|Benny Graham, Jez Lowe, Jock Purdon and|
Ged Foley in 1982 at Durham City Folk Festival
I didn't really detect any theme this week although there were some pairs of songs which somehow went together.
Colin was MC and asked Mike to start off the proceedings, which he did with The Hunting Priest (Tally Ho The Hounds or Doctor Mack). Derek was next with Queen Eleanor's Confession (Roud 74, Child 156).
Soon, regular canine Indy was going crazy barking. It eventually became clear it was the arrival of newcomers Sian and Rob that had caused it, them being accompanied by their ten-year-old border collie. Apparently Indy's best friend, with whom he play-fights, is a border collie and he expects every member of that breed to want to play.
Phil's first song of the evening was Little Mohee (also known as The Lass of Mohee, Laws H8). The song is probably related to the British broadside, The Indian Lass (Roud 2326) but it's not clear which is the the older. Colin later sang a song which he said was derived from the teachings of Chief Seattle (Chief Si'ahl). Unfortunately I have not been able to trace the song.
Unfortunately Sian was concerned that her voice was not at its best, so Rob played and sang alone most of the evening, entertaining us with Jock O' Hazeldean (Child 293) and Don't Come Again. When eventually Sian decided to give singing a go, she sang with accompaniment from Rob, Oh Glory (Revd Gary Davis). Chris commented that if Sian could sing as she did with a sore throat then how well would she sing if on top form!
Derek challenged us to name the writer of his second song, which turned out to be a rare love song by Jock Purdon, better known for his mining songs. In fact, so rare is it that I have been unable to unearth any evidence. In fact I'm not sure Derek would have believed it himself had he not heard Jock sing it. On the next rotation, Derek sang a better known Purdon song, Easington Explosion. Derek remarked that Jez Lowe had recently been involved in a radio programme on Jock Purdon, his initial interest being that his father (Jez's) was one of the men who worked on the rescue at Easington Colliery.
It was a pleasant surprise to find folk club regular, Gary, accompanied on this occasion by his wife, Helen, who was in fine voice with, among others, The Librarian's Lament (John Conolly). Gary sang some of his self-penned songs as well as Michael Burns' James Keogh.
The evening was finished off with Rob singing One Way Gal (William Moore).
Next week will be our Saint George's Day session, some come armed with songs of England, of and of dragons.
Here's a selection of the songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 12, of which 12 performed)