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, 1 March 2017

The Carter's Lads and Lasses?

The Carter Family
While last week's turn-out of six at our session doesn't on first glance seem much of a triumph it wasn't bad considering that two of our regulars were off pursuing their other interests and a third was sorely missed.

As I write, it is St David's Day, and following today this Friday's Dragon Folk Club session (3 March 2016) will celebrate all that is Welsh - well, I suspect that there will songs which stretch the definition of celebration, but you get the gist.

Back to last Friday, there was no official theme and as usual Colin was MC. John kicked us off with his own composition: The Bridge Inn Blues.

I'm not quite sure what Colin's message was when he sang Please Do Not Get Offended (William B Glenroy). William B Glenroy's real name was William B Gray, and he was co-author of another song which we hear occasionally: The Volunteer Organist.

Phil referred back to John's singing the previous week of Frankie and Johnny by singing another version of the song: Frankie Dean (Roud 254), originally sung by early country music duo, Darby and Tarlton. In the absence of Mike and Derek, Phil was certainly the person present with the largest repertoire, at least on the assumption of having no written words in front of him. His knowledge of old, and some not quite so old, American songs, some of which are derived from even older songs of the British Isles, is quite remarkable.

Thanks to Phil we had three Carter Family songs through the evening: Hello Stranger (Roud 15144) and Engine 143 (Roud 255, Laws G3), about the wreck of the Fast Flying Virginia Express (FFV). The third Carter Family song came from John, who sang Can The Circle Be Unbroken (Roud 3409). I am careful not to suggest that any of these or other Carter Family songs were written by AP Carter because it is understood that his record company suggested he change a word here and a note there of any song they sang so that he could claim copyright.

On the name of Carter, though not related, John sang Corinne Corrina (Roud 10030), saying that while it was made popular by Bob Dylan, it was first recorded by early American blues musician, Bo Carter, in 1928.

Another song Phil sang last week was one of his more modern offerings, Chuck Berry's 1955 Down Bound Train.

As if in preparation for this week's St David's Day session, Chris, who had brought home-made Welsh Cakes for our delectation, gave us Watching The Wheat (Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn by Wil Hopcyn) and Roger sang We'll keep A Welcome (Mai Jones).

Colin's singing of The Prune Song (Frank Crumit, DaCosta) raised a smile and was the second song from the singing of Frank Crumit in two weeks after Geoff sang The Pig Got Up And Slowly Walked Away. I believe this was the first I'd heard of this American singer, composer, radio entertainer and vaudeville star.

perhaps Simon was dredging the bottom of his repertoire to sing his "in the shower song", It's Only A Paper Moon (Harold Arlen, EY Harburg, Billy Rose) but it seemed to go down quite well.

The evenign was rounded off by Chris with She's Like A Swallow (Roud 2306).

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

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

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