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, 15 December 2016

Christmas 2016

Photo: Nick Webb
Our Christmas session didn't get off to a good start. When I arrived we were based on the cold, dark patio and definitely not singing. One person had already given up and gone home and Colin was threatening not to have a session the next week (this week, 16 December).

The reason for this turmoil was that a wake was taking place in our usual bar and a children's party in the main bar. Eventually the wake finished and we were allowed in. We actually got started before 9 o'clock and despite competing with the children's disco for the first few songs things soon quietened down, so despite possible rumours, there will be a session this Friday at The New Inn. Remember though that we will not meet on 23 and 30 December, so the next Dragon Folk Club session after 16/12 will be on 6 January. More details of that will come out later this week, so please be sure to be at this week's session, or failing that read the blog or any announcements that may appear on our Facebook page in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, getting down to our Christmas session, Mike started us off with a necessarily loud rendition of The Boar's Head Carol (Roud 22229). Next came out of the blue, a reading from Under Milk Wood (Dylan Thomas) by Roger followed by She's Like The Swallow (Roud 2306) from Chris.

Simon picked Down Our Street specifically as his loudest song, to compete with the sounds of the children's party next door, and as though silenced by the Alsations of the lyric walking round in pairs, by the end of the song all was peaceful.

Colin brought us back to the Christmas theme with The First Hard Sell (Christopher Hershey) while Tony and Hilary took us off to Greece with White Rose Of Athens (Manos Hadjidakis, Norman Newell). Tony continued with two concertina tunes: Lady In The Boat and The Rakes Of Kildare.

Phil set out to please Maggie S with her favourite from his repertoire: Amelia Earhart's Last Flight (Red River Dave McEnery).

Alan had nothing but praise for Paul Simon who he had recently seen in concert and sang The Boxer (Paul Simon) in his honour. Mike wasn't so complimentary and tried to persuade Tony that when Paul Simon performed at The Lamb in Iron Acton (which I suppose he may well have done when he was travelling around the UK around 1965), he got the song from Fred Wedlock's singing of The Folker. I assume that Tony can work whether the chicken or the egg was first!

Mike's own next offering was just about on theme though he pointed out that the Gloucestershire Wassail (Roud 209) should be sung for Boxing Day. Simon's Christmas offering was Gaudete, which like the tune of Good King Wenceslas, played on the harmonica by Roger, is found in the Finnish book, PiƦ Cantiones published in 1582.

Colin kept steadfastly to the theme with Chipmunks Roasting On An Open Fire (Bob Rivers) and Alan returned to it just before the interval with In The Bleak Midwinter (Christina Rossetti, Gustav Holst).

The usual interval raffle was complemented by a copious buffet of sandwiches and welsh cakes, together with sausage rolls, mince pies and bakewell tarts, and cheese biscuits. Thanks to all who contributed, and particularly to Chris who made the welsh cakes and sandwiches which so nearly didn't get a chance to be eaten.

By the second half only Colin was really maintaining the Christmas theme with Merry Christmas You Suckers (Paddy Roberts) and Gather Round The Family (Bonny Sartin / traditional) which just left it to Alan to finish off the evening with Blue Christmas (Billy Hayes, Jay W Johnson).

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

(Number of people present - 11, of whom 9 performed)

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