From the Library: The Folk of England

Elrik Mer­lin writes:

When I heard Otenth play­ing Gillian Welch yes­ter­day, it struck me that it’s some time since I did a pro­gramme of folk music from my side of the Pond, and par­tic­u­lar­ly from Eng­land (I do play quite a lot of Celtic music). So I start­ed sort­ing through my library to build a good 24-hour playlist. I stopped when it got to 35, and then cut it back a bit — but it’s still too long, so you’ll hear some more on anoth­er occa­sion. There is plen­ty more where today’s show came from.

So today, we’ll hear some of the best of Eng­lish folk, from the late Fifties onwards, pri­mar­i­ly. Though there are bound to be some odd­i­ties. For exam­ple, I want you to hear June Tabor’s mov­ing ver­sion of Mag­gie Hol­land’s A Prop­er Sort of Gar­den­er, and on the same album is Di Nakht, a song in Yid­dish writ­ten in New York in 1929 and also very mov­ing in a very dif­fer­ent way. Am I going to exclude it? Well, no. There are also a cou­ple of com­pi­la­tion albums, such as Anthems in Eden, includ­ing artists who are by no means exclu­sive­ly Eng­lish. But the gen­er­al thread is one that winds its way through the Eng­lish folk scene over the past 40 years or so, from peo­ple like Ewan Mac­Coll (pic­tured above with Peg­gy Seeger and oth­ers) to tracks from The Imag­ined Vil­lage, an album of mod­ern re-work­ings of clas­sic folk songs.

I do hope you enjoy it.

From the Library is pro­duced in con­junc­tion with the Cale­don Library; today’s pro­gramme was pro­duced by Elrik Mer­lin. You can lis­ten to it on our Main Stream as fol­lows:

If you want to have the Radio Riel Main Stream play­ing on your par­cel, please set the media music URL to:

If you want to lis­ten off-world, links are pro­vid­ed at the bot­tom of the grey pan­el top left of this page, to the left of the Cal­en­dar. Alter­na­tive­ly, sim­ply click here.

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2 Responses to “From the Library: The Folk of England”

  1. Saffia Widdershins says:

    This was love­ly. Some of these were com­plete­ly new to me — Fan­ny Blair sent shiv­ers down my spine, but I missed who was the singer.

  2. Elrik Merlin says:

    Aha! That was actu­al­ly from Mad­dy Pri­or’s 2001 release, “Arthur The King”. She is still tour­ing reg­u­lar­ly and releas­ing very impres­sive albums.

    Not all this album is based around the sto­ry of King Arthur — that occu­pies 10 tracks and runs about 30 min­utes. The oth­er five are excel­lent ren­der­ings of tra­di­tion­al songs, and “Fan­ny Blair” is a good exam­ple.

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