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.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

The Day The Pub Burnt Down / Closed Early

OK, it was originally supposed to be
a castle burning down (Image by Simon Meeds)
This evening being earmarked for Robbie Burns, your Substitute Scribe decided, as a fatuous pun on 'Burns', to sing The Day the Pub Burned Down (Rudy Sunde – brother of Ruby Tuesday?). Shortly afterwards the barmaid gave the dreadful news that our festivity was to stop at 10:15 as the rest of the pub was practically empty and they were closing early.

Given Burns' propensity for claiming authorship of most of the songs known in Scotland in C18, I have put together those songs which are associated with as well as those actually written by Burns.


[Colin] You Jacobites by Name (Roud 5517), Parcel of Rogues (Roud 5516) & Lassie with the Yellow Coatie (Roud 2582). This last caused great problems, since Colin found himself using the similar tune of the shanty I'm Bound Away – perhaps understandably similar, since the Yellow Coatie girls were fisherwomen, gutting fish etc on the quayside. With a little tutoring from Mike, he got through it, only to find Derek struggling to escape the same tune while singing Coming Through the Rye (Roud 5512).

Monday, 20 January 2020

Surprise, Surprise!

In the knowledge that the Regular Scribe would be absent on a mission of mercy, your Substitute Scribe came to the club door, depressed by the idea that the death that day of Derek Fowlds signified bad news for all Dereks, and anticipating a thin attendance. Instead he was met by three of our favourite Irregulars.

One person who did not attend was the one who the day before had stumped up a million pounds for a gold sovereign. He might well have been worried by Gary's first, self-penned, song King David Hartley which recounts the activities of the eponymous Hartley and his gang of counterfeiters and coin clippers in the area around Heptonstall in the 1760s.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Beggars and tinkers

Not a beggar (Photo: Simon Meeds)
While last week's session had no official theme we fairly quickly got into a groove of beggars, tinkers, hawkers and down-and-outs. There will be no theme again this week, but be prepared for Burns' Night the following Friday (24 January).

Colin started us off straight into the theme with When This Old Hat Was New (Roud 1693) although of course he didn't yet realise it would be a theme.

Mike told us that it was forty years since he first met his wife, our good friend Maggie. He met her at a ceilidh where she turned up overdressed for the occasion. His first song was Dave Paskett's I Couldn't Take My Eyes Off Her, which Kevin Adams (see linked video) sang at their wedding and with pretty accurately told the story of their first meeting except the reference to a pizza house, which didn't come into it.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

New Year 2020

"Pop" by Simon Meeds (c1995)
Up one from the previous week and therefore just barely quorate, we were able to usher in the New Year in style with some appropriate songs and some, well... you will see. There will be no theme this Friday so anything goes and you would be very welcome to swell our numbers, whether or not you intend to perform.

Colin, back in harness as MC, started the evening off with The Day We Went To Rothesay O' (Roud 2142). Simon had brought several appropriate songs with him but he only managed to sing one before they were sung by others and that was Peggy Seeger's Come Fill Up Your Glasses.

Derek of course was well supplied with themed songs, starting his contribution with An Orkney New Year's Carol (Roud 4584), and Mike completed round one with Dave Goulder's The January Man.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Boxing Day 2019

Charlie Kimber beside William Kimber’s grave
(Photo: Trevor Coppock, 1994)
Oh dear, to say we were thin on the ground last week for our "Boxing Day" session is a bit of an understatement. Nevertheless the three of us soldiered on at least for a slightly shorter time than usual. This Friday's theme will predictably be New Year. I am sure there will be some wassailing if Mike hasn't already worn all the songs out, and perhaps we will find some other appropriate festivals or anniversaries. If you can add something to the mix, we need you, and if you would just like to come and see what we do, you are very welcome too.

Simon took on the role of MC last week and raised the curtain with John Conolly's Punch And Judy Man. Equally off-topic but inspired by the photograph on last week's blog report, which he apparently didn't find cute, Derek sang The Silkie Of Sule Skerrie (Roud 197, Child 113). Mike was already into the New Year with The Begging Wassail (Roud 209).

Derek was the only one of us with properly themed songs for Boxing Day (actually Mike sang one the previous week), when lads in Ireland, the Isle of Man, Wales and other places around Europe would hunt down a wren and as far as I can tell, parade it around the town while begging for money. Derek's wren songs were Hunt The Wren (Roud 236), The Boys Of Barr Na Sráide (Sigerson Clifford) and The Wren Boys Song (Roud 19109), which was the the final song of the evening.