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, 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.

Richard started off another thread, triggered by the recent death of Val Doonican, singing Delaney's Donkey (William Hargreaves). While Val may not have been the purest exponent of folk song, he was a large part of many people's youth, having hosted a Saturday night music and variety programme on UK television from 1965 to 1989. Simon joined in on this theme with Elusive Butterfly (Bob Lind) which Val took to number 5 in the UK charts in 1966 (and to number 3 in the Irish charts). Richard returned with Paddy McGinty's Goat (Bert Lee, RP Weston). It might be of interest that this seemingly Irish song was written by these two Englishmen for an American act, The Two Bobs - here is their 1917 rendition of the song.

We hadn't seen Alan M at DFC for a while. He hadn't brought his guitar but entertained us with two of his Marriott Edgar monologues. The first recalled a recent 800th anniversary, and sought to educate us in the history of The Magna Charter (sic). The second was more of a religious studies lesson with a bit of business studies on the side, being Three Ha'pence A Foot.

Derek challenged me to research the story behind The Bonny Boy (Roud 31, Laws O35). Presumably he was thinking of the Laird of Craighton who died in 1634 having been married at a young age to a girl several years older. In another explanation the subject of the song is called Young Charlie Cochran, but in fact it is thought the song is much older, and has its origins in the Middle Ages. This was immediately followed by Terry singing, from outside his usual repertoire, the apparently unrelated song, The Country Carrier (Roud 1400). The question is, did Terry know of the connection between the songs or was it coincidence that he chose to sing the second at that very moment? Inspect the image attached to this report of a broadside held at the Bodleian Libraries where these two songs appear together!

With Mike safely dispatched homeward we allowed ourselves to belt out some sea songs: Lesley with South Australia (Roud 325), Colin with Blow The Man Down and Simon with We'll Rant And We'll Roar (Roud 687).

The final song of the evening came from Derek and was My Money Lies Over The Ocean, a song to the tune of My Bonnie... Derek suggested it was somewhat topical but declared it was older than even he had previously thought, being from the early years of the 20th or even the end of the 19th century. I have not been able to find a recording of the song, nor even a complete set of words. The most words I have found may well have been posted on Mudcat by Derek himself - it's not Derek's usual alias on that site but it could be him. The earliest reference to the title I found was from 1911, one of several references to a band playing the tune. It seems then that not only was the song established by this time, but that, in parts of the USA at least, these words may have been better known than those referring to the Young Pretender- granted that this reference is a satire but some others seem not to be.

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

(Number of people present - 13, of which 8 performed)

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