Barwick Green

"Barwick Green" /ˈbærɪk/ is the theme music to the long-running BBC Radio 4 soap opera The Archers. A "maypole dance" from the suite My Native Heath written in 1924 by the Yorkshire composer Arthur Wood, it is named after Barwick-in-Elmet in Yorkshire's West Riding.[1]

Barwick Maypole

The recording used between 1950 and the 1990s was played by Sidney Torch and his orchestra.[citation needed] Sidney Torch recorded a commercial release of "Barwick Green" in the 1950s, but it was not used on The Archers itself.[citation needed]

The familiar opening 7 notes are echoed in the pizzicato in Benjamin Britten's Simple Symphony, written in 1934.

The Sunday omnibus broadcast of The Archers starts with a more rustic, accordion-arranged rendition by The Yetties,[2][3] while the theme for BBC Radio 4 Extra's The Archers spinoff, Ambridge Extra, is a version arranged by Bellowhead.[4]


  1. ^ "Feedback". Autumn 2007. 2007-10-05. BBC Radio 4.
  2. ^ The Yetties (1997). Upmarket. Track 1. Decca SKL 5282.
  3. ^ Gonsalves, Rebecca (1 January 2011). "60 things you never knew you wanted to know about The Archers". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  4. ^ Heritage, Stuart (5 April 2011). "TV theme tunes: don't mess with the best". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 28 June 2011.