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, 10 June 2015

June, evacuation, invasion and remembering Jean Ritchie

British troops evacuating Dunkirk's beaches
It was good to have two young and apparently enthusiastic visitors even though they didn't perform. Roger told us later they were army cadets. Colin took up his now customary role as MC and asked Derek to start us off.

Derek made his theme June, this being the first DFC session of the month. His first was The Three O'Donnells ("As I roved out one morning, was in the month of June"). Mike followed up with Thousands or More (Roud 1220).

Simon, having noticed that Jean Ritchie died earlier in the week, sang his version of her The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore, based on the singing of Michelle Shocked.

Colin noted that it was the 75th anniversary of the end of Operation Dynamo, which saw a flotilla of "little ships" evacuate British and French soldiers from Dunkirk. To mark the occasion he put the poem, The Little Boats Of England to music.

Chris had, for the first time, brought along her guitar and acquitted herself well in performing Vincent (Don McLean). Roger's first of the evening was I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Thomas P Westendorf).

Roger went on to mark the 71st anniversary of D-Day by singing Lily Marlene (music Norbert Schultze, English words Tommie Connor) and asking Simon if he would sing The D-Day Dodgers (Lance-Sergeant Harry Pynn, Roud 10499) to the same tune, which he later did.

Derek sang The Bonny Bunch Of Roses (Roud 664, Laws J5), which tells of the rise and fall of Napoleon, and caused Simon to respond with a simplified version of the same story in Boney Was A Warrior.

"The workers" were upheld this week by Mike, singing Banks of Marble (Les Rice) which was made famous by Pete Seeger, and by Colin with Song Of The Leaders (Brian Pearson), about the Peasants' Revolt of 1381.

The evening was finished off by Derek, who sang his Great Yarmouth version of Blow The Man Down (Roud 2624).

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

(Number of people present - 8, of which 6 performed)


  1. The Tommy Makem song is a version of Fainne Geal an Lae, a song which I do occasioanally sing (in Gaelic if you are really unlucky). But the song I sang at this session, though the opening two lines are very similar, was Three O'Donnells, a song which is particularly associated with the Donegal fiddler John Docherty. It was one of the very few songs he cold be persuaded song. An American girl calld Patty once wrote to me for the words, so the total number of people who currently sing it is likely to be be two.

  2. Thank you as always Derek. The report is duly corrected. As for not finding a recording, well, looking back you sang it in June 2014 and 2013 and both times I linked to This one, so I've done that again here. As for you singing The Dawning of The Day, there is a record here of you singing it in Gaelic and then going on to sing another song with the same (English) title.