FOLK SESSION – Howard Arms - Brampton

We had a packed session on 15th August, with a wealth of contributors and a friendly sprinkling of listeners.  It was a particular pleasure to welcome Tony, visiting from Yorkshire with his concertina, and Ray who had not visited us for some time.  

Our theme was ‘clothing’. Phil sang Big Knicker Blues and Ruth read her autobiographical poem Small Knickers (subtitle: How I was put off knitting) but otherwise we were most restrained, considering what possibilities folk music offers!  We sang about fine clothes and ragged clothes, work clothes and uniforms.  James James Morrison Morrison W George Dupree’s mother ‘put on a golden gown’ (Anne); Angus on banjo-ukulele mentioned fur and diamond rings in Has anybody seen my girl?; Magdalene McGillivray recalled ‘the graceful swirl of long skirts (Steve).  Janet on the other hand remembered The coat of many colours sewn together from rags; the heroine’s clothing in Old Penny Whistle was ‘faded and plain’ (Miriam), and Tony found references both to landladies in their silk gowns and to ‘britches out at the knees’ in Silly Drunkard.

Miners’ work clothes featured in Schooldays Over (Sally) and Blackleg Miner (Maddy), and (by implication at least) in Cousin Jack (Ray) while Adrian reminded us of the functional ‘old leather britches’ of George Fox.  As for uniforms, we had the Lancashire Lads dressed in scarlet (Dave); the green- and black-coated regiments in Dolly (Eliza), The Green Plaid (Katy) and perhaps, at a pinch, the woad-covered heroes of The National Anthem of the Ancient Britons (Mary).

A lot of people found splendid, rousing chorus songs with a ‘clothes’ theme. We demanded Donald, whaur’s yer troosers? with Alan; yodelled The Happy Wanderer with Mary (the song mentions a hat); regretted a misspent youth in Yellow Handkerchief (Maddy) and sentimentalised over The Galway Shawl (Steve).

We next meet on Tuesday, 19th September in The Howard Arms, Brampton, at 8.30pm.  The theme will be ‘occupations’ (eg tinker, tailor, soldier sailor…)

And for anyone who likes to be really organised, the theme for October will be ‘tools and utensils’. So you can start planning now…

August Review