|Soldier's comrades watching him as he sleeps,|
Thievpal, France, during World War I
Mike started off this theme and the session with Homeward (words Cicely Fox Smith, tune Sarah Morgan). Gary's contribution was James Keogh (Michael Burns). Simon joined the trend with Jimmy Spoons (Mike Harding). Mike took us into the second tour of the room with Hanging on the old barbed wire (Roud 9618) before Colin, arriving late as forewarned, took on anti-war songs as his theme for the rest of the evening.
Colin finished the first half with Crow on the cradle (Sydney Carter). At this point Mike and Maggie left home taking the unruly Indy with them in disgrace - he is still only a puppy after all. Colin kept up his anti-war theme in the second half with The H bomb's thunder (John Brunner) and Fighting for strangers (trad. arr. Hart / Prior / Knight / Johnson / Kemp)
Away from the war theme, Gary was again accompanied by his wife, Helen, who provided a lovely rendition of Dave Goulder's January Man. Unfortunately Gary and Helen had to leave after one song each.
Keith H provided four of his own tunes: Xativa, Long winter's night, The veil, and Dance of the rivers, with which he finished off the session. Unusually for Keith he also played one tune which was not his own: Romanza Antigua (Óscar Esplá).
John's theme of the evening was the blues, singing Good morning blues (Lead Belly) and performing his own poem, Stranger in a strange land blues. Chris's personal theme was Welsh songs sung in English with The gentle bird (Y Deryn Pur by Talhaiarn) and Watching the wheat (Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn by Wil Hopcyn). Roger remembered the theme of campfire songs from two weeks ago with Back to Gilwell which apparently refers to the origins of scouting's Wood Badge,
Judging by the schoolboy-like hilarity coming from the corner it seemed that Phil was goaded by Roger into singing various cowboy songs, including Ghost riders in the sky (Stan Jones) and The ballad of Jessie James (Billy Gashade).
Steve's offerings for the evening were The snows they melt the soonest (Roud 3154), Dido Bendigo (Roud 584), Good morning Mr railroad man (derived from Danville Girl which was put together by Alan Lomax from verses of various hobo songs), Rose of Allendale (words by Charles Jefferys and music by Sidney Nelson) and When Adam first was created (Roud 728).
So that's it for another week. There is no particular theme again next week, so come sing or play whatever takes your fancy. If you can't or won't perform it's fine to just come and listen.
Here's a selection of the songs sung during the session.
(Number of people present - 12, of which 11 performed)