What? Why?

This site has been directly inspired – indeed can be regarded as an hommage to – Jon Boden’s A Folk Song A Day project. You’ll notice that I’ve set myself a less ambitious target: realistically, there’s no way I’m going to be able to record and post a song every day. Also, I’m pretty sure I don’t know 365 songs. At a song a week, I reckon I can keep going for at least 3 years, but I really don’t know how many songs I have in my repertoire. If nothing else, this project will allow me to find out.

Another reason for putting these songs online is that, although I sing plenty of well-known songs, I do have a number of more obscure gems and I feel I ought to put these in the public domain. Besides, even if hardly anyone listens to them, I should have fun recording and blogging about the songs.

And it’s so easy to record music and put it online these days. And cheap. This site uses a WordPress blog, which is free. I’ve used a standard theme, and limited myself to customisation which incurs no extra cost. The MP3 files are hosted at dropbox.com which offers very generous upload limits, all for free.


Most of the songs I post here will be unaccompanied, which Jon and I agree is the “proper” way to perform traditional songs. But some will have concertina accompaniment, and I hope there may be some collaborations along the way.

My definition of folk song is fairly conservative – pretty much I think of “folk music” as being synonymous with “traditional music” (whatever that is). Most of what I sing is from traditional sources. But I my musical tastes extend way beyond folk, and I do have a few songs in my repertoire which are not strictly folk, and will have no hesitation in including those on this blog in due course.

4 Comments to “What? Why?”

  1. Hi, really like this site and the work you’re doing. Here in Bath I’ve been running our own form of weekly songcasts based around the singers group that I co-run, it’s called ‘A Sunday Song’ as we meet every Sunday, and includes songs from different people who turn up as well as some words written by them about why they chose the song. Have a look, it’s nice to know there are others in the world carrying on such a great idea http://asundaysong.blogspot.co.uk/

  2. Thanks for your comment Tim, and thanks for the link. You’ll see on the “Who?” page that Pete Heywood from Living Tradition has left a comment about how many of these sites seem to be springing up, and suggesting that they would be worth an article in his magazine. Don’t suppose either of us would argue with that!

  3. Hey Andy, just found your site- stunning, so much to explore. I can’t find enough time to keep up my own website, http://www.jackwarshaw.com or blog, https://jacksarrow.wordpress.com/author/jacksarrow/ but I do try to reflect on the performance aspects and topics that can make today’s songs so relevant to people searching for something truthful, authentic and non-commercial. Have a gander. Also like your Folk Against Fascism logo. Keep it up.

  4. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to speak to someone about your Week 144 and Week 145 article in your “A Folk Song a Week. “The Nightingales Sing and Husbandman and Servingman. I am the Granddaughter of Raymond Cantwell. Some of the information you have in this article is incorrect and I have all five verses of my Grandfather, Raymond and his cousin Frederick Cantwell singing the nightingale. Frederick’s son,Frederick, was the person playing the violin and the accordian on different recordings and it was my Grandfather, Raymond who had the eight sons. One of these was my father. I know that Mike Yates recorded the brothers singing nine different songs in 1975 at Standlake where I still live I remember being these when this was done. Gwilym Davies recorded Uncle John and Uncle Aubrey when they were living at Stonehouse, near Stroud and I have met Gwilym at my house in Standlake. I have in fact spoken to both Mike Yates and Gwilym Davies this evening. Please could someone contact me as I would like the facts that are shown in your article corrected and I would appreciate the opportunity to talk to Andy Turner who it appears is particularly interested in the song The Nightingale.

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