|Devastation caused by the Easter Rising.|
Easter is a major holiday in Ireland,for a host of reasons,
some of which are religious and some historical.
One result of the above was that this week's meeting became the optimal day for Easter songs as well as treading on the heels of St Patrick's Day. Most of those present confined themselves to the Irish aspect, although only DomBehan's Caesar's Conquest Of Ireland (Derek) actually recorded (albeit lesser known) events from the life of St Patrick himself!
Other songs, literally or figuratively (given the ethnic origins of Messrs Colclough, Lehrer and McTell) from the Irish Songbook, included Father O'Flynn and Banks Of Bann Water (Richard), Phil Colclough's Song For Ireland and Tom Lehrer's Irish Ballad (Leslie), Old Irish Condom (Mike), Peter StJohn's Rare Ould Times (Terry) and Ralph McTell's From Clare To Here (Tom).
Nor were we confined to songs, since we were able to welcome on his first (but hopefully not last) visit to the new venue, our old friend Chris, accompanied by his partner, his melodeon and his C flageolet. As well as his Irish contribution of Rocky Road to Dublin Chris played several other tunes including one of a number of otherwise-untitled dance tunes recorded from the great Sussex concertina virtuoso Scan Tester.
Derek gave his usual selection of hoary-headed Easter songs, but for the sake of novelty and to mark the coming centenary of the Easter Rising added the world premiere of his setting of W.B. Yeats' The O'Rahilly.
One unexpected theme emerged in the form of The Croll Family. Tom and Terry went on to play several songs which they had shared with Ray; but the initial stimulus for this came from Terry's singing of Keith Marsden's The Day Jack Ashton Died, immediately followed by Mike's version of Mrs McGrath, both of which had been in the repertoire of Ray's wife Vera.
In the midst of the Irishness, Phil stuck to his Transatlantic (six)guns, and gave us a range of American material from the amusing 1906 ragtime number Bill Morgan - Not JP to the tear-jerker made famous by Charlie Poole and theNorth Carolina Ramblers Falling By The Wayside.
Colin having Shown his Hand in the priorities' stakes by absenting himself to attend a Steve Knightley gig, Richard MCed the first spasm. But since he and Leslie suffered from premature evacuation, Terry kindly undertook to run the second half, before finally sending us all back up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire with Bill Caddick's John o' Dreams [if you follow the link, please either take the description with a pinch of salt or read at least the first few comments beneath it].
Oh, and if anyone left a scarf here a few weeks ago – Tom brought it back!
Here's a selection of songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 10, of whom 8 performed)