Monthly Talk 4th November


SPEAKER: Robin Burton

Our speaker, Robin Burton says:
“We, the English, have a great treasure chest. It contains the songs of the people. This talk explores the contents of that chest. I use pictures, and songs, to illustrate the story. It is a romantic story of a history that was so very nearly lost to us; a history that was rescued from the brink by a dedicated band of song collectors. The talk examines some of the most colourful of these characters.

"This includes Sabine Baring Gould, the writer of “Onward Christian Soldiers”, who collected songs from the farm workers in rural Devon in the 1870s, and who was also known as a prodigious author and travel writer. It looks at how some of these collectors, such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, used the songs to give their own compositions a unique character.

"I will cover how the songs have prompted the revival of traditions, such as the Stroud Wassail, and will illustrate the talk with songs & music. There may even be some community singing.!”


Robin is chairman of Stroud Wassail group and a trustee of Gloustershire Traditions. His repertoire includes Sea shanties, English Folk songs and Music Hall.