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.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Valentine's Day - 2016

Newly weds take a trip on a traditional Maltese dgħajsa
Being the closest session to Valentine's Day, love and not a little lust was in the air, or at least in some of our songs. Derek introduced a second theme though of songs sung by Roy Harris, who had died the previous Tuesday. One or two seemed even to include both themes in a single song!

Colin as MC asked Derek to kick off the session. Derek said it was 40 years this year since he first met Roy Harris, and from his repertoire sang Poverty Knock (Roud 3491, probably written by Tom Daniel), accompanying himself on the bones. He apologised to Simon, who sometimes sings that song (Simon says that was unnecessary) but suggested that he might like to sing No Sir No (Roud 146), which he did when it came to his turn - thus hitting both themes.

Mike's Roy Harris contribution was Black Sloven, another song that scored on both themes with it's first line: "Last Valentine's Day bright Phoebus shone clear".

Tom and Terry H made a rather pleasant habit through the evening of accompanying each other. First it was Tom's turn to lead with Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years.

Phil continues to surprise us with his recall of well known and obscure songs, usually from "across the pond". Highlights this week, and definitely on-topic were Lady Of Carlisle (Roud 396, Laws O25) and the amusing The Frozen Logger (James Stevens); this video is always worth a watch!

Colin had a rather unusual take on the Valentine theme with this parody of Galway Bay (this isn't the best video but it's nice to see an Irish priest letting his hair down).

Derek wanted to bring to Mike's mind the upcoming rugby match between England and Italy. Unfortunately his singing of Bandiera Rossa (Carlo Tuzzi), the anthem of the Italian Communist Party passed right over Mike's head with its mention of the "squadra azzura" after the "Azzurro Savoia" (Savoy Blue), the colour traditionally linked to the royal dynasty which unified Italy in 1861 and which is used in the strip of all Italian sports teams.

Mike returned to the Roy Harris theme with Cyril Tawney's Sally Free And Easy, which Mike told us is about the engines of the submarines on which Cyril served in the Royal Navy. Steve C gave us another Cyril Tawney song in the shape of Sammy's Bar. The lyric of this song can cause some puzzlement to listeners... "Call away the di-so". The di-so of the song is in fact a Dgħajsa (pronounced "dysa") which just means "boat" in Maltese but refers to the "dgħajsa tal-pass" or "Maltese dgħajsa" which is the gondola-style water taxi used to get round the Grand Harbour of Valetta.

Chris gave her guitar a rare outing to sing Gene MacLellan's Snowbird, which is probably appropriate for the weather in some parts of the country at the moment, though not around here in Bristol (famous last words?). Roger invoked the memory of Frank Sinatra as well as St Valentine with If I Loved You (Oscar Hammerstein II and  Richard Rodgers) from the musical Carousel.

Terry H was still struggling a little with his voice as his lurgy starts to improve, but he managed to sing us several songs including John Prine's Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness. It was also Terry H who finished off the evening with Broom O' The Cowdenknowes (Roud 92, Child 217). When I can, I like to link to a video of the same person singing a song as we heard - the linked video here is ostensibly of our old friend Ray Croll singing, but the video was made by Terry H and you will hear Terry, unable to resist singing along.

Next week is a session without a theme although we will be coming into a spate of themes soon with such things as St David's Day, Mothering Sunday and St Patrick's Day all coming up in the next few weeks, then before we know it we will be to St George's Day and the local asparagus will be on the shop shelves again.

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

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

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