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the Independent on morris dancing

Dead Horse 30 May 08 - 08:02 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 08 - 05:25 PM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 05:19 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 08 - 03:09 PM
Phil Edwards 30 May 08 - 03:06 PM
Def Shepard 30 May 08 - 02:43 PM
The Sandman 30 May 08 - 02:36 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 08 - 02:30 PM
glueman 30 May 08 - 02:26 PM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 02:25 PM
Def Shepard 30 May 08 - 02:11 PM
glueman 30 May 08 - 02:10 PM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 02:00 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 08 - 01:47 PM
glueman 30 May 08 - 01:35 PM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 01:20 PM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 01:18 PM
Folkiedave 30 May 08 - 01:11 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 08 - 01:05 PM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 12:53 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 08 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Joe 30 May 08 - 11:38 AM
Folkiedave 30 May 08 - 11:37 AM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 11:36 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 08 - 11:29 AM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Joe 30 May 08 - 11:07 AM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Joe 30 May 08 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 30 May 08 - 10:52 AM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 07:55 AM
glueman 30 May 08 - 06:29 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 May 08 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Joe 30 May 08 - 06:16 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 May 08 - 02:20 PM
dilligafxx 29 May 08 - 12:47 PM
Les in Chorlton 29 May 08 - 12:43 PM
Ruth Archer 29 May 08 - 12:42 PM
Les in Chorlton 29 May 08 - 12:29 PM
dilligafxx 29 May 08 - 12:14 PM
theleveller 29 May 08 - 12:10 PM
Ruth Archer 29 May 08 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Joe 29 May 08 - 11:57 AM
Ruth Archer 29 May 08 - 11:51 AM
theleveller 29 May 08 - 11:25 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 May 08 - 09:51 AM
Ruth Archer 29 May 08 - 09:51 AM
Phil Edwards 29 May 08 - 09:36 AM
Ruth Archer 29 May 08 - 09:34 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 May 08 - 09:12 AM
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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Dead Horse
Date: 30 May 08 - 08:02 PM

Back, way back in history (English history-is there any other?) a group of Cotswold dancers formed a break away side that kept many of the ring laws and ideas, but because of the scarcity of bells and the expense of baldricks, ribbon etc. modified their kit.
They still wore mainly white, and tennis shoes of course.
They had long passed their best dancing years and so they also modified the dance until it was mostly just running about, with long spells of mere standing around looking good for lengthy periods.
That too was an all male preserve, with women there for the sole purpose of making the tea.
Hankies were discarded. Sweaters introduced. Some sticks were retained for traditional reasons, but spent most of the time stuck in the ground and used as a target for other sides to throw things at.
A stick defender was introduced, who would attempt to wave off aimed missiles by the use of a larger stick.
This tradition is still with us today, and is called "cricket".
Obviously of pagan origin, and maybe associated with rain making ceremonies.
Also connected to Jack-in-the-Green, as the dance area is often referred to as "The Green".
When dancers become too old for this form of pagan worship, they are encouraged to take up "bowls" which too includes a "green" and interestingly, a "Jack".


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 08 - 05:25 PM

Ruth,

me an Phil will guard your bum as and when

Les


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 05:19 PM

Les, I'd never heard of it before I moved here, and it's not even that well known here. But I'm not sure they actively discourage knowledge of the event. I SO need to see it for myself.


Phil - I work in folk. I wouldn't want to offend anyone with my own, highly personal, opinions. I've done that in the past, naively thinking I could separate the professional and the personal, and it's seriously come back to bite me on the bum.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 08 - 03:09 PM

The Revenge of the Ring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's all Phil


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 30 May 08 - 03:06 PM

I just wanted to encourage Ruth to feel free with the controversial opinions. What's the worst that can happen?


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Def Shepard
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:43 PM

The Oasby Morris Baboon Dancers bagman


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:36 PM

Where is Chongo Chimp?


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:30 PM

Ruth,

is this kept a secret? It seems just priceless. I think I need to make one up tonight!


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: glueman
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:26 PM

Where's Dr Who when you need him?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SQ_BurryMan.jpg


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:25 PM

It's only down the road from me - I'm going this year. i'll report back.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Def Shepard
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:11 PM

Ruth, I just found a BBC piece on Baboon Night, and this..The Oasby Morris Baboon Dancers, wonderful! I now have this vision of hanky waving baboons :-D


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: glueman
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:10 PM

The chance to make punishing your monkey jokes is almost irresistable. Does it really matter if these do's are from the menu of contemporary oldness if people enjoy them? Perhaps it's the green man being reborn and using the credit card as his grail. Or something.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:00 PM

My favourite is Baboon Night, which takes place at the Houblon Arms in Oasby, Lincs. It commemorates an 18th century event in which the heir to the local manor, a small baby, was kidnapped by a pet monkey and dropped off the roof of the house. Every year, the monkey is ritually punished. There's a twilight procession (involving a man dressed as the monkey), and the effigy of a monkey is thrown over the roof of the pub, at which point the crowd is allowed inside.

Apparently this tradition is about 15 years old.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 08 - 01:47 PM

If this attitude of de-bunking goes on that business of a virgin birth of god's only son will be in trouble by Monday.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: glueman
Date: 30 May 08 - 01:35 PM

"the Baal Fire ceremony at Allendale"

Or Scroggling the Holly at Haworth, featuring all manner of green men and women, horses, carriages, Father Christmas, Morris and antique ceremonies to let in the season.
Actually invented about a decade ago by traders to boost the Christmas takings.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 01:20 PM

*or even controversial


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 01:18 PM

*has contoversial opinions on this matter which are probably best kept to herself*


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 08 - 01:11 PM

Sheffield City Morris - never a ring side. All them blokes together with the women making tea at ring meetings? Unhealthy I call it.

Besides - the womens sides we danced with were a lot better. And better looking. I could go on...............


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 08 - 01:05 PM

I've always thought their might be more Lord of the Rings stuff around Folk Clubs since the massive recent success of the films.

Les
Founder Bag End Folk Club 1972


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 12:53 PM

"I think he's on a trip to mordor to cast his ring into the fires of mount doom .... "

There definitely should have been morris dancing in The Shire. What was it again? One ring to rule them all...?


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 08 - 12:36 PM

Excln Joe


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 30 May 08 - 11:38 AM

What about a friend of mine who left a ring side for a non ring side? Is he safe? I think he's on a trip to mordor to cast his ring into the fires of mount doom ....


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 08 - 11:37 AM

Now there's a thought...I'll ask my partner this evening if he's noticed anything odd....

Does he normally?

My own favourite is always the Baal Fire ceremony at Allendale which takes place at New Year and has always done so since pagan times and signifies the relationship and change between the light and dark parts of the year.

Actually invented locally in 1858 when tar barrels were used instead of tallow candles on the way to a watchnight service. Baal could be a mishearing of the local pronounciation of "barrel".


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 11:36 AM

*goes into hiding*


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 08 - 11:29 AM

Ruth,

take care, they know who are, they know where you live and they don't take prisoners.

Best of luck

Les


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 11:19 AM

It was more a case of all the men inside their ring that was making me giggle...


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 30 May 08 - 11:07 AM

No well they dont let women in anyway....


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 11:03 AM

"What is this ring? Must be big to fit in all those dancers...."

see, AGAIN I see a rude joke that wants to formulate itself, but I'm stepping away...


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 30 May 08 - 11:03 AM

Last monday, whilst dancing it indeed felt like the sky was, as you say, falling on our heads. Funnily enough, as we stopped for lunch, so did the rain. I didnt see any obelisk salesmen though


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 30 May 08 - 10:52 AM

The fear of the sky falling on their heads is further proof of the ancient, pre-Christian, pagan fertility rites connection, or have none of you ever read Asterix???????


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 07:55 AM

"Ms Archer, are you by any chance me in a frock?"

Now there's a thought...I'll ask my partner this evening if he's noticed anything odd...


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: glueman
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:29 AM

Ruth has it bang to rights, again. Ms Archer, are you by any chance me in a frock? Foliate heads and Morris dancing are both marvels but cyber punk Morris? Sounds like a 30 second Fast Show sketch someone took the wrong way.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:28 AM

Please no Chicken Licken or is it Licken Chicken here.

Now this Ring, I believe it is of limited size or perhaps limited vision and it's definitely not open to all dancers.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:16 AM

'Perhaps they will end up praying to the Laws of Gravity.' - Dont you all? Otherwise the sky will fall on our heads. Or not as the case may be. Has there ever been zero gravity morris dancing? Imagine the air on those capers. But where would you put your pint?

What is this ring? Must be big to fit in all those dancers....

Sorry its friday!


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 May 08 - 02:20 PM

It seems clear that what turned into Morris escaped from the Courts of the Aristocracy around the 15 Century (See Ronald Hutton, The Stations of the Sun, p 264 - 265).

It got loose and people have kept it going on and off ever since. I think that is a great story and owes much to the men and women of the Morris and nothing at all to pagan or pre-Christian origins.

If some dancers want to connect with Earth Mother Gods, the Power of Nature, The Cosmos and so on, most people call that religion, and once again it's none of my business. Perhaps they will end up praying to the Laws of Gravity.

Everything was made up I suppose, but I think some kind of consensus exists, ( how silly is that?) that folk songs and folk dances have been passed though communities and changed significantly. I think some part of the consensus also thinks we have a living tradition into which I guess Goth Morris falls. Welcome, who could say otherwise.

But so much rubbish has been shared about the origins of old songs and dances that many of us are sceptical about people who even mention pagan and pre-Christian anything.

Wassail
Les


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: dilligafxx
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:47 PM

There is one border side that dances in the Ring I believe they have 3 dances written down in Bacon the ring bible but please don,t quote me, I don,t make up histories but perhaps we are starting our own because at some point in the long distant past the origional dances must have been made up, what I,m more interested in is keeping dance and folk alive even if that involves change xx


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:43 PM

I feel owe Jack an apology, the article is much more balanced than I first thought. The trick is to read it all before writing rubbish,

Cheers

Les

PS still keeping an eye on pagans and dodgy history though.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:42 PM

Hi Joe,

When you get home, here's the link for the Bampton Facebook pictures:

Fans of Bampton Morris facebook group


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:29 PM

dilligafxx
I am sure you will do what yo want and that's as it should be but why make up histories?


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: dilligafxx
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:14 PM

I,m with Dead Horse on this one, I dance North West a very traditional version of Morris but I also dance border in tatters,large sticks, loud whopping,wearing dog collars and goth looking. and was married to a Coltswold dancer of the Ring sort (men only) I enjoy it all which is why any of us do it to enjoy ourselves.Does it matter? all the sides sing and keep folk alive in pubs and at festivals to people who sometimes listen and sometimes not but if one person in a hundred takes it to heart and joins a side, any side it will help keep a old and valued English tradition alive.What's the point in being a purist if in the end the whole thing dies out?


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: theleveller
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:10 PM

Point taken, Ruth. Perhaps the enduring appeal of the green man over so many centuries is his very inscrutability.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:00 PM

Probably, but I can't remember the conversation off the top of my head...perhaps that's not much of a surprise, considering what the morris party is like! :)


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 29 May 08 - 11:57 AM

Ah I know who you are now, we had a conversation at the last morris party about festivals? suddenly everything becomes clear ....


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 May 08 - 11:51 AM

Sorry, leveller - I found Mike Harding's research a bit dodgy - at least as represented in his little book of the green man. He is guilty of conflating not only the Green Man, Jack and the Green, but also John Barleycorn. He presents an extensive bibliography, but no footnotes to justify statements such as

"The Green Man has other manifestations like the Jack in the Green, the character who dances ahead of the May Queen in many May Day processions such as those at Hastings and Knutsford. A lord of misrule figure, he may be also linked to Robin Hood, Robin Goodfellow and Puck."

What are his sources for this assertion? Roy Judge's research would suggest the opposite is true. Kathleen Basford has, IMHO, a fair bit to answer for...but his work is not presented in sufficiently scholarly a manner for you to be able to tell what is his own conjecture, what is evidence drawn from other sources (and precisely what those sources are), and where gigantic leaps and assumptions may be represented as statements of fact.


But perhaps this is a discussion for another thread...

:)


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: theleveller
Date: 29 May 08 - 11:25 AM

Ruth, I agree that folklore and legend are almost always conjecture. The composition of the green man would suggest some form of naure or fertility spirit or talisman. The wide spread over time and location worldwide probably means that all or any of the given interpretations could be correct, as Mike Harding's extensive research implies. 'Medieval nature spirit' seems as good a synopsis as any (though I might quibble about the 'medieval').


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:51 AM

Oh Good Ale though art my joy ........................


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:51 AM

Personally, I don't know what the green man represents. My point is, neither does anyone else. It's all conjecture. It's been conflated over the years with the Jack in the Green (Roy Judge's excellent book explains the origins of that particular custom, which are neither mystical nor even rural) and morphed into some sort of pagan deity. I think the various green men are beautiful, and I always like finding one, but before I believe or espouse a theory I like to have some evidence.

"What appears to be a common misconception to some, is irrefutable fact to others.
It has always been so, and always will.
Why worry?"

Well, for the reasons mentioned above, evidence is important to me. And any irrefutable fact requires evidence. I much prefer someone to tell me "We don't know what this means or why this community started doing it. We do it because it's our custom, and because we like to do it" rather than tacking on some faked-up folkloric significance.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:36 AM

Probably not, regretfully - I'm planning a trip to Stockport tomorrow, & I don't think my middle-aged constitution can take three substantial sessions inside a week. I could of course go tonight and not drink, but it would be difficult.


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:34 AM

"I dance and play for the Shergold side - I'm the older of the two younger musicians! I'll have a look tonight - the NHS are very anti - Facebook!"

I know you! You're one of the doctor's sons, aren't you? I've stayed next door to you for the past two years, and I've been to the morris party as well...

Got a lovely photo of you mid-air this year!


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Subject: RE: the Independent on morris dancing
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:12 AM

No, Phil give the poor lad a erst I think he has been round this a bit and I guess you know that!

Chorlton tonight?

Les


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