|The Bridge Inn, Shortwood; our new venue(photo: Jonathan Billinger)|
Before I get down to last week's report I was asked to mention one "parish notice". Roger and John have hired the Kingfisher Café in Fishponds on Thursday 26 January from 8pm to 9:30pm for anyone to come and sing, play, read poetry or anything within reason in aid of the CLIC Sargent charity, specifically to help the charity deal with the fire that damaged its shop at Fishponds in December. CLIC Sargent supports children and young people with cancer.
Once we were settled back into the side room at The Bridge and felt we were quorate - 10 was not a bad turn-out for our first session there - we kicked off our first session of the year, which inevitably had a New Year, wintery feel to it. Colin was MC.
First to sing was Geoff, with The Cruise Of The Calabar (Roud 1079).
Before we forgot totally about 25 December, John gave us his own poem, Christmas Message From Mongolia.
One major sub-theme of the evening was the St Stephen's Day (26 December) tradition of hunting the wren. Derek was first onto it with The Boys Of Barr Na Sráide (Sigerson Clifford) - "The Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren". He was quickly followed by Mike with The Cutty Wren (Roud 236) and later came Colin with The Wren Song (Roud 19109).
Another link that has nothing particularly to do with the season ties in nicely with something I wrote in a post on this blog from July 2015. On that occasion Derek sang two versions of The Beggar Man (Roud 118, Child 279). He told us that there were stories that the song was either written by King James V of Scotland or that he was the beggar man of the story. Apparently there were a number of ballads describing his romantic conquests while roaming the countryside in disguise so the story may not be false. On that occasion Lesley managed a possibly unintentional tenuous link, singing Maid of Amsterdam (better known as A-Roving). The link being via a poem "So, we'll go no more a roving" by Lord Byron. The poem seems to have been suggested in part by the refrain of a Scottish song known as "The Jolly Beggar", which is one of the same group of songs as the ones Derek sang.
Well, on this occasion we had no Jolly Beggars but it was Chris who sang Maid Of Amsterdam, and Jane topped off a story of a night-time adventure in her youth by reciting Byron's So, We'll Go No More A-Roving.
Colin was first to mention the New Year with Si Kahn's New Year's Eve and later came back to the subject with The Humboldt Wassail. Derek rang in the New Year with The Miner's Dream Of Home (Will Godwin, Leo Dryden - Roud 1749) and Mike followed that with We Sing Hallelujah "...at the turning of the year" (Richard Thompson). Geoff claimed (tongue firmly in cheek, I'm sure) to have a New Year's resolution to be more outgoing, and to prove it sang It's Hard To Be Humble (Mac Davis). Colin stayed with a comedy tone, singing Ian Campbell's Gulls of Invergordon ("A kind of perpetual Hogmanay" - 31 December).
Derek sang his version of Lavender's Blue (Roud 3483) which replaced the "dilly dilly" of the better known version with "fiddle faddle" and is associated with Twelfth Night (6 January).
More general January songs included Simon with Dave Goulder's January Man, and Steve C with The Bold Poachers (Roud 1686). Last but not least, Roger got through many years with Poor Paddy Works On The Railway (Roud 208).
The session was finally rounded off by Terry C with Song For Ireland (Phil Colclough, June Colclough).
We hope to see you at this week's Friday session at The Bridge.
Here's a selection of songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 10, of whom 10 performed)