Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Gilead, Gilead, oh, oh, oh...


Many years ago, in the clubhouse of an unidentified rugby club, (Hastings and Bexhill RFC), Scrobs was enjoying a very special Easter evening with his chums and also the touring side from South Wales.

It was Easter, 1976, and Mrs S. was inhabiting the local maternity hospital, to produce Younger Daught, and Elder Daught was safe in the arms of her Grandparents, and none of them wanted to be disturbed.

So I headed for the club, where I had played many a game with good friends, good company, and awful beer. It was nearly about the time for me to retire from the game, but the original teams with many friends were still playing, and this Easter Tour was one to remember, or try to remember after so much fun, sport, shenanigans and laughter.

The vistors were from Caerleon College, Newport, and as I had spent many formative years near the valleys, there was some mutual interest, and much cameraderie, not to say some racial banter and a few clops on the field, but, off the field, we all formed one of the friendliest, jolliest, and heart-warming gatherings ever imagined, as was usually the case with club rugby back then.

We all went through our repertoire, (we had a concert pianist as Captain and he was ace at everything we needed to sing), and the Caerleon boys performed their list of songs which was incredibly well sung, sometimes very funny, and on one particular aria, downright moving. Some of the Max Boyce songs still echo as well...

There was one particular song I can still recall them singing in perfect harmony, it was beautiful, and serious as well, but all I can remember of this song is five words: -

"Gilead, Gilead, oh, oh, oh..."

I've tried all sorts of searching on the net, and the closest is this lovely piece. The Morriston Choir do it full justice.

But nowhere is the 'Oh oh oh' bit, and either my ears deceived me several times (which they often could do on about eight pints of the Club's PBA beer, costing 11p per pint; in fact the eyes also went a bit awry, as did most other parts of this man's body for that matter), or the great guys of Caerleon made up their own version, which is an explanation I'd rather like to believe...

14 comments:

lilith said...

Sorry Scrobs, I can't help you with this, but I just read a splendid novel called Gilead (a fictional town in Iowa).

Scrobs... said...

It is an odd one Lils. I'm even contemplating asking the Uni if they'd copy their RFC, but I reckon that just at this moment, they have more important things to do, like getting students in and organised, than worrying about an old bloke muttering about a song he'd heard 34 years ago when he was a bit pissed...

On the other hand I may just do that!

The real stuff is here

Philipa said...

Lovely tune, Scrobs. Thanks for posting that :-)

Electro-Kevin said...

I remember singing Sunshine Mountain naked on top of a pub table.

Scrobs... said...

I'm glad you like it Pips, I'm going to try and edit a download of it because some idiot coughs right at the end, and ruins one of the best bits...

They're a good choir aren't they!

Scrobs... said...

Funnily enough Elecs, 'Sunshine mountain' wasn't around then, but there were others...

'Swing low sweet chariot' was always a stalwart as the actions were juct developing...

My solo was 'O'Reilly's daughter', and I stayed up until 3.00 am one Friday night, learning all the verses!

rvi said...

Not being from the rugby playing fraternity I have no idea what you are all on about.

However, distant and fading memory recalls something about a boat named after a nearby planet; and also something about 24 young ladies from a town in Scotchland. Do they count in this repertoire?

Now where's that red wine drink that fortifies the under seventies that used to decorate every tube station in London....

Philipa said...

Scrobs, they are indeed a good choir. And sadly I remember all the actions to 'Swing Low', my dark and distant past.

Electro-Karen said...

Whatever, Pippy.

Whenever I sing stark bollock naked (and it's quite frequently) I most definitely do NOT get ignored !

Scrobs... said...

Reevers, there's no need to reach for the Wincarnis or Sanatogen just yet...

In the sixties and seventies, and I dare say (hope,) it still goes on, the main entertainment after a rugby game was singing, aided and abetted by copious amounts of beer.

The scene I described with the Welsh guys epitomsed the time, and apart from the old rivalry with clubs like Eastbourne, we did in fact always end up in very friendly circumstances - until the next game of course...

This never seemed to happen with soccer clubs, they never did this sort of thing then.

The two arias you describe were indeed favourites, and the fun was in changing the verses to suit local conditions.

There was a record of rugby songs produced in 1964, with the first bleeps ever recorded! The book shown above was the logical next step!

Scrobs... said...

Pips, well done that Gal!

I'd have liked to have been in your team when everyone sang 'Sailing'...;0)

(that's a bit like the actions in a song which goes something 'Whoops, pling, get out of bed, get, get out of bed...' or sounds like this...) ;0()

Scrobs... said...

Elecsm in your new guise, do you actually know all the words to 'Stark Bollock Naked'?

Blue Eyes said...

"PBA Beer"

Love it!

Electro-Kevin said...

Scrobs - I know all he words ... and I do it with a bit of a swing.

(I miss Pippy)