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, 26 July 2017

No discernible thread

Martin Niemöller (Photo: J.D. Noske / Anefo)
It was a pleasant surprise last week to see two people who hadn't joined us for quite a while. Paul was a regular Dragon attendee before he moved some distance away. Robin was also once a regular but hasn't been since 2014, at least partly due to his extreme folk festival attending ways - then I saw him twice in as many days, but that's another story.

Colin was MC and started off the session with Crazy Man Michael (Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick) and Geoff followed him singing Dandy Vernon (Michael Snow).

Paul, as is his usual way gave us a collection of self-penned songs. The first of these was Moondance Again, inspired jointly by Van Morrison's famous hit and a beach holiday Paul once had with his wife. For his second song Paul had planned to sing part of his song Then 'Til Now, a nine-verse epic inspired initially by the death of an American blues-man he admired. Each verse details an atrocity experienced by black people in the USA in a different decade of the blues-man's life, starting in the 1920s. Colin suggested he sing all nine verses, and after some discussion Paul decided the sing it in two sections, which he did over his next two turns. His last song of the evening before taking the long and winding road back home was That's All I Know.

Mike's first song of the evening was Working On The New Railroad which Simon followed with Jake Thackray's Isobel Makes Love Upon National Monuments to mark the recent start of the Proms season since the fourth verse of the song refers to the Last Night of the Proms.

Since it's not in the YouTube selection linked below, I must mention Jeannie Robertson's version of The Butcher Boy (also known as Owen Barry - Roud 409, Laws P24), which Derek sang.

Paul showed an interest in another song which Derek sang, The Three Flowers (Roud 9742) which names the said blooms each after an Irish republican: Robert Emmet, Michael Dwyer and Wolfe Tone.

Derek was in turn interested in a song sung by Colin: I Didn't Speak Up by gospel singer, Garth Hewitt. Derek challenged me to research the person whose words are used as the basis for the song:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
The answer is that it was a poem written by German Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemöller called First they came...

Geoff lightened the tone with The Sick Note (Pat Cooksey) before Paul sang his final song, which has already been mentioned, and Simon finished off the evening with Laird O' The Dainty Doonby (Roud 864).

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

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

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