Friday March 1st 2019

Team Pritchard were back tonight but John Shepherd is still globe trotting so the blog is in my grubby mitts again.

ARJ had a sick note. Apparently he’s suffering from an excess of jubilation after last week’s stunning exhibition match in Cardiff. Tonight we were frequently reminded by our English members that it was just a game: Maybe that lackadaisical attitude had some bearing on the outcome?

Chaz and Jan made one of their rare and always welcome appearances. Chaz was resplendent in his Wales Rugby shirt, it being Dydd Dewi Sant.

Emcee’s word of the week was ‘Zyzzyva’ which is the last word in the English dictionary (& has been since June 2017, so not really breaking lexicography news). I would like to point out that one of the most recent additions to the OED is the word “Dylanesque” (December 2018) which is a word one can actually use in a meaningful way: Jeff Blythin’s performance tonight was Dylanesque.

Jeff kicked off the musical portion of the evening with Peggy Gordon. It was a bold gambit, trying to get us singing a chorus that early, but Jeff ‘s charisma and fond memories of Ted Robshaw did manage to raise the voices of the dozen or so people in the audience. Dear Landlord was his mandatory Dylan offering (off John Wesley Harding). Well worth waiting an extra week for.

Mr West’s rendition of Lemony had nothing whatsoever to do with lemons. The Vandals of Hammerwich (a two long stick dance) had nothing to do with vandalism and I Came Down From Llandaff wasn’t really a Welsh song. Nevertheless, house points for trying (as opposed to real points for try scoring). All three were delivered with gusto and a certain je ne sais quoi.

The Bull Boys were back too! Brian and Richard have clearly been practising and, as a duet, are going from strength to strength. The Night Visiting Song and Thornaby Woods are two of Brian’s favourite solo songs, now accompanied by Richard’s bazouki.

Mike Hawkins sang about a bunch of thyme, which I thought was a euphemism, but Mr West opined that it was an extended metaphor. As ever, I defer to Mr West’s greater knowledge of these things. From Thyme to time. Mike’s second song was Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where The Time Goes. As John Shepherd has pointed out before, hearing MH sing it is always a pleasure.

T Gwyn had no Welsh poem for St David’s Day but gave us Mrs Albion, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter (by Adrian Henry, formerly of this parish) and Betjeman’s Indoor Games At Newbury.

The beer break featured a raffle with no bread and no booze and a snowball with no winner.

With so few turns and time aplenty, Emcee put ’em all back on for three apiece.

Jeff ‘Dylanesque’ Blythin did If You See Her Say Hello (Blood On The Tracks), Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms and North Country Fair (Freewheelin’).

Mr West’s Saucy Sailor claimed to be frolicsome while The Dunne Song had us all struggling to keep up with the choruses. The Banks Of The Sweet Primroses was much more mellow.

Brian wore a daffodil tonight, as a mark of respect. He also extended an invitation for ARJ to wear a rose on St George’s Day in the spirit of peace and amity between two neighbouring nations.
Brian and Richard gave us Come All You Fair And Tender Ladies, Boston Harbor and nicked a song from Mike wot he’d nicked from Nic Jones: Farewell To The Gold.

Mike was going to sing that too! Instead he did As I Roved Out, American Stranger and Bert Lloyd’s fake shanty, Blood Red Roses.

Emcee used his executive authority to drag Brian and Richard back to the stage to finish us off. Down Where The Drunkards Roll and Three Drunken Maidens sent us home with happy hearts. I know Richard has a day job but I really hope we hear more of him this year.

I didn’t have time to edit video tonight but here’s a track from Phoebe Rees that she’s posted on Youtube. Toe-tapping stuff.

A parting thought: St David said, “Do the little things”, like putting the toilet seat down.

Goodnight and joy be with you all.

Andrew-the-Younger.

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