House Songs

House songs are sung intermittently throughout the evening. Booklets with the words will be on every seat and available on the night.

Our first song booklet has:

A North Country Maid

Sourced from Sing Together by William Appleby and Frederick Fowler. Appleby clearly cashing in on his association with the BBC’s Singing Together program.

Let Union Be

Sourced from various folk clubs over the years but most recently from the singing of Jon Boden who got it from Ian Giles, according to his notes at A Folk Song a Day. We’ve dropped a verse to make it fit on the page.

Country Life

Great song. Great chorus. Of course we borrowed it from the Watersons. Didn’t everybody?

Ye Mariners All

Again, we sourced this set of lyrics from Sing Together. Slightly edited for length and repetition.

Hanging Johnny

Because you can’t have a booklet full of songs for social singing without at least one sea shanty, and this one’s a belter. There’s lots more verses to this one as there is for any shanty - just think up a new couplet that scans right and ideally takes the mick of someone in the room and there’s a new verse right there.

The Sweet Nightingale

Nicked from Royal Traditions song book. A beautiful tune with a slightly dodgy set of lyrics. I’ve got an alternative last verse if anyone’s interested.

See! See! The Cape’s In View

I boldly told someone at one of our nights that this is a “Yorkshire” song. As far as I’m concerned it is. I got it from Royal Traditions, and they got it from Paul and Liz Davenport. Both good Yorkshire sources.

It turns out that its other name is “The Padstow Drinking Song” and it’s generally thought of as a West Country song.

Which just makes the point that songs don’t belong to places, they belong to their singers.

John Ball

Our only none-traditional House Song. This is by Sydney Carter and if you ask me it’s a much better song than the more widely known Lord of the Dance

House tunes

At Royal Traditions, they have a book of House Tunes and, if you turn up early you’ll hear some of them being played. It’s lovely. But I am not much (any) of a tunes player so there won’t be anyone ‘leading’ tunes at Singing Together.

That said, if you turn up and look at our running order board you’ll see “7pm: Tunes?” up there. Which is a roundabout way of saying “We’d love to hear a few tunes, please bring an instrument and play!”