Welcome to the Dragon Folk Club

Welcome to the official blog of the Dragon Folk Club, which meets for a singers night every Friday at The Bridge Inn, Shortwood, Bristol. Everyone is welcome whether you sing, play or just listen.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Campfire - Guy Fawkes 2018

Lewes Bonfire Night
(Photo by Simon Trimby)
Last week's "campfire" session to mark Guy Fawkes Night. We were a bit think on the ground in part because of a "lurgy" but we soldiered on and came up with quite a variety of material. This week there is no Dragon Folk Club session so don't turn up at The Bridge expecting music unless you want to be in the middle of a Charity Ladies' Night. But we are back at the songface on Friday 16 November with our Remembrance themed session. Please be there so we can make a noise for commemorating wars, condemning war or whatever you fancy.

So, back to last week, MC Colin started proceedings with Richard Digance's Boy Scout Song.

We carried on with mention of campfires such as Simon's Rocky Mountain High (John Denver), mention of camps as in Geoff's Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (Allan Sherman, Lou Busch) or mention of fires in Mike's The Fireship (Roud 4841).

Then we had plenty of songs that have been, or might be sung around a campfire including some that rarely see an outing at a folk club. Examples of the former, and in some cases the latter might be:

We had one definite Guy Fawkes Night song from Colin which he wrote himself. Fragments I noted down were "Give us a penny or more if you can... My clothes are all raggedy... Now I'm assembled with plastic and string".

We had one coincidence (or was it) when Simon sang Stephen Foster's Oh! Susanna followed immediately by Colin with the same writer's Old Black Joe. Simon's rendition was slightly less faithful to the original words than the recording and Colin's slightly more faithful. You'll know what I mean if you listen to them. Bear in mind that Foster was writing these songs in the 1840s and 50s for the minstrel shows that were popular at the time.

It fell to Colin to close the session with a parody of The Happy Wanderer entitled I Love To Go A-Gorging:

I love to go a-gorging
Amid great gobs of food,
And as I do my abdomen
Continues to protrude. 
Calorie, calorah,
Calorie, calorah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
Calorie, calorah,
My body is obese. 
Here's a selection of songs sung during this session.

(Number of people present - 4, of whom 4 performed)

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Halloween 2018

Friendly zombies in Dublin (Photo: Simon Meeds)
Last week's session was Halloween and this Friday it will be a Campire theme. You are always very welcome to join us but particularly this week if you can contribute songs, tunes, poems or stories relevant to Guy Fawkes, fireworks, bonfires, campfires or anything else that seems appropriate.

Last Friday's session started before the whistle blew and even before I arrived. I am told that a pub regular entered the room and offered to sing. He gave those present two songs which I understand to have been The Queen Of My Heart (Jimmie Rodgers) and Devil Woman (Terry Britten, Christine Holmes). We might even suggest that the latter was on theme!

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The need for speed

Fiat S76, The Beast of Turin (Photo: Simon Meeds)
Last week was the final theme-less session until we are well into November. This week's theme is Halloween. The theme is optional but songs, tunes, stories and poems of ghosts and ghouls, witches and wizards, and of course All Saints will be very welcome along with any other tenuous links you can come up with.

So back to last Friday; Colin was MC and started the evening with If It Wasn't For The 'Ouses In Between (Edgar Bateman, George Le Brunn - Roud V35719).

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

EF-in saints and sinners

Glendalough (Photo: Allan Henderson)
This week's report is going to be slightly shorter than usual but you will find that a remarkable count of 34 of the 35 songs we sang have been found on YouTube, so there's plenty to listen to behind the link at the bottom of this report.

Colin was MC as usual and started off the evening with John Dory (Roud 249, Child 284).

Geoff went to the song catalogue of the Eagles for Jack Tempchin's Peaceful Easy Feeling.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

CDs, rakes, doffers and marbles

Outside the pub at Tinsley Green, Sussex, 1936.
The singer George 'Pop' Maynard
is seen on the right of the picture.
(Photo from Keith Summers Collection)
It was good to welcome Geoff back into the fold last Friday after his sabbatical, so he made us quorate once again, which is always a good thing.

Colin was MC and started us off with Jordan Is A Hard Road To Travel (Dan Emmett - Roud 12153). The first two lines of the song, at least as Colin sang it, are "Rain forty nights, gonna rain forty days,
Gonna rain on the Allegheny mountains" which inspired Derek to sing the First World War song, Raining, Raining, Raining.

Geoff's first song after his recent break from the club was Far Away In Australia (Roud 25792) although I'm pretty sure that's not where he's been.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

There's no B in Liverpool

Liverpool's "Three Graces" (Photo: Simon Meeds)
I'm afraid I have to keep the report fairly short this week, would you believe because I'm planning to go out and hear more music, and maybe sing a bit too. But first there are some significant parish notices.
With one exception as you will read in a moment, we meet every Friday and usually you can sing whatever you like at our sessions but sometimes we have an evening with an optional theme, and we happen to have a few of those coming up. You don't have to follow the theme with all of your songs, but it's nice if you can bring something to the party.

26 October - Halloween theme (All Saints, All Souls, ghosts, witches, etc.)
2 November - Campfire theme (camping, fires, fireworks, Guy Fawkes, etc.)
9 November - No session (if you come to the pub you may find yourself in the middle of a charity Ladies' Night)
16 November - Remembrance theme (war, anti-war, remembrance, etc.)

With that out of the way, let's get on with the report.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Peace as a starting point

International Day of Peace logo
It was great last Friday to be joined by Steve C and Jane to make us properly quorate for the first time since the harvest. The pub was very quiet, so we had a good session.

Colin MCed as usual and kicked us off by announcing that it was International Day of Peace. As it happens I knew this because I'd heard the Dean of Bristol Cathedral asking the cathedral bell ringers to mark it by ringing a special "touch" at their practice. Colin sang Where Have All The Flowers Gone (Pete Seeger, Joe Hickerson).

Derek said he hadn't worked out a song for the day, 21 September, but he had songs for 20th, 22nd and 23rd. His first three songs were therefore Kevin Barry (Roud 3014) who was executed for his part in an ambush which took place on 20 September 1920, The Gresford Disaster (Roud 3089) which took place on 22 September 1934, and The Boys From Gwent (Meic Stephens) who on 23 September 1962 hampered construction of the Tryweryn Dam which would flood the village of Capel Celyn.