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, 24 May 2017

The punk tradition - for a change

The boy from county hell
(painting by Brian Whelan,
subject Shane MacGowan)
While we were short on numbers last week, we were not short on enthusiasm and at least one person said at the end of the evening how good it had been.

Colin was MC and started off with a song he seemed to have only come across recently but at least two of us sang along with him, so perhaps he was the only one who didn't know it? The song in question was the Lyke Wake Dirge (Roud 8194). While Colin cited the Pentangle version, Mike mentioned the version by The Young Tradition (linked here). Mike also proudly stated that he has done the Lyke Wake Walk.

We had a couple of notable, themes. The first of themes, started by Geoff, was a fairly conventional one for a folk club, being the songs of Bob Dylan. Geoff sang Just Like A Woman and John P followed up immediately with Bob Dylan's Dream. The latter being noted as taking the tune of Lady Franklin's Lament (sung a couple of weeks before by Simon). According to Mike, Dylan foolishly tried to sue someone for singing the original, traditional song to "his" tune. Much later in the evening John P sang Percy's Song (Bob Dylan).

Mike harked back just a few days to 14 May with The Bonny Black Hare (Roud 1656) while Simon sang of The Galway Shawl (Roud 2737).

And so it came round very quickly all evening.

I think you would say it was John P who started off the other major theme, one that shows that anything is acceptable at Dragon Folk Club, as long as it's acoustic. The theme seemed to be songs and in one case a poem, that were to a greater or lesser extent from "the punk tradition". John P's first was Between The Wars (Billy Bragg).

While not exactly punk (I assume), Mike's follow up was at least to some extent appropriately contrary, being this parody of English Country Garden. Simon's educational The Apostrophe Song (Shaun McNicholas) reminds me in style of something by former, sometimes anarcho-punk, band Chumbawamba. Next on theme came John P with Tom Robinson's Martin.

Geoff joined this theme with The Stranglers' beautiful, if heroin-inspired Golden Brown (Hugh Cornwell, Jean-Jacques Burnel, Dave Greenfield, Jet Black). John P, not finished yet, successfully dragged out of the depths of his memory Attila the Stockbroker's Russians In McDonalds.

Geoff responded with The Jam's Eton Rifles (Paul Weller) and John P came back with The Pogues' Body Of An American (Shane MacGowan) and again with Navigator (Phil Gaston) from the singing of the same band.

That being about the limit of punk for the evening, Geoff finished the session off with The Last Thing On My Mind (Tom Paxton).

Don't worry, the evening wasn't all punk, there being a good selection of traditional and non-traditional folk as well. Here's a selection of songs sung during this session.

(Number of people present - 5, of whom 5 performed)

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