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, 15 May 2018

The importance of visitors

Constantine Parish Church, Cornwall (Photo: Tim Green)
Last week's session may have no theme but it certainly saw a decent turnout at the Dragon Folk Club. There's no theme again this week so I hope we can expect the same again.

We were treated to the second visit in a fortnight by the wanderers from Yorkshire, Malcolm and Janet (yes, I've now learned her name though I understand she liked being called "Malcolm's lady"). They brought along a West Midlands contingent in the form of  Dragon first-timers, Steve and Denise.

Colin, being MC as usual, started us off with Ben Backstay (Roud 21256).

Simon had decided to follow a topical if rather non-folky theme for his first three songs, it being Eurovision weekend. The first of these was Are You Sure (John Allison, Bob Allison) sung by the Allisons in the 1961 competition to come second for the United Kingdom. The Allisons weren't really brothers as the byline suggests but their real names were Bernard "Bob" Day and John Alford.

Simon's other Eurovision songs were Puppet On A String (Bill Martin, Phil Coulter) which Sandie Shaw took to number one for the United Kingdom in 1967, and All Kinds Of Everything (Derry Lindsay, Jackie Smith, Donal Vaughan) which won for Ireland in 1970 with the singing of Dana.

Derek followed his tradition to sing Constantine, a song from the village of that name just a few miles from Helston and sung just a week after its more famous May event. In both cases the song is a version of Hal An Tow.

Malcolm gave us a selection of poems: The Redundant Pigeon, the Tour De Yorkshire (or was it Norfolk?) and When I Born I Black. The last of these poem is presented in a video with the words tidied up slightly into "proper" English. It is variously attributed to Josh White, “an African child” (according to the story told by Malcolm), Malcolm X, the Oglala Lakota (one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota people who, along with the Dakota, make up the Great Sioux Nation), and an anonymous pupil of King Edward VI School, Birmingham, UK; but most likely it is one of various renditions in English of a French poem by Senegalese poet and first president of Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001).

Steve's first song at the club was Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy (Roud 165). He followed this with Droving Days, which introduced a mini-theme of songs by Keith Marsden, followed by Mike with Bring Us A Barrel.

Back to Steve, he gave us John Tams' The Year Turns Round.

It was Geoff who started off an Ian Campbell mini-theme with The Old Man's Song. Steve followed with Don Bilston's Fireman's Song, which was made famous by the Ian Campbell Folk Group.

It was also Steve who was called upon to finish the evening with Mal Waite's Wild Geese to the tune of Turlough O'Carolan's Planxty Irwin.

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

(Number of people present - 9, of whom 7 performed)

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