FOLK SESSION – Howard Arms - Brampton

FOLK SESSION – Howard Arms, Brampton

Anyone visiting the Howard Arms for music on 17th March for music had an embarrassment of choice: downstairs a local group, the Brampton Reivers, were playing sets for St Patrick’s Day, and upstairs the folk session met with a dual Welsh/Irish theme, honouring both St David’s Day (1st March) and St Patrick’s Day.

The Welsh theme was not so well-represented as the Irish, but we still covered Welsh history and old wars in the rousing Men of Harlech (Adrian); the importance of mining in Duw, it’s hard (Phil); the national passion for rugby in a Max Boyce song The Scottish Trip, and one song in the Welsh language – Sospan Fach.  

The Irish theme produced excellent chorus songs such as I’ll tell me ma; Jug of Punch (Anne); Molly Malone (Sally); Fields of Athenry (Phil); Spanish Lady (Katy).  Several songs had Dublin as their setting, from Rare Ould Times and the elegiac Raglan Road (Phil) to Anne’s autobiographical Postcard from Dublin – (okay, Anne, which of you did ‘kidnap a barman’?)  Belfast featured in Black Velvet Band, but we went further afield to Connacht and Munster (South Wind); the ‘silver Shannon’ (The Old Man of the Sea); The Mountains of Mourne; Galway Bay (a ribald parody sung by Sally) and Greenore (Farewell to Carlingford).  

Then there were the songs that might be Irish, or that move across borders but that we counted as Irish for the purposes of the evening: Where ravens feed; Love is pleasing; The Wild Rover.  Most definitely Irish was Colm Gallagher’s exquisitely surreal The Reel in the Flickering Light.

Adrian on melodeon provided our instrumental music for the evening, with The Rising of the Moon and Haste to the Wedding. He also cleverly found a Welsh connection in the Border Morris tune White Ladies Aston – the border in this case being the border with Wales.

In the present circumstances we can’t be sure what will happen about April’s session.  Provisionally, the Howard Arms will host us on Tuesday, 21st April, and the theme (St George’s Day) will be ‘English music and song’.  However, everyone on the mailing list will be kept informed if changes become necessary, and anyone not on the mailing list can contact me – my number is on our website.

March  Review