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Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?

Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 May 09 - 01:56 PM
Acorn4 04 May 09 - 09:54 AM
Leadfingers 04 May 09 - 04:07 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 May 09 - 03:23 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 03 May 09 - 06:02 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 May 09 - 03:09 PM
Ian Fyvie 03 May 09 - 02:57 PM
Acorn4 22 Apr 09 - 10:47 AM
Acorn4 22 Apr 09 - 07:18 AM
Bloke from Poole 15 Apr 09 - 07:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Apr 09 - 10:32 AM
Acorn4 14 Apr 09 - 09:52 AM
Penny S. 14 Apr 09 - 04:18 AM
Acorn4 13 Apr 09 - 10:02 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 13 Apr 09 - 07:55 AM
Acorn4 12 Apr 09 - 07:34 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Apr 09 - 06:34 PM
VirginiaTam 12 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM
Acorn4 12 Apr 09 - 10:01 AM
Penny S. 12 Apr 09 - 07:31 AM
Penny S. 09 Apr 09 - 05:57 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 08 Apr 09 - 07:55 AM
Acorn4 07 Apr 09 - 07:52 AM
Penny S. 07 Apr 09 - 07:18 AM
Acorn4 07 Apr 09 - 06:42 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 07 Apr 09 - 06:32 AM
Vin2 06 Apr 09 - 09:05 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 06 Apr 09 - 07:49 AM
Ian Fyvie 05 Apr 09 - 09:28 PM
Penny S. 05 Apr 09 - 02:07 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 05 Apr 09 - 09:25 AM
Spleen Cringe 05 Apr 09 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 05 Apr 09 - 05:03 AM
katlaughing 05 Apr 09 - 12:21 AM
Jane of 'ull 04 Apr 09 - 08:49 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 04 Apr 09 - 06:11 AM
Steve Gardham 03 Apr 09 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Lucy 03 Apr 09 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,glueman 03 Apr 09 - 08:52 AM
Bryn Pugh 03 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 03 Apr 09 - 07:53 AM
GUEST, topsie 03 Apr 09 - 06:44 AM
Tradsinger 03 Apr 09 - 05:43 AM
Acorn4 03 Apr 09 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Dáithí 03 Apr 09 - 04:42 AM
Andrez 02 Apr 09 - 11:16 PM
Old Vermin 02 Apr 09 - 05:10 PM
Andrez 02 Apr 09 - 05:09 PM
Art Thieme 02 Apr 09 - 05:02 PM
English Jon 02 Apr 09 - 04:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 May 09 - 01:56 PM

BBC lunctime News today ran a bit on Sweeps, and gave Morris quite a serious comment and a rather positive approving slant.

Perhaps the cycle is heading toward a resurgence of popularity.

Don T


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Acorn4
Date: 04 May 09 - 09:54 AM

Been Upton Festival this weekend, and the length of the procession was very strong evidence that Morris is alive and well.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 May 09 - 04:07 AM

100


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 May 09 - 03:23 AM

Don, don't understate your case.

And by the by as daft as Morris can be I don't think it is or ever has been a joke but it can be taken too seriously

L in C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 May 09 - 06:02 PM

""I seem to remember quite early on in the Blair era mumblings from politicians close to him about getting rid of pubs, replacing them with a 'more controlable' cafe culture.""

Unfortunately everything New Labour have done in relation to alcohol abuse has tended toward suppression of the traditional local, the landlord of which cannot generally purchase his stock at the price at which supermarkets SELL it, and, far from a controllable cafe society, we now have a night club binge drinking society policed mainly by mercenary hard men whose job is to toss them out when they're full, or broke, and dump them in the laps of a hard working police force.

New labour introduced unlimited drinking hours, allowing nightclubs to bloom like mushrooms, and now that the streets are full of aggressive drunks in the early hours every weekend, the stupid bastards blame local publicans, and cheap supermarket booze, and try to legislate or tax them out of business.

Any publican who regularly turns out disorderly drunks onto the street, is liable to have his licence objected to, and be closed down by the authorities.

NOT SO the nightclubs, all of which top up their customers to the max, then toss 'em out in the street to be dealt with at the taxpayers' expense.

I am beginning to think that Al Qaeda is actually based in the cabinet room at number 10 Downing Street.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 May 09 - 03:09 PM

New Labour is guilty of much, I should know I am a member of the Party, but the closure of pubs and the amalgamation of breweries started a long time ago. That was why CAMRA was invented in the 60's?

It has been a natural progression of trans-national capitalism to try to make all the beer in a few places and only sell it from places that made lots of pubs.

It says something for the progress of technology that Micro Breweries are returning to the practice of making small amounts of quality beer.

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 03 May 09 - 02:57 PM

Don - Europe or our Politicians?

Had a long break from Mudcat to catch up on other things so apols for delay in replying.

Basically - good point about our own (British) politicians undermining English culture and tradition.

I'm reminded of the Death of the British Pub stories and how, despite pleas from defenders of trad culture along side customers and owners of course; New Labour is inflicting more and more pressure to threaten pubs.

Sinister? I think so - a good example of "Let it Happen" doctrine so they can destroy the pub idea without getting the blame.

Why? Thinking back, I seem to remember quite early on in the Blair era mumblings from politicians close to him about getting rid of pubs, replacing them with a 'more controlable' cafe culture.

Perhaps we're seeing this project in advance stages of fruition. So perhaps also, with European elections coming very soon, Brewers, Publicans, Customers CAMRA and all other pub supporters should ask ALL the British Poitical Parties standing to declare allegence to The British Pub.

I can imagine the dribble that New Labour might produce to avoid that 100% support that I imagine every other party, across the spectrum, would give wholeheartedly.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 10:47 AM

...or, perhaps even introduce it as a kind of reintroduction of national service to channel the aggressions of yoof into bashing sticks and so on...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 07:18 AM

Problems with anon posting again!

If there is a recruitment problem for Morris Dancing in general, perhaps we could revive the old English tradition of impressment.

This could be done by either just shoving a stick in someone's hand accompanied by generally threatening demeanor, or by some kind of devious device such as the old "King's Shilling", whereby an unsuspecting victim is treated to a pint at the bottom of which is a pound coin, the acceptance of which implies that you have enrolled in the Morris side.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 07:24 AM

"The girls 'shaker Morris' style" tends to be a more Northern activity, although I don't know its spread, and as DeG says seems to be mainly young women and girls, and highly competitive from what I've heard.

It's official name, AFAIK, is Carnival Morris. It seems to keep a low profile outside of its home areas.

It is similar in style to US Majorette activities, and hence is often called "Fluffy" Morris - although usually, I suspect, from a safe distance.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 10:32 AM

Just a thought. Morris dance now seems to be quartered into three seperate halves, to quote someone who's maths are as good as mine...

There is and always has been Cotswold, Border, North West Processional, North West Clog, Longsword, Rapper, Molly etc. It is generalt Cotswold that people see and relate to btw - The whites and hankies. There is yet another form that has coined the phrase 'Morris'; The girls 'shaker Morris' style. Very competitive and the almost exclusive domain of pre-pubescent girls. I wonder at times if people not in the know get the two confused in their minds and imagine bearded, be-beerbellied man in shiny skirts waving paper shakers? Enough to put you off your pint of old scroggins's nadger nurdler!

Just another thing - I play for Abram Morris every June. We sometimes get the mikey taken by local youths trying to impress others but more often than not we get some wanting to join in:-) I realy enjoy the 'craic' with the youths and they seem genuinely interested as long as they are not seen by their peers!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 09:52 AM

mmm... I noticed these dance routines that the girls always wanted to do at the end of term concert always involved a lot of pointing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:18 AM

Iffy writing round my way tends to be blood and guts, Y4 and Y6. But girls' dancing is a bit out of age group, influenced apparently by our nationally known local dance school.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Acorn4
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 10:02 AM

Little story to illustrate your point, Don.

Two lads in my year 4 class were writing a story on the classroom computer; one of them came up to me and said:-

"Please, Sir, How do you spell 'but'?"

"Great", I thought, "he's started to join sentences up."

I read what they'd come up with after half an hour:-

"Me and Daniel and Wayne was playing. We was turned into three Ninjas. I said hey lets go out and kick some but!"

Maybe "Mutant Ninja Morris Dancers" are called for.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:55 AM

""Whatever happened to childhood?""

TELEVISION!

Potentially the worlds greatest teaching and learning aid.

In actuality the worlds most abysmal babysitter.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 07:34 PM

Don,

As a Primary teacher who retired about the same time that you did, you're spot on. Whatever happened to childhood?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 06:34 PM

""On the other hand, Don, I remember we did folk dancing at Primary School and I hated it because you had to hold hands with GIRLS _UGGH!""

Long time passing Acorn4.

As a school caretaker and playground supervisor at a primary school until retirement in 2006, I can assure you that both boys and girls of seven or more years are fighting for the attentions of the most attractive members of the opposite gender.

IT AIN'T LIKE IT WAS WHEN WE WERE KIDS!



""Sucks that in this country the govmint can pressure schools and local councils to put progammes in place that encourage appreciation of cultures and folk traditions that are not of this country and ignore its own.""

Tam, you are absolutely right! The only culture that is actively ignored in schools, by govmint decree, is the indigenous one.

It is to our eternal shame, that we allow them to do so.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM

My first ever exposure to Morris was in Charlottesville Virginia Albemarle Morris Men in late 1990's. I thought it was wonderful, not weird and not quaint.

My next experience was New Years eve 2002 I came upon the same group on the downtown mall in Charlottesville. My soon to be husband (he is English) was with me. He told me about the Rochester Sweeps. And we went in 2003 less than a month after I moved to UK.

Totally smitten. If I did not have arthritis and wasn't a life long clutz I would join a side.

Sucks that in this country the govmint can pressure schools and local councils to put progammes in place that encourage appreciation of cultures and folk traditions that are not of this country and ignore its own.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 10:01 AM

So the menopausal accountants must carry on flying the flag for the moment?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Penny S.
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 07:31 AM

I've had further thoughts on this after a bit of channel hopping on Friday. There was a bit of Riverdance, with the men from the Irish tradition showing their moves off to some Spanish men, who replied, all in front of the women. And there was a bit of Big Horn sheep, crashing the little brains out of their skulls. Someone up above has commented that morris used to be the young men of the village showing off their prowess to the young women. And of course, that makes women doing it meaningless, and men older than the male equivalent of nubile faintly ridiculous. And the young men whose only prowess is football, who find the women watching the dance not being bored as women on the touchline tend to become are going to feel challenged.

But who says we have to be bound by the surges of testosterone like the mad sheep?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Penny S.
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 05:57 AM

You do realise how important in the debate has been the totally unmentioned development of the plastic football?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 07:55 AM

I remember we did folk dancing at Primary School and I hated it because you had to hold hands with GIRLS _UGGH!"

A familiar problem for anyone who calls for "family" ceilidhs, where Shakespeare's seven ages can all be found. And these are …?

1. The tots – they will only dance with parents (usually Mum, because Dad's at the bar) or with "best friends" (always the same gender as themselves).

2. The almost-teenagers - girls will dance with each other, but not with those rough and smelly boys. Boys won't dance at all because it's soft – they'd rather be playing football (and given half a chance will start a game in the middle of the dance floor).

3. The early teenagers – girls will dance (with other girls), provided you can persuade them to stop gossiping and giggling for a few minutes. Boys (still rough and smelly, and now spotty as well) are too embarrassed to dance at all - and anyhow, the ones who look old enough to get served will be hanging around the bar.

4. The late-teens/early twenties – both sexes are keen to dance with a partner they fancy, but often have difficulty finding a partner who fancies them. Most succeed eventually, and soon move on to the next stage.

5. The young parents - it's a family ceilidh, so of course they've brought the kids along. One may ride herd on the little monsters while the other desperately seeks an adult partner – or they may just take turns dancing with one of the kids.

6. The mature parents – many already have excuses for not dancing (bad backs, dodgy knees, high blood pressure, etc), so they sit around in foursomes swapping horror-stories about their teenage offspring. (Meanwhile the offspring create mayhem, or shudder with embarrassment in corners.)

7. The grandparents – they usually have more medical excuses for not dancing – indeed, this is often their favourite topic of conversation. However, they may be willing to manage the grand-kids while the generation in between dance (or gossip, or hang around the bar).

It often seems that a miracle will be required to get any dancing going at a family ceilidh. And yet somehow the miracle usually happens, sending most of the punters home smiling. But it's hard work for the caller.

Returning (finally) to our original topic … several of the reasons for not dancing listed above apply as much to Morris as they do to ceilidhs. Nevertheless, both activities still manage to struggle on, and long may they continue to do so.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 07:52 AM

Yep...scarred for life, I guess!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Penny S.
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 07:18 AM

I did a folk dance teaching course once. I was a heretic, because when I taught it I did not insist on the boys holding hands with gurls. They enjoyed it - and would say that they had thought it was going to be boring to do it instead of football, but they liked it. But according to the course people, I was wrong because it is a social dance and should be done like adults, and Y4 is tto young.

The self same people were also adamant that morris should only be done by men, and that women had their own ritual dances - which they would not divulge. They did not seem to notice any irony about the boys with boys.

I found, in an old school book on the subject, that it was "obvious" that boys should not dance with other boys, and reinforced this with great emphasis, but no explanation. So I assume, unless they were concerned for behaviour issues, which would be the only reason I would separate them, they were concerned about the gaiety of the dancers.

I suspect, Acorn, that in your case, the intention was to turn people off the whole subject. It wasn't just holding hands, on that course. We had to hold hands in a niminy piminy droop wristed dancy dancy display form. Not in a we're all having fun way. No wonder people sneer at the subject.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 06:42 AM

On the other hand, Don, I remember we did folk dancing at Primary School and I hated it because you had to hold hands with GIRLS _UGGH!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 06:32 AM

""(far more sinister than any threat to English culture from Europe, Don).""

I think you misunderstood me Ian.

Visit almost any European state in the summer, and you WILL at some point be entertained by local people playing music of their tradition, or performing traditional dance. That can only be described as entirely laudable, and nobody in those countries laughs at the musicians or the dancers.

I utterly approve of the fact that the bulk of Europe reveres and protects its diverse heritages and cultures. There is NO threat to us FROM Europe, but rather from our own stupid government who seem to think that, in order to get a general consensus to enter a federal European superstate, it will be necessary first to rid us of ideas of Britishness, in the way that they have already half destroyed the concept of Englishness.

It is obvious to anyone with half a brain that we can enter Europe as far as we wish, with our culture and heritage intact, and without submerging our National identity, so that would seem to imply a lack of mental capacity in our politicians.

That, as usual, is where the danger lies.

If I had MY way folk lore, music and dance would be part of the core curriculum for all primary schools, with some degree of education in the folk traditions of other cultures. The more you know about foreign people, the harder it is to be xenophobic.

Don T


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Vin2
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 09:05 AM

I think lampooning or parodying something like dance forms is probably as old as the dance forms themselves whether that be barn dance, country dance, ballet, military two-step, cajun or morris.

I remember the two Ronnies routine with morris dancers, very clever, very skillful and very entertaining. I don't think they were treating morris as a 'joke' in a ridiculing sort of way but they did make people laugh, created a lot of enjoyment for the dancers themselves and the viewers. Which i guess is what morris is all about.

I don't think morris is meant to be taken toooo seriously except by those who have to perfect their dance routines and moves. Tis there to tell a story or fable or depict a pageantry in music and dance.

As to the original question; i don't think morris dancing has ever been a joke ('cept of course to those who perceive it as such) but it is definately often very amusing and very entertaining both visually and musically and long may it continue!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 07:49 AM

Katlaughing, yes you got it right, a rapper is a 4ft length of flexible steel with a handle at each end, (descended from the Northumbrian coracle-makers spokeshave :-] ) Most of the dances involve starting in a circle and by weaving in and out, tying all the rappers into a complicated knot which is held aloft to general applause.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 09:28 PM

We had Morris dancing once or twice a year in the Junior School playground (late 1950s). Our Religious Knowledge teacher was a member of the local side.

When the scare story of Morris dancing dying out hit the English media earlier this year, local sides were quick off the mark saying they're actually not doing that badly, with significant numbers of young members.

So "any publicity is good publicity" has probably given Morris dancing a boost in the last two months. I hope that all Morris sides are aware of the value of getting to dance to children at the age where global commercial agendas have yet to take over young minds.

Reading fairly thoroughly the contributions to this thread, I think Diane Easby and Andrez have fingered the villains.

Various media giants have indeed a global agenda to make the world Corporate American (far more sinister than any threat to English culture from Europe, Don). That involves ridiculing tradition / non commercial activity. It's sadly worked to a huge degree in England especially (common language a disadvantage over Europeans for example).

Across the music world in England sad characters cannot get before a microphone and sing without aping an American accent - and visiting (liberal) Americans are often bemused by this.

Yes, if you're doing a cover of Elvis then you may want to sound authentic (would an American JAM or early STATUS QUO cover band sing in Woking, or Wyoming accent?
But an English singer singing American about London Bridge....

It's rife in pop, and now spreading to Folk!

And here's a bit of sociological stuff for you Lucy:

We could also debate the threat, from drugs culture, to Morris, Folk, Real Ale; Trainspotting with all other forms of ("Anorak") activity, which involves being enthusiastic for something.

And drugs culture, some would say, is the means of pacifying those who would have no hope in the commercial world - and conveniently makes a virtue from not being interested in challenging unfairness/injustice - of thing like commercialism! It's the other side of the same coin to the media ridicule.      

Ian Fyvie, BA (Hons) - Sociology


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Penny S.
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 02:07 PM

I've been thinking about a similar attitude in school playgrounds, but with a different target. Imaginative play is greeted by certain people whose opinion drives others as totally beneath contempt. So no Robin Hood, Dr Who or Primeval goes on. No one wants the alphas sneering at them. On discussing this with a friend, who, unfortunately, himself finds morris a bit jokey, we came to the conclusion that the sneerers in both cases. have a hidden insecurity. If others can be seen enjoying something they do not like themselves, then maybe they (that is the sneerers) are valuing the wrong things. And, moreover, as they have themselves never practised the activity, if they attempted it, they would not be best, as they are in football, which they do to the exclusion of all other activities. They cannot allow that other people are better than they are at something, so it becomes necessary to put down the other activity and make it seem worthless. So internal creativity is slighted, and the skilful practice of MD.

Perhaps we could get a side of Beckham, Rooney, Rinaldo trained up?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 09:25 AM

It will come as a complete surprise to the lady in question, when I, of all people , say that I agree 100% with Diane Easby on this subject.

When I was in primary school (1946 to 1951), folk song and folk dance were a very important part of our education, and as a result, we were steeped in the history and heritage of English culture.

Sometime in the late fifties or early sixties the emphasis changed, and folk arts were no longer considered important by the English educational establishment.

While the French and almost all other european countries were still preserving THEIR traditions, our kids were majoring in the Beatles and the Stones.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against pop music, particularly the innovative sixties stuff, but it seems that England can't do ANYTHING by halves, and to have the new, the bulk of the population HAS to do away with the old, even the best of the old. What better way to achieve that than to laugh it out of existence.

This is now compounded by a succession of governments who are edging us towards a federated European superstate, and to that end, actively seek to destroy anything that deters us from thinking of ourselves as European.

As always, heritage and culture, in the minds of politicians, take second place to the preferred political agenda.

I thank the Fates for the hardcore of believers who preserve culture and tradition against the dumbing down of the population by government.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 05:30 AM

Yesterday I saw a Morris side (Little Bollington?) at local green festival. Plenty of people were smiling (including the dancers) because Morris can have that effect. Making people smile is to be encouraged. The only people I noticed taking the piss (and this was quietly and good humouredly) was a couple of ex-Morris dancers decrying the drop in standards...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 05:03 AM

I'm a member of the John Clare Society (if you haven't heard of him, John Clare was a 19th century rural poet). Every year, since about 1982, I've attended a festival in his native village of Helpstone (in Cambridgeshire - it came under Northamptonshire in Clare's day).

The festival is in mid-July, on the Saturday closest to Clare's birthday (13th July).

Every year, around mid-day on festival day, Peterborough Morris dance outside the two village pubs (The Blubell and the Exeter Arms). In all that time I have never once heard anyone snigger or take the piss. The audience watches attentively, applauds politely and contributes to the collection. It seems to me that many people actually like Morris and accept it as part of the English rural scene - especially in a context like the Clare festival.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 12:21 AM

I have really enjoyed reading the responses in this thread and, learned even more than I thought I knew about MD. And, if I sussed it out right, 'rapper' dancer means with swords. not what rap mean over here?

Art Thieme, thanks for your response about square dancing. I think you are right...I have seen clogging groups, in fact there is one that gets together every other month or so here.

They are saying folks are getting back into self-entertainment, i.e. inexpensive ways of enjoyment, board games, etc. I wonder if they might also get back into community dance parties, etc. I'd love to see Morris spread over here, more, but doubt it will happen.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 08:49 PM

Going back to the inital post - yeah Lucy I agree morris dancers can be sexy. oh dear I've just 'come out' as a morris fancier.. but then I've always had questionable taste in men ;)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 06:11 AM

Morris-phobia amongst the general public is already becoming a folk belief in itself. In another generation or two, therefore, it will be "traditional" in its own right. Then we'll have to show it some respect!

Imagine school-kids being ordered to shout "Jingle bells!" or "Which one's Maurice?" whenever they see dancers with bells on their knees.   Imagine them being warned by their parents never to indulge in folk dancing of any sort, because famous musicians (and celebrity columnists) have frequently declared that "It's worse than incest!"

Maybe that would get the kids interested?

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 03:07 PM

I think everybody above has just about covered all the main points.
As a dancer in the 60s I did worry about the hanky waving although the stick bashing was much more macho.

I think the main problem could be applied to several traditions, the innate conservatism that stops the tradition from continuing to evolve so that it becomes largely a museum piece frozen in the 19th century in this case. Those teams that have tried to update the image, costumes and style are not laughed at, at least not in the same way.

As someone has already pointed out, the northern sword dances are not ridiculed, and they have similarities. Therefore look at the differences.

Again to repeat what has been said about ageing dancers, I do think some of the younger dancers like 'Dog Rose' with their athletic prowess can even make the hanky waving look impressive.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: GUEST,Lucy
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 12:49 PM

Bryn - that's great news! I also know quite a few strapping young guys who morris dance who also take it all pretty seriously - it's quite competitive, with who can leap the highest etc. all v. athletic. That's pretty well how i see it's role in the past, to show off to the local girls.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 08:52 AM

Amusing - yes, a joke - no. Beardy, sweaty, half-cut blokes with flowers in their hats makes me smile but that's a long way from saying Morris is ridiculous.
At the very least it means summer's here and beer is nearby. Beer to the clack of sticks and clogs - nice!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM

I teach the Morris to 10 and 11 year olds (Yes, I have been CRB'd) at the school to which my two grandsons go.

Do the youngsters think the Morris a joke ?

No - they think the Morris is "cool", and there is a struggle to get into the side for the School May Day Revels.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 07:53 AM

I can't speak for the hankies and bells, but as a former rapper dancer I've never known anyone take the p*** out of any dancer holding 4 ft of steel.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 06:44 AM

Morris dancing better than sex? - It rather depends who you do it with.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 05:43 AM

Off topic but how can you slate off English cricket when the England team has just won the world cup (true - check it out).

And is Morris better than sex? - sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Acorn4
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 04:54 AM

While we're on the subject of Morris, there's a new festival happening this year in Leicestershire at Moira Furnace on the weekend of 21st August (the weekend before Shrewsbury) and the organisers are still a bit short on teams.

If you're part of a team that has a free slot that weekend have a look at this:-

Moira Furnace Folk Festival

or phone Dave Johns on :- 01530270494

There was a thread some time ago called "Is Morris Dancing Better than Having Sex?" or something similar.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: GUEST,Dáithí
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 04:42 AM

There's also the phenomenon of...hmm, would you call it "new" morris?...I'm thinking of wild groups such as Wolf's Head or female groups such as the Raving Maes - both available to view on Youtube,I think.
Both scary and sexy in equal measure!
D


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Andrez
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 11:16 PM

Actually not that much better than Oz cricket......... now there's a possibility for a few serious jokes. Come to think of it here's a few...... sorry about the thread drift from the Morris issue but I just couldnt resist!

Q. What does Ponting put in his hands to make sure the next ball almost always takes a wicket?
A. A bat.

A. The guy who removes the red ball marks from the bats.

Q. What's the Australian version of LBW?
A. Lost, Beaten, Walloped.

Q: what is the difference between an Australian fielder and a condom?
A: one drops a catch and other catches a drop

Q: What is the Australian version of a hat-trick?
A: 3 runs in 3 balls

Q: When would Ponting have 100 runs against his name?
A: When he is bowling.

Q: Where do Australian Batsman perform their best?
A: In Advertisments.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 05:10 PM

Morris a joke? Compared with England cricket just now?

A good healthy laugh for the dancers, maybe.

The meejah are there so the populace at large can know better than the rubbish in the papers and on TV.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: Andrez
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 05:09 PM

Thanks for your perspective Jess. Ok so I understand only too well how the commercial media can take something that is essentially non commercial and then manipulate public perceptions with a view to making a (usually) negative point of some sort. That happens everywhere but from what I can see from here the British Murdoch media are particularly good at it.

If you want some sense of why this is happening, you have to ask yourself who is benefiting from promoting the negative perceptions. Is it selling more papers by pandering to the publics interest in trivia? Is it creating a profile for some two bit wannabe media commentator? Is it about disempowering and belittling a "local" art form with a view to promoting something with more "commercial" values? That sort of process is happening all over the world and is most likely connected to this whole globalisation process that has been happening over the past two or three decades. Without getting into a long diatribe on that issue, you only need to consider what is happening to traditional cultural forms competing for public attention with "product" promoted by the new "values" in rapidly developing countries like India and China, to get some sense of the process.

Its hard to know how to combat these processes on a local basis but a couple of things come to mind. The first is to keep doing what you are doing. If thats Morris, then so be it. The other thing you can do is to hit the "commercial interests" where it hurts. Don't buy their papers. Don't watch their television stations and if you do then dont watch shows that provide a platform for cheap shots at local artforms... drive their ratings down and let them know what you are doing and why. Last but not least, don't buy products that are advertised in the selfsame media. It may not change things tomorrow but over a couple of ratings seasons you could make a real difference.

Voting with your wallet is the surest way to get the "media" to take a more constructive line. Its something that even Rupert can understand.

Cheers,

Andrez


PS: There are more persectuted musical minorities than those who revere the agricultural frame drum. Bass players and accordion players just to name two more :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a joke?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 05:02 PM

As I've always been fond of saying over the years, "I get my exercise being a pall bearer for clog dancers.   ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When did morris dancing become a jok
From: English Jon
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 04:36 PM

I think Jinky Wells had the last laugh....

Cheers,
J


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