The evening began with everyone claiming THIS LAND IS MY LAND led by PAUL which left ED thinking about the SILVER TONGUED DEVIL of Kris Kristofferson and BANJO JOHN rocking out ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN on his vintage banjo! Changing the subject, ROBIN took us off to the GREENLAND WHALE FISHERIES and PETE took off with his own song about the BALBRIGGAN FAIR where COLIN came across MR BOJANGLES all causing CHRIS to sing about Mark Knoppler's PLACE WHERE WE LIVE. On a more literary note, PHIL then gave us THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL as DON & HEATHER took us south with their own SOUTH AUSTRALIA and JO to the CURRAGH OF KILDARE. It was then good to hear CHARLES, LIZ and ROSIE perform CAPTAIN HIGGINS, a trio for classical guitar leaving BANJO JOHN to bring us back to reality with LITTLE OL' WINE DRINKER ME. In his creative mood PETE then sang his own song of the ALEXANDER LIGHT which may have led COLIN to set out on his maiden voyage with THE FOOL ON THE HILL. In good voice PHIL was sad about the FAREWELL TO THE THIRTY FOOT TRAILER as was CHARLES who introduced us to ZIMMERMAN BLUES. Next JO led the canal cruise girls' choir in singing a great version of AMAZING GRACE triggering ED to give a cheeky rendition of ERNIE RIDES AGAIN about the fastest mobile library in the west. DON & HEATHER, still in mind to travel, brought us to Dublin in the RARE OLD TIMES and up to the break.
After a great raffle ROBIN began the second half dreaming of the SNOWS OF NEW YORK and DOUG, a new visitor from London, sang RANTER'S WHARF, PAUL tried SINGING MY BLUES AWAY and PETE, anticipating his long vacation, proclaimed I SHALL BE RELEASED. It's best to take ONE DAY AT A TIME then suggested CHRIS before PHIL set out on THE ROAD TO MOSCOW and ED left to seek the HUNTER OF DUNOON. Running toward a big finish, HEY JOE! sang PETE and our new visitor, DOUG, replied with WHERE THE RAVENS FEED; perhaps on CHRIS' NETTLE WINE we wondered? Anyway, ROBIN soon grabbed the reins towards the finale with his LONG BLACK VEIL leaving PAUL to lead everyone singing and playing a GOSPEL MEDLEY; ending in much the same way as we had begun. Perfect!!
A brief flurry and we were almost full as JAN & MARK whipped everyone into shape for a great night of music, songs and loads of craic. They hit the road with JACKSON followed by Kath, Stan & Ruth aka FAIR PLAY who were off to OWENSBORO and PAUL RILEY who was chasing BLACK EYED SUSIE. Next a nice surprise was JOHN CHILCOTT singing his own SAILING DOWN just as PETE ROBERTS was promising TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU and also with his own COLIN RUDD told us it was JUST LIKE A WOMAN. Then BANJO JOHN needed stronger stuff from MR TAMBOURINE MAN but BRIAN was happy to DREAM A LITTLE DREAM while DAVE BOULTON was away with the COCK AND THE DEVIL. A great arrangement from GORDON with the CURRAGH OF KILDARE showed off some lovely guitar work followed by JANICE & MICK who were determined to MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE to which ARTHUR MARSHALL confessed I CANNOT FIND THE WORDS. It didn't matter to CHARLES with LOWLANDS AWAY as CARL CORBETT found the inspiration for HELLO HANS leaving HEATHER & DON to float off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR. Then ROB WHITE led us singing the CHEERLY MAN as ED & SUE BENTHAM went OUT WITH THE MORRIS DANCERS just as JOHN CONDY declared it must be the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. Coming up to half time BANJO JOHN had us all LEANING ON A LAMPOST as COLIN RUDD declared it's all NEWS TO ME.
In the raffle a surprised Paul took the Wine, Brian walked away with the Chocolates, as usual Ann took the Biscuits and Carl went home with the Hand cream before ED rounded us up at the WHIP JAMBOREE. The unsurprisingly BRIAN told us YOU DON'T KNOW ME as CHARLES introduced SWEET WILLIAM leaving CARL to be ALL AT SEA. Expressing a heartfelt emotion HEATHER & DON confessed they needed us at the DIMMING OF THE DAY but GORDON was out chasing REYNARDINE with a great interpretation reminiscent of Bert Jansch. Next PAUL was asking HOW LONG AGO and FAIR PLAY told us there was NO TELLING what a love sing can do as PETE pleaded HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT to which there were several volunteers. JANICE & MICK warned that there was a STORM COMING which left ARTHUR feeling a DISAPPOINTED MAN and ROB swiftly legging it to SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Coming to a climax DAVE was again supernatural with THE DEVIL AND THE FEATHERY WIFE as JAN had us singing in Welsh to AR LAN y MOR and together with MARK they sailed off in THE BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND after a very satisfying evening.
Close to three dozen in the mix of new faces, old lags, top talent and keen audience saw us have a great night guided by HEATHER & DON who with ROBIN & PAUL combined as FREE SPIRITS to get the ball rolling with a rousing version of WAGON WHEEL. To keep the show on the road MIKE COSGRAVE took us over THE ROCKY SHORES OF ENGLAND and COLIN RUDD had us out in the EARLY MORNING RAIN before newcomer CAROLE whisked us down THE STREETS OF LONDON. Grabbing his breathe BANJO JOHN appropriately sang WHEN YOU'RE SMILING which KAMRAN declared was MY FAVOURITE SONG, with a nod to old friend MERDY, after which PAUL sang THE HESITATION BLUES without deviation or repetition. Then JIM, sadly without LYNN who we are all thinking about, told us IT'S A WORKING MAN I AM, to which ROBIN replied, I'll bet he's glad THE BATTLE IS OVER, but for CARL the CATS IN THE CRADLE by Harry Chapin was another way of seeing how difficult life can be. ED was also on the same tack with ABSENT FRIENDS as did Poet DAVID with his SHIFTING WHISPERING SANDS and COLIN with his own IF THE BIRDS CAN SING WHY NOT I. In a lighter vein MIKE gave us a great version of THE RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSIES to which KAMRAN replied THAT'LL NEVER HAPPEN NO MORE while BANJO JOHN went all Mr Cool with MR SANDMAN. All this gave ROBIN that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING as we turned to RICHARD GRAY for the marathon BILLY, ROSEMARY AND THE JACK OF HEARTS and were thankful when CARL took us to see THE GALLOWAYS. Coming up to the interval FREE SPIRITS led by ED rather pessimistically claimed that ALL THE GOOD TIMES WERE PAST AND GONE but we knew that wasn't true.
An interesting raffle saw late arrival Heather Kenyon win the wine, Ann and Brian take the Chocolates and Mike, who claimed he had never ever won a raffle prize in his life, win a leather wallet.
JIM started the second half with A SONG FOR IRELAND followed by CAROLE with IT'S MY TOWN and PAUL with THE GOLDEN VANITY. Coming up on the rails ED sang THE PILGRIM which prompted RICHARD to sing is own I'LL FIND MY OWN WAY HOME followed by COLIN who was still in the CLOUDS after Man City's winning the Premiership. Similarly eulogising MIKE sang his favourite WONDERCHILD after becoming a grandfather again only for KAMRAN to take us down again with his own version of relationship breakdown, SMOKE THROUGH AUTUMN TREES. More cheerfully CARL proposed here's HEALTH TO THE COMPANY which had JIM to the airport LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and ED celebrating the libido of his BANTAM COCK. It was then left to PAUL to wish MAY THE ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU as CAROLE told us it was a LESSON TOO LATE FOR THE LEARNING and COLIN praised the YANKEE LADY. Coming to a climax CARL admitted I SAW A STRANGER WITH YOUR HAIR and MIKE took us to CARRICK-A RIE where he confessed he has had one or two wobbly moments. Superb evening!!
With just short of the half century strolling through the doors our hosts JANICE & MICK started us off with THE WILD MOUNTAINSIDE swiftly followed by BANJO JOHN with MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS and KAMRAN with ROMEO AND JULIET. Taking us over the Border JAN TAYLOR led us to THE VERDANT BRAES OF SCREEN after which FAIR PLAY told us they were THREE AROUND THREE and then invited us to COME TO THE CEILIDH followed by a JUG OF PUNCH with IAN WHITE. Slowing the pace a little DOREEN then invited us to SING FROM YOUR HEART, with her own poem, to which ADAM replied JESUS IS GONNA BE HERE and JO had us singing the Irish rugby hymn THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY. On a completely different tack JOHN CHILCOTT declared to anyone who was listening I'LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT just as ROB, making a long awaited return, slithered in with FRED THE SLUG leaving JOHN CONDY to take us off to the CAVES OF JERICHO. Very traditionally JUDE had us all singing HAL AND TOW before DAVE COWE gave us the poem THE MOON AND THE YEW TREE leaving COLIN to ask WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Very upbeat ROBIN replied that it was GOOD TO BE BACK HOME as PETE set out for THE RABBIT HILLS and BRIAN told us there will be TEARS IN HEAVEN for Eric Clapton's little boy. Taking to the rails PAUL was soon aboard THE OLD 97 as CARL was poignantly saying HELLO IN THERE and JANICE & MICK were pessimistically saying I THINK IT'S GONNA RAIN TODAY. Bringing the half to a close BANJO JOHN sang the old favourite JOSHUA just as JOHN CHILCOTT was out at the airport in the EARLY MORNING RAIN.
In the break the wine was won by Chris Ross, Dave Cowe won a plant growing kit with Linda and ANother taking two more prizes which went un-noted. Sorry!
Starting the second shift COLIN asked a serious question with WHERE DO THE CHILDREN PLAY but hopefully not in BOB'S DEAD FLOWERS rather on ANDREA'S MAGIC JOURNEY sang by STEVE or even running round with MARK TAYLOR'S LITTLE RED ROOSTER. Next PAUL invited us all to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE whereas IAN WHITE wanted to take us on THE BLACKPOOL BELLE and all BRIAN wanted to know was WHERE OR WHEN. Then JUDE jumped up with LARIMAR as DOREEN told us what it was to look THROUGH HER EYES (poem) but ROB just shot off to THE RAWTENSTALL ANNUAL FAIR with DAVE COWE contemplating THE FLOWERS OF SALFORD (poem). In any event ROBIN reckoned you always need FOUR STRONG WINDS to which PETE observed there must be a STORM RISING as JOHN CONDY headed for OUR SHANGRI-LA. Obviously heading toward a big finish CARL appropriately came up with GIANT followed by the lyrical LAWR AR LAN Y MOR from JAN TAYLOR as KAMRAN sent us home with the STOLE RIDER BLUES.