Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales selected and edited by William Cole

Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales selected and edited by William Cole

This post almost didn’t happen this week because I got sucked into the void called VHI’s 80s videos during my workout. What ever happened to Sade? I can’t get enough of that saxophone . . .

This book is not part of my collection. I checked it out from the library. I consider it falling under the ‘necessary research’ category for a never-ending project I am working on. I only read the section about Ireland. Sorry England, Scotland and Wales.

Every time I turn to song or poetry, I always seem to find that people are crooning about either love or war. It’s as if there’s nothing else happening in the world. I guess this makes sense to me, as I can imagine songs about blenders or shoes don’t have staying power.

There were music notes in this book, tons of symbols that meant absolutely nothing to me.


I hummed the tunes as best I could, but I couldn’t fool myself into thinking I was getting any of the songs right. A quick YouTube search led to some bewitching melodies and a short fantasy of me running around barefoot over green hills in a gauzy white dress (Is this TMI?), but I never did find the songs from the book. I felt left out.

This led me to thinking about global literacy rates. Strange how my brain works.

I did another quick Internet search. As of 2001/2000, there were only two countries in the world operating on a hundred percent literacy rate: Greenland and Luxembourg. Afghanistan’s literacy rate was as low as twenty-eight percent**.  I don’t know how the statistics and data has changed over the last ten years, but numbers like that are somewhat shocking and enough to send me into a downward spiral of thinking.

Luckily, I also found Biblioburro, the story of a Columbian grade school teacher who wakes early each Saturday morning, loads two donkeys with books, and delivers them to children in rural areas. It was inspiring and made me feel like a sloth all at the same time.

In honor of Bibiloburro and Irish folk songs, I wrote a chorus of an imaginary song:

A man with a donkey and a book

Scarcely deserved a second look

Fiddle-de Fiddle-da Fiddle-de Fiddle-la

Yet he changed his world as best he could

The way any of us really should

Fiddle-de Fiddle-da Fiddle-de Fiddle-la


It still needs work . . . and maybe a little saxophone.

Drawings by Edward Ardizzone

Drawings by Edward Ardizzone

*This book did not have an ISBN.

**From Wikipedia.



Filed under Books, Fiction, Life, Literature, Music, Writing


  1. kateshuknecht

    “…songs about blenders or shoes don’t have staying power.” Too right! And hilarious.
    I would love to know what project inspires this research. But if it’s top-secret-writer stuff I totally understand.
    Also, dig the song 🙂

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