A big thank you to our very lively and talented duo Dave and Val for ‘taking charge’ of the nights events. Val loves the little bell. Mmmmm Dave, think Christmas present!!
After ringing the bell and giving all the notices Dave and Val started the evening off with a well known song ‘Hello Mary Lou’. The song was written by US. singer Gene Pitney, and first recorded by Johnny Duncan in 1960, and later by Ricky Nelson in 1961. Hello Mary Lou was not strictly an original composition. Pitney reworked a version of an earlier song ‘Merry, Merry Lou’, recorded by a band called The Sparks in 1957, which was covered later that year by bill Haley & His Comets, as ‘Mary Mary Lou’. It was a great start to the evening.
Next came Adrian and Gerry. It was a treat to hear Adrian sing on his own as he has such a lovely voice. He started off with ‘Every River’. If you listen to the chorus lyrics you would understand why this is Adrian’s favourite song for his wife, Gerry. The words are as follows: “Every river I try to cross, Every hill I try to climb, Every ocean I try to swim, Every road I try to find, All the ways of my life, I’d rather be with you, There’s no way, Without you!” He then went on to sing ‘Special Day’. This is one of my very favourite songs and was written by Tony Barrett who hails from Wolverhampton. Very moving and also lovely to see Gerry joining in on her cajon.
We were then in for a treat when the talented Cornelius family, Pete, Maggie and Martin, were joined by Alan, making it a quartet. They sang a traditional song called ‘Hard Times In Old England’. This 18th century song the repertoire of the Copper Family was recorded in 1955 with Ron Copper singing. Steeleye Span recorded it for their 1975 album ‘All around my Hat’. In 1976, Richard and Linda Thompson recorded a song called ‘Down Where The Drunkards Roll’. Now in 2017, the quartet sang it. The song tells the story about the beginning of an evening, you see the boys out walking, and they look so fine, but as the evening goes on they’ll be bleary eyed, under a keg of wine. Thank you for doing this song for us.
Then Martin did some songs on his own. First Martin picked up his cello mandolin and told us that David Ollie (I hope I have the
name right), is making one for Martin. He informed us that Show of Hands, an English acoustic roots and folk duo are one of the few bands who use a Cello mandolin. Martin sang ‘Are We Alright’ a song that was also sung by Show Of Hands. We all sang the lines that said; “Darling tell me, Are we alright?” He then changed to his guitar, and sang a rare song with a relatively easy chorus we could all sing:- “Life teaches the lyrics and experience learns the song” I think that Martin wrote this song himself. Well done.
June sang two songs in honour of the great war time singer Dame Vera Lynn who turns 100 on17th March 2017. Vera has an album called “Vera Lynn 100” that was released on that day to celebrate her centenary. What an accomplishment. June started with ‘When I Grow Too Old To Dream’. She wondered if Dame Vera would ever be too old to dream. Then June went on with another Vera Lyn number called ‘Paper Roses’. Adrian on guitar, and Fran on flute accompanied her. So it’s a very Happy Birthday to Dame Vera Lynn who was a great inspiration to the troops during the war.
Steve sang a song called ‘Brass Buttons’ by Gram Parsons. It’s a song about a very elegant dresser, who wore brass buttons, green silks and silver shoes. Steve then had us all laughing with his next song which he said was rather sad! The song was called ‘The Rain Song’ by Gene Clark. It’s about a guy who’s wife left him (the sad part), so he offers her an olive branch, but it didn’t work! The rain just wouldn’t go away. Steve has his own style of playing the guitar and singing, and is so good at what he does. Thank you Steve.
Fran said Steve was a hard act to follow. She needn’t worry because when she picks up her flute the room falls silent and we are all under her spell. The first tune Fran played was a French number called ‘Le Chále Bleu’ Translated into English it means ‘The Blue Shawl’. She went on to play a number called ‘Annie Laurie’ an old Scottish song based on a poem said to have been written by William Douglas (1672?–1748) about his romance with Annie Laurie (1682—1764). The words were modified and the tune was added by Alicia Scott in 1834/5. William Douglas became a soldier in the Royal Scots and fought in Germany and Spain and rose to the rank of captain. Annie Laurie was born Anna, on 16 December 1682, the youngest daughter of Robert Laurie, who became first baronet of Maxwellton in 1685. Traditionally it is said that Douglas had a romance with Annie Laurie, but that her father opposed a marriage. This may have been because Anna was very young; she was only in her mid-teens when her father died. It may also have been because of Douglas’s aggressive temperament or more likely because of his Jacobite allegiances. Douglas recovered from this romance and eloped with a Lanarkshire heiress, Elizabeth Clerk.
Peter also gave us a Scottish love song called ‘Gin I Were A Baron’s Heir’. (Gin means if, not the alcoholic drink!)Translated it means ‘If I Was A Rich Mans Son’. Amazing the difference that makes in life, and Peter asked the question, Lassie, would ye lo’e me? Who needs money when you are such a talented performer? Peter, we are very privileged to have you come and sing for us. Peter then said we could join him with the well known song ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’. The room erupted with this popular Christian hymn written in 1907 by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H Gabriel. What will he have in store for us at the next meeting?
Then we were in for another treat as Val introduced her friends from Bridport. They have been with us before and we were so happy to welcome back Sharon and Shirley, also known as ‘Shiraz‘. They write a lot of their own songs, harmonise and sing to the accompaniment of the guitar which is played expertly. So we were in for a real treat as they started off with one of their own songs called simply ‘Love Song’. While on their travels they met Eric Bottomley a talented English artist specialising in railways, roadways and waterways. He sang a song that I think he had written called ‘The Days Of You And I’. It is a reminder of the days of holding hands and kisses. They asked if they could sing it, and got his permission. thank you Shiraz for your lovely harmonies and songs.
Next up the one and only Simone, gave us a very short version of ‘Silver Wheat’. She unfortunately couldn’t remember all the words, and neither could anyone else. She had just
sung what she could remember as she said Fran reminded her of this song. Then by popular demand she played her recorder and sang her own ‘Sail With Me’ Well done Simone. the evening wouldn’t be the same without you.
Hurrah for interval time. If we hadn’t yet refilled our glasses, it was time for a dash to the bar, and to say hello to the lovely staff at Eyre Court.
Dave and Val started us off with ‘The Galway Shore’ an Irish number.
Adrian sang a song from Derbyshire called ‘Ey up Me Duck’.
Pete, Maggie, Martin and Allan sang an Irish number called ‘Don’t Take Love From Me’
Martin sang ‘Imagine’ which he said we should all know. He was right!
As Andrew is still on ‘sick leave’ after having surgery to his feet, Adrian stood in for him and did ‘Singing Bird Reel’ with June.
Steve woke us up and got us going with ‘Roll In My Sweet Babies Arms’.
We were then privileged to have Shiraz do two numbers. ‘ Loving Letter’ and ‘a steamy little number called ‘Sweet Black Coffee’ Really very good.
Simone sang a number called ‘Sky Song’.
Tony who hails from Kent had travelled 200 miles so we forgave him for arriving a bit late. We were in for a treat as his lovely voice boomed out with a love song from France called ‘Annie Mckelvie’. It’s about a guy who was stood up. He had asked Annie to a dance and she made him wait a few days before she agreed to accompany him. She’d had agreed to travel to Clydebank by train, and on that cold station platform he waited for hours, but he never saw Annie again. SHAME!! Then Tony sang ‘Dublin In The Rare Old Times’. We hope that Kent lets you travel down to visit us again.
Val asked if there was any news that folk wanted to share. Maggie said they had left leaflets about the Exeter Folk & Acoustic Music Club which they run. For more information please phone 01392 210983. Adrian advertised the London that has an open mic on Sunday. His phone number is 01404 549903.
The Quartet were asked to do another number. They announced a song called ‘I’m Going Up’. We had a request that they finish singing it before they went up!
Adrian and June were asked to end the evening with a song in which we could all join in. They did ‘Fields Of Athenry’.
It was a really lovely evening. The room was warm, the drinks were good, the performers were excellent and those that came to be entertained were entertained! Thanks to Dave for quietly keeping Val under control. We look forward to the next time when they are our MCs. On the 5th and the 19th of April, it will be Adrian and Gerry that will be in charge. Thanks must also go to Gerry for doing the photos.
Report done by June.
PS. (Please let me know if I have made any mistakes)