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, 27 June 2018

The Songs People Sing

Appleby Horse Fair (Photo: Bryan Ledgard)
A brief traditional riddle for readers to solve: what did the following people do on the specified dates, which on 22nd June 2018 gave the Substitute Scribe 20 minutes respite from scribing, while the others argued about the answer?- Joe South (1968), Freddy Weller (of Paul Revere and the Raiders 1969), Dolly Parton (1969), Conway Twitty (1969), Don Gibson (1970), Sami Jo (1974), Dick Gaughan (1983), Tesla (1994), Inner Circle (1994) and Don Williams 1995.

The answer is that they all recorded The Games People Play (Joe South), which Colin sang in the course of the evening. As far as I am aware Colin has not recorded it, but 'Basement' tapes may begin to appear soon. And I need to point out that two other songs – but with the same title - were recorded by The Alan Parsons Project (1987) and The Spinners (1975). Sorry, not those Spinners, but an American R&B group [Ed: known in the UK as The Detroit Spinners to avoid just such confusion].

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The bag of wind

(Photo: Marco Verch)
Last week's session was a bit thin on the ground for bodies but with some ad hoc themes we made it a worthwhile evening. Being the start of the football World Cup, "the beautiful game" (let me go off and be sick for a moment) and Russia were obvious candidates.

Colin, being MC, started us off with The Old Man Who lived In The Woods (Roud 281, Laws Q1).

Derek was the first to address the subject of the bag of wind with Little Sir Hugh (Roud 73, Child 155) - "...the lads of merry Lincoln, when they play at the ball".

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The stories behind the songs

Coffee Culture (photo: Simon Meeds)
Last Friday some flyers for Whitby Folk Week had arrived, so the first part of the evening involved a communal inspection of the leaflet. It seemed that many on the long list of performers were from the folk old guard, and so several stories, both fond and bitter were told. I won't recount any here for fear of accusations of libel.

The session proper was MCed by Colin who kicked off with Captain Coulston (Roud 1695).

The previous week's discussion of Eniskillen/Inniskilling Dragoon (Tommy Makem [this version], Roud 2185) was continued by Geoff. While I don't claim Wikipedia to be the fount of all knowledge, this article gives a little more information which seems plausible. And yes, Tommy Makem called the version in the linked video Fare Thee Well Enniskillen and refashioned it to describe the Peninsular War.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Another One of Those Nights!

Bob Hart
This is the Substitute Scribe speaking. Firstly may I make it entirely clear that no one made a sustained attempt to actually sing The Purple People Eater (sorry, I don’t know its Roud number!) Colin however did sing Down by the Dockyard Wall. Derek then queried a similarity in the tune to that of Dave Webber’s Watch and Chain. Colin pointed out that both tune and words of Dockyard Wall were by Shep Woolley. Geoff proceeded to identify him as a regular actor in Rawhide and as the singer /composer of The Purple People Eater. However, as subsequent research reveals, the latter was actually Sheb Wooley[1]. The Southampton-based Shep was given his nickname (even a long thread on Mudcat nearly 10 years ago failed to reveal his real name) because he was rather more agricultural than Sheb.

Yes, folks – it was another of those Dragon nights when the craic in between is more interesting than the actual songs! And by the way did you know that the English ‘crack’ was the original word and it was only Gaelicised into ‘craic’ later? If so, please make an effort to get to the Bridge – we need your brains.