The First of May - a lockdown May carol

For May Day 2020 we invited you to join with us to sing a brand new May carol, written especially for these strange times by Festival Director Cat McGill and fellow choir director and performer Paul Sartin.

Singers from across the world took part in the virtual choir, all learning the song with only a few days notice at most. In the final video we have singers from the UK, Ireland, Italy, Scandanavia, the USA, and Canada, who have all come together in the midst of lockdown to be part of something beautiful. We are apart, but we're not alone.

Many thanks to Cat and Paul for the song, and for all the singers who took part. For anyone who's interested, the background video was filmed at the Devil's Quoits in Oxfordshire, at dawn on May 1st.

Sing with your own choirs

Below you'll find the score for the First of May, as well as recordings of each voice part. 

The May Day 2020 Virtual Choir is now over but you are welcome to sing this with your own choirs using the links below. And who knows, we may even revive it for next year!

Words and music

Click here for a score

Click here for a score

Click here for lyrics (pdf)

Click here for lyrics (docx)

Download Name Play Size Duration
download First of May all parts
4.2 MB 3:04 min
download First of May alto
4.2 MB 3:04 min
download First of May bass
4.2 MB 3:04 min
download First of May soprano
4.2 MB 3:04 min
download First of May tenor
4.2 MB 3:04 min


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We had some amazing SPECIAL EDITION festival merch available for the 2020 lockdown festival.  They are still available if you want a momento of that unique weekend - click here to browse!  

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