Cornish Folk Tradition: Songs Music Dance and Associated Customs
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Pen Glas

An Daras: The Cornish Folk Arts Project

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Gool Peran - St Piran's Tide

Legend tells us how Piran, originating from Ireland and know there as ‘Ciran' (the Cornish language naturally mutates the first letter to a softer ‘P'), was cast to sea tied to a millstone on the order of the Irish King who was suspicious of Piran's miraculous powers. Although the sea was treacherous Piran survived, the stormy seas calming as he floated on the millstone until he reached the shores of Cornwall. Many Cornish names now echo Piran's, for example ‘Perranporth', ‘Perranzabuloe' and ‘Perranarworthal'. It was at Perranporth beach, however, where Piran was said to have landed, and where he began to build an oratory to promote Christianity. The oratory is now preserved in the towans (sand dunes) at Perran Sands. His first disciples were said to be a badger, a fox and a bear! Piran is perhaps most famous for his accidental discovery of tin, when a blackstone on his fireplace got so hot that a white liquid leaked out; the first tin smelting. It was this discovery that earned Piran the title Patron Saint of ‘Tinners', tin mining historically being a fundamentally important industry in Cornwall. It was this discovery that also formed the basis of the Cornish flag, the white hot tin on the black of the ore. The Cornish flag is now used universally as a symbol of Cornish identity, from stickers on cars through to corporate organisations using the flag to identify 'Cornishness' to a global audience.

Visit the St Piran's Trust web site for more information about St Piran and his oratory which is currently buried in the sand dunes near Perranporth.

St Pirans Day is March 5th and this is widely celebrated in Cornwall. Below is a list of just some of the events. - email us if you would like an event included

Gool Peran 2013:
Fri 1st March 20.00 Perranporth, Seiners Arms: Saints and Skinners Festival A double celebration of St.Piran and St.David! Cornish Traditional music by Dalla Welsh Traditional music by Esgair
   
Sat 2nd March 12.00 Redruth Procession meet at St. Rumon’s Gardens 11.40
  14.00 St. Ives. Procession., meet at St. Ives Guildhall.
  19.00 Liskeard, Concert, St Martins Parish Church, Barry Jay -(Four Manual Smiths Organ) Pelynt Male Voice Choir, Liskeard Silver Band
  19.30 Callington, St Piran's Supper, own Hall, Admission by ticket (contact 01579 870344) Entertainment by Mike O'Connor and Barbara Griggs with Cornish Dance dislay and participation - Carmen Hunt
  20.30 St Issey St Pirans Tide Cornish Music and Singers Session, Ring Of Bells, St Issey, PL27 7QA Tel 01841 540251
   
Sun 3rd March 13.30 for 14.00 St Piran Play on the dunes at Gear Sands; Free parking near the start in Haven holiday park.
  14.00 Bude, Summerleaze Beach St Pirans's Procession starting from Bude Surf Life aving Club
  5.30 Camelford, Masons Arms, Cream Tea and Cornish quiz to celebrate St Piran tel 01840 213 309
  16.00, Perranporth, Seiners Arms; Saints and Skinners Festival After-Dune Tunes! with Neil Davey & Steve Hunt
  16.00, Stratton, Tree Inn Post Beach Procession Tune Session with Bob Sempel on the Pipes
  18.30 Upton Cross, Cornish Troyl, North Cornwall Ceili Band Upton Cross Village Hall
   
Mon 4th March 19.00 Penzance, St Johns Hall Annual St Pirans Concert with 100 strong Children's Choir. Admission £3
   
Tues 5th March 09.30 Penzance, St Johns for 10.15 Procession from Causway Head, "St Piran in the Parc" Morrab Gardens mid morning
  10.00 Porthleven, at "Gartul" (Courtesy of Pru and Andrew Bell) Flag Raising and Cornish Dance
  10.15 Bodmin, Procession: Meet at the Library for procession to Mount Folly.
  13.00 Truro, Proession: Meet at Waterfall Gadens, St. Georges Road for procession to the Cathedral
  14.00 Truro - Cornish music session at the Crab and Ale House, Bridge Street Truro
  18.00 Launceston, Piping the flag at Launceston Castle.
  19.00 Liskeard. St. Piran’s service St. Martin’s Church Liskeard.
  19.00 Launceston, Harveys Pub, (Home of Crowns) St Pirans night music song and dance Session with Rob Strike
  19.00 Bodmin, Bodmin Community College, Year 11 Leavers concert, Cornish Dance Display with Tan Ha Dowr
  20.00 Bodmin Open House Cornish Music Session, Masons Arms Bodmin PL31 1JS , Contact 01208 77442
  20.00 Perranporth, Seiners Arms, Saints and Skinners Festival St.Piran's Day Session and Shout!
   
Fri 8th March 20.00 Grampound - Village Hall Cornish Dance - Pyba
  20.00 Penryn, Performance Centre Tremough Nos Lowen with Skillywidden(01209 313233)
   
Sat 9th March 17.00 Morwenstow  Dance lead by Pyba Penstow Manor.Pagan Festival     (01288 321354)
   
Sun 17th March 15.00 Perran-ar-Worthal Church Evensong for Feast of St Piran
   
2-9th March Kresen Kernow, The Cornwal Centre Alma Place Redruth celebrates St Pirans with the exhibition: "Giants Quoit - A fallen Cornish Icon" also following events
  Sat 2nd Art Activities for Children to Celebrate St Piran
  Mon 4th Oral History Training with CAVA contact pip.sustrust@gmail.com
  Thur 7th Archeological Investigations - learn abut the dig - Jaky Nowakowski
  Sat 9th Come write with us - Gary Matthews
   
3rd - 7th March Viewings of the film "The loss of the Bugaled Breizh" details: 01209860410
  Sun 3rd March ….7pm ..Newquay Rowing Club
  Mon 4th March ....7pm ..The Centre-Newlyn (Chywoone Hill)
  Wed 6th March ....7pm ..Porthleven Public Hall
  Thurs 7th March …7pm ..Looe Lifeboat House
   
   
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Dance Resources  
Scoot Dances, Troyls, Furrys and Tea Treats: The Cornish Dance Tradition by Merv, Alison and Jowdy Davey Cornish Dance

Includes dance notation and music for 45 dances. Paperback with 17 black and white photographs. A history of dancce in Cornwall from the earliest referenes in Cornish literature to the dances of the folk revival. Collected by members of teh Davey family, noted musicians. 45 dances are clearly transcribed - social dances, broom dances, snail creep,guise and furry dances - accompanied by tunes traditional and modern, for use in schools, festivals, workshops an country dances.

£12.99

Order Direct From Publisher

Cornish DanceCatch up your Heels: Step Dances from Cornwall

Pack : comb bound lie flat A4 book/Music CD / instructional DVD plus DVD or archival footage.

This dance pack has been designed primarily as a teaching guide for Cornish step dancing. The DVDs and CD, in conjunction with the dance instructions and music manuscript, should give you the basis to either start Cornish step dancing yourself, or to aid you in teaching it to others.  The booklet contains newly published research into the dances, and archive visual and audio material which has not previously been widely available.  

 

£12+p&p

 

Cornish DanceShallal:

Pack: lie flat comb bound A4 book, instructions DVD and CD of dance music.

Shallal' meaning a "…band of musicians with kettles, pans and tea trays" is a pack created specifically for 'Early Years' teaching, those children aged between 3 and 7 (Key Stage 1), giving an ideal introduction to the ideas behind traditional Cornish dance. The pack contains a DVD, CD and dance notation booklet with a very simple warm up exercise for both children and teachers to follow.

The music is fun and rhythmic aimed specially for this age group of children, and the  dances have been hand picked and altered slightly making them free from unnecessary details and hassle. This pack allows for a truly enjoyable first experience of Cornish dance. A must have for primary school teachers. 

£10 +p&p

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"As Is The Manner and the custom" Folk tradition and identity in Cornwall. Merv Davey - PhD thesis-University of Exeter.md-thesis-CD ROM

This study examines the evolution of folk tradition in Cornwall from the early nineteenth century through to the present day, the meanings ascribed to it and the relationship with Cornish identity. The subject matter is at once arcane and commonplace, for some it is full of mystery and symbolism for others it is just “party time”.  It is about what people do and what they think about what they do in relation to the wide spectrum of activities associated with traditional music and dance. 

Available as free download from Unversity of Exeter website: http://hdl.handle.net/10036/3377

Available as a web page on the An Daras site:click link

Available to purchase as CD ROM:

£5 + p&p

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Cornish Dance

Kanow Dons: Singing for Cornish Dances

Handy sized A5 book with 14 Songs in Cornish and English for accompanying dances.

 

  1. Broom Dance
  2. Harvey Darvey
  3. Heva  
  4. Broom Stick Dance
  5. Bodmin Riding
  6. The Millers Dance
  7. Three Hand Reel
  8. Helston Furry
  9. Cock in Britches
  10. Fish Jouster
  11. North Cornwall Furry  
  12. Ros Vur                        
  13. Old Hand In Hand
  14. Lattapuch  

£2.00 +p&p

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Cornish Dance

Dancing Above Par: The Dances of John Old

Comb bound- lie flat A4 book with instructions and tunes sets for 9 country dances dating form the early 19th Century

John Old was a musician and dancing master working for the 'well to do' in the Par area. 'Dancing above Par' provides an interpretation of a selection of dances with instructions and music from his manuscript notes.

£5.00 + p&p

link

Cornish Dance

Snail Creeps and Tea Treats: Clay Country Customs

Pack with A5 book plus CD of music.

9 dances assocated with traditional customs from the Cornish Clay Country. Prepared as part of the Rescorla project in 2008. The Tea Treat customs surrounding a community dance called the Snail Creep are featured

£5.00 +p&p

Cornish Dance

Tam Kernewek: Cornish Dance Taster

A5 Booklet and music CD

This pack was created to provide dances for an adult dance workshop giving a chance to see the range and variety of Cornish dance. i.e. step dance, troyl dance, furry dance. A CD is provided at about normal dance pace.  We hope it provides the same enjoyment to other groups as it did to the international dance class at Cecil Sharp House in 2005, who were the original guinea pigs ! 

£5.00 +p&p

Dons Bew: Cornish Dance Innovations

Pack with A5 book and CD of the dance music

The title “Dons Bew” meaCornish Dancens “Dance Lives”. Cornish dance is very much alive, a fact evidenced by sometimes fiercely conflicting interpretations of tradition, which, whilst not always comfortable when you are in the middle of it, is definitely healthy!   “Dons Bew ” provides a cross section of Cornish Dance activity in 2005 and some of the the groups involved: Anao Atao,Asteveryn,  Bolingey Troyl Band and Dancers, Dalla, Pyba Troyl Band,  Tan Ha Dowr  

£10.00 + p&p

Song Books and CDs  
Cornish Songs

Cornish Pub Songs: Kanow Tavern

 

    A5 pocket song book with songs in English and Cornish
    • Cadgewith Anthem
    • Camborne Hill / Bre Gambronn
    • George the Magic Chough / Jory An Balores
    • Lamorna
    • Little Eyes / Dewlagas Byghan
    • Maggie May
    • Old Grey Duck / An Hos Loes Koth
    • The Pasty Song / An Gan Basti
    • Roll the Old Chariots / Goes Nelson
    • Sweet Nightingale / Eos Wheg
    • White Rose / An Rosenn Wynn
    • Johnny Bugger / Jonni Boekka

    £2.00 +p&p

     

Dialect Songs

Sengen Fiddee: Songs In Cornish Dialect

A4 book with words and music for 30 Dialect Songs including:Trelawnee, Goyn Up Camburn 'ill, Jan Knuckey, KeenleeLoad. Lamorna, Liddel Eyes, Maagee May,  Nawthen Cept you, Tha Ol Grae Duck, Ol Mallee Pijee, Pasty Song, Tom Bawcock's, Trura Ager-icultural Shaw. 

£5.00+p&p

 

Cornishsongs

Kanow dons- singing for Cornish Dances

Handy sized A5 book with 14 Songs in Cornish and English for accompanying dances.

 

  1. Broom Dance
  2. Harvey Darvey
  3. Heva  
  4. Broom Stick Dance
  5. Bodmin Riding
  6. The Millers Dance
  7. Three Hand Reel
  8. Helston Furry
  9. Cock in Britches
  10. Fish Jouster
  11. North Cornwall Furry  
  12. Ros Vur                        
  13. Old Hand In Hand
  14. Lattapuch  

£2.00 +p&p
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Bolitho SingsCornish Songs

This album draws on live recordings of John in action made by him, his friends and family in a variety of settings. There are singing sessions at the London Inn in Padstow where he is joined by Charlie Pitman and  Johnny Morrisey,  sessions lead by John at the Cobwebs in Boscastle, the Upper Deck in Rock and at the
Lowender Peran Festival in Perranporth.There are three songs in Cornish,
including Maggie May, a song which, for many, became synonymous with him.

 

    • Spanish Ladies
    • Calm is the sea
    • The Lower Lights 3
    • The Larks They Sang Melodious
    • White Rose / Rosen Wyn
    • Cadgewith Anthem
    • Maggie May (Cobwebs)
    • Down Mexico Way (London Inn )
    • I’m a Man (London Inn
    • Spinning Wheel (London Inn)
    • Danny Boy  (The Upper Deck)
    • Horseshoe on the wall (Cobwebs)
    • I Once loved a lass (London Inn)
    • Old Armchair (Cobwebs)
    • The Bantam Cock (Lowender Peran)
    • Maggie May (Cornish)
    • Nancy
    • Tek o an Blejenn
    • Bro Goth
    • The Anchor's Away

    Purchase CD or Download MP3

Cornish Songs

Brythennek

15 Songs in English and Kernewek from Brian Webb, Cornish Bard and Songwriter. His songs have come to form a core repertoire for Cornish singers.

  1. Ow avon splann
  2. Pasty Song          
  3. An tir yw ow bro
  4. Talking emmet blues
  5. Daskorr
  6. If it wasn’t for the Cornish
  7. Farwel genes Wella
  8. George the Magic Chough
  9. Frutys ha bleujennow
  10. Deck of cards
  11. Yth esov vy lemmyn spyrys yn-dan dhor
  12. St Michaels
  13. Goslowyn orth nowodhow trist
  14. We don’ sell pastys here
  15. Warnas mutations

£10 + p&p

 

Kesson Web Site

For an extensive catalogue of Cornish music on CD and downloadable mp3 visit

www.kesson.com

Hengan,  Traditional Folk Songs, Dances and Broad Side Ballads Collected in Cornwall

(Redruth, Dyllansow Truran,1983), Edited by Merv Davey

 

A collection of 30 traditional songs in Cornish and English,15 tunes and 14 broadside ballads collected in Cornwall, with notes on origins of tunes  

Second Edition available from 1st February 2013 to order - contact info@an-daras.com

Cornish Tunes  
Cornish Tunes

Cornish Session Tunes - Pris Ton

Handy sized A5 book with 44 tunes popular at Cornish sessions.

 

£2.00 +p&p

 

Cornish Bagpipes

Pibrek - Cornish Tunes for Cornish Pipers

Music arranged and played by Pyba using a variety of bagpipes including the Cornish Double Chanter set.

This is an interactive CD, play in the normal way on your CD player or use with a computer to access pictures, music files, music script and more detailed information about bagpipes in Cornwall.

  1. Hutchens Salterello
  2. Carol Coref
  3. Plethen Newlyn
  4. Tom Bawcock’s
  5. Bosvennegh
  6. Helston Foray
  7. Hungan
  8. Dons an Melinor
  9. Fer Lyskerys
  10. Pencarrow
  11. Cor Elow
  12. Cock in Britches
  13. Kellynn
  14. Quay Fair 

£10.00 +p&p

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Cornish Tunes

Racca -Cornish Tunes for Cornish Sessions

Between 1995 and 1997 the RACCA project captured a snapshot of tunes played at Cornish sessions, some traditional and some contributed by the composers. With nearly 300 tunes this remains the definitive reference for Cornish session and dan ce tunes. It is now out of print but we have a small number of copies left from the original project.

(Free Downloadable PDF file available on the Federation Of Old Cornwall Societies Web Site online archive.)

Hard Copy:

£5.00 +p&p

Costume Story Telling
Cornish Costume

Cornish Costume: Workwear of the Newlyn Area

A4 Book with costume illustrated by plates from the Penlee Archive and Truro Museum.

Working clothes worn in the west of Cornwall changed very little during the nineteenth century.  The industries of fishing, mining and agriculture dictated  very much the everyday wear of the people. strongest evidence of what was worn in the Newlyn area at the end  of  the eighteen hundreds can be observed in the paintings of the Newlyn Colony of Artists who painted the local people at work in the Penzance area.Early  photographs  of West Cornwall also show the everyday wear of the people.

£8.00 +p&p

 

Cornish Stories

Cornish Drolls 1+2

Double DVD

A selection of stories taken from archive footage of the Lowender Peran Festival in Perranporth, Cornwall. Each story is a unique interpretation of a tale or event remembered by the individual storyteller from the ’first-timers’ to the ’pros’, and most stories told are in the informal setting of a storytellers session. 

DVD 1
  • Tom the Tinner, Mike O’Connor (2003)
  • Jack the Giant Killer, Gwaryoryan (1988)
  • The Story of St Piran, Chris Easton (1995)
  • The Night We Got the Ghost, Brenda Wooton (1988)
  • Snuff and Fishermen, Stewart Biddick (1994)
  • Short Stories in Dialect, Joy Stevenson (2003)
  • Tamara, Mike O’Connor (2003)
  • Cornish Pasties, Brenda Wooton (1992)
  • The Mermaid of Zennor, Trev Lawrence (1990)
DVD 2
  • Jan and the Piskeys, Gwaryoryan (1988)
  • The Frog and the Vicar, Stewart Biddick (1994)
  • The Bantam Cock, John Bolitho (1994)
  • Jackie and Jan, Mike O’Connor (2003)
  • The Story of Tregeagle, Merv Davey (1995)
  • Short Stories, Sheila Buse (1994)
  • Short Stories, Joy Stevenson (1994)
  • The Devil in Cornwall  Gwaryoryon(1988)
  • Piskey Led, Trev Lawrence

 £10.00 +p&p

Gwary Myr: Perran Round 1996Mysteryplay

DVD with Archive footage of the extract from the Cornish Ordinalia performed as a community production in the summer of1996 at the ancient site of St Piran Round.

 

£5.00 + p&p

 

Cornish Bagpipes  

Pibrek - Cornish Tunes for Cornish PipersCornish Bagpipes

Pack with A4 book+CD / CDrom

Music arranged and played by Pyba using a variety of bagpipes including the Cornish Double Chanter set.

This is an interactive CD, play in the normal way on your CD player or use with a computer to access pictures, music files, music script and more detailed information about bagpipes in Cornwall.

  1. Hutchens Salterello
  2. Carol Coref
  3. Plethen Newlyn
  4. Tom Bawcock’s
  5. Bosvennegh
  6. Helston Foray
  7. Hungan
  8. Dons an Melinor
  9. Fer Lyskerys
  10. Pencarrow
  11. Cor Elow
  12. Cock in Britches
  13. Kellynn
  14. Quay Fair 

£10.00 +p&p

 

Cornish Bagpipes

Cornish Bagpipes: Fact or Fiction

A5 book with 68 pages of information and illustrations describing the known facts about this instrument, where they it was played and what for.

£5.00 +p&p