|The dock at Boston, Lincolnshire|
agricultural workers; Amersfoort, Netherlands; Aragon; archers; armourers; Bavaria, Germany; Beirut, Lebanon; Bulgaria; Bulgarian Army; Cáceres, Spain; Cappadocia; Castilla y León; Catalonia; cavalry; chivalry; Constantinople; Corinthians (Brazilian football team); Crusaders; equestrians; Ethiopia; farmers; Ferrara, Italy; field workers; Freiburg, Germany; Genoa; Georgia; Gozo; Greece; Haldern, Germany; Heide; horsemen; horses; knights; lepers and leprosy; Lithuania; Lod; London; Malta; Modica, Sicily; Montenegro; Moscow; Order of the Garter; Palestine; Palestinian Christians; Piran, Italy; Portugal; Portuguese Army; Portuguese Navy; Ptuj, Slovenia; Reggio Calabria; riders; Romani people; saddle makers; Serbia; Scouts; sheep; shepherds; skin diseases; Slovenia; soldiers; and Teutonic Knights.Back to last week, Colin was MC and started of with Utah Phillips' All Used Up.
Mike was the first to hint at a theme, albeit with only one song, singing Eric Bogle's And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda to mark Anzac Day (25 April). Perhaps it was Derek's intention to invoke Australia much later on in the person of Ned Kelly with Farewell To Greta?
It was also Derek who sang two songs to the same tune: The Ballad Of William Bloat (Raymond Colville Calvert) and MP For The County Down (my guess at a title).
Mike, wearing a top bearing the name "Boston" in large letters, sang Boston Harbour (Roud 613). Mike, who is knowledgeable about these things, claimed that while his top came from Massachusetts, the song came from Lincolnshire. Simon, who grew up there, pointed out that Boston, Lincolnshire doesn't have a harbour though it has a perfectly good man-made dock, construction of which started in 1882. Boston had long been an important port, and was once second only in England to the Port of London. Nevertheless, until the construction of the dock, boats moored, and continue to do so, along the banks of the River Witham, or The Haven as the tidal part of the river is known. Of course this doesn't really mean much for the song since poetic licence is common.
Looking into the history of the song isn't particularly fruitful either. Captain W.B. Whall who printed the song in 1910 didn't know the origin of the song but wrote that it was "very popular between the years of 1860 and 1870". AL Lloyd commented that "The Bow-wow chorus is borrowed from an influential music-hall song of the mid-nineteenth century" though on mudcat others have cited earlier references.
Colin came up with an oddity from the repertoire of Pete Seeger in the form of Martian Love Song (Lee Hays, Earl Robinson). Derek seemed to think this deserved to be the start of a space mini-theme and followed it equally eccentrically with Hey Diddle Diddle (those in the know may see the linked video as particularly suitable for Derek, and no, he doesn't look like Mister Tumble - Justin Fletcher). Simon went with the flow, pulling up the lyrics of Neil Young's After The Goldrush on his smartphone.
Derek finished off the evening with All For Me Grog to the tune of Loch Lomond. I'm afraid I didn't manage to find a really appropriate recording but I did notice that Jim Hancock finishes of the song with a verse of Loch Lomond, but it seems he sings it to the usual tune. The unanswered question then is whether he sings Loch Lomond to the tune of ...Grog.
Here's a selection of songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 4, of whom 4 performed)