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, 13 September 2014

Welcome newcomers

Copper Family
Several of us had been to Pat Hyett's funeral earlier in the day. While we were at the wake we heard that another friend of the club, banjo player and singer of Jean Ritchie songs, Betty, is very ill. We send Betty our best wishes.

Mike and Maggie were not at this week's session, so MC was Richard. It seemed that there was multiplication of white goods. The washing machine which had been sitting in the corner of our room for some time had been joined by another large appliance and a microwave oven. I wonder what we shall see next.

The notable feature of this week's session was the number of new-comers. First Roger and Chris arrived, soon to be joined by John and Grace. Later Richard 2 arrived (i.e not "our" Richard, who was MCing). Apparently Richard 2 is involved in a singing group which sings mainly shanties.

We were also joined by Jan and Phil (separately) who have both started attending more frequently, and they are very welcome too.

Roger's offerings were The rose of Tralee, Woad and The Mountains of Morne. Chris and Grace both insisted they were there only to listen, at least on their first visit, but Chris sang Watching the wheat (known as Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn when sung in Welsh). John's first was his own poem Ride the freedom train. He said he couldn't sing so he read the lyrics to two Leonard Cohen songs: Suzanne and Bird on the wire. He also provided harmonica accompaniment to Gary singing Utah Phillips' All used up.

Richard 2 sang Fathom the bowl and Johnny be gay if you can be.

One of the songs Richard (the usual Richard) sang was The bold dragoon (Roud 321), which he guessed must have been sung by the Copper Family at some point on the basis that it had the words "prittle" and "prattle" in it. While I don't entirely follow his logic, it does seem to be correct, as confirmed by the excellent Mainly Norfolk web site: "The Bold Dragoon is a song from the repertoire of the Copper Family. Bob Copper collected it from Enos White of Axford, Hampshire, in July 1955, published in in 1973 in his book Songs and Southern Breezes, and sang it on his 1977 Topic LP Sweet Rose in June. John Copper and Jon Dudley sang it in 1998 on the family's CD Coppersongs 3: The Legacy Continues". I think Derek will also be pleased to note a mention of The Ship Inn, Blaxhall: "Rosemary Bisset sang The Bold Dragoon at The Ship Inn, Blaxhall, on November 16, 1973. This recording was released a year later on the Transatlantic album The Larks They Sang Melodious: Sing-Song in a Suffolk Pub".

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

(Number of people present - 14, of which 12 performed)

1 comment:

  1. The Larks They Sang Melodious: Sing-Song in a Suffolk Pub was a deeply contentious album. Traditional singers like the Lings, Cyril Poacher and Bob Hart were there; but about half the tracks were by people such as Rosemary Bisset and Vic Harrup who were revivalist singers from Suffolk folk clubs. The record included a booklet with copious notes.
    A female folklorist (I'm confident I could name her, but I'm not going to just in case I'm wrong) wrote a review in Folk Review which attacked various statements about the 'authenticity' of the session as claimed in the booklet. Karl Dallas, who had produced the record took exception and threatened action for libel if an apology was not made - which it was, though I think in the name of Fred Woods the editor, not of the reviewer.
    I used to have both the record and the review, but I no longer have either; so I cannot give full chapter and verse.