the key areas of English folk music and collection. It had retained a strong tradition of wassailing, and sea faring songs were important in the coastal counties of Kent and Hampshire. Arguably the published collection of oral material was made in this area by John Broadwood, as Old English Songs, As Now Sung by the Peasantry of the Weald of Surrey and Sussex (1843).[120] When the first revival was at its height in the first decade of the twentieth century, George Gardiner and Alice Gillington both collected songs in Hampshire, Lucy Broadwood in Surrey, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, Alfred Williams in Oxfordshire and Berkshire and Cecil Sharp in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Kent.[121] In the second folk revival the region contributed


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Folk music of England
Revival’.[132] In the 1970s there were figures such as Tony Rose.[133] The same period saw one of the most surprising hybrids in music history Scrumpy and Western with bands like the Wurzels and The Yetties, who took most of the elements of West Country folk music for comical folk-style songs with affectionate parodies of more mainstream musical genres, delivered in local West Country dialects.[134] More seriously, the West Country and particularly Devon, have produced some of the most successful folk artists of recent years, including singer Jackie Oates, Show of Hands, Mark Bazeley and Jason Rice and Seth Lakeman and his brothers.[135] The region has numerous folk clubs and annual festivals, including those at Portsmouth and the first modern English folk festival to be established at Sidmouth in Devon.[136]

The West Country
See also: #Cornwall

Seth Lakeman on stage in 2008 Outside of Cornwall the Celtic influence on music in the West Country is much less obvious, but folk music still retains some distinctive local characteristics. Like Cornwall there are very strong traditions of folk dance and mumming, with the best known the Hobby horse celebrations at Minehead in Somerset.[129] The maritime heritage of Devon in particular means that sea shanties and naval or sea ballads have been an important part of regional folk music as were hornpipes.[68] From the nineteenth century accordions have been popular for folk music in this area and have become an accepted part of the local folk sound. Folk songs from the West Country include ‘Widecombe Fair’ and ‘Farewell ye Spanish Ladies’ and ‘The Seeds of Love.’ The region was important in the first folk revival, as the Devon born antiquarian Sabine BaringGould invested effort in collecting regional music, published as Songs and Ballads of the West (1889–91), the first collection published for the mass market. He later collaborated with Cecil Sharp who with Charles Marson produced a three volume Folk-Songs from Somerset (1904-09).[130] Other collectors included Henry and Robert Hammond for Dorset, Reverend Geoffrey Hill for Wiltshire and Percy Grainger in Gloucestershire, but perhaps the most famous product of these efforts was Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ’Folk Songs from Somerset’, part of his English Folk Song Suite.[131] In the second folk revival, the most famous West country musicians were melodeon-player Bob Cann and writer, performer and broadcaster Cyril Tawney, ’The Father of the West Country Folk

Yorkshire has a rich heritage of folk music and folk dance including particularly Long Sword dance.[137] Folk songs were collected there from the nineteenth century, and it probably had more attention than other northern couinties, but its its rich heritage of northern and industrial folk song was relatively neglected.[138] It was not until the second revival in the 1950s that Nigel and Mary Hudleston began to attempt to redress the balance collecting Yorkshire songs between 1958 and 1978.[139] Yorkshire folk song lacked the unique instrumental features of folk in areas like Northumbria and was chiefly distinguished by the use of dialect, particularly in the West Riding and exemplified by the song ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ’at’, probably written in the later nineteenth century and using a Kent folk tune (almost certainly borrowed via a Methodist hymnal), but often seen as an unofficial Yorkshire anthem.[140] Most Yorkshire folk songs were not unique and tended to be adapted to fit local geography and dialect, as was the case with probably the most commercially successful Yorkshire song, ‘Scarborough Fair’, recorded by Simon and Garfunkel, which was a version of the Scottish ballad ‘The Elfin Knight’.[141] The most famous folk performers from the county are the Watersons from Hull, who began recording Yorkshire versions of folk songs from 1965.[142] Other Yorkshire folk musicians include Heather Wood (b. 1945) of the Young Tradition, the


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
short-lived electric folk group Mr Fox (1970-2), The Deighton Family, Julie Matthews, Kathryn Roberts, and the Mercury Prize nominated Kate Rusby.[142] Even considering its position as the largest county in England, Yorkshire has a flourishing folk music culture, with over forty folk clubs and thirty annual folk music festivals.[143] In 2007 the Yorkshire Garland Group was formed to make Yorkshire folk songs accessible online and in schools.[144]

Folk music of England
[12] ^ J. Ling, L. Schenck, R. Schenck, A History of European Folk Music (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1997), pp. 123, 160 and 194. [13] ^ G. Boyes, The Imagined Village: Culture, Ideology, and the English Folk Revival (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993), p. 214. [14] W. B. Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London, 1833); W. Chappell, A Collection of National English Airs (London, 1838) and R. Bell, Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England (London, 1846). [15] D. Russell, Popular Music in England, 1840-1914: A Social History (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1987), pp. 160-90. [16] D. Kift, The Victorian Music Hall: Culture, Class, and Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 17. [17] W. Boosey, Fifty Years of Music (1931, Read Books, 2007), p. 161. [18] D. Harker, Fake Song: the Manufacture of British "folksong" 1700 to the Present Day (Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1985). [19] A. J. Millard, America on Record: A History of Recorded Sound (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 245. [20] ^ M. Shiach, Discourse on Popular Culture: Class, Gender, and History in Cultural Analysis, 1730 to the Present, (Standford CA: Stanford University Press, 1989), p. 122 and 129. [21] ^ M. Brocken, The British Folk Revival, 1944-2002 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), pp. 6, 8, 32, 38, 53-63, 68-70, 74-8, 97, 99, 103, 112-4 and 132. [22] S. Sadie and A. Latham, The Cambridge Music Guide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. 472. [23] ^ J. Connell and C. Gibson, Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity, and Place (Routledge, 2003), pp. 34-6. [24] ^ S. Broughton, M. Ellingham, R. Trillo, O. Duane, V. Dowell, World Music: The Rough Guide (London: Rough Guides, 1999), pp. 66-8 and 79-80. [25] R. F. Schwartz, How Britain Got the Blues: The Transmission and Reception of American Blues Style in the United Kingdom (Aldershot Ashgate, 2007), pp, 65-6.

[1] E. I. Page, Life in Anglo-Saxon England (London: Batsford, 1970), pp. 159-60 [2] C. Parrish, The Notation of Medieval Music (Maesteg: Pendragon Press, 1978). [3] ^ J. Forrest, The History of Morris Dancing, 1458-1750 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), p. 48. [4] ^ B. Sweers, Electric Folk: The Changing Face of English Traditional Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 32-4, 40, 45-53, 84, 94, 97, 103-5, 113-19, 184-9, 216, 232, 240-57 and 266-70. [5] ^ J. J. Walsh, Were They Wise Men Or Kings?: The Book of Christmas Questions (Westminster: John Knox Press, 2001), p. 60. [6] ^ W. J. Phillips, Carols; Their Origin, Music, and Connection with MysteryPlays (Routledge, 1921, Read Books, 2008), p. 24. [7] D. Starkey, Henry VIII: A European Court in England (London: Collins & Brown in association with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, 1991), p. 154. [8] ^ P. Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe (London: Billing, 1978), pp. 3, 17-19 and 28. [9] D. C. Price, Patrons and Musicians of the English Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p. 5. [10] J. Wainwright, P. Holman, From Renaissance to Baroque: Change in Instruments and Instrumental Music in the Seventeenth Century (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005). [11] M. Chanan, Musica Practica: The Social Practice of Western Music from Gregorian Chant to Postmodernism (London: Verso, 1994), p. 179.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Folk music of England

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