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Thread: Folk Song Classics

  1. #1
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    Folk Song Classics

    The obvious place to start on this thread is with 'I sowed the seeds of love'.



    This was the first English folk song recorded by Cecil Sharp and marked the start of the Folk Song Revival of the early twentieth century.

    The lyrics can be found here along with more details of the historic occasion:
    http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/6.html
    Last edited by Ella Beck; Dec-15-2018 at 16:31.
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    Not that old - the earliest complete text is a broadside in the Bodleian Library, dated 1804, "The Miller Weaver and Little Tailor".It is also known as "In Good King Arthur's Days". The song is quoted by Thomas Hardy in "Under the Greenwood Tree". It was one of the songs that I heard in the 1950's at school as part of Music and Movement. It was also sung by the Kingston Trio. This is a nice version by Tim Hart with Maddy Prior (?) on lead vocals.
    Last edited by Taggart; Dec-15-2018 at 17:52.
    Lang may yer Lum Reek!

  3. #3
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    I am glad to see a post of yours which addresses the thread issue, @John Watt, even though I don't accept your analysis of folk song history, American or otherwise.

    I like Woody Guthrie, though I don't think that 'This Land is Your Land' is one of his best.
    That's because the melody is too unsubtle, and because it hasn't got the darker, more thought-provoking lyrics which characterise his finest work - in my opinion.

    It's true - there are many good 'folk songs' written in modern times by singers that we can put a name to.
    That's using the broader definition of 'folk song' as a song written in a traditional style, rather than the more generally accepted definition as a song that is transmitted through 'folk' sources, mainly oral tradition.

    Going back to songs from a genuine oral tradition - the first 'folk songs' in America in English were brought by emigrants from England & Scotland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and American Oral Tradition sometimes preserves songs that have been lost in the British and Irish folk tradition.

    The richest hunting ground for such songs is in the Appalachians, where Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles collected many such classics.

    Here's an Appalachian version of The Cherry Tree Carol, the lyrics of which may go back (in part) to the fourteenth century.

    Last edited by Ella Beck; Dec-17-2018 at 11:55.
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    'Babes in the Wood' by the Copper Family. The Babes in the Wood is a traditional tale that was published in chapbooks and broadside ballads. And the Copper Family were preserving a tradition of folk-singing in harmony. They had a big influence on the later folk group, The Young Tradition.

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  5. #5
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    See above. Young Tradition here perform a broadside ballad - the other big source of English folk songs, along with oral transmission, is the printing of cheap song books or 'chapbooks', or ballads on single sheets or 'broadsides'.

    Young Tradition - The Serving Man and the Husbandman.

    Last edited by Ella Beck; Dec-18-2018 at 16:04.
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    Not sure if this the right thread or should it be folk that isn't quite? The Young Tradition - Peter Bellamy. Royston Wood, Heather Wood - are joined by David Munrow on Shawm, Roddy and Adam Skeaping on Viols, and Christopher Hogwood on Percussion. (Yes that Christopher Hogwood) This is from 1968 the year after Hogwood co-founded the Early Music Consort with David Munrow.

    Lang may yer Lum Reek!

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    The Bonny Bunch of Roses - background here.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bonny_Bunch_of_Roses

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