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Traditional Song Forum Online Meeting
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Free tickets are now available for the next online meeting of the Traditional Song Forum. Please note that you must book a ticket if you want to join. The link for booking is given below. Booking closes on the day before - at 16.00 on Saturday 8th August. This meeting is another ‘Four by Four’ session, which will feature presentations from four speakers.

When: Sunday, August 9, 2020
Where: Online
United States
Contact: Steve Roud

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Traditional Song Forum Online Meeting

16.00 - 17.30 BST (GMT+1) Free tickets are now available for our next online meeting. Please note that you must book a ticket if you want to join. The link for booking is given below. Booking closes on the day before - at 16.00 on Saturday 8th August (GMT+1). This meeting is another ‘Four by Four’ session, which will feature short presentations from four speakers.

  • Colin Bargery, ‘The Coachmen There Looked Woeful Blue: Songs about the last days of the stagecoach’ – The arrival of the railway led to the rapid disappearance of stagecoaches and of the jobs of those thousands across the country who drove the coaches, looked after the travellers that rode in them and cared for the horses that drew them. The paper looks at how this dramatic change was discussed in broadsides and how street literature reflected the wider culture of the time.
  • Tim Johnson, ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Modes’ –  In this brief presentation, aimed at musicians and non-musicians alike, I will explain what modes are, and offer a potted history of their use in Western music, from the medieval Church to the songs of George Butterworth and beyond. Finally, I will consider what significance modes have for traditional music, and some of the approaches taken to understand their appearance in this body of music.
  • John Howson, ‘Good Order! Ladies and Gentlemen Please, Giving the Songs Back to the Community!’ –  The Eel’s Foot Inn, Eastbridge, Suffolk – 1939, 1947 and 2000.
  • Dick Holdstock, ‘An 1814 Parting From Paris’ – Most people I have met believe as I did that, ‘Napoleon's Farewell To Paris’ was written and sung after Waterloo, and that it was Irish in origin. Based on work I have done for my book, it looks like it started out in Sunderland in 1814. I want to share why I say that.

There will be an opportunity to ask questions of each presenter after the four papers have been given.

To Register:

Places for TSF Online meetings are limited to 100 people, and it is recommended that you book early to ensure you have a place. 

To book your place go to, using this link.

Please make your booking using the same e-mail address as you will to log in to Zoom and ensure that the booking is made in your full name (first name and family name). This name should also be used for your Zoom screen name. Ticket sales end 24 hours before the meeting.

You will receive an e-mail confirming your attendance and further information about the event a few days beforehand. The log-in details will be sent to those who have booked about 1 hour before the meeting.

If you are unable to attend, please let the Traditional Song Forum know in good time so that your place can be offered to someone on the waiting list, if there is one. The session will last for approximately 90 minutes.

Presenter Biographies:

Colin Bargery has been singing folk songs for forty years. During the 1980s he was asked to write a history with songs about the navies who dug the canals. This prompted an enduring interest in songs about the industrial revolution.  Since retiring from his role as a risk manager in the NHS he has been researching these songs and is curating a website called ‘Songs from the Age of Steam’ which gathers together songs about the social impact of steam power and puts them into their historical context. He has given papers at several TSF Broadside Days and at conferences organized by the National Railway Museum, and the British Commission for Maritime History. He has contributed to Street Literature of the Long 19th Century [Atkinson & Roud Eds. 2017] and to Street Literature and the Circulation of Songs [Atkinson & Roud Eds. 2019].

Dick Holdstock’s family emigrated from Kent to California after WW2, just in time for the first and last snow-storm in Los Angeles. After graduate work at UCLA in Public Health, he worked at the Winter Olympics of 1960. Dick then ran the Health and Safety Department at the University of California, Davis for 27 years. He has performed and sung British traditional folk songs on the side, first with Allan Macleod, and then with Carol Holdstock, in the U.S. & U.K. He began studying Broadside Ballads in 1992 at Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, and soon started writing a book, The Anthology of British Radical Reform Songs c.1767 c.1867 – which is now nearly ready for publication.

John Howson is a collector and researcher, record producer, graphic designer, musician, broadcaster, and EFDSS gold badge holder.

Tim Johnston is a classically trained composer, pianist and cellist from Cardiff. After first encountering folk songs (particularly sea shanties) as a child through informal family singing, he returned to the subject at university, both as a casual performer and particularly from a research perspective, via the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth, and Morfydd Owen. He is currently undertaking a PhD in musical composition at Cardiff University, on new contexts and methodologies for combining folk and Classical music.

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