The Lightning Tree

background to the song
This is an arrangement of the theme tune to Follyfoot, a 1970s teen-drama. Colleagues of a certain age may remember it… The song was written by Stephen Francis and performed by a group called the Settlers. The song is great, but the performance is definitely of its time!

Despite Follyfoot being about horses, the song has a certain sea-shantyness and we will sing it as such. I’m not entirely sure what the words mean. Possible interpretations might be good to discuss with your singers.

things to think about when learning the song
The learning track is very steady. When we perform it we’ll take it at more of a lick.

There are four verses, the first three being in a minor key, the last one – as we get to the “whisper of green” – is in a major key.

The rhythms of the verses change slightly with the words. I haven’t notated them, but I’ve tried to demonstrate them very clearly.

The song mostly sings itself, but the tune at the beginning of the verses is tricky. Please take the time to teach it precisely.

We’ll make the “t” in the middle of “lightning” silent. Please encourage lots of precise consonants elsewhere in the song.

The final chorus has a harmony line of do-bi-dos, which the children will have heard in the accompaniment.

The ending will sound fuller with a band and hundreds of children singing 🙂

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