Folk Shop

A Secret Stream


Selected by Nick Dow with notes by Steve Gardham

Musical notation has been transcribed by Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne

A Secret Stream is the first of two volumes of traditional songs collected from English Gypsies and is an important source book for folk singers and musicians and anybody with an interest in Romany and Traveller culture.

It brings together over a hundred mostly unpublished folksongs and tunes, carols, including songs in the Anglo-Romany tongue, collected from English Gypsies by Victorian and Edwardian collectors such as Cecil Sharp, Ella Leather, Lucy Broadwood, George Borrow and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Classic English Folk Songs

Selected and Edited by R. Vaughan Williams and A. L. Lloyd

Revised by Malcolm Douglas

First published in 1959 as The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, this ground-breaking collection reclaimed traditional song from the school and the recital room, and from the ‘evening dress’ into which it had so often been put during the first half of the twentieth century.

Community Dances Manual

Revised Edition

Edited by Les Barclay and Ian Jones

A classic collection of English and American social folk dances and tunes. This is a 2015 reprint (with newly designed front cover, new subtitle and additional introduction) of the 2005 revised edition of this well-loved original series of dance instructions and tunes which began in 1947.

The book contains more than 130 English and American social folk dances and tunes for English country dancing, ceilidhs, barn dances and American contra dances; with dance notation and music on facing pages for ease of use. An extensive glossary provides detailed notes on formations, steps and figures for anyone not familiar with the terms used.

Buy as a set with the Community Dances CD

Dear Companion

Compiled and edited by Mike Yates, Elaine Bradtke and Malcolm Taylor

Preface by Shirley Collins

Appalachian Traditional Songs and Singers from the Cecil Sharp Collection.

A collection of fifty-three songs and ballads from Sharp's American collection... together with biographical sketches of the singers and notes on the songs.

English Traditional Dancing (Book)

Instructions for 28 dances in traditional English style for dance beginners of all ages.

Suitable for school teachers, community leaders and home learning families with little or no prior knowledge of English traditional social dancing. Designed to work with the accompanying CD.

Buy as a set with the English Traditional Dancing CD

Hardcore English Book

A Collection of 300 Tunes from English manuscript, recorded and aural sources.

The first book of English tunes to be published by EFDSS for many years, presenting an overview of the current understanding of English traditional dance music.

There is an accompanying 2-CD set of 32 of the tunes from this book.

First published 2007.

Buy as a set with the Hardcore English CD

The Histories of Morris in Britain

Edited by Michael Heaney

This book is not currently available in printed form. You can download the full book as a PDF without charge here.

The Histories of the Morris in Britain presents the proceedings from the two-day conference held at Cecil Sharp House on the 25th and 26th March 2017, organised by the Historical Dance Society and English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Morris is an enduring feature of British culture across more than six centuries, and this conference celebrated the dance form and shared the latest in morris dance research. Topics ranged from the early days of morris dance as found in the Jacobean court, to the revival and formation of women’s sides, alongside explorations of context, costume, and competing art forms.

Locating Women in the Folk

Perspectives on Women’s Contributions to Folk song, Folklore, and Cultural Traditions is the publication of the conference proceedings

The conference which took place at the University of Sussex in 2018 aimed to place a spotlight on the significant role of women as scholars, singers, collectors, storytellers, dancers and educators of folk across the world.

Marrow Bones

Selected and Edited by Frank Purslow

First published in 1965, Marrow Bones drew on the existence of largely unpublished folk song collections made by Henry and Robert Hammond and Dr George Gardiner between 1904 and 1909, chiefly in Dorset and Hampshire, which are held in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House in London.

May Day in England

An Introductory Bibliography

By Roy Judge

The booklet offers some introductory guidance to enquirers about May Day in finding relevant material.

An invaluable guide to the literature on May Day, from its disputed origins to its current practice. Considering the customs associated with May Day, their religious and political aspects, local celebrations, the roles taken by children, sweeps and milk-maids, and links to other folkloric topics such as the Green Man and Victorian ruralism.

Maypole Manual

Mike Ruff and Jenny Read

The Maypole Manual has full colour pictures and diagrams of 19 different dances of accessible and curriculum-relevant content. The manual also includes further information on the origins and history of maypole dancing, inclusion, links to the wider curriculum, music for musicians to play and much more.

Buy as a set with the Maypole Manual CD

Old Songs, New Discoveries

Selected papers from the 2018 Folk Song Conference, held at Cecil Sharp House, London.

Room, Room, Ladies and Gentleman - English Mummers’ Play

Published by EFDSS in association with The Folklore Society 2002.

This is a concise introduction to this complex subject and selected texts which represent the various types of play known to have existed within England since records began.

There are also some hints on performing the plays in a school context, or anywhere, for that matter!

Singing & Dancing Wherever She Goes: Life of Maud Karpeles

Written by the late Simona Pakenham

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is proud to announce the publication of Maud Karpeles’ biography.

A personal friend of Maud’s, Simona Pakenham has combined information from a number of sources: Maud’s unpublished autobiography, notebooks, letters and diaries, supplemented by the reminiscences of many friends.

Southern Harvest


Edited by Frank Purslow and Steve Gardham

Including the words and music for nearly 300 songs.

An omnibus volume containing The Constant Lovers and The Foggy Dew, completing the series originally edited by Frank Purslow and published by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in the late 60s and early 70s. Foreword by Martin Carthy MBE.

Southern Songster


Selected by Nick Dow

Musical notation by Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne
With notes by Steve Gardham

The Hammond and Gardiner manuscripts are amongst the most important nineteenth-century collections of English folk song.

Stepping On

Paperback publication

Papers from a conference held at Cecil Sharp House, London on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th November 2019, edited by Toby Bennett.

Stepping On: A conference on Stepping in Dance was organised jointly by the Historical Dance Society, English Folk Dance and Song Society, Instep Research Team and the Dance Department of the University of Roehampton.

The focus was on various forms of stepping and step dancing with connections to Britain and Ireland, with papers featuring England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Canada and the United States. A number of dance styles were featured, including English clog, Cape Breton step dancing and stepping in social dances, and a broad range of themes was addressed including history, analysis, migration, competition, social dance, reconstruction, music and transmission.

A free PDF download is also available.

See the PDF download page for a list of the papers and speakers.

Still Growing

English Traditional Songs and Singers from the Cecil Sharp Collection

50 songs from the enormous volume of collected works of Cecil Sharp, with music and notes on the singers.

An introduction on Cecil Sharp and English Folk Music by Vic Gammon.

Published by EFDSS in association with Folk South West 2003.

Street Literature and the Circulation of Songs

Papers exploring the production, distribution and use of street literature, including broadside ballads, chapbooks and other cheap printed items.

The Making of a Tradition


By Pat Tracey

Edited by Roy Tracey, Christina Tracey and Alison Cannard

The Making of a Tradition: East Lancashire Clog Dancing explores the history of clog dancing by one of its most accomplished performers, Pat Tracey.

The book is lavishly illustrated and contains the notations for many of the dances.

The Wanton Seed


Originally selected and edited by Frank Purslow

Revised by Malcolm Douglas and Steve Gardham with notes by Steve Gardham

The Hammond and Gardiner manuscripts are amongst the most important nineteenth-century collections of English folk song.

Traveller's Joy

Songs of English and Scottish Travellers and Gypsies

Compiled by Mike Yates
Foreward by Norma Waterson

Traveller’s Joy is first and foremost a songbook, a collection of over fifty songs to be learned, sung, and enjoyed by the reader. The intention is to portray the singers and their music with honesty and sensitivity.

Vaughan Williams and Folk: 150th Anniversary Essays

Edited by Steve Roud and David Atkinson

Published by The Ballad Partners, ISBN 978-1-9161424-6-6

A selection of essays celebrating Ralph Vaughan Williams’ lifelong involvement with British folk song and music – as collector, editor, arranger and composer – many first presented at the Library Conference in 2022.

View Contents

Book cover showing RVW in later middle-age

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