Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gloucestershire Folksongs

For those who like their folk music authentic there's this site of hundreds of collected songs and dances from Gloucestershire (SW England, Welsh border). Many are in original recordings from decades ago. What impresses one at first is how rough the quality of singing is, but how unselfconscious the singers are about this. Remembering Chesterton's admonition that all should be able to sing the songs of their land with full voice, they clearly have something going that we now lack. We, in our shyness unless we are of performance quality, have lost much of what singing is actually for. It's for doing more than hearing.


james said...

Youngest Daughter winces a bit when we sing on the way to church. As long as you aren't too picky about the key I don't sound _that_ bad. I think.

Probably the ubiquity of professional song, sometimes auto-tuned to precision, makes one's own voice sound very rough in contrast. Attempting a song that customarily has complex instrumentation is even more daunting. I suspect we've been burned by our own wealth here.

I sing in the car sometimes. Not often enough, I think.

Grim said...


RichardJohnson said...

One Christmas I requested and received a copy of Alan Lomax's American Folk Songs book. I later noticed that my mother had added her own notes to some of the songs, such as noting that her father sang Cripple Creek to her. Folk Songs: not just for Pete Seeger Commie hidden indoctrination.