Oldtime Nursery

Oldtime Nursery

Oldtime Nursery has met weekly since 2012 to bring folk art to North London’s babes, sucklings, hyperactive toddlers, sleep-deprived parents and underpaid nannies.

Oldtime Nursery exists to introduce the latest generation of children to the riches and the strangeness of traditional melodies and ancient stories.

All songs are accompanied by banjo, guitar, accordion, piano, violin, toy piano, harmonica, thumb piano, melodica, double bass, percussion, drums, stylophone, lapsteel guitar.

Special sources of inspiration are Elizabeth Poston’s collections of English folk-song, and those of her American contemporary Ruth Crawford Seeger.

Oldtime Nursery is a treasure-trove of nursery rhymes, playground snatches, shanties and catches. An infectious concoction of tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, and song unlimited. Also the Wheels on the Bus.

Oldtime Nursery is the most best-loved session in its little corner of North London, its popularity being mostly limited by the size of the room where it happens: like the father of the groom in the Sunday school song, the motto is “for this I have willed: / My banquet must be crowded / and my table must be filled”.

“And I would advise my young colleagues, the composers of symphonies, to drop in sometimes at the kindergarten, too. It is there that it is decided whether there will be anybody to understand their works in twenty years’ time” Zoltan Kodaly