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At the heart of English folk

Folk Music Journal: Volume 11 Number 2

Volume 11 Number 2 (2017) contains the following pieces 



Frances Wilkins  ‘Da Merry Boys o Greenland’: Explorations into the Musical Dialogue of Shetland’s Nautical Past

Many of the songs and tunes in Shetland’s musical repertoire have been inspired by the islanders’ long associations with the sea and seafaring. A number of these were transported back across the Atlantic from whaling and fur-trading expeditions to the Arctic fringes and carry tales related to Shetland’s rich maritime past. During the time of the Greenland fishery in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, most ships included a member of the crew able to play the fiddle and keep up the crew’s spirits. In this article, my main aim is to explore the concept of musical migration, particularly in terms of transatlantic musical flow, as an important aspect of both the Shetland musical tradition and the musical traditions of indigenous populations outside Shetland that have been influenced by the transatlantic nature of the music. In doing this, I will attempt to start drawing together two separate music histories, that of the Inuit musicians and dances influenced by European whalers and fur traders across the Arctic, and that of the Shetlanders who sailed to the regions and, for many years, shared a performance milieu with the indigenous groups that lived there.

Michael Heaney Folk Dance and Theatrical Performance in the Eighteenth Century

The history of morris dancing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is sometimes seen as following two paths: a theatrical tradition based on the creations of professional dancers; and a folk tradition embedded in local custom and tradition which owed nothing to professional performance. Evidence from contemporary newspapers of the activities of morris dancers from Bath, sword dancers from Cumbria, and other contemporary accounts reveals that the situation was more complex, with folk dancers appearing in professional performance space and consciously playing upon their origins.

David Plant Resources in the Vaughan Williams Memorial library: The Pat Shaw Archive

This year marks the centenary of Pat Shaw (1917–77), composer and collector, and this articles describes the Pat Shaw Archive now at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. The article comprises a select bibliography of dances, music, writings, and recordings. There is an also an outline of research into Pat Shaw’s work.


Gordon Ridgewell

William Dodds – A Notable Sword Dancer



Dave Harker  Dr Bearman’s ‘meticulous scholarship’
Graham Freeman C. J. Bearman, ‘The Folk-Song Society and the Phonograph’


Reviews — Books

Steve Roud 

Napoleon and British Song, 1797–1822 (Jensen); The Green Linnet: Napoleonic Songs from French Wars to the Present Day (Wood)

John Moulden 

The singing will never be done: Tom Munnelly: Collected Essays and Lectures, 1990–2007 (ed. Clune)

Sean Goddard 

Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance (Jamison)

Ken Perlman  

The Cape Breton Fiddle Companion (Doherty)

Imelda Connolly  Reeling Roosters & Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music (Sparling)

María Herrera-Sobek 

¡Corrido!: The Living Ballad of Mexico’s Western Coast (McDowell)

Paul Burgess 

Travellers’ Songs from England and Scotland (CD-ROM) (MacColl and Seeger)

Fintan Vallely 

Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond (ed. Fitzgerald and O’Flynn)

David McGuinness  

The Jews-Harp in Britain and Ireland (Wright)

Elaine Bradtke  Mississippi Fiddle Tunes and Songs from the 1930s (Bolick and Austin)
Elaine Bradtke  Couldn’t Have a Wedding without the Fiddler: The Story of Traditional Fiddling on Prince Edward Island (Perlman)


Reviews — CDs 

Fintan Vallely 

Far in the Mountains, Vol. 5 (rec. Yates)

Christopher Holderness 

‘I thought I was the only one!’ Dulcimer Playing in East Anglia

Fay Hield  Why Can’t It Always Be Saturday? (Harry Upton)

Iain Fraser 

Traditional Fiddle Music of the Scottish Borders, from the Playing of Tom Hughes of Jedburgh



Beth Neill 

Roy Leonard Dommett

Nicolas Le Bigre 

W. F. H. Nicolaisen


Cover illustration Pat Shaw at the EFDSS Gold Badge awards ceremony at Cecil Sharp House

Editor: David Atkinson