|Elder Joseph Brackett|
Richard was the MC and started off the evening himself with The Day The Pub Burned Down (RG "Bob" Edwards), which is a sort of New Zealand version of The Old Dun Cow (Roud 5323).
Derek correctly challenged me to be unsuccessful at finding a version of his first song on You Tube, it being Wardley's Great White Wall (note that the linked item is written by Derek himself), the song sung at the start of the last shift at Wardley Colliery, which had to shut down when the coal seam finished in a wall of chalk. Derek got the song from Dave Douglass, who worked at Wardley and who Derek thinks may have written the song.Derek was actually singing the song to mark the closure of Hatfield Main Colliery where Douglass later worked.
Steve G, who we hadn't seen for a while, started his contribution with one of my favourite folk songs: Sovay (Roud 7, Laws N21). We moved swiftly from Steve G to Steve C, with Old Shep (Red Foley, Arthur Williams). Steve C was, on this occasion, accompanied by Jane, who treated us to some of the spookier stories from her repertoire.
Derek pointed out that Chris sometimes sings a song called Bold Fenian Men, but that there is another song known by the same name (although it appears that the correct title of the poem by Michael Scanlan from which it came may be The Fenian Men), so he sang this Bold Fenian Men.
Terry sang The Bantry Girls' Lament, about Irish men going to fight in Spain which prompted Derek to sing another song on a similar theme though apparently from a different age. I couldn't trace this song, which included a line "I wish the King would return from Spain" as well as some sections in Irish. As you can tell, I didn't get all of the words and when asked (not by me), Derek wasn't sure which King this referred to. I wonder though whether it is something to do with Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare (just a guess)?
Chris joined the Irish theme, if not the Spanish one, with Molly Malone (Roud 16932). Ex-policeman Roger, having appreciated Jane's stories, told some of his own of "Tramps I have Known" before, in the absence of American folk fan Phil, leading us via Shenandoah (Roud 324) to his Home On The Range (Dr Brewster M Higley, Daniel E Kelley).
Alan's amusing contributions for the evening were The Vicar And The Frog (Stan Crowther) and The Battle Of Hastings (Marriott Edgar).
The penultimate song of the evening came from Gary and was Colum Sands' The Busker. Richard gave a us a serene send off in the shape of the shaker hymn, Simple Gifts (Elder Joseph Brackett), the tune of which is probably more familiar to most of us as Sydney Carter's Lord Of The Dance, or as being part of from Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring.
Here's a selection of songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 12, of which 11 performed)