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, 4 May 2014

May at last

Stan Kelly, who wrote Liverpool Lullabye
After last week's bumper gathering this week wasn't as much of a disappointment as it could have been with a good showing of regulars. Being the nearest session to 1 May, May festivals and traditions were in evidence, though, as Derek pointed out, it was surprisingly left to him to be "roving out on a May morning".

Pre-session chat was wide ranging and frank. I won't trouble you, reader with most of it; suffice to say, one strand went from liberty bodices to "going commando" in a few short steps. It was also remarked that the unwanted interloper "the fresian" hasn't made an appearance recently. Anyone who doesn't know the story please understand that I'm not talking about some unwanted folky but a pub regular who has been known to interrupt proceedings sometimes.

Mike started off the session proper by singing Bored with singing Rosabella, which was written specially for him by Steve Vernon after Mike had received one too many requests to sing The Rosabella.

Richard had only just finished singing his May songs for last year - I think his final one was two weeks ago - so he had run out and instead sang The folksinger's lament by David Diamond. Lesley followed that with The blacksmith (Roud 816).

Tom's first contribution was Memory store, which I mention not least because I can link to Tom's own recording of it.

Derek pointed out that Stan Kelly, writer of Liverpool Lullaby (Oh, you are a mucky kid), died before just Easter, so he sang Four pounds a day, which Kelly wrote with Eric Winter.

Paul was with us for the first time in a month or so. Apparently he's had some iatrogenic issues but is back on an even, if slightly painful keel. He entertained us with three of his own compositions. Titles are sometimes an issue for Paul, so it's make them up as you go. The first tune was one he thought needed an introduction but once he found one he had difficulty marrying the two parts together, so it was names False start. The second was put out for naming by those assembled, and Maggie came up with Hillside tumble, which seemed as good as anything. The final one Paul named, and even came up with typographic instructions, so I'll give it a go: Triple echo echo echo.

Mike's second song was Hal-an-tow (Roud 1520) which is sung as part of the May celebration in Helston, Cornwall. Various ideas about the song's origin can be found here. However it started, and whatever it means, it certainly has a good sing-along chorus.

Richard sang a version of Sovay (Roud 7) using what may have been the original name "Sylvie". Talking of slightly different versions, Derek had his "roving out" moment with Giles Collins, a version of George Collins (Child 85).

Colin brought us close to home with the The Wurzels' Somerset born and proud. Richard on the other hand took us to the fictional place which gives the title to his own song Gillimamillimalay.

Mike finished off the session with Union miners.

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

(Number of people present - 10 of which 9 performed)

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