New Singers

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New singers  are always welcome to join us – read more

Event Organisers  – want us to sing for you? – read more
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Thursday, 31 October 2013

The WDOAM - Tilling with the Tudors

The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum is about to become a TV star!  Doubtless it's been on telly a few times before but this is a bang up-to-date production, due to air Wed 13 November 2013 at 9pm on BBC 2.  And there's more than one episode, apparently.

More details in the West edition of November's Sussex Life here.

"Bread and ale, bread and ale
such keeps me well-fed, hearty and hale
bread and ale, bread and ale
Thou know'st no better to grow a strong yale*."

[yale = "dweller at the fertile upland"]

Adrian F

Friday, 18 October 2013

Deck the Halls

Found this on the web just now:

Tis the season to be naughty
Falalalala lalalala
Tell your father he is crummy
Falalalala lalalala
Break a window, pop a tire
Falala lalala lalala
Light your teachers pants on fire
Falalalala lalalala

Deck the halls with gasoline
Falalalala lalalala
Light a match and watch it gleam
Falalalala lalalala
Watch the school burn down to ashes
Falala lalala lalala
Aren't you glad you played with matches?
Falalalala lalalala!

Gosh!  Written by some wit in Oklahoma who wasn't that keen on hiis school, apparently!!

Adrian F

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 15th October 2013

Pronunciation lessons
Good session tonight.  A mere ten of us but we rattled (yes, we did – well, it's been a year) through the carols for this Xmas season.  And we had another new member join us from Newhaven – Sandria Reese.  Welcome Sandria!  She brought along her brother-in-law who lives in Paris (because her husband can't sing).  I did suggest that he take back a love of South Downs songs and set up a satellite group there – but I won't hold my breath.

Now then, he told us that we can rhyme "wind" with "mind" (God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, verse 5) as that was how they used to pronounce it in the 16th century.  I seem to remember that we did do that last year .... but he was less sure about "blood" and "rood" (verse 4 of Righteous Joseph) ....

However, when it came to The Holly & the Ivy (verse 3) we should pronounce "blood" with a strong northern accent apparently – because it used to be spoken that way (down 'ere too) and DOES rhyme with "good"!

Don't say I don't learn yer anyfink ....

PS – Sandria's brother-in-law doesn't live in Paris because her husband can't sing.  Just thought I should clear that up.

Christmas is coming!

What!  You're mad, Adrian.  It's 16th October.

Well, yes, but last night at Lewes, we ran through the carols we will be singing at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum's Christmas Market on Sunday 17th November.  We learned a bit about pronunciation too - see the Local Group News page ..... Tomorrow at Easebourne they'll be doing the same and the whole exercise will be repeated at Worthing on Wednesday 6th November.

There will be information on the blog in a few days' time regarding singing on that day: please read it carefully as the arrangements will be a bit tighter this time - in essence, you will need to commit no later than ten days in advance.

"Of all the singers that are in the pub, the SDFS bears the crown."  Oh, yes .......

Adrian F

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Forgotten carols

Hullabaloo Quire is hosting some Forgotten Carols workshops in November / December (see the flier here) which are open to non-members.  If you are interested, write to

John Crane's campaign

John C has asked me to post the following information - not singing-related but of significant interest to many of us.

Adrian F

"Dear Friends,

I have just created a new petition which I'd be grateful if you could sign - it's called: 'Sledghammer' Combats Prostate Cancer.  This issue is very important to me, and I’m trying to get to 100 signatures and could use your help.  Read more about it and sign it here:

Campaigns like this always start small, but they grow when people like us get involved - please take a few moments if you can to help out by signing and passing it on.

Thank you so much,


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Halsway Manor - mini-festival, 4-8 November

Julie Thurston has forwarded some information about Halsway Manor in Somerset.  I had never heard of it - it's a centre for things folk - including songs, tunes, storytelling and folklore.  Julie especially wanted to draw our attention to one of their many events: they have a mini-festival from 4-8 November (residential) which sounds wonderful.

Indeed, the place itself sounds wonderful - click here and explore the website.  We could possibly stay there for a few days and run a workshop or two as well as attending other events.  If the Isle of Wight was fun, then perhaps it was the first in an annual series of SDFS getaways .... what do you think?  Leave a comment, why don't you?!

Adrian F

Monday, 7 October 2013

Come All Ye (helpers, that is ......)

This Wednesday at the Beechwood, we will be discussing the future of the South Downs Folk Singers.  Where we are, where we want to go, what we want it to achieve, what we want out of it and how we are going to get there.

If you are at all able and willing to give some time on a regular basis, please do come along with your ideas.  There is already a rough structure which covers the main jobs - those that occur on a ongoing basis - and I'll bring that with me.

In particular, if you have good web design skills, PR skills or are a good organizer / administrator, that would be good.  We also need more leaders when we sing and a teacher or two.

It's a fabulous beast, the SDFS - but it needs nurturing, maintaining and supporting to help it grow and stay healthy.

See you Wednesday.

Adrian F

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Xmas party

The subject of a Xmas get-together was raised at the Worthing session last night and all were keen for there to be some sort of event.  Everyone agreed that last year's bash at the Barn in Horsham was a good do.  Trouble is, that cost over £500, with a contribution for that coming from the SDS.  But if we got 50 people @ £10 we could do it again .....

But there are other options:
  • hiring a cheaper place and singing  / reciting / storytelling amongst ourselves would be great fun: many of us sing other sorts of songs in other places and it would be nice to hear some of these;
  • wassailing after Xmas when things get a bit dull - people's Decembers get horribly busy.
Ideas, anyone?  We do need to get cracking though, or we'll ALL be booked up .....

Adrian F / Linda T

Isle of Wight weekend

I gather you all had a good time though maybe the local inn left something to be desired? ......

If anyone would like to write a report for the blog, I'll happily put it up here.  If I receive several, I'll just edit them together - everyone will be credited!

And don't forget the photies .....

Adrian F