|Photo: Jarosław Pocztarski|
If it be Good Friday, then
We shut at half-past bloody ten!
So with the pressure of attempting a record number of songs in a night taken from our shoulders, and without the Regular Scribe to produce definitive answers from the Internet, the conversation was able to range wide – as wide in fact as from Fred Jordan’s opinion of George Stubbs to discrepancies between the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls as to the number of apostles.
One of these conversations (on the decline of pubs) led to Derek beginning his contribution with Johnny Handle’s The Old Pubs; but generally the first few rounds were heavily centred on Easter, including Green Blade Rising (John Macleod Campbell Crum), The Easter Tree (Dave Goulder), Guthrie’s rewrite of Jesse James in Jesus Christ Was a Man and the spiritual Were You There When They Crucified My Lord? all from Colin, Derek’s translation and setting of the 13th century Judas (Roud 3964, Child 23), a Pace Egging song (Roud 614) from Burscough, Lancashire (Mike) and a matching pair of bookends with Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day (Derek - Roud 21931) and Sydney Carter’s Lord of the Dance (Roger). Probably inadvertently, but certainly effectively, Roger pre-empted Derek’s intended singing of the Easter version of The Mermaid (Roud 124, Child 289) with his performance of a non-Easter version [Ed: here's the Easter version].
With the permission of the Easter Bunny the topic widened slightly to include the Easter Rising in Dublin (Charles O’Neill’s Foggy Dew and Cumann Na mBan - NOT the O’Higgins one - both Derek) and any song involving resurrection, e.g. Trevor Crozier’s Dead Dog Cider, Stan Rogers’ Mary Ellen Carter (both Mike) and Finnegan’s Wake (Derek - Roud 1009).
The most original contribution of the night came from Roger who sang a song called Watch Out from a (short-lived) operetta by Tim Gardom and Sean Jennings on the life of John Cabot, in which he and Chris had taken part. This contained a long list of maritime superstitions, all of which received the Starkey Seal of Sailoring Approval except for:
A silver coin beneath the mast
Will save you from the stormy blast.
Apparently the coin must be on top of the mast where it was believed it would act as a lightning conductor.
Easterless relief was provided throughout the evening by Chris with a fine selection of songs including William Barnes’ Linden Lea [Ed: music Ralph Vaughan Williams], an English version of Dafydd y Garreg Wen (David Owen, John Ceirgiog Hughes), Walter Maynard/Wil Hopcyn’s Idle Days [Ed: Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn - on reflection I've always previously found the wrong English version] and The Whistling Gypsy – better known to its friends as Johnny Faa (Roud 1, Child 200).
(Number of people present - 5, of whom 5 performed)