London's Fog and a Folk countryside

Written on 06/03/2014


It's the third time I came to London, and there was always the fog! I usually stay in the center, so it's not a big problem, but this time I have to go in the country side, and catch the train in this station has been like take part or an horror movie....

Anyway, my destination was Lancashire, a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston. Lancashire is sometimes referred to by the abbreviation Lancs, as originally used by the Royal Mail. The population of the ceremonial county is 1,449,300. People from the county are known as Lancastrians.

Lancashire has a long and highly productive tradition of music making. In the early modern era the county shared in the national tradition of balladry, including perhaps the finest border ballad, "The Ballad of Chevy Chase", thought to have been composed by the Lancashire-born minstrel Richard Sheale.

The county was also a common location for folk songs, including "The Lancashire Miller", "Warrington Ale" and "The soldier's farewell to Manchester", while Liverpool, as a major seaport, was the subject of many sea shanties, including "The Leaving of Liverpool" and "Maggie May", beside several local Wassailing songs. In the Industrial Revolutionchanging social and economic patterns helped create new traditions and styles of folk song, often linked to migration and patterns of work. These included processional dances, often associated with rushbearing or theWakes Week festivities, and types of step dance, most famously clog dancing. A local pioneer of folk song collection in the first half of the 19th century was Shakespearean scholar James Orchard Halliwell, but it was not until the second folk revival in the 20th century that the full range of song from the county, including industrial folk song, began to gain attention. The county produced one of the major figures of the revival in Ewan MacColl, but also a local champion in Harry Boardman, who from 1965 onwards probably did more than anyone to popularise and record the folk song of the county. Perhaps the most influential folk artists to emerge from the region in the late 20th century were Liverpool folk group The Spinners, and from Manchester folk troubadour Roy Harper and musician, comedian and broadcaster Mike Harding. The region is home to numerousfolk clubs, many of them catering to Irish and Scottish folk music. Regular folk festivals include the Fylde Folk Festival at Fleetwood.