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.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Mini themes galore

CSS Alabama
The report has to be a quick one this week before I hand over to the deputy scribe, and I'm afraid there won't be any YouTube links.

Next week's Dragon Folk Club session could be very thin on the ground, so if you are an occasional or lapsed dragon, I would encourage you to make a special effort to come and support the club; the more of us there are, the happier the landlord is.

This week's session was MCed by Richard who started off with The Lark In The Morn.

Mike said his first song was about a place that could be very cold, at which Colin and Derek suggested, almost in unison, Weston-Super-Mare. An amusing suggestion, but not what Mike intended. He rather gave us a sing-a-long favourite that I don't think he's done for a while: Lish Young Buy-A-Broom (Roud 1865) - the intended location being Kirkby Stephen.

Simon sang Lady Franklin's Lament (Roud 487, Laws K9) which Colin thought a tenuous link to his next song which was about Robinson Crusoe.

Chris treated us to The Maid Of Amsterdam (A-Rovin') and Roger calmed us down with a reading from Under Milk Wood (Dylan Thomas) to go with the Welsh cakes he had brought, or picau ar y maen as Richard told us they should be called; "They all yours?" came the cry - sorry, you need to know a little about Welsh pronunciation to get that joke. Roger himself used the name bakestones, after the iron griddle (maen) on which they are made. He told of how his father came from work with a griddle he had cut from boilerplate hung round his neck. Chris corrected his claim that they still used that maen: the cakes had been made on one of her father's manufacture.

Lesley kept the tranquil, poetic mood with a rendition of Who Knows Where The Time Goes (Sandy Denny).

Richard kicked off two mini themes when he sang I Remember Morley (Keith Marsden) from the singing of the late Pat Hyett (Eades). He said he remembered Morley just the way it is described in the song though he spoilt it slightly by saying the best thing about Morley is that the bus from Batley leaves only once an hour!

Anyway, back to the themes. The first was taken up by Mike, singing a song which is sometimes thought to be traditional but was in fact the first that Keith Marsden wrote: Bring Us A Barrel. Derek found the second theme by singing another from Pat's repertoire: Salonika.

Chris's singing of Linden Lea (William Barnes, Ralph Vaughan Williams) caused Richard to remember he was recently speaking to Lesley about the song, and the fact the name it reminded him of Under Den Linden, a boulevard in Berlin. This in turn led to mention of Cabaret, the musical based on a book by author, Christopher Ishwerwood. Finally this led Roger to sing the song Cabaret (John Kander, Fred Ebb) from the musical.

Colin sang Kick The Cat (Pat McIntyre), which among other things includes the lines:
Be sure you come from Oxford with a good degreeFor then you may in your accent smoothPersuade the shiftless workers to the polling booth
Derek, having graduated from Oxford and not having gone into politics as a profession, took some (mock) offence at this, and later, remembering the man who cleaned his room in college, who had previously worked at the British Leyland Cowley plant. This chap insisted that Tiny Newman or someone like him had existed - Derek sang The Tyre Fitter (Alasdair Clayre):
They called him Tiny Newman be cause he was so small,
No higher than a lamppost not so broad as he was tall.
His job was fitting motor tyres he did it with his hands,
And he took some home when his mother made jam to use for elastic bands.
chorus: Where's Tiny Newman, come sun or rain or snow?
Where's Tiny Newman when the morning hooters blow?
Turn left at number fifteen gate and that's where Tiny stands,
With the motor tyres all round him and he's fitting them with his hands.
According to this source, Tiny Newman lived and worked in the 1930s.

Finally, and presumably since Mike had already left, Richard sang Roll Alabama Roll, Here's a source for information about this song and about the CSS Alabama.

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

1 comment:

  1. My father's Uncle was Tiny Newman and I can confirm his exsistance! I have the Alasdair Clayre original recording on LP and also the lyrics in a book. I am trying to find further information about him (photographs etc) of Tiny Newman.