A source for Cornish music publications



In The Thick Of It

13th December 2016 – Off to Padstow for the carols, was a little apprehensive about going to such a local community  event . But I needn’t have worried; the singers were really friendly towards us and we were able to chat as we went from house to house. They sang in the streets and called on elderly people who joined in from their doorways – such lovely carols too! There was a big mix of men and women and children. It was lovely how the boys stood with the tenors and the girls with the sopranos, picking up the parts. A friend, Jenny, was there and I realised she was quite a mainstay for the women singers and the girls shared funny moments with her pretending to sing the bass parts!

Padstow Carollers
Padstow Carollers

17th  – Went to Picrous Eve at Luxulyan. It was good to see all our old friends from that area and others came down from East Cornwall, so we had a good mix of ages gathered round the covered pool table! We soon got going with Nick Nicholls leading some off and had a good general sing (not just carols). We recorded Glory Glory – but is it a Fowey or Golant carol?!

The old boys...
The old boys…
...and the young ones!
…and the young ones!






18th – Went to Sally’s home town, St Day, in the eve to record St Day Carol with the Carharrack & St Day Silver Band. This is a regular event for our singers .  The Daylight Choir (a newly formed St Day Choir) were singing when we got there. It was horrible weather so the band didn’t play for long but we did manage St Day with them before we all ran for shelter!

The band in the rain!
The band in the rain!

19th – Out to St Ives for their carol concert which was in the Fore Street Chapel. Squeezed between a mass of other buildings right on the habour  it seemed a wonderful location to hear these carols that are from St Ives and nearby.  I was really moved by the concert; beautiful singing with real feeling and William Thomas was lining out the verses. The sermons were quite moving too and the whole evening had a timeless quality to it. And then the whole congregation rose to sing Hellesveor …perfect!

The ladies of  the St Ives community choir getting ready to sing
The ladies of the St Ives community choir getting ready to sing

20th – Sally and I drove down on a wet dark evening to the Halzephron Inn to record the Cadgwith Singers who sing there every year – a good evening chatting to quite a few people we knew and recording some of the songs. We presented them with a Shout Kernow book which was received well and Paul Collins said they knew a St Keverne version of While Shepherds which they then sang.  Then he and his wife went into a back room with us and sang ‘What Heavenly Music’ as a duet (and another I didn’t know) Great stuff.

Cadgwith Singers

21st –  Another evening visit, this time to hear the Moushole Male Voice Choir concert at Paul Church. It was very lovely with some great singing from the choir as well as from Kath Matthew’s daughters Twin Harmony. Amazingly we sat behind a trio who’d come from St Keverne who told us all about the THREE While Shepherds from the Lizard: St Keverne, Porthallow and ‘Welshy’. Incredible stuff!

Mousehole Male Voice Choir
Mousehole Male Voice Choir

The Journey Continues…

1st December – Sally and I went to our first recording elsewhere (not Redruth!) for the carols – to Port Isaac. A long drive but worth it. It was lovely to meet new people including Janet Townsend, their MD. and they seemed really pleased we were there. It was also lovely to listen to new (to us) carols too. As it was their rehearsal night, which is in the old Temperance Hall, there was a relaxed atmosphere and we recorded 3 local carols: Angels from  the Realms, Hark the Glad Sound (not Merritt) and Love came Down at Christmas. I suddenly felt really good in the middle of recording Angel from the Realms; the excitement that we are doing the right thing!

Port Isaac singers
Port Isaac Choral at rehearsal


4th December – In the morning Sally and I went to record Pip Wright’s choir, Dawn Chorus at Tremenheere cafe near Penzance, singing Wassail the Silver Apple, written recently by Mike O’Connor. It was good to see her and others again and record such a big group, about 60 I think,  and the acoustics were great. We stayed for coffee which was lovely – most of our trips will be in the dark and cold so it was nice to sit in the sunshine!

Dawn Chorus (2)
Dawn Chorus rehearsing at Tremenheere

Then in the eve we left for Pencarrow House near Wadebridge to record the Washaway West Gallery Choir. It is an amazing Georgian house (still privately owned by the Molesworth-St Aubyn family) and we met Peter Meanwell,  the MD who has a huge knowledge of Cornish carols. The choir sang a wide range of carols from across Cornwall. Mike Brown (a sound recordist who’s volunteered to help us at some events) came to record which I was grateful for as I could sit back and take notes rather than worry about the recording quality!

Christmas tree (1)
Christmas at Pencarrow House



5th December – In the evening The Red River singers sang at Bridge Chapel again for the Carol Concert along with Tereba Nessa and Keur Heb Hanow, both choirs sing lesser known Cornish carols and also carols in Cornish. We particularly wanted a Cornish language one but there were so many good ones and leads for others that we’re not sure which to choose! Thankfully Mike Brown was on hand again and recorded the whole concert. The evening went well and we had a great sing in the pub afterwards – felt like Christmas had begun! We missed our dear friend Len Davies though – this time last year he was singing Glory Glory with us double forte. But I hope he could hear us raise the roof wherever he’s listening!

Keur Hep Hanow
Keur Heb Hanow


6th December – This was the big one for us; First & Last Carols at the Countryman Inn at Piece (so called because we sing on the first Sunday of December and then January). A full on night with wall-to-wall Cornish carols; ‘andsome!  There was a great turnout with lots of meeting up of friends and a great deal of chatting as well as singing!  A good number of my family were there – 3 generations! We sang all our carols and then our singers Keith and Jill’s family gathered and sung some more. Got home about midnight with a horse voice!Countryman carols

9th December – Sally and I had a good trip up  to Polperro to record The Polperro Fisherman’s Choir and found the Chapel easily. We were early so went to the Ship Inn with some of the singers and had a good chat with them before going to the rehearsal. I’m really happy we found a contact with them as we never got to this bit of East Cornwall for our Shout Kernow book. They sang a version of While Shepherds Watched;  Tis Christmas Time, that they’ve always sung there and Murray Collings, who’s sang with the choir for over 60 years could remember the names of other carols they sang there when they used to black up their faces (to disguise themselves) and go ‘Darkying’. The carols were called Behold and Welcome (A version of which we heard at Pencarrow – I wonder if it could be the same?) but  are not sung anymore.  It was a very special evening!

Fishermans Choir
Polperro Fishermans Choir

The Adventure Begins!

Recording Redruth Wassail at The Oxford
Recording Redruth Wassail at The Oxford

This was our first outing to record the carols around Cornwall and we had a brilliant time in Redruth on Saturday for the revival of the Redruth Wassail. We took the wassail bowl from pub to pub with a whole host of musicians and singers. The bowl will reside at the Oddfellows club for safekeeping until the following year. Thanks to all who organised it and for the goodwill of the pubs too. Here’s to many more. Meuras!

English Dance & Song magazine Review!

EFDSS EDS Winter 2015_LO-RES p36

Many thanks to Ian Russell for this great review of Shout Kernow.


Hark! The Glad Sound of Cornish Carols

Sally and Hilary are at it again! After the success of their first book Shout Kernow, celebrating the pub songs of Cornwall they are once more planning to travel around Cornwall to all kinds of places and venues but this time their mission is to record the carols of Cornwall being sung in situ ‘where they do belong to be’. They hope to represent a variety of locations: church, chapel, pub, out on the street, people’s houses, etc. showing how our carols are embedded in the communities from which they come, selecting ones that are most popular or meaningful to the area they come from or to the people who sing them.

Here’s some of the places they’ll be visiting (nearly all in the month of December!):

Bodmin, Bolingey, Boscastle, Bridge, Bude, Calstock, FalmPencarrow Poster 2015outh, Four Lanes, Halzephron, Luxulyan, Padstow, Paul, Pencarrow, Penzance, Polperro, Pool, Port Isaac, Redruth, St Neot, St Day, St Ives, St Just, Stithians, Treen, Tregajorran, Troon,

..and some of the carols too:

Boscastle  Jack, Stratton Carol,  Can Dilly,  Bodmin Wassail, Treen While Shepherds, Lyngham, Hark The Glad Sound, Lo He Comes, Hail Sacred Day,  Awake Ye Nations, Choir Of Angels, Arise & Hail,  Pendeen While Shepherds, Hail Smiling Morn,  Newlyn While Shepherds, Sound, Sound,  Hellesveor, See The Morning, St Day,  Glory, Glory, Stithians While Shepherds,  Harky,Harky, Jesse, Rouse,Rouse, Polperro While Shepherds (Xmas Time), Holly & Ivy, What Heavenly Music, Carol Carol Christians, A Virgin Unspotted, Redruth Wassail, Wassail The Silver Apple, Lo The Eastern Sages, Calm On The Listening Ear.

As you can imagine the cost of this travelling will be quite large so to raise money for this we have produced a pack of 6 unique Cornish Christmas cards for sale at £5 (+ £1.50 P&P). Please contact Hilary at if you would like to support us and order a pack!

Hark! Christmas Card
Hark! Christmas Card

Talk at Port Eliot Festival 2015

Our Summer talks and celebrations!

Thanks to all who’ve been able to come along to our previous talks and celebrations AND especially so if you brought the book! Here’s our latest dates for the summer; both talks about the book and celebrations where we return to the lovely pubs that sponsored us and have a grand sing with the groups there – hope you find one that suits you to come along to!

  • Friday 24th July –  Shout Kernow talk, St Austell Library, 2 Carlyon Road,St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4LDSongsters & Supper 24.07.15
  • Saturday 1st August – Port Eliot Literary Festival. Shout Kernow talk at The Idler Academy. 6.15pm  www.porteliot
  • Monday 3rd August – Shout Kernow celebration with members of the Mousehole Male Voice Choir at The Kings Arms in Paul , evening. www.thekingsarmspaul
  • Monday 24th August – Shout Kernow celebration with members of the Mevagissey Male Choir at the Fountain Inn, Mevagissey, evening. www.mevagissey fountain
  • Friday 11th September – Shout Kernow talk at Kresen Kernow, The Cornish Studies Library, Alma Place, Redruth TR15 2AT 01209 216760, 6pm
  • Sunday 20th September – Shout Kernow celebration with the Bencoolen Wreckers at The Bencoolen Pub, Bude, evening. www.bigpubguide:bencoolen-inn

Also you’ll always find us with the Red River Singers on the first Sunday of the month, having a sing at The Countryman Inn, Piece, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 6SG 01209 215960

To find out more about shouts across Cornwall see Shout Kernow Facebook page:

Golroos Festival

This weekend we’ll be having an extra special shout as part of this festival of Cornish music and song!Golroos flyer

Find out more on the links below.

Radio interview about the book

Thanks to Mike Brown!

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