top of page

The Midsummer Carol

The Midsummer Carol, from the forgotten tradition of Leman Day (the original St Valentine's) on which young men would gather garlands of flowers to woo their lemans (lovers) at dawn on Midsummer's Day. 


The photograph was taken by my brother on Midsummer Morning 2022.

And a little Sussex lore...

'There stood, and still may stand, upon the downs, close to Broadwater, an old oak-tree, that I used, in days gone by, to gaze at with an uncomfortable and suspicious look from having heard that always on Midsummer Eve, just at midnight, a number of skeletons started up from its roots, and, joining hands, danced round it till cock- crow, and then as suddenly sank down again. My informant knew several persons who had actually seen this dance of death, but one young man in particular was named to me who, having been detained at Finden by business till very late, and forgetting that it was Midsummer Eve, had been frightened (no difficult matter we may suspect) out of his very senses by seeing the dead men capering to the rattling of their own bones.'   (1868)

And relating to this, sometime ago I decided to ask Jacqueline Simpson, author of The Folklore of Sussex about this tree....


00:00 / 04:04
Secret: Inner_about
bottom of page