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, 9 March 2017

St David's Day 2017

Depiction of the Rebecca Riots,
Illustrated London News 1843
It was good to see a new face at last week's session. Geoff brought John P along - this sort of behaviour is to be encouraged. While John had never sung at a folk club before he certainly came prepared with Welsh songs to fit our theme, and had a selection of other material once he had run out. Well done John, we look forward to seeing you again very soon.

If you're considering coming to the Dragon Folk Club for the first time, don't think we expect you to come prepared like John with lots of material; of course that would be great but by all means come along to suss us out before attempting to sing or play on a subsequent visit, or indeed come along even if you have no intention of ever performing. We're a pretty friendly bunch and welcome singers and musicians of any standard or none!

So, last week was our closest session to St David's Day, and we had contributions in Welsh, about Wales and the Welsh, about dragons, and even about whales and whaling! Unfortunately I forgot to take along the words and chords to my one song about daffodils, but you can't have everything.

Colin was MC and he started us off with Welsh History 101 (Heather Rose Jones). I'm not sure that Geoff's Lyin' Eyes (Don Henley, Glenn Frey) had anything to do with Wales but his friend, John P made up for that with his first: Watching The Wheat (Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn by Wil Hopcyn).

John went on to sing Mountain Duel (possibly John Emlyn Edwards), The Shepherd And His Dog, and then understandably moving away from the Welsh theme, Jock Stewart (Roud 975), The Auld Triangle (Dicky Shannon or Dominic Behan) and A Pair Of Brown Eyes (Shane McGowan).

Mike prefaced his first song with Bloody Great Fishes Are Whales, to the tune of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the national anthem of Wales (James James). His first "proper" song was Hob Y Deri Dando, a Welsh capstan shanty.

Simon, taking up the mantel of Lesley, who was not present, read two poems by honorary Welshman, Les Barker: Camouflage Net and Have You Got Any News Of The Iceberg? Colin followed swiftly, taking another leaf out of Lesley's book by singing a Max Boyce song, on this occasion Hymns And Arias.

Derek, of course, gave us a full gamut of Welsh songs, most of which I haven't satisfactorily traced but there was no shortage of recordings available of his strangest offering: Cyfri'r Geifr. I'm not saying the linked one is the best but it is probably the easiest to follow, and if you still can't manage it, this might help.

Phil ploughed his own American furrow all evening, and example of which was Woody Guthrie's Danville Girl.

It was Simon who finished off the evening with When All Men Sing (Keith Scowcroft, Derek Gifford).

The image accompanying this report depicts the Rebecca Riots, the subject of a song (Rebecca Rebecca) sung by Colin at the session. The Rebecca Riots took place between 1839 and 1843 in South and Mid Wales. They were a series of protests undertaken by local farmers and agricultural workers in response to perceived unfair taxation. The rioters, often men dressed as women, took their actions against toll-gates, as they were tangible representations of high taxes and tolls.

Please come along this week when there is no official theme but I'm sure something will emerge.

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

(Number of people present - 7, of whom 7 performed)

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