FOLK SESSION – Howard Arms - Brampton

We gathered in the Howard Arms on 18th September to celebrate the theme of ‘drink’ in songs and tunes.  Welcome back to Anne, visiting us from Barrow for the first time in many months.

Congratulations to the people who rose to last month’s challenge and found an amazing number of songs that mention tea and coffee!  They’ve got a lot of coffee in Brazil, according to Ruth; Graham invited us to Have a cup of tea; Christine’s song The Weekend was nostalgic for the coffee bar culture of the sixties, and tea provides the introduction to the hero of I’ll have a collier for my sweetheart (Anne).  References to tea crept into other, less temperate songs: Charlie Mops (Adrian) mentions tea but praises beer, while Whitby Harbour (Sally) celebrates the import of gin, rum and tea.

But hey! this is folk song we’re talking about, so there was bound to be lots of alcohol – in the music, at any rate.  We heard a lot about the down side of drink. Maddy’s song The Drunkard pointed out the connection between alcohol and ruin, as did Kath and Geoff in All for me Grog.  Stew (Pour me another one) and Graham (I’m wrecked again) reflected on life after a particularly bad bender. The young man in Blue Cockade (Steve) enlists while drunk. Bill’s parody The Wild Drinker took a humorous look (with much chorus singing and table-thumping) at habitual leglessness.

On a gentler note, Sam honoured us with the first ever performance of his own song Drinking to forget.  Peggy Gordon (Phil), Valley of Strathmore (Steve) and The Parting Glass (Kath and Geoff), on the other hand, are about drinking to remember.  

We also heard about drinking wine, brandy and sack (Eliza – Will ye go tae Flanders); rough cider and dark stout (Christine – Rag rugs and mats); whisky and buttermilk (Sally – Whisky on a Sunday) and punch (Katy -Fathom the bowl).  And finally - no session about drinking would be complete without John Barleycorn and The Barley Mow, so thank you to Dave and Phil who ensured that both songs were included.  

We next meet on Tuesday, 16th October in The Howard Arms at 8.30pm.  The theme will be ‘treasure’, including precious metals, jewels …or interpret it metaphorically if you prefer!  ALL WELCOME!

September Review