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, 31 July 2019

Something fishy

Fishing smacks in Boston,
Lincolnshire - 1980s
(Photo: Simon Meeds)
We didn't get through quite so many songs last week but that was because there was more chat and that certainly wasn't a problem.

Colin, as MC, started off proceedings with Cam Ye Here Tae Dance (Bob Ferguson), which is unsurprisingly a parody of Cam Ye O'er Frae France (Roud 5814).

Simon followed that with Phil Ochs' There But For Fortune before Derek started a theme of fishing, inspired by a pre-session discussion of freshwater fishing. He began by singing Cod Banging (Roud 1747).

Mike continued the piscatorial theme with Mike Waterson's Three Day Millionaire. Only Derek continued the theme further with Jolly Herring (Roud 128)

An unusual contribution came from Colin in the form of The Court Of King Caractacus, made famous by Rolf Harris. Apparently Colin had obtained the words from The Mucat CafĂ© but it seemed to me that Rolf's "... the boys who put the powder on noses on the faces of the ladies..." scanned more easily than Mudcat's "...the boys who powdered the noses on the faces of the ladies...". Anyway, it turns out that the song is older and The King Of Karactacus was first recorded by a music hall duo called Rich and Rich.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Moon, martyrs, Australia and hangings

Buzz Aldrin walks on the moon, July 20, 1969 (Photo: NASA)
What a contrast was last week's session to the previous one; we were down from 10 to three people but nevertheless we meandered in some interesting directions and despite a pragmatically early finish, before Derek dropped off from lack of sleep, we got through quite a lot of songs.

Colin, the MC, started us off on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with Jonathan King's Everyone's Gone To The Moon. The others may have been caught off guard by the perfectly reasonable theme but improvised anyway, Simon singing It's Only A Paper Moon (Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Billy Rose) and Derek with Hey Diddle Diddle (Roud 19478) completed the very short first lap of a tight circuit.

Colin kept on storming with a lunar theme, singing Man In The Moon (Roud 21397). Up to the challenge, Simon offered Neil Young's After The Goldrush - "silver spaceships", etc. Maybe I misunderstood what seemed to be indications from Derek that his singing of The Kildare Rake (Roud 5681) was keeping to the theme but there seems to me no obvious link unless the girl in the fourth verse is a werewolf.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Up north comes down south

Durham Miners' Gala (Photo: Darrell J Rohl)
A great session this week, thanks in part to the presence of our occasional visitor, Rose, who no doubt influenced the presence of both Kath and Tom. Malcolm and Janet were also welcome visitors from Yorkshire on one of their periodic visits to the area.

Colin as MC started the evening with Needle Cases (Roud 1300).

Mike went back to our suggested theme throughout June of songs sung in the earlier days of the club, singing from the repertoire of Johnny Collins, Free And Easy (Roud 1084).

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Swansea and further west

Swansea Docks and railway bridge (c1850)
We were a little thin on the ground again last Friday but with Colin back from his travels and Geoff back at the song-face, we carried on regardless.

Colin returned to his MC's chair and started the evening off with Mary Ann (Roud 4438). Derek suggested that Colin's song was somehow related to Swansea Town (Roud 165). Hold that thought while I delve a little deeper.

Mary Ann seems to be descended from Fare Thee Well / Turtle Dove / Ten Thousand Miles (Roud 422) and MainlyNorfolk suggests that it is Canadian although Roud's references include USA, Canada and Gloucestershire, UK.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Dulce et decorum est pro sodalitate cantare

Appalachian Dulcimer as played by John S
Last Friday's session was the last of our series of 50th anniversary celebrations for the club. With three of the regulars unable to be there and Simon exceptionally running things, Simon and Derek were sitting pondering an evening of a couple of rounds of two songs followed by a very early finish when the singers started pouring in. Well, that may be an exaggeration but for a start it was John S who walked through the door for the first time in a very long while. Patience was rewarded when Steve G arrived, quickly followed by Jo, then came a promised second appearance by Steffan. And so, we were quorate with a respectable showing of six singers! Thanks are due to all who came, and stayed, to make the evening a very enjoyable one.

While our anniversary celebrations are now over (for another fifty years maybe), the club soldiers on and we will be here every Friday from about 8:15pm unless there's a very good reason not to be. All comers, whether performers or not, are very welcome to enjoy some music and chat. Performances don't even have to be musical: stories, monologues, poems and jokes are all within our remit; anything in fact as long as it's acoustic.