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, 29 July 2015

The beggar man

James V of Scotland
Before I start the report on last week's session, please remember that this week's (31 July 2015) will have a theme of "One Song To The Tune Of Another" in the spirit of Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. So if you can sing just that you will be very welcome; in fact you will be very welcome even if you can't - our themes are almost always optional.

Last week, Richard was MC and started off with Yr Wyf Little Collier, a song which mixed Welsh with English. later on in the evening Richard went all Welsh with Lleucu Llwyd, a song based on a poem by Llywelyn Goch ap Meurig Hen (1350 - 1380) written about his dead mistress, whose name translates as Lucy Grey.

Derek took up a theme by singing two versions of The Beggar Man (Roud 118, Child 279), one of which was something like this and the other wasn't. He told us that there were stories that the song was either written by King James V of Scotland or that he was the beggar man of the story. Apparently there were a number of ballads describing his romantic conquests while roaming the countryside in disguise so the story may not be false. Possibly without knowing it, Lesley managed a tenuous link here as well, singing Maid of Amsterdam (better known as A-Roving). The link is via a poem "So, we'll go no more a roving" by Lord Byron. The poem seems to have been suggested in part by the refrain of a Scottish song known as "The Jolly Beggar", which is one of the same group of songs as Derek's.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

No pattern that I can see

Hilaire Belloc
It was another good showing this week although I must admit that I was one of several who left after the interval. I am grateful to someone, Richard I believe, for noting down the songs and tunes from the second half; so, many of them can be found on the "a selection" link at the bottom of this report.

With Colin in charge, Derek started off the evening by announcing the death of Brian Colley and proceeded to sing one from his repertoire: The Old Pubs (Johnny Handle). Sorry if I misheard but I believe Mike said that Brian had picked up one of his (Mike's) songs when he visited a folk club in the North East. On Mike's next visit to the club the organiser begged him to sing the song again because they had heard it too many times sung badly in the intervening months. The song, which Mike sang, was Following The Southern Star.

Richard pointed out that we rarely see John Shaw at the club, so he would sing one of his songs. No, he wasn't going to sing The Christmas Tree in the middle of the year but Hilaire Belloc's The Winged Horse. Lesley followed up with The Saucy Sailor (Roud 531, Laws K38).

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Gala, Bastille and Concertina

The Cotia (Nova Scotia Mine) banner
depicting Jack Elliott and Jock Purdon
Before I get down to the report for last week there are couple of important parish announcements. First, the pub is having a major event of some sort on Friday 7 August, so there will be no Dragon Folk Club session that night. The pub has however offered us the bar on Saturday 8 August if we want it. please let us know if you would be interested in attending a session at The New Inn, Westerleigh on that evening. If there are enough people we will take the pub up on its offer; if however it doesn't look worthwhile we will not.

The other parish announcement is that the session on 31 July will have a special theme, and one we have been discussing since at least April. The theme, possibly inspired by a round on Radio 4's comedy quiz programme I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, is One Song To The Tune Of Another. So if you can sing The Lincolnshire Poacher to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, or Pack Up Your Troubles to the tune of My Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me A Bow-wow, then the thirty first is your chance to shine.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Coincidence or skill?

A broadside from the Bodleian Libraries
(if the picture doesn't appear, try clicking to see
the link but please come back to read the rest)
A reasonably good turn out again with some faces we hadn't seen for a while and some "visitors", more of whom later. It was good to see Lesley after a long break; not quite back to normality yet but obviously on the mend.

Mike, being ill, was largely absent except for turning up to take Maggie home at the interval, so Colin was MC for the evening as had become his habit of late.

The evening was started off by Derek singing The German Musicianer (Roud 17774). One of the visitors, being rather well-oiled, went over to Derek when he had finished singing to give him a great big hug. Derek seemed surprised if a little perturbed by this show of affection. At least he can't say the audience wasn't appreciative. It (the song, not the hug) led to Lesley giving us her rendition of The Clockwinder (Roud 241) which is not only similar in ethnicity but also in it's double entendre bawdiness.

At this point the visitors left. The well oiled one proclaimed his undying love for the music and liberally spread hugs around the people present before realising that he didn't have to leave after all, and staying on for the next couple of songs.