May Day is a joyous day in the English ritual year for many reasons, not least because, in this era of commodification, it still sits outside the clutches of corporate interests and continues as an organic and spontaneous expression of our folk. Unlike, as in the case of other festivals, global interests and big business have been unable to unable to hijack May Day and sell it back to us. Long may that remain so!
Although most of the modern SJW-orientated left have moved on to other, more trendier jamborees in their diaries, what remains of the Old Left still claims May Day for its own purposes –But despite this appropriation, May Day is OUR day – a day of the European peoples with origins stretching back millennia. ‘The May’ features strongly in our collective folk memories within the greater European psyche. It intertwines through our histories and cultures, finding distinct local, regional, and national expressions across our continent.
The wheel of the year turns but many of us fail to notice in our modern lives. Our ancestors, however, kept to its rhythm. At Maytime, Mother Nature steps up a gear, something our ancestors, not familiar with modern creature comforts, welcomed with much revelry. Longer and warmer days and the promise of a full larder come harvest time, were always going to be a good excuse for a party.
Today, May Day is one of the strongest examples of the English folk tradition and its recognition and practice is growing in the public consciousness once more. Predictably however, those who would deny expressions of English identity have continued to sneer at it. It’s all an invention apparently. A concoction of Victorian nostalgia. Of course, there’s a modicum of truth in this. What they refer to is the English folk revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – but there’s nothing wrong with revivals. The Irish, Scottish and Welsh had them in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Strangely, the anti-English seem perfectly at ease with these, but the English are fair game: Attend a May Day gathering and yes, you will see Morris Men. Our detractors will dive in and claim Morris dance is all made up – contrived and inauthentic. Except that a mob of Morris Men popped in to say “Hello” to folk-revivalist Cecil Sharp when he was visiting a friend in 1899, and in doing so sparked his vigorous promotion of the pastime. Englishmen had been prancing about like that since the fifteenth century – all Cecil Sharp did was help fan the flames of a, by then, less practiced merrymaking.
Others have contended that our English folk song was popularised for commercial gain through Broadsides by latter day Simon Cowells. The implication here is that English folk song was manufactured and not a form of oral history. Yes, these printed song sheets sold like hotcakes from the sixteenth century onwards, but there is no evidence of songs, newly composed, expressly for commercial gain. They already existed, sung heartily in one locality, then sold for a penny later, further afield. Look through the sleeve notes of your average folk CD; Folkies love doing their homework: variants of many an English tune can be traced back 300 or 400 years, sometimes more. Even when the anti-English can justly claim: “That song’s only nineteenth century! It’s not as old as you think.” Well, is four or five generations not enough for them?
Cultural revivals are exactly that – they resuscitate and reboot rather than invent. Look at the English folk tradition and you’ll find that there was always something there, even if it lingered, however faintly, in folk memory before being taken up enthusiastically once more. Revivals are a reaction to rapid social change: In the past they were a reaction to Industrialism and urbanisation. We would like to think that more recent interest in the English ritual is in opposition to the banal cultural wastelands that are modern ‘entertainment’ and consumerism – perhaps even a reaction to multiculturalism and globalism. As far as we as Identitarians are concerned, this is good reason enough.
May Day and its invigoration in recent years, is one such example of the latest English cultural revival. Newly revived, our task now is to cement it in the English mind, preserve it and grow it.
Of course, all social movements need to address real-world, bread and butter issues and Identity England have, and will continue to do so. But Identitarians and European patriots must offer a visionary message too. To this end we can utilise our folk days in our patriotic mission. We can incorporate them into new foundations for a reborn wave of European consciousness and pride. If we are to build a movement that can seriously rival globalist hegemony, then we must build it with real idealism and zeal at its core. We can use the idea of an Alter-England – within an Alter-Europe – in place of the negative ‘football’ image attached to English Identity which, unfortunately, still predominates (not there’s anything wrong with the once-people’s game itself). We must introduce these concepts to and intoxicate the more idealistic our people with this kaleidoscope of visions. We should encourage a re-imagining of England as it is from this that a new way of thinking can create positive change.
May Day can inspire a new vision of an alternative England, organic, authentic, real. An England that revels in echoes of past myths: the concepts of Merry England, the Green Wood, and that of Cockaigne – the medieval peasant myth of a plentiful and relaxing land. These are OURS and we can take them with us toward – A New England. A New Arcadia. A New Avalon. A New Jerusalem.