Newsletter No 457 19 December 2017

As people arrived DON & HEATHER gave them a cheery welcome with the GALWAY GIRL as did BANJO JOHN who burst into WHITE CHRISTMAS which left old friends LYNN & JIM to take us off for the FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK. By this time we were getting well filled up as PAUL sang out GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN and GEOFF gave us some IRISH JIGS on his home made mandolin which led to CHRIS & WILF reprising WHITE CHRISTMAS. Then newcomer IAN delighted with his own WHO THE HELL WOULD VOTE FOR TRUMP as did newly named RACING DEMON, aka Simon & James, who debuted GREENVILLE before JAMES implored DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT. More brazenly BEN told us I WANT IT ALL whereas CARL recalled how a potentially suicidal person claimed I WISH I’D NEVER BEEN BORN before JONATHAN & CHARLIE went fully traditional with WE THREE KINGS. In complete contrast ED was requested to relate the story of JACUZZI JOE THE GIGOLO WITH THE FUNKY CONCERTINA before RICHARD got us back on track with ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY and BANJO JOHN went seasonal by WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND as did LYNN & JIM with FROSTIE THE SNOWMAN. Coming to the interval IAN returned with his own send up of amplification WE CAN’T HEAR YOU AL with RACING DEMON taking us over the line with SHE THINKS I STILL CARE.

In a Bumper Raffle the Diary was won by Ken and passed on to Kate, Chocolates won by Simon, Red Wine won by Paul, Mulled Wine won by Carl, Christmas Cake won by Geoff, Christmas Pudding won by Charlie and the Biscuits won by Hilary before KATE kicked off the second half with a humorous poem CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. Before pumpkin time JONATHAN & CHARLIE squeezed in with JOY TO THE WORLD and IAN gave us another of his great songs WHISKY IN THE JAR KIND OF GIRL. Then up came GEOFF with more IRISH TUNES, this time with a Bach twist, bringing to BEN’S eyes the TEARS OF A CLOWN as PAUL set off on his MORNINGTOWN RIDE. Another burst of Christmas came from CHRIS & WILF with MARY’S BOY CHILD but CARL was down in the pub AT THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR while RICHARD was with a GIRL WALKING TO THE EIFFEL TOWER. With a child’s ideal Christmas List ED sang us SCARLET RAYGUNS to which JAMES commented with THE STORY OF LOVE and Simon returned as RACING DEMON for I’VE NOT BEEN THE SAME and LYNN & JIM came back as THE HIGHWAYMAN which left DON & HEATHER to have us singing into the street with their FLOWERS ON THE WATER to take us to the Christmas break telling us we all meet again on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Newsletter No 456 12 December 2017

As expected there was a full house for our Christmas Party or was it to greet the return of ROB to kick us all into action with the shanty SOUTH AUSTRALIA after his sojourn in Spain. With another old favourite ROBIN was more festive with a WINTER’S TALE before PETE with SIMON performed ST PAUL’S SONG to which ALLEN replied appropriately, IT ALL SEEMED SUCH A LONG TIME AGO. That was enough for BEN who came back with the ironic CHRISTMAS CAROL by Tom Lehrer but TIM soon put us back on track with ALL AROUND MY HAT as did PAUL with a medley of carols IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER, ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY and GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN. With a modern take on things KATH & STAN pointed out the BRIGHT MORNING STARS while PETER pointed to the STREETS OF LONDON where Christmas can be tough but still MARK & JAN confessed that they BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS. Lightening the moment PETER told SOME of his JOKES as a prelude to SIMON singing COOKSFERRY QUEEN with JAMES’ accompaniment before JAMES was supported by PAUL on his way down ROUTE 66. Duos continued to rule as ED and ROBIN told us a SPACEMAN CAME CALLING and KATHIE & KAMRAN wished us MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY. Then as we approached the interval BRIAN declared his love in ONLY YOU before DON & HEATHER closed the first half by taking us along with the WAYFARING STRANGER.

The Christmas Buffet was accompanied by some splendid Chips and the bumper raffle raised £100.00 for the Rainbow Trust and saw the Celebrations Chocolates won by Elizabeth, the Box of Tea won by Ken, the Oil Burner won by KATH, the Merry Christmas Banner won by Martin, the Bottle of Red Wine won by James and the Christmas Pudding won by Ben. No wonder we needed PETE to pick us up by KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR as ROB set off for LIVERPOOL TOWN where HILARY gave us few good ONE- LINERS to get us laughing. In a more combative frame of mind ALLEN asked us WHAT’S IT TO YOU before ROBIN returned to theme with THE SNOWS OF NEW YORK and KATHIE & KAMRAN asked LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS? Then a bit more folk with BEN with LONDON TOWN before PETER came up with a few more JOKES which left PAUL to say sometimes it can be a BLUE CHRISTMAS and TIM reckoned that sometimes it can be a WHITE CHRISTMAS. Any way up STAN & KATH were determined to KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE which was difficult for ED’S GERMAN SOLDIER. Then suddenly PETER told us what came OUT OF THE SNOW but for JAN & MARK it was all about THE IVY AND THE HOLLY whereas SIMON with JAMES wanted some TUPELO HONEY. Back on his own again JAMES just wanted some GOLDEN SLUMBERS and BRIAN wanted to get ACROSS THE BORDERLINE leaving RICHARD GRAY to sing his IRISH LAMENT. After such a wonderful evening Don, Heather, Robin & Paul re grouped as FREE SPIRITS to build a suitable climax by having us all singing into the street to first WAGON WHEEL and then insisting we STEAL AWAY quietly until the next time. Magic!!

Newsletter No 455 5 December 2017

As the people started pouring in DON & HEATHER certainly did not have ALL THE ANSWERS as BANJO JOHN turned on his heel and went MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA (1865) and PETE sang philosophically IT ’LL SHINE WHEN IT SHINES. With an aspect of working life ALLEN came out with the GOLD WATCH BLUES but for newcomer TIM it was definitely with GOD ON HIS SIDE while KATH & STAN were 900 MILES from home. Then with a change of gear SIMON with JAMES was down on THE LOW HIGHWAY before JAMES went solo in the EARLY MORNING RAIN followed by BRIAN telling us how great it wasn’t DOWN AROUND MY PLACE. Fortunately HILARY was in craicing good form with some more of her ONE-LINERS as was PAUL as he led us all on to THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL but for BEN it was EVERYWHERE THE SAME. With an even older song than Banjo John ED went back to 1859 to THE NIGHT THE ROYAL CHARTER WENT DOWN before our old friend ZOE MULFORD bestrode the VINCENT BLACK LIGHTENING 1952 gifted to Red Molly as BANJO JOHN took the easier option of WALKING MY BABY BACK HOME.

In the big raffle Ben won the bottle of Red Wine, Zoe won the designer Scarf, Ken won the Chocolates and Paul won the Chain for hanging his spectacles on. For PETE starting the second half it would soon be THE LAST TRAIN AND GONE as PAUL at last unveiled a true Christmas song with MARY’S BOY CHILD with BRIAN getting back on track with I’LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU ANY TIME. With everyone flying about everywhere KATH & STAN were off to OWENSBORO but TIM craved the SOUND OF SILENCE before ZOE sang her latest and greatest song THE PRESIDENT SANG AMAZING GRACE which has been picked up and recorded by Joan Baez. For SIMON with JAMES, however, it was still a BLUE, BLUE DAY which JAMES confessed left him PARALYSED so we were thankful for more of HILARY’S hilarious ONE-LINERS. Then it was the oldest song of the night when ALLEN gave us THE DIGGERS SONG from 1645 so no wonder ED exclaimed I MISS MY MIND THE MOST and BEN turned to thinking about CRAZY MAN MICHAEL. Even better ZOE returned with the extremely funny 12 DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS by Fred Silver PETE had us all singing I SHALL BE RELEASED and KATH & STAN claiming NO TELLING WHAT A LOVE SONG CAN DO before DON & HEATHER enlisted PAUL for their own DANCES FOR DOLLARS, a tribute to an old friend that had us singing our way home.


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