Friday July 17th 2020.

It’s back to the miserable git from Burnley this week for the blog , so don’t expect to get much in the way of factual information. I have been aware that some people have been turning up late to avoid the first turn (me), so this week they were undone as I put Mike on first.

His first song was “borrowed” from Geoff Durno, but let’s be honest – “let him who is without sin….” About this time, Geoff joined the meeting; he had been self harming his thumb with a Stanley knife (other sharp craft knives are available) and looked like he wouldn’t be fingering chords any time soon.

John Warburton revealed that he was a soprano till “they” dropped (all three?) in his early teens. It’s not too difficult to sing songs, but writing them at John’s level is a completely different skill set. Never disappoints.

Chas and Jan gave a very brief impromptu chorus of “no hopers, jokers and rogues”; we’re expecting the full version soon. I didn’t have much chance to give them stick this week, sorry, it can wait.

A new and very welcome face tonight was Colin, all the way from Devon. Not the sort of song you usually expect when accompanied on concertina, about “the grammar mangle” (predictive text) and the fruits of IT (Apple and Blackberry). When I was a kid, the nearest thing we had to a computer at school was a Bangladeshi lad who was good at long division. A moving song about Aberfan brought us back to earth. Colin is a busy lad, but I hope he’ll be back soon.

T Gwyn made Alun cry again. This time not by poking a finger in his eye. “Cawod Eira”  – Snow Shower – but you all knew that.

Dave Hytch was missed last week. “Valerie Wilkins comes to play” was a song for all the men whose lives have been blighted by dominant women, although being forced to play “doctors and nurses” can’t be all bad. Does the woman who works Parrys’ corner charge extra for uniforms? Asking for a friend.

Alun’s cowboy hat had been making appearances through the evening. “Sweet Baby James” (one of my favs) and “Woodstock. Why did Joni Mitchel write a song about  a cartoon bird?


The Gaffer. Every New Year, much the worse for the drink, Nick J and I always try to sing as much of “Goodbye Kaiser Billy” as we can remember, which isn’t much. No excuse now for not doing more as it is now recorded for posterity, Cecil Sharp style. Brilliant song.

Helen whale watching , British Columbia

Helen (probably not her real name), is located somewhere on the Western coast of Canada, obviously in a witness protection scheme. Again our only female singer. Again a treat and always plenty of chat. We love you to bits.

My first song was “Blue Saturday Nights” – a Julie Mathews song about domestic violence. Thankfully my guitar was much too loud and you struggled to hear the voice. Unfortunately this simply highlighted all the bum notes.

Time for just one more each as we went round again. A second half addition was Roger, who is very old, having gone to school with Nick (yes Nick did go to school!). His Ivor Biggun monologue “The other educated monkey” was simply brilliant. A great piece is only as good as the delivery, and Roger’s was perfect. I had a few drops of wee down my legs. This week’s recording is not to be missed in it’s entirety, but if you’re strapped for time (why? Drakeford’s still pretty much confining us to Barracks) find Roger at 1hr 51 mins. He also reminded me that I’m still waiting on the cheque from Nick for taking a chimps tooth out 30 years ago.

Following Alun’s “Sweet Nightingale”, there was some discussion about the merits of wild birds in a culinary sense, the Gaffer insisting that the Nightingale was a very sweet meat, compared to the Herring Gull which, even as a Cornishman, he finds rather salty. I prefer Nuthatch to both, with it’s toasty tang when lightly grilled.

The chat box revealed that Gwyn and Ash both came from Prion, and Andrew was going fishing there today (he’ll get wet). Gaffer noted that Prions caused Mad Cow Disease.

I rounded off what I thought was possibly our best night online with “Parting Glass”. See you all next week, but in the meantime have a listen here.


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