FOLK SESSION – Howard Arms - Brampton

We had such a record attendance on 18th June that it will be difficult to do justice to all the fun that was had – but here goes!  A warm welcome to visitors from Kent, Chris and Alan Davis, and to Harry, Bridget and Gerry.  Welcome back to Les and Di; Charlie Chomse and Corrie.

The theme was ‘landscape’.  We had a generous helping of instrumental music, and of unusual accompanying instruments: Frank (diatonic accordion) and Corrie (Northumbrian small pipes) played Green Bracken; Les and Di on guitar and fiddle gave us the intriguingly-named Mountain of the Women and Rothbury Hills; Adrian on melodeon played the morris tune Ladder Hill. Chris (bass recorder) and Alan Davis (guitar) took us to Liscannor Bay, while Gerry, accompanying himself on mouth organ and guitar, invited us to Come away with me (‘where the Missouri flows’).

Harry read us his own poem The hills are alive, a stern memory of brushfires in the ‘mined-out’ landscape around Middlesbrough.  Mountains and hills also cropped up in College Valley Hounds (Angus); Tarry Woo’ (Anne); Wild Mountainside (Bridget, Harry and Gerry) and Rocky Mountain High (Alan Jefferson).  We descended to level ground on The Plains of Waterloo (Charlie) and the military cemeteries of northern France in Strangest of Lands (Steve).  Dipping further down, Christine took us into Highland Glens and Gerda, in a song of her own writing, showed us the Ashokan village in the Catskill Mountains, now drowned to make the Ashokan Reservoir.

Maddy (This Land) and Ruth (But it’s mine) found songs featuring forests; Mary’s song featured a lake – her irreverent parody Windermere Sailor.  Several ingenious people managed to work in a whole range of landscape: sandy heath; grassy plain; mossy boulders (Where ravens feed – Sally); shores; peak; bay; bogland (The Green and Red of Mayo – Sam); pasture; moor; fields; drystone dykes (The Tailor of the Dales – Phil).

We next meet on 16th July in the Howard Arms, Brampton.  The theme will be ‘health’ – anything that contributes to making you healthy or unhealthy.  Healthy exercise versus alcohol; brown bread versus gunshot wounds…and there are all those 18th Century songs about unfortunate rakes.  Being creative is half the fun!

June Review