Saturday, 17 June 2017

Local Group Report – Chichester – Thursday 15th June 2017

Sixteen of us (if you include Stanley the dog) met at the Chichester Inn to sit round together and have a jolly good sing. After some notices and quite a lot of banter, Dave suggested we spent the first hour singing songs from the set list for our “Happy Sussex Day” event in Brighton that we will be attending on Saturday 17th June. So we sang Country Life, A Smuggler’s Song, The Nightingale, Rosebuds in June, The West Sussex Drinking Song, Ha’nacker Mill and Pleasant & Delightful. After a break to refill our glasses, Stephen A explained his plans for a sing at 1.00 pm at Tullecombe near Rogate on Tuesday 18th July, when he hopes we will be able to sing at a picnic for some intrepid souls hiking the Serpent Trail. The songs he has chosen and researched are local to the Midhurst area. So we practised Valiants All, The Stedham Oysterman’s Donkey and The Saucy Sailor. We had to laugh when we tried to interpret the hidden meanings behind the song Valiants All, which in the ancient language of flowers seems to be a lament (or a warning) by a young maid who has lost her virginity! We finished up the evening singing two songs requested by Lyn T from Yapton, namely Where Stormy Winds Do Blow and The Run of the Downs, and with the words “You’ll be glad you’re Sussex born” ringing in our ears we called an end to what was a most enjoyable evening. We’ll be back again at the Chichester Inn on Thursday 20th July. Join us if you can. New members always welcome!

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 7th June 2017

Briefings about SDFS events in June and July began proceedings, before running through most of the songs planned for the first of these in Brighton on 17th June, followed by time for a few requests.  All were sung with gusto to compete with the noises coming from a very chatty gathering of General Election campaigners in the adjacent space at the Beechwood.  We managed not to lose our voices in the attempt and successfully covered On Sussex Hills, The West Sussex Drinking Song (including the additional East Sussex verses), Sussex By the Sea, Follow Me ’Ome, The MagpieHa’nacker Mill, Country Life, Twanky Dillo, Oak, Ash and Thorn, A Smuggler’s Song and Jim the Carter Lad.  We sang Brian’s song The Moongazer again, after hearing it for the first time at last month’s session (it’s not in our SDFS repertoire so not on our website).  When almost all sung out we concluded the evening with Rolling Home (another one not in the official SDFS repertoire, but now an old favourite with many of us) before the crowds dispersed.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 13th June 2017

Ten of us ventured over to Alfriston to join Mac and friends at their Folk Club in The Star. As South Downs Folk Singers, Tina led us through two sets, pitching our start note while Jo introduced each song: Country Life, Pleasant & Delightful, Ha’nacker Mill, The Woodcutter’s Song and The Farmer’s Toast followed by The Turmut Hoer, The Magpie, The Constant Lovers, Rosebuds in June and Thousands or More. The other participants at the evening treated us to a wonderful mix of music and songs, from a Scandinavian fiddle tune to A Shepherdess on the South Downs, and we were invited to sing along with several choruses which made for a jolly good time.

Thank you Mac and friends.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Sea Shanties

Here are links to download lyrics and recordings for songs taught at Emily's workshop on Saturday 13th May:

Four songs 2017-05-13.pdf

Here's a Health to the Company.mp3

John Kanaka.mp3

Saucy Sailor.mp3

Spanish Ladies.mp3

Note: These links are provided here for convenience, but for the moment the future relationship between South Downs Folk Singers and the Secret Shore project is undecided.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Happy Sussex Day at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Saturday 17th June 2017

We have been invited to sing two featured sets at Brighton Museum's Happy Sussex Day event to celebrate our annual 'Sussex Day'.

It is aimed at families, with hands on activities for youngsters, together with extra related artefacts on display supporting the day's theme.

We will be doing two song sets, at 1.00pm and 3.00pm, so please be at the museum by 12.30pm to assemble. If you have items of clothing of blue, green or cream/yellow please wear them.

Several Singers have already indicated that they are coming by public transport direct from home, or free parking outside Brighton and then public transport, but there will be some limited allocated parking near site which will need Singers to arrange to car share (this can be arranged when we know how many Singers are attending, unless you make your own personal arrangements).

Please either email or sign up for the day with Henny at the next Beechwood session. The closing date for volunteering is 11th June.

I haven't been to the museum for a couple of decades so I'm going to have a good look around in the morning before we sing, see you there.

John C.

Song List

First Set, 1.00pm:
  1. Country Life [Ab]
  2. A Smuggler’s Song [C#]
  3. The Nightingale [A]
  4. Rosebuds In June [B]
  5. Sussex Drinking Song (East Sussex verses) [E]
  6. Ha'nacker Mill [E]
  7. Follow Me 'Ome [B]
  8. Twanky Dillo [A]
  9. Jolly Good Song

Second Set, 3.00pm:
  1. On Sussex Hills [A]
  2. Pleasant And Delightful [B]
  3. Oak, Ash And Thorn [E]
  4. The Turnip Hoer [Bb]
  5. The Magpie [C]
  6. Life Of A Man [B]
  7. Thousands Or More [A]
  8. Sussex By The Sea [A]
  9. Jolly Good Song

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 16th May 2017

Twelve of us enjoyed a warm evening at The John Harvey Tavern singing a wide variety from the repertoire. Tina worked us through old favourites, spending time to polish up on the harmonies: Rosebuds in June, Pleasant and Delightful, The Farmer’s Toast, Country Life, The Magpie, The Turnip Hoer, Thousands or More, Ha'nacker Mill and The Woodcutter’s Song.

We also looked at some of the songs that might be on the set list at Bateman's in the summer: The Ladies go Dancing at Whitsun, A Smuggler's Song, Home Lads Home, Follow Me 'Ome, and Hard Times of Old England.

It was good to see Sandria again and Chris, who came last month, and brought his girlfriend along this time.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Adur Valley Beer Walk

Saturday 27th May 2017

Emily has been busy gaining permission for us to sing from the pubs and making a plan for us to sing along the Adur Valley Beer Walk. Get the official flyer from the Camra website (pdf file) which includes a map showing the pubs to be visited. If you want to join in, just turn up on the day – the more the merrier!

Hello All,

For those of you who fancy a delicious local ale or two and a rousing sing, here's the plan for the Adur Valley Beer Walk:

Gather at 2pm at the Riverside Brewery in Upper Beeding for sampling Ale and singing.

Then stroll to the Rising Sun for same.

Then up the river to the Kings Head for same (although possibly the only local ale they'll be serving is Harveys).

Then along to the Castle Inn for more of the same.

The Old Tollgate is on the map too but disapproves of singing, so perhaps then –

Wandering up to the castle ruin for those who want to see it, and then we can all head off, or on for those who fancy more, towards the pubs in Steyning, of which the Norfolk Arms, the White Horse, Chequers and the Star are all part of the trail.

If you can't make 2pm at the Riverside Brewery then you can catch up at the next couple of pubs...

Lets hope it's a lovely day, or nice and cosy in the pubs...

Look forward to seeing you there!


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 3rd May 2017

After chats and notices we gathered our voices to sing and warmed up with a couple of old favourites – Fathom the Bowl and The Nightingale. We continued with Jim the Carter Lad to polish some details and later Ha’nacker Mill to brush the dust off, both in readiness for use at the Michelham Priory event on Sunday 14th May. Emily reintroduced The Littlehampton Collier Lads for those not yet familiar with it and proposed to spend more time on this at our June session. Then for our interest and enjoyment (and perhaps to consider it for listing in the future alongside Belloc’s Sussex Hills) she shared with us a song by Arthur Beckett who was one of the early Sussex Downsmen (which later became the South Downs Society). Dave and Alan also entertained us with a May-time song, Sumer is icumen in. Otherwise our songs were requests from ‘the floor’ – Constant Lovers, Follow Me ’ome, The Magpie, A Smuggler’s Song and again, for the sheer pleasure of it, the Brave Young Ploughboy.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

South Downs Folk Singers entertain at Horsham English Festival

A message of thanks from Les B and a report from David G:

Very many thanks to everyone who came and sang at the English Festival in Horsham yesterday. Our performance was much enjoyed, the festival organisers were most grateful and we received many compliments.
We're booked in for next year – 13th May 2018!
Best, Les.

On Sunday 7th May more than twenty of our gallant singers attended the Horsham English Festival and sang a rousing 40 minute set of Sussex songs praising amongst other things Hepworths Beer and life in the countryside. We were well received by the townsfolk, many of whom joined in with the choruses. The afternoon was organised by Horsham Folk Club and was in aid of the Samaritans. Well done to everyone who volunteered to sing at such short notice. See you at Michelham Priory next Sunday!

Photo: Barbara W

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Weald and Downland Museum – ICOMOS Singing Project

Sunday 28th May, 11.00am-4.00pm

Here's a short message from Emily about an exciting workshop coming soon.
Hello all, I am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in this brill workshop at the Weald and Downland Living Museum.

It's a project suitable for all ages and families, to explore our 'intangible cultural heritage', what a phrase! And, most importantly, to sing some wonderful songs, rounds, or 'catches' as they were once called. The workshops are free, so they are also a great chance to look round the museum which is wonderful. Check out this link for more info.