New Singers

+ + + +
+ + + +
+ + + +
New singers  are always welcome to join us – read more

Event Organisers  – want us to sing for you? – read more
+ + + +
+ + + +
+ + + +

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Local Group Report – Chichester – Thursday 20th July 2017

We enjoyed a very pleasant evening singing in the Chichester Inn last Thursday and were pleased to welcome two newcomers who had heard about SDFS via a recent singing workshop.  We started off the evening with On Sussex Hills and then reprised Valients All, The Stedham Oysterman’s Donkey (which we hope might be included in the regular song list) and Saucy Sailor that had been sung at the Tullecombe event near Midhurst on Tuesday. All three songs had been collected in the Midhurst area.  We thought we’d practice some of the songs on the list for Bateman’s and so sang Home, Lads, Home, The Ladies Goes Dancing at Whitsun, Follow Me ’Ome, All Things are Quite Silent and Ha’nacker Mill. The Sussex Wedding Song and Jim, the Carter Lad were then requested which we all enjoyed singing, and rounded the evening off with a rousing Rolling Home as usual.

Friday, 21 July 2017

WW1 Battle of Passchendaele Remembrance, Sunday 6th August 2017

Bateman's, Burwash

This will be the third year that we join the volunteer re-enactors in remembering the fallen of WW1.

Starting on the 31st July and continuing till the 6th November, echoing the Somme Battle of the previous year, the Battle of Passchendaele (officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres) claimed 325,000 Allied casualties, mainly British and Canadian, and 260,000 German casualties for an advance of hardly 5 miles, over a limited salient.

I will be at the entrance kiosk from 10.00am to tick off the names of the up to 40 volunteer Singers for entry on the day [editor's note: this means a maximum of 40 singers, NOT singers up to 40 years of age!], who reserve a place by email to by the 1st August. I hope to abandon that position before 11.00am to grab a coffee.

If you have N.T. membership cards please bring them to be registered as it helps the site to bid for extra funds from the central N.T. pot.

Please bring friends and family if you wish, but their entry will be at normal rates if they cannot use membership cards.

Timing of the two song sets will be agreed on Saturday with the re-enactors, to not clash with any noisier activities on the adjacent encampment field. They will be either side of lunch at similar times to last year. If you have a poppy left over from last November please wear it together with any general green, blue, cream/yellow garments you fancy wearing.

Let's hope the weather favours us again, we brought the sun out last year with our singing.


1st Set:
  1. Country Life
  2. Pleasant & Delightful
  3. The Magpie
  4. Thousands Or More
  5. Home Lads Home
  6. Dancing At Whitsun
  7. A Smuggler’s Song
  8. Rosebuds In June
  9. Oak, Ash & Thorn
  10. Twanky Dillo
  11. Jolly Good Song

2nd Set:
  1. Fathom The Bowl
  2. Ha’nacker Mill
  3. On Sussex Hills
  4. Life Of A Man
  5. All Things Are Quite Silent
  6. Ale Glorious Ale
  7. Follow Me ’Ome
  8. The Nightingale
  9. West Sussex Drinking Song
  10. Sussex By The Sea
  11. Jolly Good Song

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 18th July 2017

We had another uplifting evening singing in The John Harvey Tavern, with seven men and only four women. Tina is very busy at work and so hadn’t had time to prepare any new songs, but that didn’t matter as we have so many others that we don’t often sing. As we don’t have a confirmed set list for Bateman’s, Tina guessed likely candidates and threw in a few more.

Old Adam, Ladies Go Dancing, Hard Times, Fathom the Bowl, Home Lads Home, My Boy Jack, Eileen Aroon, All Things Are Quite Silent and Follow Me ’Ome were all worked through before the break, and then we sang The Magpie, The Nightingale, Green Grow the Laurel, On Sussex Hills, Oak, Ash & Thorn, Run of the Downs (more for the words than the tune as we haven’t got a replacement for the Floral Dance yet), A Smuggler’s Song and They Won’t Let Us Go To Sea Any More.

Staying with the East Sussex theme, we finished with a request for Adrian to sing his East Sussex Drinking Song and the rest of us joined in the chorus… “Put another barrel on Landlord and pull a pint for me, the ale in the east of Sussex is the best we all agree, put another barrel on Landlord, let’s raise a mighty cheer and we’ll drink to the health, success and wealth of all who sup in here.”

We then all left feeling a lot happier for singing jolly good songs and in good company, before travelling home to witness those fantastic electrical storms.

Singing at Tullecombe, Tuesday 18th July 2017

On a warm, sunny Tuesday lunchtime ten of us met up with enthusiastic song collector Stephen A at the Forestry Commission car park at Tullecombe, just north of Rogate. As you can see from the photos, we chose a pretty piece of the common to sing to a group of walkers who were on an officially organised hike along this section of the Serpent Trail. Whilst they sat and rested, Stephen told them all about the songs he’s been researching, which were once sung by local villagers in this small corner of Sussex. We sang four songs: the Saucy Sailor, Valiants All, the Stedham Oysterman’s Donkey and as an encore Pleasant and Delightful.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 5th July 2017

After brief reminder notices about our July events, we considered and agreed with Emily’s suggestion that we spend time on trying some new or newish (to us) songs. We warmed up our voices with an old favourite, Rolling in the Dew, before singing, with Emily’s guidance, The Stedham Oyster Man’s Donkey (minus a couple of its many verses!) and The Saucy Sailor. Both songs were originally sourced from the Midhurst area and they have been sung a few times in the SDFS Chichester group’s sessions. Emily then described discussions which have begun with the organisers of an event we have been invited to in the autumn at Sullington Church. We sang through a few of the songs that could be appropriate to the occasion (yet to be confirmed). The Woodcutters Song brought an autumnal touch to a warm July evening before The Farmers Toast brought us back to a more summery mood. The Brisk Young Ploughboy is another option and we were all pleased to sing it again, although use of this song at the event will be subject to its adoption into our ‘official’ repertoire if our Lewes and Chichester colleagues also favour it. Lastly we tried Hares on the Mountain, a south country song from Cecil Sharp’s collection, which some had heard when it was presented at an extra workshop run by Emily and Chris H. back in February. We hope to spend more time on all these songs in future sessions. Thank you Emily and all for a varied and enjoyable evening.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Davy Lowston

Here's a link to download the recording of Davy Lowston made at Emily's workshop on Saturday 10th June.

Davy Lowston.mp3

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

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Heathlands Reunited Project: Singing at Tullecombe on Tuesday 18th July

For everybody interested in this event, here is further information provided by Stephen A by email. Stephen provided three files with this email and links have been added to enable downloading of these.
I would like to sing Valiants All, Saucy Sailor and The Stedham Oysterman’s Donkey and, if they are gagging for more, Pleasant and delightful.

I have included Bruce’s programme. I reckon if we meet at say 12.45 we will get a chance to go through the songs before the walkers arrive.

The meeting place is the Forestry Commission car park at Tullecombe, (see map). If you head north from the crossroads in Rogate and take a right at the cross roads (signposted Chithurst) it’s on the left after a couple of hundred yards.

If anyone is interested it’s not far to the Flying Bull in Rake afterwards.

Any questions get back to me.

Here are links for downloading lyrics to three songs that you may not already have:
Valiants All
The Stedham Oysterman’s Donkey
Saucy Sailor can be found in this collection.

Earlier information was provided for this event on this page.