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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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Danny Park 300th Anniversary Cricket Match, Sunday 9th July 2017

Update 8th July: The meeting place at 12.45pm will be outside the Lunch Marquee. The contact number for the day is 07751 479383.
Update 5th July: For anybody needing help locating Danny House, the postcode is BN6 9BB and you will be able to find the location of the property by searching for this postcode using your favourite online mapping website.

To see exactly where you leave the public highway to enter the driveway leading to Danny House, use one of these links:
Google Maps
Update 2nd July: The deadline for confirming participation at this event has been extended to the end of Thursday 6th July.
Richard Burrows has invited us to support this celebration:
"Dear SDFS

I have always been a fan of yours and regularly play your cd! I own Danny House which is the third largest grade 1 listed house in Sussex. On Sunday afternoon, 9th July we will be holding a cricket match in Danny Park to celebrate 300 years of cricket in the village. We believe we have the third oldest cricket ground in the world. Danny will be playing Hurstpierpoint Cricket Club and we will be wearing C18th costumes and trying to play to C18th rules. The match will be promoted to everyone free of charge as a community event."
Richard will kindly provide participating Singers only with a free lunch and free drinks. Singers are welcome to bring friends and families and picnics. There will be a pay bar and pay scouts bbq. Parking is free at the entrance to the park.

You are welcome to come dressed in any 18th century costume that you have tucked away in your closet or can beg, borrow or steal. Those of us without this facility please wear any blue/green or cream/yellow garments you feel are suitable.

The programme for the day:
12 noonJunior teams from Hurstpierpoint Cricket Club will be playing C18th cricket. The beer tent etc will be operational from 12 noon.
12.45pmSDFS gather for the first set.
1pmLunch for the teams (spit roast lamb etc and drinks) served in the marquee. The SDFS will sing their first possibly longer set (depending on tea arrangements on the day) to the gathered crowds from 1pm, the Chanctonbury Morris Men will then follow us.
2pmLunch for the SDF Singers in the marquee.
2pmCricket match between Danny House and Hurstpierpoint Cricket Club starts. There will be a tea interval at just before 4pm when we will sing our second set. The match will finish at 6pm but if you want to drift away after the tea set please feel free to do so.

Please gather for the first set by 12.45pm. The songs in the sets below are generally well known to us.

Please confirm by email: if you wish to take part, by Monday 3rd July the end of Thursday 6th July to enable advance notification to the organisers for catering numbers on the day.

Many thanks,

John C.

First Set:
  1. Country Life Ab
  2. Oak, Ash & Thorn E
  3. Pleasant & Delightful B
  4. A Smuggler’s Song C#
  5. West Sussex Drinking Song F
  6. Rosebuds In June B
  7. Rolling In The Dew F
  8. Twanky Dillo A
  9. Jolly Good Song

Second Set:
  1. The Turnip Hoer Bb
  2. On Sussex Hills A
  3. Fathom The Bowl D
  4. The Magpie C
  5. Ale, Glorious Ale E
  6. The Nightingale A
  7. Life Of A Man B
  8. Thousands Or More A
  9. Jolly Good Song

Monday, 26 June 2017

Ferring Open Gardens Performance, Sunday 2nd July

Here's a note from Emily about singing at Ferring Open Gardens:

Hello All,

As some of you already know, my parents-in-law are opening their garden as part of the Ferring Open Gardens day and have asked if we might come and sing a couple of sets to add to the general delight.

It will be to raise money for St Barnabas and last year they raised a considerable sum.

It will be a lovely day and loads of gardens are open and well worth a browse around, some serve teas and refreshments, some have music being performed, some have classic cars lined up in the driveway...

My in-laws' particular attraction, apart from a lovely garden, is an extensive model railway track that winds around the garden. There will be loads of trains chugging around, past stations, a water mill, a castle, and even across the pond on a bridge!

Well worth a look!

The open day is on Sunday 2nd July.

Their address is 2 Green Park, Ferring, which is just over the level crossing and beyond the Henty Arms on the same side of the road.

There is an entry fee of £3 for access to all the open gardens and this can be paid at whichever garden you choose to visit first. You will then receive a programme and map to show you what's happening and where.

We singers will meet either at 12.30pm on the green, which is just where the Coastliner 700 bus stops, or in the Henty Arms just after, to gather those singers who are already there enjoying a lunchtime pint.

We will be doing two sets, one at 1pm and one at 3pm, which allows time for strolling around other gardens in between and perhaps also singing at Patsy's daughters house! She and her family are also opening their garden, and I understand from Patsy that one of their special attractions is guinea pigs! Not to be missed! My daughters are hugely excited about that!

We will be doing two sets at 2 Green Park (and however many songs seem good at Patsy's daughter's place).

The sets will be:

  1. On Sussex Hills
  2. Pleasant and Delightful
  3. A Smuggler's song
  4. The Nightingale
  5. Ale, Glorious Ale
  6. Rosebuds in June
  7. Twanky Dillo

  1. Country Life
  2. Life of a Man
  3. West Sussex Drinking Song
  4. Rosebuds in June
  5. The Magpie
  6. Thousands Or More
  7. On Sussex Hills

Both sets are of course open to changing according to what feels comfortable for all singers present.

If there's any info I've left out or any questions do feel free to email me at

Look forward to seeing you there!

Em X

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