Getting Cosy at the Bag and Dodger


Getting Cozy at the Bag and Dodger, 3rd October 2012 Utter confusion at the Bag and Dodger, as they had reserved tables all the way down the long hall of the pub, so we were stationed at the other end, near the door. In fact, this was quite comfortable, as we had a wall between us and the general throng, and we had big soft sofas and a fire. The small drawback was people walking in and out, never shutting the door properly, and never tipping when we opened or closed the door for them. It's not surprising you can't get the staff. But they were few and far between, and some were good enough to say they enjoyed the music. Dick was occupying a seat at the bar and discussing Furniture Companies with the Landlord. It's a High Wycombe thing. Dick remarked that I'd lost weight. I realised he was coming on to me, so went to talk to Dave. He had been doing a bit of reading on the internet, and we had a chat about dealing with annoying pests. That turned out to be very informative and encouraging. Once we had moved a bit of furniture about – an essential precursor to a good Folk Night – we felt more comfortable and began. Dick sang "Bring us a Barrel", which sets the mood if we have a change of scene. I played "As I Roved Out" on the pennywhistle. Alan and Rosie played "Off to California" and "Tom Grainne Castle" on the mandolin and accordian, and Rosie sang "Blue Valentine" to Alan's guitar. Delia gave us "Village Green Preservation Society" by yer man from the Kinks, and then duetted with Stuart on "Steamboat Hornpipe". Dave played his own composition "Will he make it through the night" not to be confused with the romantic one, as this is about homeless rough sleepers. Martin had brought his banjo, and good-naturedly suffered a lot of chaff. Good job he can play the thing. His offering was "To Hear the Nightingale Sing". Tom and Michelle were sitting listening on the settle, but referred the performance to their son Mark, who rendered "Nellie the Bionic Cow". Well done, Mark! That was one circuit of the room. It was Dick's turn again, and he sang "Twas on an April Morning", with the usual harmony from the assembly. My turn was delayed by the need to instruct two volunteers, but we got through "O How Peaceful (Living in the Country)". We need a bit more piano on the chorus and a bit more fortissimo on the verses, but it was pretty good for a first attempt. Thanks to Dave and Rosie, who were more press-ganged than volunteered. Alan played "the Pernod Waltz" which I'm sorry to say I didn't recognise. He might not have thanked me for trying to join in. (Not enough practice.) Maybe it was just as well. Alan and Rosie together performed "Star of Bethlehem", which they tell me is a Neil Young number. Delia sang us "Marrow Bones" with some contributions from the floor from those who know it well. Stuart led us through "At the Dawning of the Day" which has a nice repeat-line chorus. Dave gave us another one of his own, "Smuggler's Moon", all about avoiding King George's Excisemen. Martin sang "Shoals of Herring" and I even recognised some of the words. Mark played "Hold your Fire", a mining disaster song, and Tom recited "A Cabbage Field in New England" by Roger McGough. That was another full circuit and more, but Dick sang "She Loved a Portuguese" before we held the raffle. Mark was the hand of fate, and after half-a-dozen failures picked out an iPod, which was Norma's ticket. I sang "Intertwined" which Rosie found romantic. Alan and Rosie played "The Shaskeen" and "The Pigeon on the Gate". This last was because they were selling some jewellery at the bar, largely agates, and it reminded us of Seumas Ennis' Pigeon on the Agate... Then they sang "Keep her in your Pocket", a "White Stripes" number. Delia played "Spanish Lady" and "March Past" on the concertina. Stuart played "Margaret's Waltz" and "Midnight on the Water". Dave sang "Southbound Train". There was some discussion as to why so few songs were about trains heading north... Martin played "Little Iron Stove", with joinings in on the choruses, and Mark played "Dream Lover" with more choruses. Michelle was prevailed upon to sing by this time, and gave us "Island of Dreams". There was just time for two more. Dick sang "The Molecatcher", always good for a laugh. I was the closer and everybody joined in on the "Welcome Song". Check the Website, please!

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