The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20699   Message #217615
Posted By: Jacob B
25-Apr-00 - 10:41 AM
Thread Name: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Please remember that there is a huge difference between Morris DancING and Morris DancES. The Cotswold Morris dances, as collected by Cecil Sharp and others, show every indication of being closely related to Renaissance court dances. The tradition of performance and/or communal dancing to celebrate the springtime and/or other times of the year, referred to as "Morris", is much older. The earliest written use of the term may be from 1450, but that use was a reference in the account book of a manor house, saying that on a specific date a specific amount was paid to the Morris dancers. Since this was in a part of the country that was almost completely non-literate, with an almost total lack of prior written records, it is just as speculative to say that Morris couldn't have existed more than 50 years before 1450 as it would be to say that it existed 5000 years before that date. We just don't know. The collected dances may only be a few hundred years old, but we can't tell how old the tradition was when they became part of it.

I've known many Morris dancers who quite seriously called themselves Born Again Pagans. They seem to mean by this that they reject monotheism and instead embrace pantheism, finding godliness in all things.

By the way, many of you are probably familiar with a book by Chappell about English traditional music. I haven't seen it in many years, so I've forgotten its exact title. It has lyrics for Nonesuch in it which are different from those posted in the thread which is linked to above.

My understanding of Rick's original question was that he wanted to know what kind of music modern pagans would use. Here's a round that a friend taught me, which she learned when she was involved with a pagan group. It's a five part round, in 5/4 time. The last line has two beats of silence at the end of it.
Under the pale moon
light we dance, spirits
dance we dance, holding
hands we dance, holding
souls rejoice