Cecil Sharp's Folk Dance Notes
A body of largely unconnected text about morris dances and other bits of folklore, there are some notations that in some cases found there way into the Morris Books and the Descriptions of the Long Sword and Rapper Dances that I have removed from this text, they can be downloaded separately.
There are descriptions of the following in varing degrees of completeness:
Horton cum Studley - Wheatley
The Sword Dances are:-
Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance, Ampleforth, Askham Richard Sowerby, Beadnell,Calling on Song and Tunes, Earsdon, Escrick
Flamborough, Goathland, GrenosideHandsworth,
Helmsley, Kirkby Malzeard, Kirkmoorside,
North Skelton, North Walbottle, Poppleton,
Salton, Stillington/Kirkby Malzeard, Swalwell, Wigginton,
available to download separately
Brackley Morris Dancers.
This troup prides itself on having kept up the custom of morris dancing throughout an unbroken succession of years. It consists of eight men. One is a kind of Master of Ceremonies under the title of "Fool" and another beats time. The remaining six keep up the dance. A ninth individual collects money from the spectators. The "Fool" has a distinctive costume consisting of a broad-brimmed hat covered with gaudy trimmings and decorations, a short, muslin skirt with numerous flowers over his knickerbockers of pink cambric and flowered pompadour and so short as to exhibit an odd pair of stockings, one black and other pink. A muslin jacket covered the upper part of the body. He carried a whip on the lash of which is a number of odd bladders. The person who marks time is also dressed in a peculiar style and accompanied the dance with pipe and tabor.
The six performers are dressed in white skirts and trousers with high hats ornamented with streamers. Across their shoulders bands of coloured material with rosettes taking the place of braces, while below the knees are other adornments of tape on which hang small bells. During certain dances each performer carried a stick which he manipulated in a variety of ways. Sometimes it is twirled round and round while the dancers approach their partners striking their sticks together when they meet. Sometimes it is struck on the ground before it is brought into contact with that of their opponent. In other dances instead of a stick the performers hold a handkerchief in each hand.
It is said that many years ago the Brackley Morris Dancers were patronized by a religious house in the town, and at one time presented a Service of Communion plate to one of the churches.
The following is a list of the names of dances performed by this troupe.
1. Maid at the Mill
2. Lads a bunsham
3. Queen's delight
4. Bobbin & Joan
5. Mad Miller (or Mad Parson)
6. Country Garden
7. Constant Billy
8. Twenty Ninth of May
9. Room for the Cuckoo
10. Balance the Straw
11. Saturday Night
12. Broad Cupid
13. Bonny Green Garters
14. Trunk Hose
15 Old Woman tossed up in a blanket
16. Black Joke
17. Cuckoo's Nest
18. Jockey to the Fair }
19. Princes Royal }
20 Lumps of Pudding }
21. Old Oxford } Single Dances
22. Shepherd's Hey }
The Glostershire Morris is at, Campden. They keep it going fairly well or did a year or two ago. Headington Quarry, has dropped Kirtlington and Bletchington also. The last of the Kirtlington men is just dead. Bampton is languising.
( H. W. Taunt, May 1908)
A CHELTENHAM MORRIS DANCE.
The Maypole, the Morris and other queer survivals, whose tradition still lingers armongst us, naturally receive attention and suggestive illustration from reference in English literature. With regard to the Morris dance, which has a Moorish origin, the author says: - "Like the mummers and many other old customs," it died hard in the district of the Cotswold Hills, ,and I was not long ago given an account by an eye-witness of the last time it was apparently danced in the town of Cheltenham about forty years ago.
He told me that the performers appeared in knee breeches, tall or 'box' 'hats, as he called them, and short jackets with white sleeves. They were about twenty in number, and formed up in two lines facing each other. The music was supplied by two men with long tin whistles , and also by the clashing of the two wooden sticks of the dancers, the last remnants of the pipes and sword staves of the earlier Morris.
(The above paragraph is in the form of a newspaper cutting pasted into the book.)
William Hathaway of Cheltenham told me that the Morris was danced at
Lower Gitting. Power. Tabor and Pipe.
Sherborne - ( a desperate Morris place)
Leyfield, near Shipton under Witchet. He said that Jas. Bennet, a tall man, hailing from Stow went to Bidford 30 years ago and started them dancing.
Copy of MSS. lent me by Mr. Home, stationer, of Chipping Campden. They were made by his father who died 10 years ago. The father was born and lived all his life in Campden.
About the year 1780 a Jubilee (or Club) was hold at Milton-under-Wychwood where Morris Dancing was carried on and two people were carried round the village dressed up for the occasion and called the Lord and Lady.
The Dancers were
1 Piper (Tabor and pipe)
1 seventh man or Tom fool
1 Box or Treasure man
made up the nine.
The six dancers wore high box hats (Plaited shirts and white breeches). Their hats, arms, bodices and legs trimmed with coloured ribbons with a sash or cross belt. A square piece of leather with bells on were rivetted to their hats and shou1ders their bells being fastened on a piece of whipcord, each dancer having a white pocket handkerchief in each hand with one corner tied round one finger dancing to the tune "The Maid he Mill".
The 7th man or Tom fool one black shoe and one whitewashed one, one black and one white stocking. Print trousers very loose with legs (?) reaching below the knee, with T.F. in fair-sized letters on his back, and a large paddock on a chain for a watch, and when asked what a clock it was he used to pull it out and quick catching them a blow on the head telling them it just struck one. They did not ask any more questions for fear it should strike two - he also carried a stick with a bladder at one end and a calves tail at the other end and did not forget to use them about the boys backs.
Shipton in Oxfordshire was a very noted place for Morris Dancing. 3 or 4 sets at one time used to attend the Club.
The last dancing that took place in Overshill the last year a meeting was held the Morris dancers came from Longborough.
The Fool tried to kiss the girls leaving a black smudge on their faces, hence in Gloucestershire kissing is called "smudging".
The Box or Treasure man had some very funny sayings to induce people to give.
Notes from Conversation with Mr. Geo. Simpson (near Didcot) July 1908
William Hooper of Sherborne used to play the Whittle and Dube
Fool. Round jacket with tassels. T.F. on his back. Rower's cap with long tassel hanging over his arm.
Dress of Morris dancers.
White pleated shirts, pleated all over, slashed with coloured ribbons; diagonal sash; white stockings and white breeches, which later on were discarded for trousers. Dilly cock hat trimmed all over with ribbons. Handkerchief on little finger (some attached it to shirt cuff) quite short.
25 boils on each log, 5 straps, 5 boils on each strap. Straps of red braid crossed at back of leg. Large bells at corners (3d a piece) Smaller between, different sizes mixed.
Dancers danced on and off 3 weeks at Whitsuntide. That was the regular outing for the year except for special fetes.
Sherbourne always on Whit Tuesday.
Greensleeves a set dance.
Sherborne Jig; was a morris jig
Bonny Green Garters ditto ditto
(see tunes in book)
September 1st 1909
This well-known troup prides itself on having kept up the old custom of morrice-dancing through an unbroken succession of years, and one of the present company can boast a connection with it extending over something like half a century, whilst his sons are also being trained for keeping up the art when he shall fail. Probably no-where in the country could a better opportunity of studying the subject could have been afforded than that which was afforded by the people of Brackley on Whit-Tuesday, June 3rd 1884. I mention the date thus expressly because in many places it is supposed that the old custom had entirely died out years ago. I will attempt to give first of all some notice of the present company and then supply a few notes from other sources. Meanwhile let me ask that your correspondents will favour us with and ,corrections or additions they may be able to supply from their personal knowledge or any other authentic sources.
The Brackley trouple consisted of eight men, one of the company being a kind of Master of the Ceremonies under the dignified and ancient title of "Fool"; and another beat time, while the remaining six kept up the dance .which was performed in a variety of ways. A ninth individual deserves mention, since he occupied the place of Judas and collected the money which was placed by the donor's in a large wooden money box through a small slot or opening in the lid so that it could not be with drawn. The "Fool" was dressed in different fashion from the rest, having on a broad hat, covered with gaudy trimmings and decorations a short muslin skirt with numerous flowers over his pantaloons or knicker-bockers which were of pink cambric and flowered pompadore, and were so short as to exhibit to perfection the, odd pair of stockings, ono of which, was black and the other pink. A muslin bodice or loose jacket, for one can scarcely give the article a name which will correctly describe it, covered the upper part of the body, while streamers and rosetted added to the general display. To make his appearance more befitting his name he carried a whip on the lash of which were tied a number of old bladders most of which had already burst.. This corresponded to the bauble which the fool is said to have anciently carried. I am dis-posed to think this personage was gradually merged in one of the two characters of Fool and Maid Marian who at one time figured in the dances. The person who beat time was dressed in peculiar costume but during the dance kept up a constant accompaniment on his "tabor and pipe" - instru-ments which have already been associated with this kind of entertainment. The six performers. were dressed white shirts and trousers with high hats (in most instances) ornamented with bright coloured streamers across the shoulders bunches of coloured material covered with rosettes took the place of braces, while below the knees other adornments were fashioned by means of tapes. On those latter decorations were placed small bells which kept up a constant jingling as the dance was being performed. During certain dances each of the six performers carried a stick or wooden spear, and this was manipulated in various ways, sometimes it was twirled round and round while the dancers approached their partners when each struck the others spear; at other times they were struck on the ground before being .brought in to contact with those of their comrades. In other dances the sticks were given up and the performers were supplied with a pair of white or coloured pocket-handkerchiefs formerly called napkins, which were flaunted by the dancer who held one in each hand and performed various gymnastic exercises there-with. Leg, hands, and in fact every part of the body were exercised in the performance of some of the more complex dances and the evolutions, which were executed with great precision proved quite attractive. When a new dance was about to commence the "Fool" would call out, Go on! Go on! whereupon the trouple would begin again, reminding us that formerly one or the dances was called "Trip and go".
I am informed that many years ago the Brackley Morrice-Dancers were largely patronised and encouraged by a religious house that used to exist in t.he town. Unfortunately, nowadays the performers are frequently the worse for the patronage they receive daring the day, and become incapacitated for dancing properly through partaking too much of Brackley ale. As is well known Brackley was formerly represented by two parish churches St. Peter and St. James being the' patrons. The Church of St. James is now represented only by a small Chapel and burial ground adjoining the station, but in the days of its glory it is stated that a party of Morrice dancers presented a Communion Service of silver, on the 'plates of which their names were very rudely scratched, the art of engraving being then but little known. I believe the service is still preserved and trust this notice will lead to the publication of the names of the donors and the date of their gift. Next week we hope to follow this notice with an historical study of the subject.
Hilderic Friend. F.L.S.
Brackley Morrice Dancers (1st S, XX. XXI)-
Through the courtesy of a modest friend who does not wish his name to transpire, I am permitted to add to our former stock of information a 1ist of 22 dances performed by this ancient trouple of Moriscoes.
1. Maid at the Mill.
2. Lads a bunsham.
3. Queen's Delight.
4. Bobbin and Joan.
5. Mad Miller (or Mad Parson)
6. Country Garden
7. Constant Billy.
8. Twenty-Ninth of May.
9. Room for the Cuckoo.
10. Balance the Straw.
11. Saturday Night.
12 Bonny Green Gaiters.
13. Broad Cupid.
14. Trunk Hole (? hose)
15. Old Woman tossed up in a blanket.
16. Black Joke.
17. Cuckoo's Nest.
(The following are called "single dances")
18. Jockey to the Fair.
19. Princes (or Princess?) Royal.
20. Lumps of Pudding.
21. 0ld 0xford.
22. Shepherd's Hay.
I have no doubt but that some of your learned correspondents may be able to throw light on some of the names. I have never seen a list published in any work bearing on the subject, but some (No. 8 for example) evidently have historial associations, while others (as Nos. 9, 16, 17) appear to be comic. Bobbin (No. 4) is evidently connected with Robin (Hood), as in the old song
We hunted the wren for Robin. the Bobbin.
No Morris dancing at Burford though they used to dance round Jack and the Green with handks. and bells, etc.
Little Barrington a great morris place in old days. The whit- & dub-man man named Garlick. His son went up to London, was adopted by a lady, sent to College and became Congregational minister. She left him over £3000.
"Jim the Laddy" (J. Hopkins) was the p & t player at Sherbourne (Glos.). No relations living The Morris at Sherbourne given up about 45 yoars ago. In this neighbourhood, i.e. Barrington, Rissington, Sherbourne, etc. all danced with sticks, handks. and bells, high hats, "plaited"shirts, etc.
There was Morris at Idbury 40 years ago with a p and t man.
Field Town, i.e. Leafield, Buckland, Ducklington,March (Witney) and Bampton great Morris places.
Thomas Barlow (7O) used to dance. He danced to me (April 1910) The Cuckoo's Nest, Nelson's Praise (Jig) and Shepherd's hey (Jig). Not a good dancer, too old, so did not note steps. He used many back-steps and right and left across and the gallery. He dances Broom Dance and Green Sleeves.
The Blackwell Morris stopped in 1867 when the fiddler died - struck by lightning.
He also showed me Constant Billy and Old Molly Oxford (Jig).
Tom Harris used to dance but could not remember any steps to speak of. He said some of' the Gardiner girls (Tom's sisters) Siller, Prue, etc. used to dance, "put on their brothers' breeches, just for a game and cut all their in fine style - they weren't so proud then."
He danced (used to) broom dance to Greensleeves. And gave the words they used to sing, (see word book)
Timothy Gaydon. Last surviver of a celebrated family of Blackwell Morris dancers. I couldn't prevail upon him to dance to me as he was too shy. He did a few steps exactly in the usual manner (April 1910).
Michael Johnson (68) now living at Ilmington is one of the three surviving dancers of the old Morris. He was a caustic critic of the present dancers who only started about 5 or 4 years ago. He said their step was all wrong. "They come back on their heels directly their toes touch the ground, as of course they shouldn't." "You can't buckle your knees in the Morris." "They should get some sticks and splint them on their legs and that would stop 'em bending their knees." "They don't know how to dance. No side step."
Tom Arthur the old and original tabor player told him that the best way to learn the morris step was to stand in a sheep rack, put your hands on the rails is and learn to dance without bending the knees. (This was probably intended to prevent the side rol1 which is so marked in the Ilmington dancers.) Johnson further-more said They don't do the figures proper either, and the proper rule is to turn outwards and then shake leg and make bells ring. Not exactly the right turns.
Only one of the side, Robertson, used to dance jigs "The present men they can't dance 'em.
Robertson used to dance over the pipes with a pair of woman's patterns on his feet. They never had a hobby horse. He said that they used red, white and blue sticks, but when he showed his to me - he had two - they were both black and exactly like the one in my possession.
In one set dance they used to kneel down. He thought very little of Sam Bennet's play-ing.
He said "He gets across the time and makes it very okkard."
William Andy (73) is the only other old dancer living in Ilmington. He is a great crony of Michael's and fully bore out above remarks. He said he never helped Sam and had never danced since Tysoe Club about 50 years ago. (Many people - Sam included - say that this was the last time the old dancers went out in the old way. But it seems they got together and danced at the two Jubilees.)
Michael Andy the third surviving dancer is now in Birmingham.
Wm. Andy said the last time he saw Sam's men dance he turned round to Johnson and said "It isn't hardly the step is it?"
The old dancers wore dark cloth trousers, white shirt, diagonal scarf hanging clown
over one side with bow. Nothing on head.
Michael Johnson danced the step to me exactly as Kimber dances it.
Sole survivor Farebrother (83), He told me the Toddenham Morris was discontinued about 50 years ago. They used no sticks and wore high hats decorated with ribbons, white shirts,trousers, bells, diagonal scarf, rosettes, elbow and wrist ribbons.
Edwin Clay (old loom worker) once danced with Brailes Morris which stopped about 40 years ago. They wore garters and bells, rosettes cap with red ribbon. Sticks and handkerchiefs. They danced Constant Billy, Shepherd's hey, etc. and same Morris men danced the Jigs.
A very old man said they danced at Whatcot but he was too young to remember them. His father told him about them.
CHIPPING CAMPDEN MORRIS.
Dennis Hathaway from whom I noted Morris tunes in June 1909 (Nos. 2047 - 2051) has trained some boys to dance. These I saw in April 30th 1910 and noted (2477 - 80). He told me that the Campden danced proper were discontinued a 50 years ago. The dances ho had taught were those that he had seen the Long-borough men dance at Stow and elsewhere when he was young (lie was a native of Condicote) and those that he learned from his grandfather-in-law who was an old Campden dancer (now dead). So far as my investigations go, none of the dances I saw wore Longborough dances, so if they have any traditional origin it must be derived from Campdeon. Hattaway said the old dancers wore white breeches, blue stockings, old fashioned web braces. No hats. White Handks. "as large as we could get -em", attached by reeving knots on middle finger.
Henry Taylor (68). Last time danced at Jubilee when Chas. Benfield came over from Bledington and brought three Bould men with him. H.T. always danced near-side top, i.e. leader. Tom Tufley of Shottery is a great friend and fellow Morris dancer. Geo. Ackerman is another he lives at Longborough but was not a first rate dancer - "never followed it' up" "The fools often did jigs - we called "'em squires".
Told me story of a fool who stood near a kennel with a fierce dog chained. People warned him to get out of reach. He wouldn't. Then dog suddenly sprang out upon him. Fool lightly jumped aside and into kennel where he put his face out with hands in front and grinned like a clown. This so frightened the dog that "he were never. no good at housekeeping after that".
Talking of the Bidford men he said "he didn't think much of 'em." "They was too clumsy." "Too heavy on the ground." He asked by Bidford men to dance a week with them for 10/- and his keep. But the squ1re for whom He worked wouldn ' t let him off saying "dancing was all stupid nonsense".
They always put the tall uns in front, short uns behind.
They used to go up to a quiet lane with the fiddler and practise night after night between Easter and Whitsunday. 8 men, 6 dancing, ragman and money box, fiddler and squire.
Danced Heal and Toe, to Belle Isles March. Also Highland Mary.
Can't dance in heavy shoes - can't get off the ground. I use light shoes, well-nai1ed. Must have nails when you dance at Stow as stones so cruel.
In Sherborne Jig you ought to touch with your knees twice not once as Simpson did.
In jumping start off both feet keep feet touching side to side on ground.
Put your best men on odd side and the duffers on even side. "We never cared so long as we had three good uns.
Talking of the late King Edward VII he said "He been a good old fellow, that e' are He were a peace-maker.
Mr. Henry Taylor chief survivor of Longborough Morris. Danced Constant Billy and Country Gardens with me in a field at Condicote where was working on May 2nd l9l0 (see 2481-3).
He said they only used to dance in Whitsun week. They wore caps or high hats. Plaited shirts, two, "one to suck the sweat up". Diagonal scarf, 2 rosettes on shoulders, band round the middle, ribbons on breasts. Trousers, but breeches and blue stocking were the "right things". Three vertical rows of bells on each leg, tied with green and other coloured ribbons.
They only danced "whole rounds" in "skew- corner dances".
They carried handks but no sticks, clapping instead.
Taylor said that Longborough was much like Bledington Morris except that the former jumped every two bars through-out whereas the latter only jumped every 4 bars. They often danced together. He showed me a caper step (r.t.b. etc.) which was very similar to that danced by Bledington men, only he called it Fore Capers. 30.IV.10.
North Leigh Morris
William Partlett (79). They used to dance to John Lanksbury's fiddle who came from Ra (?)
Ceased dancing, at North Leigh 40 or 50 years ago.
Fool (face blacked) Charles Green.
Handkerchiefs not sticks.
Two men jigs, stilll, not walking round.
Old Woman tossed up.
White trousers, ribbons on balls and round' high hats
Billy Brown used to play pipe and tabor and used to come over from Handbrough to teach North Leigh men.
He danced to me and showed me side step and ordinary stop with straight leg. "You must step out forward" . "You've got to shiver your legs in the capers". "It'll fetch out the sweat on you." Fred. Gardner (now living at Corn St. , Witney) was a good dancer, "as lissome as a cat, an out and out dancer, like on wires.
Used to be merry in the old days. Different now in the villages. "Not no neighbours; not friends now as they used to.
He once went thrashing with a flail in a farm for a fortnight at ¼ a day or 8/- a week.
That was since he was married.
Joseph Deuce 80. They used, to have three sides at one time.
One side composed of one family named Fisher.
Joseph and his two brothers used to dance, 20 years since they stopped. He danced every so many ears.
No sticks, only hanks.
Drum and pipe or fiddle.
Very proud of it and very proud of Ducklington Morris. Neither Bampton nor Field Town so clean as we. We had clean shirts every morning.
He mentioned Jockie, Princess Royal, Nutting Girl, Old Woman (set dance) and Trunkles. He sang several tunes and danced Trunkles with me.. Very much as ours, but with more sets of capers.
John Lanksbury played pipe and tabor as well as fiddle.
We used to learn our songs and dances at the plough tail. Often used to whistle for dancing. "Always had dinner first before I whistled or it made my head ache."
Insisted on straight leg in the Morris step.
Set-dancing as different from Morris as chalk from cheese.
In Morris dancing it was 1, 2, 3 all day long.
They usually danced Mon., Tues, and Wed in Whitsun week.
Began each morning at 8 0'clock by dancing Green Garters round Maypole, before going away for the day's outing. May pole put up every in different place in village. A tall pole. stuck firmly in the ground and a long thinner pole tied to the top of it, in all 20 or 60 feet high. Decorated with Laylocks and Golden Chain (Laburnam) two ribbons on the top to blow about. No ribbons; to blow and dance round with. Some would dance through a pair of shoes in the three days outings.
They had a man who carried sword and cake . Also a fool.
The latter a very good one. On arriving at a farm he would spit on his hands and say, "Here we be come again Ma'am. Want a drop of your nice beer Ma'am".
Generally out of pocket over the dancing -"mush shure, to"
Balance the Straw was one or their jigs.
They used to sing to Shepherd 's Hey
I can whistle
And I can play
I can dance
The Shepherd's Hey.
Plaited shirts, diagonal scarf, high hat with ribbons; Trousers or white breeches "as white as their boots".
"One dancer was as stiff as a poker he was. Ho could make the bells rattle."
Used to buy bells at Stow Fair
Occasionally danced at a fillaloo (?) but usually only at Whitsuntide
Practised from Easter to Whitsun twice a week
Great taking now about Morris. "It'd be a living in London now these days I'm thinking."
Michael Johnson said that when he was a boy the Ilmington Morris had lapsed for a while but was revived chiefly by his uncle Joseph Johnson himself an old Ilmington Morris dancer. It was this Joseph Johnson who went to Bidford to teach the men there, so he thought that some of the Bidford dances were really old Ilmington ones. One of the dancers at Ilmington in the first revival was Bartlett was a poor dancer. They all condemned him because he had this crook (bending his leg). Some got Bartlett to teach some of his men and that was how they learned the bended leg. He said Sam got things where he could and perhaps created some. He didn't take much notice of them for their step was all wrong. He heard Sam playing the other day for the Morris men. Little bit like a morris at first but then it went off to anything. He got "no time nor nothing about him". In the "Maid of the Mill" the middle figure when hobby horse and fool go under arches Sam must have introduced as they never used to do it. What they did in that place was the threading figure of the Ribbon Dance.
CLIFORDS MESNE MORRIS.
George Baldwin, charcoal burner, 88, now living at Newent in the Alms Houses used to be fiddler of the Clifford Mesne's Morris. Forty years ago since it lapsed. Tho. Philpotts was fool, Bodenham, John Aplin, etc. dancers -all now dead. As at Mayhill they processed from place to place in column formation, top left being flagman and top right swordman. The former had a large flag peculiar to village which he waved in time with the music, and the latter two swords which he whirled round his head with the lilt of the music. He also danced the sword dance (swords on the ground) to tune of Greensleeves. Baldwin used to play at all the Wakes and gave me some interesting tunes (see tune book). He played me Pop Goes the Weasel and described figures which were same as usual. He said he had known the tune since he was a boy and that it wasn't a new one then. He was quite positive on this point.
Thos. Phelps of Mayhill told me many things. They always danced in Whit week from Monday to Saturday. One year they went to Gloucester then down other side of Severn to Newnharn, came over it then where they spent a night and so back up to Nottswood where they held a wake.
A set of Morris men from Cheltenham used to come over to Huntley and he had seen tern many times. They had a pipe and tabor but Mayhill always used a fiddle.
We didn't go for money, we went for sport.
They had six dancer's a ragman, fool and fiddler. A large white flag, yard square, blue round edge, R.W. in red and something else which he couldn't remember.
FIELD TOWN (i.e. LEAFIELD) MORRIS.
Henry Franklin aged 80 now living at 6 Crown Street, Cowley Road, Oxford, a retired police constable on pension after 33 years service.
Field Town Morris ceased soon after he left the village, i.e. 52 years ago.
There were two sides, one at Field Town, the other at Fie1d Assarts, really one place. John Dicks, a blind fiddler, played at latter place and John Williams at Field Town. Never had dub and whittle, but a man once came over from Finstock named Dore who used to play it. "Layfield" is the proper name, but it is usually called Field Town for short".
Morris dancers wore Box hats, single ribbon at top and bottom, red and blue. elbow and wrist ribbons, no rosettes. Cord knee breeches and white stockings. Irish fronted shirt nicely pleated. 5 bells on leather covered with red braid, 4 strips with 5 bells on each.
Sticks about 2 ft. to 2 ft. 6 in. in length nearly as thick as a broom stick.
Painted red., white and blue like a barber's pole, but place left unpainted in the middle where it was usually held. They had a sword and cake bearer, a ragman and a Squire. Couldn't remember how latter was dressed except that the usual stick with calve's tail and bladder. Fool very funny. He used to run about and sing
I wish my love was a field of 'taters
And I myself a long-nosed pig
Then I'd rout from night to morn
The devil of a bib I'd have to dig.
They practised every year a few months before Whitsuntide on the village green.
They danced at the Inn on Whit Friday, club-day. On the Saturday went 'to all the principal houses round the village.
On Whit Wednesday they went to Minster Lovell club-day. Visited keeper's lodge in the forest and round to Swinbrook, Harstell (?) etc.
The Whit Hunt began on Whit Monday. They met at Chase Woods. His father told him that in the old days people belonging to parish were allowed to cut their wood from Chase Woods, but after the Duke of Marlborough had acquired the latter this privilege was disallowed, a fallow deer being allowed to each parish in lieu thereof.
The deer did not really belong to Chase Woods but trespassed there from the forest. 4 parishes had their privilege, Hayley, Crawley, Kirbridge and Witney. There were 4 Queen' s keepers and 4 lodges. Keepers kept a blood hound or two and a few fox-hounds.
On Whit Monday the parish repaired to Chase Woods very early and drew the covers for the deer. They weren't allowed to shoot them but had to run them. They came armed with sticks and some brought lurchers (?) with them. The had about 10 or 12 blood hounds. The keepers rode horses. When they caught a deer the first, up had right to cut its throat and to keep the head and neck for himself. The carcase was allotted to one or other or the 4 parishes. If they couldn't catch deer before the latter got to Ramsden Heath, the hounds were called off - the deer was going home to sanctuary. They then returned and tried to find another.
They hunted till noon and went on day by day till the deer was captured.
Once the deer jumped right into Franklin's arms. He thought he had caught it but the deer was too strong for him and knocked him flat. It was a great disappointment.
A Fair was regularly held on the Green throughout Whit week, lots of bouts ( ? ) etc. and perhaps a few good fights, and plenty of dancing in the evening.
Last hunt took place somewhere about 1854 - 8 when Forest was broken up. The Forest Fair was stopped in 1857.
There was a Morris at Milton, Shipton and Finstock.
MAY DAY DANCE AT SHIPSTON ON STOUR.
Mr. Hands, blacksmith. The dance lasted a week from Monday, May 1st to the following. Saturday. Danced by men of different trades, shoemakers, sweeps, tailors, blacksmiths, etc.
The Maypole itself was the usual Jack in Green with hoops at the top and a T or cross,
covered in greenery and flowers.
The dancers wore knee breeches, stockings and pads of bells on their shins like Morris men. They carried withy-sticks, 2 feet long, and jigged about, clapped hands, changed sides, etc. The Head man talked a lot and made fun with the crowd very sharp in his answers. The dancers wore shirts covered with ribbons, rosettes, etc. They numbered 9 or 10. Slept out at night under hedge or wherever they could. A pony-cart accompanied the dancers to carry the Maypole when going from village to village. Maypole very heavy.
There were usually three or four sweeps, "as black as Newgate". None of the others had any distinctive marks or their trade. Music supplied by a man with fiddle and another with tambourine.
Mrs . S .
Any number of Maypoles carried about the during May week, all of the usual garland except one just described.
All the dancers round the latter were sweeps. Wore top hats decorated with ribbons and flowers. Think there was a doll placed in the middle of the hoops at the top of the Jack. The dance stopped about 45 years ago. The beaver hats worn by the dancers were made in Shipston. Linen weaving and wool stapling chief industries in those days.
Mr. B. (a sweep) who himself took part in the dance said that all the dancers were sweeps They ended up in the Market Square on the Saturday afternoon. No special way of beginning on May 1st.
The "Sharp man" was the clown who carried a stick with calf's tail and bladder; also a brass ladle for collecting. Doll on top of pole. Jigged about according to tune. Accompanied by a man dressed up like a woman. "Used to reckon she were a she-mole only she warn't" 16 or 17 of them altogether. All danced round in a ring round the Jack "who shook himself a bit", and clapped hands. No regular figures. There was never a Shipston Morris, but one made up of dancers from Tredding-ton, Honyton (?) and surrounding villages.
ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD MORRIS.
Benjamin Moss (85) and William Moss survivors of old men's Morris. Sychronously with the old men's Morris younger men danced of whom William Pratley (72) is still alive. "Nothing of a Morris that wasn't" said Ben en speaking of the younger lot of men.
It is 30 years since the old Morris stopped but the younger Morris continued for a few years. They discontinued, said Ben because no one would give anything so "it got like begging", which they didn't like.
They danced on Whit-Monday which in those days was Ascott Wake, though now the date is altered. They danced one whole day in Ascott, on Wednesday they went to Shipton Club.
They wore white linen shirts "done up nicely"; box hats decorated with three ribbons red, blue and green, streaking behind. Elbow and wrist ribbons on the shirts. No ribbons on body of shirt, nor baldric or belt. Ordinarily they wore black trousers, but some white breeches and white stockings; but some hadn't legs big enough, so wore trousers". The bells were stitched on four rows of red braid (not leather), 5 or 6 in each row about 4 dozen bells 9n both legs. Sticks painted red, white and blue, barber-pole fashion, about 2. ft. 6 in. long, "so that you could tap on bottom or top of them according to the tune Not very thick. "Mustn't be too long or too thick". Ben said two feet long, but indicated longer.
There were six dancers, a Fool and treasure-man. I The latter carried the heart-shaped tin (now in my possession) on his breast, slung over his shoulders with ribbons or a strap, and also a cake and sword. One of the dancers always kept the key of the treasure-box - "wouldn't trust Treasure-man with that!" Cake always baked and given to them by John Perkins together with a small penknife stuck in it. "I used to go first", i.e. was foreman and had "many a wet shirt after it". Sometimes we had a "bit of an up stir". Two men played for them, Thomas Langford, pipe and tabor player from Finstock and Stephen Dower (Dare?) also pipe and taborer from Finstock. The latter was a whittle bit covetious" wanting 7/- a day whereas Langford was content with 5/-.
No Whit hunt. Had the Forest-Fair - it would have been last Wednesday, i.e. l3th of September.
"Never dance flat-footed, always on your toe"' (volunteered this) knew Geo. Steptoe well. "He were too squabbly about the back-side to be a dancer. He wer lissom according to what he was. There were plenty of fellows in Field Town what could lick he at dancing"
Saw Wells play and dance at Field Town Club about 4 years ago. Knew Jonathan Harris of Bledington and Pratley of Field Town.
William Moss, first cousin to Benjamin Moss, used to be Treasuire man. Ben said when he gave me, the box, hang it up and put a card above it "This is Benjamin Moss's Treasure box.
Ben danced a few steps to me in quite the normal manner, straight leg, etc.
He told me they used to dance the following dances: -
Constant Billy, stick dance
Lads a Bunchum, Handk. dance.
Marlborough (Heel and toe)
Glorishears (Leap Frog)
Old Trunko Corner Dance
Blue Eyed Stranger
Moll in the Wad Stick Dance
Banks of the Dee " " (Sticks over head as at Field Town)
Polly put the Kettle on Stick dance
Dear is my Dicky (Double dance, i.e. Cross over, etc.)
Valentine Cross Corner dance.
Flowers of Edinburgh Jigs
Jockey to the Fair
Old Woman Tossed up Cross Corner dance
Maid of the Mill Handk. dance
Gallant Hussar, single dance
Shepherds' Hey was a stick dance, but if danced as a Jig was clapped.
"If a man don't know the tunes he can't dance". They used to make their obedience" in initial and concluding dance, but not in special dances.
Always danced "Maid of the Mill" first when they went to the Miller.
When they danced Brighton Camp they often sang the following words:-
Let the night be ever so dark
Be ever so wet and windy.
I'll return to my own true love
The girl I left behind me.
15th Sept. 1911.
Speaking of the Leap Frog Dance Ben Morris said "When they was a bit wet they couldn't always get over.
Mr's. Attwood now living at Ascott under Wychwood told me her mother Mrs. Griffin (nee Kilby) came from Salperton. She used to go out dancing the Morris with her Father end six brothers. She had a short skirt reaching to calf of her leg; ribbons and bells round ankles, and round the wrist and a "baby," (?) round hat of blue silk with white feathers flat down spreading from foreheard to back of head. She only did this when she was a girl. She went out with them "because they couldn't leave her at home alone". Mrs. Attwood had her mother's bells but had lost them, Her mother used to sing the following words to Shepherds' Hey
Her feet was cold
Her hands was warm
But her heart was chilled
In many a storm.
Her head was right
But her heart was wild
But he never came back to claim her.
Sept. 15th 1911.
SPELSBURY MORRIS AND CHADLINGTON MORRIS.
Edward Mitchell (79) native of Spelsbury said there used to be a side of men and also one of women at Spelsbury. He never saw the women dance because 'he was not old enough when they gave up. The women stopped dancing nearly 80 years ago. Heard about them from his parents. He remembers the men's side. All dead now and all the women also. The women wore bells the same as the men. They were the three Misses Fowler, daughters of a farmer and three labourer's daughters, Anna Smith, Martha Corbett and one named Collin. They wore shirts with gloves down to elbow and shortish petticoats. Anna Smith was Aunt of Mrs. Ed. Mitchell. They had a fiddler and also a man with pipe and tabor. Both sides preferred the latter, but when they danced at same time - which was not often - we had to be content with the fiddler.
All "young.women and all single
They, always 'danced on "Holy Thursday", i.e. Ascension Day, which was Spelsbury Club day and at Tanton Wake in November. The pipe and taborer's name was Edens: he carrie from Faller. William Irwins played the fiddle.
There was a Morris at Chadlington but none of the dancers are now alive. Some young men set up a Morris after the old one died out, but they didn't continue long. The young men were all about his. own age.
Mrs. Rachel Sturdey (85) remembers women dancing. She was too young to dance herself. They were all young women about 18. Eventually they all got married and that stopped it. They danced at Whitsuntide. Forest Fair too was a great time, but Fair was given up when the rail-way was built because it brought so many people it "caused confusion like".
MINSTER LOVELL MORRIS.
James Lock (73) was Ragman of Minster Morris and now lives at Spelsbury. He was a young chap of about 15 or 16. The Minster Morris didn't go on long after then. The Morris was a "deuced nice game", "I was rather too slow for the job."
Daniel Lock, a road mender now living at Minster, brother of the above, is over 70.
He danced in the old Morris and sang to me a few tunes and danced a figure of Trunkles, Morris stepping and side stepping in quite normal fashion. They had a Squire and another "respectably dressed man" with a cake baked in a tin with a stick through it for a sword, and a very small penknife stuck in it. The cake-bearer cut crums out and gave them the bystanders to get a penny or two - "so we weren't paid but what we could get" There was a Morris at
Barrington and one at Ducklington. An old man at Barrington played the whittle and dub. He played for them at Minster, but that wasn't sufficient so we had a fiddle and that did very well". "I can give you some tunes because I was always very quick in the ear". This he did assuring me that he gave me the tunes just as they used to be played without any fly-notes". He said "we weren't patternized enough and that was why we stopped, because it didn't take long to dance through a 15/- pair of shoes. You couldn't dance in heavy boots with nails but had to use a nice light pair". They wore high cloth caps with ribbons. ' Carried sticks spirally painted red, white and blue - "just to attract people's attention".
They danced in Whitsun week and at Club "Feasties". He remembers
Princess Royal (Jig)
Old Mother Oxford (Jig)
Jockey to the Fair (Jig)
Lumps,of Plum Pudding Dance?
Over 40 years since given up.
(Communicated by Mrs. Stanton, Feb. 19th 1912)
This Morris died out between 50 and 60 years ago. Their music was a tin whistle till the last few years of their existence when, they rose to the dignity of a flute. They had about half-a-dozen dances - one was to the tune of The Jolly Waggoners that was a clapping dance.
The Leader was dressed in a long skirted coat, the collar of a different colour to the rest, and wore a box hat, white if he could get it.
In addition to the six dancers there was besides the Fool, a man dressed as a woman in a long "petticoat cloak with girt big sleeves and a slouch bonnet". This character ran in and out among the others and also, like, the Fool, made jokes for the crowd.
The fool had a bladder tied to the end of a calf's tail and wore a calf's skin over 'his shoulders, the fore-legs hanging down over his chest. As soon as the weather and the ground were fit in the Spring they used to meet and practise in a meadow after work in the evenings.
They do not seem to have gone beyond the bounds of their own Parish to dance. But they used to dance against the Morris men of Sibford who were fine dancers.
Sibford lies on the hills between Brailes and Banbury.
The above is taken from William Stanley who believes himself to be the last of the Brailes Morris dancers. lie is now living at Shipston on Stour is aged 80, and still charms for warts.
Extract from letter written to me by E. Phillips Barker, Feb. 19th 1912, in reply to one from me expressing doubt as to the wisdom of throwing overboard altogether the Moorish theory of the origin of the Morris Dance in England.
It seems to me that while of course absolute certainty is, as in most things of the kind, not to be obtained, what evidence there is favours the Chambers view very strongly.
When I was investigating the origin myself, I examined all the English evidence very carefully, and also all the evidence of Continental folk-custom available, with a view to discovering the link with the Moors. Now not only did I fail to discover any such link except from unsupported statement, but the more evidence I examined the further away from the Moors I was led, until altogether independently (for I had not seen Chambers's book) I formed entirely the same conclusion as he forms.
Now your Pyrenean dance (noted for me by Miss Alford) is an imporant fact, yet it is of course immediately and quite reasonably explicable on the hypothesis that the Morris is a development of an universal European folk-custom. But; as you say, a dance of this particular type has not been found elsewhere on the Continent. Now I would point out that the force of this depends entirely on the amount of investigation that has been carried out elsewhere. Details are usually extremely hard to come at: the two sources of evidence usually are (1) passing notices in books of travel picturesque but quite inaqequate; (2) the investigations of folk-lorists, who are always highly interested in the customs of which the dance forms a part; but pass over the dances themselves in a few vague words. Now you know yourself that the vitality of the dance goes by distf'icts: in some it has lived, in some it has died, in some it retains a half-life in a form which to the untutored eye might seem nothing but an ungainly gambolling and jumping about. Has any investigation of the folk-dance as such been carried out for any considerable district, say, of France? I have read Mannhardt's "Baninkultus't, and certainly the general impression left on me was that the more unsophisticated parts of Germany and Austria must be simply stiff with Morris dancing or traces of it. At any rate it awaits investi-gation: there are the parallel customs (frequently, if I remember rightly, with at least a Mohun-Konig or a Mohr and black faces) and dances of some sort connected with them. I may perhaps add that if my memory serves me a character in certain folk-lore customs and dances of modern Greece is called the "Arab" and also that "Arab" is a name given to a specific form of bogy in Greek folk-lore. It seems to me that if you argue' from names and black faces, which are certainly the mainstay of the "Moorish" theorists, you must either accept Chambers's conclusion or what seems to me much more difficult assume that practically all European folk-customs, have been contaminated by Moorish influence.
However this rather digresses: what I wish to point out is that your Pyrenean dance may be valuable to the "Moorish" school or may not; and that in the present state of the evidence for other parts of Europe I incline to say not.
Now I will present you (if you' don't already know it,) with a description of a Spanish folk-dance quoted by G.A. Rowell in Folk Lore Journal lv (1886) p. 101, from an anonymous book name Letters from Lusitania (Windsor,. 1876). He gives it as a parallel to the Morris. The dance was performed in a small Spanish Town on the feast day of a patron saint: -
"We entered upon a tour of observation and it was not long before our trouble was rewarded, and our curiosity gratified with the sight of a dance, performed by six men each of whom held one of the knotted ends of a coloured handkerchief, the other knot being held by another dancer. To the horridly monotonous whifflings of two reed-pipes and the sound of a species of tom-tom they cuveted round and round, or changed places, and, in doing so altered the variegated pattern formed by the handkerchiefs six in all - ever head-high, and kept twining and intertwining in multiform ways. The tom-tom consisted of an earthen bowl, over the mouth of which a bladder was highly strained. Through the centre of the skin, a stout quill plucked from a turkey was thrust and this being drawn out and pushed in again produced a horrid monotone, not unlike the booming of a bull-frog. It was a strangely unique performance."
Now there of course is an important instance of a dance very like the Morris in Spain - S.W. Spain - to judge by the "Lusitania" of the title of the book. So I thought when I first read it, but fresh evidence has made me alter my opinion.
Examining the writer's words we find six men and six handkerchiefs, held between man and man (?) . This might be done in two ways but not more I think: (1) They might be in pairs, forming a double arch of the handker-chiefs between each pair, (2) they might be in linked ring. Now (1) gives a Morris formation all right in two files facing but it is open to grave objections; first our writer though vague enough is more precise than some of his kind would probably, one imagines, have mentioned that the men were in couples thus connected: secondly we know this figure, and we know that to only one of the evolutions men-tioned by the writer - "Changing places" - is it at all adapted; neither "curveting round and round" nor "twining and intertwining in multi-form ways" expresses it at all: there is nothing in it that could impress a spectator as "multiformity".
But examining (2) we know that given a linked ring you can "curvet round and round"t and "twine and intertwine" in bewilderingly "multiform" ways. In short your discovery of the sword dance is the fresh evidence I bring to bear on this description. To any one who coudn't know the sword dance the resemblance to the Morris usually described would be striking - handkerchiefs, six men, a form of pipe and tabor, all these clear enough? But I claim that when you examine the writer's words carefully in the new light of the sword dance, the affinity with the latter is much more striking. In fact the thing is a sword dance in which the swords have been eliminated in favour of gay handkerchiefs held taut above the head. It isn't a Morris dance at all, except in so far as the Morris and Sword dances may be regarded (and I believe this is on the way to the truth) as divergent off-shoots from the same source. It is the descendant (rather degenerate) of the sword dance Don Quixote had seen often and of Mullenhof's degollada dance. For the Moorish theory it becomes valueless, for the other it seems to me most valuable as showing a possible link between sword, stick and handkerchief.
Supposing the sword dance contained in what we may call its archetypal form both circular and file formation it is easy to see how after the sword itself in peaceful very rustic districts had fallen out of the dance and some loss of skill in the circular movements supervened, a mere link between the dancers might be thought all that was necessary: a kerchief would do: but with the vanishing of a stiff connecting link twinings would rapidly become more dis-orderly and degenerate: finally all pretence is dropped: the dancers simply part company (naturally adopting two handkerchiefs in the process) and dance round in a ring and back again; meanwhile the file formation thrives wonderfully by the loss of the stiff connecting rods and finally of any connection at all between the dancers; it is free, what is death to the elaborate circular twisting is life to it: it perhaps sucks in fresh figures from more popular sources, developed elaboration of steps and becomes the Morris. The stick meanwhile in some districts preserved an existence alongside the handkerchief, though perhaps because the art of tying the nut is lost it doesn't keep the circular evolution alive to any greater extent than the handkerchief.
Of course all this is theory based on a few analogies and resemblances which need other links to bring them into a proved relation But I have little doubt that the Spanish Dance is what I take it to be - a curious survival of sword dance evolutions in combina-tion with the handkerchief used merely to link the dancers.
What is the source of the Pyrenean dance? is it a detailed description, etc.? It is of course to be remembered that the pan-European theory as I may call it is rather a new thing and that folk-dances in Spain and the neighbourhood would be specially likely to have characteristics of the English Morris read into them by those who saw them and knew the Moorish theory. But as I said before the internal evidence is of the very smallest value, if the absence of evidence from elsewhere is simply due to absence of investigation. I do not know that any systematic investigation of French or German folk-dances has been undertaken. If not, you would have to depend for possible evidence on chance articles in continental journals of the Notes and queries or Folk-Lore type and on references in little-known local treatises - a hopeless task!
Extract from churchwarden's accounts, Kingston-on-Thames
1553 Recd. of the Spanyards.for the hire of the townhall iwlo
1555 Recd. of the Spanyards for the Counti a11
(Account of Tollet window recently reproduced in Kingston in Antiquary Jan. 1912.
(Photograph of angel playing
pipe and tabor in Exeter
FIELD TOWN M0RRIS
March 16th 19l6.
Franklin told me his grandfather was a potter, his father a brick-maker. Brother still at Leafield and is a brickmaker. No pottery there now. His brother never belonged to the Morris but was a "pretty dancer" and last Christmas danced Princess Royal and None so Pretty at pub. He is 20 years younger.
He talked with enthusiasm of his dancing days. He said that when his uncle brought out his fiddle and struck up anything "I felt as though I could fly into the air". He remembered a Shipton Morris, but it was done by lad's and a man whistled the tune with his mouth. Will Hunt a great Morris dancer at Ascot, now dead. Headington men don't get, off the ground enough. At Field Town they capered as high off the ground "as that table", always "as high as they could". Then the sweat ran down their faces; then they drink again, and the sweat ran down again!"
The following from notes lent me by Mr. Percy Manning, compiled chiefly by old T.J. Carter now dead. March l9l2.
STANTON HARCOURT MORRIS.
The following are the dances formerly danced at S.H.
1. Black Joke. The dancers on one side hold out their sticks in both hands at arm's length, breast high to be struck by the dancer opposite. Repeat thrice.
2. Princess Royal. A "Clap dance"; each man claps both hands against those of his opposite, palm to palm3 thrice; then he claps the right hand of his opposite with his own right hand, and then claps his own hands together.
3. The Nightingale. The dancer's on one side spring into the air and strike the sticks of their opposites held overhead at arms length thrice.
4. Bean Planting. The dancers knock their sticks on the ground and then thrust them out with both hands, shoulder high, as if shooting their opposites.
5. Greensleeves. Each man taps the ground with his stick thrice, and then those on one side raise their sticks in both hands, breast high, to be struck by their opposites.
6. Clock. A "Clap Dance"; both hands of one side struck palm to palm against both hands of opposites; then right hand against right hand of opposite; then both own hands together.
7. Brighton Camp. Both sides hold sticks in both hands, over head, at arm's length; then the outer men in each side strike the stick pr their middle men in turn; then the sticks are held up for the opposite men to strike.
8. Constant Billy. A clap dance.
9. A Nutting we will go.
10. Jocky to the Fair.
The dancers always danced with white handkerchiefs tied to their little finger.
The Pipe and Tabor were played by John Potter of Stanton Harcourt, a famous player who "could always make it speak". He died in Oxford in 1900. His pipe had the holes lettered with the notes. Joseph Goodlake, shepherd, aged 63, of S.H. now of Yarnton, formerly one of the dancers. March 1901.
FIELD TOWN M0RRIS.
The Field Town Morris dancers were noted for their dancing. There were six at them with a sword bearer carrying a cake impaled on a sword, a Tom-Fool know as Rodney, who had a bladder tied to a calf's tail. He kept the ring for the dancers, by banging people over the head. Once the Field Town men went to Eynsham to dance against their dancers. They were much better than the Eynesham men but they were "beat before they begun for one of them began to dance with the wrong foot. As they lost they had to pay for a dinner for both teams. They had a blind fiddler to play for them. A wonderful man he was; they were dancing once and he said to one of the men "You began on the wrong foot then, I hope nobody noticed it". And nobody had noticed it, but the fiddler heard it right enough. Preston was sword-bearer at one time. He used to carry round the cake with a pen-knife stuck in it, ready to cut slices out, and he used to get people to pay so much for a slice. One Thomas Heddin of Asthal (?) used to play the whittle and dub for some of the morris dancers. He "could almost make it speak". Preston didn't remember many of the tunes, but if he'd only had the plough-handles in his hands he could have remembered. He always used to sing to, himself and go through the dances when he was ploughing. The Country Garden was one dance. They carried sticks in their hands, painted red, white and blue. Some of them used to dance jigs to please, the farmers, over two bacca pipes crossed on the ground. Cyphus was a great man for jigs: he could "all but speak with his feet"'. One tune was
Green sleeves and yellow lace
Get up, you bitch, and work apace
Your father lies in an awful place
All for want of money.
Highland Mary was another tune he had often seen danced to. They used to go out travelling round for a week or so and make lots of money.
(From Mr. Manning's notes).
LEAFIELD MORRIS 35 years ago
Costumes, Brown billy hats and blue ribbon. Shirts beautifully pleated and dressed in blue and red ribbons. White breeches and white stockings with bells and white waistcoats. Sticks and handks. Squire with bladder and tail. Sword bearer with cake and knife and treasury box..
1. Jason Eeles.
2. Thomas Pratley.
3. Henry Franklin.
4. Stephen Eeles.
5. George Steptoe (Foreman)
6. Fred Shaler (Farmer).
Festival Whitsuntide. Pipe and tabor belonged to Jonathan Williams grandfather, was played in London. Squire, Richard Eels with tail and bladder. Sword bearer, Jonathan Williams with treasury box, near 70 years old.
Forty years ago there was a challenge dance between the following Morris's - Standlake, Ducklington, Brize:Norton, Bampton and Leafield, when Leafield were victorious. They danced at Minster at the Pike Public House.
(From Mr. Manning's notes)
FIELD ASSARTS MORRIS
25 years ago.
1. Robert Lock, Foreman, Stone mason.
2. John Lock (dead)
3. William Lock (dead)
4. Joseph Shaler (dead)
5. Richard Pratley (dead)
6. George Busby
Squire Richard Eales, i.e. Rodney, farm-labourer. Sword. Charles Scyphas (dead) pipe and tabor, John Dix (dead).
White breeches and stockings, bells, pleat shirts; colours, Blue and Red. Sticks and handkerchiefs. Sticks painted spirally red and blue. Danced all Whit week. Old Bob Lock never remembered any of the men drink till after dancing was over.
(From Mr. Manning's notes)
(40 years ago)
6 dancers with sticks and handkerchiefs. A Squire with bladder and tail, also a sword-bearer a with cake, a knife and treasury box.
1. Charles Dore
2. Stephen Dore
3. John Dore
4. William Dore
5. John Oliver
6. Edward Oliver
Squire, George, Stratford
Sword bearer, Jas. Turner.
There are all dead.
Whittle and dub, Thos. Langford and Stephen Dore.
Danced' at Whitsuntide but the principal day was Holy Thursday. They also built a bowery on
Well Hill. It was a large affair. Whittle and dub was taken to London many years ago.
(The above from Mr. Manning's notes)
ASTHERLBY (?) MORRIS
80 years ago.
Six Morris dancers dressed as at Bampton Morris. With squire with bladder and tail and sword bearer with cake, treasury box and knife. Whittle and dub.
Dancers all dead. Squire called Rodney. At the hay season it was customary for these people to take their pipe and tabor with them to London when they went up there hay-making and play in the streets and they found it a great help.
SHIPTON UNDER WYCHWOOD MORRIS.
30 years ago.
1. Richard Hedges (foreman) (dead)
2. William Townsend (dead)
3. Joseph Harris
4. Thomas Turner
5. Wm. Wright, danced 15 years
6. Phillip Harris (dead)
Odd man Wm. Smith (dead)
Sword bearer. John Hart (dead)
Pipe and Tabor. John Dore of Finstock (dead)
Costume: High hats, pleated shirts, white trousers, ribbons and sashes. Red white and. blue. Sticks and handks. Sticks painted spirally red, yellow and blue.
They often joined with Ascot for a day or two
Sept. 1894. (William Wright, near 80)
ASCOTT MORRIS 1864 the Wake Whit-Monday.
1. Daniel Smith, Foreman
2. John Moss
3. William Smith
4. William Moss danced 20 years
5. Benjamin Moss,
6. Joseph Moss
Squire William Cook from Lineham
Sword bearer, William Moss, Senr.
Spare-man, i.e. Ragman, Tho. Smith
Pipe and Tabor, Th. Langford, Finstock.
35 years ago these danced at Pudlicot House on Whit Monday morning and the gentleman living there after seeing their dancing set them boxing for money, the first to draw blood to receive 2/6 the second 2/- they received 14/- that morning for the entertainment and as much beer as they liked to drink.
Costumes, High Hats, pleated shirts and white trousers. Red and blue ribbons. Sticks and handks.
Ben Moss, 70 years old.
At BRIZE NORTON (30 years ago)
The Field Assarts and Bampton men danced at Mr. Gillet's lawn and was asked if they could dance the tune called Truniole, a difficult dance, and. the Assarts set danced it. These are the other tunes they used.
The Old Rose
The Cuckoo's Nest
Mall of the Whad
The Brize Norton Morris was held on Whit Tueday. Last danced 24 years ago.
6 dancers dressod as at Bampton with Squire, sword bearer and pipe and tabor.
1. Wm . Bellinger (87)
2. Henry " Quarryman
3. Charles " "
4. Jonathan Hurst Farm labourer
5. Richard Knock " "
6. Marpin Hart " "
Squire,Robert Beatle, Sweep
Sword bearer-George Joines
Whittle and dub, John Hedon of Shilton, labourer (dead)
30 years ago
1. Thos. Brookes (dead)
2. Jas. King
3. Wm. Pritt (dead)
4. George " II
5. Nathanial Pritt (dead)
6. Christopher Tombs (dead)
Squire, Th. Gomme (bladder and tail) (dead)
Pipe and tabor, Old Tom Hall, Islip (dead)
Foreman and Treasurer, Jas. Brookes (dead)
They practised all the winter in Mints Hovel (?) and danced the whole of Whit week. Costumes pleated shirts, white trousers, High hats, Colours Red, Orange and Blue. Plain sticks and whi~e handkerchiefs. They say they were the best side in that part of the country.
Joseph Woods now very old (born 1812) and deaf played whittle and dub for the Morris. He began learning when 10 and ha8 played in villages 25 miles round. He also played in London, When he and his wife went up for hay making 60 years ago.
Pipe and tabor bought by Mr. Manning.
CHIPPING WARDEN MORRIS.
Marshall now 83. His uncle was fiddler. All dead. They danced on church tower. Colours red white and blue.
70 years ago
A set of women dancers, danced on Whit monday. They wore bells on their legs and were dressed in short clothes to show the bells and head dresses of ribbons and flowers. They danced to tabor and pipe and were accompanied by a man to take care of them and a Squire. On one occasion they danced on the tower of the church.
(Bucks) OAKLEY MORRIS
36 years ago 1895.
Jas. Harris (foreman) (dead)
John Harris (dead)
Th. Lane "
Wm. Shirley "
Wm. Hing "
(Squire) Wm Parker (dead)
Mark Hing (dead)
Pipe and T. John Wiggins (dead)
They dance the full Whit-week. The best dancers in the country. White handks. and plain sticks.
SHIPTON UNDER WYCHWOOD.
Morris dancing Whit Monday as held 30 years ago.
Six dancers, top hats, pleated white shirts, white trousers, bells, red white and blue ribbons, and sashes, handks, sticks with spiral bands red, yellow and blue.
Richard Hedges, foreman (dead)
Phil Harris (dead)
Will Smith " Odd man
John Hart " sword bearer
John Dore of Finstock (dead) Pipe and T.
TWYFORD MORRIS, 1852
George Hall, foreman 9living in 970
Whittle and Dub, Th. Wise.
Squire, Han Edwards. These all slept in one bed at Gotlington, 3 at the head, 3 at the foot. The Squire kept guard.
1611. "My sleeves are like some Morris dancing fellow" (Rowland's Knave of Hearts. Quoted in Singer's Host. Playing Cards. p. 258).
1511. For 4 phyts and ¼ of larm (Lawn?) for the mores garments 2s. lid. (Churchwarden's accounts. Academy 1883. 6 Oct. 231 2)
All's Well. Act 11, sc. ii.
Clown. "as fit . .. . as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris for May Day"
Henry V. Act 11, sc. iv.
Dauphin. "Let us do it with no show of fear.
No, with no more than if we heard that England
were busied with a Whitsun Morris-dance."
Beaumont and Fletcher. Wild Goose Chase. Act 111, sc. i.
Lilia Biana - "We'll have some sport, some Mad morris or other for our money
"The torch bearers were apparelled 'in crimson sattin and grene, like Moreshoes, their faces blacke;. and to King brought in.a Mummerie". (Holished Chron. Vol. 3, p. 805, col 1. 1577 - 87. 3rd ed. ed)
1521 "Were made Morishes, comedies, daunces,
interludes". (Helyas. Thom's Early Eng. Prose Romance iii, 21 ed. 1858)
1712 "Four reapers who danced a Morice".
(Budgell. Spectator. No. 425, p.3)
1530 "Let us daunce a morasse this christmasse"
(Palgrave. Eclaircissement do la langue Anglaise, p. 507, ed. 1852)
1589 "All the wicked youth - footing the Morris about a Maypole".
(Rich Harvey (Thos Nashe?) Plaine
1600 Philemon Holland translates "tripudium" in Livy, Bk. XXV, 17. p. 560 m by "Morrice".
1565 - 73. "Cheironomica saltatio. The
Morrice daunce. Cheironomus. He yt teacheth one to gesture, or one that daunceth with gesture in a morrise".
1458 "Ciphas argenti sculptos cum moreys daunce". (Will of Wetenhale, Somerset Ho.)
1575 "A lively moris dance, according to the ancient manner, six dauncers, Mawd Marion, and the fool.
(Laneham's letter. Ballad Soc. ed. p. 22)
1598 - 9 "I came to the Court (of Maroca) to see a Morris dance, and a play of his Elchies".
(R. Hakluyt's Voyages, Vol. ii, Part ii, p.6. 11.8. 1516. art.)
1601 "A common thing it was among them to fling weapons and darts in the air . . . to flourish also beforehand; yea and to encounter and meet together in a fight like sword fencers; and to make good sport in a kinde of Morishe dance
(Ph. Holland. Trans. of Pliny. Nat. Hist. i 192, ed. 1634)
1604 "The tabors and the pipe
The bagpipe and the crowde
When oates and rye were ripe
Began to be allowde.
But till the harvest all was in
The Morris Dance did not begin."
(Friar Bacon's Prosephie, p. 11, ed. 1844, Shakespeare Soc.)
"They have so danced and gingled here They should be morris dancers by their jingle but they have no napkins."
(Ben Jonson. Gipsies Metamorphosed. Wks. 1846, p~ 623)
This is the end of Mr. Manning's Notes.
Extract from letter of R.J.E. Tiddy
I had the following reminiscenses from my uncle of a Morris Fool's bons mots who was at North Leigh (George Green was his name).
(1) Well, 'ere us be; six fools and a dancer !
(2) After the side had ceased to dance. George was one day driving a calf to market. A baldheaded man put his head out of window and remarked "Well George thee'st got thy calf's tail again." George: "Ah and if I'd got thy yed I'd have my bladder too."
Joseph Druce (80) said all the old Morris men were dead but him. All the Fishers (not Oliver) had now gone. He was very interested in the Morris because he had seen some recentlv introduced by girls in Ducklington. Of this he didn't approve. He said "Girls have got things for their use and men have got things for their use" and the Morris is for men. Duckleton (as he called it) was the best in the district. They were "never afraid; they knew they's never be captured". Talked a lot about Old Tyler or Taylor (Old Trunko).
Also about "Boys of the Bunch" - "Lads a Bunchum" "we used to call it". This was a single dance with corners. The latter ad-vanced and then changed places with "a gallev and one caper". Then they did the "foot~up" again facing fiddler, and then a step or two and then all over again, corners getting back to places.
"When I was a ploughboy then I could run about all day." Now I can't. Balancy Straw one of the jigs. Nutting Girl another. "Then we used to learn the song and then there was no trouble for the steps are just as the words be". Princess Royal a jig.
Did jigs altogether. Stood up in column facing fiddler as in foot-up. Nos. 1 and 2 danced first figure then fell back, while Nos. 3 and 4 did ditto. The latter fell back while Nos. 5 and 6 repeated it. Then we'd hey away. After that repeated it with capers and so on.
Drum and pipe much better music than the fiddle.
Green Garters round Maypole thus
3 4 with pole in the middle
First foot-up with galley back, then face down, then go round pole half-way and then back. Then hey away.
½ rounds 1st time side step
" " 2nd " half capers
" " 3rd " whole capers
Hey away in between half-rounds and then ended up with hey with "kipper out".
(Evidently same as The Rose).
They never danced when young. They began about 20 and then they could stand it; "but they couldn't manage it before".
Practised two night a week between Easter and Whitsunday Often had alot of people looking on "as many as though it were a play".
Stopped about 30 years ago. I was then the youngest of 'em. All the others now dead.
William Jerden. His father was fore-man and ultimately kept the public house, The Bell. Never danced himself, but very interested in it. They always had a Maypole. Often put up on Green in front of The Bell. At 3 a.m. on Whit Monday three men went out and cut withys, peeled them and made three peeling-horns, and played them till 4 a.m. They made a noise like a hooter. No pins in the horns, only black-thorns. Then they "rose" the pole at 4 a.m. when Morris men dancing round it. They danced round it every morning before they started out on their rounds "for luck". Once when his father had given up dancing he was sitting with an old man in front of his door. The Morris men were going away down the road. He asked them where they were, going. They said "Bampton". When they had gone a little way the old man very perturbed got up and shouted out Come back. This they did. Then he asked them where they were going. When they had told him he said "Well when you come back there will be no pole there". "Whv?" they asked. "Because I shall cut it down". Then they remembered they hadn't danced round it Whereupon without another word the piper struck up and they danced Green Garters and then went off!
In the evening when they came home they danced in a barn, ale at one end, people at the other sitting at tables smoking and drinking - there were no license laws then! In the middle the Morris men danced. This was called a "Youth ale". He said "youth" meant "young men.
The Morris was given up because people "had got so proud". When the men got too old to continue there was no one to take their places.
The dancers wore calico shirts under their pleated linen ones. These latter were beautifully ironed by one particular woman. They also wore white trousers, as white as curd made of Jane, fluffy, as white as doe skin trousers such as navys use, but thinner. What officers wear. Always danced in tall hats. They were all "so clean in their dancing. They used to put their steps in so neatly - there's no doubt the fiddler had a lot to do with that". Starve the Lad a favourite jig.
Old Fisher (92) just dead.
NORTH LEIGH MORRIS.
Fred Gardner (80) an old Morris man now living at a baker's shop in Corn Street, Witney. He gave me several tunes (see tune book) and items of information. They danced with sticks and handkerchiefs. Sometimes they used cocoanuts in clapping dances. They sawed a coconut in half scooped out the kernel and then made two holes in each half connected with a ribbon. The hand was passed through this ribbon as under the strap of a concertina and the halfnut held in the palm concave out wards. They struck each other's hands as well as their own together. Mrs. Kaysey, a tune to which this cocoanut dance was danced.
He remembered a great meeting at a lamb Ale at Woodstock which was only held once every 7 years. There were two Morris teams. First they all danced before the Duke, and then repaired to a barn where they competed, "Nor Ly" (i.e. North Leigh) of course winning.
"The old woman tossed up" often called "Thread Needle". He indicated a movement rather like the Ribbon dance in which partners joined their handkerchiefs together. This performed as a Morris dance.
Galley known as hook-leg; Back to back as Gipsy; Half hands, not half-gip.
They had several stick dances. In one of them the taps at 4th and 8th bars were done as in "Bobby and Joan".
Often they would suddenly stand still in a dance and sing the tune with its words,then do half-rounds, whole Hey and kipper out and finish off.
FIELD TOWN MORRIS.
George Steptoe (89) in bed. I sang a bar or two of Step Back, Banks of the Dee, and None so Pretty and in each case he at once continued it, practicallv as noted from Henry Franklin.
Told me about a dance called Jug by the Ear in which in Rounds each man caught hold of the right ear of the man in front of him (Sword Dance?).
"I was that lissome when I wer young though I looked so heavy; and when I had danced the last step I could jump up on the table!"
"I was a shepherd, dipping and shearing, a sort of doctor.
Talked of"Galley out"."The lads arter we gin out never seemed to get on with it."
Alex Franklin (65) brother of Henry. Never belonged to Morris but can dance Princess Royal, and one or two other Jigs. Promised to dance to me some day.
April 5th 1912.
Edwin Turner (82). He and others used to go up to London every summer for hay time and would often go up a month sooner than necessary in order to morris in the streets. Would go out day by day in different parts of London - Clerkenwell was the only name he could remember. Often made ten or eleven shillings a piece per diem. The magistrates sometimes interfered and they were told to do without ribbons and bells because these things frightened the horses.
One day at Clerkenwell they made a lot of money - "done well". "When we come to part it we found there warnt nothing. So we made it a bargain to search every one. We went to the Public. Upon tho fiddler whom we searched last we found over a pound in silver and pence. We took it all from him and didn't give him nothing. He came from Churchill. We took him with us, thought it would do him good." They often saved £5 a piece before they began haymaking. "But we didn't often save much. Ours was a racketing lot. The magistrates got at last so that you couldn't dance at all. Two of us got locked up and got seven days each. I went up dancing and haymaking 19 consecutive summers. Walked there and back. We'd a made more money dancing than haymaking if we'd a taken care of it. Twice I walked from Paddington to Oxford in a day. Started at 7 a.m. was at Wheatley at 2 and Oxford at 7 p.m."
They did a stick dance - evidently Shooting. Never no singer. If I got half tight I could make some sort of a row.
SHIPTON UNDER WYCHWOOD MORRIS.
Mrs. Smith (70) widow of old Morris dancer Henry Smith who died 19 years ago at age of 60. Showed me his stick but did not care to sell it. It was 25 in. long 7/8 of an inch in diameter (23/4 in. circumference). Stick painted all over a reddish brown varnish. A spiral of blue from each tip 10 inches down towards middle, leaving 5 inches in middle unpainted for the handle thus:
William Stanley (81) of Brailes now living at Shipston on Stour. Began dancing with Brailes Morris when he was about 10, only danced 3 or 4 years when Morris broke up. He danced in the middle. 2 or 3 came from Sibford. No other Brailes Morris men living. Remembered Trunko, Shepherds' hey, Blue Eyed Stranger.
Had plain sticks about two feet long, a good inch in diameter.
One man dressed up, like a woman, with a skirt on, and slouch bonnet, and a ribbon on his shoulder.
The Fool had a box hat and black face. He used to say "I don't say I'm not fond of you but I should like you a lot better if you'd give me a copper or two".
He wore trousers, no bells, battered hat. He would run in amongst the dancers when they were busy dancing; then they would cuff him and knock him out of the ring. 3 or 4 coloured ribbons on his shoulders. The man who carried the money box was called King or Master. He had a piece of calf's skin tied on with string over his shoulders, with the ragged hair hanging down in front and also the clays. The boys would come and catch hold of the clays and try to pull them off. Calf's tail hanging down behind. When he was pestered by the boys he would pull the skin in front by the string and wallop the lads with the tail. He had a stick - a longish one - pretended he was lame and would have to lie down; then jump up after the boys. Ribbons on stick and a bladder. A hole in the stick and bladder tied on to a piece of string giving about a foot's play.
The dancers always walked round first. As soon as they were prepared the Fool said". Now men I want you to enjoy yourselves and I want those other folks to enjoy themselves". He would often tie a bell on to each side of his hat.
Tin whistle - no drum.
Had a dance called Galley out - a running dance. They ran round in a ring at a fast pace two or three times before they settled down to the dance. This was the dance they always began with.
Talked of "hey away" and remembered Galley and Side-step when I did them.
In Shepherds Hey clapped with their partners then whole rounds. Dance lasted as long as they liked, but at the end all closed in, in a small circle, like Headington All in. Thinks they danced four in a row, but not sure.
Wore white shirts - but anything they could get hold of. They were very ragged, some of them.
They sometimes danced over bacca pipes.
Tin whistle - no drum.
The original side at Ilmington consisted of the following dancers:
Joseph Johnson, foreman, uncle of Michael, now dead
Robertson (dead) the only one who did jigs
Thomas Aston (dead)
William Handy, one of the centres, now living in Ilmington
Michael Johnson (69) danced No. 5, now living in Ilmington
George Aston (dead)
When James Arthur the pipe and tabor man, and son of the old Arthur, pipe and tabor man (father in law of Michael Handy) got old the Morris wained and finally collapsed for some vears, Michael Johnson says nearly 20 years. Then when d'Arcy de Ferrars revived the Bidford Morris this inspired the Ilmington one and they came together once more. This must have been about 1887 the Jubilee. They didn't dance for more than 3 or 4 years. This date was fixed by Miss Johnson (daughter of Michael) telling me that she was about 15 when she made the new sets of bells, and she is now 41.
The revived side consisted of:
Michael Handy, now living at Birmingham on railway
Michael Johnson (No. 2)
John Cook (dead)
Joseph Johnson (a bricklaver, now living in a factory at Dartford)
Joseph Johnson (now dead) (foreman) Joseph Johnson was one employed by deFerrar's to instruct Bidford men.
Of these I got into touch with Michael Handy, now about 50 vears old, a railwavman, liv-ing at 147 Warren Road., Saltley, Birmingham.
Michael Johnson, a mason at Ilmington; and William Handy who told me a little but not much.
Fred Bartlett I did not tackle because he had helped Sam Bennet to revive the Morris a few vears back and I expected that his ideas would have been vitiated by what Sam's men did.
Michael Handy when I first went to him did not remember much, but on my second visit a great deal had come back to him.
In the same way a great deal came back to Michael Johnson as I by my repeated visits kept his mind on it. He danced a lot with me.
The old side used to wear black cricket caps with amber stripes from centre to edge, dividing cap into six parts. Hats were too heavy, Johnson explained. If at all large every time you jumped they buried you. White shirts and ribbons and trousers. You must have plenty of room at your knees - never anything tight. The Foreman wore a different cap from the others, one of many colours.
The old set of bells Michael Johnson bought from Hartwell, a Blackwell man and dancer. Those that I bought from Michael handy were made from these by Miss Johnson at the revival in the 80's. The old bells are at least 100 years old.
The revived side came to an end because Old James Arthur was too old to play pipe and tabor.
Michael Johnson's chief advice was to keep your knees straight,. always turn out, and never let your heels touch the ground - if you did touch with your heels it cost you 3d because it was sure to fetch the top off some of your bells; Michael once called the bells, the "garters".
They had one dance called "Flowers of May", the tune of which I was unable to get, which they used as a processional dance in going from place to place. They danced in single file or in twos, each man capering and galleying as he pleased. On arriving on the ground they walked round and round in circles to pick out their ground, so that they should have a fairly smooth piece to dance on. Originally the sticks were spirally painted red white and blue. At revival old James Arthur the pipe and tabor man who was also a carpenter made them like the one I bought from Michael Handy's brother. Michael Johnson said they generally broke a stick or two every day. Certainly he used his with tremendous force.
Johnson called the initial "Foot up" an introduction, a sort of symphony, which onlv occurred once in the dance and was never repeated. He also said it was important to have bells of different sizes so that they should be "tunable". You must have 3 sizes of bells to ring nicely. When you get 3 sizes they are generally nice and tunable !
Michael Handy always danced 4/2 or 6/2 step, and Johnson very often the same, but several times the latter in "foot-up" etc. began with two bars of 4/3 or 6/3 step. I danced in this way to Handy and asked him if he had ever seen it done that way? He said "Michael Johnson used to make a practice of doing it that way, but that the younger man didn't imitate him
Johnson did the usual s.b. and s.f. hand movements with crooked arms. Handy often straightened the arm in s.b., but kept it crooked in s.f.
Johnson did "wave" movements in capers, and s.h.f. in the Jump.
The hey was probably done in the country dance way. I gathered this because both Michaels told me it was done as in Maid of the Mill only of course without linked hand-kerchiefs, and that would produce the C.D. hey. They often spoke of "threading" but occasionally used the word "hey"
(I think, but am not sure).
MAID OF THE MILL.
A Once to yourself. Jump on middle of
Al Foot up
1 - 4 Partners holding up right hands dance round in small circles in their places,
passing under handks. first, i.e. odds c.cl., evens cl.
5 - 8 Half-hey as in Grimstock - (1) 1st couple under 2nd while 3rd turn out; (2) 1st
couple over 3rd while 2nd turn out; 3rd cue over 2nd while lst turn out.
1 - 4 Circles again.
5 - 8 Half-hey again to places, thus: -
(1) 1st Cu. under 2nd while 3rd turn out,
(2) " " over 3rd " 2nd "
(3) 3rd " " 2nd " 1st "
Bl & 2 As before.
A3. Back to back.
Bl & 2 As before.
A4. Cross and turn.
Bl & 2 As before.
A5 Half-rounds all ending facing up on Ju. with right hands raised..
Throughout this dance partners hold a handkerchief (or two knotted together) in right hands, raising right ~ hands whenever necessary, e.g. in passing under handks. In Jumping raise right hands high above head. In Foot-up, Half-hands, back-to-back, half-rounds and Cross-and-turn, the steps are as fellows: -
1. r. 1. hl./ r. 1. r. h.r./ l.h.l. r. hr. /1. Ju.//
In Circles (in B 1 - 4) step and hop for 3 bars then step and Ju.
In Foot-up all begin with outside feet, and turn outward after Jump to face down.
In Half-hands first half begin with left feet, second half with right feet.
In Back-to-Back the same.
In Cross and Turn, partners raising right ~ hands, cross over, passing right shoulders (2 bars) then make a half-turn c.cl. under handk. and face each other (2 bars). Begin with left feet. Return in sameway, passing left shoulders and turning clockwise under handkerchief. The handkerchiefs are untwisted at end if properly danced.
In Half Rounds all turn outward at beginning of second half.
Neither Michael could remember the tune properly and Sam told me the way he played it was picked up anyhow from several people. I sang version in "Folk Dance Airs" which Michael Johnson said was a good deal like Arthur's pipe and tabor tune but had "too many notes in it".
Stick or Clap Dance.
vourself Col. Cross sticks. Jump and strike on mid. last bar.
Al Foot-up with taps on middle beats of bars 4 and 8 at Jumps.
1 - 4 Stick tapping.
5 - 8 Half-hey with tap on last bar on jump.
B2 Same as Bl.
A2 Half-hands with taps on Jumps.
Bl & 2 As before.
A3 Back-to-back with taps on jumps.
Bl & 2 As before.
A4 Cross-and-turn as in Maid of the Mill, without handks. and with taps on
Bl & 2 As before.
A5 Half-Rounds or Whole-round~ with taps on Jumps, last Jump and tap facing
pipe and tabor.
The foot-up, Half-hands, Back-to-back, Cross-and-turn and Half-rounds are danced 2 bars 4/3, 1 bar 4/2, step and jump. Always at Jump partners tap sticks, if lacing by moving them from right to left; if beside each other as in Once-to-yourself and Foot-up by evens holding their sticks still, up and slanting out, and odds striking them behind. In all these taps sticks are held well up above heads.
The Hey is stepped in the same way as the other movements just described, but is danced as in Maid of the Mill without of course the linked handks., i.e. in the true C.D. fashion. The starting foot is in every case the natural one.
Stick tapping thus:
In first bar odds strike partners sticks in the middle, evens holding their sticks at each end, horizontally In front at chin-level. Odds and evens strike the balls of their feet- the former the right, the latter the left feet on the ground 3 times in unison with the sticks.
In 2nd bar same again evens striking odds sticks while odds tap left feet and evens right feet.
In 3rd bar partners holding sticks in the middle strike tips and hilts alternately as in the Field Town dances, separating the sticks well and bringing them together with great force on the minim in the 4th bar.
Johnson old me you might step and hop, i.e. 4/2 step on 3rd bar, and first 2 beats of 4th bar, then jump; but this appeared to be optional.
No handkerchiefs. At all Jumps, i.e. on middle beats of bars 4 and 8 throughout the dance each dancer claps both hands together. In Once-to-yourself partners face and clap on last beat. At end of first bar of foot-up, partners turn in, face and clap, then turn outwards (3/4) and face down. Instead of stick-tapping, clap thus:
rt. = r + r / b. l.t. 1 + 1 / b. un.r. b. un.l. / b.beh. (r + r) (l + l)
b = each dancer claps his hands together chin-level
r.t. = " " " " right thigh (raised a little( with 1eft hand))
l.t. = each dancer claps his left thigh with left hand
r + r = dancers clap right hands together
l + l = " " left " "
(r + r) " " both " "
(l + l) " " " " "
THE CUCKOO'S NEST.
Stick or Clapping.
This is done exactly the same way as Shepherd's Hey and may be danced with sticks or hand-clapping. If with sticks then 3rd and 4th bars of B music may be the same as 1st and 2nd bars, or tip and hilt as in Shepherds Hey. If with hand-clapping, then just as Shepherds Hey.
THE BLACK JOKE.
As regards movements this is danced in much the same way as the previous dances except that in the two extra bars of each phrase 4 capers are done throughout. In the Foot-up, a ¾ turn is done on these bars (5 and 6) so that partners strike sticks facing on last Caper.
At beginning of 7th bar all face down again making a ¾ turn in bar 11 and 12 with strike on last caper, partners facing. In half-hands, back-to-back, cross-and-turn, and Whole-rounds partners face during 4 capers in their places and strike on last caper. In whole-rounds all face up in last 4 capers.
On middle beat of bar 1, partners strike, moving from right to left;
On middle beat of bar 2 partners change stick hands and strike from left to right.
On middle beat of bar 3 partners change stick hands and strike from right to left.
On middle beat of bar 4 partners change stick hands and strike from left to right.
During this movement partners dance 6/2 step, right leg supporting when striking with right hand, left leg when striking with left hand.
This may be danced also with hand-clapping as in Shepherds Hey.
OLD WOMAN TUSSED UP
This so far as Once-to-.yourself, Foot-up, half-hands, back-to-back and whole-rounds are concerned is danced as in previous dances with the addition of course of hand-movements. These latter are as follows. In all ordinary movements s.b. and s.f. In Jumps both hands above head as in Headington dances. In side-step twist with one hand, right hand if l.b., left hand if r.b.
Once- to-- Jump on mid. of 4th bar.
A1 Foot up.
1 - 4 Side-step
5 - 8 Half-hey
1 - 8 Same as Bl
B1& 2 As before
B1& 2 As before
B1 & 2 As before
A5 Whole-rounds, facing up on final Ju.
tw . * * * * tw .1.* * * Up
1. r. l. r/ 1. r. l. h.l / r. 1. r. 1/ r. Ju /
r.b. l.b. -_____
Partners move facing one another, odds up in first 2 bars, down in last two; evens down in bars 1 - 2 up in bars 3 - 4.
At side-step at bottom begin with right foot in front so that odds go down and back, evens up arid back.
This is often danced to tune of Molly Oxford.
OFFENHAM MAY POLE.
Extract from letter of Mrs. Stanton, May 1912.
The Wake day is 29th of May, the day of the celebration of the maypole.
The present, pole was put up in 1880. The old pole had been there as long as any one could remember. "It got weared out"? and broken down by a storm and for some years had not been in a fit state to decorate. The rich people would not help in restoring it so the poor people put their pennies together and bought a new pole in Gloucester. This was brought by rail to Evesham where the Offenham people met and dragged it home, and that year they had such a maypole rearing as never was. Now the Wake has become a poor affair and the pole is no longer decorated.
An old man of 80 and an old woman of 82 told me how the Wake was kept up in their youth. The young girls helped by some of the married women made the garlands. Those who could afford to give them did so. The rest collected money for them. There were 12 garlands 3 sets of 4 - varying slightly in size from about 3 ft to - 2 ft. in diameter - wooden hoops bound round with white calico covered. thickly with rosettes of different coloured ribands - the rosettes graduating in size - and some streamers of ribbon hang from the inside of the hoops, from the top. On the pole were 3 sets of cross bars with little hooks which stand out about a foot from the pole. On these the garlands were hung, the four smallest near the top of the pole, the four largest on the lowermost hooks. Every 2 or 3 years the pole was taken down to be painted, then the garlands were hung on before it was reared - and a maypole rearing (pronounced 'earing) was a time of extra jollity. As to other years my informants were divided, some saying the pole was partially lowered to hang on the garlands, others that young men went up in ladders. They were left up from 3 to 4 days to a fortnight according to weather. No one said the pole was lowered to remove them so probably it was not lowered to hang them on. There were no flowers on the garlands. In lean years they had to come down to coloured calico instead of ribbons, but in the older days every one made it their pride to get ribands. Before the Pole was dressed the gar-lands were carried round the village and there was a May Queen - ''don't yer reckoleck as she rode Farmer - 's black nag?'' No money was collected then. The garlands were carried on poles or sometimes slung on a ribband carried by two bearears. There was no set dancing round the Pole. They'd dance round it a bit and sing Trit, Trit, Trot, but the dancing which was a great feature of the Wake took place in the evening. Morris dancers came over from neighbouring village (probably Bidford and Mickleton) and the young folk competed for a dozen yards of ribbon in the Country Dances.
Certainly at Offenham there cou1d not have been much dancing round the pole for it stood. where the present pole stands thus:-
and as this particular bit of the village remains as it was, the bit of green round the Pole (there is more now) could not have been big enough for much dancing. The street leading up to the Pole was decorated with wreaths of flowers -down one side of it were the fair booths and Jenny houses - on the other the tea stalls.
My old lady who'd been a desperate dancer in her youth told her her darter used to dance a special dance round the pole but then she and the other children "was lamed in school". This daughter was about 40 I gathered. 30 years ago when the new pole was put up people would be beginning to become sophisticated. They never had any dancing with ropes.
The band always played at the Pole when it was reared.
There was a Morris here 40 years ago. The fool always pretended to hang himself from the top of some granary steps.
Barrett, Mr. Course and Mrs. Hawkins (a tailor's widow) can give information. Mention Chas. Coleman of Shipston.
CASTLETON GARLAND DANCE.
Full particulars in Addy's article in Folk Lore, No. 12, Dec. 1901.
Each man has a branch of oak in each hand. In processional dance all dance forward 8 steps (4 bars) to running step with outside arm up. Then in next 8 steps cross diagonally as in Winster dance, changing arm when beginning to cross. Then 8 steps toward with same, i.e. outside arm up, then change arm and cross back to places. In crossing from odd to even file, those from odd file always pass in front of those of even file.
The stationary dance is performed as a progressive duple minor set Country dance, thus:
Odds cross and dance back, men passing out- side the two women who cross and back simultaneously. Then repeat, men taking hands and passing between the 2 women who pass outside their partners.
Top couple hands, down the middle and back again.
Hands across clockwise then c.cl.
Progressive movement probably at end of Down the middle. This Barber said first. But afterwards he seemed to think it was at the end of hands-across.
TIDESWELL PROCESSIONAL DANCE.
Dance described in Morris Book, Part 1 (2nd ed.).
Wakes week begins nearest Sunday to 24th June, so Mr. Norman Hill, sec of Oddfellows Club 'told me. Monday the chief day of processional dance. Oddfellows walk in procession to church at noon. After church dinner held. Vicar present: toasts, etc. Then procession formed at 4.30, banner in front, then band, then 2 dozen men couples of members, all in full regalia. This- is simply a Parade round the town, ending up at Club house where band plays National Anthem. At 6.30 Morris dance takes place. Some form of procession, but each dancer takes off his coat and carries 2 handks. They stop at chief inns and dance processional dance in stationarv position. They make arrangements with public houses by which they pay a lump sum in return for which the landlord supplies them all with free drinks. They usually go to Dr. Parkes and dance some country dances on his lawn. On the Thursday, School Feast day, processional dance again performed by school-children and adults of both sexes. On Saturday the younger members of the Club dance in the same way as their elders on the previous Monday.
High hats with three ribbons round hat, cockade with streamers hanging down left side of odds, right side of evens. Pleated shirt, red braces, white cord trousers, bells, red white and blue sash hanging down on each hip. Didn't each wear same colours. Three arm-ribbons, wrist, above elbow, and top of upper arm, each with streamers.
Eli Rolfe (71) told me that 40 years ago he went to Kirtlington. The K. men had a shepherd dressed in white smock leading a lamb. They danced Green Garters round lamb each morning. At other times shepherd and lamb (decorated with ribbons) went in front of procession. Lamb killed on Wednesday and afterwards eaten at a feast - probably on the Saturday. They all went up the river and had a jollification. The Kirtlington men did the same dances as the Bucknell men. There was a barn where refreshments were dispensed presided over by Lord and Lady. Anyone who had bells on his legs was admitted on payment of a shilling for which they were given a plate of cake and a quart of ale. Kirtlington Lamb Ale was held the week following Whitsun week.
Talking of the difficulty of getting six good dancers Eli said most of 'em could only "make one", might know Hands-across and hey and back-to-back, but 'they couldn't dance.
In corner movements, corners dance in position 1st and 2nd bars, advance in 3rd and 4th bars, pass by the right in 4th bar, reach opposite stations in 6th bar, turn in 7th and 8th, face each other in last bar and do two capers (omitting hop in penultiniate bar). Steps - s.s. in bars 1 and 2, 6/3 in bars 3 - 6, then r.1.r / L. R. Begin r.b., i.e. left foot in front.
2 bars of s.s. (omitting hop in 2nd bar) then ordinary capers to end of 8th bar.
1. r. 1. hl / r.l. Ju / l.t.b. / l.ft / Ju l.t.b. /
1. ft. / Ju. r. / l.r. 1. hl / r. 1. r. hr /
L. R / or 1. r. 1 / R.L.
2 bars of s.s. then fore capers (1. r. r. W / r. 1. r. W) till last bar in which there are two capers.
Will and Eli gave different versions of order of movements.
Foot up facing drummer and with back to drummer
Foot across to places
Corners with half capers
Back to back
Corners with half-capers to places
Corners with capers
Corners with capers to places
Corners with Uprights
Corners with Uprights to places
Whole hey and kick in.
Corners to pla,es
Corners with half-capers
Corners with 'half-capers to places
Back to back
Corners with capers
Corners. with capers to places
Back to back
Corners with Uprights
Corners with Uprights to places.,
Whole Hey and kick in.
1st half. 2nd half
Nos. 1 & 3 pass right 1 & 3 pass left
" 1 & 5 " left 1 & 5 " right
" 5 & 3 " right 3 & 5 " left
With ordinary step, 2 back steps, feet together and Jump.
BLUE EYED STRANGER
Side step and half hey repeated
Back to Back
S.S. and kick in to same music, turn out, then in to r. 1. r W / L. R.
1. r. l. r / l. r. l. h.l / r. l. r. l. / r. l. r. hr.
ss. rb _____ l.b_____
BONNETS S0 BLUE
Foot up. 6 bars 6/5 then /b.s. b.s. /ft. Ju.
r. 1. r./ 1. r. 1. h.l. / r. 1. r. 1. / 1. r. rh /
ss. r.b.____ ss.l.b.____
Half capers to bar 7 then 2 capers (repeat)
Double Capers. circle cl. L. h.l./ R. h.r.
Then (with Will) 7 & 8 bars L h.l/ hl. r/
1.r. 1. h.l. etc.
(Eli) L,hl. / R. h.r./
evidently with 1. r. 1. hl/ 1. r. l.W/R. L/ R. L.// or another bar of fore-capers like preceding or
1. r. 1. hl/ r. 1. R/ ½ Caper / Cap. Cap. // Hands "in" and "out"' not very marked, and done wavingly.
Then kick in, 2nd man joining in last bar or last two bars.
They had a linked handkf. dance at Bucknell.
Foreman gave his handkf. to No.2, the other man caught hold of it and held it like a string.
s.s. / 4/3 / s.s./ 4/3 / s.s. 4/3 (or s.s.) / fore-capers / 2 capers.
Double capers end with 4 capers, or one bar fore-capers, and 2 capers.
2 bars 4/3 b.s. b.s. ft. Ju. clap, and kick in.
Same as ordinary handk. dance with 2 bars extra in which partners face and clap thus
b. r+ r. b. l+l
In last clap they often waved left hands instead of clapping.
Progressive in couples, till l and 2 get back to top. Then they dance facing drummer and go off to right, 2 behind 1 to form ring as in Flamboro Dance. 3 & 4 follow (1 & 2 moving round) then 5 & 6. They are now in this order
Then whole rounds, with turns (evens cl. odds c.cl.) also turn at last bar, of double capers to kick in.
WYRESDALE GREENSLEEVES DANCE
This is danced by three men to the tune of Greensleeves. I saw it performed at The School, Dophinholme on the evening of Nov. 8th 1912. It is an old dance taught to the performers by their fathers and was always done on Fair day and other public holidays and merry makings.
James Winder (38) was the leader. His father used to play the fiddle for the dance, and I copied the tune, No. 28077 from his M.S. book of airs. Bartholomew Doddin about same age was one of the performers. His father (76) is still alive and taught Bartholmew. They never dressed in any special way.
First Part. 3 2
A 1- 4 Hands-3 cl.
5 - 8 Hands-3 c.cl.
Ring movement simply stepped in moderately slow time, the men rolling slightly sideways as they stepped.
1 - 2 All face c.cl. No. 1 claps both hands on 1st beat of 1st bar, and slaps his right thigh with right hand on 2nd beat of 1st bar; then slaps No. 2 on the back between the shoulder blades on lst beat of 2nd bar, and then kicks him on 2nd beat.
3 - 4 No. 2 does the same to No. 3.
5 - 6 No. 3 " " " No 1.
7 - 8 All turn single clockwise and face cl.
1 - 2 No. 1 claps and kicks No. 3 as above clapping and kicking with the left
hand and leg.
3 - 4 No. 3 ditto. No. 2.
5 - 6 No. 2 ditto. No. 1.
7 - 8 All turn single c.cl.
A (2nd time) As in A first time.
1-2 All hold hands. No. 1 stamps three times,
1.r. 1. on 1st and 2nd beats of bar 1 and 1st beat of bar 2. On 2nd beat of latter bar he hops on left foot and swings his right leg over his own
right hand and No. 2's left hand.
3 - 4 No.2 does the same.
5 - 6 No.3 " " "
7 - 8 All hop four times in stationary position on left legs.
1 - 4 Hop round 8 steps cl.
5 - 8 " " " " c.cl. to place.
1 - 8 As in First Part
1 - 8 Same as B1 (2nd time) in first Part.
1 - 8 " " " (1st time) " " "
1 - 8 Same as in First Part.
1 - 2 No. 1 stamps 3 times r. 1. r, hops on r. and throws left leg over his own left hand and No. 3's right hand.
3 - 4 No.3 does the same.
5 - 6 No.2 " " "
7 - 8 All hop 4 times on r. ft.
1 - 8 8 steps c.cl.
1-8 As in First Part.
1 - 8 As in First Part, No. 2 beginning
by clapping and kicking No. 3;
No. 3 following with No. 1; No. 1
then doing the same with No. 2. Then
all turn single clockwise.
1 - 8 As in First Part, No. 2 beginning, clapping and kicking No. 1.
1 - 8 As in First Part.
Bl & B2
(2nd time) As in First Part, throwing right legs over.
1-8 As in First Part.
1-8 As in B2 Third Part.
1-8 As in Bl " "
1 - 8 As in First Part.
1 - 8 As in Bl, second part, throwing left legs over.
1-8 As in B2, Second Part, hopping round on right legs.
1-8 As in First Part.
1-8 As in First Part, No. 3 beginning and going round c.cl.
1 - 8 As in First Part No. 3 beginning, slapping him own left thigh with left hand,
and No.2's back with left hand, and kicking No. 2 with left leg.
1 - 8 As in First Part.
As in First Part throwing right legs
over and hopping round on left legs.
1 - 8 As in First Part.
1-8 As in B2 Fifth Part
1 - 8 As in B1 " "
1 - 8 As in First Part.
B1 & B2
As in Second Part throwing left legs over and hopping round on right feet.
This concludes dance. Compare clap and kick movement with the Ilmington Buffoon -Word-book, p.200.
BLACKWELL MORRIS MEN.
Mary Anne Cooper told me that her uncle who died at the age of 82, Samuel Cox by name, insisted on being buried in his morris shirt. ("And he did look so comfortable in it, poor Soul".) She has his bells which consist of 4 longitudinal strips of leather covered in front with red braid. Four bells on each strip.In between bells little dainty rosettes of different coloured silk are attached. (I have- since purchased the pair of bells.)
They danced with sticks which were painted red blue and white in zig zag manner. They danced Princess Royal under the name of "Nelson's Praise" which T. Gardiner sent to me. They also had a tune called the Blackwell Morris.
Although only 2 miles from Ilmington Black-well Morris was quite distinct in its details from that of Ilmington.
Blackwell Wake was week beginning June 23rd. A dancing. booth always erected. "The Morris men danced outside. They went for farm housen!"
Henry Sturch of Shipston on Stour, fiddler, used to play "Green Sleeves" when they danced the cushion dance.
He called "Three Meet" the "Half-way" dance.
(Address: Anderton Yard, Stratford Road, Shipston on Stour.)
Field Town or Leighfield Morris dancers
George Steptoe (87) an old dancer, told me they had high hats like gentleman wear with cockades. Sticks. Danced following dances:
Jug by the ear
Balance of Straw
Jockey to the Fair
Old Wonian tossed up
Old Trunk O
None so Pretty (Jig)
They wore white shirts, breeches and white stockings and usual ribbons, bells, etc.. Their musician, John Williams, played fiddle whittle and dub but all preferred to dance to latter.
They had a sword and cake as at. Bampton.
Mrs. Hathaway, widow of the fool, and sister- in-law to William Hathaway now in Cheltenham, told me she has a daughter Elizabeth (Mrs. Edward Hathaway) now living at "Crossed Hands" , Chipping Sodbury who has a good set of bells.
Mrs. H. thus described the white shirts.
A straight pleat down centre with little frills on each side. 4 or 5 tucks on each side, very narrow - "as narrow as could be done". Frill about an inch broad. "Didn't all have them, but the best ones did."
Six men, fool, music, and man with box.
Her husband the fool used to "go and do merriman for them". Then they had a "merry come up". (Both expressions commonly used about here.)
He always blacked his face. He had a stick on one and a bladder, on the other calve's tail.
He was called. "Fool" , "Master" , or "Squire".
Dancers revived by Sam Bennet about 3 years ago. Learned tunes from old whittle and dub man now dead, and dances as well as he could from old men in the village. Steps very poor, evolutions, stick tapping and clapping, good.
I bought one of the original sticks (black withy stick 23 in. long, 3 1/2 in middle tapering to 2 3/4 at ends. I purchased it from Mr. Handy . His father-in-law was the fool and once drove off a furious dog with his bladder after which he was known as "Dog 'Andy"
Their old pipe and tabor player was Jas, Arthur flow dead.
Charles Hughes (76) told me
Naunton dancers wore box hats, silk-fur hats, hard.
Plated shirts, no frills that he could remember. Silk handkerchief round neck, couldn't remember any special colour.
White cord breeches. Bells on the shins.
Called the fool "Merriman",
Ribbons on hats and streamers.
Sold Wm. Hathaway of Cheltenham his first fiddle in exchange for a pair of boots worth 3/6 - "was a good fiddle."
My pipe was made by Danley of Andoversford, from whom Carter bought it. It was not a new one then and always was bound at bottom. Made of plum wood. The tabor was made by Carter himself. he got the parchment from an old drum and had the iron rings cast by an iron-man at Pourton. David Danley was the pipe man.
Geo. Humphries, Parish Clerk (72).
Danced the Morris as; a boy. Stove-pipe hats which they pulled off to dance. (At Barrington a1ways danced in hats except for jigs.) Ribbons tied round and streaming behind about
3 or 4 inches . Clean white linen shirts. Ribbons round arms. Set of bells on each leg tied with ribbons. White breeches and stockings. "That's the centents of the dancers."
No sticks but handks.
"Squire or "Tom Fool" dressed as comical as you could dress him". Carried a stick about 2 ft. long, bladder on one end and cow's tail on the other. Drove the wenches back with former and men or boys with latter.
Sword bearer and rag carrier all in one and also (not quite sure) money box.
Sword only for show. Dressed in ordinary clothes.
Had a competition at Maypole on May day. Chedworth, Shipton and all Morris villages (there were many about there) all came and competed for prizes.
Thomas Larner (94) (in bed).
Remembers Morris dancing in Northleach but none for 50 years. Thomas Young used to play pipe and tabor for them.
High box hats with ribbons bound round and hanging down sides. A rag carrier. Squire with stick, bladder and cow's tail. Kept the wenches and men of the dancers . White plaited shirts. Bells on legs. Cord breeches and white stockings. Sticks and handks.
Lumps of Plum Pudding, Jockey to the Fair, Constant Billy, and pipe dance.
Always on Whitsun week.
Most of them Northleach men.
After Thomas Young they had "Jim the Laddy" of Sherbourne. Said his real name was David Patrio.
Heard of Field Town by reputation.
Mrs. Howes of Yew Tree Inn remembered the Morris dancer's when she was a child. They always danced at their Inn every Club Day or Feast i.e. 3rd Wednesday in July. Long discontinued.
An inhabitant of Little London remembered the Morris dancers very well. They came from Little Dean and danced on Popeshill. This latter Was a great war place. Two parties of people met on the hill day by day and asked "Is it peace or war". One day it was war when blood ran down the hill in streams. He was told this when a little boy, now 55 years old.
Thomas Phelps (73) of Mayhill, an old Morris dancer. Gave it up about 30 years ago. Last time at Gunn's Mill. Always danced a full. week at Whitsuntide and at Club Feast. 6 men, no sticks, no handks, clapped hands instead. Williams played fiddle, now dead.
Had many dances including Green Sleeves which was a Pipe Dance and also a clapping dance.
Cheltenham dancers once came to Huntly, they had a pipe and tabor player.
Tall hat decorated with ribbons round band, round top and diagonally.
Shirts covered with ribbons of all colours back and front. Two sashes crossed diagonally hanging down sides.
"Ruggles" not bells on the legs, fastened on to strips of leather and tied on with yellow ribbons.
He always bought new ribbons each year - "give 'em to the girls." Black trousers.
Fool with tail on end of stick 3 or 4 feet long.
Swordsman with two swords, danced over them on the ground (Arthurs the Stratford fiddler told me he never did this, but danced a very complicated sword dance, with a sword in each hand, to tune which I took down. This at Ruardean about 7 miles from Mayhill.)
Described procession with flags and sword at head as at Mayhill.
Edwin Gibbs and
Thomas Wright, 4 dancers living, also
Charles Benfie1d (68) the fiddler now living at Bould.
(Have taken many tunes, song,s and dances f'rom latter.)
Pleated shirts. Rosettes and ribbons. Trousers - anything you got.
Evidently a very rustic Morris set arid one of the highest interest.
They danced Lord Sherbourne Jig
Willie and Nancy
and many other unusual ones.
(For further particulars see later.)
T, Howard of Manor Road, Brackley, a dancer as well as his brother.
White trousers, ordinary shirts. Diagonal ribbon across breast.
A rosette on each shoulder 2
2 on .breast, 2 on back 4
1 on navel, 1 on back to correspond 2
2 on each side just above, hip to tie 4
2 on hat, one on each side with 2 ribbons hanging down 2
"It took 14 rosettes to do a dress."
Bells, 5 strips or leather, 5 bells on each strip. Fastened on outside of leg, the first bar of leather was on the shin 'bone. Tied tight at the top, but loose at the bottom.
Handk. was tied by its two diagonal corners and passed through the middle fingers.
Sollar (sallow or willow) sticks, 2 feet 6 in. or 2 ft. 4 in. long, peeled white.
They twirled the sticks by side, holding loose between thumb and first finger and moving wrist up down and round.
His daughter a scu1lery-maid at Lady Knightley of Fawsley Park, Daventry, told him that Morrismen from Northampton carne to dance there when her mistress entertained the King.
Shirt, with pleated sleeves and Irish front "let in".
At Chipping Camden the mummer's fool used to announce himself thus: -
Here comes I as an per not
A great head and a little wit (nut?)
My head's so big and my net's so small
Here comes I to please you all
I ll sing you a song
It is not very long
But I think you'll find it very funny
Don't be in a fuss
But pull out your purse
And give the poor mumper some money.
Words to second strain of The Triumph.
Step and fetch her
I have got her
You shan't have her
Pretty little dear.
(John Mason at Stow)
Words to Sherborne Jig.
Lumps of Plum Puddin
And pieces of' pie
My mammy gave me
For jumping so high
I kissed Joan and Joan kissed me
As we went bobbing around.
Bledington Morris, Glos
Fool had T and F on his cheeks marked in black. Bladder and cow's tail on stick, Box hat with top cut off, coloured rags and ribbons all over him. A dinner bell tied on the back of his trousers.
Once he asked farmer (after dancing Glorisher) to leap frog over him and he stooped down. Farmer went to jump when Fool ducked down and farmer wont sprawling.
Once met Lower Swell dancers. Two fools vied with each other. Farmer dared them to play pranks. The Bled. fool said they would see which one could hold his head in rain-tub longest and proceeded to show him his own prowess. The other fool then did the same when the Bled. fool tipped him up clean into the tub!
Thomas Cadd (49) now living at Yardley Gobian.
I met him on Jan. 14th 1910 at Woverton where he works in foundry or "Siberia" as he called it. Didn't know his birth-place his father was a regular "knock-a-bout". First remembered living at Preston-Bisset near Bucking-ham. Used, as a boy, to see Brackley Morris dancers once or twice a year and and his companions used to imitate them. But their dancing was only a "mockery"; they simulated dress' by tying straw on one leg and hay-band on the other. This about 35 years ago. (Brackley men last danced about 23 years ago.)
Afterwards he moved about country, chiefly in Lancashire, at Preston, Oldham Ashton under Lyne, etc. and Leas (near Manchester). Theun , about 10 years ago came to live at Yardley.
A few years ago a Miss Robinson, a governess at (I think) Grafton House suggested that he should try and remember Brackley danced and teach them to Yardley youths. Lady Fitzroy (an old lady) wrote up to London for some tunes for he could only remember one Brackley tune (the one he has sent to Miss Neale) As a matter of fact he said the Brackley men only had two tunes ( !) They would play one for all their dances at one villages, and then the other at the next village. They had, he said no figures in their dances, they merely "cut capers and zig-zagged" as the spirit moved them.
So in revising the dances he invented or "lifted" figures that he know and made up four dances as "enjoyable" as he could make them.
Asked why four dancers. He said he knew Brackley men always danced in sixes but he said he found two sides of four each "made a better show".
He had no feeling of reverence or otherwise for tradition and did not claim any authority for his versions which he frankly owned were mainly his own invention and had very little to do with the Brackley dances. Indeed he evidently thought his own improvisation far superior to the B. dances. Except for the one tune he has used any tune that seemed to fit, e.g. Campbells are coming, etc.
Cadd is a very nice man, sensible and modest, and quite ready to give me any information I asked for. Made no secret whatever about the way he had made up the dances. He did not know any of the Brackley dancers. He had never danced with them or any other recognised Morris side, only with boys of his own village in "mockery", as above described. He knew the name of one Brackley man whom he called Tom Stutsbury.
UPTON, DIDCOT, BERKS.
Mr. Simpson (see p. ) is a native of Sherborne, Glos. and all his dances
belong to that tradition. They always had cake and sword borne in front. They danced on to ground in single file, then round the enclosure then finally forming up for dance. In going off they did the same but in serpentine fashion as in Morris Off. In both coming and going they "made their obedience" by pulling forelock as noted and described in Orange in Bloom and othor dances.
Handkerchiefs tied with reeving knot to little finger as this left hands free to clap.
Especiall.y prided themelves on the "gallery" which they used at all corners., i.e. at turns.
Another special feature of their dancing in the showing, waving. handkershiefs one hand at a time, see Old Woman etc. Also this method of dancing - 2-handed Jig described in "Go and list for a sailior". Again curious normal Morris step with hop on 2nd beat in 4/3 and 6/3 steps. Sherborne Jig was their special and unique (so they claimed) dance
"Can't hold hands high enough in showing".
Blackwell Morris (see p. )
Mrs. Cooper arrived this morning beaming. From an old f'riend - grand-daughter of the Fool of the Blackwell Morris - she got this shirt - laid away for years, so it's grubby, but she wouldn't hear of its being washed "for it is ironed and folded in the old fashioned way " but you must know that the plaits in sleeves and front were originally starched. The owner was Jonathan Gaydon "the fool and a good 'un' - "the best that ever there was in the Morris - 'e done all as ever 'e could for enj'yment.' he and his wife Judy had 8 sons -a1l Morris dancers - the last of which died eight years ago aged 84 years - so you can calculate the age of the shirt. It is from the widow of another son that Mrs. Cooper got it. Ribands were tied at elbow and wrist - a sash across the chest, round the neck a fine silk handkerchief black, white and yellow tied in a large bow with the ends streaming. Mrs. Cooper's son has her old uncle's, values it very highly and keeps it under a glass shade. For all its size Mrs. C. says it would pull through her wedding ring. Each man had his own stick painted to his fancy, it was their pride to docorate them highly. The Cooper family came originally from the Forest of Dean and brought the dancing tradition with them.
Mrs. C. says that out in the country between Brailes Banbury and Kineton she believes there are Morris dancers. You will appreciate the stitching of the shirt.
(Extract from a letter from Mrs. Stanton, Jan. 1910)
I had a talk with the daughter of one of the Gaydons - the family of 7 sons of old Jonathan and Judy Gaydon who wore all Morris dancers, the last of whom died 5 years ago at the age of 84.
The shirts (like the one I sent you) were of linen spun on a hand-loom - they wore starched very stiff - another shirt worn under that they might stick out.
The sleeves were tied at the wrist, elbow midway between wrist and elbow with ribbon in the following order; right arm, yellow (at wrist), red, green; left arm, red (at wrist), green yellow.
The neckerchief of fine soft silk (her father's was yellow, the ends embroidered with green and red flowers) tied in a large bow with floating ends.
Her father gave a guinea for his bells, they were 3 rows of 4 bells in each, mounted in ribbons, but old Jonathan's (the grandfather) were 3 rows of bells on webbing.
(Extract from letter by Mrs. Stanton, April 1910.)
About 70 years ago a set of women Morris dancers used to dance on Whit Monday. They were mostly farmer's daughters, girls of 18 - 20 and were under the escort of a man, who looked after them. They wore head-dresses of ribbons and flowers, short skirts, and bells on their legs of the same kind as those worn by the male dancers) and carried white handkerchiefs. With them went a clown or "Squire" with bladder and cow's tail and a man playing pipe and tabor. Their names were Elizabeth Fowler, Sarah Fowler, Jane Hern, Mary Knight, Charlotte Cross, Mary Carliny. Squire - Robert Tacket of Charlbury. One day they danced on the top of the church tower.
(From John Corbett, 86, of Spelsbury, Aug. l896)
(Extract from Manning's M.S. sent me by Sir Ernest Clarke)
Kirtlington Lamb Ale.
This feast is said to have been originally kept up by the proceeds of some lands left to the parish, but where or what extent these lands were no one now knows. Before the feast a supply of ale brewed as it is said from the barley and of "crown cakes" made from the wheat grown on these lands, was laid in. Of late years however the ale was brewed by Sir George Dashwood, Lord of the Manor, at his house at Northbrook, now pulled down. The Lamb Ale was kept up to 1858, and for a few years afterwards the Lord of the Manor used to pay £2.12/- on the feast day to the poor of the village, but this payment has since been discontinued.
The festivities' began with a procession on the Monday after Trinity Sunday. The centre of the ceremonies was the "bowery" a shed made of green boughs set up on the village green, where ale was sold for the nine days of the feast without a l.icense, the proceeds going towards tho expenses incurred. The procession was as fol1ows:
(1) A man carrying a live lamb on his shoulders, its legs being tied together with blue and pink ribbons, and blue ribbons round its neck. The lamb was, if possible, the first born of the season.
(2) The Lord and Lady gaily dressed and decked on alternate days with pink and white, and blue and white ribbons. The Lord had a tiny money-box slung over his shoulders by a string, called the "Treasury" wherein to collect money from t,he onlookers. The lady was chosen by the Lord arid his mates and was hired for the whole feast. Both of them carried Maces.
(3) A Fool called the Squire. His dress was spotted like that of a clown and he carried long staff with a bladder at one end and a cow ' s tail at the other wherewith to keep a ring for the dancers.
(4) A band of 6 Morris dancers, dressed in hats, finely pleated white shirts, crossed with pink and blue ribbons, and having a rosett,e of pink and blue on the breast and back; white moleskin trousers which were strapped up below the knee; fastened to the straps were squares of leather cut into strips to which were seven lattern bells. Half the dancers wore treble bells, 40 of which were carried by eac:h man and half wore tenor bells, 20 to each man. There were three figures danced the steps being those of the old Country dance, the men standing in two opposing ranks. The first figure was danced without any additions, in the second the dancers carried handkorchiofs which they waved about sometimes holding the ends of each other's handkerchiefs and forming a long string; in the third figure the dancers carried sticks which they clashed together or struck on the ground in time with the music. Within a certain number of neighbouring villages these Morris dancers would travel about for a week at a time to the various village feasts, usually Whitsun week. Encroachment on the country danced by another band was bitterly resented and often led to free fights in which the sticks used in the dancing were brought into play.
(5) a Fiddler.
(6) A dub and whittler (described as usual)
(7) 2 men carrying "forest feathers". These were wooden clubs about 3 feet long, covered with leaves, flowers and rushes, and trimmed with pink and blue ribbons. The procession started from the bowery at 11 o'clock and went to the Lady's house to call for her. From that time up to nine o'ock at night she was under the Lord's charge after which hour she was at her own disposal. At stated times in the day the Morris dancers would give an exhibition of dancing, but before beginning they and the Lord would go round the onlookers, carrying each a "crown cake" on the top of his hat (Those were about 9 inches in diameter and consisted of an outer crust of rich currant and plum dough and a centre of minced meat and batter) . They were not intended for sale and the spectators gave money merely for looking at them. If any one wanted to buy one he was charged 2/6. If not sold by end of the feast they were cut up and divided among the "Lamb Ale boys".
The Lamb was carried in procession every day till Wednesday when it was killed and made into pies. Into one pie called the head-pie was put the head, with the wool attached, and this pie was reserved and sold for 1/-. The other pies wore cut up and distributed. At the end of each day the money collected was counted up and given to the head morris dancer who was also responsible for the sake keeping of the "maces " "treasury" and funds during the whole year.
The "Maces" arid "Treasury" wore last held by Thomas Hawkes of Kirtlington, now dead (1894).
(From Mr. Manning's M.S. )
Mrs. Hobbs went to Sherborne and saw Mrs. James, widow of the man who taught Simpson. She borrowed old Jame's bells and sent them to me to copy.
The Sherborne Morris men wore knee-breeches attaching the bells on to one of the leg buttons, blue stockings and low square top hats.
She had made up the baldrick for her children.
They regarded the Field Town men as their great rivals. I also saw Taylor a co-pupil of Simpson's, but they all agree that Simpson was the best and "he could whistle the tunes".
THE ADDERBURY MORRIS
Adderbury village is in N.E. Qxon about miles from Banbury. The Morris f1ourished there until about 60 years ago when it began to wane, finally disappearing 60 years later. Mr. Wi11iam Walton from whom all my information concerning the dances was gathered, told me that he was 7 years old when his father died and that he was then taken to the workhouse to be brought up. Eventually a bricklayer and builder took him out, 'prenticed him and taught him the trade. At one time when his parents were alive they had no less than 196 direct descendants living. Mr. Walton began dancing when he was eight years old, was taken into the side (they never took more than two fresh ones in at a time because of the difficulty of teaching them) when he was grown-up, later on became leader - top-left - and sustained that part for 20 years, i.e. until the Morris was disbanded. When the dance was in its prime Adderbury would have three sides dancing, each side visiting a different series of villages every clay in Whitsun week. On the Thursday they always danced at Banbury Fair where they met the Hamborough and Wooton dancers, and there all three sides used to dance together. At other times of the year the Adderbury men were in great demand at Club feasties, weddings, etc.
Mr. William Walton is now 83 years of age, but hale and hearty, rather blind, although he can hear well walk with firm step, and sing with a strong baritone voice. I heard of him from Miss Janet Blunt of Adderbury who arranged that the old man should visit me in Hampstead when he came to London to stay with one of his married daughters. He accordingly called upon me on March 25th and 26th 1919 and spent two long mornings with me and Miss Karpeles, dancing, showing us the steps, singing and giving us information generally. At first it was difficult to get his memory back to the dances and it was only by degrees that he was able to recall the different evolutions with their many technical details. The following is the result of our in-vestigations:
Morris men had white shirts and ordinary trousers danning bare-headed. They wore double baldrics over their shirts - two bands, 3 inches wide, one blue the other red with ten rosettes of red, white, and blue ribbons, one below each shoulder, on the breast at the junction of the ribbons and one on each hip, and five rosettes at the back in corresponding positions. Ribbons (red and blue) were tied in a bow round the top of each upper arm, above each elbow, and around each wrist.
Each dancer wore a bell-pad on each leg, the horizontal bands at top and bottom made of red, white and blue ribbons, while to each of the five vertical strips of leather there were attached six bells.
The sticks used in the dances were stout, peeled, willow wands, 2 ft. 9 in. long and about an inch in diameter. In handkerchief dances ,each handkerchief, with its two diagonal corners tied together, was carried between thumb and index finger.
The dancers were accompanied by a Fool (Miss Blunt has his picture), a pipe-and-taborer, a stick-and-handerchief-carrier and a Treasurer. The latter carried an oaken box with padlock, slung round his neck by means of ribbons.
Between the dances the side would often sing songs e.g. The Happy Man, Postman's Knock, and other popular town-songs of the day, often executing some of their stick-movements while they sang the chorus. This they did to keep the crowd quiet while they were resting themselves.
In all stick-dances, the sticks, when not being actually used, are carried in the middle and he1d vertically, a little in front of the body, hand at shoulder-level, the two arms swinging slightly down and up with the steps.
THE BEAUX OF LONDON CITY.
(4/2 step throughout the dance)
A 1 - 8 Dancers walk round in a ring cl. to places, usually dancing during the last two or three bars so as to be ready for the initial figure of the dance proper. Dancers strike sticks from right to left on last note.
Al. 1 - 4 Foot-up. Up (1 bar), back (1 bar),
Striking sticks on last note.
5 - 8 Same again
B1 bar 1 Nos. 1 and 6 advance toward each other in three steps, beginning with right feet. On the first two steps they stoop, dibbing with the butt on the 1st beat, letting the tip fall on to the ground with its own weight on the 2nd beat, and standing up, strike sticks, moving them right to left, on the 3rd beat.
bar 2 Nos. 2 and 5 do the same.
bar 3 Nos. 3 and 4 do the eame.
bar 4 Partners do the same.
5 - 8 All this again.
A2 1 - 8 Half-hands (usual figure).
B2 1 - 8 Same as Bl, only instead of striking sticks on third beats, they point sticks at each other as though they were shooting.
A3 1 - 4 Processionl down. first couple dances down the middle (the others moving side if necessary) and falls back to places.
5 - 8 Middle couple followed by third couple does the same.
B3 1 - 1 As in B2, except that when "shooting" they point their sticks into the air nearly vertically.
A4 1 - 4 Processional-up. Third couple dance up the middle and back to places.
5 - 8 Middle couple followed by third couple does same.
B4 I - 8 As in B1
A5 1 - 8 Back-to-back
B5 1 - 8 As in B2. Shooting at each other
A6 1 - 4 Hands-round. Partners clasp right hands, waist-level, arms extended, and holding their sticks in left hands, dance once round cl. to plaoes, shifting sticks to right hands and sticking on last note.
5 - 8 Partners clasp left hands and in simi1ar fashion dance round c.cl. to places, striking sticks on last note.
B6 1 - 8 As in B3, shooting in the air.
A7 1 - 8 Whole-hey in Country Dance fashion, i.e. top two passing by right, bottom dancer by left a continuous movement, no halt half-way.
B7 1 - 8 As. in B1, all facing up in column on last note and striking sticks
I have included in this dance all the evolutions the Adderbury men had, viz., Whole-rounds (Once-to-yourself), Foot-up, Half-hands, Processional-down, Processional-up, Back-to-back, Hands-round and Whole Hey. But Mr. Walton said that they did not always do a1l of these figures in every dance - they danced as many or as few as they pleased. In this particular dance they would probably omit, say, the Back-to back , and do six movements only so as to include each form of B, the stick-movement, twice.
In those dances, e.g. Jenny Jones and Constant Billy, in which the Foot-up movement forms part of the distinctive evolution it is better to begin by dancing the Whole-rounds instead of Foot-up. This at least may be deduced from Mr. Walton's remark that "in this dance", i.e. Jenny Jones, "we always danced as we went round in the first movement".
Sticks are held in both hands as in Badby Shepherd's Hey.
On 1st beat Odd strikes his tip on Even's butt.
" 2nd " Even " " " " Odd's "
" 3rd " Odd " " " " Even's "
This alternate movernent is continued throughout 2nd and 3rd bars and 1st beat or 4th bar. On the 2nd beat of 4th bar partners strike tips together.
The alternate striking is continued in bars 5, 6 and 7 and then tips are struck together on first beat of the 8th and final bar.
When No. 1 strikes his stick on No. 2's butt, he is the active striker, No. 2 merely moving his stick a little forward and up to receive the blow - and vice versa when no, 2 strikes on No. l's butt.
Partners hold their sticks firmly in the middle at same angle as in double clapping and sticks strike alternately etc. as before - the only difference is the way in which the sticks are held.
The A evolutions are always done to the following steps throughout the dance:-
In bars 2 and 6 the stepping foot remains in front of the body, the weight being distributed equally on both feet at first, and afterwards transferred to the front foot to enable the next step to be made on the hinder foot.
A 1 - 8 Once-to-yourself, striking on last note.
A11 - 8 Whole-rounds, striking on last note.
B11- 8 Double clapping
C11- 8 Foot-up, 2 bars up, 2 bars back, 2 bars up, 2 bars back, the dancers the while singing the words of the Chorus.
A2 1 - 8 Half-hands
B2 1 - 8 Single clap
C2 1 - 8 As in C1
A3 1 - 8 Processional-down
B3 & C3 As in B1 and C1 (double clap)
A41- 8 Processional-up.
B4 & C4 As in B2 and C2 (single clap).
A51 - 8 Whole-gip.
B5 & C5 As in B1 and Cl (double clap).
A6 1 - 8 Whole-hey.
B6 & C6 As in B2 and C2 (single clap).
All in, all facing up in column as the partners strike the last blow.
B Bar1 On 2nd beat partners jump and strike r to l.
2 " " "Nos. 1 & 3, 2 & 4, 5 & 6 jump and strike r to 1.
3 " " " partners jump and strike r to 1.
4 " " " Nos.1 & 2, 3 & 5, 4 & 6 jump and strike r to 1.
In Jumping before striking, dancers prepare by swinging arms back on first beat of bar.
A 1- 4 Once-to-yourself, standing still, striking and jumping on last note.
A 1- 8 Whole-rounds to 6/3 step.
B 1- 4 Stick movement as above.
5 - 8 Foot-up, i.e. up (2 bars 6/3),
down (2 bars 6/2) and strike sticks;
up (2 bars 6/3), down (2 bars 6/2) and strike.
Movements as in other dances, selecting according to pleasure.
LADS A BUNCHUM.
B Bar1 Odd numbers strike their tips on their partners butts three times
on the first three beats.
2 Evens do the same.
3 Strikes alternated.
4 Striking alternated on first two beats and tips struck against each other
on third beat.
Same as in Double Clap, except that stick was held in the middle in right hand.
Partners hold their sticks with both hands as in double clapping, stand pointing left
shouders to each other, evens facing up, odds facing down, and raise their sticks well above
their heads horizontally and parallel with the files. When striking the dancer makes an over-hand movement, pivoting right hand over left, so as to strike down with his tip on to his partner's butt. In bars 3 and 4, and 7 and 8, partners face, resume normal positions and strike as in Double Clapping.
A 1 - 8 Once-to-yourself, walking (or dancing) once round in a ring, cl.,
striking sticks on second beat of last bar, facing up:
A11 - 8 Foot-up. Up (2 bars 4/3), back (1 bar 4/2, step & ft., striking sticks).
All this repeated.
B1 1- 4 Double Clap.
5- 8 Same again.
A21- 8 Half-hands, stepping as in Foot~up.
B21- 4 Single Clap.
5-8 Same again.
A31 -8 Back-to-back.
B31 -4 Double Clap. (should this be high Clap Ed.)
5- 8 Same again.
And so on, finishing last B music with "Clap High".
The hand-movements accompanying the ordinary Morris step were not stereotyped, but varied considerably, a1though within certain limits. The normal movements seemed to us to be as follows:
Arms held out in front of the body, elbows curved and held well away from the sides very much the same as the initial position in "dip in and dip out" (Eynsham). Counter-twists (i.e. c.cl. in right, cl. in left), in rather large vertical circles or ellipses are then made beginning with a downward and inward thrust, the accent with which this is made falling on the first beat of the bar. As the hands come up and in to complete the circle they are brought close together in front or the body, falling slightly to that position with an accent on the third beat of the bar. Very often the curves described by each hand were shallow ellipses (major-axes horizontal), i.e. the up and down movement was very slight and made mainly with the wrists as in the ordinary counter-twist. In that case the movement becomes a mixture of the "dip in and dip out" and the "counter-twist". The Wave always accompanied the Caper.
A 1 - 8 Once-to-yourself.
Whole-rounds, walking or dancing, concluding with four capers
facing up on last four beats.
A 1 - 8 Foot-up; up (2 bars 4/3), back (2 bars
4/2), up (2 bars 4/3), bao~ (4 capers).
B1 1 - 4 Partners clap.
5 - 8 Same again.
A2 1 - 8 Ha1f-hands, stepping as in Foot-up.
B21 - 16 As in Bl, striking breasts.
A3 1 - 8 Processional-down.
B31 - 16 As in Bl, tweaking noses.
A4 1 - 8 Processional-up.
B41 - 16 As in Bl, only striking tops of heads.
A5 1 - 8 Whole-gip
B51 - 16 As in Bl, except that in second and fourth bars all jump
and raise right and left arms respectively on first beat;
and in bars 5 and 6 jump and raise right and left arms respectively
on middle beats.
This dance must have five evolutions to A Music. If Half-hands and Back-to-back be omitted, those evolutions will be Foot-up, Processional-down, Processional-up, Whole-gip and Hey.
b b / r r/ b b/ 11/b r/ /b 1/b b/1+r l+r
b = dancer c1apping his hands together.
r = partners striking right hands together.
l = " " left " "
l+r)=Partners striking both hands a together, right on left, left on right.
In B2, B3 and B4, the breasts, noses or heads are struck twice in bar 2 and bar 4, once (on second beat) in each of bars 5 and 6 - bars 7 and 8 being executed in the same way throughout the dance. The breasts and heads are struck with the tips of the fingers clustered together The noses may be actually tweaked by thumb and middle finger, as no doubt the Adderbury men did, or, as Mr. Walton did to us, simu1ating the movement without touching the nose.
A 1 - 12 Once-to-yourself. Walk round in circle, c1.,
capering four times on last four beats, all facing up ready for the Foot-up.
A1 1 - 6 Foot-up, up (2 bars 6/3), back (2 bars 6/2), 4 capers in position.
7 - 12 Same again.
B1 1- 2 All side-step down, odds to right, evens to left, as in Old Woman Tossed up,
Ilmigton version (except as to direc-tion), with cl. twists.
3 - 4 All side-step back in reverse direction to places.
5 - 10 Foot-up once.
The rest of the movements as in other dances,
B music being danced through-out in the same way.
As in this dance the Foot-up occurs in B music, Once-to-yourself should be 6 bars only, standing in Col. fomation with 4 capers at end. Then Al would be Whole-rounds not Foot-up.
RORY 0 MORE
The chief points of this dance are (1) that the A movements end with one caper on the second beat of the last bar (with, of course, the Wave); and (2) a pause is always made in the middle of the 6th bar of A music, the hands being brought down to meet in front of the body with great emphasis, and with a greater force than usual. In other respects the dance is a poor one, Mr. Walton evidently forgetting the distinctive movement, as he danced Whole-rounds, Half-hands, Who1e-gip, etc. to B music and Foot-up always to A music.
No handkerchiefs were carried in this dance.
A 1-8 Once-to-yourself. Walking round clock--wise
face up on the last three beats and clapping both hands in front,
then behind, and again, on last note, in front.
This clapping formula on the last three beats of A music
is constant throughout the dance.
Al 1 - 4 Foot-up. Up (2 bars 4/3), down (1 bar 4/2 and clap-formula).
5 - 8 Repeat.
B1 1 - 4 Clapping.
b lt b / b rt b / b un.l b un.r / fr beh fr /
5 - 8 Repeat.
A2 1 - 8 Half-hands as in Foot-up.
B2 1 - 8 C1apping, touching knees instead of toes in first two bars.
A3 1 - 8 Processional-down (footing as in Foot-up).
B3 1 - 8 Clapping, touching breasts in first two bars.
A4 1 - 8 Processional-up (footing as in Foot-Up).
B4 1 - 8 Clapping, touching top of head in first two bars.
A5 1 - 8 Whole -gip.
B4 1 - 8 Clapping, raising arms thus
b r.up / b l.up / in first two bars the remaining bars as in Bl.
All in - Facing up on last clap
N.B. b = clap own hands together.
lt, rt = touch left or right toe.
un.l, un.r = clap under left leg, or under right leg.
r.up, 1.up = raise right or left arm verti-cally up, Jumping at the same time.
This dance cannot consists of more than five figures so it would be advisable to omit Back-to-back and in addition Half-hands, if it is especially desired to conclude with Whole-hey.
Mr. Walton said they used to do certain Jigs, e.g. Jockey to the Fair and Princess Royal. He sang the tunes to these but he could not, because of his age dance them sufficiently for me to note them. He said that you could put in almost any step. and capers you liked, or, as he expressed it, "The more features you put in the better, so long as you didn't step over the tune." One interesting little piece of clapping he did in Princess Royal (marked in the tune-book). The Jigs were done either by one dancer or by two or more. If in the last way, the first couple would dance a figure first, then the second coup1e and finally the third. This gave them plenty of time to recover their breath.
Mr. A.E. Gomme (67) now living at Horton whither he migrated from Wheat1ey 38 years ago used to dance in the Wheatley side of Morris men. The side was given up shortly before he 1eft Wheatley, i.e. 40 years ago.
There never was a Morris at Horton.
He has a good memory, is agile for his years, and remembers the tunes which he sang or whistled to me. (see Tune book 4814 - 4818)
He showed me his be1ls - similar to Headington ones, i.e. on red leather split into four pieces each containg four bells. Small rosettes between bells and large ones at each of the four corners. The sticks were usual size, 23 inches, half red and half blue. They wore white moleskin trousers, white shirts, shoulder, elbow and wrist, red and blue ribbons - nothing particular on head.
The Fool had a stick with cow-tail on one end and bladder on the other. High hat (box), short trousers, not dressed up "flash as we were with clean white shirts."
Always danced a week at Whitsuntide. Once invited up to London but didn't go because
the young men couldn't afford to buy suitable clothes.
A stick dance with a double hey, i.e. whole-hey twice over. The only figures were Hey-up and Double-hey. Hey-up was a stationary Foot-up, all step hop, i.e. 6/2 step (once he did 6/3 step but only once; probably they used to do as at Headington, but his memory was not very clear). Arms well bent at elbow and swung very distinctly up and down, not down and up, so that on the up swing fore-arms were vertical In last two bars three circles and staight up on Jump. During the day he sometimes did a clear balance to these steps and the steps looked more like hop-back steps than 6/2.
Bobbing a Joe.
Foot-up, stationary as above, facing up, but turning to face partners on Jump. Stick tapping thus. Evens turned backs to odds holding stick in one hand behind head (as in Bobby and Joan, only one hand) while on 2nd beat odds tapped, with downward stroke. Repeated evens striking in second bar. Those two bars repeated in 3rd and 4th, 5th and 6th, 7th and 8th bars.
The "stock" figures were apparently Foot-up and Double Hey or single hey - only, a1though he talked of Half-rounds to finish with. He had never heard of Gyps, Cross-over, Back-to back or Hands-across or Half-hands.
Foot-up as before. Then in B music dance facing partners, ordinary 4/2 with usual termination. Second time a spring swing cross-step to make your bells jingle - almost a caper movement. Then Whole-hey, or Foot-up and repeat.
Clap dance without handkerchiefs
Sometimes danced with whole side, but more often danced by one at a time, i.e. as a Jig.
Foot-up as before except that in 1ast bar, clap in front, clap behind, then clap in front 3rd beat.
In B music, 1st bar, clap hands (1st beat), touch outside right ankle with right hand (2nd beat)
2nd bar same but touch left ankle with left hand.
3rd bar 4/2 step. 4th bar clap, before, behind and before, as in Foot-up.
In repeats of B music touch successively, outside knee, outside,hip, sides, shoulders (on .top with tips of fingers, as in "expanding" exercises) cheeks, and finally mouth, blowing kiss.
I think it very likely that Kimber got this dance from Gomme. He knew Gomme and had seen him dance.
Men on to either to 4/2 step or spring r,hl,hl (as in Princess Royal). Note tune variant of Brighton Camp and Appalachian Jig tune.
OH DEAR WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE
This danced as a Jig exactly like Lumps of Plm Pudding inside step and Capers.
Foot-up only 6/2 step.
Hey-up, Side-step, Hey-up, Rounds, Hey-up, Side-step, Hey-up, Rounds.
In Side-step lb, twist with r. hand.
Left hand making a small circle, clockwise horizontally, inside right arm, elbow 1evel.
Broom Stick Dance.
Same as usual.
September 8th 1922
John Jennings (73). Played Piccolo (both ways), all kinds of dance-airs - used to go "Mumeling" at Christmas and remembers all the words. Played for the S. Claydon Morris and once danced with them. Referred me to Inwood (77), better known as Jackey~um, morris dancer, fiddler and son of a fiddler. Had a brother William, now dead, who played and danced still better. He played to me on his fidd1e a very small on, half or quarter size which he said belong to his "father's granfer" a version of Old Mother Oxford which he said was the only tune they played when they danced the Morris probably, he said, because they played it better than any other. Played several tunes to me as he gradually found his fingers which, he complained, were now too stiff to play to as he used to. When be began he apologised,
saying "I can't put it up very high" ("high" meaning "loud"). They used to dance Country dances etc. at Phoenix public-house. He once won a goocse there at a smoking match When he smoked two ounces of tobacco in a churchwarden pipe straight off. "You couldn't tell the time by the clock for smoke".
The Morris was danced by six men in file. First they danced the straight-hey which he called "the double" ending up facing in pairs, 1&2, 3& 4, 5 & 6. Then they clapped - he couldn't explain exactly how but apparently usual manner as in Shep. hey, or None so Pretty. Then "the double" again at the end of which 1& 6 became neutral, the other four standing in two pairs, 2 & 3, 4 & 5 facing one another. Sometimes used sticks instead of clapping. Apparently very like the Morris at Ludlow, White Ladies Aston in Worcestershire - evidently - -very corrupt and more like a reel. It was, too, danced at Christmas time.Inwood.danced the Morris step to us with great agility and spring for a man of 77, thowing out his legs further and therefore higher than usual and keeping them very nearly straight, though quite flexible hip-joints wonderfully loose. He told me Cross was another dancer now living at Brackley (were unable to verify this later).
We then returned to Jennings who told us of several Country Dances, one in which Hands-across and Butterfly arch-movement with handkerchiefs occurred. I took down one or two more tunes from him.
Winslow Bucks. Sept 8th 1922
Mr. Clear, at his printing works, an educated man about 70, said no morris at Winslow, but thought he remembered it at Maids Moreton and Tangenick. Also told us about lace-making at Great Horwood and Aynho. Never heard that they sang any distinctive lace-rhymes. Another old man also told us no Morris at Winslow.
Sept. 9th 1922
John Stokes said no Morris at Dadford but Brackley usod to come through his village on the way to Stow House and his uncle and his father used to dance with the Brackley dancers about 20 years since they came. Brackley men danced to pipe and played by John Stokes.
Mrs. Bagford was sure that there had never been a Morris in Maids Moreton. But the Brackley dancers came through every Whitsun week - last time 20 or more years ago. He said Country Dancing, Double- lead- through and handkerchief dance (hands-across, arches, swing and change).
Mrs. Johnson (nee Makepace). Her father used to play pipe and tabor, for Brack1ey dancers and for Westbury Morris, but seemed doubtful whether Westbur.y had an independent Morris of its own. Her father died 40 years ago then the Brackley men got another pipe and taborist.
No Morris of its own, but Brackley men used to dance at Whitsuntide re-inforced by dancers from Fritton and Middleton Cheney.
Thomas Stuchberry (83) fiddler - also brother (91). Both now alive. He played us several tunes. Had never played for Morris. There was no Morris at Hillesdon.
Barton Hartshorne, Bucks.
George Horwood (80) remembers Morris in Barton and Chetwode-70 years ago. A cousin of his of the same name used to play the pipe "three fingers and drum", but died when George was 20, i.e. 60 years ago. Very simple Morris, apparently, no bells.
Mrs. Thomas Small says her husband's mother used to talk of morris dancing at Chotewode - they had bells and ribbons. She would be 100 years old were she alive and it was onl;v in her youth that the dancing took; place.
Mrs Arias (75) remembers Morris in Stratton - they belonged to village and had
bells that must be 60 years ago at least.
Eli Rolfe (60) said only three of the old Morris man now alive, his brother Alfred, himself and Joseph Pole the piper. Eli said there used to be a morris at Stoke Lyne but apparently some of them danced with the Bucknell men and they had the same dances, so probably not independent. Showed me a photo of Bucknell dancers (Wardle of Abingdon).
Joseph Pole (75) recently broke his hip and has since been unable to work. Suggested he should make tabors. This he agreed to do and I ordered half-a-dozen from him at 30/- a piece.
I examined his pipe. It is of hard wood, possibly ebony - smaller bore than mine.
width of whistle slot width of lip-orifice.
Length 11 ½ inches Brass ring ½ in. deep at lower end.
Pole hangs the drum over his thumb not wrist Sound much shriller than mine.
Strikes dub different rhytmn but chiefly:-
The Parish clerk, an old man between 70 and 80 was certain that there had never been a morris in Launton.
Mr. And Mrs. Ariss said young men used to dance in this village, but work being slack farmers clubbed together and sent several of them America - no one now living who used to dance.
Mrs. Ariss is now 82 and she was 10 or 12 years old when they last danced. Mr. Ariss thinks no Morris since railway bui1t.
Bells on 1egs and fine ribbons on their sleeves and shirts. Bells on arms as well (?) Pipe and drum.
Sept. 11th 1922
Some of the old dancers:-
Shadly Law, John Paxton, Jimmy Watts - tin whistle and drum; Tuckey, foo1 with cow's tai1 and b1adder, Timothy Fau1kner, Tom Makepeace, Henry and Tiwothy Howard, Will Giles, Whitehouse - a11 now dead.
Harry Howard, Timothy Howard (son of old Timothy, no relation of Harry Howard) and Henry Howard.
Timothy Howard (71) tried to show us dances at his house in Manor Road, at the back of the Hotel, but was not very successful, partly because rather stupid, but mainly because so unmusical He couldn't givo me the tunes. I got one or more frow Mrs. Sarah Giles, widow of the dancer Wll Giles who died 40 years ago She also presented me with her husbands regalia, bells, ba1drick and bunches of ribbons, which were hung from the hips.
Sept. 12th 1922
Mrs. Goff an old lady about 70. Her father used to dance. Greatworth was not a Morris place, but supplied dancers - her father amonst them - to tht Sulgrave team. Mrs. Cherry 's father also usod to dance, but, many years since she saw the dance.
Mrs. Jas. Smith (79), wife of old dancer still living - couldn't however give me any information of value. She gave me a tune (Soap, Sugar and pins) and told me about costume (which was as usual), fool, etc. but she could give me practically nothing. I also saw Isaac Taylor, another dancer, but he knew more than Smith. He said that the forman, Whitehead could have told me anything but he died many years ago.
Mr. Franklin (82) remembered the Morris in the village when he was a"nipper". His older brother used to dance but tho side had been given up before he himself grown up. Used to dance over the bacca pipes, and do the broom dance.
Sept- 13th - 1922
George Blanco 84, said there was never a morris at Whitfield. This confirmed by Betsy Groves (90).
(Noted four Brackley dances in the evening - notes in M.S. dance book).
September 14th 1922
Miss Blunt says she has heard they used to dance the morris at Croughton and Wooton (near Woostock).
Sept. 15th 1924.
Fred Webb danced but it was with the Long-borough men. He know Harry Taylor and sang London Pride which he called Storton Wake. No Morris at Bloxham.
Mr.Wells (over 90.) Used to be a morris here but stopped a good 70 years ago. When they stopped he believed Swaclifte took it up. Sticks and Handkercheifs. Shepherds hey., Played flute, no drum.
Mr. Tom George (83) rermembera morris. It stopped 70 year's ago. Bells on legs, sticks and clapping.
Sibford Gowers, Warwickshire
Joseph Alcock (78). Can remember the young men morrising. Stopped 70 or even more years ago (Sang me several good songs.)
Richard Marsh (77). No Morris in Epwell.
Mrs. Stan1ey (72). No morris in this village.
Mrs. Green of (55) remembers her father talking of Todmorton dancers coming to dance in Newington. Quite sure there had never been any in this village.
Sept. 16th 1922
Mrs. Smith (70) says no morris in Hinton but many years ago used to dance at Woodford.
Preston Capes, North,ants.
Mr. French (79) remembers Morris dancing in this village very well. His brother-in-law Stratford, used to dance, also the father of the man at the inn, Phipps. Gibbs used to play the fiddle. The dancing stopped full 50 years ago.
Mrs. Curtain (80) never heard or seen any morris dancing in this village. Heard her husband talk of it at Norton, north of Davontry - 2 miles away.
Mr. Sidgwick. Can remember back as far as 80 years ago, but is sure no morris dancing here in his day - never seen any, anywhere.
Eydon, Northants (pr'onounced Eden).
Mr. James Dancer remembers Morris in Eydon 80 years ago, a real village side. Amos Williams used to play bass-viol - cal1ed it the horse'a leg. Some one used to say to the Fool: "Ah it's going to rain to-day! (Fool): "Ah, but who thought the snow was a coming!"This considered a great joke, Dancer he laughed heartily in te telling of it! Used to dance at Moreton Pinkney.
Mrs. Lansbury's father was named Edden and his father (her grandfather) used to play the fiddle. Could this have been Old Heddon of Fawsley? He died 50 years, ago at the age of 82.
Mr.Tom Cox (89) says Morris dancing used to be regular at Whitsuntide in this village. He. remembers them dancing under the great elm tree in the commons nearly 60 years ago. All Culworth dancers now dead. John Brooks fiddled for the dancing.
(This confirmed by Jabez Smith (70))
Sept. 18th 1922.
Mrs. Tanner (80) remembers Morris in Wardington when she was a little girl. They were not Wardington men,but came, she thinks, from Culworth. Cropredy, Northants (pronounced Cropedy. Mr. Cave (61) says no dancing in this village but as a native of Culworth remembers it there (Culworth must therefore have dancod up to 50 years ago). Mr. Cave was about 12 when they last dancod.
Mr. Smith (75) confirmed - never saw any atall and he was born at Cropredy.
Great Bourton, Northants.
Mrs. Prestige (70) never saw any Morris in this village.
Sept. 20th 1922.
Mr. Edwin Thomas (78) remembers Wheat1ey Morris very well. Only survivers are Gomme at Horton and Jack and Ted Thoms at Chalgrove or Stodhampton. Another one 1iving somewhere about Maidehead. A man of the name of Gomme used to come from Horton to play fife and drum - died many years ago.
William and James Hemmings two dancers still alive, 73 and 87 respectively, the former, William, now blind. Arranged to see them dance tomorrow evening at 5.30.
Kirtlington, Oxon (prounced Kirtleton).
William Pearman (83) son of Robert Pearman, foreman of side and one of four brother who used to dance. He gave us several steps and movements and three tunes.
Trunkles. ( Tune 4926)
Foot up 2 bars 4/3 facing forwa rd, hockle back and Jump back to place -
Kick Corner. 2 bars s.s. (arms up each side), 1 bar hockle, one bar together,
Ju. and kick.
Cross Corners. Ordinary step to meet opposite corner and then 4 capers back to place
(this afterwards appeared to be a real-cross--corner).
He also did Capers - corners thus: one long step forward, feet together, kick - jump, feet rising and falling on toes.
Usual arms bent swing up and down keeping elbow joint at right angle.
They had no galley.
Capered out facing up at finish.
In Half-hands, Nos. 1 and 2 began by themselves in first four bars, met side by side without passing and returned to places. This repeated by all six in second four bars.
Pearman danced extraordinarily well with an excellent morris step.
In thc hockle he turned his ankles in as in the hop-back-step and screwed them, swinging the leg out to the side - no sway of body, or very little.
The regular annual Morris came to an end about 50 years ago. William danced in short revival started a few ycars later and 1asting only two or three times. His father taught him.
Dancing came to an end 60 or 70 years ago. No one now living who danced it, nor are there sons of the old dancers in the village.
Sept. 24th 1922
Mr. Larner remembers morris at Ascott and at Field Town, but there was never a Charlbury Morris. He has lived in Charlbury 65 years and danced at Ascott - he is well over 80 - his wife - nearly 90 - "used to put on the bells"'.
Mr. George Bishop (84) never remembers any morris in Stonesfield - is sure there never was any in his time and he is a native.
Mr. Alfred Ryman, parish clerk, 79, cannot rembers any Morris in Wooton though he remembers his people ta1king about going to Kirtlington Lamb Ale. He hadn't heard of Field Town Morris, but he remembers his father talking about Tackley Morris.
Mrs. Churchil1 (84) remembers Tackley men coming into Wooton to danco, but they did not do so after she was about l2 years old. Quite sure there was a Tackley Morris, at any rate they always called it so. Used to do plenty of country dancing and is quite ready to some now if she had the chance!
Sept. 11 - 12 1922
No 4/3 or 6/3 - all 4/2 and 6/2
Side step as usual.
Back step similar to shuff1e, but in position with legs well apart - always two shuffles, one at beginning, the other at the end of bar.
Two different ways of ending phrase.
(a) f.a. Ju.
(b) b.s.. b.s,, fa., Ju.
A quick caper sometimes used instead of 4/2 or 6/2, in which case music played rather faster.
The slip as in the country dance.
Hands The usual movement is a low cl.twist elbows close to side. The movment entirely with the wrist, very little no upper-arm movement. Circles a vertical plane paraallel to front of body. One arm twists in side-step.
The Twirl. The sticks are twirled in stick dance whenever the sticks are not used in striking, except when actually negotiating the figure movements in Back to Back and Side by Side. Two accents in each bar in the twirling.
Foot up and down. In position, turn after the ju.
Foot down and up. " " " " " "
Side by Side As in shooting and in Badby dances sometimes (possibly normally) all facing same way, odds and evens a1ternate1y making the ha1f turn.
Back-to-Back. Usua1 figure but executed each movement in two bars (s.s.) and dancing in place two bars.
Hey Down. Executed by two fi1es simultaneously as fo11ows: No. 1 s1ips down to bottom p1ace, passing infront of 3 and behind 5, Nos. 3 and 5 s1ipping up each one place.
5 giving 1
No.1 slips up to top place passing behind 3 and before 5, Nos. 3 and 5 slipping down each one place.
These movements are always done in 2 bars i.e. 4 steps,dancers facing front.
Show-out. This the same as Cross-over , but as in Shooting, the dancers, going out further.
Once-to- yourself. F.a. and ju. In last bar in handkerchief dances. Twirl throughout , partners striking sticks on last beat of last bar.
JOCKEY TO THE FAIR
A = 8 bars
B = 8 bars
yourself Fa. and Ju. in last bar.
A1 Foot-up with ra. & Ju. - turning after Ju. 6/2 step.
A2 Foot - down with b.s. in penultimate bar, fa. & Ju. in 1ast bar, facing partners.
B1 Corners. Nos. 1 & 6 change p1aces 4 bars s.s. (changing each bar) and turning at at end of 4th bar, 2 bars 6/2 approaching each other with b.s., f.a. and Ju. in last two bars.
B2 Nos. 2 & 5 the same.
B3. Nos. 3 & 4 the same.
Al & A2 Foot-down and up.
Bl, 2 &3 Corners to places.
Al & 2 Foot-up and down.
A3 Side-by-Side, all facing left wall, (odds making half-turn) reaching centre line in 2 bars - with f.a. & Ju. In returning to places move forward and turn on 1ast bar.
A1 & 2 Foot-down and up.
A3 Side-by-Side, all facing right wall, Odds below evens, the latter making the half-turn.
B1,2&3 Corners to p1aces.
A1&2 Foot-up and down.
A3. Back-to-back, passing right shoulders and dancing 3 bars in position with (b.s.) f.a. and Ju.
A1&2 Foot-down and up.
A3 Back-to-back passing left in two bars s.s. as before (b.s., fa. & Ju).
B1,2&3 Corners to places.
Al Hey-down in 2 bars then dance in position.
A2 Hey-up to places in 2 bars then dance in position.
A3 Dance in position 4 bars, then forward to close ring position in centre and
All-in with 2 capers.
* Howard was evidently doubtful about the way in which the figures from this point to the end were danced - especially when we pointed out that you could' nt end on A music (which modulates to the dominant) nor with dancers in wrong positions. He then said they some times ended as follows:-
B1 Hey-up & dance in position.
B2. Hey-down " " "
B3 Hey-up, partners Change p1aces, and then All-in in ring with 2 capers.
MAID OF THE MILL
(4 bars) As in Jockey.
1 - 4 Foot-up.
5 - 8 Foot down.
B1,2 &3 Corner. In f'irst four bars opposites approaching, twirl fists (as in Sweet Kate) as though about to but keeping elbows to sides.
In bars 5 - 6 takeright hands at full stretch and turn away ½ way round to face one another. In bars 7 - 8 fall back to opposite places.
Al Foot down and up.
B1,2&3 Corners to places
Al Foot up and down.
A2 Side by, side at top as in Jocky
Al Foot down and up.
A2 Side by side at bottom.
BI,2&3 Corners to places.
Al Foot-up and down
A2 Back-to-back at top as in Jocky.
Al Foot-down and up.
B2 Back-to-back at bottom as in Jocky
B1,2&3 Corners. to p1aces.
Al 1- 4 Hey-down, in 2 bars and dance in position.
5 -8 Hey up " " " " " "
A2 1-8 Dance in position and All-in in ring ending with 2 capers.
* or thus
B1 Hey up and dance in position.
B2 Hey down " " "
B3 Hey up, change places with partners and All-in.
N.B. The Back-to-back and sido-by-side can be done in one dual movement, each in 8 bars, in the usual way and thus shorten the dance.
In all corner movements dancers may substitute the quick-capers step for s.s. and 4/2 at will. Howard said they usually did so when they had a large audience, and felt like it.
OLD WOMAN TOSSED UP
(Linked handkerchief dance as in Maid of the Mill, Ilmington)
Al Foot-up and down.
B1 1- 4 Hey-down and hey up (slipping sideways).
5-8 Dance in positiom facing front.
A2 Show- out.
B2 As in Bl.
A3 Side by side (nomally, without turning each movement in 4 bars).
B3 As in B1.
A4 As in Bl.
B5 Dance in position and gradually close in for Ring and Alll-in.
Sometimes to legthen dance they double the Side-by-side and Back-to-back (as in Jockoy) doing half movements each 8 bars and interpolating B movement, as above.
CAPTAIN WITH HIS WHISKERS
-yourself Twirl and stike on last beat.
Al Foot-up, twirling and striking sticks (partners) on last beat.
Bl Partners dancing in position strikes from r. to l. on 1st beat of each bar, hands chin level moving sticks rhymically between each stroke.
A2 Foot-down, twirling and striking on last beat.
B2. As in Bl.
A3 Side by side all facing left wall.
A4 Hey down and dance in position.
B4 As in Bl.
A5 Side by side all facing rig~ht wall.
B5 As in B1.
B6 As in Bl
A7 Back-to-back passing right and dancing in position.
B7 As in Bl.
A8 Hey -down
B8 As in Bl.
A9 Back-to-Back passing left.
B9 As in B1.
A 10 Hey-up.
B10 As in Bl.
A4 Dance to middle and All-in partners striking sticks on last Caper.
A simple way of shortening the dance is to make Side by side and Back to back one rnovement each in the usual way or to do first Side by side (facing left wall) and first Back to back (passing right) only.
In those last two movoments dancera only twirl when they have danced figure and are dancing in position.
Only one solo Jig in this tradition Shepherds Hey, apparently very similar to the Headington variant.
Balancy Straw and Bobby and Joan were also stick dances with double-clap. Howard said they held sticks in both hands and tapped as in Badby Shepherd' s Hey.
Mr. Char1es A Bunyan (50) of 179 Cow1ey Road, Oxford, fidd1ed to me the air of Royal Royal on March 13th 1912. He said he learned this from his grandfather who used to play for the Morris at Brill.
He also told me there was a morris at Dorton, Wotton and Borsta11.
Words of I'll go and en1ist for a sailor, from a Norwich carpente now a resident of Letchworth Garden City: -
O why did Susie treat me so?
No more I'll stitch no more I'll sew
My needle and thimble to the winds I'11 throw
And I'll go and enlist for a sai1or.
Miss Jessie R. Jones is schoolmistress of Ibury (G1os.). He father with whom she still 1ives at Charlbury has his father's
(i.e. her grandfather's) diary. I asked her to let me have any references her grandfather mat have made to rnorris dancing in his diary. The followitng is the only entry she cou1d find toin it:-
I have often seen on May 29th here, and very pretty they looked. Twelve young men of Finstock and Leafield in knee-breeches and white stockings; and six little rows of goggle be1ls, tacked on red braid, from knee to ankle, adorned each 1eg; a white wand and a large si1k handkerchief formed the equipment or the dancers. The musicians with tabor and pipe (of three finger-holes) led the dance, whi1e the sany with a bladder attached to a hand staff, and a money box kept a ring for the dancers, and collected fool's pence. The reel, the change of places, the clattering of wands, the an archway of handkerchief's (Maid of the Mill?)' all to music, gave the greatest pleasure.
Miss Jones adds: -
"My mother says she herself knew of only one man who was a morris dancer and he used to join the Finstock or Leafield Troupe. Of course he has been dead some ,years and f'rom the entry it would seem that. Charlbury simply had. occasional visits from the neighbouring vi1lages, on May 29th and for the Forest Fair. In 1815 the British Schoo1 was built and governed by Quakers, who banished any accomplishment of any kind from the 1ives of the children and hence even the memory of morris dancing seems to have died out here in Char1bury."
Sept 11th 1923
John Leach (66) remebers Morris at Rissington - bells, ribbons, handkerchiefs - about 60 years ago and remembers them when he was a big boy. Some of the names of the dancers remembers, e.g. David Cyphas, and Bayliss who was the fool. Morris men used to dance at Burford Fair about this time of year. Think usual music was violin - " one of the men used to play it himself - remembers the fool's bladder. Also recollects the May Bush and sweeps at May time.
Job James (80) remembers Morris but not very clearly. Remembers Bayliss and the
"bather" - "he wasn' t really a bad man, he used his blather for foolishness"!
September 10th & 11th 1923
Joseph Bond (81) used to dance the Morris. Both Idbury and Fifield had a morris side, but they danced exactly the same dances as the Bledington men and to the same fiddler, Benfield. He remembers the fol1owing dances;-
Old Trunko, Maid of the Mill, Old Woman Tossed up, Constant Billy, Jockey to the
Fair and Leap Frog. A Mr Thoms used to lead the Ibury Morris - he emigrated to New Zealand. Benjamin Paxm am was the name of another dancer. Speaking of the latter's dancing he said he wanted to do it lazy, he didn't want to put too much work into it.
William Search of "Big Rissington" was a great dancer; it was said that he used to caper on to a chair and over the back of it and bring in his steps as nice as could be. Told me two stories about the Fool - how he pinched a piece of cake off a stall at the Fair and was just about to eat it when another man from behind grabbed and eat it. Also how the fool had to share his bed with 2 other men at Bourton on the Hill. Finding this uncomfortable he got up, looked out of the window, remarking, "Why the water runs down hill." His companions at once got out of bed to see this unusual sight while the fool jumped back and got a more comfortab1e p1ace.
September 14th 1923
Mrs. Cummins (85) midwife and dancer! Used to dance reels and country dances very constantly at Marston but nowadays dancing more or less discontinued. Mentioned several Country Danoe figures and used the term "pigarette" for swing and change p1aces.
Sept. 13th 1923
Horton-cum-Studley (2nd visit) See also pp 80-85
4/2 step throughout with up and down (not down and up) arm movements. A music movenents -
Foot-up (or Toe-up as he called it) to start with and then, sing1e or double heys as' deter-mined by leader. B music - Shake up, hands circles, 4/2 step for 6 bars 4 swing steps, touching the ground with the toe of the free foot.
Bobbing a Joe.
A music as in Trunkles as above.
B music - Sticks as in first 4 bars of Bobby and Joan executed 4 times.
4/2 step. Up and down hand-movements, single file until reaching ground, then whole rounds clock ( 8 bars) and counterclock (8 bars) ending closing in on centre with caper.
Xenophon. Anab. Vi. 1
"First the Thractians stood up and danced with. their weapons to the pipe. They kept leaping high and lightly and used their swords. And at the end one strikes at the other so that it lookod to every one as if the man had been hit, and he fell down artfully (viz. with a simulation of life, like an actor). And the Paphlagonians lifted up a cry. And the one stripped the other of his arms and went off chanting "Sitalkas" (the name of a hero like Lochiel, say) - and others of the Thracians
were carrying of the other (thus stripped) as dead but be had received no hurt at all."
Sent me by Spencer Farquharson,