Marching through The Prince Albert with some new old stuff


It seems that most people who play at clubs like ours have a core repertoire that they choose from each week, trying not to sing the same song too often. This week, Dick gave the lovely Limehouse Lass, which he can sing as often as he likes as far as most of us are concerned, plus My Boy Billy, which seems to have moved from the fringe to the core recently. His third song was The Belle of Barking Creek, which I don’t think he’s sung in the ‘Marlow Bottom’ years.

Richard sang three songs that I don’t remember having heard from him before: The Rambling Comber (presumably learned from the singing of John Kirkpatrick), The One Thing or the Other and the somewhat saucy Bonny Black Hare (which was recorded by Steeleye Span) . Saucy didn’t quite cover Roger’s Ring a Ding Ding Dong, which probably has a rugby heritage.

We’ve heard The Wild Rover lots of times, but not to the unusual tune to which Ian sang it this evening. We have heard Durham Miners’ Lament, but I don’t think we’ve heard him sing Bold Richard to any tune. Ian had sung Three Jolly Rogues of Lynn (AKA Three Jolly Rogues Together) at one of his early visits to the club. Rosie and I learned this song from a nursery rhyme tape by Rick Kemp and Friends, on which it was sung by Maddy Prior, and have sung it a couple of times at the club before this evening’s rendition.

Grandmothers featured in a couple of songs: Didn’t I Dance from Glen, about three generations of women looking back at their younger days and Bill Withers’ Grandma’s Hands from Rosie.

Fred played a set of three marches: The Girl I Left Behind (AKA Brighton Camp); Garryowen and Bonny Dundee. As far as I know, whistles made of plastic pipe have yet to be adopted by any military band in the western world. But you never know. They don’t tend to have guitars either, so Roger’s British Grenadiers was fitting.

Fred also played the tune C’est La Vie, by Stackridge. They were a little-known, and very quirky, band from the 70s who, in a slightly different formation as The Korgis, had a massive hit with Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime. I saw Stackridge live as a support band at Bristol Colston Hall a couple of times around 1971. As it happens, the current line-up played there a couple of weeks ago.

We only heard Stuart singing along to others’ songs this week. Delia struck out on her own to sing Bonny Labouring Boy with an excellent concertina intro and outro.

Both Simon and I were wrong about Lindisfarne’s Meet Me on the Corner - it hit the charts in early 1972. It was the first song Steve sang in public, at Chesham Folk Club not long after its release. Tonight’s version had plenty of singing along, as did Unison in Harmony.

Martin and Kerraleigh continued their quest to find songs or artists with unusual names with Brad Haunts a Party by Nina Nastasia. More conventional titles were My Home is the Sea (Superwolf), Cape Canaveral (Conor Oberst) and Rise Up with Fists (Jenny Lewis),

We also heard:

  • Dave H: Weatherman, The Age of Steam
  • Karen and Roger: The Sun’s Coming Over the Hill (Karine Polwart)
  • Karen, Roger and Steve: Lowlands
  • Simon:Oranges in Bloom, Enlist for a Sailor
  • Delia: Faraway Tom
  • Rosie and me: Three polkas (Captain Byng/Peg Ryan’s/Maids of Ardagh)
  • Me with some help from Richard (and perhaps Fred): Lord Inchquin
  • Glen: Success to the Farmer
  • Fred: Oh Sir Jasper
We’re at the Dog and Badger next week, where I anticipate the usual good turnout.

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