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Best books on English/UK folk music?

GUEST,BlackAcornUK 28 Apr 20 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,BlackAcornUK 28 Apr 20 - 06:29 PM
GUEST 28 Apr 20 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 28 Apr 20 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,BlackAcornUK 28 Apr 20 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 28 Apr 20 - 08:29 PM
Dave Hanson 29 Apr 20 - 02:39 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Apr 20 - 02:51 AM
Hagman 29 Apr 20 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,Jerry 29 Apr 20 - 02:59 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Apr 20 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,Sean O'Shea 29 Apr 20 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 29 Apr 20 - 05:15 AM
Steve Gardham 29 Apr 20 - 06:53 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 20 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,BlackAcornUK 29 Apr 20 - 12:15 PM
Jack Campin 29 Apr 20 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,RA 29 Apr 20 - 02:47 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Apr 20 - 03:14 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Apr 20 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Richard 29 Apr 20 - 04:43 PM
oldhippie 29 Apr 20 - 05:14 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 May 20 - 02:36 PM
Tony Rees 02 May 20 - 05:57 PM
Tony Rees 02 May 20 - 05:59 PM
Tony Rees 02 May 20 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,RA 02 May 20 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Matt milton 04 May 20 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,BlackAcornUK 04 May 20 - 03:08 PM
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Subject: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 06:27 PM

Finding extra reading time due to lockdown - what are your favourite books on English, or wider UK folk music?


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 06:29 PM

Here are those already on the shelves here (I wish I could claim that I’ve read all of them already...!!! But they’re in the queue...)

Sing a Song of England - Reginald Nettel
A Song For Every Season - Bob Copper
Folksong and Music Hall - Edward Lee
America Over the Water - Shirley Collins
All in the Downs - Shirley Collins
Folk Song in England - Steve Roud
Electric Eden - Rob Young
Singing From the Floor - JP Bean
The Imagined Village - Georgina Boyes
The Ballad of Britain - Will Hodgkinson
What We Did Instead of Holidays - Clinton Heylin
John Clare and the Folk Tradition - George Deacon


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 06:32 PM

...These are the song-books we currently have:

The English &,Scottish Popular Ballads - FJ Child
Early Ballads - Robert Bell
English Folk Songs - Ralph Vaughan Williams
Everyman’s Book of English Country Songs - ed. Roy Palmer
Songs of the British Isles - WH Hadow
Folk Music in School - Leach & Palmer

What do I need to add?


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 06:32 PM

Warning:
I'm going to answer your question with something
that you did NOT ask for, so
you might choose to stop reading right here.


After the punk era, a music journalist whose name escapes me
wrote a book titled "England's Dreaming."   'Savage,' was it?
The book is crawling, absolutely crawling,
with mistakes and inaccuracies --
and I can say that even though I was nowhere near the time or place.

It's just that this author fellow knows how to keep you turning the page.
It was easily one of the most exciting works of fiction that
I have ever read, and I was highly entertained.
For what it's worth.


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 06:43 PM

Cheers - I have that too, ha ha (and The England’s Dreaming Tapes also)

Another interesting one that laps its serpent tongue at the dark extremities of folk is ‘England’s Hidden Reverse’ by David Keenan


Doubly interested in books where Peter Bellamy / TYT feature


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 08:29 PM

On specifically 'English' there is a book by the academic David Atkinson, but you will need to get a library to obtain it unless you are much wealthier than I am. The English Traditional Ballad. Has interesting chapter entitled 'An English Ballad Tradition?'

Very good on themes.

David Harker's Fakesong is controversial but if you want to get to grips with what has been said and written worth dipping into.

Vic Gammon has a book about death drink and desire which has some interesting sections. Also an academic, but more historical in approach than Atkinson, perhaps.


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 02:39 AM

Bert, by Dave Arthur.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 02:51 AM

Depends on where you are in folk song and how long you'be been there really
Dome books on folk songs and particularly ballads, though essential to people who are deeply interested can be hard work - not what you need at the present time and can put people off
Best introduction to ballad - Evelyn K Wells' 'The Ballad Tree'
English Fol song - Folk Song in England -A. L Lloyd
Irish Fol song Hugh Shield's Narrative Song in Ireland
Ireland - more Specific Banks of Mulroy Bay D K Wilgus and Eleanor Long
Scotland - The People's Pasr Edwatd J Cowan


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Hagman
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 02:55 AM

"Folk Song in England" by the aforementioned "Bert" - A.L. Lloyd deserves a look.

(A tip for BlackAcornUK - leave "What We Did Instead of Holidays" by Clinton Heylin until the very last, if at all. Very ordinary, IMHO. Not much in there you don't already know about Fairport Convention, and a very cut-and-paste feel...)


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 02:59 AM

‘In Search of Albion’ by Colin Irwin is another interesting read,


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 03:08 AM

Didn't finish
Scotand The Border Ballads James Reed
U. S Anything by Alan Lomax 9aprticularly Land Where the Blused Began0
Adventures of a Ballad Hunter
Vol 1 Blow the cance Out Vol 2 Roll me in Your Arms Vance Randolph
General Ballad Scholarship since 1899 D K Wilgus
The Ballad as Song B H Bronson

As I say - depends on your interest, as far as I'm concerned, 'bucket list' musts all

If anybody is interested and wants a selection of digitised folk books I am distributin our archive of recordings, articles and song and ballad collections for downloading to anybody interested -at present, it is only a part of wat we have, but I'm happy to see if we have anything specific or advise people say what their interests are
If I get an e-mail address I'll send a link my to PCloud - download away
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,Sean O'Shea
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 04:40 AM

Sam Richards and Tish Stubbs   THE ENGLISH FOLKSINGER


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 05:15 AM

Popular Music of the Olden Time, by Chappell -very useful on the history and background (IMHO)


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 06:53 AM

Literally thousands of books BA. You need to be a bit more specific about what you want to know about, whether you want up-to-date stuff, older stuff, academic, anthologies, just for fun etc.


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 11:08 AM

The Elliotts of Birtlet - Pete Wood

Dave Sutherland


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 12:15 PM

Thanks all, some great suggestions here so far -

Steve, in answering your question - mostly, I'm interested in what are the personal favourites of fellow Mudcatters - the books we've all found the most interesting, inspiring, useful, etc;

And, which are the song collections that everyone should have on their shelves?

In terms of my interests - hopefully my embryonic collection as noted at the top gives some indication (I listed them to ensure I wasn't just getting tips on tomes I already own).

I also say above that I'm doubly interested in books that feature Peter Bellamy/TYT.

More broadly, I'd love suggestions of books on the evolution of the tradition from the mid-19th C to the present day, and/or the lives and work of the key figures - collectors, singers and artists.

Also very interested in volumes that delve into the more lysergic/gothic acts that emerged in the early 70s - Comus, Mr Fox, Trees, etc... And, other than Electric Eden, are there books that really engage with the trans-atlantic psych/freak-folk resurgence in the mid-2000s?

Further thanks in advance, all!


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 02:09 PM

Childrens songs and games

Alice Gomme: "The Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland"
James Ritchie: "The Singing Street" and "The Golden City"
Iona and Peter Opie: "The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren" (and many other books)
Ewan MacVicar: "Doh Ray Me When Ah Was Wee" and "ABC My Grannie Caught a Flea"
Robert Chambers: "Popular Rhymes of Scotland"
Maureen Sinclair: "Games a Bogie"
Thor and Annie Ewing: "Auld Sangs for Bairns and Wee Weans"


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 02:47 PM

More from auld Scotia:


'Jeannie Robertson: Emergent Singer, Transformative Voice' - James Porter and Herschel Gower

'Up Yon Wide and Lonely Glen: Travellers' Songs, Stories and Tunes of the Fetterangus Stewarts' - Elizabeth Stewart (ed Alison McMorland)

'The Folk Music Revival in Scotland' - Ailie Munro

'Alias McAlias' - Hamish Henderson

'The Armstrong Nose' - selected letters of Hamish Henderson

'The Ballad and the Folk' - Peter Buchan

'The Sang's the Thing' - Sheila Douglas

'Gaelic Songs of Scotland' - Anne Lorne Gillies

etc, etc, etc!


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 03:14 PM

RA
Excellent Freudian slip there. You mean David Buchan, desperately trying to defend Peter Buchan!


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 03:28 PM

BAUK
I think you said you had Steve Roud's excellent book 'Folk Song in England' currently the definitive book on that subject.

For histories and background to English songs you have Steve's and Julia Bishop's New Penguin and similar histories in our 3 volume new editions of the Frank Purslow books in the Marrow Bones series, with a new one on its way next month hopefully.

There are some very good recent books on some of the collectors, Martin Graebe's book on Baring Gould, and a useful book on Charles Marson's life which has a lot of extra info on Sharp and their falling out.

I'm finding loads of reading matter, like Jim, on Academia online. You don't have to join and pay the subs to get most of the stuff. And endless stream of thousands of papers on folksong and related.

Going back to Peter Buchan, William Walker's biography of Peter is very interesting reading of such a controversial character in the early 19th century.

Song collections. Again depends what area, how far back. An absolute must is the 8-volume Grieg-Duncan Collection if you can get it. The Pepys Ballads and Roxburgh are all online at UCSB EBBA.

There's absolute tons of stuff online, more than any of us could read in one lifetime.


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 04:43 PM

It sounds as though you would like "You know what you could be"; Mike Heron's account of the early days of the Incredible String Band, co-written with Andrew Grieg.


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: oldhippie
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 05:14 PM

"The Listeners Guide to Folk Music" Sarah Lifton is a good reference book.


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 May 20 - 02:36 PM

My daughter spotted a book about Folk song by Bob Pegg in a charity shop and got it for me. I've not read it yet but during the lockdown it is getting further up the list! I'll let you know how it is when I finish it :-)


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Tony Rees
Date: 02 May 20 - 05:57 PM

If you are interested in the history of the folk revival in both North America (first 330 pages) and the UK/related areas (next 270 pages) then I strongly recommend Martin C. Strong's 2010 book "The Great Folk Discography, Vol. 1: Pioneers and Early Legends". Each artist's discography is preceded by a usually comprehensive and interesting biographical section. The coverage stops at groups and individuals who emerged up to about 1970; for later artists there is a volume 2 that is no doubt as good, though I have not seen it. More details at

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Folk-Discography-Vol-Pioneers/dp/1846971411

The only caveat is that it excludes "Celtic Music" (Irish/Scots, etc.) which was intended to be covered in a separate volume, which regrettably has never appeared so far as I am aware.

Cheers - Tony


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Tony Rees
Date: 02 May 20 - 05:59 PM

Sorry, not very clear in the phrasing above:
"The coverage stops at groups and individuals who emerged up to about 1970"

should better read

"The coverage includes groups and individuals who emerged up to about 1970"

Otherwise OK!


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: Tony Rees
Date: 02 May 20 - 06:02 PM

Or possibly wrong again - volume 2 ostensibly covers "artists who emerged from the 80s to the present day" so the cut-off point for Vol. 1 may be closer to 1980.

Cheers - Tony


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 02 May 20 - 06:07 PM

Bob Stewart's book 'Where is Saint George?' about the (purported) pagan roots of English traditional song could be of interest to you...


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,Matt milton
Date: 04 May 20 - 01:05 PM

You’d probably like Bean’s Singing from the Floor. Shirley Collins mentions Peter Bellamy in her second book


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Subject: RE: Best books on English/UK folk music?
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 04 May 20 - 03:08 PM

Thanks Matt, as it says at the top I have those. I'm actually named/have a photo published in 'All in the Downs'!!

Ra/Dave the Gnome - the Bob Stewart and Bob Pegg books have been ordered, thanks for the tips!

On the matter of acid/psych/freak folk etc, I've also been reminded of this 2010 volume, 'Seasons they Change'. I saw the author, Jeanette Leech, speak on a panel with Rob Young and Will Hodgkinson at Ian A. Anderson's'Ghosts in the Basement' extravaganza at Cecil Sharp House that same year. The forward to the book is by Greg Weeks from Espers, who I organised a couple of London shows for around that time.

http://jawbonepress.com/seasons-they-change


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