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Radio 2's Cecil Sharp Collection

At the 2014 Radio 2 Folk Awards, the first inductee in our new Hall of Fame was the folk collector Cecil Sharp. Sharp is a godfather of English traditional music, who helped to preserve much of the country's folk heritage.

Folk music's oral tradition was in danger of dying out, but Sharp wrote down more than 1600 tunes or lyrics and his work was a key part of the first 20th century folk 'revival'.

Much of the music recorded by Sharp is still known and loved today, and to celebrate his induction into the Folk Awards Hall of Fame, Radio 2 listeners can contribute their own recordings to a 21st century folk collection of our own.

We chose three songs and three tunes from Sharp's famous collection.  You can still download sheet music and lyrics for each song and tune on this page.

Cecil Sharp Collection: Hear the submissions

For the 2014 year's Folk Awards we featured a selection of your own performances of music from Cecil's collection here on the the Radio 2 website.

Cecil Sharp - Images courtesy of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)

** Listen to the contributions **

Sheet Music / Lyrics

Click the following links to download sheet music and lyrics

Need help downloading? Get help and tips from BBC Webwise.

Cecil Sharp on BBC Playlister

To help inspire your arrangements and recordings, we created a playlist of different arrangements of songs and tunes from Cecil Sharp's Collection.

:: Listen to our Cecil Sharp Playlist

:: More about BBC Playlister

About Cecil Sharp

Born in 1859, Cecil was a music teacher and occasional composer who held jobs in Australia and London. But it was in his personal vocation as a song and dance 'collector' that he made his mark on the history of English traditional music.

This quintessential Victorian school master travelled - often by bicycle - from village to village, searching for the remarkable 'source' singers who carried the folk music in their hearts and heads, passing it down from generation to generation.

Through lectures and books, he championed this indigenous music and inspired revivals of dances in Northumberland and Yorkshire that might otherwise have disappeared. In 1911 he founded the English Folk Dance Society, which promoted traditional dance nationwide. In 1932, it became the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), and today still has its headquarters in Camden's Cecil Sharp House.

Images of Cecil Sharp used courtesy of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).

Radio 2's Cecil Sharp Collection

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