Prince Albert, Frieth, 9th June 2010


Prince Albert, 9th June 2020

Alan and Rosie are off to Forrin Parts next week, so they've delegated the Blog to me. They're off to the Triumph Dolomites. And their broadband is down, apparently, courtesy of V*rg*n Networking – see, they should have gone for someone with experience. I expect Alan has sprained his typing finger as well, although it doesn't stop him playing guitar and mandolin. And the dog ate his laptop.
I missed the overture, between Dave and Alan and Rosie. It was the tune that I keep mixing up with "Jack Robinson" but isn't. You know the one. Of course you do. And the other one. Yeah, that one.

Dick Frost kicked off with "Let Union Be", and we got a good chorus harmony going on that. Ian followed with "Strands of Gold." He has some nice satirical numbers, there. Then it was me, Fred, having a go at "The Times they are a-changin'" on the Appalachian Dulcimer. Dave accompanied himself on guitar as he sang "How Village Life was Born" which I think is one of his own. Alan and Rosie played "Scottishe Bethany". Are Scottishes coming back into (folk) fashion? Or is it just the weather? Something fast but not too fast, in the humidity? They had a bit of a Roger-and-Karen moment before they sang "Looking in the eyes of Love". Steve was just beginning "Galway Girl" when Simon walked in, and Steve looked very guilty. I don't think Simon has taken out copyright on that yet, so Steve got away with it. Martin took out his tenor guitar and played "But I still haven't found what I'm looking for". He tells me it's tuned like a mandolo. Lovely sound, anyway. Alison and Dave had settled down by that time, and sang "The Hand Song." Simon got out his squeeze-box to join them for "The Calling-on Song". They followed that with "The Huntsman's Chorus" and "Broom's Reel".

That was a circuit of the room, so next was Dick again with "Here's to you, John Brown". Chorus coming up lovely, look you. Ian sang "A Sailor's Life" which was more of a sailor's death, as he himself admitted. It's not a folk night without songs of somebody dying horribly. I played "Scottishe à Brice" and "Trip to the Bar" on the Low E plumbing-pipe whistle. I told you Scottishes are getting fashionable again. Dave did another guitar number, "Fun Fair comes to Town" – another one of his own songs, I think. Alan and Rosie played "The Musical Priest" and "The Star of Munster", and then performed "Everybody's Crying Mercy" (by Mose Allison) which had caused their moment-of-inertia earlier. You have to get back on the horse. They did, and did very nicely. Steve played his own song "Islands", which I think is Steve's lovers'-quarrel with John Donne. Martin got out his other guitar and played "Heartland" by Graham Nash. "Singer's Request" was next, by Simon, Alison and Dave. I think that was the a capella one where we got another bit of harmony going on. Alison did a solo number "The Mason", and Simon and Dave sang "Fisherman's Blues". Somewhere in there, there was the raffle, and it took Norma six goes before she pulled out a ticket that matched Jennifer's (that matched ANYBODY's)!

John had crept in and refreshed himself by this time, and was prevailed upon to lead us in "Gorging Jack and Guzzling Jimmy and little boy Billee." I know John sings "And Jerusalem and Madagascar, and North and South Amerikey, and the British Fleet riding at anchor, and Admiral Nelson KCB". And I know the guy he learnt it from sang the same. But I've seen it written down, and the version I saw was "Admiral Napier KCB". Nelson was a KB (order of the Bath) not a KCB, and anyway was dead by the time of the wreck of the Medusa. On the other hand, who remembers Admiral Napier these days? Sorry. Geek episode. What can I say? I'm a Geek. Dick started an outrageous allegation that the verses were by Tennyson, and had Simon believing him for a moment. When he realised no-one was falling for that one, he sang "Bonny bunch of Roses-o". It was Ian's turn next, and he gave us "Spencer the Rover". Then it was the world premiere of the Solo Opera "Winter Cruise" by me, Fred. I think somebody laughed out loud. That's all right, they were meant to. Dave refused to sing anything to follow that, so he got out his squeeze-box and played us "Morgan's Run" and a Gan Ainm number (that means one we don't know the name of). "Morgan's Run" is his own composition! Gan ainm isn't... Alan and Rosie sang "Walking on a Wire" – well, you know, Rosie sang it while Alan played. Then Steve played "The Life of a Country Boy" with the chorus "...ramble in the new-mown hay". Martin did a James Taylor number "You can close your eyes". Final number of the night was "How Sweet the name of Bournemouth sounds" from John. And there was a Godly one from Alison in there somewhere with Angels in it. I must have blinked and forgotten to make a note of it. Sorry, Alison. I was carried away by the music, honest. Apologies too, to anyone whose name I got wrong, because I didn't know Martin, and I thought Dave was Gordon and the other Dave was Stuart and I'd forget my own name if I didn't have it on this piece of paper... damn! Where did I put it?

Norma (I think it was) said "It was a really good night, tonight". It was indeed!

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  1. Nice one Roger.

    Carry on like this and you can be the offishial blogger.