The vibrant tradition of English folk song | The Spectator

After hundreds of densely packed pages on folk song in England — a subject for which I share Steve Roud’s passion — I am none the wiser as to why folk song collectors assumed that a man singing in a pub for free drinks in, say, 1890 or 1920 was de facto a folk singer? A singer of folk songs, yes. A folk singer, maybe not. Such men were ‘professional’ singers of popular songs. They sung what people wished to hear, for recompense: a pint.

If a collector was lucky — and they often weren’t — he might hear on a particular evening the weal and woe and muck and mire of ‘auld ballets’, but they would be buried amid what the 19th-century ballad editor Francis James Child called ‘a veritable dunghill’ of broadside ballads and music-hall pastiches [ . . . ] More at: The vibrant tradition of English folk song | The Spectator

Book Review: Folk Song in England by Steve Roud

Folk Song in England by Steve Roud Faber & Faber – 17 August 2017

Anyone who has an interest in Folk song or folklore and superstition in Britain will have more than likely stumbled upon the books of Steve Roud (if not his Roud Folk Song Index). In 2012, he, along with Julia Bishop, gave us The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, a long overdue update of the 1959 classic with the addition of lesser-known discoveries, complete with music and annotations on their original sources and meaning [ . . . ] More at: Book Review: Folk Song in England by Steve Roud | Folk Radio UK