The final VWML Library Lecture in the season takes place on Tuesday 26 April, and after a resounding success so far, we hope you will join us.
The last lecture is Night Visit Songs Revisited by Vic Gammon.
Night visit songs deal with the secret visit of a lover by night and his (sometimes her) departure in the early morning. Songs with this theme go back to classical and medieval times but flourished in England, Scotland and Ireland between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.
Considered as a unique genre, a significant difference between versions of the songs relates to whether the visiting lover is flesh and blood or a ghost. This talk will discuss these variants, whether the song has connections to courtship customs, the song's place in the social history of gender relations, how it relates to other sorts of literary texts, and will critically examine academic writing on the subject.
Vic Gammon was Senior Lecturer in Folk and Traditional Music at the International Centre for Music Studies at the University of Newcastle between 2004 and 2010. His interests in the vernacular musics of Britain and North America, in social history, and his continuing activity as a performer form the basis of his teaching and research.