Our first community arts and heritage get-together saw the Sharrow Songs get off to a tentative but exciting start last week, as a small and passionate group of Sheffielders got together to talk all things Sharrow and Little Sheffield.
As well as talking about the history of the area we shared anecdotes about life there, and snippets from local history resources and a few locally-themed poems and song.
One of the most powerful ideas which sprung from discussion was that a Sharrow Songbook shouldn’t just explore the usual history of the area, but explore newer stories, and how it is now as a place. Scott shared a poem, which was written by members of the Sharrow community at the Sharrow Festival 2004, in a project led by Ralph Hancock of Chantwriters. Here it is, from the Sharrow Festival website…
Poem by Sharrow for Sharrow –
sourde: FURD (Football Unites, Racism Divides) http://www.furd.org/
Ralph Hancock of Chantwriters, who spent Sharrow Festival in a deckchair, collecting lines from festival-goers to put together into a poem inspired by the day:
Thank you for the wonderful lines you wrote for a poem to celebrate
Sharrow Festival. I hope you like the edited version. One man wrote a
whole poem from which we have selected the finale of the Festival poem and others wrote a haiku and limericks.
There was one line ‘I’m not very creative at the moment’ which made us
think that on the contrary everyone at Sharrow Festival was part of the
creation of a special day, even if they couldn’t put it into words on
the spur of the moment.
We received the following thought provoking lines
I never met a white man who was white
There is power in writing
Well, you be the judges.
And we would like YOU to give the poem a title.
Put your thinking caps on and please email it to Ralph: email@example.com
P o e m f o r S h a r r o w F e s t I v a l
To the Committee, team and artists
Many faces, different races
These are the places where nations unite.
Colour, vibrancy, people together
This is a place where everyone excites,
To capture this miracle in a loving way,
Sharrow Festival doesn’t happen every day.
Look around and celebrate
The community starts within you,
Each voice speaks multicultural words,
Long may it continue.
We sing in rainbow harmony all races
In a place with no pain,
Where we get on with our neighbours
Though we’re not all the same.
And it’s good to be different
We need more compassion
We need more kindness
Toward every nation.
We come as a family to meet our friends
Walk across the grass in bare feet
All cultures harmonising
The world in fun, food and music meet.
A tiny world in miniature
a wonderful mélange of cultures,
a superb melting pot
of hope for all our futures.
And when the day has to end
We reflect on our festival in Sharrow
in the oasis of Mount Pleasant Park
the show with a heart and a wow!!!
I think we all agreed that, rose-tinted or not, the vibrancy of the writing, and the focus on the diversity and sharing nature of the community did a great job of summing up modern Sharrow. The poem also served as a great example of the kind of creative interpretation of the place we inhabit, which Sharrow Songs is hoping to encourage.
This week, it’s ‘Show and Tell’ where people are invited to bring along an object, piece of writing, or picture (be creative!) to show to the group, and perhaps use as creative inspiration. Scott will also be encouraging the group to write some mini-stories/verses/songs using similar inspiration, and perhaps, if we have time, a short wander around the block to search out material.
See you tonight – 7 while 9! If we’ve popped out for ten minutes as part of a short Sharrow Explore, give us a call on 07929 316270 to find us!
Also coming soon – a draft programme for the coming weeks, with some exciting guests and activities!