Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winterval ...

Our friend Bill 1.1 has written as follows:

Are we not celebrating Winterval?
There should be a carol.

Winterval comes round and the shops are all abla-a-ze
the-e lights are shining bright in the town.
Our spirits are rai-ai-sed as we hear the piped music
and commerce is blazing all around.

Rejoice! Rejoice! for sales they are upon us,
And gifts and tat is cheaper year by year,
Rejoice! Rejoice! for childhood's long behind us,
and Chirstmas-tide comes sooner every year.

Or something ... but there it is. I heard on the radio, I think, that the Daily Mail have apologised for the slurs on local government about Winterval, which was never intended by any-one to replace Christmas and is largely a right wing straw man.

Love and thanks to all at the club for the kind (and much appreciated) card.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Club’s grand Turn-of-the-Year party …

So, what are we doing for Christmas?
Please be not disappointed when I say, "Nothing!" 

Friday, 23rd December: NO CLUB, because you’ll all be putting up your festive decorations.
Will they appear thus?

However, mark this in your diary ...

Friday, 30th December: CFC’s Turn-of-the-Year party.

Please bring along your Christmas left-overs: i.e. some buffet-type food to share, and we hope that people will come along with all their seasonal songs and tunes.
If you would like to sport your left-over party-hat, that's fine.
Oh, and bring along those dreadful riddles/jokes that you found in your Christmas crackers.
The club will provide some left-over disposable plates and cutlery, but it will be helpful if you supply your own.
By popular consent there will be no dancing, but a decision has yet to be made about dress-code.

Crackers, balloons, party-poppers and all objects that might go 'BANG!' will not be permitted.
You could be searched for such items on arrival.

We intend to kick off with music promptly at 8.00pm, and we have an extension until midnight.

By the way, it will be FREE entry!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Being The 25th November, 2011 ...

I like requests, don't you?
  • They are always encouraging to receive.
  • Given reasonable notice, performers go away and rehearse and then give of their best.
  • Listeners get to luxuriate in what they want to hear.

This was an evening overflowing with requests fulfilled in aid of Children in Need.
22 people turned up, and Berry took charge of the bell tree.

According to an image in the social networking domain, Berry looked like this in a bygone age:

He's aged rather well, hasn't he?

Here's what we heard:

Jesus, Saviour, Pilot me: Jane & Roger
Till the Stars Fall from the Sky: Yvonne & Mike
Braes o' Killicrankie: Duncan
Sons de Carrilhoe: Mark
Buddy, Can you Spare a Dime: Roger
Will You Still Love me Tomorrow: Margaret
Westlin' Winds: Nigel
There are no Lights on our Christmas Tree: Howard
Halcyon Days: Mike & Yvonne
Reynardine: Colin
April Come She Will: Lucy
Bygone Years: Mike P.
Manchester Rambler: Mave
The Prentice Boy: Roland
Doc's Guitar: Mick
Crow on the Cradle: Lynda, Mike P. & Mick
Father and Son: Dave
West Virginia Mining Song: Angela
Sisters of Mercy: Paul
Sweet Little Sixteen: Berry & Ken
Godfather Theme: Mark
The Last Thing on my Mind: Howard & Berry
Deportee: Jane & Roger
Love Will Tear us Apart: Mike P.
Dream River: Lucy & Roger
The Tryst: Nigel
Classical Gas: Mick
I am Weary, Let me Rest: Angela, Roland, Colin & Paul
The Tower: Dave
The Parting: Lynda
Lakes of Pontchartrain: Ken
Mary Skeffington: Paul

Monday, November 21, 2011

Well, fan my spots! Didn't you do well!

People told me that the Children in Need event last Friday was enjoyable. I don't know, I was too busy cocking-up the MC-ing, (I think I got everyone in), bungling the Spot Prizing, etc. although, despite my deliberate (in)action to avoid the embarrassment of drawing my own ticket, my family did rather well in the Grand Prize Cake-sale Draw. I seem to have acquired a spotty pink shower cap at one point (according to photos:- these fetching images, enlarged and framed, would adorn any self-respecting domestic wall - enquire for sizes and prices).
Permit me a rare moment of seriousness, now:- on behalf of the club and Children in Need, my heartfelt thanks to all who came, donated, bought cakes, brought cakes, sponsored requests, played requests, organised, set-up, decorated, sold cakes, cleared-up and all manner of things related thereto.

The news you've all been waiting for: including a generous top-up from club funds I have paid in FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS!!!! Well done, all of you - pat yourselves on the back!
A grand achievement! All this money (and 25% more, if you know what I mean) will go, along with the other £26m+ raised - amazing in these straightened times, to do real good, helping disadvantaged children. You should be proud to be a part of that, and I think Pudsey can never have enough money to meet the (increasing) challenges (more and more) people are having to face. (The cases shown on TV late on Friday night brought a lump to my throat, especially the boy with the head injury from a road traffic accident).

Thank you again - yet again, you've made a difference. It's a privilege to know you.
(I'll be back to my usual facætious* self soon).
*I'm sure we used to spell it with a dipthong - but no more, alas, so it's one for the old days

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Being The 18th of November, 2011 ...

Ken took charge as MC because this was the club's annual event in aid of Children in Need.
Ken appeared thus:

It was a successful and enjoyable evening with 26 participants.
I hope that Ken will provide a detailed account of our fund-raising activities when he's counted all that small change, so I will simply restrict this post to the song-list:

Children in Need Tonight: Ken & Mave
Babes in the Wood: Jane T. & Colin
Greensleeves: Mike H.
Amazing Grace: Margaret H.
Look at Us: Les
For Naomi: Lucy
Fulsome Prison Blues: Roland & Angela
Song of Gilgalad: Jane W.
Spanish Train: Dave
Push a Little Button: Yvonne
In the Mood: Mick
See that Rainbow Shine: Eddie
The Air that I Breathe: Lynda & Paul
The Field Behind the Plough: Nigel
I'll be Your Sweetheart: Brenda & Berry
Sweet Thames Flow Softly: Mave
Travelling Light: Berry
Michael in the Garden: Paul
Russian Vodka Fest: Ken
Cheatin' Heart: Ken, Berry, Paul and a few others
Strange Rain: Les
The [River] is Wide: Margaret H.
Wreck of the 97: Roland & Angela
My Bonny Moorhen: Lynda
Unicorns: Colin
Merrimack County: Lucy & Paul
Cockles and Mussels: Brenda (Lynda's mum.)
Butterflies: Yvonne & Mike H.
All of Me: Brenda & Berry
Bushes and Briars: Jane W.
Patricia the Stripper: Dave
Fotheringay: Mike H.
Spellbound: Mick
Johnny my Man: Nigel
I Live in Trafalgar Square: Mave
Farewell Shanty: Paul & full cast

Well done, Ken.
Well done, everyone, and thank you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

THIS FRIDAY "It's time to show your spots" for CHILDREN IN NEED

City Folk Club has one of its occasional charity nights THIS FRIDAY. All proceeds to Children in Need – which really does do good (ask Ken or Mave for first-hand information).

We're starting at 8 o'clock, because there's a lot to fit in:

a) more Sponsored (Spotty) Requests than will fit in two evenings, let alone one! (I've seen the list of requests, and there'll more than a few gems, you mark my spots!);

b) Spotty Cakes available for sale at the Spot Price- and one will be drawn as the winner of a Valuable Mystery Prize (ooooh!);

c) no Club collection this week: there will be Children in Need Collection Pots– please bring lots of Sterling (spotty or not);

d) there will be other ways/ excuses for you to part with your cash – including forcible extraction, if necessary (only joking), and, possibly, some Spot Prizes, too;

e) time to admire the themed decorations in the Guide Hall.

This promises to be, going on form and what we know of the preparations so far, a Vintage night (of the usual rubbish, but for a very worthwhile cause). If you have a spot, we'll try and squeeze it... in.

We'd like to raise lots, of course, and City Folk Club members have been outstandingly generous, but however much we raise, it will all go to help children in need.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 14, 2011

About this BLOG ...

Allow me to explain something in response to parkingspaceman’s recent post about canine droppings …

I acquired that title ‘Dogsbody Scrivener and Wretch’ early in the history of this club, at which time I had responsibility to provide a list of names to our erstwhile venue, The Regnum  Club. That was a requirement of our tenancy.
Soon after taking up the position of resident MC, David set up this blog in May 2008.
Thus was born the idea of the 'song-list'.
I have tried to perpetuate the blog primarily as a diary of performances each week.
Otherwise I hope it will serve as a vehicle for dissemination of important information, future events and inconsequential nonsense.

There have been other contributors to whom I am grateful:
‘Beresford Greene Speaks’ has always been thought-provoking, but he has been strangely silent in recent times.
That ‘Diary of a Folk-Song Collector’ was informative and amusing, albeit of questionable historical authenticity.

So, let me invite our participants to make contributions to this blog.

All things tasteful, relevant to the club, local events, folk music/song in general, constructive criticism, literary gems and entertaining anecdotes are worthy of consideration.
We can handle web-links, images, mp3s and video.

Please remember that these posts are in the public domain.
David once wisely advised: “Never publish anything that you wouldn’t be happy for your granny to see!”
Personal abuse will not be tolerated!
I usually avoid using full surnames; some people are understandably sensitive about identity.
Anglo-Saxon expletives, however cleverly disguised by ‘%**’ etc., could incur censorship or rejection.
Be wary about material that could have copyright implications.

So: get writing, and email your submissions to cityfolkclub[at]
Then watch this space.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Sings ...

Do you remember Jo?
She was the new face with a charming voice and complete mastery of a gaelic language.

I said that I would circulate the information below:

I might even go along myself.

Being the 11th of November: Blonde and Chains

In her welcoming address, Angela referred to my remarks about "blonde and chains" made at the Folk Song Club on Tuesday. In explanation and a wish to ease your vexed minds over this matter, which must continue to trouble you (if you haven't forgotten it), I offer the following, but please bear in mind two things: 1) you probably had to be there to appreciate the full impact, and 2) it did bring the house down.

The guest on Tuesday, a tall, slim, attractive singer/songwriter/guitarist from the USA, Sarah McQuaid, was introducing a song by telling us how she came to write it. She was confined to a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas, by illness, watching the best available TV fare: back-to-back episodes of Ice Road Truckers. She explained a bit about the programme and in particular described a diminutive lady truck-driver, who had to fit snow chains to her truck. This tiny blonde said that the chains were heavier than she was, and Sarah said "I believe her", going on to describe the difficulty in icy conditions. "There she was, this bonde with these chains". At this point your humble correspondent chimed in with "Blonde and chains does it for me" - which was greeted with much hilarity by the company.

There you have it, this probably futile attempt to convey the atmosphere of an ephemeral incident.

Ken Hobbs

P.S. Children in Need next week - bring lots of money, lots of spots - we'll have lots of fun with sponsored requests, spotty prize cakes and more.

Being the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, 2011 ...

Angela was in the driving seat, and welcomed nineteen other participants to a memorable evening of songs and music.

J'attendrai: Angela
Brothers in Arms: Lynda
Dalmation Cradle Song: Jo
Penny in my Pocket: Roland
Sing with me now: Eddie
Vesta Pole: Mick
Story of Isaac: Roger
When I was on Horseback: Jane & Roger
Keep the Home Fires Burning: Mave
Paddy's Lamentation: Ken
1916: Dave
Star of County Down: Lorna
The Gift of Years: Nigel
Where Have all the Flowers Gone: Paul
Scarecrow: Colin
Will the Circle be Unbroken: Angela, Roland & full cast
Bound for the Mountains and the Sea: Lynda
Fear a Bhàta (The Boatman): Jo
The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate: Roland
The Roses of No-Man's Land: Eddie
O'Carolan's Draft: Mick
Abide With Me: Roger
Dance me to the end of Love: Jane, Roger & Mick
Little Grey Home in the West: Mave
Going for a Soldier, Jenny: Ken
Soldier: Dave
Rufty Tufty: Lorna
Willie McBride (Green Fields of France): Nigel
Doctor Jazz: Paul
Only Remembered: Colin
Mingulay Boat Song: Eddie

There was significant activity on the sponsored spotty requests front.
Don't forget that next week is Children in Need night, and we are hoping for a prompt start at 8.00pm.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Canine Plan

If this blog is "A chronicle of 'doings'", and it's written (mainly) by Dogsbody, does that make it "dog's doings"? (Let's hope he cleans it up afterwards).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Labouring Man Sessions

Alan, who is an occasional and very welcome participant of this club, in company with Anne, has sent a reminder about a music session he operates at The Labouring Man in Coldwaltham ...
Sunday, 13th November, 6.30pm.
I am sure that Alan would like people to go along.

For satnav users the postcode is RH20 1LF, or a google maps search will take you straight there.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Reminder about Children in Need

That's on Friday, 18th November.

We will repeat the format of sponsored requests. (See earlier post here)

Lynda has asked for donations of spotty cakes to sell. I think she means of the spotty cup-cakes variety, generously sliced spotty cakes and the like.
Here’s something I made earlier:

Each cake will be accompanied by a raffle ticket, and the winner of a highly desirable prize will be identified during the evening.
Lynda writes: "If people would like to pledge cakes in advance that would be really useful."
You can contact Lynda on 01243 783211 or  email

In previous years this has been a most enjoyable and successful evening, so come along, aiming for a prompt start at 8.00pm.
Bring money and enjoy the spotty fun.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Being The 4th Day of November, 2011 ...

Dogsbody, having retrieved his Diary of Doings, was in charge of crowd-control.
He demonstrated such authority by crying 'Taser - taser - taser!' whilst wielding a stun-gun cunningly disguised as a bell-tree.

The company was largely cooperative and performed as follows:

Lyke Wake Dirge: Colin
Della the Dealer: Paul
You Were Always on my Mind: Lynda & Paul
The Tower: Dave
November 5th: Ken
Drover's Dream: Laura & Lorna
Sea Coal: Angela & Roland
Lord Franklin: Nigel
Settle to Carlisle: Laura & Lorna
Three Babes: Angela
Spencer the Rover: Colin
Moonshadow: Paul
I Remember Morley: Nigel
Early Morning Rain: Lynda & Paul
Lord Franklin (parody!!!): Ken
The Mule Song: Dave
Coast of Peru: Roland
Among the Leaves so Green-oh: Sue & Patrick
A French Tune: Lorna
Red is the Rose: Laura
Bury me under the Weeping Willow: Angela
Johnny be Fine: Colin
If I were a Carpenter: Paul
The Rose: Lynda
Summer in December: Dave
Who's the Fool Now: Sue & Patrick
Blaydon Races: Lorna
All Things are Quite Silent: Laura
Little Yellow Roses: Angela
Young Roger Esquire: Roland
The Indian Lass: Ken
Greenland Whale Fisheries: Nigel

We lost track of the death count, which was considerable, bearing in mind that Lord Franklin and his crew died twice!
Roland caught a whale off the Peruvian coast.
Nigel failed to catch one near Greenland, but lost several jolly tars in the process.