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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Saturday, 24 March 2018

SDFS at the Weald & Downland Living Museum, Sunday 15th April 2018

Update 8th April 2018: The set lists have been added below. Emily will be leading us with announcements by Mike. Entry for Singers will be by name on the list at 'The Gateway' / Museum Shop. Final date to be included on the list is 11th April.
This will be the first in a series of Rural Life Weekends, focusing on how people of the past would have lived at this time of the year.

This is a new departure for us with the Museum, to be phased between other site activities, with shorter song sets, but more of them during the day. If it proves successful then we may participate in further events of this nature.

These will commence at 11.00am, 12.30pm and 2.00pm with the possibility of 3.30pm if weather conditions and numbers of visitors on the day make it worthwhile. Performances will be around the Market Square or indoors adjacent if the weather is variable.

The songs will be from our usual cannon for this time of year. Final details will be posted as they become available.

Please email John on if you are volunteering for the event.

Further information on the organiser's website.

Song Set 1:
  1. West Sussex Drinking Song (E)
  2. The Magpie (C)
  3. The Nightingale (A)
  4. Hard Times Of Old England (F)
  5. Green Grow The Laurel (A)
  6. Fathom The Bowl (D)
Song Set 2:
  1. Country Life (Eb)
  2. A Smuggler’s Song (C#)
  3. Pleasant & Delightful (G)
  4. Brisk Young Ploughboy (C)
  5. Rosebuds In June (B)
  6. The Turnip Hoer (C)
Song Set 3:
  1. Twanky Dillo (G)
  2. Oak, Ash & Thorn (E)
  3. Rolling In The Dew (F)
  4. On Sussex Hills (A)
  5. Ebernoe Horn Fair (G)
  6. Jim The Carter Lad (B)
Song Set 4:
  1. The Farmer’s Toast (A)
  2. Old Adam (E)
  3. Rosebuds In June (B)
  4. Thousands Or More (A)
  5. Life Of A Man (B)
  6. Sussex By The Sea (A)
  7. Jolly Good Song

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 20th March 2018

The John Harvey Tavern still had their heating set for a frosty night so fourteen of us roasted as we toasted the songs in our repertoire, starting with Fathom The Bowl, Green Grow The Laurel and Hard Times of Old England. We then worked through three recent additions, Brighton Camp, The Bee Boy’s Song and The Brave Eleven to fit the words into tunes before enjoying the lyrics of Old Adam. After a break it was time to tackle Lark In The Morning and Searching For Lambs, and Brisk Young Ploughboy with harmonies. We also sang Hal an Tow even though none of us will be singing at Butser. The evening wound down with The Turnip Hoer and finally Thousands Or More.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

New Songs from Lewes

Update 24th March 2018: There has been a revision to the words in the first verse of Brighton Camp. The link below has been updated to the new file which is dated "24th March 2018".
As requested by our Lewes group, below are links to download pdf files for two songs: Brighton Camp (which is also one of the Secret Shore songs) and Caburn Hill, a song written by Lewes group singer David T.

Lyrics: Brighton Camp
Caburn Hill
Scores: Caburn Hill 2 Parts
Caburn Hill Tune 1
Caburn Hill Tune 2

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Local Group Report – Chichester – Thursday 15th March 2018

We were all in very good voice at our monthly group meeting on Thursday evening. Fifteen singers came along to sing a dozen stirring folk songs in the music room of the Chichester Inn in West Street, Chichester. Facing each other around a collection of tables we warmed up by singing a lusty version of Twanky Dillow followed by a more sensitive rendition of The Constant Lovers. These were followed by Stormy Winds and Searching for Lambs, two songs from our Shepherding Suite. In preparation for the Beltane Festival event at Butser Iron Age Farm on Saturday 5th May we sang Hal-an-Tow and Sumer Is Icumen In, this latter a very ancient song composed in the Wessex dialect of Middle English. We sang this as a round but it sounded even more effective when half the group backed up the others by singing “Sing Cuckoo!” throughout as a rhythmic counterpoint to the melody.

After a break to chat and re-fill our glasses we sang Wassail the Silver Apple, but we all agreed that we need to find some slightly better harmonies for the choruses. We then practised the lovely Lark in the Morning and Kipling’s Bee Boy’s Song and followed these with two jolly May songs: Good morning Lords and Ladies it is the first of May and the May Day Carol. After this there was time for just two more songs, so we sang the West Sussex Drinking Song and finished up in time honoured tradition by singing John Tams’ Rolling Home. It was a pleasant evening of pastime and good company. If you like singing, you ought to join us for our next local group sing on Thursday 19th April at the Chichester Inn. You will be made most welcome!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 7th March 2018

After greetings, updates and orders at the bar, our latest gathering at Ye Olde House at Home opened with some familiar choices to loosen up our voices and tune our ears in readiness for some ‘new’ songs. We started with some requests: Pleasant and Delightful, Jim the Carter Lad and Sussex by the Sea, then resumed work begun at last month’s session on The Bee Boy’s Song. A pause from our learning for more requests gave another two old favourites an airing: Rolling in the Dew and Ebernoe Horn Fair. Emily then sang through Searching for Lambs, another new one for us to hear and try – which we did after a break to top up glasses and conversations. The Lark in the Morning was next on the ‘new’ list. The proposal made last month to use the chorus at the beginning, after two verses and to close the song was confirmed and went well in practice. Another request: Hard Times of Old England concluded our songs for the evening, with just enough time left for Dave to revive the spring-time mood with a couple of rounds: Sumer is A’comin In and Hal-an-Tow. These were fun to try, even if the olde English was not completely mastered by us all! More next time!

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 20th February 2018

Fourteen is a good number for a cold winter’s evening in our room at The John Harvey Tavern. We were pleased to see Trish and Jan, our most recent recruits, who are picking up the repertoire quickly. We started with Pleasant and Delightful and Country Life, and then worked on the two tunes of Dave’s Caburn Hill until we were happy with the arrangement to present to the rest of the SDFS. On Sussex Hills and Littlehampton Collier Lads concluded the first session and we refilled our glasses and talked about the successful evening at Mac’s Folk Club in Alfriston and finally got to present Tina with a Thank You book token for all the work she puts into preparing the songs for our sessions.

We have made a good start learning The Bee Boy’s Song, Hares On The Mountain and Song Of The Sussex Downsman and also Brighton Camp which is another song we would like to be considered for the SDFS performance list, especially at Bateman’s with its reference to soldiers.

Malcolm has also written a song called Compassion, with reference to homelessness in Brighton, for which Tina will write down the music so that we can learn it too. Then back to the sea shore with They Won’t Let Us Go to Sea Any More, Drink Me Brave Boys and finishing with Thousands Or More.