Sunday, November 30, 2008

Being the 28th of November 2008...

I tried to write something that would encapsulate my feelings about the City Folk Club and all the humans who populate that state of mind...
I gave up and fell back on the bard...

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

-- William Shakespeare

Thanks to all who have proved such true friends to me during the recent storms...

And now, live from the City Folk Club Chichester...!

You Are My Sunshine/Bill Bailey: Brenda/Berry and Full Cast
John Ball: Colin and Full Cast
Caledonia: Carol
Somewhere Along the Road: Eddie
The Changing Years: Yvonne/Mike
Donegal Danny: Ken
Jack-o the Shunter: Mave
The Very Thought of You: Brenda/Berry
Tzena Tzena Tzena: Berry/Starship Enterprise
Young and Single Sailor: Anne/Alan
Best of Autumn: Anne/Alan
Country Roads: Lynda/Paul
Big Yellow Taxi: Paul
Waltzing's For Dreamers: Mike
Now and Then: David
?: Lucy
Parcel of Rogues: Colin
40 Shades of Green: Eddie
Lullaby: Yvonne/Mike
A Sad Dream: Phine
Biding My Time: Ken
Anderson's Coast: Mave
La Vie En Rose: Brenda/Berry
Sobre Las Olas/Merry-Go-Round Waltz: Berry/Starship Enterprise
Fair Thee Well My Dearest Dear: Anne/Alan
Songbird: Anita
Moonshadow: Paul
No Telling What a Love Song Will Do: Mike
Black Coffee: Lucy
Crazy Man Michael: Carol
A Quick Two Step: Anne/Alan

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beresford Greene Speaks (supplemental)....

Our resident mystic, Beresford Greene, has been moved to verse...
Over to you Berry...

Well folks, what a super night it was. {Fri 28thNov}. Brenda & I woke up still laughing. A true tonic and so cheap too. After his awful week, I am moved to this advice for the MC: -

Beware thou of the selfish - it's their turn now
Beware the turn that turns - because they don't know how
Beware be of the singer who - became person in the song
Beware your silly arses then - which get the meter wrong
Beware those big performers - whose love is not quite true
Even though you wouldn't - they will, and they do

Beware of honed perfection - when nowt is ever right
Beware ye those who take to floor - there want to stay all night
Beware that guitar tuner - an act that feeds all wrath
Beware thee they who couldn't - see themselves & laugh
Beware all souls who cannot bear - their turn be never due
Even though you wouldn't - they will, and they do


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

John Ball...

Another 'starter for ten' (or how ever many are in the room)
Here's how it goes...

Lead (unaccompanied) by Colin:
John Ball

Who’ll be the lady, who will be the lord, 

When we are ruled by the love of another? 

Tell me,who’ll be the lady, who will be the lord, 

In the light that is coming in the morning?

Sing John Ball and tell it to them all - 

Long live the day that is dawning! 

And I'll crow like a cock,
I'll carol like a lark, 

For the light that is coming in the morning.

Eve is the lady, Adam is the lord, 

When we are ruled by the love of another. 

Eve is the lady, Adam is the lord, 

In the light that is coming in the morning.

Sing John Ball and tell it to them all…

All shall be ruled by fellowship, I say, 

All shall be ruled by the love of one another. 

All shall be ruled by fellowship I say, 

In the light that is coming in the morning.

Sing John Ball and tell it to them all…

Labour and spin for fellowship I say, 

Labour and spin for the love of one another. 

Labour and spin for fellowship I say, 

And the light that is coming in the morning.

Sing John Ball and tell it to them all…

You Are My Sunshine....

Here's a merry tune to start next Friday's gathering...
Take it away Berry...!
YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE (Jimmie Davis & Charles Mitchell - 1911)

The other night dear, when I lay dreaming

I dreamt that you were by my side

Come disil - lusion when I a - woke dear

You were gone and then - I - - cried

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine a - way

You told me once dear, there'd be no other
And no-one else could come between
But now you've left me to love another
You have broken all my dreams

I'll always love you, and make you happy
If you will only do the same
But if you leave me, how it will grieve me
Nevermore I'll breathe your name

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beresford Greene Speaks (Tenth Fit)....

Don't speak to me with your mouth!

This is what I am suffering from as a result of losing my next two (draft) BLOGs including this one. Where did they go then? I have deliberately over-written them FOR NO REASON AT ALL. They are gone forever, - cannot be recovered! My pride is hurt too, which since I am a man, is all that really matters to me. Bare in mind I didn't have to tell you that, or that my cat calls me "Daddy."
Nevermind, I will just have to find some alternative narrative for you. All those beautiful words ... gone! I am recovering my swear word from Colin. It begins with a B and has two "L's" in it.

After that can it surprise you to learn that I have been listening to Women's Hour" on the radio. I didn't mean to do it. I was captivated by their discussion on how women use their voices. The discussion was prompted by the recent death of Peruvian singer Yma Sumac who had a range of 5 octaves.The girls accused themselves of settling for 3 or 4 notes in ordinary speech, and of being equally lazy in matters of singing. You'd do better, especially when you sing, to relax your shoulders, and extend the upper chest. {That is either or both}. Do you see where I might be positioned? {Re-written phrase}.
Girls, you should imagine that your vocal chords are low down in your stomach. Don't get stuck up in a high register like Sarah Palin, because you lose respect & authority if you do that. To speak or sing with passion & authority you must increase your range, if possible beyond the range of a Mezzo-soprano. Did you know that most voices lose the attention of their listeners after just 90 secs? Just practice, not training, is required. Making up "funny" voices, & reading to children is all recommended. {I can help with the children but not the reading part!}.Try to avoid that awful screeching sound that I find so frightening! Varied speaking leads to a better singing ability. All on Woman's Hour.

A recent series of conversations has had me thinking. It concerns the timing of a song or piece of music. The pulse. With just a few exceptions this is the "beat" that is regularly spaced and causes us to expect events to occur at certain points in time. In order to be "moved" by music to say, get up & dance, it helps to have a predictable beat. When we speak about a great "groove" we mean that quality that moves the song forward. Like a book that you can't put down. A sonic world that we don't want to leave. Neither is this written on paper. This refers to a performance, or maybe a particular performer. It can come & go from day to day even with the same group of musicians. There can be disagreement about whether something has a good groove or not. One element that stands out is the use by the drummer of their Hi-hat cymbal. Here it is that every beat has its own individual accent, taps & rests.
Most musicians would agree that the groove works best when it is not strictly metronomic, that is, not machine like. The gold standard of groove is usually a drummer who changes the tempo very slightly according to the aesthetic & emotional nuances of the music. We might say that the rhythm "breathes." Therefore there is no overall change of pace or tempo. In fact, it is rather like speaking, real conversation. It needs to swell & contract, to express anger, forgiveness, courtship, urgency, even sincerity. That'll be quite enough of that!

Have you seen those new fangled electronic gadgets that are clipped to the guitar/mandolin headstock? I suppose that no-one would argue that the strings of any instrument should be is some form of recognisable pitch. Yet some of you will have noticed my general reluctance to tune up. That wouldn't be the case if I was more certain of getting my fingers to the correct frets. Unless you can do that what matter is it if the string itself is a little sharp or flat. In fact, if you think it through, it has a chance then to be an advantage. Anyway I have invented a more practical version of that sort of tuning aid. It fits on the headstock just as they do. It is mounted on a swivel, glows in a strange radio-active way, and can be switched On & Off. It is cheap too. It's a torch! Ken says that I should just issue ear plugs.

Keeping to musical things, I feel compelled to add this element of our craft right here. There seems to be a degree of misunderstanding or even disagreement about the use of this word "HARMONY" in the musical context. First of all it is fair to say that it is when two or more instruments are playing in time together. This would be equally true of human voices. Perhaps we are saying two or more notes sounding at the same time. {Polyphony}. Not necessarily then, more than one instrument. The piano is polyphonic. So too is the guitar, the mandolin, even the violin can sound two notes - can't it? The trumpet can't. Neither can a clarinet. Can a human voice? Interesting question since there are, I think, two vocal chords.
Now we come to the really difficult part. Is the harmony sweet? Some harmonies are tied together in exact time. Others are not - as in a Trad jazz band for example, - where there is counterpoint or descant. In Western music, harmonies in time but at a different pitch might be regarded as "sweet" if they are separated by major THIRD intervals in the scale. These are the same notes of which a major chord is constructed. Someone is bound to argue that two musicians, singing or playing in different sound booths, but linked somehow to an auditorium, will be making harmony. Except by default I don't think so! We need a few words & a few rules in order to assess it. In my next BLOG I plan to make a start on all this. If I were you, I'd leave the country!

Still I say "Do not speak to me with your mouth!"


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why did you give Colin such a odd title...?

The answer to the above question can be found here:
Mr. Bewg's Reference
"Mr Bewg's Reference" is one of my favourite scribblings of my favourite author...
I speak (in hushed tones) of non other than Mr. Frank Key. Chronicler of Hooting Yard and it's many completely sensible inhabitants...
Mr. Key's work is a must for anyone who understands Mr. Beresford Greens' outpourings...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Being the 21st of November 2008...

So, the first try out of our new early evening sing-song went as well as could be expected and will now become a feature of the City Folk Club experience...
We have one proposed song for next week from Eddie, 'She'll be Coming Round the Mountain" but we need a couple more so let's have some ideas please...

In a packed evening of knock-about hilarity we managed to squeeze in the following:

Hard Times of Old England: Full cast lead by Ken
Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy: Full cast lead by Colin
Oh, Susanna: Full cast lead by David
Molly Malone: Eddie
Underneath the Stars: John
Johnny Reb: Bill 1:2
The Road to Bepton Park: Yvonne/Mike
Wrecking Ball: Jane/Dave
Follow the Heron Home: Anne
Black Muddy River: Peter/Anne
For No One: Mick
All My Trials: Maggie
A Fine Romance: Brenda/Berry
The Glory of Love: Berry
All Froze Out: Mave
?: Brenda (Lynda's Mum)
One Fine Day: Lynda/Paul
Pilot of the Airwaves: Paul
When I Was on Horseback: Bill 1:1
You & Me: David
The Lincolnshire Poacher: Eddie
Lady Elenor: Bill 1:2
The Wind That Shakes the Barley: Colin
Here is My Home: John
Flying High: Mike
Hallelujah: Jane/Dave
The Bells of Norwich: Anne/Peter
Lady of Pleasure: Peter
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Maggie
Sunny Side of the Street: Brenda/Berry
Hey, Baby: Ken/Berry
Easy To Forget: Lynda/Paul
Princess Royal: Bill 1:1
?: Anne/Peter

and only five people had to die....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy

Following David's recent post, have you been doing your homework and learned the words?

Here's the tune (in D) for Adieu SLN.

Now you've heard it, that's no excuse for late arrival.
(But it may be some justification.)

PS. For the sake of uniformity, that D/Bm in the guitar chords in line 4 has to be one or the other. Ken, the very-blessed MWP, pointed this out. Let's go for B minor and make it an A-Level piece. (If you can't find Bm, just shut up till we get to A7!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh! Susanna...

Oh! Susanna...
David to lead
I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee;
I'm goin' to Lou'siana my true love for to see.

It rained all night the day I left,

The weather it was dry;

The sun so hot I froze to death,

Susanna don't you cry.

Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me;

I come from Alabama,

with my banjo on my knee.

I had a dream the other night,

When everything was still;

I thought I saw Susanna dear,
A-coming down the hill.

The buckwheat cake was in her mouth,

The tear was in her eye,

Said I, I'm coming from the south,

Susanna don't you cry.

Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me;
I come from Alabama,
with my banjo on my knee.

I soon will be in New Orleans,
And then I'll look all 'round,

And when I find Susanna,

I'll fall upon the ground.

But if I do not find her,

Then I will surely die,

And when I'm dead and buried,

Susanna don't you cry.

Oh! Susanna,
don't you cry for me;

I come from Alabama,

with my banjo on my knee.

Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy....

Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy
(D, 4/4)
Colin to lead:

Adieu, sweet lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu.

I am going across the ocean, love, to seek for something new.

Come change your ring with me, dear girl,

Come change your ring with me.

That it might be a token of true love when I am on the sea.

And when I’m far upon the sea you’ll know not where I am.
Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land.
The secrets of my heart, dear girl,
And the best of my good will.
So let your body be where it might, my heart will be with you still.

There’s a heavy storm arising: see how it gathers round.
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are fighting for the Crown.
There’s nothing to protect us, love,
Or keep us from the cold,
On the ocean wide where we must bide like jolly sailors bold.

There’s tinkers, tailors, shoemakers lie snoring fast asleep,
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are ploughing through the deep.
Our officers commanded us
And then we must obey,
Expecting every moment we may be cast away.

And when the wars are over there’ll be peace on every shore.
We’ll return to our wives and our families and the girls that we adore.
We’ll drink our liquor merrily
And spend our money free,
And when our money it is all gone we’ll boldly go to sea.

Hard Times of Old England...

Ken to lead...

Come all brother tradesmen that travel along;
Oh, pray come and tell me where the trade is all gone.
Long time I have travelled and cannot find none,
And it's,
Cho: Oh, the hard times of Old England,
In Old England very hard times.

Provisions you buy at the shop, it is true,
But, if you've no money, there's none there for you.
So, what's a poor man and his family to do?
And it's,

If you go to a shop and you ask for a job,
They will answer you there with a shake and a nod;
So, that's enough to make a man turn out and rob.
And it's,

You will see the poor tradesman a-walking the street
From morning till night, for employment to seek,
And scarcely they've got any shoes to their feet.
And it's,

Our soldiers and sailors have just come from war;
Been fighting for their Queen and their country, 'tis sure
Come home to be starved, better stayed where they were.
And it's,

And now to conclude and to finish my song,
Let us hope that these hard times they will not last long;
I hope soon to have occasion to alter my song.
And it's,
Oh, the good times of Old England,
In Old En-ge-land jolly good times.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How Much...?!!!! (update)

Dear CFC-Children-in-Need supporters,

One correction: a 1p coin turned-out to be 2 (Euro)cents.

Anita gave me a donation this morning, and Colin and I between us have rounded the total up to £200.00.

I paid it in on-line today. The 'receipt' is attached. I'll try and remember to bring the printed copy along to display next Friday.

Well done and THANKS again for supporting a cause which, as Mave and I know from first hand, really does make a difference.

(If you know anyone who'd like to donate, it's not too late: donate, by post, at any bank or building society, by digital satellite tv (red button), by phone (credit/debit card) or online (card or Paypal).
Details at: donate here ).

Love and best wishes,
Ken Hobbs

Being The 14th of November 2008...

Another 'classic' night...
Relaxed, funny, happy, happy, happy...
'Children in Need' efforts raised (as Ken informed us in the previous post) £187.10...
Let me say that again...
Let me try that another way...
One hundred and eighty seven pounds and ten pence...
In italics...
One hundred and eighty seven pounds and ten pence...
In bold italics...
One hundred and eighty seven pounds and ten pence...
The City Folk Club happy to help make a difference...
Oh yeah...
We sang some songs as well...

Sea of Heartbreak: David
Babes in the Wood: Jane/Colin
Grace: John
Whiskey Pudsey: Yvonne/Mike
Down by the Dockyard Wall: Eddie
I Wish I Was Back In Liverpool: Bill 1:2
Universal Soldier/Blowin' in the Wind: Mike
The Rose: Lynda
Children In Need Tonight: Ken
If I Were a Carpenter: Paul
Reason To Believe: David
Lay Me Low: Colin
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald: John
Just a Simple Love Song: Yvonne/Mike
The Lincolnshire Poacher: Eddie
The Dutchman: Bill 1:2
Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound: Mike
Annie's Song: Lynda
English Channel No 5: Ken
Careless Love: Paul
The Drowned Lovers: David

Rosy glows all round...
Thanks to everyone for their support...

How Much...?!!!! (The CFC Childern in Need Total Raised)

Over to you Ken...

Are you sitting comfortably?

One hundred and eighty-seven pounds and 5 pence (and 6 Euro-cents).

I'll buy the cents - for, say, 5p, so: £187.10.

I think 'magnificent' is not an unsuitable term. Many, many thanks to all those who contributed so handsomely.

Well done, David - for great mc-ing; to Colin for the club donation suggestion.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Deep and Meaningful...

Ken alerts us to the following piece of exciting San Francisconion graffiti...

He also supplies a handy guide to the myopic of it's contents...

"When the shadow of the grasshopper
falls across the the trail of the field mouse
on green and slimey grass as a red sun rises
above the western horizon silhouetting
a gaunt and tautly muscled indian warrior
perched with a bow and arrow cocked and aimed
straight at you it's time for another martini"

- or possibly, time to scatter your beads, trinkets, and pieces of mirror, and run like b*ggery.

The more astute among you may notice that the last line does not appear in the original picture...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Beresford Greene Speaks (Ninth fit)....


Aren't you glad to have a nice hobby that costs you so little? When the hard times bite there will be a revival in blues songs and you'll be well placed & in vogue again (at last) with your material. Isn't it nice when you amuse or otherwise entertain the other folk? So gratifying to know that your life is not completely wasted on Corrie & Eastenders?
There doesn't seem to be any contentious club issues on which I can feed this week. So maybe I could raise one or two. Would you like the club to start on time? What about the heating? Or the issue of bringing ones own drinks. The "Title" to songs & material. Then the business of gender-pronoun substitution and the singing of material intended for that other gender. Then there's always Ken Hobbs of course. Not only that but where is he?

As I write it isn't yet clear where this BBC saga will end, but my sub-title is also my best guess. I have some rough notes that I had intended to try & weave into our own club situation. Here they are: - What price entertainment? - fashion & development - tradition - pushing the envelope - going that little bit further like explorers, mountaineers, car racers, - the rewards & penalties of risk - whatever you can get away with - proportion & scale - attention seeking show offs - timing - instant gratification of urges.
I feel reluctantly aware that Ross & Brand had some right to expect strong editorial cover that they didn't get. I wonder if any of that was due to internal jealousy at the BBC. That they can be brash, tasteless, immature, lewd, rude as well as truly witty is a part of what they are and what you get if you choose to consume their product. They are apt to be loose cannons, a generation on, but not dissimilar to Spike Milligan in his own time.
In some small way we have similar decisions to make even within our Folk Club. {Berry take a special note}. A little bit of Rock & Roll maybe, but not at every turn. Some banter, but in good taste & never misdirected. It isn't everyone that wants it, deserves it, or can take it. One needs to be very sober, very controlled, very sensitive to the moment, and such comedy is never easy. I suspect one could say, rather more musically, that it's all a question of scale, meter & tempo. Never a laugh at any price. Don't mention the money!
{Dwoss & Bwanned type joke. I may yet be doing a live version of this joke sometime soon}.

A musician friend recently told me about something that I expect you already know. You didn't! Nevermind, I will reiterate. Apparently, in order for one to get proficient in any activity involving cognitive or perceptual-motor skills, such as cooking, sewing, driving, or more pertinently, playing a musical instrument, it will take you 10,000 hours. More explicitly, at the rate of nearly 3 hrs / day over 10 years. I was left wondering if this applies to walking & talking, running & jumping, but I don't think so. It has to be reasonably complex. OK so you think bad language should be included - eh!
Did you see the recent Jeff Beck concert, (and other guitarist extracts), on TV recently? For my money he needn't have bothered! If that was all guitar playing amounted to I would never have been attracted to it. There that's honest. No definable structure, much all in one key, it seemed to be a collection of "noises." What else is music then if not a collection of "noises" - eh? How long have you got? !0,000 hours?

Now ye who are "inteeligent" help me out here. Well not necessarily "intelligent", just know a lot. Is it not the case that the IQ index is weighted in accord with ones age? Aren't we really trying to measure the absorption factor of the human brain? I have dismal aquisitional abilities. I just never seem to learn song-words for example. My internal filofax has some recall but it takes forever to get it in there, and just as long to retrieve it. For many years I accepted that I was just a bit thick.
However, this bland acceptance of such a mantle merely serves the purposes of those who invented it in the first place, so I didn't like it. My reprieve came when I stumbled across the long named weird disability that the French call the "IDIOT SAVANT." {Also Williams syndrome}. This is a person who, just like Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man, has advanced ability in certain areas of the brain, at the same time as being very impaired in other parts. {Remind you of anybody?}.
They seem to have come to prominence towards the end of the nineteenth century for their use, in travelling fairs, as musicians or demonstrators of rapid mental arithmetic. This has given way now to other weird abilities, most notably, calendar feats & complex art of the drawing kind. To be able to jump the queue as it were, in a musical ability sense, it would be an advantage to be autistic - yeah? Let me not hear then, anymore smartarses deride me for reading my words, or otherwise messing up. Is that clear? Do try to remember that! As an aside, I can't help but wonder as it were, (bear with me), if there is any connection here that would explain why words once learnt, are sometimes rendered with so little feeling.

I was reading the BLOG of St Anley the incandescent when I encountered the following phrase: - "Let's face it, who uses magnetic tape these days?" Whilst we all divert to the latest in technology, there might be a few pitfalls. No-one knows much about the longevity of the CD/DVD. In fact some say that they are unlikely to survive for many years, being so sensitive to light & temperature. Often intolerant of even the slightest scratch, these discs (note the "c" in there denotes NON -magnetic), have absolutely huge amounts of laser inscribed dots & dashes. These are so tiny that they scarcely exist and are definitely not robust. In the case of music & video, our systems can withstand the odd missing bits, but data files are not tolerant at all. It could yet prove to be that magnetic media is actually the best bet. Perhaps tape is second best to any kind of disk/disc, since it is impossible to search for an item quickly. This is the advantage of a disk/disc. (Note the 'k' in there means magnetic).
St Anley then goes on about his admiration for someone who can play a Grand Piano & a keyboard at the same time. I honestly didn't know that when I attempted to play a harmonica & a keyboard together at the club on Friday (24thOct). I made the elementary mistake of playing two different tunes. Now if you really wanted to do that I'll bet you couldn't!
There are so many ways that information can be imparted to a CD/DVD. Just consider the segmented concentric rings (tracks) that are used by a PC to store & retrieve data. Then there is the spiral track used for the players, be they audio or video. It starts in the middle & winds outwards. I've got an old 78 record that is just like that. I have! Then we have to decide which way up to put the "1's" & "0's" (-R & +R). It's a nightmare of different software packages and that's why so many CD/DVD's won't transfer between different players or PC's.
In a final fury of BLOG exasperation, St Anly resorts to uncharacteristic swearing. He uses one of my own favourites. He claims title to it during the period of its use. I find nearly all swear-words well worth retaining; indeed I will do so now despite the temptation.

Brenda & I have colds. We didn't feel very musical and sat around shivering a bit as we watched boring TV. I started to scan the free digital channels and managed to catch a little programme on the History channel about Dr Beeching and the railways. A bit "blokey" I suppose but there were bits of old cine showing the steam trains, and then the subject diverted to what had become of the old railway stations and country routes. Many are lost forever, demolished to make way for "progress" in the shape of industrial units and houses. There are, however, some remarkable renovations. Some have been fully restored then to be used by the enthusiasts who run such novelties as the IOW & Bluebell railways. What took our eye were those stations which have been converted to domestic residences. There they live with a mock locomotive outside the Stationmaster's door, situated on just 50 foot of rail with flowers growing out of its funnel.
The programme finished up in a bridleway that was once a single track railway, and as the camera drew back and the closing credits began to roll, a dilapidated old signal came into view. I began to think how long it must have been since whence it last operated, even allowing myself to dream of how effective it would be as an ending shot should it do so. Rather like a piece of music in suspension, awaiting a resolve. I had given it up when, would you believe, it moved! Was that done just for me? My smile turned into a spontaneous tear.

I'm old enough to recall the immediate aftermath of WW2. I had a grandma who could recollect so much more from that & other wars. A woman that had given uncles, brothers and a son to the various campaigns, she was rather baffled by it in my humble opinion. It left her with no space for trivial argument. She would remain quiet, and if possible move on or away from conflict. She was a wise & kindly woman. How lucky my age-group have been. I feel guilty enough without the realisation that I have wasted, (& still do waste), much of that legacy on trivia.
Let us give thanks to those who died so needlessly on the battlefields, in the air and at sea. Let us also remember who it was that sent them there. The politicians. I just won't vote for that lot at Westminster. I will try to learn the Shaker hymn "Lay Me Low" proposed by Colin for our club meet on the 14thNov. Please join me.



P.S. Whatever happened to all the money

Ken Speaks...

Many City Folk Club regulars will be aware of the special place that Children in Need has for Mave and me. If anyone needs convincing that Children in Need is a worthwhile cause - and I won't go into details here - just ask me or Mave. We know it does make a very real difference, because it did to us. Last year, even though it came hot on the heels of the incredible sum raised in October's OXJAM events, the City Folk Club's lovely people raised £50 for Children in Need, which was wonderful. Their generosity is not in doubt, but it would be terrific if we could top that on the 14th, wouldn't it? It would mark the Fourth anniversary of moving to the Regnum in fine style. Come loaded with change! Or even folding stuff!

Ken Hobbs

Being The 7th of November 2008...

First, a timely warning...
"The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention.... It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant... the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being non-existent persons."
George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) pt.2, ch. 5
So remember...
Don't 'do' the lottery. Save your money for next weeks exciting Children In Need night at the City Folk Club...

This evening in detail:

3 Jolly Boys: David/Paul/Colin
Wave Over Wave: Mave
Blackwaterside: Bill 1:1
Claudy Banks: Anne
No Man's Land: John
The 40 Shades of Green: Eddie
Bitter Boy: Jane/Dave
Hole In The Ground: Gerry
Thomas Dudley: Jenny
Snorkel: Mick
The Welsh Song: Allice
Under The Bridges of Paris: Maggie
Look What They've Done to My Song Ma: Lynda/Paul
A Picture of You: Paul
Unicorns: Colin
Kathy's Song: Lucy
You and Me: David
The Auld Triangle: Ken
Come By The Hills: Mave
The Wounded Solider/Captain O'Neil: Bill 1:1
It Ain't Me Babe: Maggie
Grey Funnel Line: Eddie
Dublin In The Rare Old Times: Lynda
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda: John
The Death Bed: Allice
I Don't Care Where They Bury My Body: Paul
Maid Behind The Board/Coolies: Mick
Bay of Biscay: Anne
The Bargain Store: Jane/Dave
Fairfield Crane: Gerry
Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me: Lucy

Why am I a Soldier?

The eleventh hour approaches.

These are words by Les Barker, arranged and performed by Coope, Boyes and Simpson.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Joke...

An Englishman is being shown around a Scottish hospital.

At the end of his visit, he is shown into a ward with a number of patients who show no obvious signs of injury. He goes to examine the first man he sees, and the man proclaims:

Fair fa' yer honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain e' the puddin' race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
painch tripe or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
as lang's my arm.

The Englishman, somewhat taken aback, goes to the next patient, and immediately the patient launches into:

Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

This continues with the next patient:

Wee sleekit cow'rin tim'rous beastie,
O what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
wi' bickering brattle.
I wad be laith to run and chase thee,
wi' murdering prattle!"

"Well," the Englishman mutters to his Scottish colleague, "I see you saved the psychiatric ward for the last."

"Nay, nay," the Scottish doctor corrected him, "this is the Burns unit."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Being The 31st of October 2008...

Welcome to The City Folk Club Cookery Course...
For our first dish...

Kangaroo Tail Fricassee.

Time: About 3 hours.
Ingredients: 1 tail, 2oz. of dripping, 1oz. of flour, 1 onion sliced, 1 carrot sliced, half a small turnip sliced, 2 or 3 sprigs of parsley, 1 bay-leaf, 2 cloves, 1 blade of mace, 1 dessertspoonful of lemon-juice, salt and pepper, stock or water.

Method: Divide the tail at each joint, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then drain and dry well. Fry the joints lightly in hot dripping, then take them up and stir in the flour. Fry until well browned, add the stock and stir until it boils, then put back the tail and add the vegetables, herbs and spices. Season to taste, cover closely, and simmer gently until tender. Arrange the tail on a hot dish and strain the sauce over.

Right, that's dinner sorted out...
Now the cabaret....

We Gotta' Get Out Of This Place: David
Lyke Wake Dirge: Colin
She Moved Through The Fair: Paul
Soldiers Three: Bill 1:1
Steal Away: Phil
Ghosts and Skeletons: Mike
Mr. Man In The Moon: Les
Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Berry
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: Brenda/Berry
Bang On The Year: Mike
Bound For The Mountains And The Sea: Lynda
North Country Fair: Paul
The Miller And The Lass: Colin
Tin Box: David
Tunkles: Bill 1:1
Carrickfergus: Phil
How It's Meant To Be: Mike
Baby's In Black: Les
Cabaret: Brenda/Berry
You Can Close Your Eyes: Mike
Raglan Road: Lynda
Dreaming: Paul
Teddy Bear's Picnic: Berry
Johnny Be Fine: Colin
Far Away: Les
Silk Pyjamas: Mike
Early Morning Rain: Liz/Phil
?: Bill 1:1

Now what's for dessert...?