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.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Mining more songs

Wardley Colliery (Photo: Lee St)
We were joined for the first time in a couple of years or more by Robin in a break from his regular folk festival attendance. There was no official theme but Derek picked up on his own theme from last night, being mining songs mainly from the North East of England.

Colin was MC and started off the evening with The Old Turf Fire (Roud 8215).

Derek was immediately into his mining theme with Sooth Medomsley Strike (Tommy Armstrong, Roud V40590). He followed up with Little Chance (Roud 3385), The Coal Owner And The Pitman's Wife (William Hornsby), In The Bar-room (Roud 3486), Number Two Top Seam (Roger Watson), Rap Her To Bank (Roud 1786) and Jowl Jowl And Listen (Roud 3191).

Others present joined him in the mining theme. Mike sang It's A Working Man I Am, written by Rita MacNeil who was inspired by the stories of  miners' daily hardships she heard on a visit to the Princess Colliery in Sydney Mines. He also gave us Blackleg Miners (Roud 3193) and Byker Hill (Roud 3488).

Meanwhile Robin gave us the Miners' Lifeguard (Roud 3510) which caused some discussion; Robin Knew it had travelled from the USA in the late 19th century to the UK but didn't realise that it originated in the UK in the 1820s. In the club we know a few versions of this song. Robin's combined verses of the English version and the American one with the American tune from an evangelical hymn "Life's Railway to Heaven" which in turn is derived from the Welsh tune used for the same song, Calon Lân.

The final mining song in this list was Dark As A Dungeon (Merle Travis), sung by Simon.

prize for novelty song of the evening must go to Colin with Hey Ya Got A Loight Boy, written by Allan Smethurst, the Singing Postman.

Simon closed the evenign with When All men Sing (Keith Scowcroft, Derek Gifford).

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

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

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