FOLK SESSION – Howard Arms - Brampton

In spite of cold rain and a windy night, we had a good turnout on 20th November.  A particular welcome to Gerda and Sherry, joining us for the first time.

With the Armistice-related theme of ‘war’, it was not surprisingly a fairly sober and serious evening.  Steph and Terry started us off with perhaps the darkest subject of all in Dance me to the end of love and Rubenstein remembers- both about the Concentration camps.  Sam’s In the news denounced atrocities committed during the first Gulf War, and The House of Orange (Angus) refused to continue historical hatreds.  The Crow on the Cradle (Adrian) is Sydney Carter’s grim comment on the Cold War.  

The First World War was well-represented.  Christine sang two songs straight from the Great War, It’s a long way to Tipperary and All the nice girls love a sailor. Phil commemorated the shire horses that were requisitioned and killed as well as the men who died in Home, Lads, Home.  Mary read us stories and poems on women’s role, including Shoulder to shoulder (about women’s football teams that kept the sport alive during the war).  Both Charlie and Angus recalled the Irish troops that fought in the war in, respectively, Salonika and Gallipoli.

We also looked back to older conflicts.  Gerda took us back to the Napoleonic wars with Bonny Light Horseman, as did Adrian with The Death of Nelson.  Alan reminded us of the military disaster at Balaclava with The Charge of the Light Brigade.  Ruth sang in praise of The Minstrel Boy (19th Century) and Gerda’s Bold Privateer had a very 18th Century swagger.

But some lighter-hearted music did emerge: Sally with Scottish Soldier and Mary with When Johnny comes marching home lifted our spirits, and finally we all trooped downstairs and gathered round the piano, where Sherry played us the simply-titled War Song.

We next meet on Tuesday 18th December at 8.30pm.  The theme will be ‘open’ -sing, play or recite whatever takes your fancy.  

November Review