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).
Less direct associations came from the general horror of Horace Phlange, James Home & Thornton G. Roper’s Oh Jack the Ripper (Leslie) - a song sung by Anne Lennox-Martin in the late 70s until she was forced to abandon it due to the activities of Peter Sutcliffe - and even the ‘ghostly bugle’ from Marty Robbins’ Ballad of the Alamo (Geoff).
But, irrespective of whether he got the best tunes, it was the Devil himself who put in the most appearances. After mixing it with The Feathery Wife (Colin - Roud 12551), he moved on to Mick Ryan’s The Widow (Richard) which obliged Derek to give us I Get Enough of that All Blooming Day, a song inspired by a remark of the Suffolk fisherman Ted Quantrill explaining why he didn’t sing sea songs.
His further appearance in Tim Brooks’ The Devil in York (Mike) led to speculation that Yorkshire might be Old Nick’s natural home – a view endorsed by Gary with Bernard Wrigley’s Some Bugger From Yorkshire.
John the Concertina who made a welcome return, though without the aid of Hilary who was on Grand-child sitting duty, announced that in honour of the night he would play Skeleton in the Cupboard, though when performed it sounded suspiciously like Rosin the Beau!
But not all was horror. Other songs included Tom’s Corncrake Among the Whinney Knowes (Roud 2736) and Helen’s performance, at Maggie’s request, of Frank Higgins’ Testimony of Patience Kershaw, who I discover was 17 when she gave her evidence to Lord Ashley’s Commission – I have always thought of her as much younger.
At this point Tom ended the on-site activities with Allan Taylor’s Roll On The Day, but the work of the Deputy Scribe goes on. Due to the lack of the Real Scribe’s technology, I am committed to finding the answer to two questions raised during the evening. Herewith my report:
- The arrested members of Russian Feminist Punk band Pussy Riot were released from jail at Christmas 2013. I should point out that this query resulted from a discussion on euphemisms for the female pudenda, and not because anyone attempted to sing their hit number Mother of God – Chase Putin Away.
- The name of Holland was given to opaque plain-woven ‘checkerboard’ cloth because so much of it was imported from the low lands of Holland [Roud 264, Child 272 Holland Handkerchief (Derek)]
(Number of people present - 12, of whom 10 performed)