A significant number of traditional tunes are modal in form. This morning we have a traditional Irish song set to a tune in the Mixolydian mode. This is a recording of Anne Briggs from 1963, singing ‘She Moved Through the Fair’. Mainly Norfolk has this to say about this recording:
A 19 years young Anne Briggs sang She Moves Through the Fair at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963 where it was recorded by Bill Leader for the album Edinburgh Folk Festival Vol. 1. This track was later included in her compilation CD A Collection and on the Topic 4 CD anthology The Acoustic Folk Box.
Mainly Norfolk says: ‘She Moved Through the Fair was first collected in Donegal by poet Padraic Colum (1881-1972) and musicologist Herbert Hughes (1882-1937), and published by Boosey & Hawkes in London in Irish Country Songs in 1909. The tune is in mixolydian mode.’ Read the rest of the article here.
Anne Briggs had a brief but highly influential career in British folk music in the 60s and 70s, but it has been many year since she has toured or recorded. Wikipedia gives the outline of her story here, and there is an interesting 2007 interview in the Guardian here.