The Voice of the People

The Voice of the People

The Voice of the People is an anthology of folk songs sung by Traditional singers of England Scotland Wales and Ireland.

There are 511 recordings on 20 CDs, compiled by Dr Reg Hall, a historian at Sussex University. The singers were celebrities within their own community but unknown to the world at large until collectors arrived with portable tape recorders in the 1950s and 60s. A few of them recorded enough material for an entire album. Most are known for a couple of songs. A few scraps of biographical notes are given in booklets that accompany the discs. Every one of them led working-class lives. Volumes 9 and 19 are collections of instrumentals. In a few cases the singers used song books or ballad sheets to supplement their repertoire, but in most cases their versions are from oral tradition. This collection is the UK equivalent of Harry smith's Anthology of American Folk Music.

The following is a selection of songs from the whole series

Volume 1: Come Let Us Buy the Licence - Songs of Courtship & Marriage
* The Song of the Riddles sung by Willie Clancy
* The Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie sung by Jimmy MacBeath
* Who Are You, My Pretty Fair Maid? sung by Joe Heaney

Volume 2: My Ship Shall Sail the Ocean - Songs of Tempest & Sea Battles, Sailor Lads & Fishermen
* The Oak and the Ash sung by Jumbo Brightwell

Volume 3: O’er His Grave the Grass Grew Green - Tragic Ballads
* The Bonny Boy sung by Fred Jordan
* Newry Town sung by Jumbo Brightwell
* Lady Margaret (Child 77) sung by Paddy Tunney
* The Twa Brothers (Child 49) sung by Belle Stewart

Volume 4: Farewell, My Own Dear Native Land - Songs of Exile & Emigration.

Volume 5: Come All My Lads That Follow the Plough - The Life of Rural Working Men & Women

Volume 6: Tonight I'll Make You My Bride - Ballads of True & False Lovers
* The Forester (Child 110) sung by Lizzie Higgins

Volume 7: First I'm Going To Sing You a Ditty - Rural Fun & Frolics
* Three Sons of Rogues sung by Pop Maynard, 1956.

Volume 8: A Story I'm Just About To Tell - Local Events & National Issues
* The Wind That Shakes the Barley sung by Sarah Makem
* The Bonny Bunch of Roses sung by Cyril Poacher

Volume 9: Rig-A-Jig-Jig - Dance Music of the South of England

Volume 10: Who's That at my Bedroom Window? - Songs of Love & Amorous Encounters
* Seventeen Come Sunday sung by Bob Hart

Volume 11: My Father's the King of the Gypsies - English and Welsh Travellers & Gypsies
* The Young Officer (Child 4) sung by Mary Ann Haynes

Volume 12: We've Received Orders to Sail - Jackie Tar at Sea & on Shore
* The Lofty Tall Ship sung by Sam Larner, 1958 or ‘59.

Volume 13: They Ordered Their Pints of Beer & Bottle of Sherry - The Joys and Curse of Drink
* Coming Home Late (Child 274) sung by George Spicer

Volume 14: Troubles They Are But Few - Dance Tunes & Ditties
* The Barley Grain sung by Austin Flanagan

Volume 15: As Me and My Love Sat Courting - Songs of Love, Courtship & Marriage
* Coochie Coochie Coo Go Way sung by Jamsie McCarthy

Volume 16: You Lazy Lot of Boneshakers - Songs & Dance Tunes of Seasonal Events
* Gower Wassailsung by Phil Tanner, 1936

Volume 17: It Fell on a Day, a Bonny Summer Day - Ballads
* In Worcester City sung by Harry Cox, 1958.
* Lady Mary Ann sung by Lizzie Higgins
* The Gypsy Laddie (Child 200) sung by Jeannie Robertson, 1953.
* Bonny Barbara Allan (Child 84) sung by Sarah Makem, 1967.

Volume 18: To Catch a Fine Buck Was My Delight - Songs of Hunting & Poaching
* The Hungry Fox sung by Harry Burgess, 1956.

Volume 19: Ranting & Reeling - Dance Music of the North of England

Volume 20: There is a Man Upon the Farm - Working Men & Women in Song
* The Overgate sung by Belle Stewart


Brian Peters wrote in "Roots World" as "the crème de la crème of Britain's traditional singers and musicians." [ [ Roots World] ] . "Veteran Records" said it was "The greatest set of CDs of English, Irish and Scottish singing and music ever produced" [ [ Compilations ] ]


External links

* [ Technical aspects of recoring the series]
* [ Review of VOTP]

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