I'm quite partial to a drop of folk music.
Yes alright! Scoff if you want. I do know it's not cool. I do understand that to most people, seeing a group of oddballs, singing through their noses, in harmonised rounds with a hand cupped over one ear, heads bobbing sideways coming together in one cringeworthy, morris dancing, sheep racing crescendo is repellant. But I LIKE IT.
I have my Mother to thank/ blame for that. She played A LOT of Steeleye Span to me & my brother throughout our childhood.
I have clear memories of us skipping ferociously around the living room, nodding insanely to each other as we passed by, in mid air.
Mum was meant to be hoovering or dusting but once the needle was lowered and the crackles gave way to Peter Knights furious fiddling (!) the housework was quite rightly tossed aside. We must've looked like absolute mental patients! It was brilliant!
She'd also sit us on the settee and make us say 'Ice creeeeeeeeeeeeeeam', in a round. (My partner cannot harmonise at all). ((YES! I WIN THE HARMONISING)).
HE refers to it as 'pinch it, prick it, poke it music'.
HE says, sneering and smiling in equal measure, "it's not rubbish, it's musical but it's just, fuckin, away with the faeries stuff innit"?
Whilst making the dinner this evening I played and sang along loudly to Galtee Farmer and HE just went about His business, ocassionally shaking his head sympathetically at me.
Steeleye Spans lyrics are often dark and medieval. Ye Olde England was a hard place to live in I imagine. I love the phrases and the feel of the music and with Maddy Priors clear as a bell, haunting voice added, it is so atmospheric. I don't understand how anybody could listen to Long Lankin and not get goosebumps.
We all, with my auntie Sunny, went to see Steeleye' in concert, twice! I was about 5yrs old. I loved it and remember them throwing Smarties out into the audience.
On the other hand, even I cringe at some of it. My brother and mum skip merrily onwards, further down the winding path into Folk land whilst I sort of hover just inside the gate.
Also from by my mums record collection is Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Donovan and The Stones.
Mum liked the idea of being a hippy but would never have done enough drugs to become a fully fledged one. Years later, I tried to help her with this lack of commitment when upon her return from the shops, she announced to me in a shocked, breathless tone, that the staff in the pet shop were going to have to remove the Cat Nip from the shelves as 'street kids' were coming in and buying it in order to 'get high'! I promptly threw her a couple of sheckles and sent her straight back to purchase a box of the stuff to make a bong with. Oh how we coughed!
On the subject of half-arsed drug use, I remember that for years there was half a joint in the kitchen drawer that Mum was too scared to smoke but too nostalgic to throw out!
Back to folk. I think alot of this goes hand in hand with folk music. Summer festivals in the English countryside, battle re enactments, (accountants & librarians dressed as jousting knights and busty maidens). Drinking cider and sipping Mead.
Paganism. Alternative medicine and falconry hahahaha (sorry but it reminds me of Craaaaaig David).
Poor fashion sense is a pre requisite, as is the stench of patchouli and other foul incense, (it's called incense because the stench of it incenses everyone else)!
So, I'm not a complete weirdo but I do have a place in my heart for hey nonny no-ing. I urge you all to listen to Galtee Farmer, then Long Lankin. In a quiet room. Eyes closed. 'You tube' it.
Steeleye Span are playing soon, April 2nd, at the Gulbenkian theatre in Canterbury. There's also a 'magical faery festival in Canterbury, see link below and may I add for your perusal, a fabulous wand smith at http://www.woodlandwands.com/ and also, if you'd like to try Reiki, contact Kelly at http://www.fillyourface.com/ it's all brilliant. The Magical Faerie Festival - Faery Fest by The Magical Times Magazine
www.magicalfestivals.co.uk RIP TIM HART!