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Sam Henry's Songs of the People

Jim Carroll 22 Apr 19 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!) 22 Apr 19 - 04:33 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 19 - 02:10 AM
GUEST,matt milton 23 Apr 19 - 04:09 AM
Reinhard 23 Apr 19 - 05:10 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 19 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,SB 23 Apr 19 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Clive Pownceby 23 Apr 19 - 08:21 AM
Marje 23 Apr 19 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,SB 24 Apr 19 - 07:49 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 19 - 08:06 AM
Richard Mellish 26 Apr 19 - 01:02 PM
Ross Campbell 26 Apr 19 - 08:14 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Apr 19 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,SB 29 Apr 19 - 09:15 AM
Vic Smith 29 Apr 19 - 10:12 AM
Vic Smith 29 Apr 19 - 10:25 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Apr 19 - 10:41 AM
Richard Mellish 01 May 19 - 05:57 AM
Vic Smith 01 May 19 - 02:40 PM
Jim Carroll 02 May 19 - 02:46 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Sam Henry's Voice of the People
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Apr 19 - 03:17 PM

Watched a wonderful programme last night on BBC 2 (presumably Northern Ireland)
It was the first of two, hour long programmes on the Coleraine collector, Sam Henry - beautiful, both aurally and visually - a loving and intelligent account of his life and work gathering the songs that eventually ended up in the mammoth 'Songs of the People'
Great interviews with Alan Lomax, John Moulden, Len Graham, Maurice Leyden....
Not sure about the claim that the Henry Collection was 'the largest one published in these islands (I'd have thought the Geig Duncan held that record)
I was astounded to learn that the published collection represented less than half the material gathered - Henry made a point of photographing many of his singers
It was very heartening to see the pride displayed by those involved in what they firmly believed to be 'The People's Songs'
I don't know how accessible BBC 2 (NI) is outside Ireland but if it's still up it's well worth a watch - next one on Sunday (presumably)
If you get to see it, watch out for the excellent Annie McKenzie's 'Frog and the Mouse' - living proof tat these songs never grow old,
Enjoy - if you get the chance
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Voice of the People
From: GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!)
Date: 22 Apr 19 - 04:33 PM

It's available on BBC iPlayer for the next 29 days:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m0004k3b/sam-henry-songs-of-the-people

I'll watch it tomorrow - thanks for the heads up Jim!


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 02:10 AM

Thanks for that John
I notice that, true to form nowadays, the BBC won't allow people from outside the UK to share their programmes - pity.
Don't know if there's a way around that
Thanks again John
Jim


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:09 AM

Thanks for sharing that info Jim, I'll definitely watch this. The huge Sam Henry 'Songs of the People' book that I got for christmas about 10 years ago has been a gift that has kept on giving: a goldmine.

"I notice that, true to form nowadays, the BBC won't allow people from outside the UK to share their programmes - pity."

I could be wrong but I think you have to be a license payer to watch TV on iPlayer ... given that the TV license is what pays for TV programmes like this in the first place, that doesn't strike me as all that unreasonable.


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Reinhard
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 05:10 AM

Jim, it isn't just nowadays. I never could see BBC TV programmes in Germany. But I'm glad that I still can listen to Folkscene and Genevieve Tudor...


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 05:20 AM

Matt
They specify 'living outside Britain' as a reason for not being able to access their site
I used to be a regular listener to their World Service broadcasts - used to love their theme tune, 'Sailing By' until they sank the ship
Jim


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: GUEST,SB
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 07:39 AM

More info. here ...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3sP9Hm9L04dbfj10XhZSC8c/a-life-of-song-how-sam-henry-saved-the-peoples-music


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 08:21 AM

Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention Jim. A remarkable and valuable programme. I've had John Moulden's book (though only Part One from 1979) for many years - an absorbing study.


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Marje
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:38 PM

Wow, Jim, thank you so much for the heads-up! I am watching this at the moment and it's terrific stuff. I grew up in NI, although I have lived all my adult life in England, and to my shame I'd never heard of Sam Henry's collection. There's some great songs and singers in this programme, with some fascinating local history, and I'm so enjoying the clear Ulster speech too. A real treat, and another programme to follow!

Marje


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: GUEST,SB
Date: 24 Apr 19 - 07:49 AM

Download link

https://we.tl/t-z21gYYhx71


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 19 - 08:06 AM

Magic
Every home should have one
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 26 Apr 19 - 01:02 PM

Inspired by this thread and by a separate recommendation in the TSF Newsletter, today I bought a TV licence, for the first time for many years.


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 26 Apr 19 - 08:14 PM

As Jim Carroll said "Every home should have one"!

And you still can - not as cheaply as when I got my remaindered copy, but still worth every penny. Bookfinder's cheapest offer (new) is £33.88 on eBay, but many more available not much dearer. A few cheaper used copies if you use 'Sam Henry's "Songs of the People"' in the search box.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sam-Henrys-Songs-of-the-People-9780820336251-Paperback-2010/233083223230?epid=111685908&hash=item3644

Ross

PS Thanks for the heads-up about the programme, Jim. Just got myself a wifi hub here in remote Fermanagh, so may be able to watch before it disappears.


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Apr 19 - 04:21 AM

Can I suggest that, if people are intending to acquire a copy of Sam Henry, they should seek out the hardback
It's a big book and very likely to be used a lot - I first had the paperback but became worried that it was getting tatty, so I shelled out for the HB - I've found it very well worth the extra
I used it a lot recently in my search for Irish Child Ballads, and was glad of the extra resilience
It would be a godsend if it were in digitised form (as I found with my digitised copies of Child and Bronson) - so much quicker to use seriously

A reminder that part 2 of the programme should be on tomorrow night (haven't got the paper yet to check)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: GUEST,SB
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 09:15 AM

Episode 2

Download link

https://we.tl/t-TY2HyE1TR1

====


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 10:12 AM

After a weekend away, I managed to watch Songs of the People on BBC i-Player last night and can only agree with the opening post that it was "Wonderful".
Not only was it well constructed with useful, informative and well researched and edited contributions from singers, collectors and academics who managed to structure a profile that helped the viewer's understanding of this very interesting man, the programme used excellent cinematography of the superb landscape of the area where Henry was working and collecting, including aerial footage. Clearly this was an expensive programme to make - and deservedly so. One of the best on the traditional music of the British Isles that I have seen. I think that I will have to record it to DVD from the i-Player because this is a programme that I will want to keep.
It was interesting to read the question about whether the Henry or the Greig/Duncan collection is the larger. Looking at the mighty 8-thick volumes of the Greig/Duncan on my bookshelves, it would be difficult to imagine any larger collection, but in the end it does not matter because we can just be thankful that these two magnificent collections have been published.
Both Gavin Greig (in the Buchan Observer) and Sam Henry (in the Northern Constitution) used local newspapers and publicise their collections - and by printing some stimulated other singers to get in touch with other songs. It turned out to be a very good move for both of them.
Another similarity is that both collections appeared on American university publishing houses. Perhaps it was because the these university presses - Georgia for Henry, and Folklore Associates through the University of Pennsylvania for Greig were remaindered quite quickly so that I was able to buy my Folk Song of the North-East directly from Kenneth Goldstein in 1970 for less that a quarter of the published price at the TMSA festival in 1970. With the Songs of the People, I saw it for sale in a bookshop in Galway around 1990. There were many copies at what I thought was a ridiculous price. In fact when I returned to that shop on a later visit to Galway a couple of years later, there were still copies on sale; I bought one as a present for a friend!
At the end of the programme, we were shown shelves of Henry's papers with the comment that a great deal of Sam's work war yet to be catalogued. It would be great to think that there is hope that Henry's collection could receive the same attention that Gavin Greig's did in the 8 volumes edited by Pat Shulham-Shaw, Emily Lyle and others.


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 10:25 AM

Episode 2 also available on BBC i-Player


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 10:41 AM

Unfortunately the second programme doesn't come up to the first - folk glitzy passionless stage performances in my opinions
A great argument for having songs like these performed in clubs rather than media backed groups
Sad
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 01 May 19 - 05:57 AM

I've just listened to the first two songs. Andy Irvine's tune seems to me completely different from the one in the book, and Hannah Rarity's is similar to the one in the book but not the same, more like another Marrowbones tune (the source of which I can't immediately remember).


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 May 19 - 02:40 PM

I would have to agree largely with Jim's assessment of the second programme. In the main, the singers did not seem to have approached the singing style that goes snugly with traditional song. The two better female singers were hampered rather than helped by their piano accompaniment. From his coughs and snuffles in his introduction Andy Irvine seemed to have a cold and it certainly sounded like it when he sang. Len Graham soared above it all but he was only given one song.
And what did the lighting engineer think he was up to? Again he hampered rather the helped the proceedings.
Very disappointing after the excellent first programme. An opportunity missed


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Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 May 19 - 02:46 AM

Couldn't agree more Vic - Len was head and shoulders above them all
The irony was that the first programme included several excellent singers - as interviewees, Brian Mullen, Maurice Leyden and Sean Corcoran spring to mind, but there is a rich seam of representative singers they could have drawn from, all who have used Sam Henry's songs and sing them with skill and understanding
THere are also a few younger singers who have direct link with some of the major traditional singers - from Mary Ann Carolan's and Geordie Hanna's families... a far suitable follow-up to the 'folk-bling' that was presented.
I'm often stunned at the quality of some of the programmes on song and music coming from The Northern Counties - covering both the performances and the more serious research aspects
Hopefully, this will continue
Jim


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