The Seeds Of Love


20100927 (BBC7)
20110314 (BBC7)

Cecil Sharp collected thousands of songs to try and bring English folk music to a wider audience.

Malcolm Taylor investigates.

Cecil Sharp collected thousands of English folk songs to bring them to a wider audience.

A century ago on the 22nd August 1903, a Somerset gardener called John England was singing as he mowed the lawn.

Cecil Sharp heard him and took down the tune and the words of 'The Seeds Of Love'.

This tiny event was a defining moment for English music.

Sharp went on to collect almost 5000 songs and tunes which were arranged and orchestrated, published in songbooks and taught in schools.

But did Sharp appropriate the culture of the working class, or did he restore to the English their vanishing musical heritage? Michael Taylor explores the significance of this moment and of the song itself.