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, 6 April 2017

The Four Rogers

It was a very satisfactory turn-out last week when we were joined by Rose and by Keith G, neither of whom had been to the Dragon Folk Club very recently.

With no theme and Colin in charge, he started us off himself by singing No Hopers, Jokers and Rogues (Rupert Christie).

Rose mixed French and English in her rendition of Plaisir D'Amour (Jean-Paul-Égide Martini, Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian). Geoff recalled the pop music of the 1960s with Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again (Naturally) of 1970 (yes really, mathematically 1970 is in the sixties) and later again with Blue Mink's 1969 Melting Pot (Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway). It's not exactly folk but then neither is a lot of what we sing, and it all goes to show that everyone is welcome at The Bridge.

Phil took us back to an earlier era (1947) and went to the songbook of Hank Williams Sr to sing Wealth Won't Save Your Soul before John B returned us to 1970 with the Velvet Underground's Oh! Sweet Nuthin (Lou Reed).

Having sung The Volunteer Organist (William B Gray, George Spaulding), Derek announced that his theme for the evening was religious songs (loosely). Among those was The Bitter Withy (Roud 452) on the subject of which he set me a challenge that I have been unable to meet. The song reflects an unusual and apocryphal vernacular idea of Jesus Christ. The withy of the title is the willow and the song gives an explanation as to why the willow tree rots from the centre out, rather than the outside in. In the story Jesus tricks three young sons of nobilty who follow him over a bridge made of sunbeams only to fall to their deaths by drowning. According to Derek this story was the inspiration for a painting by a French artist which was the subject of a news story in the 1960s when it became stuck in security between the UK and France with both sides refusing to accept it, presumably because of its controversial subject matter. I have not been able to trace either the painter or the painting.

Stretching a point to make a connection we had a profusion of Rogers in the air. There was of course our own Roger, who gave us Green Grow The Rushes-O (Roud 133). Then there was Phil with Jimmie Rodgers' Brakeman's Blues. We had Kenny Rogers in the form of Geoff singing Lucille (Roger Bowling, Hal Bynum) and finally we had Simon with Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers). I say finally, but actually Keith G sang Ruby, Please Bring Your Love To Town, a song by Ben Colder, alias Sheb Wooley and a parody on Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town (Mel Tillis) made famous by Kenny Rogers (him again).

Back on a more folky tack, Chris sang The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry (Roud 197, Child 113).

The evening was finished off by Simon with When All Men Sing (Keith Scowcroft, Derek Gifford).

There's no theme again for this Friday's session, so come along and be prepared to sing... anything as long as it's acoustic.

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

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

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