Mudcat Café message #3944353 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944353
Posted By: Brian Peters
16-Aug-18 - 10:29 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Thanks for the various comments about Harry Boardman - nice to know that his name still resonates, and that others express respect for a man who was one of my great inspirations. Steve is right, though, that Harry was part of a movement still experimenting with appropriate ways of accompaniment. The banjo idea may have come from Peggy (or possibly Pete) Seeger, and I can remember several bands in the 1970s using banjos to accompany English material. My point about the concertina was that, although it’s often regarded as being an authentic folk instrument, there’s only the scantiest evidence for it having been used by English country singers to accompany themselves, so really it’s credentials are hardly stronger than the banjo – which, as I mentioned, does have a long history in England, albeit in a different style from that popular in the USA. All the evidence from every folk song collector in England is that songs were sung unaccompanied and solo, with a few instances of vocal harmony here and there. Incidentally, Harry was also an extremely good unaccompanied singer, as anyone who heard him sing ‘The Flying Cloud’ would testify.

Most of his other songs had already died, some having had an initially short life as topical broadsides.

This broadly true, although ‘With Henry Hunt We’ll Go’ was still clinging on in public conciousness by the time Frank Kidson started collecting. Harry also said that his song ‘I’ll Have a Collier’ came from his mother.