It was good to have Steve C join us for the evening, making a happy quorum of five singers.
Colin was first to sing with Jez Lowe's The Lazarus Dance. Jez describes it as in a dream, the sort where all the dear-departed heroes, friends and legends come together for a knees-up and a sing-song, Geordie-Irish style. It began its life under the Radio Ballads umbrella.
Steve C had us singing along to Dido, Bendigo (Roud 584). Then, after a slightly faltering start, Simon got going with Alan Bell's Windmills.
Mike wasn't sure what to sing first and after rejecting several ideas from Colin went with Simon's suggestion of The Yellow On The Broom (Adam McNaughton).
Derek gave a nod to the upcoming general election with a Leon Rosselson song. He challenged Colin to say what he had called it in the official record. Unfortunately Colin had incorrectly chosen to name it "The Red Flag" although of course he knew it wasn't really that song. It is in fact called The Battle Hymn Of The New Socialist Party. Derek later added a rendition of The Red Flag (Jim Connell - Roud 45381) to the original tune, The White Cockade, to tidy up the loose end.
Derek's other attempt at a reference to the election was a rendition on bones (or maybe spoons, I didn't take note) and lilt of The Waves Of Tory. The Tory (or Torey, or in Gaelic, Toraigh) of the title is actually an island off the coast of Donegal.
I can never resist repeating the story of one of Colin's songs just because I really like one of its ancestor songs. It was Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, the words of which come from Pete Seeger and Lee Hays (Hays wrote the verses, Seeger wrote the chorus) who put them to a tune based on Lead Belly's If It Wasn't for Dicky, which in turn came from his hearing of Irish performer Sam Kennedy in Greenwich Village singing Drimindown. Actually the last time I posted this story I suggested the original song was An Droimfhionn Donn Dilís but I now think it may have been a confusion of different songs with similar titles and Drimindown seems more likely.
Simon referred to the recent closure of the closure of the Apostrophe Protection Society by its founder, 96 year-old, retired journalist, John Richards when he sang The Apostrophe Song by Australian Shaun McNichols. Note however that the two are not the same thing, while McNichols' Cool Rules (for writers) is interested apostrophes in the context of proper grammar, Richards was more concerned about the removal of apostrophes in trademarks such as Waterstones and Lloyds: "The biggest issue I have is not that people get it wrong and put the apostrophe in the wrong place – they just don’t use it altogether".
Colin trailed next week's Christmas session with the Trinidadian traditional The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy. Don't forget your Christmas songs, tunes, poems, stories, monologues and jokes for next week - "bah humbug" is just as acceptable as Away In A Manger.
That left Steve C to finish off the evening with The Bonnie Ship The Diamond (Roud 2172).
Now listen to a selection of songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 5, of whom 5 performed)