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, 6 December 2014

Fine singing this week - come back soon

Jean Ritchie
Apart from most of the usual familiar faces we were very pleased to welcome three new ones this week: Matt, Nonny, and Arian, who proved excellent performers, both with their harmony singing and individually. They have only recently started singing together and this was their first outing. I hope they make it the first of many to The Dragon Folk Club and that it might even become a habit.

Simon started off by pointing out that Monday 8th December is Jean Ritchie's 92nd birthday and singing her song, The L&N don't stop here anymore. Phil continued the railway theme with The runaway train (Robert E Massey, Harry Warren, Carson Robison) and George Allen (the dying engineer).

Matt, Nonny and Arian so far have only three songs together and they quickly got through those. I'm sure Mike would have appreciated their singing of Rolling down to old Maui (Roud 2005). Unfortunately he had just slipped out to calm down his dog. The second song from the trio was My lady's coach (probably Sabine Baring-Gould). The third and final song from their early repertoire was The deserter (Roud 493).

Having exhausted their harmony songs, the three newcomers performed some excellent solo songs. Nonny impressed us with her Doffing mistress (Roud 2133), A sailor's life (Roud 273) and Lovely Joan (Roud 592).

Matt sang The blacksmith (Roud 816). His other offerings are more difficult to trace being A farmer's alphabet, written by a friend of his, and a medley of three short songs, also from the singing of a friend. The only one of these I have managed to trace is Call round any old time (published in 1908 by E W Rogers and J Charles Moore).

Arian got everyone singing to Chicken on a raft (Cyril Tawney). He stayed with a maritime theme with The rambling sailor (Roud 518). For his final song he borrowed a guitar and with some trepidation came up with He's young but he's daily growing (Roud 31) - there was no need for the trepidation.

Returning to the regulars, Matt's farmer's alphabet prompted Derek to sing Farmer on a bike (John Crisp), probably because Matt sang of "Z is for Zubzidy". Derek slid easily from his native Suffolk into his adopted North Eastern accent to sing along to Colin doing Johnny Handle's The collier lad.

Chris ranged from the 17th century Drink to me only with thine eyes (Ben Johnson) to the 20th with Both sides now (Joni Mitchell), while Roger gave us more stories from his career as a policeman as well as singing songs including Smiling through (Arthur A Penn).

After Phil's singing of George Allen, which tells the true story of a railway engineer who lost his life saving those of his passengers, Mike asked Derek to cheer us up before we went home. I think he succeeded in the challenge by closing the session with Biddy McGrath.

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

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

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