|(Photo: администрация Волгоградской области)|
For those of us who remember the halcyon days of Dragon Harvest Night with tables groaning under the weight of freshly grown or at least freshly purchased comestibles, and the assembled masses groaning under the weight of fines from Mike for breathing out of tune (or just for breathing), it was very sad to see the tiny turnout for this week’s charity evening – 5 performers, and one visitor who sat through one complete round before deciding she had left her life elsewhere and went off to look for it.
But we are the Tradition, and the Tradition goes on in lean times in the hope they will again lean the other way. So there will be a small donation going the way of Shelter; precise details of the amount will appear here next week.
It being Harvest, there were of course no fewer than 4 versions of John Barleycorn (Mike, Colin, Derek and John). And though actual harvesting was limited, much of the evening was, like England’s batting, a touch agricultural.
On the subject of cricket, your Twelfth Man Scribe decided against making good his threat to mark Glamorgan’s 50 Over Cup defeat by singing only Leonard Cohen songs; but John picked up his mood by singing Joan of Arc.
Returning to agriculture, songs included Benny Hill’s 1961 smash hit Gather In the Mushrooms (John), Harvest Home (Roud 310), All of a Row, The Kippers’ Stick of Rhubarb parody of Sprig of Thyme (all Colin), Threshing Machine, Never Seen a Farmer on a Bike and Guise of Tough, along with an interminable fusion of Gatley Farmer/Bonny Bogieside/Bogie’s Bonny Belle (all Derek).
In similar vein Mike sang McColl’s Shoals of Herring (a sort of mariniculture) and The Barley Mow, which caused Derek to recall a club in the NE of England where it was required to sing of half landlords and half landladies.
Also featured during the evening was Bob Dylan, with John singing Love Minus Zero – No Limit and Geoff She Belongs to Me. Dylan’s name appeared again as a possible author of Copper Kettle (Geoff), but I am now bound to point out that it was probably the work of Frank Beddoe, a Scott/Burns like character who claimed to have collected large numbers of songs from Texas but tended to write them himself. Hopefully Bob will not lose his Nobel Prize after this revelation.
It might illustrate the breadth of material employed, if I add that Geoff sang a version of Our Gudeman (Child 274) featuring 6 nights and a non-erectile Englishman & Paxton’s Last Thing on my Mind, whilst John sang PJ Weller’s Down in the Tube Station at Midnight and Ian Drury’s Ricky From Billericay from the album New Boots and Panties. The last detail is entirely irrelevant, but I so rarely get a chance to use the word in the blog!
(Number of people present - 6, of whom 5 performed)