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, 30 November 2014

Saint Andrew and Scotland

Everyone seemed to be in a bad way this week. Maggie was absent with the lurgy of which Mike had a milder dose. Paul was hobbling around and Carl couldn't play his beloved guitar since his left arm wasn't working properly. Nevertheless Colin managed to MC efficiently while Mike managed the whining dog, Indy.

Richard noticed that the following Sunday would be Saint Andrew's Day and started off an impromptu theme of Scotland. Mike noted that Indy seemed to whine more at the Scottish songs than the others. Whether this is significant I'll leave to you to decide.

Cricket fan, Derek started off the session with Sons of Australia, a song about Ned Kelly, modifying one verse to make it about Phillip Hughes, the Australian batsman who died recently after being hit on the head by a ball.

As already mentioned, Richard drew several of us into a Scottish theme, beginning that strand with Such a parcel of rogues in a nation by Robert Burns, who also wrote Lesley's first offering, The banks o' Doon.

Derek offered three Scottish songs, one conventional: Mary Hamilton (Roud 79, Child 173) and two slightly less so: The wee magic stane (John McEvoy) and Erin Go Bragh to the tune of Blow the man down, which rounded off the evening.

Richard kept to his self-imposed theme with The tinker's wedding, and Billy broke locks which, while being an American song, has its origins in a border ballad.

Colin claimed not to have any Scottish songs this week, but even if The herring song (Roud 128) isn't Scottish, as Simon pointed out, herring is a perfectly good Scottish subject. Derek suggested some extra verses Colin might have included but we'll draw a veil of that.

Tom and Simon were both influenced by Jim and Sylvia Barnes, Tom having acquired the traditional Scottish song, Corncrake, from Jim and Simon getting two songs from their band Scotch Measure: The Laird of the Dainty Dounby and The handweaver and the factory maid (Roud 3085).

Away from the Caledonian theme, Phil continued to come up with unexpected gems from the mid 20th century cowboy songbook, including Carson Robison's Texas Dan. Chris wasn't to be beaten, coming up with a monologue by Greatrex Newman called That's that. Roger shared some autobiographical details of what I assume was his life in the police, in what he called a "reading" entitled Cold and homeless.

Paul shared some of his guitar tunes. Though they were given titles for the purposes of the official club record, we know that he prefers them to remain nameless and it's best just to listen and enjoy. He brought with him Carl, already mentioned as unfit for service, but he in turn brought his brother-in-law, who we shall name Derek 2 for the evening. He seemed determined to compete with Phil in one of his offerings, which was The lavender cowboy (Harold Hersey).

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

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


  1. I'm afraid the song you linked to as Erin Go Bragh has no connection with the traditional Duncan Campbell/Bold Erin Go Bragh which I sang. It is a song of the Easter Rising which Kathleen Behan (mother of Brendan and Dom) from whom I first heard it, used to call A Row in the Town. She reckoned it was written by her brother Peadar Kearney who also wrote the Irish National Anthem and Foot and Mouth.

    1. Hi Derek, Received and understood. I'll see whether I can correct it sometime before Friday. Thank you.