|St Constantine's Church, Constantine, Cornwall|
(Photo: Vernon White)
Colin was MC and generously put himself on first. He broke the ice with Steve Knightley's Man In Green to mark the previous weekend's Jack in the Green procession in Bristol.
Derek fulfilled the promise I made in the previous blog report, that he would sing a version of the song Hal an Tow (Roud 1520), used on Helston, Cornwall's May Flora Day, but this time the one used in neighbouring Constantine (sorry I couldn't find a recording of Constantine).
Chris had been very conscientious, digging up some May songs. Her first was Seventeen Come Sunday (Roud 277, Laws O17). Mike went on to sing The Kipper Family's parody of the same song, which seems to have been his intention even before Chris had sung the original. He sang Not Sixteen Til Sunday. Roger gave us Blowing In The Wind (Bob Dylan).
Simon's first was Jez Lowe's The Bergen, which Derek told us was, he believed, about Seaton Carew on the outskirts of Hartlepool. On his next turn Derek, joking, said he realised Simon was challenging him to a theme of Seaton Carew but that on this occasion Simon would win. Derek sang something approximating Eddie Butcher's version of Heather Down The Moor (Roud 275) on the basis that, unlike his usual version, it mentions May. Simon on the other hand had a go at following his supposed theme by singing Ron Angel's Chemical Worker's Song, about the ICI factory at Billingham, and missing Seaton Carew by only about 6 miles as the crow flies.
Chris's second May song was The Young May Moon (Thomas Moore, Roud V1155). She continued on the next round with The Lass With The Delicate Air (Michael Arne, Roud V7851).
Geoff arrived during the evening having been understandably detained by the offer of food after his previous engagement. His first song of the evening was a version of McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan) which I cannot find on YouTube, though to be honest I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. The most diagnostic line I noted down appears to be "McAlpine went by helicopter".
Following Roger's singing of the song, we heard from Mike that the tortures described in Drunken Sailor (Roud 322) were actually all used as punishments meted out to sailors at various times.
Colin's singing of Alan Price's Jarrow Song, about the famous march to London, led Derek to sing his own version of Ed Pickford's The Dowdy Streets Of Jarrow - the story behind that can be found here.
A late arrival was Henry, fresh from the toil of decorating, and with paint-splashed trousers to prove it. His first song of the evening was one he had written recently together with a friend called Katie and on a gypsy theme: Don't Come Knocking While The Trailer's Rocking.
Colin followed his singing the previous week of Part Of The Union with the song of which it is arguably either a parody or a tribute: Union Maid, written by Woody Guthrie.
When the end of the evening came, Colin asked Geoff to sing another but he declined, suggesting that Henry might like to sing. Henry obliged with his rather sweet song, Millie Smiled At Me.
There's no official theme again this week (19 May 2017), so please come along and sing or play whatever you fancy, and if you don't wish to play just come along and listen; either way you will be very much appreciated.
Here's a selection of songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 8, of whom 8 performed)