"For the song goes on in the songs we sing,
And when one song ends then another song begins,
So the singers who are gone will be singing once again,
When we sing the songs they sang.

. ...from "The Song Goes On" written by Mick Ryan.
FOLK SONG: music of anonymous composition, transmitted orally. A germ of a folk melody is produced by an individual and altered in transmission.

Interest in folk music grew during the latter part of the 19th century, although there were earlier scholars in the field. In the 20th century, during the years leading up to the First World War, over 1200 songs were collected in Hampshire. Later collectors have added to this treasury of song.

Collection and transcription of folk music was greatly facilitated by the invention of the phonograph and tape recorder. Using this equipment, collectors gathered folk songs from various cultural traditions throughout much of the 20th century.

Since the early 1950s folk music has become an especially significant influence and source for much popular vocal and instrumental music. Folk songs are still sung and songs are being composed and absorbed into the folk tradition.


There has been a lot of research into the folk songs sung in Hampshire and those who collected them. Alongside this personal overview of Hampshire's Legacy of Folk Song, these pages draw together some of this research and resources that have appeared on the web. – Paul Marsh