Celebrating 16 years in style

All the fun from the Green Dragon Friday anniversary party!

Green Dragon Friday celebrated its 16th anniversary last Friday, and boy was the party busy. I counted up to 50 hobbits stopping by during the evening. So naturally, yer might have missed out on some of the things that happened, now kicking yerself over lost opportunities? Or perhaps yer were stuck elsewhere, unable to come?

Fear not! Here is a summary of most things that happened: Songs, poems and rhymes, fireworks, letters, meals and oinker parades! More entertainment than yer can shake a wizard’s staff at. Enjoy! And thanks to everyone who took part, contributed, entertained, joined the fun and made the party such a grand celebration!

Pictures on this page are from Lottie, Penny and Saelo, in addition to my own.

Anniversary fireworks

We have long talked about having a synchronized fireworks show during the anniversary. This year, we tried it. It worked out pretty well! Fireworkers were Galifer, Nimelia, Pycella, Ragwort, Tibba and Lina.

Gali made this video of the show. Enjoy!

Fireworks display

Sixteen – The 16th anniversary song

We often perform new songs for the GDF anniversaries. This year, Saelo wrote this one! It is best sung to the tune of Katrina and the Waves’ “Love Shines a Light”, see original below.

Green Dragon Inn is calling everyone tonight
Le-et’s do not tarry, le-et us all hurry
To reach the place shining through the night,
Filled with celebrations and one hundred hues of the light

One more year is marked on our diary
Some days were weary, some days were merry
But what matters is, we all meet once again
For feasting like a hobbit, and dancing like a fairy

Now fill your glasses with the finest of drinks
And reward the old rug with spills
Leave your weariness behind, open up your heart
And join the celebration of the sixteenth year tonight

Give your ear to the sounds of the delighted souls
Let them purge the dark clouds, let them untie the scowls
Gather your courage and take a step forward
Let the music lead your soul to heights with every chord

Now fill your glasses with the finest of drinks
And reward the old rug with spills
Leave your weariness, behind, open up your heart
And join the celebration of the sixteenth year tonight

Now fill your glasses with the finest of drinks
And reward the old rug with spills
Leave your weariness, behind, open up your heart
And join the celebration of the sixteenth year tonight
Happy sixteenth year, Green Dragon Fridays!

Katrina and the Waves – Love Shine a Light

Green Dragon song

Wybert wrote a Green Dragon song as well, set to the music of “Beer Barrel Polka”! Below in a Lawrence Welk version.

Oh, it’s Friday,
Yes, it’s Friday,
It’s Friday in the Shire,
Now, the working week is over,
Work is over,
And we’re in clover!
Now we all know,
Where we must go,
Get down to the Green Dragon,
There, where the ale does flow,
And we can dance and sing!
Oh, can you hear those lute strings play,
Listen to that strumming,
The folk all come a-running,
Most everyone, is humming!

Hear the hobbit minstrels play their songs,
You’ll hear poems and tales,
Short and long!
Then with your friends you share
A joke or two,
Together dance the whole night through!
You’ll see some dwarfs put on a funny show,
Why, or who they are, well, no one knows!
You can be sure that you will have such fun,
On a Green Dragon Friday night!

Cheers to our hostess,
She’s going to read us the news,
And, if she asks you,
It would be wrong to refuse,
It might be your turn,
To step up there on to the rug,
But please won’t you be careful,
That you don’t drop your mug!

Roll out those hobbits,
The ones who’ve drunk far too much beer,
Light up the fizzers,
Say farewell to those you hold dear,
Now the show is over,
And your way home you do seek,
There’ll be more Green Dragon Fridays,
Yes there will!
So come back next week!

Lawrence Welk – Beer Barrel Polka

The Green Dragon is my home

As if that wasn’t enough, Pycella also had a song for the evening! This one’s been performed before, but now’s yer chance to see the words properly too. Best sung to “I’ll Find My Way Home” by Jon and Vangelis.

It’s Friday evening again
And I am here with my friends
I leave my worries behind
Nothing will weigh on my mind
Dressed in garments so green
I’m at my favourite inn
Here I do not feel alone
The Green Dragon’s my home

We dance, play tunes and sing
Maybe spill our drinks
The rumours spread all around
Tall tales from the wide world
There’s gentle strums by a lad
Faint grumbles from the back
This is where I belong
The Green Dragon’s my home

There’s the sticky old rug
Watery beer in yer mug
Yet it feels so good to be here
Valuing food and cheer
Tonight, let’s forget all else
Tonight, let’s be all friends
Tonight I sing you my song
For Green Dragon is my home
For Green Dragon is my home

Green trees light up the sky
Soon it is time for goodbyes
But never for a long while
So there’s no reason to cry
We will meet here again
At our beloved old inn
Where we can sing our song
The Green Dragon is our home
The Green Dragon is our home
The Green Dragon is our home
The Green Dragon is our home

I’ll Find My Way Home, by Jon and Vangelis

The Sign of the Green Dragon

We also had a poem! Wybert recited this one, written for the occasion.

I dwell beside this famous inn,
Close by its portal I reside,
But though I advertise its name,
Not once have I ventured inside.

Those folks who pass me every day,
Scarcely spare a single glance,
All in a rush to go right in,
To flirt, carouse, to sing and dance.

Oh, how I long to spread my wings,
To rise high up into the sky.
Alas, pinned to this wooden board,
I know that I will never fly.

On Fridays, right before my eyes,
Fireworks fizz beneath my nose,
Oh, how I’d love to add my fire,
Give ‘em a fright and singe their toes!

Once I did see as he passed by,
A fellow with a dragon kite,
A wondrous creature painted there,
To join her would be my delight.

Full sixteen years I’ve been confined,
To gently swing, when the wind blows,
The dreams I have of flying free,
None can imagine, no one knows.

In all that time that I’ve spent here,
Upon this post without complaint.
I ask of you now just one thing:
‘Please give me a new lick of paint!’

The anniversary menu

Pycella had prepared a grand festive menu for the party. Barmy must have been busy in the kitchen! And the food queue went far down the hallway.

Starters:
Bywater’s Best Catfish Cakes
Pork Parade: a selection of pork meat, served with cheese and dip
NEWTs – New Earthy Wedge Taters served with dill and sour cream (that look a bit like newts)

Mains:
Dragon’s Hot Hot Pot with beef, taters and hot spices
Pieradise Pie with 16 different ingredients – try to discover them all!
Riddler’s Roast – this will keep yer belly full, so that yer mind can focus on solving riddles!
Served with oven-baked vegs and gravy.

Dessert:
Badgers Berry Rolls – flaky rolls filled with berry jam and whipped cream
Extra Sticky Lollies – candy that is almost as sticky as the rug!
Dreamy Dancers Creamy Cake – a cake with fruits, caramel and lots of cream

Special drinks:
Thirsty Dancing Wheat Ale – an ale for thirsty dancers!
Soothing Stout – for those who prefer to sit at their table
Liquid Courage – a strong apple cider for our everyone who needs some extra courage
Brockenborings 16-year old brandy



Letter from Bonkadoc

A grand thing with the anniversaries is that we sometimes receive greetings and updates from hobbit friends of old. This year was no different, when we got this update from Bonkadoc, an industrious seller of juice. Namely, turnip juice… Turnips beside, it was grand to hear from yer again!

“Dear Lina,
I am writing this letter to you in hope it will be read at Green Dragon at the 16th anniversary. I miss you and everyone there, alas, I am duty bound to be elsewhere, which is in Bree. I know it has been a few years so I have some explaining to do. Who would anyone move to Bree?

First of all, I have assigned the turnip press in Shire to two younger hobbits, and what a wonderful two industrious youngsters I got. Turnip juice is flowing to Buckland as ever, and now to Bree too, more about that later. It turns out the job is not overly difficult after the initial troubles. And there was no troubles, the new press, yes it has been renewed, it is now heavier, and my operators are up to the task. Those rumors about tremors some burrow-holders are experiencing are totally baseless and are caused by something else.

But what is keeping me in Bree I hear you ask? I met just a terrific hobbit-lass, from a very prominent Bree hobbit family too. We are engaged to be married, and we are going to be launching a line of perfumes here together, so things are looking great! We wish you all the best and will try to visit you more often.

Your dear friend,
Bonkadoc.”

Green Dragon limericks

The Fed Poets society meet every month, sharing poems and working on new ones. This month, they had prepared short Green Dragon rhymes which were recited during the anniversary party!

The rhymes were written by Rhubarbra, Hermanniadoc and Wybert. During the party, Acorne and Peppy also helped in reciting them.

A hobbit who we shall not name,
Hoping to win himself fame,
Went to the Dragon,
Downed many a flagon,
Got so drunk, oh it was such a shame!

So let Barmy now fill up your mug,
Greet your friends, aye, and give ‘em a hug,
You can dance, you can sing,
You can do anything,
But don’t spill yer ale on the rug!

They come for a drink at the inn
And some food to make them less thin,
But when they arrive
No seat can they find,
As the music and dancing begin

One night after too many drinks,
Some lads quite forgot how to think,
They thought they were able,
To dance on the table,
But fell to the rug in a blink.

A shameless young lad from Bywater
To the Dragon took the farmer’s daughter,
So drunk she did get,
And she’ll never forget,
The lesson that her father taught her.

Herman, with a nonchalant shrug,
Kept spilling his drink on the rug,
The barman named Barmy,
Kept the ale flowin’ calmly,
But prices would rise on each mug,

At the end of a Green Dragon night,
Those hobbits all got such a fright,
Fizzers blew up the room,
The roof fell with a boom,
Exposing the evening twilight.

Bright colours fly up in the sky,
More pretty than apples or pie.
So many to see,
Launched by you and by me
Startling all those who seek to pass by.

This has been our own tribute in rhyme,
To this place where we’ve had such good times,
Where good fun never ends,
You can meet with your friends,
For Green Dragon Friday’s sublime!

The anniversary speech

I usually give a speech during the anniversary party. Being an efficient hobbit, the speech is mostly copy and paste each year, with a few minor edits. Changing the anniversary year is usually the largest effort…

Goodness me, sixteen years go by fast!

Today, it is sixteen years since the first hobbits started gathering here in Bywater every Friday night. They enjoyed riddles and music, drinking and dancing… poems and stories, gossip and fun! Much like all of yer who are here today.

Over the years, some of these early patrons have gone to wander the lands outside of the Shire. Some still visit us to this day, and they are a grand and welcome sight every time. On a night like this, we can remember our old friends with fondness, wishing them well wherever they are.

However, we should not only dwell on the past. Tonight is really a celebration of all of yer who are here today. Everyone who stop by here regularly, who help keep this weekly gathering alive.

Without yer all, there would be no Green Dragon Friday. No Fridays where those starting out in the Shire can meet the locals for the first time. No Fridays where we can gossip about belly-sizes, the Mayor’s shenanigans, or upcoming weddings that never happen. No Fridays where we can share our joy and happiness, and sometimes even our sadness, regardless of which family or kin we belong to. No grumping over the worn-out dusty dancing rug or missing tabs.

Over the years, yer have met new friends here. Yer have quarreled over yer favourite colours, be they green, orange or yellow. Yer have crossed all lines of hobbit decency and played bagpipes here! Yer have been grumped at by old gaffers reminding us all that everything was just so much better in the past. Yer have eaten numerous pies, set off even more fireworks, and had enough ales ter fill the Brandywine. Yer have had yer first dances with that special hobbit in yer life.

Every corner of this inn has a tale to it. Every loose board a memory of old attached to it. And through it all, us hobbits have stuck together as friends. And this is what we should celebrate tonight.

So I ask yer all… join me as we celebrate sixteen years at the Green Dragon… A toast to all good friends! Cheers everyone!


Oinker parade

Hobbits love parties, not least because there is a lot to eat. They also love pigs, because the pigs provide a lot to eat. Mix the two and what do yer get? Apart from many tasty dishes? An oinker parade! Before we go eat some more…

So, after the fireworks, we took some four-legged grunters on a short parade around Bywater. Squeals of joy filled the air, and not only from the strutting swines. Here are some images!

Other songs

Several others songs were also performed during the party, by The Brandy Badgers and The Songburrow Strollers:






Lina

Biscuit-eating bard from Brockenborings

Have yer say!