Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Drinking Songs of the South Downs

As part of the Ale & Hearty heritage project of Lewes, there is a free, folksong workshop with folk group ‘Emily and the Hares’ at the Lewes Arms, Mount Pleasant, Lewes, Saturday 8th June, from 10.30am to 4.30pm. No previous experience of singing traditional songs is required!

When there was a celebration in the offing, or a war to be fought, or love to be extolled, how better to do it than with a drink! The folk songs of the South Downs included great howling choruses to the joy of ‘barley brew’ and would have been sung whenever groups of people met together to socialise, be it at the pub, the market, or the fair.

Emily and the Hares will teach you these songs in the joyous way they were intended - no ‘finger-in-the ear’ wailing, they promise! They will also give out printed hand-outs with the words on so that you will be able to learn the songs more easily.

Please book your lunch on arrival at the Lewes Arms. Lunch break will be 1-2pm. There will also be short breaks in the morning and afternoon. To find out more or book your free place, please contact Nicola Benge, Ale & Hearty project coordinator at or 07727 006538.

Emily and the Hares are Emily Longhurst, Chris and Ann Hare, who have been singing together since 2007. Recently they have run the highly successful ‘South Downs Songs Project’ with the South Downs Society, which has taught traditional songs to some 250 people between September 2011 and March 2013. More details at

Ale & Hearty is a Lewes based project looking at the heritage of brewing in the town. It is looking for people in the Lewes area (Including wider East Sussex) to record their memories of ale, and brewing in the region, hop picking and hop picking holidays, working as a dray man, cooper, in a brewery, or in a Maltings, or anything related:

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