Originally published in 1977. The Travellers, from those living in bow-tents and horse-drawn caravans to those dwelling in motor caravans and permanent homes, are an important source of traditional music. Their society means that songs that have died out in more settled communities are preserved among them. Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, widely known as two of the founding singers of the British and American folk revivals, here display a vast fund of folklore scholarship around the songs of British travelling people. Resulting from extensive collecting in southern and southeastern England and central and northeastern Scotland in the 1960s and 70s, this book contains 130 songs with music and comprehensive notes relating them to folkloristic and historical points of interest. It includes traditional ballads and ballads of broadside origin, bawdy, tragic and humorous songs about love, work and death. Most are in English or in Scots dialect with four in Anglo-Romani.

chapter |16 pages


chapter |13 pages

Music Note

chapter |2 pages

General Arrangement

chapter |12 pages

The Singers

part |319 pages

The Songs

chapter |59 pages

Child Ballads

chapter |16 pages

Additional Traditional Ballads

chapter |26 pages

Faithful Lovers

chapter |18 pages

Erotic Songs

chapter |18 pages

Casual Encounters

chapter |6 pages

Hesitant Lovers

chapter |60 pages

Unfaithful Lovers

chapter |16 pages

Family Opposition to Lovers

chapter |10 pages

Soldiers and Sailors

chapter |29 pages

Crime and Criminals

chapter |15 pages

Rural Life

chapter |31 pages

Humorous and Miscellaneous

chapter |13 pages

Travelling Life