Your Ancestors were…?

It’s a poem, set to music, have a listen…

My ancestors were French,
And, for what it’s worth, faith ruled their lives.

Me, I’ve never been to church, and I haven’t been good.
But I’ve made my mark,
And I got in trouble,
Listening to my devil in the dark.

Y’know I’ve always landed on my feet,
And I’ve got a sense of history.
Yeah I’ve always landed on my feet,
And those flowers take me back…

The devil inside, he’s sittin’ on my shoulder,
Pushin’ me out so I’m sittin’ on a boulder
In the middle of the lake.
And the devil can’t swim,
So I’m feelin’ brave and I’m gonna get him.

It’s gonna get colder, if he falls in the lake.
He’ll be off my shoulder, off my back.
There’ll be no more trouble,
Gonna make a fresh start.
Stop listenin’ to the devil…
Gonna listen to my heart.

Gonna listen

To my heart.

© 2012  L. Duffy-Howard, Corey Clough-Howard

Home - anon
Home – anon
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Free Auricula Suite Gig for Refugee Week

FREE Auricula Suite gig for Hull Refugee Week, on Wednesday 19th June 2013 upstairs at Creator College, 6-8 King Edward St, Hull, HU1 3SS, UK doors 7.00 pm, band on stage 7.30 pm.

Songs telling of a journey to a new land, a story of love and loss, persecution and a new beginning; inspired by folk tales of the alpine Primula auricula and its 16th century journey to England with the Huguenot refugees.

My Ancestors were French – Amanda, Quentin, Louise, Richard

Written by Richard & Louise Duffy-Howard and performed by My Ancestors were French – Richard & Louise (guitars and vocals), Amanda Lowe (hammer dulcimer) and Quentin Budworth (hurdy gurdy).

“The music was intricately beautiful, the songs informative and real, the performers were fascinating to watch and the whole entertainment and feel of the evening was celebratory. The interweaving of the instrument sounds and the vocals painted exciting pictures…get the CD it is a beautiful recording of the material. ” Gifford Rolfe

“What a fantastic evening the Auricula Suite concert is – beautiful people, music, and flowers. A room bursting with colour, love & enriched with mesmeric music…we all absolutely loved it!” Lynn Beaumont

“The songs are lovely, memorable and haunting.” Liz Goodwin

“Thank you for your performance, great music, lyrics, colours and auriculas!” June Hennige

Songs, stories, flowers, photographs…and those flowers take me back…

My Ancestors were French – Part of the Heritage Lottery Funded All Our Stories scheme, in support of BBC2’s ‘The Great British Story – A People’s History’

Please note that there are stairs up to the concert room.

Team Photo

Here we are, the My Ancestors were French team, Richard, Louise, Quentin and Amanda at National Trust Calke Abbey, the home of the oldest surviving Auricula Theatre in England.

Richard, Louise, Quentin and Amanda at Calke Abbey

Richard, Louise, Quentin and Amanda at Calke Abbey

It was an amazing venue was for The Auricula Suite concert. A beautiful setting, superb acoustics, a sunny day at last, and a lovely audience. Thanks to all.

My Ancestors were French

One of the themes of My Ancestors were French is the impact of faith on people’s lives throughout history. Today, because of migration and travel, the world seems smaller, and there are many choices – but not necessarily answers to all our questions. The closing song is that of a young woman living in northern England today. She doesn’t know much about her family history, but like many English or American people she is of Huguenot descent. This young woman starts to look back into her family history and begins to find the faith to help her through the pitfalls of life. She learns stories from her family, and discovers that the scent of the auricula has a special quality, which takes her back to childhood memories. Memories of grandparents’ potting sheds…and even further back…when you suddenly think ‘how can this memory be older than me…?’

My ancestors were French,
And, for what it’s worth, faith ruled their lives.

Me, I’ve never been to church, and I haven’t been good.
But I’ve made my mark,
And I got in trouble,
Listening to my devil in the dark.

Y’know I’ve always landed on my feet,
And I’ve got a sense of history.
Yeah I’ve always landed on my feet,
And those flowers take me back…

The devil inside, he’s sittin’ on my shoulder,
Pushin’ me out so I’m sittin’ on a boulder
In the middle of the lake.
And the devil can’t swim,
So I’m feelin’ brave and I’m gonna get him.

It’s gonna get colder, if he falls in the lake.
He’ll be off my shoulder, off my back.
There’ll be no more trouble,
Gonna make a fresh start.
Stop listenin’ to the devil…
Gonna listen to my heart.

Gonna listen

To my heart.

© 2012  Lou Duffy-Howard, Corey Clough-Howard

Stingray Lou

Come to a free, fun workshop

Clouded YellowMandi and I are running a free, fun and engaging workshop next Sunday 3rd March at Willerby Methodist Lounge 2pm – 4 pm.

We will be using music, poetry, local film and storytelling to explore the themes of the My Ancestors were French project. It will be easygoing, no pressure and there will even be tea and biscuits. If any of Richard’s auriculas have flowered early they will make a guest appearance!

It’s all part of the Heritage Lottery Funded All Our Stories scheme, in support of BBC2’s ‘The Great British Story – A People’s History’

Willerby Methodist Church Lounge
Sunday March 3rd 2013 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

All welcome!

Places are limited so please get in touch message me, or email loudhailer@duffyhoward.karoo.co.uk to book your place as soon as possible.

Lou D-H

Have a listen to the title track of the project album…

Work produced at this workshops, and at Wolfreton School and other illustration workshops will be displayed at our local event on May 4th (put it in you diary, esy to remember, it’s international Star Wars Day) 2013 which will celebrate the stories uncovered and work created for the ‘My Ancestors were French’ project.

Dilzar creating a soundtrack for the film
Creating a soundtrack for the film

The celebration event and concert will be filmed and will contribute to a digital archive of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s All Our Stories project, in support of the BBC’s The Great British Story – A People’s History.

My Ancestors were French… a tale inspired by the lovely little alpine flower, the Primula auricula and the story of how it came to be grown and displayed on Auricula Theatres here in England.

The Same Sky

The lovers in our story, Valentina and Raoul, have been torn apart when Valentina escapes from persecution during the Reformation and comes to live in England, while Raoul stands by his faith and stays in France, facing an uncertain future, possibly death. 

This song is Raoul’s story. He is so sad now that his lover has gone, but looks up at the heavens and feels comfort in knowing that wherever she is, she’ll look up and see the same moon, the same stars…The Same Sky.

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I don’t know where you are
But I guess where you’ll be
Under the same sky as me
Where you’ll be, well I guess
‘Cross the cold northern sea
Follow the same star as me

Now you’re gone

In a strange land you are
But not alone refugee
Under the same moon as me
Where you’ll be, well I guess
But I know what you’ll see
See the same sky as me

Now you’re gone

I don’t know where you are
But I guess where you’ll be
Under the same sky as me
Where you’ll be, well I guess
Growing flowers for me…

I feel the same sun!

Under the same sky

© 2012  Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard

Auriculas grown and photographed by Richard Duffy-Howard

Madness and the Wind…

Anything could happen…

primula-auricula-sunflower

Madness and the wind are blowin’ over the sea
Don’t look back, don’t turn around Jack
The waves are comin’ at me
I can see the whole wide world out there
When I’m working with the crew
But I’m heading down the cargo hold
My sight’s set on you

Madness and the wind are blowin’ over the bay
I said don’t look back don’t turn around Jack
We’re heading out to stay
The coastline of East Anglia
Is coming into view
But I’m heading down the cargo hold
My sight’s set on…

…How you look today
And where you lead I’ll follow
There’ll be a price to pay
But I don’t care about tomorrow

I’m heading down the cargo hold
My sight’s set on you

© 2012  Lou Duffy-Howard

Auriculas grown and photographed by Richard Duffy-Howard

Into the Sun

Here begins Valentina’s tale. Young lovers, Valentina and Raoul separate when she escapes persecution and comes to England as a refugee. Valentina boards a boat for the East Coast of England, leaving her lover behind to an uncertain fate, possibly death.

She brings Primula auricula flower seeds and the skills to grow the little flowers here as a reminder of home. The Huguenot people were skilled artisans and were well accepted in their new land. Although Valentina misses her loved ones she is relieved to be travelling over the sea into the unknown and a new life. Valentina says she’ll never forget Raoul…

I’ll be heading down to the harbour
Gonna be setting sail on the next high tide
You know the world may seem much smaller now
but it feels too big to me
I’m gonna be far away from here
by the time it’s light

Gonna be thinking ‘bout you baby
when I’m back on the ground
How we were heading
straight into the sun
With my flowers tucked up
and all safe and sound
I’m gonna be missin’ you baby
when I’m gone…

….The waves are so high
that I get vertigo
And seagulls swoop down
I’m spinning round and round and wonderful
And so high
up on the northern sea
And we are drenched
spray like waterfall
Our river flows to meet us
in East Anglia
And I get vertigo

The waves so high

I don’t know where I’m going
But I know where I’m from
Heading out to the sea
I’m looking into the sun

Into the sun, into the sun

C’mon

Round and round and round and round…
…and wonderful

© 2012  Lou Duffy-Howard

Auriculas grown and photographed by Richard Duffy-Howard

primula-auricula-reddown-tickled-pink

The Same Sky Overture

We have recorded a set of songs written to complement the project story.  You can hear the first one here. It’s the only instrumental in The Auricula Suite,  featuring guitars, hammer dulcimer and a beautiful lonesome hurdy gurdy solo; The Same Sky Overture.

The Auricula Suite is our set of songs telling folk tales of a journey to a new land; a story of love and loss, persecution and a new beginning – inspired by the small alpine Primula auricula and the folk tale of its 16th century journey to England with the Huguenot refugees.

The Same Sky is Raoul’s lament. His lover, Valentina, has escaped persecution on a ship to England, but Raoul stands by his faith and refuses to go.   It’s a sad song, now that his lover has gone. He looks up at the heavens and feels comfort in knowing that wherever she is, she’ll look up and see the same moon, the same stars……The Same Sky

© 2012 Duffy-Howard