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, 6 April 2014

Starstruck Folkies

Female drummer (Roud 226)
This week we learnt that Mike, a long-time critic of guitars at folk clubs, has bought an example of that classic famed instrument of folky torture, the banjo! Of course, in experienced hands, such as those of the club's friend Betty, my old friend Richard Holland, or hundreds of other accomplished players, it can be absolutely acceptable but we shall see (or maybe we won't see) what Mike makes of his new purchase.

We were visited this week by Neil, who has been in touch with me for a few days regarding the possibility of filming a documentary about the club. He brought his camera and did some filming, though he hopes to return sometime to do a proper filming session. Capturing each singer involved moving the microphone into position and placing candles close enough to shed some light on the subject. Mike seemed to be looking for a make-up artist but none was forthcoming.

Pre-session discussions were sparked by Maggie handing out copies of the magazine Folklife Quarterly. The main subject was Vin Garbutt, who appeared on the cover in an advert for the Bromyard Folk Festival. I don't remember exactly how, but this eventually led to Derek singing an excerpt from the Rigs of time.

The session proper was started off by Mike singing Fathom the bowl.

A minor theme this week was things not sung for thirty years. Derek's contribution to this theme was The minstrel boy, which was in his repertoire when he first sang at folk clubs but had dropped out as it proved unpopular. It was written by Thomas Moore who set it to the melody of The Moreen, an old Irish air. It is widely believed that Moore composed the song in remembrance of a number of his friends from Trinity College, Dublin who had died in the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishmen.

Mike's long-forgotten song was apparently inspired by this very blog. He saw it while listening to one of the YouTube links and realised that he remembered it. The song was The female drummer (Roud 226). It uses the same tune as The yellow's on the broom but is by far the older song.

Robin's first contribution was Rosario, which uses the words of a Cicely Fox Smith poem. The version Robin sang was from the singing of the Young'Uns, a setting by Joy Rennie. This reminded Maggie of Johnny come down to Hilo, which she asked Mike to sing; he obliged. Robin said that Rosario can in fact be sung to the same tune.

Folk Quarterly magazine had in it the words and music of a song, To mow my meadow, a version of the well known children's song, One man went to mow. Derek claimed a first by singing the song from the magazine, although it seems he already knew it.

Colin's first song was Dave Goulder's Field of the Willows. It's always good to be able to link these reports to a recording of the actual singer singing the song, and the opportunity arises here with Tom, singing Autumn Leaves. The song originated in French as Les feuilles mortes with music by Joseph Kosma (music title Hull√≥ levelek - Falling Leaves in Hungarian). Johnny Mercer wrote the English lyrics.

We finished off fairly early with Mike singing All the good times are past and gone.

Please come along to next week's session and bring a friend, or a bus-load! Everyone's welcome, singer, player or audience.

Here's a selection of these and other songs sung during the session.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Simon, really enjoyed friday evening. Many thanks to everyone for making me feel welcome. Will be back with camera and Ghost weed (our little 3 piece) in 2-3 weeks time, hopefully the 25th April, but I'll liase with Maggie to confirm.
    Thanks for posting the songs, I'll check some of them out.
    The Fallen Leaves song that I know is by Norma Waterson. link to the song below. As I mentioned it's in the running as my funeral song, though I'm not planning on dying for a while :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb90AS6quyM

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