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Radio 3 play about Cecil Sharp (1859-1924)


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Author Topic: Radio 3 play about Cecil Sharp (1859-1924)  (Read 118 times)
Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« on: May 08, 2021, 10:29:37 am »

Tomorrow (Sunday 9th May) at 7.30pm a new play on Radio 3 may be of interest:

Folk
Drama on 3

Simon Russell Beale plays Cecil Sharp in Nell Leyshon's play Folk, inspired by his song-collecting in Somerset in the summer of 1903. Louie Hooper lives with her sister on the Somerset Levels, and knows over 300 folk songs by heart. Cecil Sharp, who is down from London and staying in the village, overhears one of the songs. He immediately recognises its importance and is determined to gather as many songs as he can, before they are lost in the new industrialised and literate world of music halls and ballad sheets. Louie thinks of her songs as free and changeable, owned and sung by the people. Sharp thinks the songs can be caught and arranged, saved for posterity, but he also believes they will inspire a new classical English music, and a new sense of pride in England. Cecil Sharp co-founded what is now the English Folk Dance and Song Society and was at the heart of the first folk revival in the early 20th century, collecting around 5000 songs from singers in England and America. The first songs he collected in Somerset formed his thinking.

Sharp could see the oral tradition was dying out, and had an extreme sense of urgency to gather as many songs as he could, often from the older generation. He then arranged and published selections of songs so that they could be taught to all children to strengthen the English national character, as well as inspire a new English classical tradition. Sharp was seen as the godfather of folk, and a hero for saving the songs, but questions have also been raised about his appropriation of the material, his reworking and tidying of the songs, and his racial and nationalistic ideologies. The idea for the play Folk came from an exhibition which told the stories of some of the singers. Writer Nell Leyshon discovered that Sharp had collected songs from the village she grew up in and that all his work had begun in Hambridge, a village close to hers.

Sharp collected many songs from Louie, who had an extraordinary feel for music. In an old interview recorded by the BBC, Louie described how she heard music everywhere, in the birds and in the rain falling on the roof. The play is set at the time when a village was a whole world and contained everything needed - when Nell grew up in Somerset, it was still common to meet people who had hardly left her village. People still had traditional haymaking rituals including song. Folk was originally commissioned by The Hampstead Theatre but is unstaged, as of yet, due to the pandemic.




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Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2021, 06:42:47 am »

Just a reminder - 7.30pm!



They simply can't get enough of "Dabbling in the Dew", "The Saucy Sailor" and "Gently, Johnny, my Jingalo"...

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2021, 09:44:03 am »

Just a reminder - 7.30pm!



They simply can't get enough of "Dabbling in the Dew", "The Saucy Sailor" and "Gently, Johnny, my Jingalo"...

 Cheesy
Thank you for the reminder. I shall probably listen to it on line in the wee small hours.

That Rambling Syd Rumpo gets in everywhere, don't he?!
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Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2021, 10:11:39 am »

They simply can't get enough of "Dabbling in the Dew", "The Saucy Sailor" and "Gently, Johnny, my Jingalo"...
That Rambling Syd Rumpo gets in everywhere, don't he?!

These tantalising tit-bits are all contained in Sharp's English Folk Songs (1919) - I kid ye not...

https://archive.org/details/englishfolksongs01shar/page/n7/mode/2up

...I must read about what (probably dismal and ignominious) fate befell young "Fanny Blair".

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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 08:35:12 pm »

sorry we don't get Radio 3 here in the USA...   
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Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2021, 07:37:33 am »

sorry we don't get Radio 3 here in the USA...   

Please see the British and Irish Music thread on the Downloads (by nationality) board. This board is available to logged-in members only.

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)

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