Mudcat Café message #3942664 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3942664
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
09-Aug-18 - 07:39 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From Edwin Waugh's book about the time:

"Any one well acquainted with Lancashire, will know how widespread the study of music is among its working population. Even the inhabitants of our large towns know something more about this now than they knew a few months ago. I believe there is no part of England in which the practice of sacred music is so widely and lovingly pursued amongst the working people as in the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire. There is no part of England where, until lately, there have been so many poor men's pianos, which have been purchased by a long course of careful savings from the workman's wages. These, of course, have mostly been sold during the hard times to keep life in the owner and his family."

"Even in great manufacturing towns, it is very common, when passing cotton mills at work, to hear some fine psalm tune streaming in chorus from female voices, and mingling with the spoom of thousands of spindles. "


"Now, when fortune has laid such a load of sorrow upon the working people of Lancashire, it is a sad thing to see so many workless minstrels of humble life "chanting their artless notes in simple guise" upon the streets of great towns, amongst a kind of life they are little used to. There is something very touching, too, in their manner and appearance. They may be ill-shod and footsore; they may be hungry, and sick at heart, and forlorn in countenance, but they are almost always clean and wholesome-looking in person. They come singing in twos and threes, and sometimes in more numerous bands, as if to keep one another in countenance. Sometimes they come in a large family all together, the females with their hymn-books, and the men with their different musical instruments, ? bits of pet salvage from the wrecks of cottage homes. The women have sometimes children in their arms, or led by the hand; and they sometimes carry music-books for the men."

"Their faces are sad, and their manners very often singularly shame-faced and awkward; and any careful observer would see at a glance that these people were altogether unused to the craft of the trained minstrel of the streets."

You can read more here:

http://gerald-massey.org.uk/waugh/c_cotton_famine_(4).htm#XXIII.