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Ten representative English folk songs?

oggie 06 Oct 07 - 04:13 PM
greg stephens 06 Oct 07 - 06:35 AM
the button 05 Oct 07 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,theleveller 05 Oct 07 - 02:10 PM
Jonathan Strange 05 Oct 07 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Mr. Norrell 05 Oct 07 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Mr. Norrell 05 Oct 07 - 01:19 PM
Marje 05 Oct 07 - 01:03 PM
oggie 05 Oct 07 - 12:26 PM
the button 05 Oct 07 - 08:04 AM
greg stephens 05 Oct 07 - 07:26 AM
Bryn Pugh 05 Oct 07 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,Mr. Norrell 02 Oct 07 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,irishenglish 02 Oct 07 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Thanks Mr Norell 02 Oct 07 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Mr. Norrell 02 Oct 07 - 01:19 PM
stallion 02 Oct 07 - 11:25 AM
greg stephens 02 Oct 07 - 10:11 AM
TheSnail 02 Oct 07 - 10:02 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 07 - 07:50 AM
Marje 02 Oct 07 - 05:02 AM
Roberto 02 Oct 07 - 03:28 AM
Roberto 02 Oct 07 - 03:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 07 - 02:32 AM
TheSnail 01 Oct 07 - 08:05 PM
greg stephens 01 Oct 07 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael 01 Oct 07 - 02:46 PM
Ruth Archer 01 Oct 07 - 02:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Oct 07 - 01:59 PM
greg stephens 01 Oct 07 - 01:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Sep 07 - 03:06 PM
The Sandman 30 Sep 07 - 02:57 PM
GUEST, Mikefule 30 Sep 07 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,irishenglish 30 Sep 07 - 12:24 PM
Schantieman 01 Feb 07 - 03:16 PM
Richard Bridge 31 Jan 07 - 03:38 PM
Sue the Borderer 30 Jan 07 - 05:58 PM
Folkiedave 30 Jan 07 - 11:32 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jan 07 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Bardan 29 Jan 07 - 08:55 PM
Sue the Borderer 29 Jan 07 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,sj 29 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM
red max 22 Feb 05 - 05:28 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Feb 05 - 07:58 PM
Bunnahabhain 21 Feb 05 - 12:02 PM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Feb 05 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,PC Copper 20 Feb 05 - 11:13 AM
The Barden of England 20 Feb 05 - 05:54 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Feb 05 - 05:47 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Feb 05 - 05:42 AM
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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: oggie
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 04:13 PM

Industrial songs? Where to begin, Poverty Knock?(Pete Coe's arrangement using the minor chords is great), Rap te Bank? Four(Poor) Loom Weaver?

Pre 20th Century "Folksongs with known author". Off the top of my head most of Tommy Armstrong's output (1848-1919) so, for example "Oakey Strike Evictions"

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 06:35 AM

Re the Bold Navigators and industrial songs.The English canal world, as far as I know, has always been singularly lacking in traditional song about itself. Plenty of singers,step dancers, melodeons and fiddles to be sure on the boats, and plenty of people also wrote songs to celebrate the opening of certain canals, etc etc.But I don't think they ever caught on much with the boaties. Emma Vickers(Burscough, Lancs) had one "The Cruise of the Calibar", but I have a feeling that songs like that were the exceptions that proved the rule.I expect there always were a few songs coming on line, but they would be socially local, and ephemeral.
   I'd love to hear different, and be proved wrong. I'm a canal man myself, and would relish a few more old songs to sing. But the fact is, 99% of the songs about canals I hear at jovial boatie get-togethers are recent Ye Old Days stuff written by modern leisure or residential boaties, rather than passed on by the old working boaties.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: the button
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 10:12 PM

Clearly "Cowdenowes" is a corruption of "Howden now." And Howden's definitely in Yorkshire. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,theleveller
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:10 PM

Richard Bridge said:

Cowdenowes (Yorkshire, not Scotland!!)

I must admit, I've never heard of a Cowdenowes in Yorkshire. The only one I know is in the Scottish Borders, hence The Broom of Cowdenowes. Could still be classed as an English song though as the lassie singing it has been taken away from her homeland (presumably to England): 'Fain would I be in my ain country, to milk my daddy's ewes'.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Jonathan Strange
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 01:37 PM

I think you'll find it comes immediately after the word 'rat' Mr. Norrell


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,Mr. Norrell
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 01:31 PM

:The claimed word "representive" is not listed in either OED or Merriam-Webster:

I checked several other online dictionaries and I got the same reply "no such word in this dictionary"
checked my hard copy OED...it isn't there either....


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,Mr. Norrell
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 01:19 PM

To correct the lack of industrial folk song.....

The Iron Muse: a panorama of industrial folk music
Topic Records 12T86 1963. My vinyl copy of this is very well worn.

and this as well maybe of interest.
The Bold Navigators: the story of England's canals in song
issuded in 1975 on Tradition Records. re-issued in 1993 on Fellside Records


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Marje
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 01:03 PM

Oggie - the original poster asked for nominations for specifically English folk songs, and also (ideally) pre-20th century. To many people, an English folk song is a traditional one, and if you're going to exclude modern compositions, most of the "folk" that's left and worth considering is traditional.

You're right that there don't seem to be many industrial songs. I'd say this is probably because on the whole the songs of industry, however worthy their sentiments, aren't always as appealing to those not engaged in that specific occupation, whereas rural matters and settings tend to have a more general appeal.

But I'm happy to be proved worng on any of the above: can you (or anyone) suggest:
1) A pre-20th century English folk song that's not traditional, or
2) an industrial song
- it goes without saying that the songs have to be worth including.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: oggie
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 12:26 PM

Two points that interest me in this thread. One is the lack of industrial folksong, most nominations seem to come from the "rural idyll" end of the spectrum. Second, is that the word "traditional" seems to have been inserted by default into the lists.

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: the button
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 08:04 AM

Military transvestism: Little drummer girl (Lal & Norma W)

Military derring-do: Brave Wolfe (The Watersons)

Booze: Good ale (version on "Come write me down")

Tragedy & death: Lizzie Wan (Dave Burland)(might be Scots, but what the hey?)

Ritual: Pace-egging song (the version off that old Lancashire compilation that I've only got on vinyl & haven't heard for years)

Religious: Shepherds arise (Young Tradition)

Hard-luck stories: Christ, where to start with this one? Unfortunate lass (version on "A true hearted girl")

Humour: Wensleydale Lad (Mike Waterson)

Foxhunting: Reynard the Fox (Martin Carthy)

Not a folk song but should be: Big steamers (Peter Bellamy)

English culture & society in a nutshell.

*emigrates*


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 07:26 AM

Bryn Pugh: yes Tony Rose definitely used bowed psaltery to good effect on Searching for Lambs.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 07:21 AM

Well, kids, here is my penny-ha'porth :

Searching for Lambs ; (was it Tony Rose's version which was accompanied on the bowed psaltery ?)

Banks of the Sweet Primeroses (Martin Carthy's version, for preference) :


Grasmere Hunt Song ;

John Barleycorn (any version you like !)

Bedfordshire May Day Carol ;

Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor ;

Cherry Tree Carol ;

All Bound to Go (Heave away, my Johnnie - preferably, Louis Killen's version) ;

Plains of Waterloo ;

Fhir a Bhata - well, fuck me, that one is Scottish.

This is an observation about Ewan McColl, and not a 'pop', before the Fan Club takes the steel to the gelding knife. It follows from the previous posting as to Ewan's take on a song having magickal overtones.

I seem to remember that Ewan and Peggy sang a song to the tune used later by Martin Carthy for 'Prince Heathen', the chorus, as well as I can remember went something like

Leeze to me and thou and a'
And Madam, will ye do ?
The seal of me is abrickee
Fair Maiden, and for you.

which Ewan said (MSG, Manchester, late 1960s or early 1970s) was

a breakdown of a Druidic chant.

Now, has anyone any idea on this ? Perhaps you, Jim Carroll, as one who was close to Ewan and Peggy ?

Mind you, there was more bollocks than enough talked about magick in song, in those days, and as Witch and Templar, I should know.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,Mr. Norrell
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 01:44 PM

Musical Traditions Records has a 2CD set by Bob Hart, called A Broadside
reviews and such can be found here


Bob Hart: A Broadside


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,irishenglish
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 01:34 PM

Oops, something happened to my post, so I'll retype it. Thanks for that, I love Bob Hart! One of my absolute favorites as well is Johnny Doughty. But that would be a great album in my book!
Cheers, Thanks Mr Norell!


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,Thanks Mr Norell
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 01:25 PM


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,Mr. Norrell
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 01:19 PM

:Maybe Fred Jordan, Sam Larner, Harry Cox and Joseph Taylor should have formed a group together to compete with The Beatles:

well there was this folk "supergroup"


Bob Hart, Percy Webb, Ernest Austin, Flash Company. Topic 12 TS 243. Stereo/Mono. Notes by Mike Yates. London, Topic Records Ltd., 1974


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: stallion
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 11:25 AM

got to get off Nelson


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 10:11 AM

WLD. Thank you for actauallyingwhat you like at last, instead of perpetually attacking folk song: a strange preoccupation on a folk forum.I will go forthwith and have a listen to Jack Hudson. You seem to think it proves a point that on the rapper project had to sing old songs to rappers,and they had to rap to us. Well,of course that's how it was, and good fun too. I've never heard of Jack Hudson either, but now I have. Isn't telling me that, and me acting on the information, a bit more sensible than bad-tempered continuous sniping at those who sing trad songs?


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 10:02 AM

weelittledrummer

Oh Snail, how sweet!

Didn't understand a word of that.

You imply that because rappers need to be told about traditonal music it can't count for much. My point was that they probably don't know much about Tom Paxton either (just not their territory) so the same should apply to him. Are they that keen on Jack Hudson either?

Just had a listen to him on Woven Wheat Whispers. If he comes from the Midlands, why does he sing with an American accent?


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 07:50 AM

No offense weelittledrummer, but after what you just wrote, what are you doing on here? Freedom of speech, of course, but traditional music does not belong as a museum piece, that's exactly where it was going in some places in the 50's, thank God it didn't succeed! And I can take that approach without even including the folk rock approach, which made it more palatable for some. You appreciate someone sloshing their way through a Beatles song more than a 15 year old singing The Elfin Knight that they learned from a Kate Rusby record? Well, fine if thats what you want, but I want to listen to that 15 year old, ask them why the song is interesting to them, ask them how they heard traditional music the first time, and what are you going to sing next! Just because you don't like apparantly most traditional singers out there personally, don't condemn a tradition that is still surviving thank you very much by people born after the internets invention, much less the plough and harpoon. Honestly! Maybe we should all follow your lead, and only listen to the singers that you feel are good traditional singers, because everyone else clearly is crap. Of course, there will be no new singers afterwards, because they will all be crap by your definition, and then of course 50 years down the line they will all be dead, and you can personally install the music in the museum yourself. You know what, I'm neither a traditionalist, or a contemporary folk fan-I LIKE IT ALL, because it is perpetuating this wonderful music. I'm sorry, being good natured aside, your points just don't seem to add up. You like what you like, and I can respect that, but don't tell people on this site that their opinions are sillier than yours. I guess field recordings such as the Voice of The People series are pointless to you, because lord knows, some of those people can't sing. Maybe Fred Jordan, Sam Larner, Harry Cox and Joseph Taylor should have formed a group together to compete with The Beatles.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Marje
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 05:02 AM

I've enjoyed this thread, and am appreciating being reminded of the immense richness and variety of English song.

WLD, I take your point that traditional songs are often done badly, but I've also heard Tom Paxton etc done badly. Maybe the difference is that some singers seem to think that doing a traditional song badly is somehow authentic and that makes it OK. I know you understand as well as I do how wrong they are.

It doesn't mean that Just as the Tide was Flowing is a worse song, simply that it isn't as easy to make a good job of as many people think. We could all sit around singing Yellow Submarine and it would sound OK, but the lowest-common-denominator songs aren't the best, even if they are the easiest.

Why should we dumb down our traditional songs? It may require a bit of commitment and work to learn to sing them well, but that's because many of them are wonderful songs.

If I had the chance to hear, say, Dick's list of ten songs all performed well at a local club or concert, I'd think myself lucky.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Roberto
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 03:28 AM

I had left out Henry Martyn and the Outlandish Knight (and many others I'd like to include):
1.        Australia
2.        Banks of the Nile
3.        The Blacksmith / Our Captain Calls
4.        Barbara Allen
5.        Farewell Charming Nancy (Farewell Nancy)
6.        The Gypsy Laddie (English versions)
7.        Henry Martyn
8.        John Barleycorn
9.        The Jolly Waggonner
10.        Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight (Outllandish Knight)
11.        Off to Sea Once More
12.        Polly on the Shore (The Valiant Sailor)
13.        Rambleaway
14.        Robin Hood and the Pedlar
15.        Seventeen Come Sunday (As I Roved Out)
16.        Spanish Ladies
17.        The Trees They Do Grow High
18.        The Unfortunate Rake
19.        The Unquiet Grave
20.        Ye Mar'ners All


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Roberto
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 03:19 AM

My team, complete with reserves:
1.        Australia
2.        Banks of the Nile
3.        The Blacksmith / Our Captain Calls
4.        Barbara Allen
5.        Farewell Charming Nancy (Farewell Nancy)
6.        Geordie
7.        The Gypsy Laddie (English versions)
8.        John Barleycorn
9.        The Jolly Waggonner
10.        Off to Sea Once More
11.        Polly on the Shore (The Valiant Sailor)
12.        Rambleaway
13.        Ratcliffe Highway
14.        Robin Hood and the Pedlar
15.        Seventeen Come Sunday (As I Roved Out)
16.        Spanish Ladies
17.        The Trees They Do Grow High
18.        The Unfortunate Rake
19.        The Unquiet Grave
20.        Ye Mar'ners All


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 02:32 AM

Oh Snail, how sweet! Someone who implies that there should be mutual respect - from traditionalistas (the provisional wing of the traditional folksong movement reckon anybody who wasn't born following the plough and harpooning whales hasn't got much to tell us about anything - certaily shouldn't be allowed to call themselves traditional singers!) to the contemporary school of folk music.

Know ye not that Tom Paxton and his ilk are snigger snogger whining navel contemplating self indulgent bores - a minus quantity on the great account ledger of the tradition.

That's why its okay for Jack Hudson (the neatest guitar picker, most awesome voice, who has lived his life for the folk club scene) to be entering his his 7th decade and be completely unbooked at any major festivals in his native midlands and his songs remain unplayed on even the local radio.

Actually theres no room for Jack, all the platforms that his seniority should entitle him to, are taken up by young whippersnappers who've just learned how spell DADGAD.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 08:05 PM

And, yeah, like, rappers are really into Tom Paxton.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 05:42 PM

It is that good, but I had to share it with the rappers, they didn't know about it. Their rapping was that good too, but they had to share that with me too. None of us know everything, we know a bit, we can try to find out the rest.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,Crazy_Man_Michael
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 02:46 PM

Maria Marten.

I have in mind the Shirley Collins and The Albion Country Band version, which ends with the recording of a horse and cart rolling over a stone of gravel road..indicating the murderers last ride...very creepy indeed


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 02:01 PM

Benjamin Zepheniah's dub poetry version of Tam Lyn on the new Imagined Village CD is a good example of that, Greg.

Peace out.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 01:59 PM

ah that's me, a man of intrigue.....

trad music is all right. you just don't meet many people who can actually do it in a less than boring manner. When you do meet someone with a dash of creativity in their soul - its actually bloody surprising.

you could say the same thing about contemporary stuff - true enough, but our ears are more attuned to modern language use. Its easier to be rubbish at doing Just as the Tide was flowing than it is at say Tom Paxton. I know - I've been rubbish at both in my time.

Recently I saw John Rigby and his version of Polly on the shore (accompanied by a harmonium) really stopped me in my tracks - he was that good. But I don't expect to see stuff like that every week.

i think with trad - its a case of many are called, but few are chosen - whereas anybody can have a half decent go at a beatles song. If you forget the words the audience can help you out.

there are no lifelines out there for the trad singer. he's on his own.

And that isolation, in turn should tell you something. If its that good Greg, why do you need to tell rappers about it - why isn't it part of everyday life. I think if we are honest - a lot of isn't that good - as performance material - it belongs in a museum.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 01:27 PM

Interesting to see this old thread revived and rerevived. A quick glance back suggests "Searching for Lambs" is the "winner" with most nominations. Well, by me and Eliza Carthy anyway.I have not the time or nerdiness, but it would be interesting to see them all actually counted and arranged in order.Wee Little Drummer is the most intriguing poster, everyone else likes English folksongs and he appears to hate them because they are not relevant to something or other, not sure exactly what they are not relevant to. Very odd. AS someone who has just finished working on a project with young black rappers looking at some old folksongs, I assure you the most unlikely songs can be "relevant", check'em out. Safe.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 03:06 PM

Dick, we must get pissed together sometime - if either of us sing any of that lot - they're paying for the drinks!


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 02:57 PM

1 April Morning.
2 Claudy Banks
3,JustastheTideisFlowing
4 The Bold Fisherman
5 GameofallFours
6 Bushes and Briars
7LovelyJoan
8Streams of Lovely Nancy
9DevonshireFarmersDaughter
10ThoughI live Not Where I love.
Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST, Mikefule
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 02:27 PM

Even today, most English people only think of themselves as English when they are comparing themselves to people who are not English. Within England itself, I think most of us notice the differences more than the similarities.

Cornwall has its own flag which is flown all over the county, and features in anti-English grafitti. The flag of Devon is starting to be flown by individual citizens and businesses in Devon. We have Geordies, and Scousers, and Londoners, and so on. And don't foget the Yorkshiremen (try as you might...) who themselves think of themselves as being from one of the three ridings, or the various individual cities and towns. People think of themselves as "northerners" because they look down on southerners; and vice versa.

So what is an English folk song? Even if we agree on a definition of "folk", and "song" we must still struggle with "English".

It is no coincidence that so many of the songs suggested in this thread have place names, Brigg, Byker Hill, Cornish, London, Scarborough, Widecombe, Winsbury...

And choosing one of each sort (broken token, night visiting, shanty, hunting...) is artificial, because these categories are recent inventions, overlaying an earlier tradition.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,irishenglish
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 12:24 PM

In no particular order:
1.Banks Of The Sweet Primeroses
2.Claudy Banks
3.John Barleycorn
4.Seven Yellow Gypsies
5.Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard (Or Matty Groves, etc, whichever)
6.The Trees Do Grow High
7.Brigg Fair
8.Here We Come A-Wassailing
9.William Taylor
10.The Happy Man

My two cents: representative to me has to include a sustainability. If every major English folk musician has performed, or wanted to perform these songs at some point, there is a reason. Yes, the tradition goes deep, but there is a reason these songs are performed again and again. Mind you, there are sometimes better, darker, creepier, funnier, or make you lust for a pint songs than these songs, but they haven't stood the test of time (or been transcribed in books more!). To me as well, the songs have to "smell" English. Take tunes for example. When I listen to the tunes that someone like, Brass Monkey arranged, I am instantly transported to England, same as when I hear bluegrass I'm in Kentucky, or an Irish tune, in a pub in my dear Donegal! Banks Of The Sweet Primeroses, or The Happy Man, etc, just transport me, and for that reason, that is why they are here. Cheers,


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Schantieman
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 03:16 PM

What's the Life of a Man?
Blessed Quietness


S


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 03:38 PM

I had forgotten this thread until it was revived. What a wonderful range of English roots music listed: my roots.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Sue the Borderer
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 05:58 PM

Another thought, sj, was that whatever song you choose, you need to be able to get hold of a cd with it on very quickly. Is there a local folk club? Have you - or your dad - approached them for any ideas? They might even lend you the CD.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 11:32 AM

"No-one stands Alone" by Blue Murder worked well for a mate of mine.

My friend Jacky - wants "Hit the Road Jack". Depends on your sense of humour I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 11:04 AM

Depends what sort of friends the deceased had. the important thing is not to upset the living any more than possible. No use singing ain't it grand to be bloody well dead if they're a gang of miserable sods.
If the dead chap had a profession, there are lots of songs about jobs.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 08:55 PM

No one's mentioned sheep's crook and black dog yet. It is English trad isn't it? Also, not songs, but if you're interested in english folk you ought to have at least a brief look at some morris tunes etc.

Also I'd be tempted to add things like crazy man michael, however new they are, because they've become such an important part of the folk scene these days. Some of the more common cross-pollinations from ireland, scotland etc wouldn't go amiss either. Oh! and flondike shore I think it's called. Bloody good song. Where's Henry Martin from? And something dodgy like the cuckoo's nest. The whirly whorl is good too.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Sue the Borderer
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 07:35 PM

Hi sj

That's a really hard question to answer without knowing anything about your dad's friend. It set me looking through mudcat threads about funerals. You might like to try some, though you could end up confused since everyone has different views (like they do on this thread)
If you search for 'RE: Memorial Service Threads?' you'll find that the second posting on it has a list of other threads, such as 'What song do you want sung at your funeral'. (Sorry, I can't manage the blue clickies)

There's a huge mixture of stuff - and you probably won't feel any the wiser! It might help if you tell us a bit about what your dad's friend enjoyed doing. Did he have any hobbies/interests?
For instance, if he was a walker then Ewan MacColl's 'Joy of Living' which starts off 'Farewell you northern hills' could be appropriate.
If he liked the sea/sailing then 'the Farewell Shanty' or 'Leave her Johnny leave Her'
More serious or religious? 'Only Remembered' or 'What's the life of a Man'
Just instrumental? 'Ashokan Farewell'
Me, for my funeral I would like 'When All Men Sing' by Keith Scowcroft and Derek Gifford.
Some (but by no means all) of the 'English Folk Songs in this thread could be suitable, depending on the tone that the family want to set. (eg sombre or upbeat)

If you can give us some guidance, it would help. 'Folk' covers such a huge range of stuff! Is there anyone you can ask about what kind of folk music he listened to? Even one CD would give us a clue!

I imagine time is fairly short, but it would be good if whatever was played in his memory and to celebrate his life was 'right for him'. Do post again if you're still stuck - and do let us know what is chosen.

I hope you and you're dad find what you're after


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,sj
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM

Hi
A friend of my dad's died recently, and his family who he didn't have much contact with, asked us about the kind of music he likes, re plans for the funeral. My dad knows he liked folk music but has never had an interest in it himself. The guy didn't have a selection of CDs to give us clues, and din't get out to a Folk Club regularly. Any suggestions of English folk music appropriate for a funeral would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: red max
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 05:28 AM

It did seem to be a well intentioned rule. Last St George's Day my local club ran an English-themed night, and some of the regulars were clearly nonplussed by the prospect of singing something from their own country


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 07:58 PM

MacColl and his colleagues were reacting against people singing songs from traditions which were entirely foreign to them, and of which they had no understanding. In those days it was fashionable to sing African and Jewish songs, for instance; most of the people who did that belonged to neither culture and had simply learned words in a foreign language parrot-fashion. They didn't like having their little "aren't I cool" bubble punctured.

Admittedly, Ewan was inclined to be tactless, and at times the rule (which only lasted a short while) was taken too far and many feelings were hurt. Nevertheless, the principle, however mis-represented today, was soundly based. I'm afraid that we are still plagued with people who want "phonetic" transcriptions of Gaelic songs so that they can pretend to sing them without having to bother to learn even the most basic rules of the language; and with "Socialist Choirs" who trot out African songs without the smallest understanding of language or context.

Fashion victims; and, what is worse, cultural imperialists: exactly the people they affect to despise. Say that sort of thing here, and you'll get some really quite venomous reactions from people who want instant gratification ("You can't tell me what to do! You're a folk nazi!") but who are too lazy to make the effort to learn even the basics of somebody else's culture before cherry-picking from it.

Serious thread-creep here, of course.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 12:02 PM

I suppose there's something to be said for the idea that a person can only appreciate/sing songs which are relevant to his/her own time and place,

If we take this to mean that most people will find it easier to appreciate songs that relate to their experinces, than those that do not, then the above statement is hard to argue with.

Yes, for most of us now getting conscripted/dying in childbirth/insert typical folk song event is fairly rare, but other common themes, such as broken hearts are not.


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 02:13 PM

Suzanne said (and others referred to the same idea):

I suppose there's something to be said for the idea that a person can only appreciate/sing songs which are relevant to his/her own time and place,


Ahh, but what does "relevant" mean?

Folksongs (almost all of them, if not all) relate to human nature and experience, and that is always relevant to all of us.

Sure, a Tibetan folksong, say, or a Hottentot song, sung in its original language, is not likely to be something that I as a singer or my kind of audiences find relevant.

But a folksong which has it's "home" in English, whether from Britain, Ireland, Oz, NZ, Canada, or the USA, and which hits MY imagination enough to want to sing it, is relevant, to my mind. And nobody has any business criticizing my decision to sing it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: GUEST,PC Copper
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 11:13 AM

'Hard Times of Old England'?


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 05:54 AM

It's a bloody long and hilly 25 miles though Richard!!


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 05:47 AM

PS. I think 25 miles is close enough!


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Subject: RE: Ten representative English folk songs?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 05:42 AM

Sorry: not Sheffield. Salford.


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