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Poppyland Songs;Life On A Cliff Edge

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 I was inspired by a collection of journals written by my great great Aunt Kit (Christobel Hood) who lived in the house I grew up in in Sidestrand, North Norfolk. She had interviewed her neighbours and gathered lyrics, poems, stories and local lore from pre WW1 North Norfolk. These journals inspired me to compose music using words from her journals as well as other stories that I grew up with like Black Shuck and tales of smugglers.


 In 2021 I was extremely grateful to receive a grant from Arts Council England in order to continue this project. Picking up where Kit left off and speaking to the current residents of North Norfolk about their lives here over 100 years later. l gathered testimony with which I composed more songs and music. Poppyland songs has become a celebration of Life On A Cliff Edge in North Norfolk.

The gentleman Kit interviewed the most was an elderly labourer, at least 80 in 1912. He passed on many stories and songs that without Kit's journals would have been completly lost to time. This is the heart of Poppyland Songs, although in this day and age we record EVERYTHING I wanted to create something beautiful and meaningful, a musical tapestry  that tells the stories of those who have lived and died in Poppyland.

I am always interest to hear more stories from North Norfolk so if you have something to share then get in touch either via my contact page or on Facebook or Instagram. If you see me in the street or busking on my violin in Cromer, then come and speak to me.

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The album is availble to buy on CD or download online via the usual places.

A song inspired by those who lived and died here in Poppyland. I am playing it at the graveside of both sets of my grandparents, my little niece Ruby and gt gt aunt Kit. Louie, The Maid of the Mill mentioned in the song is also at rest in this tiny graveyard in Sidestrand.


St Michels of All Angels church used to lie half a mile seawards but by 1880, due to the ever fragile and collapsing cliffs, it had gotten too close to the cliff edge so they moved it, stone by stone leaving the tower and graves on the edge of the cliff which eventually would tumble down the cliff onto the beach and into the sea.

'Tower by the Sea' was a poem written by Clement Scott, the travel writer who bestowed the area with the name "Poppyland".

I found the lyrics for Good Matches in one of Kit's journals but I couldn't find any melody for these words so I wrote my own. I made this little accompanying film last Christmas, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's Little Match Girl.


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