folk song

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A song, origin usually unknown, that is handed down orally from generation to generation and often exists in different forms in different parts of the country. In England the first person to make any systematic attempt at recording the material in this field was Percy in the middle of the 18th cent. The end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th cents saw an immense increase of activity in the collection, transcription, and publication of folk songs (see Sharp, C.).

Subjects: Literature.

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