"No nation has a richer store of traditional music than England,
and none is more prone to undervalue its heritage."
Cecil James Sharp, English music collector (1902)
"To the student of folk-music all the Celtic airs selected by Burns
are well worth particular attention."
James C. Dick, ("The Songs of Robert Burns", 1903)
"Folk-song, unknown in the drawing-room, hunted out of the school,
chased by the chapel deacons, derided by the middle classes,
and despised by those who have been uneducated into the three R's,
takes refuge in the fastnesses of tap-rooms,
poor cottages and outlying hamlets."
Charles Marson, (Introduction to "Folk Songs from Somerset", 1904)
"Some of the folk-music of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales
is unsuitable either in words or in compass for the use of schools,
and care must therefore be taken in making a choice."
Handbook of Suggestions for the Consideration of Teachers (Board of Education, 1905)
"A ballad is a song that tells a story, or
- to take it from the other point of view-
a story told in song."
George Lyman Kittredge ("English and Scottish Popular Ballads, 1905)
"It is a well-known fact that the folk-singer attaches far more importance
to the words of his song than to its tune...."
Cecil James Sharp, ("English Folk Songs, Some Conclusions", 1907)
"Every folk-singer uses his own native language,
and consequently the words of the folk-song
will be sung in as many different dialects as the districts
in which each individual song is found."
Cecil James Sharp, (Preface "English Folk Songs from the Eastern countries", 1908)
"..old-timey family music came from the people,
and it should go back to the people."
John Thomas Niles (1910)
"APART from his genius, Robert Burns is the most prominent figure of his time
in the history of the ballad and song literature of Scotland."
Introductory "The Merry Muses of Caledonia" (1911)
"The twenty years that ended with Waterloo
have left more traces on our popular minstrelsy
than any other period of our history has done."
Gavin Grieg, ("Folk Songs of the North East", 1914)
"We have this wonderful store of folk music
— the melodies of an enslaved people [...]
But this store will be of no value unless we utilize it,"
Robert Nathaniel Dett, Canadian composer (1918)
"It should not be a test of genuineness of a piece as folk-song that it continues
the style of sixteenth or seventeenth century popular song."
Louise Pound, American scholar (1921)
"We move at a quicker pace...
Let us, then, be content to say that folk-song is dead."
Alfred Williams, song collector ("Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames", 1923)
The father of modern folksong studies was Thomas Edison
Béla Bartók, composer (about 1925)
"Honest workingmen and hardened criminals sing their lives;
beloved vagabonds and miserable miscreants are here;
pretty babies and tired mothers;
bad boys and anxious fathers, people who are fat, rollicking and gay
along with restless and desperate men and women;
they stand forth here and in bright ballads or melancholy melodies
tell what life has done to them"
Carl Sandburg ("The American Songbag", 1927)
"In the name of good science and good sense,
let us have done once and for all
with calling folk song and folk balladry artless."
Phillips Barry, American song collector (1929)