Oh, where to start with the January collection of songs?
Eugene was MC and moved the session along in jig time so we heard loads of lovely songs. There were some composed by their singers: Bríd, George, Cyril and Doney; some fresh ones, new to the session, from Tony, George, Frank, Paddy, Brian, Eileen, Tommy and more favourites from everybody. There was even a story from Eugene. Silence from Clíona (still no voice), Helen and Clare (as those two couldn’t make it that night).
Boneparte got a look-in and was done with (by Brian): We paid in hell since Moscow burned ...
Save my soul from evil, lord and heal this soldier's heart
I'll trust in thee to keep me, lord, I'm done with Bonaparte
And later Frank added the Plains of Waterloo:
When Boney's star was in the sky, my love he marched away,
He told me that he loved me true; would marry me some day,
He said that he'd return to me, whatever would ensue,
But now he lies with sightless eyes on the plains of Waterloo.
Cyril and Tony both sang of geese. Cyril’s story was about Jim Reilly going to Boyle and Tony sang the shanty:
Have you seen a wild goose sail across the ocean; Ranzo me boys, Ranzo hey
They’re just like the pretty girls when they gets the notion; Ranzo me boys, Ranzo hey
Doney sang sadly of how Manhood is no more –
All the trad boys look forlorn, ‘cos definitely, no flutes
But Cyril came back with: Oh, you lovers of mirth, I pray, pay attention
It's that damnable rogue of a Daniel O'Connell-
He's now making children in Dublin by steam.
Tony was concerned with the seasons, and began with January Man (by Dave Goulder):
Oh the January man he walks abroad in woollen coat and boots of leather
The February man still wipes the snow from off his hair and blows his hand
The man of March he sees the Spring and wonders what the year will bring
And hopes for better weather
And on through the year until:
And the January man comes round again in woollen coat and boots of leather
To take another turn and walk along the icy road he knows so well
The January man is here for starting each and every year
Along the way for ever.
And later he moved on into Robbie Burn’s Summer:
The winter it is past, and the summer comes at last,
And the small birds sing on ev'ry tree
Doney stayed in Scotland for
Up the Noran Water, roon by Ingle's Maddie,
Annie's got a bairnie that hasna got a daddie.
Who the bairnie's father is the lassie winna say,
An nobody expected it with Annie's quiet ways.
George sang of courting:
Johnny get up from the fire, get up and give the man a seat
Can't you see it's Mr. Maguire and he's courtin' your sister Kate
Ah, you know very well he owns a farm a wee bit out of the town
Arragh get up out of that, you impudent brat, and let Mr Maguire sit down.
But the temperature changed for Mr Maguire:
Ah I don't know what gets into him, for he's always on the tare
Arragh just sit where you are and never you dare to give ould Maguire the chair
There was a congenial atmosphere and Frank sang Happy Are We All Together
'Twas friendship brought us here tonight
Which brought on a Ben Sands song from Cyril
We all need a hug...
Majella took down the words of that one.
Eugene told a story about the Owl who was God (by James Thurber) and the gist was:
“... there was an owl who sat on the branch of an oak tree...”
Some moles told the other creatures that the owl was the wisest of all animals because he could see in the dark and answer any question.
A secretary bird went to see the owl: "How many claws am I holding up?" said the secretary bird. "Two," said the owl, and that was right. "Can you give me another expression for ‘that is to say’ or ‘namely’?" asked the secretary bird. "To wit," said the owl. "Why does the lover call on his love?" "To woo," said the owl.
The other animals heard of this exchange and declared "He’s God!" So they followed him wherever he went and when he bumped into things they began to bump into things, too.
The animals followed him, even up a motorway and they were still crying "He’s God" when a truck ran them down. Most of the animals, including the owl, were killed.
The moral went something like this:
You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.
As I was going along the road and feeling fine and larky O,
A recruiting sergeant trim and neat said you’d look fine in khaki O.
There was loads more, and towards the end, Eileen sang:
The fire is out, the moon is down
The parting glass is dry and done
And I must go and leave this town
Before the rising of the sun.
And so we did.
Next up is the February session.