Old Shout Kernow

This Shout Kernow blog is part of a project that aims to record and sustain the living tradition of pub singing in Cornwall.  By:

  • Visiting and recording singers in pubs across Cornwall- to map who is singing what, where and why, which will provide a snapshot of current activity.
  • Collating a written, pictoral and sound archive of the singing; background to the songs; history of pub or/and area; and connections of songs to place.
  • Producing a book and CD from the archive including songwords; transcribed music and harmony, pictures and info; live performance of each song in situ; recording of each part for learning
  • Developing online presence for access to material, info and networking- visit our facebook site 

We’re sure  this project will really benefit pubs and communities alike: Cornwall has one of the richest communal singing cultures in Western Europe. Shout Kernow will go a long way to revitalising this heritage by increasing awareness of Cornish culture; enhancing a sense of place; increasing the number of singing events; strengthening links between pubs and communities and contributing towards a positive real ale and pub culture which is already having such success here in Cornwall.  

We will be recording our pub crawl adventures here as we travel from Paul to Padstow and Cadgwith to Calstock!

17 thoughts on “Old Shout Kernow

  1. Pur dha! “Shout Kernow” should also encourage pub singing by its mere existance. The facebook page will help publisise events making more people aware of the session/shout in a particular pub. I have an email list of 50 people who have asked to be reminded when the session at The Ringers comes around each month. The facebook page should reach many more. I mention the emal list as there are many people who do not use facebook. Good work, I look forward to hearing some of the recordings, and hope to feature on one or two.
    I have some cds of recordings of the singers that gather at The Ringers May eve,May 1st and 2nd. They are ‘raw’ and full of atmosphere and energy. They are my favorite cds for that reason. I would urge you not to ‘sanitise’ the recordings. Good luck, hope to see you soon. Chris.


    1. Thanks for your message Chris. Yes I’m really hoping that more people will get involved. I know that a lot of people don’t use facebook but I’m hoping that one or two people in most ‘gatherings’ do and so can pass the word around! I also realise that this project cannot be an ‘exhaustive research’ but hope will give a sample of shouts across Cornwall. Your recordings sound great and what I hope to capture – the spirit of the event – not necessarily a polished performance. Would you, the Ring Of Bells and the singers there be up for being part of the book and for myself and Sally to come and record, take photos etc?


  2. Well done for getting the funding – quite an achievement these days! We spoke at the New Inn Tywardreath about the Mevagissey choir lads singing after rehearsal in the Fountain Inn in Meva each Monday from 9.45ish til about 11.30ish. ‘Tis a regular thing and this time of year we like to spread the word and entertain the tourists.Had some very kind comments from a Norwegian couple last night and a (rather tiddly) lady from Northen Ireland! You’ll always be welcome to drop in any Monday (free chips and sandwiches for singers too!).

    As well as this an informal group of half a dozen or so of us, as keen if not more keen on pub singing than belting out traditional choir stuff to half empty churches, have formed a little group to do a few gigs in pubs.Repertoire is a mix of Cornish standards, sea shanties and new stuff introduced by members. Membership is elastic, all Meva choir boys at present, in the sense that with a core of guys singing harmonies anyone else can fit in where they’re comfy, We call ourselves the Press Gang and can boast one gig in Gorran so far – we went down quite well.

    Anyhow, best of luck with the project and don’t forget to drop in to the Fountain. You’d be very welcome!



  3. Hey Bill – thanks so much for your message! Yes I was going to get in touch now we’ve got our funding and would certainly love to head your way (specially for chips and sarnies!) . Any Mondays in particular? We can do 16th July if that’s any good?


  4. Hi Hilary,

    Yes the 16th would be great. I suggest getting there before we finish the food! Usual form is either front or back bar, depending where the space is, eat, drink, then sing.

    I’ll tell the team.




  5. Usually about 9.45 as we finish practice at 9.30. We usually have about 12-20 singers which gradually whittles down to a hard core of half a dozen by about 11.30! We start with a few choir standards then get a bit more folky and shantyish. See you then


  6. love it keep music live. i play the streets and pubs around cornwall. mainly newquay. lots of places wont allow the sing a longa guitar player. a lot wont allow just singin. wetherspoon etc want you to drink but not to be merry. come on shout kernow you got my support. the punters want a sing but the landlord is frightened he may not have the license to singing. gd luck one and all. otis dingle


    1. Thanks Otis – good to hear from you, some landlords are great – they really get it but we too have had sad experiences of having sessions stopped due to holiday season etc not realising that they could make money out of what we do as an attraction!


  7. Most songs I used to hear in pubs were sung by members of Lanner Band. We would usually do Little Eyes, White Rose, Lamorna, Come inside you silly bugger, and others, erm, less reputable.


  8. Hi Hils, as I cannot make the 5th August as am on the stand at the Inter Celtic Festival in Lorient, Monday 16th at Meva would be cool – let me know if you guys are definately going?


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