Saturday, 12 April 2014
Mainly shanties and death - but keep smilin'
Mike kicked off the evening with what he jokingly called "a very quiet song", Bully in the alley; we all joined in and made sure the start of the evening represented how we intended it to go on.
Robin reprised his performance of last week, singing Rosario in the style of the Young'uns. Another left-over from last week was that Derek had teased us with a snatch of Rigs of the time. He was surprised that Mike hadn't started this week with it, so he took that task upon himself.
The metaphorical baton was passing round particularly quickly, or so it seemed, not helped by Richard's singing of the very short My father died a month ago. Maybe it was this that inspired Derek to bring out one of his long, "miserable" ballads. Now while I can appreciate the music and the sound of the words I often find it difficult to follow the story behind these songs, but it was certainly not the case here, and after only a verse or two I was entirely engrossed in Jellon Grame (Child 90). Mike on the other hand said if it had lasted another two verses he might have been asleep; Derek joked that he was asleep by the seventh verse!
Richard was possibly inspired by the subject of this morning's edition of Radio 4's "The Reunion", which was the Miner's Strike of 1984-5. He sang Dave Rogers' Maerdy (Last pit in the Rhondda). Lesley on the other hand shocked us and puzzled us in equal measure by dedicating The librarian's lament (John Leonard and John Squire) to her brother.
At the interval, Colin, who had left instructions for a raffle prize to be set aside for him, arrived right on cue. He was just about excused, having been at a charity skittles match and having accumulated a good score for someone who hadn't played in fifteen years. Nevertheless, after the break he was straight on and sang a Wurzels song written by their producer, Bob Barratt, I keep smilin'.
Simon sang Dougie MacLean's Caledonia, possibly for the first time in public, and certainly for the first time at the Dragon Folk Club. Mike added a final shanty, Fire down below, before the session was rounded off by Derek singing The Yorkshire Irishman ("the adventures of a potatoe merchant").
Here's a selection of these and other songs sung during the session.