Mudcat Café message #25804 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4716   Message #25804
Posted By: Helen
14-Apr-98 - 08:15 PM
Thread Name: Pagan/Folk/Earth Music Research Project
Subject: RE: Pagan/Folk/Earth Music Reasearch Project
Hi MudPuppy,

This is an interesting research project. I wish you well in it, and I think you have hit on a good idea searching for songs handed down in the folk tradtion, although you would need to make allowances for the changes that different singers may have made as they learned the song and handed it on. Social and especially religious influences would have affected the renditions so you may get some false leads which actually date back to a later time than the pagan times you are interested in.

I'd suggest finding a copy of the Child Ballads, which are in at least 12 very large volumes, if my memory serves me correctly, and they contain lots of variants on each tune. There are sites on the net with Child ballads if you do a search. Child was a folksong collector. There might even be a link listed on the Mudcat Links page.

Also Morris Dance tunes might be a useful source because the dances were reputedly performed for religious reasons, e.g. fertility or encouraging the growth of crops, or something like that. Someone else on the list will know more about that than me.

Also, you could use the blue Search box, top right hand corner of these pages, to search for pagan themes, e.g. oak treas, rowan trees, etc etc to see if any songs show up with the types of themes you are looking for. You put phrases in square brackets e.g. [oak tree]

Good luck, and pleas keep us posted if you find out anything interesting.