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, 21 June 2014

England's out but we're still singing

Kate Rusby
Thank fully all facilities at the pub were restored this week so there was nothing to disrupt an entertaining evening of singing and playing.

Mike started off the evening with a "calling on shanty", used when recruiting for a ship to show that the shanty man on board was good enough. It was said that a good shanty man is worth ten men on the rope, since his singing made it easy to keep time, thus making the job easier. The song was poor Tommy's gone, grey goose is dead. I haven't been able to trace it but it seems to me to have elements at least of Tom's gone to Hilo, Go tell Aunt Rhodie and D'ye ken John Peel. Neither Mike nor Maggie seemed to think that its mournful tone would be very good for getting new recruits to come on board - surely something more rousing would be better.

There were three extras to the usual faces this week...

We have seen Jo a few times recently which is great. Her first song was Silver dagger: an American folk ballad, first published in 1907, which may originate in the British Isles of late 19th century, though possibly much earlier. The 1960 recording by Joan Baez features only a few of the many verses in the 1907 version. Though I didn't count the verses, I suspect Jo treated us to her interpretation of the Joan Baez version.

Jo's next song was Pete Seeger's Where have all the flowers gone? Kate Rusby's Sweet bride was her next offering. For her final song, Jo invited Steve G, who often performs with her, to join in singing Canaan's land, an African-American traditional song.

Another visitor was Carl, who came with Paul. They had been occasional visitors to an ancestor of the Dragon Folk Club twenty years or so ago. Carl had come intending to have a pleasant evening listening to others but when Paul said he was a good guitarist, Maggie pressed him into borrowing Simon's guitar and demonstrating his abilities, which he did despite the unfamiliar instrument. He sang Autumn leaves (see here for something about the song) and WC Handy's St Louis blues, and played what Paul described as a flamenco jazz tune, called Rosa.

The third less familiar face belonged to a non-performer whose name I didn't catch, but again he was someone who had been an occasional visitor to an ancestor of the club many years ago. Having retired he no longer has to rise early, so maybe we will see him again.

Given that the Italian team had been unable to save England from a swift exit in the World Cup, Derek rolled out his one song mentioning football, which is Little Sir Hugh (Child 155).

Mike finished off the session with the shanty, Poor old man.

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

(Number of people present - 9, of which 7 performed)

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