New Singers

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

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


This page has links to song lyrics, sound recordings and videos. Many are SDFS training songs, sung by Chris Hare, Ann Feloy and Emily Longhurst, whilst others are SDFS performance clips or versions of 'our' songs sung by others for you to compare. Not included (other than a few excerpts) are the recordings made at the Burpham sessions: a selection of these is available on the Live at the Burpham Sessions CD which retails at £10.

If you are a relatively new SDFS singer, these recordings are here to help you learn the songs between the sessions (links to the lyrics are available on this page too) and they are of course very handy for the more longstanding members who have forgotten a song or two! Links for lyrics to the carols we sing are also on this page.

The Burpham sessions, which captured the songs learned at the six South Downs Songs project workshops, took place on the dates shown below:
(1) Lewes and Chichester workshop recordings, Saturday 24 March 2012
(2) Brighton and Petersfield workshop recordings, Saturday 15 September 2012
(3) Worthing and Billingshurst workshop recordings, Saturday 23 March 2013

Matthew Copeland recorded a video of the third Burpham recording session (the afternoon performance) in two parts and uploaded them to YouTube. Links to these and other YouTube videos in which we appear are also shown below.

In early April 2014 our New Songs Working Group convened to select new songs for us to sing in 2014. You can read more about this here.

This page will be updated as new songs are introduced and older songs are revised, so please check back regularly!

Our latest songs

Some of our songs are so new to us that they haven't yet made their way into one of our songbooks, nor are they in the table of songs further down this page. Words and recordings for some of these songs have appeared in posts on our News page and you can see all of these posts brought together by using this link (remember if necessary to use the 'Older Posts' link at the bottom of the page to find older posts). Also see this post for further help with finding song lyrics.

Our songbooks

Our songbooks provide the lyrics for all songs used in public performances.

SDFS Six Wassailing Songs
Latest revision: SDFS Six Wassailing Songs issued 2016-12-28.pdf

The South Downs Folk Singers Songbook 2013 (23 songs from 2012 and 2013)
Latest revision: SDFS Songbook 2013 issued 2014-09-24.pdf

The South Downs Folk Singers Songbook 2014 (13 songs)
Latest revision: SDFS Songbook 2014 issued 2018-09-11.pdf

SDFS Christmas & Carol Songbook
Latest revision: SDFS Carols songbook issued 2014-06 (or earlier).pdf
Update 14th November 2014: please see here for some updates to lyrics in the carols songbook.

You may find it useful to see the changes made in the latest revisions of our songbooks as compared to the previous revision. The changes are listed in these files:
SDFS Songbook 2013 issued 2014-09-24 changes.pdf
SDFS Songbook 2014 issued 2014-09-24 changes.pdf

Older songbook files for reference
SDFS Songbook 2013 issued 2014-06.pdf
SDFS Songbook 2014 issued 2014-06 (or earlier).pdf

Songs which we sing only for our own enjoyment at our local singing sessions and on other informal occasions are not included in our songbooks. Links to lyrics for these can be found in the table below.

The table below provides a complete list of the songs we sing, with links to recordings. Links to lyrics are also provided where available for those songs that are not in our songbooks. The order of the songs in this table is as follows: all the songs in our 2013 Songbook are listed in alphabetical order, followed by all the songs in our 2014 Songbook. Then our Christmas Carols and other Christmas songs are listed, followed by the songs we sing just for fun and not in our public performances.

Song TitleOne of the official ‘39 songs’?
(note 1)
Lyrics links
(note 2)
Our recordings links
(note 3)
Other recordings and videos
(note 4)
Song TitleOne of the official ‘39 songs’?
(note 1)
Lyrics links
(note 2)
Our recordings links
(note 3)
Other recordings and videos
(note 4)
The Blacksmith2013Wmp3
Come Write Me Down (The Sussex Wedding Song)Y2013Wmp3
The Cruel Mother2013Wmp3
The Cuckoo2013Wmp3
Drink Me Brave BoysY2013Wmp3
East Sussex Drinking Song2013
Ebernoe Horn FairY2013Wmp3, YT2Spiers and Boden (Live) (YouTube)
Eileen AroonY2013Wmp3The Unwanted (Studio recording) (YouTube),
Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem (Studio recording) (YouTube)
Fathom the BowlY2013Wmp3, SC1
Green Grow the LaurelY2013Wmp3, SC1, YT1
Hard Times of Old EnglandY2013Wmp3, YT1, YT3
Jolly Good SongY2013Wmp3
Life of a ManY2013Wmp3, SC1, YT5
The NightingaleY2013Wmp3, SC1The Dubliners (KOvideo – click on 'play')
Old AdamY2013Wmp3, YT2
On Sussex HillsY2013Wmp3, YT3US singer 'John' (YouTube)
Rolling in the DewY2013Wmp3, YT2
Rosebuds in JuneY2013Wmp3, SC1, YT1
Shepherd of the DownsY2013Wmp3
Thousands or MoreY2013Wmp3, YT1
Three MaidensY2013Wmp3
Twanky DilloY2013Wmp3, YT2
The Unquiet Grave2013Wmp3
West Sussex Drinking SongY2014Wmp3
Ale Glorious AleY2014SC2
All Things Are Quite SilentY2014Shirley Collins (YouTube),
Steeleye Span (YouTube)
The Constant LoversY2014SC2
Country LifeY2014SC2
Gooch’s BeerY2014Smp3, SC2
Ha’nacker MillY2014post
Home Lads HomeY2014Cockersdale ( – note: you will need to select Home, Lads, Home specifically
The Ladies Go Dancing at WhitsunY2014SC2Tim Hart (YouTube)
My Boy JackY2014Wmp3
O Good AleY2014
Sussex by the SeaY2014SC2, YT4
Where Stormy Winds Do BlowY2014Smp3, SC2
Songs introduced in 2015 and 2016
Pleasant and Delightfulpdf
Christmas Carols and other Christmas songs
Christmas Is Now Drawing Near at HandYpost
The Coppers’ Christmas SongYChristmas
Deck the HallChristmas
Falmer CarolYpostWmp3
God Rest Ye Merry, GentlemenChristmas
Here We Come A-Wassailingpostpost
The Holly and the IvyChristmaspost
The Holly Bears a Berry (Sans Day Carol)Christmas
The Moon Shone BrightYChristmasWmp3
Sugar Wassailpostpost
Sussex Carol (Horsham)YChristmas
Sussex Mummers CarolYChristmasWmp3
Sweet Chiming BellsYpostpost-1
Wassail! Wassail! (The Gloucestershire Wassail)YChristmas
We Wish You a Merry ChristmasChristmas
Songs just for fun
The Farmer’s ToastpdfSC2
The Mermaidpdf
Rolling Homesee note 2SC2

Note 1:
39 songs, as indicated in this column by 'Y', have been selected by the Committee to form our repertoire for public performances.

Note 2:
Lyrics key:
2013 – The South Downs Folk Singers Songbook 2013
2014 – The South Downs Folk Singers Songbook 2014
Christmas – SDFS Christmas & Carol Songbook
pdf – individual song .pdf file
post – a link to a post on this website where you will find further information about available lyrics
n/a – no lyrics available on this website

Links to our songbooks are given above.

Lyrics to Rolling Home are not available on this website, but they may be found on the Red Herring Morris website
NB We don’t sing the melody as it is shown there.

Revisions to the lyrics and the way we sing them may be discussed at any of our singing sessions, so each of our songbooks may well remain forever a work in progress.

Songs which do not appear within any of our songbooks (i.e. songs provided as individual .pdf files) are sung only for our own enjoyment at our local singing sessions and on other informal occasions.

Note 3:
Recordings key:
post – a link to a post on this website where you will find further information about available recordings
Wmp3 – mp3 file to download: South Downs Songs Project Workshop CD track, or other training recording
Smp3 – mp3 file to download: SDFS session recording
SC1 – SoundCloud link: excerpts from the Live at the Burpham Sessions CD
SC2 – SoundCloud link: Easebourne local session recording (see further notes below)
YT1 – YouTube link: our third Burpham recording session, 23 March 2013, part 1
YT2 – YouTube link: our third Burpham recording session, 23 March 2013, part 2
YT3 – YouTube link: CD Launch and Sussex Day Celebrations at WDOAM, 16 June 2013 song extracts
YT4 – YouTube link: Schwyzertag Festival, 12-13 July 2014
YT5 – YouTube link: Sussex U3A Network at Brighton University, Falmer, 12 July 2014

If you want to download several .mp3 files, you may find it more convenient to use this page.

Links in the table are to individual songs. Links given in this note are to the song collections.

The Easebourne local session recording on SoundCloud (SC2 in the table above) includes seven songs from our official repertoire, together with two "bonus tracks" Rolling Home (which is not a South Downs Song* but is a jolly good song for warming up or ending a session in the pub) and The Farmer's Toast (which is likewise a song not particularly associated with the Downs but a rousing number nevertheless).

* South Downs Song as defined by the Committee – a song written by someone from the South Downs; a song about the South Downs; or a song habitually sung in the South Downs over a significant period of time so that it has become an accepted part of the local culture.

Note 4:
Links in this column are to external websites where you may hear the songs we sing performed by other artists. Very often these versions of the songs are somewhat different to our own.

You can search for more on YouTube and within sites like Mainly Norfolk.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh! Comprehensive or what?! Brilliant, Keith.

    Adrian F