On this beautiful Wednesday evening, Adrian was our MC for the night. He opened up by ringing the bell. We thought it was the ice-cream truck! He explained that he was going to start off the evening, and told us where the exit doors were if anyone wanted to escape! He also told us that as it was the first Wednesday of the month, the second half would be a jam session. We were encouraged to do simple things where others can join in. He also reminded us that there would be NO JURASSIC FOLK & JAM DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST.
Adrian asked Mike to accompany him and started us with a song called ‘Hazard’ by Richard Marx. “Hazard” tells the story of a relationship of some kind between a narrator and a woman named Mary. Mary disappears in suspicious circumstances, and the narrator, shunned by many in the small town since his childhood (“That boy’s not right.”), is immediately considered the main suspect. The narrator, however, maintains his innocence throughout the song, and the question of this is left open to the listener’s interpretation. Then Adrian sang ‘Drift Away’. This song is a song by Mentor Williams and originally recorded by John Henry Kurtz on his 1972 album Reunion. In 1973 the song became Dobie Gray’s biggest hit.
Andrew & June from the Amycrofters were then called upon. They started off with a song called ‘Jim The Carter Lad’. It starts off with the lyrics “My name is Jim, the carter lad, a jolly chap am I, I always am contented, be the weather wet or dry;” We need to be like Jim, contented, no matter what the weather! Their next song was called ‘To Hear The Nightingale Sing’. This song is also known as The Nightingale or The Bold Grenadier, and it’s a traditional English song. It has been sung by the Yetties and the Dubliners. Not much is known about this song, but the words are about a young couple. They go walking, and she discovers that he is a married man with three children. So she puts an end to their relationship. Wise girl!
Peter had dug out an old song that someone had sung awhile ago. He normally played this on his 12 string guitar, but was using his 6 string one tonight. The song written by Joni Mitchell was called ‘Big Yellow Taxi’. Joni wrote Big Yellow Taxi on her first trip to Hawaii. She took a taxi to the hotel and when she woke up the next morning, she threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, she looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke her heart… this blight on paradise. That’s when she sat down and wrote the song! Peter’s second song was an old favourite called ‘Old Man River’. The music was written by Jerome Kern, with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein. It is a show tune from the musical “Show Boat”. The song contrasts the struggles and hardships of African Americans with the endless, uncaring flow of the Mississippi Ricer. It is sung from the point of view of a black stevedore on a showboat and is the most famous song from the show. Well done Peter!
Next we were happy to see Tony Jordan, who had last been to Jurassic Folk when it was still at the Grove!! How long ago was that? We were very pleased to see that he had brought along his accordion, which he played beautifully. He started off with a song called ‘Nancy Myles’ which is thought to be written by Kevin Sherin. It is an Irish song and was sung by Donal O’Shaughnessy. Tony had heard this song sung by an old gypsy at the Dartmoor Festival. Next he sang a song that we knew called ‘Working Man’ written by Rita MacNeil. It has been sung by Rita and Celtic Thunder and also the Dubliners. They can move over now because Tony has sung it!
Then we had the one and only Steve Mills who is a natural entertainer. He said that Simone was still in Wales, but sends her regards. We do miss you Simone… Steve’s first song was ‘Feels Like Rain’ by John Hiatt. A love song written and recorded by American singer/songwriter John Hiatt in 1988. It is about the effects of being in love and it is not actually raining (yet)! This is one of Steve’s favourite songs because he finds it soothing to listen to. Then he did an Eagles song called ‘Learn To Be Still’. This is another one of his favourite songs as it has a stern message. It’s from the Eagles 1994 reunion album, “Hell Freezes Over”. It is saying a restless search for happiness and paradise will fail, but, if you learn to be still, you will be master of your own direction and grateful for what you have. Steve is taking this advice, and will stay in Seaton for his paradise!
PS. Thank you Steve for giving me a page with the names of the songs together with a write up all done out. It makes things so much easier for me and saves a lot of time.
Remember that you can write down the songs and hand them into me before or after the session. There is always paper and pen on the main table!!
Doreen our lovely soprano came to entertain us next. She said she had been coming to Jurassic Folk for five and a half years. We hope you continue to come Doreen. Her first song was from “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. It was called ‘Wonderful Wonderful Day’ and written by Johnny Mercer. Doreen was accompanied by Pam on the keyboard. Her second song was called ‘Memory,’ from Catz. It was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The song lyrics start off with “Midnight Not a sound from the pavement, Has the moon lost her memory?” No Doreen, like you, the moon has not lost it’s memory. Thank you for that.
Adrian then spoke about the Amycrofters Garden Party that had been held on Saturday the 1st July. An amount of £327 was raised and handed over to the South West MS Centre. Many thanks to all those who had worked so hard. Adrian said that he had played and sung with Derek who was here at Jurassic Folk for the first time.
Derek has a very lovely twelve string guitar for sale. If anyone is interested, please email me and we will pass the email on to him. He was playing on a six sting guitar and sang the song ‘Durham Town’. It was written and sung by Roger Whittaker, and released as a single in 1969. Whittaker’s original intention to set the song in Newcastle, had been abandoned in favour of nearby Durham because Whittaker agreed with his producer that “Durham” simply sounded better. While focusing the song on Newcastle, Whittaker had set its second verse “on the banks of the river Tyne”, and as Whittaker had little or no familiarity with his chosen locale for the song he retained the verse with its Tyneside setting for the song’s finalized version set in Durham. In fact the Tyne flows eastwards through Newcastle but it is the Wear, 20 miles to the south, which flows through Durham. Next came the well known ‘Streets Of London’ by Ralph McTell. The song was inspired by McTell’s experiences busking and hitchhiking throughout Europe, especially in Paris and the individual stories are taken from Parisians. McTell was originally going to call the song Streets of Paris, eventually London was chosen because he realised he was singing about London.
It was really lovely to welcome Fran back from her travels. We missed her with her beautiful playing on her flute. As other folk play, Fran has the knack of accompanying them quietly in the back ground. She started off with a lovely tune called ‘Leaving Stoer’ by Ian Drever. Written in 1997, after a ceilidh in the village hall in Stoer, Sutherland where Ivan played with Duncan Chisholm, a fiddler. In only a year this wonderful slow air became a firm favourite with musicians in the Highlands, especially the young fiddlers of Assynt. Next she played ‘Autumn Leaves’. Originally it was a 1945 French song, “Les Feuilles mortes” (literally “The Dead Leaves”), with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma and the lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert.
Then we had a Tom Paxton number ‘Last Thing On My Mind’. This was played and sung to us by Rob, who has also been away for awhile. This is a song of regret for a love that died because of neglect. It was first released in 1964 and it’s still being covered by others today. It’s a song that gives graceful apology for taking the most important person for granted. We should all learn a lesson from the words of this famous song. Then Rob sang ‘Man Of The World’. The song is about a man who has everything he wants, except the companion he craves. He has had a good life and been all over the world, but he still hasn’t got the good woman he craves! It was recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1969, and composed by vocalist and lead guitarist Peter Green.
Now what could be a more fitting end to the first half than having a very talented lady sing and play the keyboard? Pam did a number she was going to do last time but Peter beat her to it with his version. “Summer Time” by George Gershwin, from “Porgy and Bess”! The song soon became a popular and much recorded jazz standard, described as “without doubt … one of the finest songs the composer ever wrote”. Pam you did an excellent job of this. We can’t say it was your finest as all your songs are great and of high standard.
Now Adrian announced that it was time for a break and we had enough time to get drinks and have a lovely chat. He reminded us that when we came back we would be doing a jam session. He again reminded everyone, that there was no Jurassic Folk during the month of August.
In the second half as it is a real mixture and everyone plays along, we don’t do a write up of individual items. We hope you all enjoyed the evening and will have a good look at all the photos. Thank you again to Adrian for “Being in Charge” of the night. The photos and write up were done by me, June. So any mistakes are mine.
We will be meeting again on the 19th July. Hope to see you all then.