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2009-06-12 07:01 pm
Entry tags:

Seed, bud, flower, fruit

While I was looking around for some folk lyrics, I found this interesting FT article on folk music and constructions of Englishness, focusing on Show of Hands and their song Roots.

Attempts to write English national songs tend to founder on the question of conservatism: does English identity mean no more than an insistence that nothing should ever change?

Well, obviously the answer to that is "no", but I think there are some interesting questions about moving forwards involved. They're basically not in favour of SoH's approach, but I think that ignores one of the most important strands of folk history & practice, which is the protest song.
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2009-05-16 02:53 pm
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Seven's all the stories ever told

One for sorrow, two for joy
Three for a girl and four for a boy.
Five for silver, six for gold
Seven's all the stories ever told.

Has anyone else heard this version of the magpie rhyme? I have a feeling it may be a Lancashire thing.
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2009-01-07 12:04 pm
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The sad death of Morris, late deceased in beggary

Abi Sutherland on the demise of Morris dancing in England.

Short version - the Morris Ring have gone off on one again, and the BBC took them at face value. Long version - lots of links and videos and descriptions of interesting Morris variants around the globe.
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2008-03-12 01:23 am
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[Folkies] Stormbone

I picked up Kila's new album, Gambler's Ballet, the other day. It's Irish fusion folk, really good.

One thing that's really bugging me, though, is that on the instruments list for one of the songs (Fir Bolg) is something called a stormbone, and I have no idea at all what this instrument is.

Fiddle; stormbone, clarinet, lute, tablas, bongos (all the same musician); vocals, clarinet; tambourine, dumbeg; guitar, bass; piobai uillean, tin whistle; guitar; additional clarinet.

In context, it's presumably either woodwind or percussion. Will have to listen hard to the track to see if I can find it.

In other news, I'm finally getting (some of) the hang of my new cameraphone. Pictures here, for those of you who don't read Eithin.