|Spinning and carding|
Richard once again performed the duties of MC asn asked Mike to start us off, which he did with Red Haired Mary.
Most of those present contributed at least some Irish songs, or songs with Irish connections. Unusually, I haven't done very well tracking down Derek's songs, including one that he challenged me to find - The Road By The River That Runs Through Raheen (that link doesn't count because I believe it was written by Derek himself).
After Simon sang The Galway Shawl and Colin, Steve Knightley's Galway Farmer, Richard declared that the predictable material was now out of the way. Apparently he had predicted that, depending on the order that Simon and Colin arrived and therefore performed, they would trigger each other with these two songs. Are we really that predictable; oh dear!
Surprisingly though, Richard had never come across Colin's second contribution, which was Dicey Reilly.
Phil stayed firmly in his customary American idiom with Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues, while Gary returned us obliquely to Ireland, or at least the Irish, with Michael Burns' James Keogh; the story of a man from Ashton-under-Lyne, presumably of Irish (or possibly Scottish) heritage, who died in the Spanish Civil War.
Mike dredged his memory for The Holy Ground, which is set in Queenstown, now Cobh, in Co Cork. I was surprised to find that this song probably started out in Wales, as Swansea Town. Please ignore the suggestions in the notes with the linked recording that the latter song might be English!
Richard sang Eileen O'Grady, which I've seen credited to Michael Nono, but I have found no more about him. His next contribution, Avondale, is easier to trace being written by Dominic Behan and the title refers to the home, Avondale House in Co Wicklow, of Charles Stewart Parnell, the founder and President of the Land League.
Derek's final song of the evening, in an attempt to lighten the mood after his other contributions, was Nancy Hogan's Goose. Just a few songs later, it fell to Richard to round off the evening with Finnegan's Wake.
Next week Mike and Maggie will be off gallivanting or should that be rockin'?), so Richard will again be in charge and officially announced that there would be no theme, but you are definitely welcome to bring your own, and in the absence of Mike, singing some of his songs is always to be encouraged.
Here's a selection of these and other songs sung during the session.
(Number of people present - 9, of which 7 performed)