|Celebrating St David’s Day in Barmouth|
This hiatus meant that we wouldn't be meeting any closer to St David's day, so adopted Welshman, Richard, who MCed for the evening, announced at the last moment that. All things Welsh would be the theme. Given that there had been no leek (sic) of this information beforehand the level of preparedness was fairly low, except for Richard himself, who had obviously been planning it.
Nevertheless, Mike kicked off with Max Boyce's Duw It's Hard. This is a song often sung by Lesley but obviously Richard hadn't even informed his Welsh wife of his plans, so she hadn't prepared and seemed very happy that Mike could step into the breach.
Lesley wasn't entirely without Welsh songs though, making her first a song which I assume is called "Come To Llandudno" but I can't find a trace of it anywhere I'm afraid.
Derek started off with a song, partly in Welsh, which I think was a version of Lord Randall (Roud 10, Child 12), but not one I can find anywhere. At this stage I really wasn't doing too well at finding things on YouTube, nor anywhere else, this week. I'll take the liberty of mentioning two of Derek's other songs. He eschewed the Welsh theme, first to sing Trimdon Grange Explosion (Roud 3189, Tommy Armstrong) about the disaster at that pit on 16 February 1882. Derek continued to plough his own furrow by extending his running theme of singing songs sung by Fred Jordan. This week it was The Watery Grave. Derek identified this as a version of "Owen Barry" but seemed uncertain why Fred only sang three verses which didn't really hang together as a story.
MainlyNorfolk finds a possible answer to Derek's puzzle in the cover notes written by Mike Yates on the Fred Jordan album, Songs of a Shropshire Farm Worker. "During the first half of the nineteenth century there was a strong vogue, among stage comedians, for the burlesque of romantic folk ballads. Lord Lovel and William and Dinah (‘Villikins’) were two such. Also, a mildly comic version of The Banks of Sweet Willow was popularised in the 1850's by the entertainer Sam Cowell. As The Watery Grave, the burlesque has survived better than its handsome original which scholars identify as Child No. 24." (See the comments below this report for Derek's response to this suggestion)
Roger returned us to the Welsh theme with a poem or recitation he had written which he entitled A Welsh Miscellaney.
Richard of course was replete with Welsh connections in his songs, most notably singing two entirely in Welsh: Calon Lân (Daniel James, John Hughes) and Sosban Fach.
The nearest Colin got to Wales was Cornwall with his closing song: Steve Knightley's Cousin Jack.
Here's a selection of these and other songs sung during the session.
(Number of people present - 11, of which 10 performed)