When you think of Robin Hood, it is often in connection with the Legend of Robin Hood. But was Robin Hood fact or fiction?Well, a new book says the http://www.nottinghampost.com/new-book-claims-that-robin-hood-did-in-fact-exist/story-29791634-detail/story.html>outlaw of Nottingham Forest was real, and that he was indeed generous towards the poor, and loathed the local sheriff. The book is written by Tammy Gagne and is called “Robin Hood (Fact or Fiction?)” – it is a pleasurable and fairly easy read, and I can therefore highly recommend it. A few things that are highlighted are the various folk tales told about this man, and that he keeps turning up in various texts throughout history. The accounts differ of course, and the date of birth is placed somewhere between 1100 and 1300. Is Robin Hood fact or fiction?He is a bit of both more likely. He did exist but may not have been as great a hero as later renditions of his life have made him out to be. Neither do any of the older descriptions of him mention anything about a Lady Marion, so she must be a later addition to the tale of Robin Hood. Do yourself a favour and read the book. It really is worth getting a full picture of the life of Robin Hood.
Folk music is based on traditions, which have been originally passed orally from person to person, then later printed and recorded. British folk music has a similar spirit as American folk, but it still is more personal and maybe even more universal than its American counterpart. Steeleye Span is one of the popular groups of British folk music artists, whose music is a folk-rock genre. The band was formed in 1969 by Ashley Hutchings and included Simon Nicol, Tim Hart, Maddy Prior, Terry and Gay Woods. Along with Fairport Convention, it is still an active group. Steeleye Span has over the years seen many changes, such as Terry and Gay leaving the group after the group released their debut album, just to be replaced by Martin Carthy and Peter Knight. Yet there is a strong continuity of tradition that they have managed to keep. Their typical albums usually consist of traditional songs and one or two instrumental jigs or reels. In their later albums, it’s been common to include music that is written by the band members themselves. The name Steeleye Span comes from a character in Horkstow Grange, a traditional song which wasn’t recorded until 1998 when the album of the same name was released. Did you know that Steeleye Span collaborated with Sir Terry Pratchett?Together they brought Wintersmith, a comic fantasy novel, to life. The novel itself was published in September 2006. These British folk music artists of Steeleye Span has also had three Top 40 albums, as well as a certified gold record, from the sales of “All Around My Hat”.
Folklore makes up a great part of storytelling moments in the UK. There are very many folklore legends mentioned in traditional tales. Perhaps you have heard about Drake’s Drum. The legend behind its popularity is a British naval hero of ancient times, Sir Francis Drake. In 1588, the legend fought against the Spanish Navy and won the battle. After he had passed on, it is believed that his battle snare drum was struck whenever England was in danger. Another legend is Wayland’s Smithy of the Pre-Saxon times. If a horse has lost a shoe, the traveller needs to leave a silver coin on the long barrow capstone. It is believed that the horse will be reshod overnight. Mother Lytham was a kind white witch who lent objects as long the borrower would return them within two days. A man once asked to borrow her cauldron. What happened next was interesting. Other folklore legends describe mythical creatures in real life. The Kelpie, for instance, is an aquatic spirit that changes its shape. People are warned that the spirit lures one to a watery death. Another legend that should not be forgotten is The Loch Ness Monster, the most famous of Mythical creatures spotted in real life. In the 6th century, the legend was said to have confronted St. Columbia, an Irish Saint.
Folklore heroes are not just for entertainment purpose only. In fact, telling children about folklore heroes can be a good way to teach them about history and morals. Studying history can be boring for children so can the teaching of morals, but throw in the folktales and it becomes interesting, and the child will remember it. For instance, stories of Robin Hood can be an excellent way to learn about medieval England. The way it was ruled and why Robin Hood became an outlaw, can teach children history with some moral lessons. Red Riding Hood is another folklore, which can teach young girls courage. How the female character in the story overcomes all the hurdles, and also to be wary of danger is educational and fun. Folklore has grown up around the legend of King Arthur and Merlin, and it is fascinating to all ages. There have been numerous TV series, on the Arthurian legend, all with a slightly different perspective. If you get the chance, try and watch some of them. YouTube is a good place to start. Arthurian legends and the Knights of the round table are the subjects of many online games if you look you will find many Video games that allow children to access folklore while playing them. Another great way to introduce them to legends and folklore but remember to interact with them and help them understand what they are playing is all about.
Folk music has existed since medieval times, and it’s based on local tradition. The biggest influence on folk music UK is Roy Harper. Born in 1941, he became a full-time musician in 1964. Since then he has released 32 albums. That’s a good number for someone with a 50-year career. Harper’s style of play is very distinctive, with long and lyrical compositions that can also be pretty complex. Some speculate this has to do with his love and interest in jazz music and the poet Keats. Roy Harper has won many awards, such as the MOJO Hero Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award, 2005 and 2013 respectively. Roy Harper’s 75th birthday tour took him to Clonakilty, Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Manchester, an amazing feat for his age. What about the best emerging folk music UK then?The Telegraph has made a list of the best albums of 2016 in folk music, so let’s take a look at the top three. There in third place, we have an album called Mortal Tides. Mortal Tides is a band created by teenagers. They have a bubbly enthusiasm towards music, which makes its presence known in the songs. In second place we have Ciaran Algar with an album called The Final Waltz. It is a solo album, and the style in which the songs have been captured is astounding, making the songs whirl in a unique way. The first place goes to a collection album, which had ten female musicians collaborating together to create songs that would reflect on separation. The album is called Songs of Separation Collective and is a great listen. Folk music tackles any issue be it emotional, political or social. So if you have never tried it, take a listen to one of these and enjoy some good music!
Here are some interesting folk music facts; Did you know that true folk music tells a story?Stories of war, of disaster and even of murder. Folk music is often sung by average everyday people, in addition to professional musicians. What is amazing about this style of music is that it tells a story, but it is based on an ‘unspoken’ blueprint and is told in chronological order from when the event happened, for example; Telling the story of someone’s life would proceed as birth, life, and death. There are so many more folk music facts that are really interesting, and worth the time of researching. Hana Mae Lee, from Pitch Perfect, is also a Korean folk singer. She even sang a Korean folk song when she was auditioning for her role as Lily Onakuramara in the movie. Many people have the wrong idea about folk music and assume it is an old genre of music. It has been around for an incredibly long time, yes, but it is still a genre of music that is very relevant today.