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, 6 September 2017

A cornucopia of themes

Barley (Photo: coniferconifer)
Last week's session was better attended than some recent ones but we still need more of you to come and join us. You never know, you may actually enjoy it despite what they say. This session seemed particularly packed with the unusual, the thought provoking, the entertaining and the random!

Colin was MC and kicked us off with Bob Dylan's Sara. In fact Dylan became one of several themes for the evening. John P's contribution was the long and perplexing Bob Dylan's 115th Dream. Simon eventually added The Mighty Quinn.

Back to the beginning of the evening, Geoff certainly got us listening with Lively (Lonnie Donegan, Peter Buchanan) and his friend John P's first song was The Men They Couldn't Hang's Ghosts Of Cable Street (Paul Simmonds) about the 1936 Battle of Cable Street. I don't know whether it was a conscious link but I understand that TMTCH were discovered by Elvis Costello and John went on to sing Costello's song, Shipbuilding. In a more obvious link he later sang Guitar Man (Jerry Reed) from the singing of Elvis Presley - but without guitar! Just for fun, here is Jerry's original version of the song.

Mike seemed unsure what to sign at the start of the evening but brought out some chorus singing from everyone with the seasonal All Among The Barley (Roud 1283 - Elizabeth Stirlingtune Mike Gabriel). The only thing (or things) I can find about Mike Gabriel are that he was from Cheltenham and was at one time a member of a group called The Songwainers which appears to have been affiliated to The Cheltenham Victory Folk Song Club.

Simon's first song of the evening was John Denver's Rocky Mountain High and Derek's was I'll Be All Smiles Tonight (Roud 3715 - TB Ranson).

There really are so many interesting (to me at least) songs from last week that I could mention but I just haven't the time. Here are some more:

Mike spotted that when Colin joked that people often asked him to sing Over The Hills And Far Away, it wasn't the John Tams version but a traditional one that he sang. The traditional version has "Queen Anne" in the chorus whereas Tams, who apparently admits he played loosely with history, has "King George".

It was also Colin who started something with Jake Thackray's Bantam Cock. This led Derek to sing Ned Flanagan's Gander. When Geoff sang Dublin Lady (Patrick Carroll, Andy Irvine), the tune reminded Derek of The Praties They Grown Small (Roud 4455), which also brought him back to "geese or swans".

Geoff set us a trivia question, asking whose version of Tobacco Road he sang. We found out later it was that of John D Loudermilk who wrote the song.

I haven't even got time to cover our discussion, with illustrations, of slip jigs and that it appears Colin can play spoons better to one than Derek who seems to carry his spoons and (artificial) bones at all times (Derek's observation, not mine).

Anyway, it fell to Derek to finish off the evening, returning to the theme of birds, with The Wild Goose Shanty (Roud 328).

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

(Number of people present - 6, of whom 6 performed)

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