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Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Floral Dance (51)
Lyr Req: Cornish Floral Dance? (23)
Lyr Req: Floral Dance/London Pride (6)
Lyr Req: Helston Flora Day (7)
Lyr/Tune Add: The Furry Dance (6)


GUEST,John Peters 06 Sep 03 - 11:38 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Sep 03 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,John Peters 06 Sep 03 - 02:52 PM
Little Robyn 06 Sep 03 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,John Peters 07 Sep 03 - 12:15 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Sep 03 - 01:28 AM
cetmst 07 Sep 03 - 10:22 AM
Kernow John 07 Sep 03 - 02:48 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Sep 03 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,John Peters 07 Sep 03 - 04:47 PM
Kernow John 07 Sep 03 - 06:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Sep 03 - 06:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Sep 03 - 08:43 AM
Marion in Cornwall 08 Sep 03 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,BUTTERFLY 09 Sep 03 - 08:09 AM
Kernow John 09 Sep 03 - 03:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Sep 03 - 04:24 PM
pavane 09 Sep 03 - 04:57 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Sep 03 - 06:23 PM
Peterr 10 Sep 03 - 12:16 PM
pavane 10 Sep 03 - 04:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Sep 03 - 05:01 PM
greg stephens 11 Sep 03 - 10:25 AM
Peterr 11 Sep 03 - 12:20 PM
greg stephens 11 Sep 03 - 12:37 PM
Little Robyn 12 Sep 03 - 04:34 AM
Mr Happy 12 Sep 03 - 05:30 AM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Sep 03 - 06:10 AM
Alexis 12 Sep 03 - 08:27 AM
Little Robyn 04 Oct 03 - 07:40 AM
Compton 07 Oct 03 - 06:44 PM
greg stephens 07 Oct 03 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Muttley 20 Aug 10 - 10:22 PM
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Subject: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: GUEST,John Peters
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 11:38 AM

Can anyone tell me what, if anything these two tunes/songs have in common?

I've searched around for a while, but everything I find contradicts everything else that I've found.

The couple of threads here don't offer much illumination either.

Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 02:03 PM

Guest:John:

There is quite a bit of info, but it's spread over several threads, you may have missed the relevant one. I've requested the threads be linked so that they'll show at the top of this one, but for now, if you search "floral dance" in the box top right of the lyrics and knowledge page, you should be able to find them all

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: GUEST,John Peters
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for your effort Nigel. (I noticed your posts to the help forum)

It doesn't really answer my question though... (unless I'm very dim - which is a distinct possibility)


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Little Robyn
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 05:29 PM

Are you talking about the "All together in the Floral Dance" song?
That is a 'modern' story/art song about someone finding the dancers and band at Helston, who were dancing the Furry Dance - something that has happened every year, since time immoral!
It's a great tradition and well worth a visit on 8 May. Next year it should be on a Saturday. Then you can learn the tune as played by the locals, and hear the Halanto as sung by the children (different from the Waterson version).
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: GUEST,John Peters
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 12:15 AM

I'm trying to ask a simple question:

Does the "Floral Dance" as was a 'hit' by the 'Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band' have anything at all to do with the tradition in Helston?

I apologise if my question wasn't clear


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 01:28 AM

The former is a commercial song which is (sort of) about the latter, and incorporates its tune; with an additional, modern part added. The traditional tune turns up in other parts of England too, under a number of different names. The "modern" Floral Dance was itself picked up by traditional musicians (in East Anglia, for example), but they usually dropped the "composed" bit. Dates and further details are all given in the earlier discussions here which have already been mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: cetmst
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 10:22 AM

Little Robyn - When was "time immoral"? I thought it was now.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Kernow John
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 02:48 PM

Malcom

I'm not sure that the 'Floral dance song' does incorporate the Furry dance tune. Doesn't it use the tune for the Truro song, John Bon? The one on page 11 of Gundry's book Canow Kernow.

All I know is that down here in Helston we have never forgiven Terry Wogan for that horrible song!

The short answer to your question John is that they have bu!!"* all in common. One is associated with a traditional event in Cornwall the other is commercial rubbish (a personal opinion).

Regards

John

John


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 04:23 PM

As I understand it, John the Bone is sung in Truro to the same tune. Peter Kennedy published a translation into Cornish of the Truro song made by Talek and Yleweth (Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, 223), but I don't have Canow Kernow so I can't say if it's the same. Gundry edited the Cornish section in Kennedy, so it may well be. Several variants of the tune (this time with the English words) appear in Dunstan, Lyver Canow Kernewek, 1929, 27, as The Helston Furry, Flurry, Flora, or Faddy Dance.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: GUEST,John Peters
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 04:47 PM

Thank you all (particularly Malcolm Douglas) for your help. Much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Kernow John
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 06:07 PM

Interesting stuff Malcolm (my apologies for not spelling your name correctly in my first post)

I've just looked up Kennedy and the song tune given there for Jowan Bon seems to be the one used for the Floral Dance tune. And although similar I would say the tune used for the Furry dance in Helston does differ. I think it would be difficult to dance the steps to the 'Floral Dance' tune.
The tune in Kennedy is also shown in Gundry's book together with the words of a song John the Bon, seemingly transcribed from a recording by Kennedy of the Skinners Bottom Glee Singers in Redruth.

John


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 06:48 PM

They sang the normal English words, I think; the Cornish translation will have been added by Gundry. When I say it's the same tune, I don't mean note-for-note, of course. Dunstan prints three variants of increasing complexity, describing the third as "the recognised [Helston] tune".


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 08:43 AM

Just because a song is about people enjoying themselves at a traditional event, rather than being the song or tune used at the traditional event, doesn't make it "a horrible song".

Nor does the fact that someone might dislike a particular performance of it, or even that it uses a tune based on one that is used in another traditional event.

People do sometimes get their knickers in a twist over the oddest things.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Marion in Cornwall
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 01:22 PM

Since when could someone not express a PERSONAL opinion on the cat?

No knickers twisted just my pennyworth!

I wasn't aware I gave a reason for thinking it was a horrible song and as far as I am aware what the song describes bears no relationship to what goes on in Helston on My 8th.

John


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: GUEST,BUTTERFLY
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 08:09 AM

2 points might be worth adding:

(1) According to the CD-ROM of MIDIs of traditional music available from www.traditionalmusic.co.uk available from Rod Smith (?possibly from Crowborough in Sussex, but this would be given somewhere on the website) the Floral Dance was written by one Kate Moss - obviously not the well-known supermodel but someone who lived much earlier!

(2) On "Giles Farnaby's Dream Band" (a classic and unfortunately it seems almost unobtainable folk album which my brother used to have but lost and which I am still trying to obtain - anyone know of a source?) there is a song (which I think was sung by the late Trevor Crozier) which is obviously based on the Helson Furry Dance. As far as I remember the song went:

John the Bon was marching on when he met with Sally Dover (repeat first line)
He kissed her once and he kissed her twice, and he kissed her three times over (repeat second line)

John said to me one day "Can you dance the Floral?" (repeat first line)
"Yes I can with a nice young man, round the streets of Truro" (repeat second line)

On a subsequent LP by Trevor Crozier called "Trouble over Bridgewater" he does a track (whose name I forget) in which, in the spoken introduction, he says "This song leans heavily for its melodic line on the Helston Furry, but never mind" (or words to that effect). This shows that Crozier was aware of the Helston Furry Dance (I think he hailed from SW England, possibly from around Somerset).

I also remember Hal-an-Tow (I think it was spelled this way) on another LP which went missing; I think this was by the Watersons. One of the verses which I can remember went:

Hal-an-Tow, the jolly Rumbelow
We were up, long before the day-oh
To welcome in the summer, to welcome in the May-oh
For summer is a coming and the winter's gone away oh

"BUTTERFLY" (SENT FROM AN INTERNET CAFE IN BALLYVAUGHAN, COUNTY CLARE, 13.10 HOURS 9.9.2003


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Kernow John
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 03:57 PM

Thanks Butterfly

I think the tune for John the Bon (Bone) is closer to the one used for the song The Floral Dance than the one now use for the Helston Furry or Flora Dance. The tunes are related as Malcolm points out and it interesting to compare the changes in the tune over the years.

If anyone is interested I could post ABC files for the tune in 1823, 1888, today and the tune given for John Bon.

Regards

John


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 04:24 PM

And the events in John Le Bon are actually not very far removed from those in Kate Moss's 1911 song - young man in the parade meets young lady friend; and they kiss and dance away down the street along with the rest of the town.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: pavane
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 04:57 PM

Hal-an-Tow is also on an LP (don't know the name) by Porterhouse c 1968 (from Neath, where I live).

I do have an old tape copy somewhere of Giles Farnaby's Dream Band (made in the UAE, where piracy was legal). The tune is similar in parts to the one used for Wheatley Processional

'This is it, and that is it, and this is Morris Dance sir,
The piper fell and he broke his neck, and he said it was a chancer'
on Morris On (or was it Son of Morris on?)


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 06:23 PM

As I mentioned earlier, the tune (which varies in details rather than essentials) is known in a number of other parts of the country (including Winster in Derbyshire, a few miles from where I live), usually associated with the Morris. Whether or not it was brought to Derbyshire by Cornish miners moving up there to work in the lead-mining industry is a matter of conjecture. Hal an Tow, of course, is a different song entirely.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Peterr
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 12:16 PM

Malcolm - the Floral Dance song (a la Wogan) varies in rather more than detail from the Furry Dance tune. Winster tune is however very similar to the Helston one.
Kernow John - I like music hall stuff and I actually like the song, but as you say it has b..... all in common with the Furry Dance.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: pavane
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 04:57 PM

Oops - I meant Winster, not Wheatley - sorry!


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 05:01 PM

Not really a music hall song - though it might well have been sung in the halls. Much more a parlour song, or a song for the concert hall stage.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 10:25 AM

To reiterate what others have said,as it still seems to be causing confusion. The Florsl Dance Song is a song about the Helston Furry Dance, and incorporates bits of the tune for local colour: part of it is used in the vocal melody ("all together in the floral dance") and part in instruemntals between verses.
   Peter Kennedy's publication of modern made-up Cornish words to the Helston tune confuse the issue, but arent relevant. It is also unfortunate that some time ago misguided people tried to sing the Halantow words to the Furry Dance tune, which confused things as it wasnt the old way of doing the song.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Peterr
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 12:20 PM

Greg - I'd be very interested to know more about the attempts to fit the Hal an Tow to the Furry tune. You say 'some time ago'. How long and who and where?


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 12:37 PM

Peterr: I'm speaking from memory and I've lost a few books over the years.Possibly Baring-Gould's "Songs of the West Country"(at a guess) married the words to the tune,probably in 1900give or take a year or two. Being in a published book influenced a number of performers, both in the more classical world and in various folkie revival circles, performed it that way.
They do sort of fit: try it
Robin Hood and Little John
Are all gone to the fair-O
And we will to the merry greenwood
To see what they do there-o
(That is the version in the book I remember). It may be ,of course, that these words actually were sung at some stage to the Furry Dance tune, but I believe this to have been an error by Baring-Gould or his informant. Someone else will know more about this than me, I hope elucidation will arrive from somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Little Robyn
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 04:34 AM

I'm just checking my copy of Songs of the West. I can't find a publication date but the Introduction mentions Henry Fleetwood Sheppard died on 27 December 1901 so I guess it was around 1902.
No 24, The Hal-an-tow or Helston Furry Dance, definately marries the Halanto words with the Furry dance tune (arranged by J. Mathews).
I believe this was a mistake but in the notes it states....
"The Helston Furry Dance tune was printed in Davies Gilbert's 'Christmas Carols,' 2nd edition, 1823. His form is purer than ours, which is as now sung. Edward Jones had already published it in his 'Bardic Museum,' vol. ii(1802) as 'The Cornish May Song' and George Johnson in his 'Welsh Airs,' vol.ii (1811)."
Maybe someone at C# House could find a copy of some of these and check??? Normally there are no words for the dance but if the same tune was used for the Halanto in earlier times, then where did the current tune come from?
I've seen it twice, once in 1972 and again in 1990.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Mr Happy
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 05:30 AM

The most celebrated version of this song was a 'big hit' in 1926 for australian born Peter Dawson, & its this that Teary Woebegone's dismal rendition is (very) loosely based.

See:


http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/p/prl00040a.html


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 06:10 AM

The Bardic Museum tune is here: Cornish May Song. A Furry Dance variant.

Gilbert printed the tune only, so we don't know what words, if any, he had heard sung to it.

Roy Palmer (Everyman's Book of English Country Songs, 1979, 222-3) reprints the tune from Chappell's Collection of English National Airs (1838, no.205). Presumably the words, too, are from the same source: though called Helston Furry Dance, the words are a form of Hal an Tow.

If the association of the Furry Dance tune with Hal an Tow is an error, then it appears to go back well before Baring Gould and Songs of the West (which was first printed in 1890, the revised edition appearing in 1905).

Dunstan (Lyver Canow Kernewek, 1929, 26-7) on the other hand, prints the tune first published by Sandys in 1846 (amended), which is more or less the Hal an Tow tune as we know it now, though more complex.

I'm not going to attempt to draw any conclusions from all that. Worth remembering, though, that the Hal an Tow part of the day had died out by the 1880s, and was revived in the 1930s; how much of that revival was based on surviving tradition and how much was taken from antiquarian sources might bear looking into. It appears, for example, that the original dance steps were lost.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Alexis
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 08:27 AM

fortunately, as I recall, as I am now exiled in Yorkshire, from dancing on Flora Day and playing in the band, the words mentioned earlier sung to the Flora Dance tune are never(?) heard. The only singing I ever heard was in the Hal-an-Tow.
Alex


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Little Robyn
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 07:40 AM

We've just been watching "Brassed Off" (1996) on telly and the Grimethorp Colliery Band played an instrumental version of the Kate Moss song.
Very entertaining.


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: Compton
Date: 07 Oct 03 - 06:44 PM

Re entry from Malcolm (Douglas)...there's not a lot of difference between the tune of the Floral Dance, Castleton Garland Day Processional and Tideswell Procession (though I suspect Tideswell pinched it from Winster!


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Oct 03 - 07:32 PM

Versions of the tune were also noted in Cheadle,Didsbury and Newton Heath(all north Cheshire/Manchester area) by Gilchrist and Kidson; also in North Wales(can't remember a reference for the Welsh versions).


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Subject: RE: Query: Floral Dance/Helston Furry Dance
From: GUEST,Muttley
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 10:22 PM

The brass band version of this song is particulalrly charming does anyone know of a North West Morris dance that would be able to be performed to it? I would much appreciate it if you do.


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