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At the heart of English folk

Folk Music Journal: Volume 10 Number 4

Volume 10 Number 4 (2014) contains the following pieces 



Andrew Gustar The Life and Times of Black-Ey'd Susan: The Story of an English Ballad

John Gay's nautical ballad 'Sweet William's Farewell to Black-Ey'd Susan', published in 1719, was soon set to music by composers including Richard Leveridge, whose setting became the established version. The song remained popular, and inspired art, literature, and numerous musical arrangements and interpretations, with a modified version of the original tune becoming standard from the mid-nineteenth century.  Appropriated as a traditional song on both sides of the Atlantic, it was encountered, in different versions, by folk song collectors, including Cecil Sharp. It continues to appear in song collections and as part of the performed repertoire.


Martin Graebe  Old Songs and Sugar Mice: The Story of the Remarkable Miss Mason

In 1877, Marianne Harriet Mason published Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs, a collection of songs obtained orally from her family and from people around her. She was in contact with several of the early folk song collectors and was a friend of both Sabine Baring-Gould and Lucy Broadwood. As well as being the first woman to collect and publish traditional songs, she was a pioneer in many other ways. This article looks at her life, her song collection, and her part in the Victorian folk song revival.


David Atkinson 'William and Margaret': An Eighteenth-Century Ballad

The Child ballad 'Fair Margaret and Sweet William' (Child 74) can supposedly be traced back to an echo in a play of the first decade of the seventeenth century, and yet there is no actual trace of the ballad until a broadside of c.1720. At that time, there also start to appear various copies of another ballad, generally known as 'William and Margaret', which tells a similar story but in a more 'literary' style. This has been widely, but inconclusively, attributed to the Anglo-Scots poet and playwright David Mallet (formerly Malloch) (1701/2?–65). The present article traces the parallel paths taken by the two ballads, reviews the claims about authorship, and considers their contrasting styles, with a view to a reassessment of what the 'ballad' might have meant to the eighteenth century.


Gordon Ridgewell

The Vale of Mowbray Sword Dancers


Reviews — Books

Andy Turner

The Derbyshire Book of Village Carols (ed. Russell)

Keith Chandler

Morris Dancers and Rose Queens, Vol. 2: An Anthology of Reported Carnivals and Galas in West Lancashire 1900 to 1909 (Haslett)

David Atkinson

Songs of People on the Move (ed. McKean)

Dave Townsend

Never on a Sunday: Marches, Dances, Song Tunes and Party Pieces as Played by a 19th Century Village Church Band (ed. Woods)

David Atkinson

Medieval English Lyrics and Carols (ed. Duncan)

David Atkinson

The Songs and Travels of a Tudor Minstrel: Richard Sheale of Tamworth (Taylor)

Martin Graebe

A Somerset Scrapbook: Songs, Stories and Music from the County of Somerset (CD-ROM version) (Patten)

Heather Horner

Oxfordshire Carols (ed. Townsend)

Valentina Bold

Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era (McAulay)


Reviews — CDs 

Graeme Kirkham

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

Roly Brown

Easy and Bold (John and Tim Lyons)

Keith Chandler

Songs and Ballads from Perthshire Field Recordings


Review — DVD

Colin Harte

The Yellow Bittern: The Life and Times of Liam Clancy



Bert Cleaver

Ivor Allsop

John Moulden

Charlie McGonigle

John Moulden

Dan McGonigle

Thomas A. McKean Jane turriff



Cover illustration Marianne Mason, photo takenon her retirement, 1910. Photo courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives (DD/716/58/3).

Editor: David Atkinson


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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