Phil Preen

Phil Preen

Folk Singing

I used to enjoy singing at infants and junior school, and my sister and I used to sing along with my dad on some songs he knew on long car journeys. I never really knew that these were folk songs though, nor that these were serious songs that adults might actually sing for their own entertainment.

As I got older, I used to listen to the commercial pop music that was on the radio and TV, but I was never a big fan of any particular band or genre. I did used to enjoy listening and dancing & singing along to my mum's small record collection which was mostly rock and roll from the late 50s and early 60s. When asked, I would say that I enjoyed all types of music, but in particular, songs where you could actually hear the words that people were singing. Not because I was particularly touched or moved by song lyrics, but because I enjoyed singing along.

When I joined The Sealed Knot Society, the local regiment I belonged to had a song book that we used to sing from in the pub after a battle. I used to really love this, and started looking around for other songs to sing.

I revisted my mum's record collection, but also discovered a record of Irish folk songs that my stepdad had. This started me off on my disovery of folk music. On a trip to the library in Loughborough looking for folk records, I spotted an advertisement for a folk club.

I now run my own folk club along with my wife (met through morris dancing) and a couple of friends. I play in a ceilidh band, and dance with a number of morris sides. I am even a member of the East Midlands committee of Folk 21 which is a national organisation dedicated to preserving and protecting the folk club scene in the UK.