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Fair Folk Podcast

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Fair Folk is a radio show and podcast exploring folk culture and music from around the world, hosted by Danica Boyce.

Fair Folk is a radio show and podcast exploring folk culture and music from around the world, hosted by Danica Boyce.
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Fair Folk is a radio show and podcast exploring folk culture and music from around the world, hosted by Danica Boyce.




Big Beltane: May Day Song and Custom

May Day, or Beltane in Scottish Gaelic, is a joyous occasion to welcome new growth and fertility in the fields, the hills and home. With its all-night bonfires, green branches, towering may poles and delicate flowers, this might be the most tactile and sensual holiday of the entire year. And it's just bursting with song. For monthly Almanac episodes on Patreon: www.patreon.com/fairfolkcast Music: Intro: "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods "Hal-An-Tow" by the Watersons "Arise, Arise" by Robert...


What Is Fair Folk?

In this short episode I talk about how I came to make and love a podcast about folklore, and what I believe folklore is capable of when we give it our good faith! Fill out the 4 minute listener survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/PGYNGCC Intro music is "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods Photo by @kimberlichenn (instagram)


Fair Folk Almanac March 2019 [Preview]

March, home of the spring equinox, of pancakes, of carnival, of imposed vegetarianism and more bullying in the guise of folk tradition than you can shake a stick at. It’s kind of a doozy of a month, combining some aspects of human nature that we would often rather not look at. But when we do look closely at some of the more problematic aspects of folklore, like some of those that arise this month, that’s when we really get the goods, I think. **The next regular episode of Fair Folk is coming...


Fair Folk Almanac February [Preview]

This episode I talk about the weather lore associated with this month, and its predictive quality for the months ahead; I look at the origins of Valentine's day, Lupercalia, and the Disablot, and I dive deep into Irish and Scottish traditions regarding the immensely popular Irish saint and pre-christian goddess Brigid. At the end of the episode, I offer my own suggestions of how you might apply the folklore of this month in your own life with ritual, custom, and maybe most importantly,...


Fair Folk Almanac: January [Preview]

This first monthly Fair Folk Almanac episode includes Perchta, the Alpine goddess who will disembowel you if you don’t take a vacation, moon divination from Greece, and suggestions for how you might bring in the new year with your own folklore-based ritual and tradition. To listen to the whole episode, visit www.patreon.com/fairfolkcast and subscribe. The next regular episode will arrive in two weeks! Music: Intro: "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods "Mixoscottish" by Lirio "Plugușorul" by...


Winter Solstice, Queen of Feasts

This episode traces the age-old European origins of many of the Winter Solstice traditions we enjoy today, from mother goddess worship through stories of the wizard child Jesus, to Christmas fortune telling with bones. Support Fair Folk: www.patreon.com/fairfolkcast PayPal.me/DanicaBoyce Music: “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” by the Ballycastle Players “Miri it is While Sumer Ilast” by Ensemble Belladonna “O Frondens Virga” by Augsburg Early Music Ensemble “Podblyadnye Song” by...


Interview with Vicki Noble, creator of the Motherpeace Tarot

In this episode I speak with Vicki Noble, co-creator of the Motherpeace Tarot Deck, a set of cards for divination that incorporates images of the sacred feminine from mythology and folklore. The creation of the Motherpeace Tarot in the late 1970s in Berkley California helped to kickstart the so-called Goddess movement, whose influence endures today. Links: Fair Folk Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/fairfolkcast Paypal: paypal.me/DanicaBoyce Michael Levy, ancient lyre:...


Lithuanian Kanklės Concert in a Pagan Temple: Žemyna Trinkūnaitė

This episode is a recording of Žemyna Trinkūnaitė playing a Kanklės, a traditional Lithuanian instrument, in a concert for a small group of people in a Baltic pagan temple in Lithuania. For more recordings, contact Žemyna Trinkūnaitė by email at zemynat@gmail.com To support Fair Folk: www.patreon.com/fairfolkcast paypal.me/DanicaBoyce


July Update and a Summer Playlist

A brief update about Fair Folk's summer and fall plans from northern Iceland, plus a spontaneous summer playlist to enjoy on the road or at home. To contribute to the Fair Folk travel fund: www.patreon.com/fairfolkcast paypal.me/DanicaBoyce Music: Intro: "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods "Langspils - Kvæðalag" by Eyjólfur Eyjólfsson "Lenten is Come" by Briddes Roune "Aililiu Na Gamhna (Calling Home The Calves)" by Iarla O' Lionáird "The Band of Shearers" by Carla Sciaky "Två Konungabarn" by...


Midsummer Solstice

This episode explores some of the better and lesser known celebrations and songs of the midsummer solstice in Europe. In the process it addresses some of the perennial questions of this holiday, like: What is a maypole? Why are all of those Russians bathing together? And how can I find buried treasure when all I’m wearing is this garland of mugwort? And what’s all this about human sacrifice? Music: Intro: "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods "Sumer Is Icumen In" by Shelley Phillips "Helan går" by...


Polyphony Worldwide feat. Joseph Jordania

The second in a series on traditional polyphonic singing, this episode visits the hunter-gatherer pygmies of the African rainforest, the peasants of pre-Christian Russia, and the possible residents of outer space, via one very special song from Georgia. It also features an interview with Georgian ethnomusicologist Joseph Jordania, organizer of the International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony in Tbilisi, Georgia, and author of several books on polyphony and early human evolution,...


Ancient Multi-part European Folk Singing - Polyphony Part 1

The first in a series on vocal polyphony, this episode gives credit to the ancient origins of vocal polyphony in rural community practices, looking specifically at the polyphony of Lithuania, whose sutartinės are a symbol of the nation's strong pre-christian folk heritage. Music: "Georgia: Vocal" by Greek Orthodox Church Choir "Vay, More" (Oh, the Sea) by The Women's Folklore Ensemble of Staraya Terizmorga Chant dedicated to St. Boniface, patron saint of Germany, 10th century by Quintin Beer...


Interview with Jonny Dillon of the Irish National Folklore Collection

This episode I chat with Jonny Dillon, an archivist at the Irish National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin. We discuss the history of the Folklore Collection, his podcast, Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments, and the deep need for folk tradition in modern life. The Irish National Folklore Collection is one of the largest folklore collections in Europe, and has just this month been ascribed to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments...


Kulning and other herding calls

Traditional herding calls from Sweden and Norway, with an interview with Swedish folk musician and kulning instructor Siri Holm. Music: Intro theme - "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods “Kulning” by Adolf Fredriks Kyrkas Kammarkör & Karin Backstrom “Kulning” Maria Hulthén Birkeland “Kulning” by Susanne Rosenberg “Farlock (Sheep Calls) - Getlock (Goat Calls) - Kalvlock (Calf Calls)” by Karin Edvardsson Johansson “Kulning” by Nygards Elisabet Nordkvist “Lockrop” by Karin Edvardsson Johansson...


Norse Neo-Paganism

The spiritual world of the vikings, and of those who follow in their footsteps. The final episode in the first season of Fair Folk podcast. Music: Intro theme - "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods "Vinda" by Kati Ran "Tåkedis" by Rúnahild "Frigga’s Web" by Hagalaz Runedance "Iduna" by Faun "Jag vet ett tempel stå" by Forndom "Fehu" by Wardruna "Den grymma hästen" by Forndom "Trøllabundin (Live)" by Eivør (interview begins) "Yule" by Sowulo "AnsuR" by Wardruna with Lars Magnar Enoksen "Suvetar" by...



Malevolent or helpful, pinched and small, or beautiful beyond description, elves are a mainstay of western folk belief. Today we’re exploring the many manifestations of elf belief, delving into the folklore of the British Isles and Scandinavia, the two regions where elves have been most robustly represented. This episode features an interview with Terry Gunnell, professor of Folkloristics at the University of Iceland, and expert on the history - and present - of elf belief in Iceland. Music:...


Ballads of Scandinavia

This episode is dedicated to the many wonderful tales shared in ballad form in Scandinavian countries. You'll learn that not all stories have happy endings (most don't), which part of the dragon you need to eat in order to gain the gift of prophecy (the heart), and how Groundhog Day is really a holiday about a Scottish hag's woodpile (she's called the Cailleach). Music: Intro theme - "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods "Herr Peders Sjöresa" by Hilma Ingberg "Kall Og Svein Ung by Sláið Ring"...



Elves, epic poetry, sheep milk and murder... welcome to the world of Icelandic folk music! This episode features an interview with Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster, two of the most accomplished performers of Icelandic folk music, and experts on rímur chanting, a form dating from middle ages, with its ancestry in the Icelandic Sagas and Eddas. Music: Opening theme: Forest March by Sylvia Woods Heyr Himna Smiður by Anneke van Giersbergen & Árstíðir Icelandic Folk Songs: I. Iceland, Land of...


Rarer Carols

This episode features some of the more ancient and obscure midwinter traditions that have endured alongside Christmas, as well as some lesser-known carols of this festival, many of which are pagan in origin. Content warning for animal sacrifice and general heathen revelry. Music: Intro theme - "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods "Christmas Is Now Drawing Near at Hand" by Norma Waterson "Bonny At Morn / Hunting the Cutty Wren" by Clive Williams & Mark Prescott "Nou Is Yole Comen" by Shira Kammen...


Saints & Demons of December

This episode, you’ll learn why the Swedish will be wearing candles on their heads and dressing up as goats this week, you’ll hear about Saint Nicholas’ past life beating and kidnapping children with his demon slave companion, and you’ll meet St. Stephen, the first man to be stoned to death for bringing a rooster back to life. Music: Intro theme - "Forest March" by Sylvia Woods Staffansvisa Från Jämtland by Triakel Karolinermarsch by Peter Hedlund Staffan Var en Stalledräng by Folk & Rackare...