Mudcat Café message #488935 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35592   Message #488935
Posted By: John J
21-Jun-01 - 12:41 PM
Thread Name: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
Oh dear, I can see I'm going to end up in hot water here Sharon! Morris dancers are very individual in what morris means to them and can often be quite forcefull in promoting their beliefs / understandings and interests, so watch me inadvertantly tread on some toes.

A lot of morris dances have origins in ancient rites, including fertility, so many of the sides kits are very colourfull and are adorned with flowers.

These days the important thing is the 'rite' to drink a lot of good beer, sing, dance, and generally have fun. Morris dancing is taken very seriously by it's participants. Morris dancing is folk dancing popular in England and parts of Wales. The dancing has different meanings / origins in different areas. Here in the North West of England, much of the dancing is performed in clogs in a processional format. These dances are often quite regimented. In the Cotswolds, the dance side perform holding a waving hankerchieves or with sticks that are banged together. In the Welsh Borders, the dancers have blacked up faces for disguise, the dances are particularly wild and very powerfull.

The music that these sides dance to a generally dance specific, ie a dance called 'Shepherds Hey' has it's own tune, called Shepherd's Hey would you believe. The music is usually provided by a melodeon or accordion, but Brass Bands, Fiddles, Whistles etc are also not uncommon.

I hope that helps a little, and I haven't upset too many people. My apologies to those who I have wasn't intended!


(retired dancer, but drinker, singer and musician to excess!)