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At the heart of English folk
Cecil Sharp

BBC Radio 2's Cecil Sharp Collection needs you!

At the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (19 February), a new element will be introduced: the Folk Awards Hall of Fame. The first inductee will be Cecil Sharp!

Cecil James Sharp (1859-1924) was England's most prolific folk music and dance collector in what is now widely known as the First Folk Revival. Between the time of Sharp's first serious collecting experience in a Somerset vicarage garden in August 1903, until his death on Midsummer Eve 1924, he amassed a total of 4,977 tunes in England and North America, many of which were published in various forms in order to promote and revive what was perceived to be a fading part of traditional culture.

To celebrate Cecil Sharp's induction, as well as his life and legacy, Radio 2 is creating its own digital 'Cecil Sharp Collection'.

Listeners who sing or play folk music - to any standard and on any instrument - are invited to contribute to this collection with their own home recordings. Recording artists, morris team musicians and representatives from folk clubs are also very welcome to take part.

Three songs and three dance tunes from Cecil Sharp's collection (all of which feature in the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s (EFDSS) The Full English digital archive) have been chosen for this project. The songs are The Seeds of Love, Claudy Banks and Barbara Allen. The tunes are Laudanum Bunches, Bean Setting and Country Gardens.


Sheet Music / Lyrics

Click the following links to download sheet music and lyrics:
The Seeds Of Love
: Sheet Music | Lyrics
Claudy Banks
: Sheet Music | Lyrics
Barbara Allen
: Sheet Music | Lyrics
Bean Setting
: Sheet Music
Country Gardens
: Sheet Music
Laudnum Bunches
: Sheet Music

Guidance on how to record and share your recordings can be found by visiting the Radio 2 website. There you will also find lyrics, sheet music and inspiration in the form of existing recordings.

Listen to the latest contributions

Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #R2CecilSharp
Follow EFDSS on Twitter @TheEFDSS


Get up close with Cecil Sharp’s manuscripts

Would you like to see Sharp’s manuscripts, in person? Come along to view and explore a showcase of original manuscripts in these rare open archive day events, hosted by EFDSS and partners:

The Full English Archive Day
Saturday 8 March
10am – 12.30pm
Clare College, Cambridge      
Find out more                                          

The Full English Archive Day
Cecil Sharp House
Saturday 14 June 2014
10am – 4pm
Find out more

Find out more about Cecil Sharp

Search Sharp’s manuscript collections within The Full English digital archive

Watch a slideshow about Cecil Sharp's diaries, produced by the BBC

Explore Sharp’s diaries, in which he describes his collecting experiences in the Appalachian Mountains between 1915 – 1918



National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


Donate now

There's never been a better time to donate to EFDSS - between now and 2019 your donation will be matched by Arts Council England!