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Singing in Morris tunes

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Les in Chorlton 13 Apr 04 - 03:29 PM
GUEST 13 Apr 04 - 03:33 PM
The Borchester Echo 13 Apr 04 - 03:35 PM
Little Robyn 13 Apr 04 - 03:42 PM
Les in Chorlton 13 Apr 04 - 03:49 PM
Herga Kitty 13 Apr 04 - 04:18 PM
GUEST 13 Apr 04 - 05:09 PM
treewind 13 Apr 04 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Crystal 13 Apr 04 - 06:54 PM
Bernard 13 Apr 04 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 13 Apr 04 - 09:05 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Apr 04 - 09:31 PM
Little Robyn 14 Apr 04 - 02:34 AM
pavane 14 Apr 04 - 12:31 PM
Les in Chorlton 14 Apr 04 - 01:04 PM
gnomad 14 Apr 04 - 02:05 PM
mouldy 14 Apr 04 - 03:07 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 14 Apr 04 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,squeezy 14 Apr 04 - 05:39 PM
vectis 14 Apr 04 - 07:44 PM
Little Robyn 15 Apr 04 - 06:24 AM
treewind 15 Apr 04 - 07:27 AM
treewind 15 Apr 04 - 07:42 AM
Herga Kitty 15 Apr 04 - 07:14 PM
Herga Kitty 15 Apr 04 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,Steve 15 Apr 04 - 07:33 PM
treewind 15 Apr 04 - 07:41 PM
pavane 16 Apr 04 - 02:58 AM
GUEST,Steve 16 Apr 04 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,Desdemona 16 Apr 04 - 07:29 PM
Gray D 16 Apr 04 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,Squeezy 16 Apr 04 - 09:12 PM
Gray D 17 Apr 04 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,Lindswidder 17 Apr 04 - 03:48 PM
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Subject: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 03:29 PM

Some Morris tunes have singing in them. Has anybody ever study which, why or noticed any pattern?


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 03:33 PM

usually the ones with lyrics


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 03:35 PM

Do you mean calling on songs? Gillian Tolfrey (of Witches of Elswick) was doing a study of them a while back...


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Little Robyn
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 03:42 PM

They're usually sung at the beginning of the dance, when doing a 'walk round', kind of like an introduction, eg
'Oh where and oh where has my Highland laddie gone?
He's gone morris dancing with his tartan jock strap on.'
Sometimes it's used to link the dance with the tune, sometimes it's unrelated.
Here in NZ we start Vandals of Hammerwich with a verse from Flick the little fire engine! Don't ask me why. Anyone else do that or was it invented here?
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 03:49 PM

I think calling on songs are associated with rapper etc.

O dear mother what a fool Ive been,
Six young fellows came a couting me
Five were blind and the other couldn't see
O dear mother what a fool Ive been,

At the start of Lads a Buncham

Annie on the railroad......

Shepherds Hey

Seems to be a Cotswold thing rather then clog?


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 04:18 PM

The lollipop man....


the ones that really are songs, like the Bonny Bunch of Roses, you can't sing while they're dancing because the song tune goes A, B while the dance tune goes AA, BB.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 05:09 PM

I would guess that the original idea was to let the musician know what the tune would be.


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: treewind
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 06:18 PM

Many Adderbury dances start with walking round in a circle singing.

I think the other ones with singing are fairly randomly scattered amongst the traditions, without much of a pattern to it.

There's Bonny Green Garters, of course (Bampton) well known because so many use it as a morris off.

Hammersmith dance off with Hey Diddle Dis which also starts with singing.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 06:54 PM

I remember a Border one;
Fanny Frail is fair and handsome,
Fanny Frail is fair and free,
Fannie's alright on a Saturday night,
But Sally is the lass for me.

It does appear to be a Cotswold/Border tradition rather than Clog.


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Bernard
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:25 PM

Postman's Knock...

Every morning as true as the clock
Everyone hears the Postman's Knock


Letting the musicians know how the tune goes? Hah! We're always the last to find out what dance they're doing!!

As a musician, I find remembering which tune is which rather awkward without some words as a clue... I always remember Trunkles by 'Ev'ry morning have a cup of cawfee', thanks to Grace Jackson of Midnight Capers Morris from Vermont...!


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 09:05 PM

Northern or clog morris uses tunes from songs but I do not know if they are ever sung

There is 95 'the girls go by and they wink an eye'

The Boatman's dance 'Boatmen dance boatmen sing boatmen can do anything'

Brighton camp,

at school -mid 1950's - we danced to a recording of Nellie the Elephant and 'There's a state of war on the nursery floor'

Nancy Dawson 'Of all the girls in our town, the black the fair the red the brown'

The tune that sounds like the floral dance - 'Apple pie is a very pretty tune'- I'm not sure that that is part of the words or just a memernerermnemonic for the tune.

'The rose bush' is Beethoven - I think thats for a dance of the same name - or maybe the rose tree?

And lots more but the memory is not what it was - I might have some notes somewhere if anyone is interested. Being unable to read dots ( I tried, but it just doesn't work for me) I naturally look for some other method of retaining a tune.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 09:31 PM

Studies have shown that information is retained by the mind more easily when accompanied by a tune. Thus medieval religous chant, etc.

GUEST,Anne Croucher has hit the nail on the head.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Little Robyn
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 02:34 AM

Wellington (NZ) morris side Brittanic Bedlam dance 'South Australia' while singing ALL the words of the song a capella.
They're puffing by the time they get to the end!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: pavane
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 12:31 PM

I understood that almost ALL of the Adderbury dances were to songs, possibly from a time when they didn't have a musician.

This may be the same for many other traditional/extinct sides. In fact, almost all of the dance tunes are known as songs anyway. The assumption is that the dances were done to what the musician could play.

(Anybody know a song called Trunkles? Did anyone establish what a Trunkle IS?)


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 01:04 PM

All good stuff.

Who decides what the next dance will be? If it is dancers then singing some words to the tune would work well in letting the musicians know what to play.

The role of song in ritual/ceromonial dance is clearly many and varied. I was mostly interested in those little snippets that are quite common in Cotswold at the start of the dance.

Looks like we are close to a possible explanation. Any further evidence from the world of Morris?


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: gnomad
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 02:05 PM

Room for the cuckold. (We do it by day, we do it by night, etc)

Sorry, can't remember which village, but cotswold again.


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: mouldy
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 03:07 PM

gnomad - I think that one might be Bucknell. The version of "Room for the Cuckolds" I used to see (the now sadly defunct) Pomfret Morris do also has -

"Oh me dear, I do feel queer. Must be all of last night's beer"
"We drink all day, we drink all night, because it's our fertility rite"
"Beecham's pills a penny a box. Beecham's pill will cure your...ills"

Andrea


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 03:19 PM

Les, you are giving morris dancers credit for a lot more organization than is possible! Who decides what the next dance will be? Who knows?
The Harrisville (NH) morris women have one song that inspired the dance one of our members wrote years ago, "Durham Jail"
We always start by singing,

Oh, never in the livelong day,
You'll not find me back in Durham Jail
Oh, never in the livelong day,
You'll not find me back in Durham Jail"

It's a fun dance. The song always gets my adrenalin going!

Allison


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST,squeezy
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 05:39 PM

I don't know if I can shed any light on the reasons for the snippets before the dancing, but many of the names of Cotswold dances which aren't traditionally done with words suggest the tune comes from a song air which was popular at the time it was first used for the morris. Songs like "Such a getting upstairs I never did see" obviously gave rise to the dance tunes for "Getting upstairs" - as this was a silly music hall song from the 1800s it is obviously not as old as morris dancing itself. "The Gallant Hussar" is another obvious example.

I get the feeling that most morris tunes were just popular songs or airs at some time or other, were absorbed at some point or other and often bent to fit the dances because people knew them anyway.

And Trunkles means Trousers. I don't know of a song of that name though.

Cheers

Squeezy


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: vectis
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 07:44 PM

A couple of morris teams from the south east use singers instead of musicians to dance to occasionally.


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Little Robyn
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 06:24 AM

Our side dances the Lollipop man but we don't know all the words so the second bit gets muttered;
Oh, the lollipop man has a great big stick,
He ......
Some of the versions are a bit off colour. Can anyone supply correct/polite words so we can do it properly?
Thanks,
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: treewind
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:27 AM

I'm not sure that there is one version that's both correct and polite.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: treewind
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:42 AM

Further to that: Lollipop Man where you will find the words were written by a member of Bristol Morris Men.

The whole of that page is utterly relevant to this thread, by the way.
It all starts HERE (index to songs)

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:14 PM

Animaterra - Jez Lowe wrote Durham Jail - it has a really bouncy tune, so I'm glad to hear it's being danced to.

Yes, I've generally heard songs being used to introduce Cotswold or molly dances - but Flowers of May, in their early days, sang "I must,I must improve my bust, it really is no joke. I must, I must improve my bust or they'll think I am a bloke" before dancing Runcorn. If you've seen the arm movements for Runcorn, you'll understand why they improve the bust, but if you ever saw Flowers of May, you'll understand why this probably wasn't needed.

Kitty

(an ex-Squire of FOM)


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:17 PM

I forgot to mention that the tune for the FOM callisthenic exercise was Salmon Tails - arms stretched out in front, brought back to breast, stretched out to sides, brought back to breast.


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:33 PM

Adderbury stick dances all are sung: Postman's knock, Blue Bells of Scotland, Landlord, Lads a buncham, Roast beef of Old England.

The Adderbury heel and toe dance Sweet Jenny Jones has a sung intro.

Adderbury hanky dances don't have the singing: Black Joke, Haste to the Wedding.

The other traditions don't put as much emphasis on the singing - except as pointed out Lollipop Man (Ducklington - or is it Oddington?) and Bonny Green Garters (Bampton)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: treewind
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:41 PM

"Adderbury stick dances all are sung"
I was going to say that, then I thought of shooting. No song I know of for that one...?

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: pavane
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 02:58 AM

I was responsible for unearthing a possible candidate song for Adderbury's Beaux of London City (Shooting/Crows) in the Bodleian Ballad library.

(The knowing Maccarroni Outwitted!)

I think I posted it here a while ago.

It starts "You beaux of London City, likewise St James's Park..."


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 05:43 AM

Oh yes treewind, bugger I forgot that one. So much for my fine catergorising!!

LOL

Steve ;-)


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 07:29 PM

The team I dance with does "Trunkles"; in the Sherborne tradition it's a corner dance with hankies.

D.


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Gray D
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 08:33 PM

To "GUEST Squeezy"

Oi, Squeezy,

Bit off topic but did you ever get your boxes back? I asked on the Beeb but there was only one uncertain reply from Countess Richard.

Gray D


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST,Squeezy
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 09:12 PM

Hi Gray D,

Alas - no, my lovely Oakwood & Saltarelle C/F have made no appearance since January when they were pinched by the world's most embarrassed theives (I wish I was there to see their face when they opened the cases to find 2 melodeons).

However, the good news is that I was fully insured for such an occurance and am now in posession of a new Oakwood model 7 (many thanks to Martyn, Gordon and Ian at Oakwood for letting me buy the prototype) and have upgraded my C/F to a 2.5 row model.

Sorry to reply so off topic - back to the nitty gritty - still no further info from me re the singing in morris I'm afraid.

Cheers
Squeezy


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: Gray D
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 12:59 PM

Good news from Squeezy, then, now, it may seem a tad obvious but has anybode thought of e-mailing The Morris Federation at their site

or The Morris Ring at THEIR site ?

Gray D


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Subject: RE: Singing in Morris tunes
From: GUEST,Lindswidder
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 03:48 PM

I used to dance for Bucknell, we did "Trunkles" and "Room For The Cuckolds", the only dance I remember us singing to was the beginning of "Shepherd's Hey", our dance off was "Bonny Green" but we never sang "Hey diddle diss, let's go and get pissed" as heard on "Son Of Morris On"....

I never knew what a "Trunkle" or "Trunkles" was, although I did have a lovely old cat who I called Trunkles (his sister is still alive, 17 this year)


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