Fast Asleep

Fast Asleep was written as a Christmas song for children’s voices. It has 4 easy verses and the structure lends itself to the group making up additional verses of their own.

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Star of the Sea

This two part harmony  works in a variety of ways: as a two part harmony warm up song; as a round with either one of the two parts; as a round with the upper and lower harmony part and with or without a rhythmic drone backing. Can work in the context of Christmas or as a secular round.

 

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SIng Noel!

This cheerful processional carol was written to use in Forgotten Carols concerts. Once learnt it’s addictive to sing!

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O The Holy Holly

This was written down in 1916 by Thomas Miners of Camborne in Cornwall, who heard it from Mr Landry of Callington: he had learnt it ‘some years before’ in nearby Bodmin. It’s a mix of a version of The Cherry Tree and The Holly and the Ivy. Songs were often put together in this mix-and-match way in order to make a new song out of existing popular ballads. The source is The Journal of the English Folk Song Society 1916, where sadly it has no original tune.

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The Little Cradle Rocks

For this carol I used some of the verses from Child of God collected by Emma M. Backus in 1880s USA, and wrote a new tune. In the time-honoured way of folk singers I’ve created something new and very different from the original which of course still stands as a fine carol.

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I Saw a Ship, a Little Ship

This beautifully crafted piece of text was entered for a competition held over 50 years ago by The Sunday Times to write a new carol. It was written by the late Mrs Addington in 1940. It’s a firm favourite of mine and everyone who sings it!

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The Door of the Year

Wassailing songs were traditionally sung by groups of singers – sometimes dressed up or disguised – as they made their way round houses singing, hoping for food, drink and money in exchange. This contemporary wassail was written to celebrate the New Year, but draws heavily on words from traditional wassailing songs from all over Britain.

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Come and I will Sing You

This magnificent folk song is related to other cumulative songs: e.g. Green Grow the Rashes O, The Dilly Song. It was collected by John Goss (1894–1953) on a ranch in Washington state from a roving traveller called Skillum who sang it round many a campfire. The words have a basis in biblical significance but have become corrupted over the years, making a splendidly infectious incantation.

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