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.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Aurora Borealis
Since Mike and Maggie, and particularly Mike, were off Rockin' and Rollin' this week, it is customary to take the opportunity to sing some of Mike's songs. Richard, MCing again, got the ball rolling in that sense with Trevor Crozier's Dead Dog Cider.

Steve G was very topical with Neil Young's Pocahontas which starts "Aurora borealis. The icy sky at night". Only a few nights ago this phenomenon was visible in many parts of the country though not I think as far South as Bristol. Richard seemed to think that Colin would have something appropriate to the solar eclipse that had happened this very day, but he didn't have one.

In fact Colin's first was one of Mike's songs, Down Where the Drinkards Roll (Richard Thompson).

Phil, as usual, took us to an America of times past with AP Carter's Dark Haired True Lover. In fact I have learned that attributing songs to AP Carter when not sung by The Carter Family is a risky business. Apparently the family was advised, when singing traditional songs, always to change a lyric or and arrangement, so that they could copyright them (copyright laws in the USA are rather different from those in the UK).

Roger treated us to a song which he remembered from his scouting days. The song was Upidee, the origins of which are worth describing. The song Roger sang is a parody of Excelsior, a 19th century song after a poem of the same name by Longfellow. It is assumed that the parody was developed by schoolboys fed up with having to learn the poem by heart. It combines Excelsior with a song from the American Civil War called Upidee.

It's fairly rare, with the possible exception of our harvest session in the autumn (John Barleycorn), that we have two version of the same song in one evening. It happened though this time with Roud 146. Simon started off with the bawdy No Sir No and Chris followed up shortly after with the Cecil Sharp version, Oh No, John, which I think many people learnt in school.

Richard initially thought he was singing on of Mike's songs with Clear The Track, Let The Bullgine Run, but then realised he had probably sung it more recently himself than he had heard Mike sing it. Similarly Colin thought he was singing one of Mike's songs with The Sussex Toast (Roud 885), but it turned out inf act to be one of Derek's songs. Derek on the other hand sang D-Day Dodgers (Roud 10499), pointing out that Mike, Simon and maybe almost everyone present except himself has been known to sing it.

Richard asked Simon to round off the evening, which he did with Rudyard Kipling's Smugglers' Song.

Next week Mike and Maggie should be back and as far as I am aware there is no theme, so please come along and join in the fun. And if you haven't yet tried us at the current venue, The New Inn at Westerleigh, then now is as good a time as any to start a habit.

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

(Number of people present - 9, of which 9 performed)

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