12th September 2012 – A quiet-ish night at the Dashwood Arms


Four of the tables had been stacked on one side of the room, which gave it the impression of being a store-room. We manhandled one of them down again, despite its weight. Alan was on his own, or rather, without Rosie, and Stuart turned up without Delia, and I turned up without Judith, so it was a smaller party than usual. Steve and Jenny were there, and Martin, Dick Frost, of course, and later John, and a new fellow called Tommy, from Liverpool, and his companion Michelle. There was a bit of competition from a raucous crowd in the main bar, but we bore up and managed. Dick sang "The Innocent Hare". I played "Taimse I'm mo Chodladh" and "Eleanor Plunkett" on the low D whistle. Steve played guitar and sang "The City of New Orleans". He hasn't been guitaring for a while. It was nice to hear him strumming again. Alan picked out O'Carolan's "Draught" on the mandolin. Martin played the Moody Blues number "Voices in the Sky", excellent as always. Tommy passed, and Stuart recited "A bit of Binder String". Dick gave us "Young Clifford", and I sang "The World Turned Upside Down", the story of the Diggers, as I had been to the Gerard Winstanley Festival in Wigan last weekend. Steve performed "Blue Bonnet's Wing". Alan did "My Darling Asleep" and I managed to tootle along without too much disgrace. Martin played "Love in Vain". Tommy got his courage up by this point, and gave us "Maggie May". Good chorus, and we all joined in. Stuart got all patriotic with "Rolling Home, dear land, to thee". Dick countered with "Let Union Be", which was an attempt to drown out the other bar, by this time. We did okay. I got out the Low D for "Taim in Arrears" again. Steve played one of his regular numbers, "The Night-Rider's Lament". I'm glad I've learned the name of it at last. Alan and I had a crack at "Valse Eric Rocher", and finished on the same note, which was good. Martin showed us how it was done with "Stainsby Girls". Tony and Michelle joined forces for "Liverpool Blues" which seemed to be a song about Everton, if I'm any judge, and I am not. Stuart resisted this with "Tavistock Goosey Fair". We are getting to know the chorus for this one. Dick relocated us to London with "She loved a Portuguese". I sang a song called "The Welcome Song" which might get repeated if I ever work out the chords for it. John was ready to sing by this time, and gave us "Fish-finger Hunting". Steve played "Hey Mr Dream-seller" and Steve and Alan performed "Someday". (They must have been practicing that.) Martin played "Fire and Rain" and Stuart got out his concertina for "The Good Man of Ballingee". Dick raised the tone with "The German Piano-tuner" and I followed it up with "MacNamara's Band". John performed "Have you got any news of the Iceberg." Steve got us all chorusing with "Ramble in the New Mown Hay" and Martin finished the evening with "Homeward Bound". Very appropriate. Oh, and after an unseemly number of raffle-ticket pickings by our new visitor Michelle, with no takers, Alan won the raffle!

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