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, 28 July 2016

Crowd Dispersal

Last week's session was again well attended with a welcome return for Rose, who also brought along a newcomer to the club, Jonjo.

Colin was MC and Derek started the evening off with Red Roses For Me (Sean O'Casey). Mike followed this with Wave Over Wave (Jim Payne, Janis Spence).

Tony brought us one of his Welsh tunes which this time was Tafarn Y Wheatsheaf (The Wheatsheaf Pub) and Hilary followed that with Try To Remember (Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt).

Tom acceded to Maggie's request to sing White Trash (Brian Cookman).

I think Jonjo's songs were self-penned and seemed to be written straight from personal experience (sorry if I'm wrong). They had the feeling of something sincere and heartfelt in their simplicity. I don't know the actual titles but I took them down as Peace Is A Sympathy, When I Was Young, and Wintery, Watery Weather. There was a fourth song for which I didn't work out a likely title.

Rose was skating on thin ice with Summertime (George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) and not only because it was its first public outing for her; I think she just about got away with it.

Lesley, who had been walking the dog (literally) when her proper turn had come and gone, was pulled in near the end of the first round to give us Les Barker's poem, Guide Cats For The Blind.

Simon completed that round with Geordie (Roud 90, Child 209), which he had attempted and failed to sing the week before. This week the only problem of any note was that he forgot to use his capo, and therefore sang it three semi-tones lower than usual.

Mike started to sing Black Velvet Band (Roud 2146). I think this was just to make a point with a song he wouldn't usually sing, and I assume the reason for that is because it was sung too often in folk clubs and became cliché. The problem was that he forgot the words part way through and switched to the equally cliché Whiskey In The Jar. He said he wouldn't sing Wild Rover because (apparently) it carries a £25 fine. Colin said he was much fairer than the previous holder of the post of regular MC, and he would only levy a £20 fine. Derek felt safe enough to give us his version on the basis that he didn't have £20 in his pocket and that his is an English version of the song, something like this. Indeed I understand that Derek holds that this and many other "Irish" songs are in fact English, and many indeed from his native Suffolk. You will notice that I have linked slightly atypical versions of these last three songs in order, I hope, to avoid the "cliché" label myself.

Maybe it was as an antidote to Mike's Whiskey... that Richard sang David Diamond's The Folksinger's Lament though its target is more the interminable ballad than the loud and rowdy.

What I haven't mentioned so far is that The Old Inn down the road was presumably still out of action as it had been the previous week because we were joined by "strangers" in the bar. They were at least as loud as those the previous week, but considerably less appreciative of our efforts, and therefore less welcome. The usual efforts to subtly move them on culminated in Mike singing The Poor Old Landlord Can't Get The Buggers Out but it still didn't work.

A theme which developed over the evening was, songs which Ray Croll sang. This is an occasional regular theme we deploy which refers to our late friend Ray, who went out singing almost every night almost up to his death in October 2013. I probably won't be able to list all of the songs sung in this category, but the ones I noticed included:
Also, Tom sang his own composition, Lasso The Moon, which he said Ray was "involved in".

The session was rounded off by Rose singing Sally Gardens (WB Yeats).

I hope you can come and join in the fun next week so that we can maintain recent numbers at our sessions. Except for now fairly rare occasions when we have a theme, anything goes as long as its acoustic and if you haven't got a performance to bring to us, we are perfectly happy for you to enjoy our performances as long as you don't laugh too much in the wrong places. You may even feel moved to join in a chorus or two.

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

(Number of people present - 12, of whom 11 performed)

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