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.

There were two chances for Derek to get out his bones during the evening. The first was to Simon singing Poverty Knock (Roud 3491). I can't remember for certain but I think the second was to Terry on his melodeon playing a medley of William Brown (Arthur Hagg), Skip To My Lou and D'ye Ken John Peel (words John Woodcock Graves and George Coward; tune traditional - a version of Bonnie Annie, Roud 1239, which itself may have been a version of Red House from Playford's Dancing Master).

Phil told us how Chris Bouchillon formed the Bouchillon Trio with his brothers, Charlie and Uris. While Chris was the vocalist, he apparently had a poor singing voice but his recording director is supposed to have liked his speaking voice, and so he developed the "talking blues". Phil gave us an example: a version of Born In Hard Luck (Christopher Allen Bouchillon).

Keith G said he is discovering the work of Tim Hardin at the moment and treated us to If I Were A Carpenter (Tim Hardin) and How Can We Hang On To A Dream (Tim Hardin).

The evening was rounded off by Derek singing a song which I haven't been able to trace. It seems to be a shanty, whose first line is "I wish I had ten thousand pounds" and whose refrain is "Heave away, haul away".

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

(Number of people present - 10, of which 9 performed)

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