February 08, 2010

English Folk Archive

You won't hear me say this very often, but my goodness: sometimes I really love the technology.

It's no secret that I love English folk music. I grew up listening to Steeleye Span. As an adult, thanks to the internet, I have discovered a whole world of artists like Steeleye Span--or somehow associated with them--and my collection of British folk is really growing.

I've just discovered a wonderful site dedicated to the folk-revival in England that began in the late 60's. It has complete discographies, lyrics, backround information about the folk songs, etc. etc. etc. A musical treasure trove.

The English Folk Music Archive. Webmaster Reinhard Zierke has created a cross listed archive of the Folk-Rock movement in England. Listing well known groups like Fairport Convention and The Watersons, who had a US following, as well as lesser known artists like John Kirkpatrick (an accordion and concertina player), and newer artists, like Martin Carthy's daughter Eliza Carthy.

I love this because once these songs (well, the older ones at least) were common tunes across the nation but now they are hardly known (and never sung, as Show of Hands laments in this great song). Sowith this website, and the ever growing wealth of videos on YouTube, and I'd say things are looking pretty fantastic. Maybe one of these days I'll take a chance and start singing some folk music myself. Here are a few I'm currently obsessed with:

The Game of All Fours

What Will We Do?

Sorry the Day I was Married

Farewell, Farewell

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