Welcome to this one-stop website for all the singers, musicians and dancers who met Cecil Sharp, as he travelled around England collecting folk music and dance between 1903-23. You can read here about their lives. Over 700 individuals in hundreds of locations. They were working people – agricultural labourers, glovers, laundresses, sailors, shoemakers etc. Their stories should be told!
Sharp was a good oral historian who left us many statements and clues. His photos are reproduced here with the kind permission of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London. Please dip into the rich social history of these pages!
Begin a search here:
- Search by first name, surname or both.
- You can also search by alternative names or nicknames.
- Search by area such as 'Hambridge'.
How to use this website
Thank you for visiting, I hope these guidance notes will help you navigate the wealth of information this website has to offer with ease but if you have any questions please do contact me and I'll be happy to assist.
- Try searching by first name, surname, area, place or date.
- Some performers have alternative names by which they were also known. You can search by a performer's alternative name as well.
- If you know the area the singer came from, try visiting the page for that area and looking at the list of singers there.
- The search results are listed in order of relevance with the most relevant search result first.
- You can see a full list of all the performers Cecil Sharp collected from on the Performer Directory page.
- You can see a full list of all the areas Cecil Sharp collected in on the Area Directory page
- Each area has a page of its own which lists every performer from that area. Taunton District, for example.
- Each performer is linked to an area. On the performer profile page there will be a link to view the profile page of the area which that performer came from.
- This website is people-based, not theme-based. If you want information on a particular song or dance tradition, try typing it into the search box - it may still get results! If not, go to vwml.org and work your way back to the performer responsible.
- The perfomer directory has both singers and dancers/musicians in it. A search result will tell you whether the performer was a singer or a dancer/musician. In the Performer's Directory, singers are listed in green and dancers/musicians are listed in blue. Dancer/musician profile pages are also coloured in blue.