Andrew was our MC for the evening and gave everyone a warm welcome. He told us where the fire escapes were, and gave all the house notices.
Andrew and June started the evening off with June on keyboard, and Andrew on his accordion singing, ‘The Public Bar’ to the tune of Early One Morning. This song was written by Miles Wooton and originally sung by Roy Harris. Not much is known about this song, but Andrew first heard this song sung at the Teignmouth Folk Festival. He did a very good job singing it, and had everyone’s attention. Next it was June’s turn to sing and she chose a well known song with very deep words called ‘Lord Of The Dance’. This song was a Hymn with words written by English songwriter Sydney Carter in 1963. He borrowed the tune from the American Shaker song Simple Gifts. The hymn is widely performed in English-speaking congregations and assemblies. The hymn was used in the UK early January 1972 for the first time in schools, and was a major success. It was also sung by Donovan.
Next in line was Adrian on his mandolin. The song he sang, was written in 1964, called ‘Darcy Farrow’. It was written by Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell, and sung by John Denver. The words were inspired by something that happened to Gillette’s little sister, Darcy, when she was 12. She was running behind her horse chasing it into the corral when she was kicked. She broke her cheekbone but had no lasting ill effects. Campbell took a melody that Gillette had written and came up with a story about two young lovers and a tragic fall. The place names are actual places around the region of the high valleys and the Walker River in Nevada, where Tom lived when he was eight or nine years old. It had a happy, sad, and remembering parts! Beautifully sung and some lovely picking on the guitar Adrian. His next song was called ‘The Washerwoman’, by Richard Digance.The song was about a woman reflecting on her life from years ago as she is scrubbing the factory floor.
Mike had brought his long standing friend Brian along with him. Brian and Mike were in a band together a few years ago, when they were youngsters!! They started off with a song which Brian wrote called ‘New Shoes’. A song about dancing in the street. He said that it would get some of us up dancing and it did. Next they had a request to sing ‘Run Rabbit Run’. The lyrics were written by Noel Gay and Ralph Butler. Noel also wrote the music. The song was originally sung by Flanagan and Allen. It was written for Noel Gay’s show ‘The Little Dog Laughed’, which opened on 11 October 1939, at a time when most of the major London theatres were closed. It was popular during World War 2. It has rather sad lyrics about a little rabbit running for his life. It’s Friday on the farm , which means it’s rabbit pie day, and the farmer has his gun out and is on the lookout for a rabbit.
Well sung by both Mike and Brian and expertly played on their guitars.
Annie was waiting to go with her lovely voice and gentle guitar playing. She started off with a song called ‘Cliffs Of Dooneen’, a Christy Moore number. Christopher Andrew “Christy” Moore was born on 7 May 1945, and is an Irish folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist. A fitting number to celebrate Christy’s birthday. ‘Erev shel Shoshanim’ was her next choice. It is an Israeli song often sung at Jewish weddings, but sung throughout the Middle East. Translated it means Evening of roses, and it is often used as a song belly dancers dance to. The song has also been translated into Armenian, in which language its title is “Yarus (O, Rose!)”. The music is by Yosef Hadar and the lyrics are by Moshe Dor. The song was first recorded in 1957 by singer Yafa Yarkoni, and a year later by the duo Hadua’im. Their version became a smash hit in Israel.
Steve then stood up with his guitar and his cheerful smile. He started off with ‘Dragonfly’ by Fleetwood Mac. It was recorded in 1970 by the original Fleetwood Mac group. The words were from a poem called the Dragonfly written by Welsh poet W.H. Davies in 1925. Then he went on to sing ‘Cortez The Killer’ by Neil Young. This was recorded in 1975 and banned at that time in Spain because it insulted the Spanish Conquistador, Hernandez Cortez, who invaded Mexico and destroyed the Aztec empire. Neil Young wrote this song whilst at high school after hearing about the event in a history lesson. He still plays it at concerts when supported by his rock band Crazy Horse. It’s a favourite of Neil’s. Thank you Steve for writing down all this information. It was very helpful and saved time.
We were happy to welcome Anita back after a two month absence. She does the amazing thing of singing without accompaniment, although she plays the autoharp and the bodhran. She started off with ‘Apprentice’s Song’ by Ian Campbell, (of Ian Campbell Folk Group). Written in 1964 for Charles Parker’s experimental stage production ‘The Maker & The Tool’ this particular song refers to the gas industry and technical terms were gleaned from recorded interviews with men from Saltley gas works in Birmingham. Then Anita sang a traditional Irish song called ‘The Verdant Braes of Screen’. It is believed that the Screen refers to Ballinascreen in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Brae refers to a hillside, especially along a river. Thank you Anita.
Peter said that he was using crib notes as he couldn’t always remember the words to the songs. Peter, most of us use them, so you are in good company. He started off with a song that he said Hillary, and any of us who use Face Book, would be at home with. This song was called ‘Add Me’ and was done by Chumbawambe. The first verse says:- I’m a loner, alone with neuroses and hate, Anger is a permanent character trait, My letter bombs are primed and they’re ready to send, Would you like to add me as a friend? I’m a wound-up whiner with a fetish for guns, I’m almost 50 and I live with my Mum, I hope my nude picture doesn’t offend, Would you like to add me as a friend? Very funny and one we have not heard before. Peter said his next number would be improved if we all sang along during the chorus. It was a Steven foster number called ‘Hard Times Come Again No More’ It was published in New York by firth, Pond & Co in 1854. Thank you Peter. It is always lovely to listen to you.
Next we welcomed another Brian who was on holiday with his wife and little dog called ‘Doogy’. Brian comes from Tamworth and had a really lovely voice that was extremely clear. He borrowed a guitar and his first song was called ‘Old Dogs, Children And Watermelon Wine’. The song was written and recorded by American Country Music artist Tom T. Hall, and released in November 1972. The song is a true account of Hall’s experience at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, where he had a conversation with an old porter (janitor) at a Miami Beach hotel. The porter appraises his own life by concluding that the only worthwhile things are the three listed in the song’s title! Brian said that he was born in Yorkshire and at the age of sixteen he went down the mines. This endeared him to the song ‘Dark As A Dungeon’ which was his second item. This was written by singer-songwriter Merle Travis. It is a lament about the danger and drudgery of being a coal miner in an Appalachian shaft mine. It has become a rallying song among miners seeking improved working conditions. The song achieved much of its fame when it was performed by Johnny Cash in his Folsom Prison concert.
Rob and David with their guitars did a lovely performance of an original folk song called ‘Too Close To The Wind’. They went on to sing ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’. This song is a British folk song. The character of John Barleycorn in the song is a personification of the important cereal crop barley and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering attacks, death and indignities that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting. It was written by Steve Winwood and recorded by the English rock band Traffic and released in 1970. The song tells of three men who came out of the west, and made a solemn vow that John Barleycorn must die.
Then to confuse the issue we had David and David! They both had guitars and started with an Everly Brothers song called ‘Dream’. It was a song that most of us knew and the two David’s encouraged us to sing along with them. ‘ Here Comes The Sun’ was their second choice. It’s a song written by George Harrison that was first released on the Beatles’ 1969 album Abbey Road. It is one of Harrison’s best-known compositions from the Beatles era. The song was written at the country house of his friend Eric Clapton, where Harrison had chosen to play truant for the day, to avoid attending a meeting at the Beatles’ Apple corps organisation. The lyrics reflect the composer’s relief at both the arrival of spring and the temporary respite he was experiencing from the band’s business affairs. Thank you David and David.
Then we had a sad tale from Simone. She had been playing in Yeoville, and had had her recorder stolen. She came up trumps with some shakers, a kazoo and a plastic whistle. She played the song for which she is famous – Yes you guessed it – ‘Sail With Me’ We hope that by the next Jurassic Folk & Jam you have managed to replace your recorder.
Last on before the interval was Nick singing whilst Don (whom we haven’t seen for some time) played the keyboard. They started with a number called ‘Fields Of Gold’ which was written and performed by Sting in 1993. It is a well known song and we could sing along if we wished. Very impressive singing and keyboard playing. They went on to sing a song called ‘Mad World. They said there were many versions of it , but they were going to do the Gary Jules version which is a slower one. It was originally written by Roland Orzabal on acoustic guitar when Orzabal was nineteen. It was made famous by the band Tears For Fears in 1982, and sung by bassist Curt Smith. It was the band’s third single release.
Then Andrew announced that there would be a short interval. As we had had so many talented performers, this was slightly late.
As is our custom on the first Wednesday of the month, the second half of the evening was dedicated as a Jam Session. We had all kinds of music and song where everyone just joined in. No solo performances! Just one big happy family enjoying the evening, as you can see from the photos. Many thanks to Andrew for looking after us so well. Remember that our next Jurassic Folk & Jam will be on Wednesday the 17th May 2017. If you want a good spot, try to come early. To see your photos enlarged, left click on them.
A BIG thanks to Eyre Court for giving us the venue, and keeping it warm for us.