No need to harp on about TJ O'Reilly's


The first day of the school holidays saw France and his harp visit us for the first time for a while. It was a pleasure to hear the intricate 'Y Pwr'. We're used to hearing O'Carolan tunes played on other instruments, so it was great to hear Planxty Irwin on its original instrument. France joined Roger later on another O'Carolan tune, Shebeg Shemore, and added subtle touches to lots of the other tunes and songs of the evening.

We also had the pleasure of John McCrae's company. As usual, his introductions were somewhat longer than his songs. At one point, he talked about someone making a movie for Radio Scotland, which is an interesting concept. We learned the slang words Pish and Keech, the meaning of which I won't repeat here. As a clue, John's song 'Lost in Translation' involved an English rambler inadvisedly drinking from a Scottish stream. His second song was 900 Miles From Home. It was also good to see and hear Mike, who contributed When Morning Breaks (Tom Paxton?) and Gordon Lightfoot's Ode to Big Blue.

John C had decided to walk to TJ O'Reilly's, but his route was 'sub-optimal', so he arrived rather warmer and more tired than he'd expected. The closest he could get to a 'getting lost' song was 'Walk the Iron Road. He finished the evening with Cruise Sailing, which didn't persuade me to choose this form of holiday.

We had a few rock music moments, with Tom Robinson's Martin and Pink Floyd's Brain Damage from Dave and Simon (more demonic laughter expected next time), Katatonia's My Twin and Peter Gabriel's Here Come the Flood from Martin, Bowie's Heroes from Bob and John Lennon's Across the Universe from Rosie and Alan.

As the weather was good, it was surprisingly to see Dave and Norma. Dave's first song was river of Hope and Dreams, about the Mississippi. His second one, Albatross, provided a neat feed into John one of McC's introductions, concerning one Albert Ross who was allegedly a museum curator. The rest of the joke can be found here.

Vicky's guitar playing gets better every week. This we weere treated to Rose in April and, for the first time, Jolene. Watch this space for some of Vicky's recordings.

We often start the evening with 2 morris tunes: Young Collins & Princess Royal. However, our usual version is at a pace more suited for pogo-ing than morris. Simon played The Princess Royal, and showed us the right speed.

Karen remained seated for the evening following her end-of-term meal, but was persuaded to sing Across The Great Divide.

Other contributions were:

  • Dick: All Men Sing, Hares on the Mountain

  • Roger: Canale en Octobre

  • Bob: In 1896, Nothing Happened Here

  • Rosie and Alan: Silver Spear/Sally Gardens, Killing the Blues (with guitar in tune this time)

  • Dave and Simon: Live This Life

We make our first visit to the Belle Vue in Wycombe next Wednesday. Hope to see you there.

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