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.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Nearly New Year and much mirth

Kipper Family
I arrived this week to find everyone sitting in the side bar supping their drinks. Apparently the electricity was off to the wing of the pub where our room is situated. In times gone by this would not have been a problem since we always held our sessions by candlelight, with the sole addition of the light on the dartboard. However, since refurbishment the use of candles had been prohibited, so we are usually in the still subdued glow of the electric wall lights. Apparently Maggie S usually brings her candles just in case but on this occasion she had not. The landlord came to the rescue with candles carefully waxed into "energy drink" glasses and we were quickly underway.

I don't know whether it was the unusually dim conditions or the hangover from Christmas but everyone, including me, seemed to be in a particularly funny (humourous) mood. Unusually Maggie S took the reins of what is after all her club, starting off the official record book, because she was closer to the electric light streaming through the window in the door. Mike tried to use the conditions as an excuse for banning the use of written words, but his attempt to confiscate torches failed and the light from the candle was sufficient, at least for me, to see my book; had it not been this report would have been much more brief (shame, they all say).

Mike kicked us off with his version of The cutty wren in order to get it in before Derek. I think Lesley's singing of The fire ship was in a similar vein since she referred to the other versions which Mike and Derek sing.

Being as we were between the two stools of Christmas and New Year, any attempt at a theme was doomed to failure. Indeed Colin narrowly escaped (or maybe he didn't) fines for singing two humourous Christmas songs: Bob Rivers' Chipmunks roasting on an open fire (based on The Christmas Song) and the Kipper Family's Gaudete parody, Awayday.

The latter led to a sub-theme of Kipper Family Songs. I am no great Kipper fan, so I may have missed some but I counted Lesley's One drunken maiden (She moves through the fair parody) and Colin's Kippers and bloaters (Molly Malone parody).

More parody and fun came in the singing by Richard of Jim Stewart's The ballad of the simple sailor, the nonsense As I was going to Banbury and his own Ageing old hippy which Derek felt sure he could make good use of (well, there's the link, Derek). Mike added Stan Crowther's The vicar and the frog (any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental) sung by Fred Wedlock and The Corries. Simon's comic offering was Mary McCloud's House of the rising damp (House of the rising sun parody).

Derek's combination of fine traditional songs and an eye for a link, tenuous or otherwise, definitely came into play this week. He started with two seasonal songs: the Orkney new year's carol and the The miner's dream of home. Then (and I'm reading between the lines a little here), inspired by Lesley's requirement for a 'D' from her pitch pipes when singing one of her songs, he sang The volunteer organist by WB Glenroy (William B Gray) with music by Henry Lamb (Henry Spaulding). OK, no obvious connection with "D" yet but this song was obviously the inspiration for Derek's final song of the evening, Volunteer putter, which Derek got from the singing of Jack Elliott. To bring this finally round to Lesley's 'D', Derek's penultimate song was Banks o the Dee, which we hear here from that same Jack Elliott.

Here's a selection of these songs plus some others sung during the session.

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