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At the heart of English folk

Folk Music Journal: Volume 9 Number 3

Volume 9 Number 3 (2008) contains the following pieces:



Martin Graebe Devon by Dog Cart and Bicycle: The Folk Song Collaboration of Sabine Baring-Gould and Cecil Sharp, 1904–17

The name of Cecil Sharp and his position as a collector of and advocate for folk song is well known to a large section of the public, and the centenary of his first folk song collecting was marked by a number of events and publications in August 2003. That of Sabine Baring-Gould is, generally, less familiar, at least as a collector of folk songs, although many people might know of him as the author of the hymn 'Onward, Christian Soldiers' or through his other work as novelist, antiquarian, hagiographer, and travel writer. Sharp was twenty-five years younger than Baring-Gould and began his song collecting fifteen years after Baring-Gould had started the main phase of his own work. Sharp initially sought out Baring-Gould for advice, and this led to a close collaborative relationship between 1904 and 1907. The two men met a number of times and, it is clear, had a respect for one another which was maintained, through visits and through correspondence, over several further years. Working together, they established many of the working practices for the song collectors who followed them and had a profound influence on folk song collection in England during the first half of the twentieth century. Their collaboration has not previously been studied in any detail, and this article seeks to explore and explain their relationship, making use of letters and papers from their manuscripts as well as other published and unpublished sources.


Michael Wright The Jew's Harp in the Law, 1590–1825

Prior to the nineteenth century, written references to the Jew's harp are scarce and mention of named players is extremely rare. One source, however, that describes individuals and their circumstances can be found in criminal trial records. In fact, the first three players of the instrument whom we can definitely identify were tried, convicted, and executed for one crime or another. That the accused were associated with the Jew's harp was coincidental and it had nothing to do with their convictions, but it was considered sufficiently unusual to be noted at their trials. This article considers what we know about the trials and how confident we can be that the information contained in court records and contemporaneous written accounts is correct. It also looks at the historical context in which each of the accused lived and the circumstances of their arrest, and how and why the Jew's harp was mentioned at the trial. It explores what tunes might have been played, how much Jew's harps might have cost and where they could have been purchased, and describes archaeological finds that show the kind of instruments available. The overall evidence suggests that the Jew's harp was a widely distributed musical instrument throughout the period, but that exceptional performance skills on it were sufficiently unusual to invite comment.

E. David Gregory  Before the Folk-Song Society: Lucy Broadwood and English Folk Song, 1884–97

As Honorary Secretary of the Folk-Song Society and editor of its journal, Lucy E. Broadwood played a major role in the Edwardian phase of the first folk song revival in England. Yet even before the foundation of the society in 1898 she had established herself as one of the leading English folk song collectors. Making extensive use of her diaries, which are extant at the Surrey History Centre in Woking, this article explores the beginnings of Broadwood's fascination with vernacular song, the development of her network of friends and collaborators interested in folk song and folklore, the genesis of her first two important publications, Sussex Songs and English County Songs, and her work as a song collector during the 1890s with such informants as Samuel Willett, Clara Wilson, Patience Vaisey, Henry Burstow, and a group of singers from the Surrey village of Dunsfold.



Jim Black Competing with Ballads (and Whisky)
Gordon Ridgewell A History of the Rapper Dance


Review article

Andrew King

Good Hearted Fellows and A Story to Tell: Keith Summers's Suffolk Recordings 1971–79


Reviews — Books

Peter Millington ‘In Comes I’: Performance, Memory and Landscape (Pearson)
Keith Chandler

Traveller’s Joy: Songs of English and Scottish Travellers and Gypsies 1965–2005 (Yates)

Dreams of the Road: Gypsy Life in the West Country (Levinson and Silk)
 Roy Palmer Victorian Songhunters: The Recovery and Editing
of English Vernacular Ballads and Folk Lyrics, 1820–1883
Frances Wilkins The Everlasting Hills: Hymns from the Isle of Man (Bazin)
Paul Burgess Play It Like It Is: Fiddle and Dance Studies from around the North Atlantic (Russell
and Alburger)
Keith Chandler Morris Dancers & Rose Queens: An Anthology of Reported Carnivals and Galas in West Lancashire to 1900 (Haslett)
E. Bradtke Performing Ecstasies: Music, Dance, and Ritual in the Mediterranean (Del
Giudice and van Deusen)
Thérèse Smith On a Rock in the Middle of the Ocean: Songs and Singers in Tory Island, Ireland
Michael Heaney The English Year (Roud)
E. C. Cawte May Day: The Coming of Spring (Rowe)
Michael Pickering Polkabilly: How the Goose Island Ramblers Redefined American Folk Music (Leary)
Ray Templeton Staging Tradition: John Lair and Sarah Gertrude Knott (Williams)
Dave Townsend The Church Gallery Minstrels of Old Sussex (MacDermott)
Roy Harris Marrow Bones: English Folk songs from the Hammond and Gardiner Manuscripts(Purslow)
Stephen Rowley Discordant Comicals: The Christmas Hoodeners of East Kent, Tradition and Revival(Frampton)


Reviews — Sound Recordings

Andy Arleo

Rum Scum Scoosh! Songs and Stories of an Aberdeen Childhood (Stanley Robertson)

Chokit on a Tattie: Children’s Songs and Rhymes

Pekka Gronow West Indian Rhythm: Trinidad Calypsos on World
and Local Events, Featuring the Censored Recordings 1938–1940

E. Bradtke

‘Here’s one you’ll like, I think’: Traditional Fiddle Music from the Forest of Dean (Stephen Baldwin)

Graeme Kirkham

Patchwork Europe: Early Recordings 1911–1954

Keith Chandler

Meeting's a Pleasure: Folk-songs of the Upper South



Ian Russell Barry Callaghan
Patrick Ryan John Campbell
Keith Chandler Douglas Fowell
Ed Cray Albert Barron Friedman
Jerry O'Reilly Frank Harte
Keith Chandler Alfred Cyril Hathaway
Steve Gardham Nigel Hudlestone
Gwilym Davies Peter Kennedy

Roy Palmer

Bob Rundle
Lyn Murfin Sophie Legg
Derek Schofield Frank Purslow
E. David Gregory Philip J. Thomas


Cover illustrations Lucy Broadwood and J.A. Fuller Maitland. Reproduced by permission of Surrey History Service. Copyright of Surrey History Service. On trial before King James, Geillis Duncan plays the tune she played to Satan. Drawing by F. Armytage in Sir Walter Scott, Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft. Courtesy of Mary Evans Picture Library.

Editor: David Atkinson


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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