ZOOM FOLK SESSION – Virtual Brampton

We enjoyed a lively on 18th May with the theme ‘Occupations’.   Who would have thought that quite such a wide range of ways of making a living had had songs written about them?

Just to defy expectations of what you find in a folk session, Sam Millington brought us into the space age with Armstrong.  Phil described the delights of a sewerman’s life (I’m glad I’m working down below); Paul and Karen harmonised about ‘When I was a singer’ (Under that old Clare moon); Mick’s theatre cleaner reminisced about the Velvet Curtain and Patsy and Bob sang about the hardships of The Boxer’s life. The monologue, Free Activity Period (Jan) gave us a comic insight into the vicissitudes of a nursery teacher’s work, and Mary’s poem warned us against falling into the hands of The Practice Nurse.  

Injustices and inequalities were a significant sub-theme.  Roll on (Terry) protested about the hardships of working life – poorly paid, exploited by employers and consumers alike, while Three Nights and a Sunday (Mike) noted too much work for some and not enough for others.  Maddy poignantly described the sufferings of the worker discarded and unable to find Honest Work due to changes in the workplace.  

Traditional trades appeared in The Little Carpenter (Gerda); The Waggoner (Mike); The Jolly Miller (Ruth) and the navvies who worked on the Carlisle-Settle Railway (Alan).  Mill hands featured in Shift and spin (Ged); keelmen in Carrying coals (Charlie); and poachers in Moon Song (Richard Harradine).  Mining was well-represented: A Miner’s Life (Steve); 1915-1972 (Elaine); and The Coal and Albert Berry (Miriam).  Sailors and fishermen (and fisherwomen) were also popular: Sailor – Ian; Falling more slowly – Terry; Hong Shui Lang Da Lang – Sylvia.  We had various angles on agriculture: Anne’s Harvest Gypsies, about the itinerant crop-pickers of the USA; Cainc yr Odryddes (The Milkmaid’s Song) from Sam and Eleanor Simmons and the merits of a Plooman Laddie as a husband (Katy).

We next meet (still virtually) on Tuesday 15th June at 8pm with the theme ‘Colours’.  ALL WELCOME!

May  Review