Heritage

Songs from The Songmakers’ Guild, Preston Guild Choir 2012

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In 1179, King Henry II granted Preston the right to have a Guild Merchant and awarded the town its first royal charter. The Guild was an organisation of traders, craftsmen and merchants, who had a monopoly of trade in the town. … As a result, from 1542, Preston Guild took place every 20 years

For five centuries the Guild Merchant controlled trade in Preston and it was not until 1790 that there was freedom of trade in the town. Despite the freedom to trade, the Guild survived, as its celebrations had developed into prestigious occasions for feasting, processions and social gatherings

The Preston Guild Choir 2012 was often referred to as The Songmakers’ Guild. The Choir was a major feature of the guild and welcomed everybody whether they could sing or not. The high  point was a performance in the open air in Preston Docks and the top billing at this event was the Guild Anthem. In the beginning we all contributed to the Anthem by calling out words that we associated with the essence of the 2012 Guild. From this session the anthem was born. It was a beautiful sunny day when we sang on the docks but very windy. We all sang our hearts out and we were joined in the performance by local choirs who sang together regularly. Preston Docks is a really social place and hosted many events during the Preston Guild Year 2012. I particularly enjoyed the Dragon Boat Racing. It reminded me of some of my misspent youth! 

The songs recorded below, The Guild Anthem and the Songmakers’ Guild, were composed by the choir working together with the choirmaster. Please click on the links below (one at a time) and enjoy!*

THE GUILD ANTHEM

I am the torch of the Lancashire Plain with my light the night sky fills

I am the scrolls sent out to the world

I am the street where the traveller returns

I am I am I am I am I am

I am the Guild

We are the Guild

I am the trade on the wide open river, the merchant the maker the skilled

I’m the procession marching through time

Stand up Stand up Stand up Stand up Stand up

I am the Guild I am the Guild

We are the Guild

THE SONGMAKERS GUILD

We’re the Songmakers Guild and we’re here to write a song  

We’re the Songmakers Guild and we’re here to tell a story

We’re making a Guild song                        Every time a lively song

Want to sing a proud song                          It will be our song

Make the line work with the rhyme, craft the melody from cotton

Weave the words to fit together then they’ll never be forgotten

We’re writing for the old                                         We’re writng for history

We’re writing for the young                                    Whose future is a mystery

Writing about love                                                  Writing about identity

Writing about our friends                                        For Preston’s whole community

We’re the Songmakers Guild and we’re here to write a song                

We’re the Songmakers Guild and we’re here to tell a story

We’re making a Guild song                        Every time a lively song

Want to sing a proud song                          It will be our song

Take a needle and a thread stitch the notes together

Hammer out the rhythm, chisel out the letter

Find the pulse in your heart, let your energy flow

Kick the lyrics in the air, keep it fresh and have a go

We’re the Songmakers Guild and we’re here to write a song  

We’re the Songmakers Guild and we’re here to tell a story

We’re making a Guild song                        Every time a lively song

Want to sing a proud song                          It will be our song

*Just to note that Tass and Anne in the picture and I were more enthusiastic than musical, but we sang our hearts out.

Categories: Heritage

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