Various Artists – English Folk Dances (1974)

FrontCover1This album was produced by theEnglish Folk Dance and Song Society

The English Folk Dance and Song Society  was formed in 1932 when two organisations merged: the Folk-Song Society and the English Folk Dance Society. The EFDSS, a member-based organisation, was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (no. 297142) in 1935 and became a registered charity (no. 305999) in England and Wales in 1963.

The Folk-Song Society, founded in London in 1898, focused on collecting and publishing, primarily folk songs of Britain and Ireland although there was no formal limitation. Participants included: Lucy Broadwood, Kate Lee, Cecil Sharp, Percy Grainger, Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth, George Barnet Gardiner, Henry Hammond, Anne Gilchrist and Ella Leather.

The English Folk Dance Society was founded in 1911 by Cecil Sharp. Maud Karpeles was a leading participant. Its purpose was to preserve and promote English folk dances in their traditional forms, including Morris and sword dances, traditional social dances, and interpretations of the dances published by John Playford. The first secretary of the society was Lady Mary Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis; Trefusis Hall in the EFDSS HQ, Cecil Sharp House, is named after her.

One of the greatest contributions that the EFDSS made to the folk movement, both dance and song, was the folk festival, starting with the Stratford-upon-Avon Festival in the 1940s and continuing with festivals in Whitby, Sidmouth, Holmfirth, Chippenham and elsewhere.

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Since 1936 the EFDSS has published English Dance & Song at least four times a year. This has become the longest-established magazine devoted to folk music, dance and song in the country. English Dance & Song is aimed at stimulating the interest of the membership of the EFDSS, as well as the wider folk music and dance community.

Their regular scholarly publication is Folk Music Journal, published annually in December, which was formerly entitled the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society until 1965. The work continues the earlier journals of the two societies: Journal of the Folk-Song Society, 1899–1931;[9] Journal of the English Folk Dance Society 191431.
Recent developments
Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park, London, is home to the English Folk Dance and Song Society

In 1998, with the folk movement strongly supported by a number of other organisations and the seeds planted by EFDSS thriving, the EFDSS altered its strategy to focus on education and archiving, with its primary goal the development of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library as the country’s national archive and resource centre for folk music, dance and song.

English Folk Dance and Song Society (Inside)

In 2011 the society entered into a joint commission with Shrewsbury Folk Festival to create the Cecil Sharp Project, a multi-artist residential commission to create new works based on the life and collecting of Cecil Sharp. The project took place in March 2011, the artists involved being: Steve Knightley, Andy Cutting, Leonard Podolak, Jim Moray, Jackie Oates, Caroline Herring, Kathryn Roberts and Patsy Reid.

In 2013, EFDSS launched The Full English, an ongoing archive project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Folklore Society, the National Folk Music Fund and the English Miscellany Folk Dance Group. This free and searchable resource of 44,000 records and over 58,000 digitised images is the world’s biggest digital archive of traditional music and dance tunes.

As well as folk music, the EFDSS is home to a number of performance artists, providing a regular performance platform for acts including the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, the Massive Violins and the Swingle Singers. (wikipedia)


There is a huge variety of dance associated with English folk music, some of it quite alien to modern culture. Folk music was either written as song or for dancing, and the dances have deep roots in the social history of England, as well as offering an insight into agriculture, industry and cultural diversity. (

And here are 15 songs from the past (recorded in 1958 and 1961; the musical leader was Nan Fleming-Williams), but we should never forgot, that this music inspüired a lot auf Britis Folk-Rock Bands like Fairport Convention and much miore !

Enjoy this trip in the past !



McBain’s Country Dance Band:
01. Durham Reel 1.38
02. Waltz Country Dance 5.03
03. The Waves Of Troy 3.56
04. Haymaker’s Jig 2.40
05. The Road To California 3.48
06. The Steamboat 3.38
07. Margaret’s Waltz 3.01

Jack Armstrong And His Northumbrian Barnstormers:
08. Drops Of Brandy 2.58
09. Pins And Needles 3.13
10. The Sylph 3.13
11. The Triumph 3.05

The Country Dance Band:
12. The Rifleman 3.33
13. Wiltshire Reel 1.47
14. Dorset Triumph 3.12
15. Stoke Golding Country Dance 3-36

All songs: Traditional




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