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.

Monday, 31 October 2016

New Inn and the Deathly Halloweens

The imminence of All Hallows Eve resulted in the welcome appearance of Maggie S with her ancient trusty pumpkin-head (NOT a reference to Mike). It also resulted in a full assortment of songs dealing with Ghoulies, Ghosties and Things that go Bump in the Night (Long Leggedy Beasties were separately represented by Freddie and Indy – sorry Gert!)

This assortment included The Wee Wee Man (Richard - Roud 2865, Child 38), Lowlands (Mike - Roud 681), Binnorie (Leslie - Roud 8, Child 10), Ballad of the 13th Lock (Derek) – believed by the Deputy Scribe, who is composing these lines, to be by James Healy [Ed: The song is in James N Healy's book "The second book of Irish ballads" but I'm not sure that means he wrote it] – and Jim Parker & Muriel Holland’s Dancers of Stanton Drew (Colin).

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Aberfan 50

Rescuers working at the site of the Aberfan disaster
Last week's session had no official theme but one major theme emerged. It was the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster when a colliery spoil tip collapsed, killing 116 children and 28 adults. This inspired many of the songs though some other minor themes also emerged.

Colin was MC and Derek started the Aberfan theme with a song which wasn't written about that disaster but had an appropriate feel: Number Two Top Seam (Roger Watson).

Mike sang a version of Max Boyce's Duw It's Hard with a verse about Aberfan. Geoff sang New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb), ostensibly about a fictional American disaster which, although Geoff didn't realise it when he sung the song, was actually inspired by the Aberfan disaster.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Bob Dylan's Prize

Bob Dylan, pictured just down
the road from us at Aust ferry in 1966
For last week's session we ended up in the public bar again, displaced by a private party but our numbers, at 11 were pretty reasonable and swelled by a newcomer, who I believe said his name was Steve. He didn't sing but indicated that he could be prepared to perform on another visit. We look forward to it.

Colin was MC and there was no set theme though some people chose to mark Bob Dylan being honoured by the Nobel Committee as its literary laureate. I note that the latest reports as I write this indicate that Bob hasn't responded to repeated attempts to contact him and that they have now given up. We shall see whether he turns up to receive his award.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

When is a Croppy Boy not a Croppy Boy?

Charlotte Schreiber's painting
The Croppy Boy (The Confession of an Irish Patriot)
Colin was back in action as MC at last week's session. There was no theme but several people performed their leftovers from harvest.

Derek started off the session with The Croppy Boy (Carroll Malone) which was straightforward enough it seemed, except Mike, returning from a walk with his dog Indy challenged Derek about the version. Derek said it was what came of sitting in an Irish club for a long time, to which Mike said in Irish clubs around Bristol they sing a version which they know as McCafferty. Derek looked a little put out and I assumed he was thinking that Mike meant McCaffery, a song which Derek also sings. Anyway that was that until, on the second round Derek challenged Colin and me with the open question of what we would call his next song. With some deft Googling I had the answer, and shared it with Colin for the club's official record... and the song was... The Croppy Boy (Roud 1030, Laws J14).

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Floreant tirones

Boston, Lincolnshire (Photo by Simon Meeds)
It was great to see three first time visitors at last week's session. Hilary, who made contact via the Dragon Facebook page was visiting Anne so they both came to see us. Both enjoyed the evening and I hope we will see them again when Hilary is next in the area. John came with Dragon regular, Phil and while he was uncertain about singing gave us one song and said he would try to prepare some more before he comes again.

In the absence of Colin, Simon was MC and Derek kicked off the session with Another Man's Wedding (Roud 567, Laws P31).