The Ditchling Session


An all comers acoustic music session at The White Horse Ditchling on the last Sunday of the month (except for Bank Holiday weekends when it’s on the Bank Holiday Monday), 8pm.  The session is usually led by Ian on guitar and mandolin and Stephen on fiddle but we will typically have squeezeboxes, bagpipes, whistles and more.  Derrick might be there with his Serpent or Barry with his Nyckelharpa.  There will most likely be several members of Unreel and The Twagger Band.  Add this to being in the public bar and it can get noisy so perhaps it’s not ideal for introspective singer song writers.  Nevertheless, good singers can and do bring the pub to a hush.  We play tunes for any and all to join in interspersed with “party pieces” – songs or tunes which may or may not be suitable for everyone to join in with.  Most of the material is “folky” plus some jazz and blues but we’re not picky about genres.  The only real rule is no amplification.  We’re not that keen on “The Wild Rover” either but the only certainty is that every month is different.

“It’s all folk music – whoever heard of horse music”
(attributed to Louis Armstrong)


Below are some of the tunes and tune sets we play with their keys.  Many of them are from repertoire of either Unreel or The Twagger Band.  Many of these tunes can be found on The Session web site or in the Lewes Favourites.  One regular at The White Horse is Barry Ruffell of The Rude Mechanicals and there’s lot of good material on their web site.
Here are some guitar chords

Ashokan Farewell (D)
The Basket Hornpipe (G, starts on a C chord) / Marquess of Lorne (D)
The Bedbreaker (G)
Brothers in York (Em) / Banks of Alan (D)/ Star above the garter (G)
The Unreel Ceilidh Band playing Star above the Garter
Canal en Octobre G
Da Slockit Light (D).
– played by The Twagger Band.
Dennis Murphy’s / John Ryans / Late Night Band Polka (all D)
Glasgow Reel (Dm) (aka Tam Linns) / Catharsis (Gm).
– played by Ian and Mike.
I’ll go and Enlist (Em)
J B Milne (aka. Knutsford) (G)
Jack Robinson (G) / Rochdale coconut dance (Em/G)
Kentish Pilgrim (G) / Morrisons jig (Em)
King of the Fairies (Em) / Puddlegum’s misery (Am)
La Grande Chaine (G) / Miss McLeods Reel (A)
Metalman (D)
Micheal Turners Waltz (G)
Paddy Carey (D) / Morgan Rattler (D)
Ronde du Quercy Am / Fiery Clockface (D)
Shetland Reels – The Spoot o’ Skerry (G) / Da Ferry Reel (D)
Soldiers Joy (D) / Speed The Plough (D)
Staten Island / The Morpeth Rant (all D)
Sweetness of Mary (D)
The Wind That Shakes The Barley (A)
Horse Branle (G)
Wee Small Hours / Glen Kabul

Stealing (G)
Sweet Georgia Brown (F)