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sian, west wales Who is/ are the EFDSS? (91* d) RE: Who is/ are the EFDSS? 13 Mar 11

In the booklet, "Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru - The Welsh Folk-Song Society 1908 - 1983" the author D. Roy Saer writes, "A matter that deserves further research is the precise contribution and inter-relationship of native and external influences in the creation of the Society. The (English) Folk-Song Society had been established only slightly earlier, in 1898, and its Irish counterpart in 1904, and it is known that two Irishmen, Sir Harry Reichel (principal of the University College of North Wales, Bangor) and author Alfred Percival Graves, played crucial roles in the development of the Welsh Society. Folk song specialists from England also lent it their ready support: notably Cecil Sharp himself, Miss Lucy Broadwood and Miss Annie Gilchrist. Dr. J. Lloyd Williams, however, maintained - in 1934 - that the actual beginnings of the Society had been indigenous. He might well have been correct: certainly the wave of patriotism which produced it had already been swelling gradually for a quarter of a century and more. And the positive statement in the 1914-15 Report demands respect: 'The Society owes its origin to the Eisteddfod and to the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion.' "

I had gone looking for this quote thinking it would be a bit more specific about the EFDSS link, and it wasn't. I know that, since this booklet was published, this has come up in a lecture at our annual meeting. I do remember that the early CAGC (Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru - welsh folk songs soc.) founders turned down a proposal from The Folk Song Society to establish a federal system across the UK, with sub-groups representing 'the nations'. IIRC the Welsh thought they'd flourish better under their own steam; perhaps the Irish and the Scots did as well. I do know that some of the Welsh collectors of the time sent wax cylinders to The Folk Song Society so that suggests they were acknowledging a central role there. It doesn't apply today, however.


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