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Roy Palmer Lecture 2024

If You Can't Say It, Sing It!

The Roy Palmer Lecture for 2024 will be given by the Scottish Folklorist, Award-Winning Author, and Singer, Margaret Bennett , as part of the Whitby Folk Week.


Margaret's topic will be 'If you can't say it, sing it'. Further details of her talk will be available here in the next few weeks.


Originally from the Isle of Skye, Margaret Bennett grew up in a family of tradition bearers, Gaelic on her mother’s side, and Lowland Scots on her father’s. She spent school years in Skye, Lewis and the Shetlands, then moved to Glasgow in 1964 where she joined the student folk-club (with an international outreach) and the Glasgow Folk Song and Ballad Club.  Singers and song-makers in the ''folk scene' sparked her interest in the social, political and cultural background to songs, so in 1968 she moved to Newfoundland to study Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland.  She spent eight years in Canada, making recordings and documenting the social history and songs emerging from experiences of emigration and work in the Maritimes and Quebec. Returning to Scotland she worked as a teacher, then from 1984 to 1996 was a lecturer and collector at Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies. In 1996 she joined the part-time staff at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland while continuing to research, write and share traditional songs though concerts and festivals.  Author of fifteen books and many articles, Margaret has contributed to broadcasts, films and recordings and is the recipient of several awards.


We are grateful to Whitby Folk Week for having, again, agreed to host the Roy Palmer Lecture. The date and time will be announced nearer the event but will be during the week 19 - 23 August. A video of the lecture will be available on YouTube shortly after the event.

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