Cross Words at the Cross Keys


Cross Words at the Cross Keys - 19th September 2012 We were in reduced numbers again – we're getting used to this, and experienced attendees have prepared more than a couple of numbers just in case. We had just shut the door to the juke-box area when a couple of visitors asked if they could come in and listen. Certainly, and join in, if you like, we said. It turned out that these poor fellows had been following the Folk Club for some Months, but never managed to catch us at the right venue. Tonight was something of a triumph for them. Now they have found the website, they should be back! They had to leave early, but seemed enthusiastic in their praise. Dick led off with "Let Union Be" and we got a nice harmony going to impress the visitors. Steve played a number called "Old Tennessee". I'd warned Karen that I had a parody ready for "Follow the Heron Home" so of course that was the first number she did. Delia sang us "The Ripe and Bitter Barley", and got us singing the chorus. I also have to thank Delia for correcting my spelling. Thanks, Delia! Stuart played "Off to California" on concertina, and I managed to keep him company on the Low D. He was apologising for playing slow. Can you imagine? I don't know what he was thinking, to apologise. But there you are, we're all different. Martin played us the old Beatles song "Julia". I started off to play "Rothbury Hills" on the low D, but started playing "Ashokan Farewell". I stopped, but a few people had recognised it by then, so "Ashokan Farewell" was the tune I played. [a bystander writes: Terry was heard to say that if anyone had a low G whistle he would play it in the proper key, with all the right notes. We saw steam coming out of Fred's ears at this point, but he held himself in and rummaged in that bloody bag of his and brought out what he said was a Low G whistle. Terry tried it – Fred said he was an octave too high, but Terry tossed it back to Fred saying it was rubbish. Fred suggested that they discuss this further in the car-park, but Terry ignored him. Terry apologised to Fred at the break, but I think the damage was done. Fred was muttering and we heard the words "noodling" and "vendetta". ] Terry then played "Time in a Bottle". That was one circuit of the room – the visitors opting out. Dick was going for the choral numbers, and sang "Bring us a Barrel". Impressive harmonies, again. Steve played us "Clouds", which made Karen prick up her ears. She sang Bob Frankie's "Thanksgiving Song", though. Delia and Stuart duetted on Concertina: "Maxwell's Adieu (in A)" and "The Mucking of Geordie's Byre". You are improving, guys! Don't let the noodling put you off! Martin played the Simon & Garfunkel number "Bleecker Street", which led to a brief geographical discussion. I asked Martin was there any Simon & Garfunkel number he couldn't play, but he just smiled enigmatically. Dick pulled the raffle, and due to his amazing sleight of hand he picked his own ticket (a grand piano) on the second pick. This may be a record. He was chuckling with delight at his own expertise till his face fell when he realised he still had to choose from the bag of prizes. I sang them "Follow the Herring Home", and Karen laughed out loud, so that was a positive result for me. Terry caught the "follow" theme, and played "Follow the Drum". John had crept in by that time, and sang us "I must see the Mona Lisa" – a new one to me, but others were joining in the chorus. Dick gave us "Row Bullies Row" – got that choral thing going well. Steve played "While I'm Lazing" and Karen played "Rock me Baby (Like a Wagon Wheel)". Delia laid hands on her concertina to play "Walksburn Waltz" and "Brian Boru's March". She was at pains to explain that the tune was written FOR Brian Boru, not BY Brian Boru. We are grateful for the clarification, Delia. I expect the poor man had his hands full at the battle of Magh Tuireadh. Stuart sang us "Truro Agaricultural Show" and most of us have got the hang of the chorus, by now! Martin played us "Love will tear us apart again" which sentiment I heartily endorse. He told us who it was by, but I neglected to write it down. Complaints will be dealt with in the Car Park behind the Cross Keys. Terry got out his pennywhistle – a Sweettone, I believe – and played us a tune variously called "Sheep's Hornpipe" "Mary's Hornpipe" and "Mary's Hornpipe". John sang us "Bee's Wing". Dick sang us "My Singing Bird" and we managed the lilting chorus. Steve surprised us all by reading his own document "There is no Death" which was pretty damn good, and wouldn't mind somebody reading that at my funeral. Well, actually, I wouldn't care, because I'd be dead, but you know what I mean, I hope. Karen sang us "I can't make toast at all", which is the parody of "Clouds", so it felt like we had done two full circles. Delia passed, and Stuart played "Da Slockit Licht" on the concertina, with contributions from the assembly. If we ever get our Tunebook together, it might be worth adding that one. Martin completed the evening with "No Regrets" by Tom Rush. Appropriate as always. Next week at Frieth, The Prince Albert!

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