Brigg Fair

Joseph Taylor summoned up his courage and sang Brigg Fair at the end of a song competition in 1908. Percy Grainger, who later wrote his orchestrated version, wrote: Mr. Joseph Taylor is in most respects the most exceptional folksinger I have yet heard. Although he is 75 years of age, his lovely tenor voice is as fresh as a young man’s, while the ease and ring of the high notes, the freshness of his rhythmic attack, his clear intonation of modal intervals, and his finished execution of ornamental turns and twiddles (in which so many folk-singers abound) are typical of all that is best in the vocal art of the peasant traditional-singers of these islands.

I thank the anonymous photographer of the Lincolnshire Wolds for the superbly atmospheric picture.

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