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.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Year, Twelfth Night, and wassail

Eddie Butcher Senior
Last week's session was better lit than the previous one. The electric lights were working again but the attendance was very poor. Mike made the point that if we don't start to get more bums on seats the club could close so if you are in the Bristol area on a Friday night please do make an effort to drop in on The Bridge and bring as many friends as possible. If you are able and willing to perform that's great but we certainly won't turn away an eager audience either. We call ourselves a folk club and our core is British, Irish, American and Australian folk song but we'll give any acoustic music, poems, recitations or stories a go.

Mike started us off with Bold General Wolfe. This was the first session of 2014 so there was a good attempt at some relevant songs for the New Year.

Derek sang Lavender's blue which is connected with the celebration of Twelfth Night and the choosing of the king and queen during the festival. Robert Herrick's poem Twelfe-Night, or King and Queene (published 1648) describes the election of king and queen by bean and pea in a plum cake, and the homage done to them by the draining of wassail bowls of "lamb's-wool", a drink of sugar, nutmeg, ginger and ale. Note that Derek uses "fiddle faddle" rather than "dilly dilly" in the song.

Mike allowed Simon to sing Dave Goulder's January man on the understanding that Mike will sing it at a later date. After all, it really does for any time of the year. Colin's singing of Si Kahn's New Year's Eve was much more specific.

Mike heralded the start of the wassail season with Here we come a wassailing. I hope I don't offend anyone with that link; I couldn't resist that version and it actually seems closer than most to Mike's, at least in terms of the words. Colin also went wassailing, this time with the Old fox wassail.

Another song supplied by Colin was  The old year now away is fled by Bristol-born William Chatterton Dix, conveniently sung to the tune of Greensleeves. Gary doesn't always manage to follow themes when they exist, but I think we will have to give him some points with Graeme MilesWhen the snows of winter fall.

Derek sang a song he called the Craigs of Kyle, being an amalgamation of two versions of Heather down the moor (Roud 375). One of those versions was that of Eddie Butcher. As an aside, Derek commended to all The shores of sweet Benone. For anyone interested in following this up further, I've collected together a YouTube playlist of recordings of both Eddies, senior and junior.
present a recording, recently put on YouTube of Eddie's son, also called Eddie, and recently deceased, singing

The session was closed unusually, at Maggie S's suggestion, by Mike starting the singing of Rollin' home by the silvery moon, requiring everyone present to add a verse in turn. After two rounds of the room we called a slightly early end to the evening, hoping for a bigger assembly next week. See you there!

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

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