May 2007 Volume 13, Number 6

Next Old Chestnuts Song Circle May 26 * Chequegnat June 16/07 *

v Old Chestnuts - Last month and next - Jack Cole

Another short newsletter this month. Life intervenes, don't it?

The TWELFTH year of the Old Chestnuts Song Circle winds down on May 26, 2007, making this a good time to reflect on tradition and where we've been.

We seem to sing about 40 songs each night (see recent newsletters), and at as many as 8 circles per year that means we have sung more than 3800 songs since we started meeting. Francis James Child made the most comprehensive collection of ballads in English in the late 19th century. He collected 305 ballads from England and Scotland and it took him 17 years to publish them all. Were he to publish the archives of the Old Chestnuts (and were such to exist!) at the same rate, he would spend over 200 years doing so!

On the 40 theme, nearly 40 of the Child Ballads were about Robin Hood. In March we sang James Gordon's Robin Hood Bay. While it's a long way from being one of Child's traditional songs, our traditional roots show every month at the Old Chestnuts, and that's part of what makes it so special. Where else can you go but the folk clubs to hear songs like that?

In April we whole-heartedly welcomed back some long missed friends, and made some new ones. That's a bit of a tradition too - if the fates so conspire, in May we will complete 12 years with at least one new singer at every gathering. We sang more great traditional songs again in April (Tattle O-Day, Star of the County Down), songs that will someday be thought of as traditional (We Belong to the Earth, Puff, The Last Battle) and some new ones (Waitin' For A Train). Here's the complete list: Do You Want My Job, You Ain't Going Nowhere, We Shall Meet Someday, Tattle O-Day, Star of the County Down, Lunenburg Town, Learning to Fly, Puff The Magic Dragon, Haida, Maybelle, La Rive, Waitin' For A Train, We Belong to the Earth, Santa Fe Trail, Lies, The Last Battle , Deeper Well, Blowing In The Wind, People Get Ready, River Driver, Ripple, Kookaburra, Sonny's Dream, Flowers In The Snow (?), Sammy's Bar, Hangin' Me Tonight (?), Squalor, Potter's Wheel, It Rains Everywhere I Go, Ruby Tuesday, Ain't Gonna Grieve My Lord No More, This Land is Your Land, Shabat Shalom, Sweet Rose of Avondale, Won't You Give a Man a Home (?), Morning Has Broken, Eager to See Say Begin (?), Roseville Fair, Old Woman in our Town, Apple Blossoms (?), Rolling Home Canadian, Bushes and Briars, I'm On My Way.

The final circle of the season on May 26 will be held at our "usual" alternate location, at Mary and Barry's place. If you need better directions, please give me a call or drop me an email. I'll be leading the first half, but I have to leave right before the trifle and chocolate cake - did I say before; clearly I meant after - and James has offered to see the year through to its conclusion. We'll go themeless - but if any of you know a traditional Robin Hood song with a chorus, I'd love to hear it!

Thanks to everyone for making this year so great, both at the Circle and the Folk Night concerts. Before you put away your Old Chestnut voices for the summer plan to come to Chequegnat 7 on June 16! Along with your vocal chords, bring lawn chairs and something for the pot-luck. The most excellent lineup will include several Old Chestnuts (Brad, Wayne, Jakki, Debbie, Dan, Loretta, David, Paul, Robin) and some other good friends too! Music will start about 1:30 and go until dark!

p.s. Details of the next Folk Night series will be announced at the Circle on May 26! See a day or two later. Series passes will be for sale!

v The Mill Race Festival 2007 - Jack Cole

Speaking of traditions, the country's premier festival of traditional music celebrates its fifteenth year on August 3, 4, and 5, and I'm delighted to see that Eileen McGann is back at the Mill Race Festival once again. The festival has gradually expanded from one day to a full three, and yet somehow remains free to everyone!

Continuing this year - athough on a reduced schedule - are singing sessions in Cafe 13. Check the programme and drop in if you get a chance!

Here's the complete lineup. More details are available at the Mill Race web site.

Closing Notes - jc

# Owen Sound concerts. A new concert series has started in Owen Sound, and for those of you heading up that way for the summer, the best news is that they run concerts most months of the year. Check out for more information.

# The Woods is already wait-listed!! According to the organizers there are one or two spots still available for those willing to share (a room!), but otherwise it's too late. Should be a great camp, and with a bit of luck I hope to be able to give a other words, I'm on the waiting list too!

About this newsletter..... It's on the Web at and available at Circles. Call 519-578- 6298 or write for more information. Thanks for a great year. Onwards and upwards for number 13! Hope you can make it Cheq07 - only if the weather is permitting.

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