Cornish Music Loud and Clear!

In this edition: Merv Davey, Julian Goodacre, Alan Rosevear, Sevenoaks, Brenda Wootton and Sue Aston.

Picture – Large round stones on Porth Nanven beach, Cornwall.

Today I am exploring Cornish music. It’s been a while since I did an exclusive in one of the Celtic nations. I love the music of Cornish bagpipes as you can see and hear in the Cornish music session. When I think of Cornish music I remember my introduction to it through the late Brenda Wootton,the band Dalla and Sue Aston. They all come to mind because they’re the artists that got me started. Cornish music continues to grow as you can see here.

If you want the biggest online music store devoted to Cornish music then you just visit and EVERYTHING is there!

Cornish trad session

Cornish music session in the Barley Sheaf, Liskeard, Cornwall. ‘Coer Elath’ (Choir of Angels) is a traditional tune with additional parts composed by Merv Davey, seen here playing bagpipes.


Now for those who are wondering about the Cornish bagpipes, one of the commenter made a clarification:

The Cornish bagpipes are a traditional instrument in both Cornwall and Briezh. The oldest depictions of Cornish Bagpipes being played date from c.1400AD. The pipes have likely been played in Kernow/Cornwall for at least 2000 years. I am sorry to disappoint anyone who believes incorrectly that they are a recent invention or have been ‘made up’.-The Cornubian


The Cornish Pipes:

Now it has a distinctive sound. More mellow and sonorous than the Scottish bagpipes or the uilleann pipes.Check out how it is being played! With two reeds. This tune is however a traditional English tune called Shepherd’s Hey. But you get the idea of what it sounds like. Anyone interested to learn the Cornish bagpipes?

Video info: Shepherds Hey; traditional English tune played by Julian Goodacre, played on Cornish double bagpipes in D


Lamorna – a Cornish folk song

I have always been fascinated by the beauty of   folk singing. Especially when sung without instrumentation. It gives you that soul of the song because it becomes intimate. The simplicity is what gives it a pleasure to sing.  This is one beautiful song I would love to learn. I am posting the lyrics here and the video as performed by Alan Rosevear

So now I’ll sing to you , it’s about a maiden fair,
I met the other evening at the corner of the square;
She had a dark and roving eye, and her hair was covered over,
We rowed all night in the pale moonlight
Way down to Lamorna.
T’was down in Albert Square; I never shall forget,
Her eyes they shone like diamonds
And the evening it was wet, wet, wet;
And her hair hung down in curls
Her face was covered over,
We rowed all night in the pale moonlight
Way down to Lamorna.

As we got in the cab, I asked her for her name,
And when she gave it me, well with mine it was the same;
So I lifted up her veil, for her face was covered over;
To my surprise, it was my wife
I took down to Lamorna.

She said I know you know, I knew you all along,
I knew you in the dark, for I did it for a lark;
And for that lark you’ll pay, for the taking of your donna,
You’ll pay the fare, I do declare
Way down to Lamorna.

about the song:

A folk song popular in Cornwall. There are several candidates for where you could have a night of pleasure in Lamorna – Lamorna Cove near St Just is probably the most likely. Sung by Alan Rosevear in Exeter.


Sweet Nightingale (Cornish folk song)

What an amazing tune. Especially that it is enhanced by natural sounds like the birds and rustling leaves and even an audience coughing. There  lots of amazing Cornish talents. You just have to look.

According to Mark Potts who uploaded the video:

Recorded at the Eden Project in April 2007. I was in a local folk trio called “Sevenoaks”. The guitar arrangement was based on McCartney’s “Blackbird” style and I reference my source at the end of this piece! I’d forgotten what a lovely voice Charlie the singer had


Brenda Wootton – The Trees They Are So High

What is Cornish Music without Brenda Wootton?  This one is  from the 1975 Sentinel album. A duet with Dennis Bartlet.


The Home Coming by Sue Aston Celtic Music with Classical Twist from Cornwall

The Amazing Sue Aston closes our episode with The Home Coming. I made an interview with her when this site was new. That was memorable. makes me smile when I think of it. She has released a couple of album already and is very much active in the Cornish music scene these days. Visit


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