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Worcestershire Folklore and Folk Songs (Dec 11)

In December Richard Churchley gave an entertaining talk on 'Worcestershire Folklore and Folk Songs'. He gave the background to several Worcestershire/Warwickshire folk songs before performing some of the songs on a variety of instruments.

Over the years people have collected songs to try to ensure their survival. In Warwickshire many songs, some dating from Elizabethan times, were collected by Cecil Sharp. He interviewed, for example, farm labourers, at first writing down the music but eventually using wax cylinders to record the songs. A couple of the songs performed had connections with Bromsgrove and there were also the Worcestershire carols, not to be confused with Christmas carols, which tried to fill in everyday details of the life of Jesus. 'Whose pigs are these', a round originating from Broadway, was performed admirably by the audience accompanied by interesting sound effects.

Finally Richard included several tunes associated with Morris dancing pointing out that 'sides' varied according to where they were from. Around here a 'side' consisted of eight men who would black their faces whereas in the Cotswolds a 'side' was six men but with no black faces and no ribbons.

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