The Singing Island

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The Singing Island,by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, published in 1960 by Mills Books, is an anthology of folk songs arranged by theme, and with the music. A great favourite in the early folk revival, it has mostly traditional songs, with a few contemporary ones written in traditiional style.

The themes, which are self-explanatory, are:

  • Children
  • When you go a-courting
  • Men at work
  • On the road
  • Singing sailors
  • Barrack-room ballads
  • Rovin' boys and flash girls
  • Historical songs
  • Fill up your glass!


Other publications putting songs into themed sections include Folk Songs of Britain and Ireland, and the two collections of sound recordings, The Folk Songs of Britain, and The Voice of the People.