Voice of the People

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be invited up to Broadcasting House, in London, to take part in a forthcoming documentary on Radio 3, about folk-song collecting, past and present.


I was there to talk about how the early collectors, like Cecil Sharp, were labouring under the idea that rural folk cultures were, in some sense, pagan, or had preserved aspects of an ancient fertility religion in their seasonal calendar of folk customs. That idea has collapsed, but it remained so pervasive during the twentieth century that it inspired all manner of bands, revived folk customs, and other manifestations of popular culture (not least, The Wicker Man).

I had a lot of fun, especially getting to meet various folk musicians and collectors, and I loved watching a radio programme being made.

The programme, Voice of the People, is hosted by Verity Sharp, and will be broadcast on January 30th 2016 as part of a weekend devoted to folk music.



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