Club News

Musical Meetings

Musical meetings of the San Francisco Folk Music Club are held every other Friday at 885 Clayton Street, between Carl and Parnassus Streets in San Francisco. Singing and jamming in three separate rooms start at 8:00 p.m. Snacks are provided through $1 food kitty donations or finger food contributions. Guests are always welcome, no one is expected to “perform”, and there is no charge.

 “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. ”

Date July 7 July 21 August 4 August 18 September 1
Setup Melissa Sarenac Ken Hayes Joel Rutledge Melissa Sarenac Joel Rutledge
Bulletin Board Ron and Lorraine Faith Petric Dean Howard Joy Salatino Estelle Freedman
Host/ess Marisa Malvino Judy Tergis Marisa Malvino Bobbie Raymond Tes Welborn
Host/ess Ed Hilton Pazit Zohar Marlene McCall Ed Bronstein Debbie Klein
Singing Room Estelle Freedman Marlene McCall Jane & Dean Tes Welborn Marisa Malvino
Theme Favorite Songs Names and Dates Clothes Water Nature & Nurture
Cleanup Chuck & Monica Oakes Dave Sahn Bob Dunn Marlene McCall Jim Letchworth

Board Meetings

 The SFFMC board meets on the second Tuesday of each month — potluck at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 8:00 p.m. All Club members are welcome to attend the potluck dinner and the Board meeting.

August: no meeting

September 12: Melissa Sarenac’s house

 NEXT FOLKNIK FOLD-IN/FOLK SING: Sunday, August 27, at
Marian Gade’s

Folk Pas or Writing the Wrongs

In the May/June folknik Bob Blue was credited with writing “Gonna Be An Engineer”. This song was written by Peggy Seeger.

The review of Eric Park’s Shakespeare CD in the same folknik gives an incorrect email address. He can be reached at

Club News

Ed Silberman will be the featured teller at the monthly storytelling swap in Oakland on July 17. Admission is free. Barnes and Noble bookstore, Jack London Sq., 98 Broadway, in Oakland. Open swapping is at 7:00 pm. Ed goes on at 8:00. For more information, email Jean Ellison

Robert Rodriquez will be the featured teller at the monthly storytelling swap in San Francisco on August 6. Admission is free. Quaker Meeting House, 65 9th St. between Market and Mission streets. Robert goes on at 6:30. Open swapping at 7:30. For more info, contact Ruth Fraser at (415) 626-3757 or

The Loma Mar Store in the town of Loma Mar between Pescadero and La Homda will have open mike this summer every Saturday afternoon 1:30 to 5. The Store is essentially the town. As sponsor Ronzo says, “It’s way out in the sticks!” But it’s a lovely spot in the woods and no one has to be quiet. What a great way to spend summer Saturday afternoons! For information, call (650) 879-0327.

Memorial Day Camp Report

SFFMC’s Memorial Day Camp was a great success with a good crowd of singers and pickers in the redwoods near Big Basin State Park. The weather provided warm sunny days and there were three fire pits for evening warmth.

Many thanks to Mark Levy, on whose property we camped, for his work in getting it all ready for us and to Ed Hilton, Ken Hayes, Jerry Michaels and Alan Smithline for going early and helping clear paths, tent spaces and such. This was the best-attended Memorial Weekend camp in years with 44 folks on Saturday.

Get ready to join in 2007! Good place for kids, and since it is on private property, there is no curfew.

Sea Music at Hyde Street Pier

Chantey Sings:

These are held 8 p.m.–midnight on the first Saturday of every month aboard the sailing ship Balclutha. July 1 and August 5 are upcoming dates. (In September, because of the Festival of the Sea — see below — the shanty sing will be on the 2nd Saturday.) No fee. Reservations required — contact Peter Kasin at (415) 556-6435 or email

Sing traditional shanties (nautical working songs) or forebitters (sung by sailors for entertainment when off duty) or just join in on the choruses. Bring a mug for hot cider and cocoa served from the ship's galley at breaks! The last hour from 11:00–midnight is reserved for nautical-themed songs without choruses and for shanties with “salty” lyrics.

Music of the Sea for Kids:

These occur at 2:00 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month aboard the sailing ship Balclutha. Saturdays July 15 and August 19 are upcoming dates. Vessel admission fee for adults, children under 16 free. History comes alive for kids in this special program, where the songs are geared for younger ears and chosen especially for fun. Ages 7 and up.

Festival of the Sea:

The Festival of the Sea returns to the San Francisco Martime National Historical Park, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hyde Street Pier. The National Park Service will celebrate the park’s historic ship Balclutha with music, arts and crafts. All hands on deck for a visit to an era when hard work and strong canvas ruled the seas. The Balclutha’s Scottish and English heritage will come alive through music performed throughout the day. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5 and includes access to all of the historic vessels berthed at the Hyde Street Pier. Club member Robert Rodriquez will be telling stories of the sea at 11:00 and 1:30. Put the date on your calendar now and check out specific musical events that will be listed in the September / October folknik. For information, contact Peter Kasin at (415) 556-6435 or email him at

Member Letter


I am renewing my membership for 2 years with delight and much love. The SFFMC has been and is a bright light in the sky — an unparalleled community-building organization that helps us in so many ways make beautiful, fun music

TOGETHER. Above all, together!

— Erika Aschmann,
Sartell, Montana


Margaret MacArthur died May 24. She was an honored collector of folk songs and ballads in her home state of Vermont as well as the author of ballads based on stories of people and events there. Margaret was also a performer, playing at festivals and clubs across the US. She is widely known for the warmth and welcoming hospitality with which she took traveling performers and friends into her home, nurturing all with food, moral support and encouragement. She is much loved and is deeply missed.

[From Lorna Joy Swain] My mother, Pauline Swain, died on Saturday, April 30. Many of you may have passed through the doors of our family’s music store, Swain’s House of Music, in Palo Alto. My mother had a strong belief in the joy of music and loved helping provide it to the community. Her greatest pride in her work came from thinking about how many young (and old!) musicians she had helped get started. In fact, the store’s motto was “The richest child is poor without music.”

My dad, Robert Swain, died in 1981, and Mom continued running the store until 1995, when she retired at age 78. Although arthritis twisted her hands and made her unable to play piano or accordion anymore, she loved music all of her life. As we gathered around her bed keeping her company with her in her final days, we had two autoharps, a guitar, a baritone uke, a couple of recorders, and lots of singing of tunes like “The Crawdad Song” and “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain.” She was singing the words she knew, in a voice that grew increasingly fainter, and she was playing the jingle bells ‘till just minutes before she died. She knew where she was and who she was with, she knew she was surrounded by love and she knew she was having a good time. She had no pain, and needed no pain medication. I believe that loving touch and happy music flooded her small body with endorphins.

In recent years, I loved mentioning the store to folks I was jamming with. If I came across someone who said “Oh, I used to go to Swain’s all the time!” I would tell her about it. I am so proud of my mom, my dad, and the mark they left.

If you would like to do something to honor Pauline’s life, I know she would love it if you would make a donation to the Camp Harmony scholarship fund (SF Folk Music Club, 885 Clayton, San Francisco CA 94117.) Thanks to all of you that make music or listen to music. You are the folks my mom lived for.

Folk Festival — Contributions & Future Plans

As this folknik goes to press, the SF Free Folk Festival is two weeks away, and it will be bigger and better than ever. However, as some of you know, we got a major rent increase from the school district for Roosevelt School, where the festival takes place. Although we were able to negotiate a rent reduction for this year, allowing us to proceed with the 2006 festival, in 2007 there will be no such reduction.

Given the major added cost this year and its certain impact on future festivals, we are asking all members to support the Folk Festival and help ensure its continuation. We would welcome the following:

  1. Send extra financial donations, in the form of check payable to SF Folk Music Club. Your donations are tax-deductible, and a receipt can be provided.
  2. Send any suggestions you may have regarding potential venues for next year.
  3. Let us know if you are willing to volunteer some of your time and energy to find a new venue.

Checks can be mailed to festival director Donna Hyatt at 339 Pierce St., San Francisco 94117. Venue suggestions and offers to volunteer can be sent there as well, or can be e-mailed to her at

We thank everyone who has already come forward with suggestions and support. We will certainly be considering all of your venue suggestions for next year.

Child Ballads Reissued

First published in 1883-1898, Professor Child's monumental work on the ballad tradition of England and Scotland stands as a foundation document for all subsequent ballad scholarship and for trends such as the twentieth century folk revival.

Out of print for decades, editions of this seminal work have become scarce. Mark Heiman and Laura Saxton Heiman of Loomis House Press are in the process of reissuing a corrected edition of this classic resource, completely re-set and edited to include all of Professor Child's post-publication corrections and additions, as well as ballad tunes drawn from Child's original sources.

The new edition of English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Francis James Child, is to be issued in five volumes. Volumes I through III have already been released, and volumes IV and V will be released in the future.

What are Child Ballads? English and Scottish Popular Ballads was Harvard professor Francis James Child's attempt to publish every known variant text from the ballad tradition of England and Scotland. Working nearly entirely from manuscripts, he compiled 305 ballads, most with multiple variants. Professor Child also attempted to trace the historic and literary roots of the ballads he assembled, making use of his extensive knowledge of history and folklore to place each ballad in its larger historical and cultural context. More than a century later, the term "Child ballad" is still used to refer to any of the ballads included in this collection.

The first edition was published over the course of 1883-1898, the five volumes of the work spanning ten physical volumes, printed in a limited edition of 1000. The design of this new edition is inspired by the binding of this first edition.

How does this edition differ from the previous editions? Since the original publication at the end of the nineteenth century, two facsimile editions have been released, one in 1956, and another in 1965. This new edition is not a facsimile. The more than 2500 pages of the original edition have been converted to digital form, newly typeset, and corrected according to Professor Child's own notes. All cross-references and index entries have been updated to reflect the new pagination, and the original page numbers are noted in the margins as a reference aid. As a particular boon to singers, the arrangement of lyrics and tunes has been revised. Previously, the tunes were all in appendices at the end of each volume, and not necessarily the volume in which the corresponding lyrics were located. In this edition, all tunes are located with the corresponding lyrics and text.

What is meant by "Corrected Edition"? Professor Child's research continued during the fifteen years over which his work was published, and he frequently discovered errors or oversights in the volumes that had already been issued. As a result, each original volume contains an appendix of "Additions and Corrections" which he wished to apply to the preceding material. These include more than one hundred new ballad variants and hundreds of corrections, revisions, and expansions to the historical analyses. The editors of this new edition have carefully applied all of the corrections and inserted the new material at the appropriate locations, making it readily accessible for the first time, and producing an edition in accordance with Professor Child's original intent.

What about a searchable electronic version? Once publication of the five-volume set is complete, Loomis House Press plans to export the contents into a structured database to allow for complex searches and comparisons, and make this information freely available to the Internet community.

The Heimans have done the folk community a great service by reissuing a set of volumes that are reasonably priced, as opposed to the out-of-print 1965 Dover edition, which was almost impossible to locate, and was extremely expensive when available. To purchase volumes or get more information, visit the Loomis House Press website at

— Robert Rodriquez