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Folksongs and Folk Revival

The Cultural Politics of Kenneth Peacock's Songs of the Newfoundland Outports

By Anna Kearney Guigné
Categories: Folklore, Autobiography/biography/life Writing, Cultural Studies, History, Newfoundland And Labrador Studies
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 71
Paperback : 9781894725064, 342 pages, April 2008


In 1965, the classically trained musician and composer Kenneth Peacock published a three-volume work, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, based on six years of collecting folksongs in that province on behalf of the National Museum of Canada. Folksongs and Folk Revivial provides a critical review of Peacock's Newfoundland fieldwork to better understand his motivations for creating Outports and his treatment of the materials he collected.

The study considers the cultural politics of the day, such as National Museum policies and directions, and, in particular, how the growth of the Canadian folk revival during the 1950s and 1960s influenced his work. It considers the dynamic relations between Peacock and other individuals who had a vested interest in documenting and presenting Newfoundland culture. New knowledge regarding Peacock's life and times facilitates our understanding of this man's immense contribution to both Newfoundland and Canadian folklore scholarship while at the same time allowing researchers to make greater use of the materials he so diligently collected.


Folksongs and Folk Revival absolutely captured my attention and held me from beginning to end. ”

- Robin McGrath, The Telegram

Folksongs and Folk Revival is recommended to anyone interested in folksong, folkloristics, and in the history of Canadian society in the middle of the twentieth century. ”

- Natalie Kononenko, Canadian Ethnic Studies

“Guigné succeeds in securing a rightful place for Kenneth Peacock among the ‘folksong greats’ who have enriched the world of singers and scholars alike. ”

- Margaret Bennett, Folk Music Journal