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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, December 08, 2003
    Explore Folklore
    Whether it's the weather causing me to be all wrapped up and introspective; whether it's the cautious seasonal relief of believing I've ended my Christmas shopping mission for the year; whether it's finishing reading the final 3rd Stone, whatever - today has a folky theme as Explore Folklore arrived from Bob Trubshaw's Heart of Albion Press and I rewarded myself for getting all the presents in, by purchasing June Tabor's latest cd, An Echo of Hooves.

    While Tabor's fine clear voice and clean instrumental backing brings old song-stories to life, Trubshaw's mission is to rescue folklore from, on the one hand, tired cliches about morris dancing and fifty-something folksingers, and on the other, dry scholarly approaches to folklore studies. "The rituals of 'what we do on our holidays', funerals, stag nights and 'lingerie parties' are all full of 'unselfconsious' folk customs," he writes. "Indeed, folklore is something that is integral to all our lives - it is so intrinsic we do not think of it as being 'folklore'."

    It seems to me Trubshaw's book will be an interesting companion in these winter weeks of trees and tinsel, parties and family visits.