Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Thomas Pitfield

Letter No.: 
[Before May 1945]

Dear Mr Pitfield1

(Forgive wartime paper)
I delayed answering your interesting letter because I was trying to find my copy of Sharp’s “English Folk Carols”2 which I failed to do - It contains “The little room” - but whether to the same tune as yours I can’t remember. Do try & get hold of the words - they were first printed, so far as I know in an early 19th century chap book called “A good Xmas box”.
I like your tune - it is of course a well-known type - but a very good specimen of the type - I do not know that this particular version has been collected by any one else.
I wish when you have time you wd send tune and words & anything else about the song you can gather to include in the archives of the English Folk Song & Dance Society3 - & to print in our Journal when we’re able to print again!
Address:  Frank Howes
Editor Journal of the EFDS
Cecil Sharp House
London NW

Yours sincerely

R Vaughan Williams

1.  Composer and teacher. Taught at the Royal Manchester College of Music for many years. See Grove 6. He had registered some carol tunes collected in Staffordshire with the EFDSS. He sent a copy of this letter for UVW's use in writing R.V.W.: a biography; the original was subsequently sold at Sotheby's on 22 November 1989 lot 79.
2.  English Folk-carols, 1911.
3.  Actually English Folk Dance & Song Society.


Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS.Mus.1714/1/5, f.47-48
Original database number: