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.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Manchester or Essex?

Manchester Town Hall
We've been doing really well for visitors recently and last week wasn't an exception being joined by Linda and Dave, who live in Essex but are originally from Manchester and these two locations were taken by some people as a theme for the evening. They visit the area quite frequently so we hope to see them again. Dave, who sings in a barbershop choir as well as at folk clubs, sang us some songs. Linda on the other hand saved herself for a return visit, choosing instead to just weigh us up on this occasion - I don't blame her.

Colin, back from his recent trip, was MC and Derek started off the session with Jamie Douglas (Roud 87, Child 204). He almost gave up singing this song, realising it isn't too long since we had it from him but when Chris said how much she liked it he relented and carried on.

Mike got us singing from the start with Santy Anna (roud 207) - slightly faster than the linked version I believe. Then  Steve took us over to the Canadian Great Lakes with Stan Rogers' White Squall.

Dave's first song of the evening was Will Ye Go Lassie Go (Roud 541, Francis McPeake). He went on to sing Fields Of Athenry (Pete St John) and Mike was very well behaved, resisting the temptation to sing along with "Oh no, not the fields of Athenry" from the parody which he occasionally performs. Dave also sang Country Life (Roud 1752). Yellow Bird is another well known song, but did you know the English words, written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman have nothing to do with the original words, from a poem by Oswald Durand in Haitian Creole called Choucoune; the music was written by Michel MaulĂ©art Monton. Dave's last song of the evening was John Kirkpatrick's Lover Launderette and I'm pleased to be able to link to a video of Dave singing it.

Roger's first song of the evening was I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Thomas P. Westendorf) and he was followed by Chris singing Spinning Wheel (John Francis Waller).

Derek was the first to take up the combined Essex and Manchester theme with The Deserter (Roud 493), his version of which has the subject being a former ploughboy from Essex. Mike took the liberty of singing the unseasonal The Christmas Goose (Roud 3204), which starts off with "It was at an inn in Manchester".

By chance, Colin had brought along a song which fitted the theme: The Meeting At Peterloo (Roud Broadside V17536), about the Peterloo Massacre which took place in Manchester on 16 August 1819, so it was timely for the anniversary as well as being geographically opportune!

Derek thought that if Mike was allowed a Christmas song, so was he, and sang On Christmas Day It Happened So (Roud 1078), though Derek's version luckily starts "In Essexshire as it befell".

Simon's themic contribution was Mike Harding's Jimmy Spoons, accompanied in the choruses by Derek on just that very percussion instrument.

Derek was the last to claim a connection to the theme with Badwell Ash, the tale of a village in Suffolk where the most interesting thing to happen each day is the passing by of the local bus. He suggested that when he lived in Suffolk, neighbouring Essex was probably little different apart from the colour of the buses.

Was it by any chance Derek's singing of the bawdy Cock-a-doodle-do (Roud 3464 - here are Derek's actual words) that caused Steve C to follow it immediately with The Blue Cockade (Roud 191)?

Finally Colin asked Simon to finish us off, which he did with the Newfoundland song Sarah.

Thanks to everyone who attended last week and made it another excellent session. Whether or not you were there, please try to make it along this week or any Friday (except when occasional closures are announced in this blog). Bring some songs, an instrument or just yourself.

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

(Number of people present - 9, of whom 8 performed)

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