About Neil Lanham
Following the death of my father in 1943, I was mainly raised on my Grandfather’s small remote Suffolk farm.
The way of life had changed little since the Middle Ages. A cow was still kept for the house and Grandmother seasonally prepared all the food as in the bygone age. There was no electricity, water was from the pump in an outhouse and there was only external sanitation. Everyone ate together where stories from life's experience abounded.
I discovered that Uncle Tickles, who rarely went off the farm, had what I later learned was a totally metaphoric mind. Everything he said was a ‘double entendre’, a proverb, a saying, a riddle, an instant metaphor of humour that came off the back brain to put a measurement from the past upon the present. It enabling the composing of story and I came to realise that story is vitally important to mankind as it is the vehicle of reason and wisdom. Thus everything and everybody had a nick name which whilst humorous brought forward a measurement.
Tickles made up songs all day about his situations. Spending all the time that I could with Tickles and ‘the old boys down the cart lodge’ and helping them on the land, I listened and learned to respect and love their idiom and this took me on a lifelong journey of understanding and belief in their superior life through: contentment bringing self entertainment, their higher level of picture forming language, and above all, a mind formed for story infused with metaphor which has now become lost through artificial technological devices that can distort the modern mindset.
Upon realising that 'the funny little songs' that mother sang were known in the wider world as folksongs, I recorded six hundred traditional songs from Suffolk and its borders in the early 1960s.
Professionally positioned as an auctioneer in a local, rural, cattle market enabled accessing the indigenous vernacular people to make Permanent Recordings for the enjoyment of others which I now, without funding, make available. Every recording reflects some aspect of these philosophies on the natural life.