Folk Songs

We sing a great variety of songs in the choir from traditional folk songs to current pop songs. Here are some folk songs for you to learn or sing along to.

Absent Friends

Friends and old companions dear, though far far away.

In our dreams you oft appear, though far far away.

Think not we can e'er forget

the pleasant hours,

when last we met;

indeed, dear friends,

we love you yet,

though far far away.

Time steals on,

and you remain still far far away; but we hope to meet again,

though far far away.

Yes! we hope again to meet,

and then our joy will be complete; for now, dear friends,

the thought is sweet,

though far far away.

NOW IS THE MONTH OF MAYING

Now is the month of maying

when merry lads are playing

Fa la la la la la la la la la

Fa la la la la la la

Each with his bonny lass

upon the greeny grass

Fa la la la la la la la la la

Fa la la la la la la.

The Spring, clad all in gladness

Doth laugh at Winter's sadness

Fa la la la la la la la la la

Fa la la la la la la

And to the bagpipe's sound

The nymphs tread out the ground

Fa la la la la la la la la la

Fa la la la la la la.

Fie then! Why sit we musing

Youth's sweet delight refusing?

Fa la la la la la la la la la

Fa la la la la la la

Say, dainty nymphs, and speak

Shall we play barley break?

Fa la la la la la la la la la

Fa la la la la la la

Absent Friends
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I came across this song, published in a songbook in 1836, at the beginning of lockdown. The words were strikingly appropriate for the times we were living in and it was one of the first songs we sang in our lockdown zoom sessions. It is sung to the tune of Ar Hyd Y Nos (All Through The Night).

One of Thomas Morley's most famous madrigals, written in 1595. The choir of Magdalen College sing this from the roof of the college's Great Tower in Oxford at 6 a.m. on 1st May each year.