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, 27 July 2014

Another message from the Substitutes' Bench

SS Orsova (1954)
In the absence of the Head Blogger, may I take the opportunity to thank Simon for all the effort he expends on this blog. The research he puts into linking songs to sites throws up lots of valuable information – some deliberate, some serendipitous. Last week he put up a link to a YouTube performance of the somewhat obscure song Charlie Cassidy's Courtship. I wasn't, in truth, greatly impressed by the performance, but when it finished I was exposed to YouTube's usual selection of 'If you enjoyed that, why not try these'. One of those selections was of a Joe Doherty singing Glenswilly. On a whim (oh all right: I was confusing him with the late great Irish fiddle player John, brother of Michael!) I clicked on it and was rewarded with one of the best performances of that fine ballad I have ever heard. If you do nothing else this week, give it a click!

But what of life in Shortwood? Back to normal numbers this week (10, including 9 singers), Maggie L's absence prevented us from singing Happy Birthday Dear Maggie on the correct night for the second week running. But Maggie S was able to announce that her birthday bash raffle last week had raised £35 for BUST.

At Maggie's request Mike opened with Rod Shearman's London River, revealing that he had known an old shipmate of Rod's who had given him the low-down on the various craft mentioned in the song, especially the disreputable Orsova.

Regulars at the Bridge are used to some slightly outré themes, but there was talk of a night in the past on which the themes were lift-shafts and ashtrays. We could hardly be expected to match that, but:

In response to a children's song from Derek mentioning spittle, Jo said that her (presumably young) son would be interested in songs about diarrhoea.

After a performance by the more hirsute of the two Steves of Ring a Ring a Rosie, Gary raised the question of whether in Folk contexts Dublin was more likely to be referred to as a town or city – Molly Malone and Jim Larkin (In Dublin city in 1913 …) were quoted in favour of the latter, but Lesley remained neutral in her performance of The German Clockwinder, sticking to simply Dublin.

Colin's Push Boys Push, led to a typical Bridge discussion on the heights of canal tunnel roofs in different parts of the country, and the leg-lengths of their inhabitants.

Confusion in one of Gary's songs as to whether it is Time or Love which is for ever prompted Who Knows Where the Time Goes? from Lesley and Let No Man Steal Your Time (sic) from Derek.

And speaking of confusion, The Ghost of Tom Joad by the Other Steve (Steve G) somehow got recorded in the book as The Ghost of Tom Jones. If anyone sees the Trefforest Wailer, please reassure him that he is probably still alive.

Similarities in plot were pointed out for Boots of Spanish Leather (Steve G) and Huntingtower (Derek), whilst Richard and Mike both sang songs praising the profession of Begging (soon, under the Coalition, to have its own section at the DWP) deriving from the C16 Gammer Gurton's Needle if not earlier.

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

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

1 comment:

  1. Just like to say that I sailed on the Orsova as a £3.33 Pom. Saw "Ill Met By Moonlight" on a swaying screen on the fore-deck and was heartily sea sick most of the way.