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, 16 November 2016

Remembrance 2016

Thumper and Vera - the two currently flying  Avro Lancasters
(Photo Simon Meeds)
It was small but perfectly formed turn-out for our Remembrance session last Friday. There was a vast array of on-topic songs sung and a few more besides.

But first, I make no apology for repeating an important club notice... On Friday 2 December, the Dragon Folk Club will not be at its usual venue of The New Inn, but rather at its previous venue, The Bridge, Shortwood, BS16 9NG where we will once again enjoy the excellent acoustics of our old room. If you come to the New Inn that night, you will find yourself in the middle of a private party. please help pass this message around our regulars and anyone else who may be considering a visit to the Dragon Folk Club on that evening.

Getting back to Remembrance, Colin was MC and Derek started off the singing with Tommy's Lot (Dominic Williams). The musical setting of Cecily Fox-Smith's poem, Homeward, was Mike's first song.

Phil, who rarely makes any attempt to keep to themes, and there's nothing wrong with that, made an exception this time, starting with Sinking Of The Reuben James (Woody Guthrie), Colin brought us slightly more up to date with Roy Bailey's Ghost Story from the Falklands War.

Geoff took us through the best part of the twentieth century in wars with Ian Campbell's The Old Man's Tale. Mike Harding's song, Jimmy Spoons, sung by Simon looked at the effects of the First World War on an old soldier through the eyes of a child.

And so, with only six singers we were back to Derek, who gave us a sing which I haven't managed to trace which uses the framework and chorus of the several songs which go "Beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly..." to tell the story of the Falklands War. Derek said the song came from the singing of a band from the Manchester area and had several more verses than the three he chose to sing.

For the rest of this report I will pick through some of the most obviously war-related songs we came up with:

While not war related, I think by singing The Unlucky Road To Washington (Roud 787), Phil may have intended a reference to the recent election for the President of the USA.
Another non-war song worth mentioning is Coulters Candy (Roud 19019) sung by Geoff, which was written in the 19th century by Robert Coltard as an advert for his aniseed sweets. Derek suggested I find a version by Ray Fisher. In fact the version linked from the title above is sung by Helen, who used to visit us at the Dragon Folk Club and would often sing this song. But here is an excerpt from Fisher's version. While I'm at it, I couldn't resist linking this version, which isn't bad for a five year old (be patient - give her a chance to get warmed up).

And finally, Simon finished off the evening with Rout Of The Blues (Roud 21098).

There is no theme next week, so come ready to sing anything you fancy, and if you wish, to start your own ad hoc theme. Audience members, as always, are also very welcome.

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

(Number of people present - 6, of whom 6 performed)

1 comment:

  1. On the subject of Phil's song "The Battleship of Maine" I just read this summary which is perhaps a little clearer than the linked Wikipedia article:

    "...way back in February 1898, a U.S. warship, the Maine, was moored in Havana’s harbor when a huge explosion blew it apart, killing most of its crew. The explosion was blamed on Spain, and led to a rallying cry particularly in U.S. newspapers of 'Remember the Maine!'. In April of that year, the United States declared war on Spain, even though there was no proof of Spanish responsibility for the explosion, and much reason to doubt it. As the Washington Post reported, an official Navy inquiry concluded in the 1970s that “a mine or torpedo could not have been responsible for the blast. The likely cause was a coal bunker fire that ignited the ship’s magazine.”