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, 1 June 2014

The end of May at last!

Ed McCurdy
There was a relatively large non-performing audience again this week, largely due to second-time visitor Joe's entourage, and they were very welcome too, as was Steve who arrived quietly and unannounced, stayed for most of the evening and left in a similar manner - he seemed to enjoy it and I hope we will see him again in the future.

As usual, Mike started off the evening, this time with Carry the News! We Are All Surrounded.

Joe sang three very popular songs, accompanied by Tom on guitar: Don McLean's Vincent, Donovan's Colours, and Paul Simon's The boxer. Tom made Paul Simon into a mini theme by singing American tune. Tom also said he had found a claim on the web that Paul Simon had written Last night I had the strangest dream; he was quickly put right by Derek who correctly attributed the song to Ed McCurdy; Tom sang it anyway.

Another occasional visitor was Jo, who sang some songs with Steve G: Anna McGarrigle's Going back to Harlan, Saucy Sailor (Roud 531, Laws K38); and sang some solo: Cathie Ryan's The farthest wave and The king's shilling.

Jo asked us for help in publicising a new folk and acoustic event that she is starting on Thursday 5th June in the back function room of the Beaufort pub at Chipping Sodbury and will take place subsequently on the first Thursday of each month. It will run from 8pm to 11pm with a short break around 9:30pm. Entrance will be £1 to cover room hire and the format will be two-song floor spots. Let's see how many people we can get down there to support Jo on her first night.

Colin's contributions this week were interesting (to me anyway). First he sang Billy Bragg's updated version of The hard times of old England (retold). One of Colin's regular repertoire, Dougie MacLean's Ready for the storm, was followed by Joe Hill's Stung right  and finally Buckeye Jim. According to the Library of Congress, Fletcher Collins collected "Buckeye Jim" (aka "Limber Jim") from Mrs. J.U. (Patty) Newman in 1939, at Elon College, in North Carolina, which is the first documented version.

Two of Derek's songs need special mention. Going back to Harlan, sung later by Jo and Steve G includes phrases from some other songs: for example "shady grove" and "bells of Rhymney" but Derek's song I like to hear folk songs the old fashioned way, thought to be written by Mike Donald (not Malcolm McDonald as suggested in the link) is almost entirely made up of such "floating lyrics". Corniest link of the evening also goes to Derek, for adding an "n" to a June song to make it appropriate for 30th May, thus his version of Jug of Punch (Roud 1808) starts "..(n)early in the month of June".

Jo finished off the evening with Ghost in this house, a song written by Hugh Prestwood and originally recorded by American country music group Shenandoah.

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

(Number of people present -13, of which 8 performed)


  1. Never believe anything I write on Mudcat - especially if I say 'I think ...' The Original Folksong was written by Mike Donald. I think Malcolm MacDonald was a soccer player.

    1. Touché. I did say "possibly" - anyway, it's fixed now.