Blog O'Rog 5


Hi everyone who might be interested ! How are you both ??

Anyway, last night, viz Wednesday the 4th November in the year of Our Lord 2009 (doesn't time fly ?), saw a small but determined (and PA-less) hard core (can I say that?) group of us gathered in the rather hot bosom of the "Belle Vue" in High Wycombe. At least, not having the paraphernalia of the PA meant that we had a bit more room in our corner; just as well we don't normally have harp or sitar players, says I.

The cast at circa 2045 comprised Dick Frost...Karen and me ...Alan & Rosie...Canalboat Jim....& Ian from Burnham. Later participants included our other John, Simon, and local student Alice, a new "find"! Anyway, Dick got us all warmed up nicely with the splendidly Francophobe "Drink Old England Dry", further contributions including "Billy Me Boy", and "Titty Fol The Day", or it could be "Titty Fal The Day"--who knows ??

Next-in-Line Jim, on this occasion, gave us Andy Cutting's "French Dance", paired with "Navvy On The Line" on mandolin. Alan & Rosie, not wanting to be outdone instrumentally, riposted (with my modest help) with the polkas "Captain Byng", "Peg Ryan", and the "Maids of Ardagh"----followed by, subliminally perhaps, all Byngs considered, the Cher song "Bang! Bang!". Ian O'Burnham then reminded us of our tenuous "folk" connections with a soulful" Greenland Whale Fishery".

At this juncture, Karen decided that we should "do something lively", most of the (admittedly) small audience of numbers almost in excess of 6 being nearly comatose, so, eager not to lose their love & support, we burst into song with "Across The Great Divide"( K Wolf). This seemed to get their attention, so I showed my extraordinary versatility by playing "The Upton Stick Dance" on tremolo harmonica. It being a busy night for me, I then accompanied Simon's melodionic "Madeleine's Waltz", a tune much used by the Jan Steen Netherlands Dance Group. By now, we had the ever-swelling audience in the palms of our hands, and Jim's very funny rendition of "The Rottenstall Annual Fair" sealed their undying loyalty.

By now able to do no wrong, we proceeded at a cracking pace, with some Mazurkas and "I'll Fly Away" (Alan, Rosie & moi again), Ian's "Drunken Blackbird"(D Behan), and Simon / myself with "The Lass of Richmond Hill" and "Belle Vue", Simon's movable feast tune that changes from venue to venue! And of course, dear Karen's recently-learned, with my accompaniment, "Long and Lonely Winter" (D Goulden, from the singing of Archie Fisher) went down rather well also ----- I can say that,'cause it's ME doing the blog!

The rest of the evening was a great success,certainly the most enjoyable for me at that venue anyway, with a real sense of "the Craic" to it, and I think Dick really enjoyed it, too. We had a visit, but no songs, alas, from a jet-lagged Helen Akitt and Glen who'd got up early to ferry her from the airport, and local Uni student Alice borrowed Alan's guitar to give us a creditable "Black Is The Colour" and, later, "Caleb Mye" (I think !) by Gillian Welsh......Alice can come again !!

Of later offerings,after the raffle ?? Well, Dick sang "Limehouse Lass", we had "Wedding Bells" and "Mary McCree" from Jim (self-penned & with a serious message); "Rakes of Kildare", "Tenpenny Bit" and "It's Too Late" were favoured by The Jackson Two; Ian sang "The Trees They Do Grow High" (always a Poplar song) and "The Dudley Boys" --- Between us, Karen & I did "Cloghinne Winds" (B Murphy), "The Rare Ould Times", and "Canal en Octobre" (F Paris), Simon offered his & Dick's composition about cross-dressing clerics, "Doris the Bishop" - set in the Six Bells, Thames, and I had a go at Les Barker's "My Futon's Gone Ron" from his book "Waiting For Dogot".

A truly SPLENDID evening was eventually brought to a dazzlingly climactic and very vocal, if not terribly musical, end,by "Our John" of the Orpheus Choir singing that old "Folk" standard " Lily The Pink" !!

Sorry if it's a bit long (as the Bishop said to, presumably, another Bishop), but A) I can't help it and B) hopefully I won't be asked to write the Blog again tee hee !!!

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  1. Alison and David are poorly - we hope they recover soo. And we hope that Norma and Dave will feel better soon now that Morgan is recovering from his operations and will hopefully be back running around, more carefully, soon.

  2. I think the 'unplugged' experiment worked well, especially as we gathered something of an audience that could feel part of the evening.