Bonfire Prayers

Remember, remember the Fifth of November The Gunpowder Treason

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Bonfire Anthem

Now is the time for marching Now let your hearts be gay Hark to

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RIP : Keith Austin Funeral - Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations

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Keith Austin, Mr Lewes Bonfire : This fascinating guy died peacefully on his own, in his own home and was a legend in his younger days and was an icon of the “Old Skool Lewes Bonfire” I had spent many a time with him putting the Lewes Bonfire Night to rights !  Absorbing the secrets of the old “Lewes Rouser” and learning history.

The last time I spoke to him which was about 7/10 days before his death, he spoke of the excellent bonus money from the Lewes Mumford Festival, The Camaraderie and unity of all of the Lewes Bonfire Societys manning the Bonfire Bar and was looking forward to the 10th Anniversary of the reformation of  Southover Bonfire Society of which he was a leading player to reform.

But he admitted to me that he was getting very tired. RIP Keith Austin “Mr Bonfire”. His Funeral Details Are Below.

Keith Austin Mr Lewes Bonfire RIP

Keith Austin (Mr Bonfire) Centre In Photo Above . RIP

RIP Keith Austin Mr Bonfire Lewes

Below is Keith Austin (Mr Bonfire) on his way home, “Burn Him” ! Video Courtesy Sussex Express

Below is Keith Austin (Mr Bonfire) on his way home, “Burn Him” ! Photo Courtesy

Mr Keith Austin Funeral In Lewes Bonfire Boy

Keith Austin`s Favorite Song Is Below. No Sectarian Notes Here !

When you walk . – Through a storm,
Hold your head . – Up high.
And don’t be afraid . – Of the dark,
At the end . – Of the storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll ne-ver walk alone.

Chorus . . .


The Funeral arrangements for the late Keith Austin, 16th September 1938 – 20th August 2013, Was on the afternoon of Friday 20th September – It was arranged as such, to make it easier for people to take a half day off work.

COOPER AND SON @ 12:45pm.

Under a grand escort of 12 cars provided by all his dear friends at GM Taxis, Keith passed through the town he so loved one last time, causing absolute mayhem in the High Street.


Keith arrived, whereupon the gentleman of Cooper & Son funeral directors, under the direction of their conductor did they transfer Keith to the Southover bell cart, entrusting him to the safe hands of the Lewes Bonfire Boys and Belles, The bell cart was then moved to an open marquee at the rear of the Dorset Arms, where Keith layed in state until 2:30pm so that people who could not take time off work would be able to pay their last respects. During which time it was observed that the coffin should be tied to the cart in case it falls of on the cobbles in Cliffe High Street !


All of those that marched in the procession to the service at Southover church were called upon to take their places in the following order : The Bell Cart, Pulled by two members of Southover Bonfire Society with an honour guard made up of six volunteers, one from each of the other Lewes Bonfire societies: those six carried the coffin into Southover Church. Directly behind the Bell Cart, Seven close friends and members, one from every Lewes Bonfire Society formed a rank of seven.


Keith’s close and good friends from among the Lewes and Sussex Bonfire Societies, and members of the Lewes Operatic Society, the Lewes Lions, Lewes Town Councillors, the Lewes Bonfire Safety Group and others also close but not of the above. After And again it was ranks of four in the order, Members of Southover, Cliffe, Lewes Borough, Commercial Square, Waterloo, South Street, Nevill, Sussex Societies.


The above was not what Keith, Nic Quinn, Matt Street or Southover Bonfire Society (SBS) wanted. But it was nice to see all the Societies walk in mixed ranks to signify our unity, and it was all the better.

THE MARCH @ 2.30pm.

Was from the Dorset Arms – Malling Street – Cliffe High Street – The Precinct – Friars Walk – Lansdown Place – Station Approach – Priory Street – Southover High Street, Then Southover Church.


The bell cart and honour guard halted and allowed all to enter the church. Keith was then carried in honour up to the chancel before the altar and then the service started, several friends made their speeches during the service and a walkie talkie crackled into life !


The honour guard transferred  the safe keeping of Keith back into the hands of Cooper & Son. He was then taken to the Crematorium, where prayers were said and his body committed. Close friends there shouted “What Shall We Do With Him ?” – “Burn Him !” was the reply, much to the Reverend`s surprise !


It was with everybody’s  finest wishes that the celebration of Keith’s life did start at 12:45pm and that none of us would be immune to the heartfelt sorrow that we all felt and the tears that we all shed. The only thing that Keith would have asked for, would have been that “No One Cries Alone and True To Each Other” And the one wish Keith casted upon us all is this “After, there – Is laughter and Remember Remember The good times”. So thank you, to you all that came along and the Kings Head for the food, refreshments and a few choice songs, Hope you all had a really stinking hangover the following day.


Keith would have probably have liked the song below as well. Libiamo Ne’lieti Calici (Brindisi) . . “The Drinking Song” : From La Traviata : The Fallen Woman” Or “The Lewes Bonfire”

First Line=Italian, Second Line=English Translation. At the bottom is my Lewes Bonfire variation as near as I can damn get it! . You will need to listen to it a few times and follow my version to feel what I feel.

Libiamo Ne’lieti Calici (Brindisi) . . “Drinking Song : From La Traviata : The Fallen Woman” Or “The Lewes Bonfire”

Libiamo, libiamo ne’lieti calic, che la bellezza infiora,
Let’s drink, let’s drink from this merry chalice, that beauty so truly enhances,

E la fuggevol ora s’inebrii a voluttà.
And the brief moment will be happily inebriated with voluptuousness.

Libiam ne’dolci fremiti che suscita l’amore,
Let’s drink for the ecstatic feeling that love arouses,

poiché quell’ochio al core onnipotente va.
because this eye aims straight to the almighty heart.

Libiamo, amore, amor fra i calici più caldi baci avrà.
Let’s drink, my love, and the love among the chalices will make the kisses hotter.

Ah! Libiam, amor, fra’ calici più caldi baci avrà.
The chalices will make the kisses hotter.

Tra voi tra voi saprò dividere il tempo mio giocondo.
With you all, I can share my happiest times.

Tutto è follia, follia nel mondo ciò che non è piacer.
Everything in life which is not pleasure is foolish.

Godiam, fugace e rapido e’il gaudio dell’amore e’un fior che nasce e muore ne più si può goder.
Let’s enjoy ourselves for the delight of love is fleeting and quick, It’s like a flower that blooms and dies and we can no longer enjoy it.

Godiamo, c’invita, c’invita un fervido accento lusinghier!
So enjoy; A keen and flattering voice invites us!

Godiamo, la tazza, la tazza e il cantico la notte abbella e il riso, in questo paradiso ne scopra il nuovo dì.
Be happy; The wine and singing beautify both the night and the laughter, Let the new day find us in this paradise.

La vita è nel tripudio,
Life means celebration,

Quando non s’ami ancora,
Only if one hasn’t known love,

Nol dite a chi l’ignora,
Don’t tell someone who doesn’t know,

E’il mio destin così…
But this is my fate…

Godiamo, la tazza, la tazza e il cantico, la notte abbella e il riso, in questo paradiso ne scopra il nuovo dì.
Be happy; The wine and singing, beautify both the night and the laughter, Let the new day find us in this paradise.


Oh, Please – oh please drink from my clear joyfull pint glass,
so resplendent with all its magical beauty.
Oh, please – just drink to the spirit of pure bonfire,
which will enchant our fleeting moment.

Oh, please – just drink to the thrilling sweetness,
brought to us by our remembrance.
For always deep in my heart – I will irresistibly,
be pierced to the Brave Lewes Martyrs.

Oh, Please – that drink of a pint of Harveys,
shall always warm the kisses of my true love.
I shall divide my heart-with all my gaiety-
and my love among you all.

That everything in our short life – is but a folly –
except for the grand ole lewes bonfire.
Let us be joyful, for love is – but – a
fleeting and a much short-lived joy.

A firework which blossoms and fades,
Whose beauty is soon lost forever.
Be joyful, from a caressing voice
will invite us warmly to the joy.

Ah! – be carefree-for the beer and song,
with laughter, will embellish the night.
This new day thats abreaking, will find us still
in this happy paradise.

But life, is only a pleasure
for those – who know how to love,
Speak not of love to one, who knows not what it is,
Such as is my destiny – to always love the bonfire.

Be carefree, for the beer and song,
With laughter, will embellish this bonfire night.
The new day, abreaking, will find us still –
Forever Remembering The Fallen.

Chorus . . .


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