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May Day Special

57 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 01 May 2013

Mark Radcliffe presents Radio 2's weekly folk & acoustic programme.

This week's programme falls on May Day, and Mark's selection will focus on music and song relating to the weird and wonderful folk customs observed around Britain on 1st May.

From morris dancing at dawn to washing one's face in the May morning dew, from carrying branches of may to crowning a May Queen - the UK's colourful May Day customs are reflected in countless songs and tunes.

Mark will also play tracks connected to the day's significance as a workers' holiday around the world - something explored and championed by folk singers for generations.

Music Played

14 items
  • Image for Waterson:Carthy

    Waterson:Carthy May Song

    Holy Heathens And The Old Green Man, Topic TSCD 562

  • Image for The Futureheads

    The Futureheads Sumer Is Icumen In

    Rant, Nul Records NUL009CDP

  • Image for Oysterband

    Oysterband Hal-An-Tow

    Step Outside, Cooking Vinyl VR 034

  • Image for Dick Gaughan

    Dick Gaughan Workers' Song

    Handful Of Earth, Topic TSCD 419

  • Image for Magpie Lane

    Magpie Lane Old Molly Oxford

    The Oxford Ramble, Beautiful Jo BEJOCD 3

  • Image for Tim Edey

    Tim Edey Kent To Kintail

    The Best Of Tim Edey, Gnatbite Records PROMO CD

  • Image for Steeleye Span

    Steeleye Span Padstow

    Tempted & Tried, Music Direct 68075

  • Image for Karine Polwart

    Karine Polwart Tears For Lots Wife

    Traces, Proper Music Distribution Ltd. HEGRICD8

  • Image for Shirley Collins

    Shirley Collins The Queen Of May

    Classic Celtic Music, Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40560

  • Image for Lisa Knapp & Alasdair Roberts

    Lisa Knapp & Alasdair Roberts Hunt The Hare Part 2

    Hunt The Hair, Ear To The Ground Music PROMO CD

  • Image for John Kirkpatrick

    John Kirkpatrick The First Of May

    God Speed The Plough, Fledg'ling Records FLED 3084

  • Image for The Almanac Singers

    The Almanac Singers Union Maid

    Talking Union, Xtra 26575

  • Image for Lady Maisery

    Lady Maisery The Crow On The Cradle

    May Day, Root Beat Records Digital Promo

  • Image for Quercus

    Quercus As I Roved Out

    Quercus, ECM ECM 2276


Radio 2's Cecil Sharp Collection

Cecil Sharp

Hear our collection of new recordings celebrating the godfather of English Folk Music.

Follow Mark on Playlister


Check out Mark's favourite tracks from his shows and around the BBC


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