|1961, Dancing Bonny Green Garters in Canterbury, Kent:|
Woodside Morris on one of its regular Whitsun tours
Colin took up the role of MC, sitting rather mister speaker-like at the pool table and taking no nonsense, though applause was permitted. Mike kicked off the evening with Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis).
Since Pentecost was just passed, Derek's first of the evening was Whitsun Dance (Austin John Marshall), which was quickly followed by Colin getting in under the wire with Seventeen Come Sunday (Roud 277, Laws O17 - "As I walked out one May morning"). This no doubt prompted Mike to sing The Kipper Family's Not Sixteen Til Sunday.
It was good to see Joe and Josci again. Joe ducked out in the first round but came up with Ride On (Christy Moore) on the second, accompanied by Simon borrowing Colin's guitar. Notably after Mike and Maggie had departed at the interval, he followed up with Summertime (George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward), which, shall we say, isn't one of Maggie's favourite songs. Joe suggested that someone might sing something that Mike doesn't like. No one immediately suggested anything, so Joe suggested Fields Of Athenry. Colin explained that while Mike sings a parody of the song, and it was probably at one time sung too often in folk clubs, he didn't think that Mike actually disliked it that much.
Derek sang Will There Be Any Gypsies In Heaven, asking "which of the Smiths wrote it?" This didn't initially mean much to me but subsequent research reveals he was talking about a family of gypsies from Epsom in Surrey: Derby Smith and his father Jasper. In fact the song has been credited to Derby but is also claimed by Jasper Smith's nephew, Ambrose Cooper.
Simon sang Sailing to Philadelphia (Mark Knopfler) which has a line in its chorus "A world away from the coaly Tyne". It was surely an amazing coincidence that Colin was later able to pull out of his collection of words the song Coaly Tyne. The connections were later reversed when Colin, who had sung The Tythe Pig the previous week, on Mike's suggestion sang another song with the same tune and similar structure about marrying a factory girl. Simon completed the link with The Handweaver And The Factory Maid (Roud 17771).
Phil amused us with a rendition of The Frozen Logger (James Stevens) - the linked video is worth watching!
On the last circuit of the room, Derek returned to Joe's suggestion of singing something that Mike doesn't like. Derek suggested it might be Wild Rover, singing his slightly different version of Wild Rover No More (Roud 1173) - I hope the recording I have picked is at least something like the way Derek sings it though of course he does it unaccompanied.
Having become much depleted by early departures, Colin asked Simon to finish off the session, which he did, once again borrowing Colin's guitar to play Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers).
Here's a selection of these and other songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 8, of which 6 performed)