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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Derek Schofield Tune Add: Rochdale Coconut Dance (was:Bacup) (52* d) RE: Tune Add: Rochdale Coconut Dance (was:Bacup) 17 Feb 10

A few points of clarification.

The nutters are accompanied by the concertina players on Easter Saturday when the dancers split into 2 groups and tour the pubs to do the nut dance. Some of those performances are in the market or at an old people's home, and may therefore be outside. The tina players accompany one of the groups, the band the other. This is a relatively recent feature - the band used to split into 2 groups. The tina players perform at other engagements during the year as well.

The two tunes used by the Britannia Coconut Dancers for the nut dance are Tip Toe Polka and Shooting Star. The latter is only played by the concertina players. Tip Toe Polka is sometimes inaccurately called by others the Tip Top Polka or Tip Tap Polka. Clow (or Clough) Bang (not Bank) is an alternative name for the Tip Toe Polka.
Thow'd Clash (or is it Crash or Cash?) is - according to the nutters' website - an alternative name for the nut dance. The website calls it Thow'd Cash, but this must be a mistype I think. I know about this name, but don't have any reference to verify its use close at hand!

Incidentally, the Nutters are fiercely possessive about their dances and, perhaps until recently, about the tunes. When Maud Karpeles noted the dances, an agreement was drawn up with the EFDSS with the latter agreeing never to teach the dances. The dancers then and since have insisted that the dances and tunes are copyrighted to them. On one occasion, the tina players kept switching between tunes to stop an audience member from accurately notating the tune. As one old Coconutter said to his team mates, "keep the dance going. If you do not, the people in the South will take hold of it."

See The Tunstead Mill Nutters of Rossendale, Lancashire in Folk Music Journal 1986 and
'In a Word we are Unique': Ownership and Control in an English dance custom in Step Change: New Views on traditional dance, ed Georgina Boyes, 2001.
Both articles by Theresa Buckland.


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