it isn't Mothers' Day). There was plenty for us all to go at, and Colin was MC.
Derek started us off with a song I failed to trace. The lines I noted down were: "On the 23rd day of September", "the Liverpool waters will ring" and "they destroyed the electric transformer". From something he said later, I assume, like two of his other songs this evening, it was written by Meic Stephens.
Mike demonstrated his mastery (not) of the Welsh language with Hob y Deri Dando. He excused himself by explaining that it was sung in pidgin Welsh by English sailors on routes to and from Wales. In fact Mike once sang the song at a festival, not realising that Stan Hugill's wife was in the audience; in fact not realising that Stan Hugill's wife was Welsh. She came up to Mike afterwards and said his Welsh was terrible; Stan interjected that Mike had sung the song the way it was intended!
Richard sang Yma O Hyd (Dafydd Iwan), a patriotic song for his adopted Wales. Lesley had two problems, the first being her voice wasn't up to singing and the second was that she had used up her Welsh poems the week before, so she read Les Barker poems. This is still relevant since Les has lived in Wales for the last few years and in 2008 won the NIACE Inspire Award as Welsh Learner of the Year. Lesley read Raiders Of The Lost Shark, which raised a few more groans than laughs for it's fishy punning, The Sample, which left Gary wondering how the doctor did what he did (you will have to find the poem to understand that), and The Boneless Chicken Farm. It's quite difficult I'm afraid to find links to Les Barker's poems because, understandably, he keeps tight hold of them so that he can sell his books.
Phil's first contribution of the evening, not obviously on either theme was The Little Mohee (Roud 275, Laws H8). Simon went straight for the theme of mothers with the Newfoundland song, Sarah.
Chris's repertoire equips her perfectly for songs appropriate to the patron saint of her homeland, and her first was David Of The White Rock (Dafydd Y Garreg Wen - David Owen, John Ceiriog Hughes). Roger sang The Hippopotamus (Michael Flanders and Donald Swann) which apart from a passing reference to the fair hippopotamine maid's mother, reminded me of Reginald Perrin's visions of his Mother-in-Law.
There seemed to be more songs than usual that I struggled to chase. One such was Colin's Children Born To The Valleys (Dawson Smith). Another hard-to-find one was Gary's The Boggle Hole Pirates (Roy Blackman).
At one stage of the evening it came to Mike's turn to sing, and he was struggling to remember how his chosen song started, so Derek (un)helpfully started singing Cotton Fields (Lead Belly), so Mike took up the challenge and we got through about three verses before drying up. Maybe our version owed more to Creedence Clearwater Revival or to The Beach Boys, but I had to keep some credibility, didn't I? Anyway, after this diversion, Mike sang The Kipper Family's Not Sixteen Til Sunday.
The evening was finished off by Simon singing When all men sing (words by Keith Scowcroft, tune by Derek Gifford).
This week (11 March 2016) will have no theme. The following week should be the St Patrick's Day session. The week after that is Good Friday (25 March) and our usual venue isn't available, so we're having a week off.
Here's a selection of songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 10, all of whom performed)