I played on a cold November morning

Banging my drum to the crowd

As the Lord Mayor laughed and applauded

And the band played on long and loud

I played at a warm Spring gathering

Regalia turquoise and white

The people smiled, warm with the sunshine

And the band made a colourful sight

I played at a late summer festival

The dancers danced on the quay

The village couldn’t quite fit another soul in

As the band performed by the sea

I played both winter and summer

My smile as big as my drum

In Shoreham’s Beach Bateria

Parading out in the sun

©Jemverse (June 2004)

Between late 1999 and early 2010 I played a bass surdo (a 24 inch drum) in a samba band based in my home town of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK. In its heyday the band numbered over 40 sambistas (players) and 20 dancers. We played at numerous summer and winter festivals, parades and carnival events in Southern England including the London Lord Mayor’s show, Brighton Pride and the world famous Emsworth food festival. Although I’m no longer a sambista, this poem captures something of the  smiles the band gave both me and the many thousands who heard and watched us play.


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