Buckfastleigh Biscuit Band

Hugh Nankivell – BSO Associate – 13 May 2016
Session 4

Lovely energy again today. We are really getting to know each other and enjoy each other’s company. Today we had Chris on trumpet, Daniel on guitar (and his dog Arthur) to add to the music and also Ben visited us from BSO and got to have a dance with Gladys!

We agreed that we had finished off our band song the previous week – with five verses, a chorus, a bridge and an instrumental section, this felt long enough! There was quite a campaign started to enter it for Eurovision, but we were a bit late for 2016, so perhaps next year!

Our instrumental playing got really good – with great precision in starting and stopping (listening and watching) and following changes. Our ‘Taverna’ piece had elements added at the start – a call and response introduction, and at the end – Rita suggesting that we go straight into ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ from ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean’! So now we are really building up our memories and the changes were working really well as the piece flowed from:

a dynamic intro to

  • the habanera then
  • the ‘ooh’ singing section
  • the ‘oompah oompah oom cha cha cha’ interlude straight into
  • ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean’ (in the relative major!) and
  • ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’, before circling back round to the start again.

When the young(er) folk joined us later on they added some great energy to the playing and added to the tightness of the band and really enjoyed being taught the words to ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’. We had a good unresolved chat about why your legs should be sawn right off! Daniel commented that they don’t write songs like that any more!

In the break I had a chat with Belgian Juliette and this song emerged, with lovely contributions from Daniel and Chris. Juliette was happily tearful as we sang it to the group.

Cyril and Juliette

Cyril was in the RAF
In my home town of Ghent
I was a student nurse in Antwerp
My sister called me home, – so I went

She introduced us together
This is Cyril and this is Juliette
His name was not Romeo
But we exchanged addresses that very night

He wrote to me quite quickly
I was quite amazed
Me and my friends pooled our little English
And my reply, wended its way

chorus 1

Romeo and Juliet
A 400 year love story
Romeo and Juliet


chorus 2

Cyril and Juliette
A 40 year love story
Cyril and Juliette

Finally – inspired by the budgies in the room and Daniel’s dog Arthur, we made up a new funny/silly animal song – which was a call and response song and we had a great animal noises section! This was another mixed generation moment of everyone contributing and genuine communication with each other.

Our Furry Feathered Friends


Our Furry Feathered Friends
On us they do depend

verse 1

Budgies sings a merry tune
Doggie says woof woof
Cat meows up at the moon
And donkey bangs his hoof

verse 2

Rabbit’s got nice fluffy ears
Parrot goes caw caw
Snake slips and disappears
Chucks lay eggs on’t floor


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