Friday 13th November 2020

Unlucky for some.

Now, before we start on tonight’s proceedings, I need to tell you of a little known fact. Actually, so little known that it was unknown until I made it up ten minutes ago.

You will all be aware of the incipient vaccination programme that is due to start in fifty days time. The jabs will be rolled out after you roll up your sleeves (geddit) on a strict priority basis. The allocation of this elixir will first of all be given to the sick, elderly, needy, frail, halt blah blah blah. Getting to the point, I have introduced a small and select by-pass allocation list that is super-easy to apply for. You may find that you are eligible and, indeed, meet the strict criteria. So, you can download the form and apply now!

In essence, the programme involves a carefully manoeuvred escalation in your personal status, such that you can get the jab for Xmas, what’s not to like? In order to exclude frivolous applications from, say, socialists or poor people, the application form is created to sift out useless, selfish and no-hope democrats. As a broad rule, banjo players need not apply. The form should be returned to my headquarters, which is still on Pennsylvania Ave., and must include (for applicants from the UK) a picture of JFW Turner. We will be in touch. My other modest proposal, which should ensure that I’m still in a job come February, can be found on P134 of the application form. Crowd funding, will make me great-still.

We were a little behind schedule and tried something new with the clap, that’s applause and not Neisseria. It is a complex pressing and unpressing of the space bar if you are on a Windows device. I’m hoping to report about Apple devices but don’t hold your breath.

The tapes came up on the Bladon Races. It is still remembrance week so it was appropriate to hear The Soldier’s Song. A fine rendition, and ,yes, we do remember. The Music of Spey was next. A nice one on the fiddle from Lesley. Are all fiddles violins and vice versa? Just asking. No jokes about fiscal malfeasance please.

Storm gave us the Phoenix Rise. The Man who used to Be followed. A sad tale of conscription and, unfortunately, death.

Ian Campbell was next up, when I had to go for wee, then we had The Lark. There are as many songs about birds as there are about ships, I’m sure.

Mike Davies had a shanty about earning money from performing, or not. It was really about keeping your hand on your h’penny as they used to say. The next one was about a hermit, I think.

Dafydd had a Harry Williams poem translated by a crossword enthusiast. He had a helpful display via the technology. In Welsh as well. T Gwyn’s Welsh bit as Alun put it was about Hedd Wyn. Da iawn indeed.  Hedd Wyn’s home near Trawsfynydd is open for visitors. The hobo song from John Prine was next. I still say that this mans genius is not appreciated as much as it should be.

Mike Hawkins was next with Geordie. The perils of being a poacher. We were over the the hills and far away next, courtesy of John Tam’s song about the Peninsular War. Chas and Dave were late again. Good excuse mind.

Natasha was in and we have a promise of a song from Margaret. Annette also promised to contribute soon. So, we will have contributions from the distaff side in the future. We have a positive commitment to getting more ladies on, so here’s hoping.

Carl had Dafydd y Garreg Wen. Essentially Welsh according to Alun. A fine voice.

Gaffer gave us a song of ambition in the services. Generals have to drink wine, don’t you know? And wear uniform. His next was a poaching song with the use of the crossword setters favourite three letter double def. that is gin. A stuffed partridge is not something you see every day.

Geoff Durno gave Sad Cloud, via the technology. A Seekers song don’t you know.

Brian had a shanty too. What Jamboree was a welcome home sort of song. It involved short-legged drawers. The next one was about an oil spillage, the Northumbria was leaking around the Scilly Isles as it were.

Alun brought the first half to a close with a Willie Nelson number. No bad thing at all, in my mind. French next or, more precisely, Breton. Le Pais is about the far west of la belle France.

David Hych had a sea-faring song. It involved drinking rum with an Irishman as far as I could make out.

The second half was what I used to call at Tynewydd a wham bam and thank you maam, in that there is no chat, no twiddling, and only four verses. In that spirit, we had Ralph McTell favourite of mine (and ARJ too) in Growing old with Naomi. Mike Davies had his version of perfection, It’s Hard to be Humble used to be so well received when Jeff used to do this one. We all enjoyed this version as well. Mike D is working his persuasive powers on a lady what he knows, so, watch this space. Mike Hawkins continued his J Tam theme with Lover’s Farewell.

T Gwyn strapped on his guitar with a George Jones song Just a Girl I used to Know. Gaffer dared to paraphrase the entire French language and Frere Jaques came in for a right beating. Brian had a video of Ceilidh days before an accordion farewell about Tommy’s Lot from Alun.

Another enjoyable evening with an audience drawn from near and far, and, more importantly, a promise from more than one of of our ladies in the audience. Women! We need you, you know you can, so come on, give us all a treat. We want to reflect the whole audience and would love to hear from more ladies. We have already a promise from Margaret and Jan, not together necessarily. So good night and we will see you next week.

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