Welcome to our website for singers who want to learn and sing traditional and new South Downs folk songs, sung in the traditional way.
"Put another barrel on, landlord, and pull a pint for me! The ale here in Sussex is the best we all agree!"
+ + + +
+ + + +
+ + + +
New singers are always welcome to join us – read more
Event Organisers – want us to sing for you? – read more
The website started in about 1996 and has grown to a comprehensive overview of recorded traditional and contemporary English folk music. It comprises 4472 web pages, cataloguing 3718 albums and 2110 songs and tunes, with cross-references to the Child, Laws and Roud folksong indices and to the Traditional Ballad Index at California State University, Fresno. It is updated very frequently (see the Latest Changes link).
But probably the most fascinating aspect is the ability to look up a song and read about its history and interpretations over the years. Some references have lyrics and videos.
Meet at the Elephant and Castle, White Hill, Lewes, BN7 2DJ, 8pm to 11pm every Saturday evening.
Our interest is mainly (but not exclusively) in British traditional
music and song and contemporary folk music / song derived from the tradition.
Entry is usually £3 for Come-All-Ye's and between £5 and £7 for guest nights, but see the programme for details. No membership necessary. Floor singers and musicians very welcome.
The Music of Sussex - Wikipedia entry
The Folk Music section begins: "Of all the counties in England, it is Sussex that appears to have drawn
the greatest attention from folk song collectors over a period of some 130 years ...."
Halsway Manor is a folk arts centre that provides courses, events
and activities for everyone interested in traditional folk music, dance
and song, storytelling, folklore and arts and crafts. Located in the Quantock Hills -
an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - in West Somerset, it
has a fascinating history that goes back over 600 years.
The Manor has a warm friendly atmosphere, tranquil woods and gardens, great food, a
bar, a range of overnight accommodation and camping in the grounds.
The Kennedy Grant Library contains thousands of books and recordings of folklore, customs, traditional
folk music, dance and song - an excellent resource for research and study.
The South Downs Society- protecting the Downs since 1923 "Our prime concern is the protection of the unique landscape of the South Downs, and membership is open to all."
Thanks are due to the South Downs Society and the Lottery Heritage Fund who enabled the South Downs Songs Project led by Emily and the Hares (Chris Hare, Ann Feloy and Emily Longhurst / History People UK).
South Downs National Park Authority
The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is the organisation
responsible for promoting the purposes of the National Park and the
interests of the people who live and work within it.
Jill Windmill in the foreground with Jack behind
photo courtesy of David Meares of the Jack & Jill Windmills Society
photo courtesy of Simon Potter of the Jack & Jill Windmills Society
The Jack and Jill Windmills (also known as the Clayton Windmills) stand high up on the South Downs and will be a familiar sight to many.
Worthing Downlanders Worthing Downlanders are
an organisation dedicated to supporting and defending the
ownership and control of all Worthing Council's existing
downland estate, and supporting the management of this downland
estate for public purposes, free of built development.
The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, near Chichester
Traditional buildings in a rural landscape that tell the story of the men, women
and children who lived and worked in them over a 600-year period.
West Sussex Music
West Sussex Music provides music education to children and young people in West Sussex.
Local folk group singing and playing a large range of traditional and more modern songs in the folk tradition and also good for 'sing alongs'. Unique folk shows combining themed songs, tunes, poetry and narration often at churches and halls. Well-known in Sussex for performing at day care centres and for many other organizations. Also available for folk clubs and festivals.
History People UK
History People UK develops and delivers large scale community projects that bring to life the heritage and history on your doorstep. Whether it’s a documentary recording people’s memories of their town, a community play based on real historical figures with actors of all ages or a fascinating research challenge for schools, History People UK has the experience to help you devise and run your unique heritage project.
Sussex Traditions is a Charitable Trust whose aims and purposes are for “the advancement of the arts, culture and heritage and of education, to collect, conserve and make accessible, and to promote and support the understanding, enjoyment and continuation of, Sussex traditions”. Their website has a database containing many old songs collected from singers in Sussex (audio recordings, lyrics and scores are available).