Top Trumps

18th June


Andy Brown

Graeme Morrell

James Porter

Brian Wylie

A small but merry band of minstrels tonight, all in fine voice and entertaining us with a very varied choice of fine songs!



Brian kicked off the proceedings with a lovely version of ‘Gentle on my mind’; a John Hartford song made famous by Glenn Campbell in 1968. He followed this with ‘Fly me to the moon’ which was written by Bart Howard in 1954 but really became popular in when Frank Sinatra’s version was used to accompany footage of the ‘Apollo’ moon missions.



Graeme was next under the spotlight with Bob Dylan’s ‘Spanish boots of Spanish leather’ originally recorded by his Bobship in 1963 but performed very well by Graeme in 2019. His next song was a little younger - 1966, Mick and Keef’s ‘Ruby Tuesday’, a particular favourite of mine and sung on a Tuesday too.



Andy introduced his song by saying it was the ‘epitome of sophisticated gentle rock’ but that his version of The Eagles 1975 ‘Lying Eyes’ would be neither sophisticated nor gentle, but it was! It was a lovely version. He then sang Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ recorded in 1984 and was thought by the President to be a pro US song (ooops)!



James’ songs were both in the best spirit of SAS sad-song tradition; the first song was Paolo Nutini’s ‘Last request’ released in 2006, a song depicting the end of a relationship (thank you, James, I love Paolo songs) and the next was Hank Williams‘Cold, cold heart’ (1950) which described unhappiness within a relationship.

At the break, I mentioned the ages of the songs that had been sung so far through the evening and that James was in the lead having sung the Hank Williams one. Not that our minstrels have a competitive edge or anything but the gloves came off, the chips were down and the game began! (Top Trumps)

Round 2

Brian back in play with a couple of drinking songs - firstly, a song by Gaelic Storm called ‘Drink the night away’ 1996 followed by ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey’ a Guy Clarke song written in 2009. Both excellent songs that were sung well but not contenders for the age award - Brian still confident that he would be on the podium with 1954.

Graeme’s Michael Chapman contribution came in the form of ‘Among the trees’ a 1969 song of nostalgia, resting in the golden memories of past summers ( and the lyrics mention rain so quite apt really) -nicely sung. A Bee Gees one next - ‘To love somebody’ - 1967 so luckily for Graeme, before the falsetto period but no age prize winner.

Andy ( in fine competitive spirit) up next with ‘Make me down a pallet on your floor’

1908 - BANG! Back of the net and into the lead!!! This was originally released as part of the Blind Boone’s Southern Rag Medley and credited to WC Handy as well as Andy.

A Human League one next and I was so surprised by the goal that I forgot to write down the title so if you send it Andy we will add it in.

James sang a 1991 Kirsty MacColl song ‘We ll never pass this way again’, another break-up one (bit of a theme here) but sounded great. The next one was vying for the bronze medal in the competition - written by Mertis John Junior in 1955, recorded by Fleetwood Mac and sung by James - ‘Need your love so bad’.

Second out! Round 3

Time for another one each.

Brian first with an excellent run out into the lead, overtaking Andy by some years!

‘Arthur McBride’ a song collected from Ireland, Scotland and England around 1840 ish. Brian was now quite confident of the gold medal and was looking decidedly smug.........then .......

Oh Yes! Graeme with Greensleeves! Circa 1533! Slam Dunk!!!!

He then got the chance to do the lap of honour with another song . An excellent rendition of ‘Desperado’ by the Eagles 1973.

Andy followed this with ‘Galway Shawl’ first collected in 1936 (not a medal winner) by Sam Henry from Bridget Kealy - he was already in the medals but a valiant effort all the same.

James next, knowing that he could not win, turned to religion with Gallagher and Lyle’s ‘Jesus saved me’ 1973 which is always good to know - excellent song.


The ensemble rounded the night off with a rousing ‘Jitterbug Boogie’ T Rex 1976.

See you next time!


Posted on June 23, 2019 .