22 media items.
THE ADDERBURY MORRIS
Adderbury village is in NE Oxon about [?] from Banbury. The Morris flourished there until about 60 years ago when it began to wane, finally disappearing 20 years later. Mr William Walton, from whom all my information concerning the dances was gathered, told me that he was 7 years old when his father died and that he was then taken to the workhouse to be bought up. Eventually a bricklayer and builder took him out 'prenticed him and taught him the trade. At one time when his parents were alive they had no less than 196 direct descendants living. Mr Walton began dancing when he was eight years old, was taken into the "side" ( they never took more that two fresh ones in at a time because of the difficulty of teaching them) when he was grown up later on became leader- top -left - and sustained that part for 20 years, i.e. until the Morris was disbanded. When the dance was in it's prime Adderbury would have three sides dancing, each side
visiting a different series of villages every day in Whitsun week. On the thursday they always danced at Banbury Fair where they met the Long Hamborough and Wooton dancers, and there all three sides used to dance together. At other times of the year the Adderbury men were in great demand at Club Feasties, weddings, etc.
Mr William Walton is now 83 years of age, but hale and hearty, rather blind although he can hear well, walk with a firm step and sing with a strong baritone voice. I heard of him from Miss Janet Blunt of Adderbury who arranged that the old man should visit me in Hampstead when he came to London to stay with one of his married daughters. He accordingly called upon me on March 25th and 29th 1919 and spent two long mornings with me and Miss Karples, dancing, showing us the steps, singing and giving us information generally. At first it was difficult to get his memory back to the dances and it was only by degres that he was able to recall the different evolutions with their many technical details. the following is the result of our investigation: -
The Morris men had white shirts and ordinary trousers, dancing bare headed. The wore double baldricks over their shirts, - two bands, 3 inches wide, one blue the other red, with ten rosettes of red, white and blue riboons, one below each shoulder, one on the breast at the junction of the ribbons and one on each hip, and five rosettes at the back in corresponding positions. Ribbons (red and blue) were tied in a bow round the top of each upper arm, above each elbow, and around each wrist. Each dancer wore a bell pad on each leg,
The horizontal bands at top and bottom made of red, white and blue ribbons, while to each of the five vertical strips of leather there were attached six bells.
The sticks used in the dances were stout, peeled, willow wands, 2 ft 9 in long and about an inch in diameter. In handkerchief dances, each handkerchief, with its two diagonal corners tied together, was carried between thumb and index finger.
The dancers were accompanied by a Fool (Miss Blunt has the dress his picture), a pipe-and-taborer, a stick and handkerchief carrier and Treasurer. The latter carried an oaken box with padlock, slung round his neck by means of ribbons.
Between the dances the side would often sing songs, eg The Happy Man, The Postman's Knock, and other popular town songs of the day, often executing some of their stick movements while they sang the chorus. This they did to keep the crowd quiet while they were resting
In all the stick dances, the sticks when not being actually used, are carried in the middle and held vertically, a little in front of the body, hand at shoulder level, the two arms swinging slightly down and up with the steps.
THE BEAUX OF LONDON CITY
9/2 step throughout the dance
Once to yourself
A 1-8 Dancers walk round in a ring cl. to places, usually dancing during the last two or three bars so as to be ready for the initial figure of the dance proper. Dancers strike sticks from right to left on last note.
A1 1-4 Foot up. Up (1 bar), back (1 bar),
Striking sticks on last note.
5-8 Same again.
B1 bar 1 Nos. 1 and 6 advance toward each other in three steps, beginning with right feet.
On the first two steps they
stood [dibbing] with the both on the 1st beat left
the top fall on to the ground with it's own weight on the 2nd beat and
standing up strike sticks moving them from right to left on the 3rd beat
bar 2 Nos. 2 and 5 do the same
bar 3 Nos. 3 and 4 do the same
bar 4 Partneres do the same.
5-8 All this again
A2 1-4 Half - hands (usual figure)
B2 1-8 Same as B1, only instead of striking sticks on third beat, they point sticks at each other as though they were shooting.
A3 1-4 Processional down. First couple dances down the middle ( the others moving aside if necessary) and falls back into places.
5-8 Middle couple followed by first couple does the same.
B3 1-8 As in B2, except that when "shooting" they point their sticks into the air nearly vertically.
A4 1-4 Processional up. Third couple dance up the middle and back to places.
5-8 Middle couple followed by third couple does the same
B4 1- 8 As in B1
A5 1-8 Back to back.
B5 1-8 As in B2 shooting at each other
A6 1-4 Hands round. Partners clasp right hands waist level, arms extended, and holding their sticks in left hands, dance once round cl. to places, shifting sticks to right hands and striking sticks on last note.
B6 1-8 As in B3, shooting in the air
A7 1-8 Whole hey in Country Dance fashion, i.e. top two passing by right, bottom dancer by left - a continuous movement, no halt half way.
B7 1-8 As in B1 all facing up in column on last note and strike sticks.
I have included in this dance all the evolutions that Adderbury men had, viz. Whole rounds (Once to yourself), Foot up, Half hands, Processional down, Processional up, Back to back, Hands round and Whole hey. But Mr Walton said they did not
Always do all of these figures in every dance - they danced as many or as the few as they pleased. In this particular dance they would probably omit, say the Back to back, and do six movements only so as to include each form of B, the stick movement twice.
In those dances, eg. Jenny Jones and Constant Billy, in which the Foot up movement forms part of the distinctive evolution it is better ot begin by dancing the Whole rounds instead of the Foot up. This at least may be deduced from Mr. Walton's remark that "in this dance" , i.e. Jenny Jones "we always danced as we went round in the first movement".
Sticks are held in both hands as in Badby Shepherds' Hey.
On 1st beat Odd strikes his tip on Even's butt
" 2nd " Even " " " " Even's "
" 3rd " Odd " " " " Even's "
This alternate movement is continued throughout 2nd and 3rd bars and 1st beat of 4th bar.
On the 2nd beat of 4th bar partners strike tips together.
The alternate striking is continued in bars 5,6, and 7 and then tips are struck together on first beat of the 8th and final bar.
When No 1 strikes his stick on No. 2's butt, he is the active striker, No 2 merely moving his stick a little forward to receive the blow and vice versa when No 2 stikes No. 1's butt.
Partners hold their sticks firmly in the middle at the same angle as in double clapping and
Strike sticks alternately etc. as before, the only difference is the way in which the sticks are held.
The A evolutions are always done to the following steps throughout the dance:-
3/4 rlr/1 r/lrl/rlr/lrl/rl/rlr/l
In bars 2 and 6 the stepping foot remains in front of the body, the weight being distributed equally on both feet at first, and afterwards transferred to the front foot, and afterwards transferred to the front foot to enable the next step to be made in the hinder foot
A 1-8 Once to yourself, striking on the last note
A1 1-8 Whole rounds, striking on the last note
B1 1-8 Double clapping.
C1 1-8 Foot up, 2 bars up, 2 bars back, 2 bars up, 2 bars back, the dancers the while singing the words of the Chorus.
A2 1-8 Half handes
B2 1-8 Single clap.
C2 1-8 As in C1.
A3 1-8 Processional down
B3 & C3 As in B1 and C1 (double clap)
A4 1-8 Processional up
B4 & C4 As in B2 and C2 (single clap)
A5 1-8 Whole gip
B5 & C5 As in B1 and C1 (double clap)
A6 1-8 Whole hey
B6 & C6 As in B2 and C2 (single clap)
All in, all facing up in column as the partners strike the last blow.
B Bar 1 on 2nd beat partners jump and strike r to l
2 " " " Nos. 1 & 3, 2 & 4, 5 & 6 jump
3 " " " Partners jump and strike r to l
4 " " " Nos. 1 & 2, 3 & 5, 4 & 6 jump and strike r to l
In jumping before striking dancers prepare by swinging arms back on first beat of bar.
A 1 - 4 Once to yourself, standing still, striking and jumping on last note.
A 1 - 8 Whole rounds to 6/3 step.
B 1 - 4 Stick movements as above
5 - 8 Foot up ie up (2 bars 6/3) down (2 bars 6/2) and strike sticks; up (2 bars 6/3), down (2 bars 6/2) and strike
Movements as in other dances selecting any number according to pleasure.
LADS A BUNCHUN
B bar 1 Odd numbers strike with their tips on their partners butts three times on the first three beats
2 Evens do the same
3 Strikes alternated
4 Strikes alternated on first two beats and tips struck against each other on third beat.
Same as Double Clap except that sticks are held in the middle in right hand Clap High
Partners hold their sticks with both hands as in Double Clapping, stand pointing left shoulders to each other, evens facing up, odds facing down, and raise sticks well above their heads horizontally and parallel with the files. When striking the dancer makes an overhand movement, pivoting right hand over left, so as to strike down with his tip on to his partner's butt. In bars 3 and 4, and 7 and 8 partners face, resume normal positions and strike as in Double Clapping.
A 1 - 8 Once to yourself, walking (or dancing) once round in a ring, cl. striking sticks on second beat of last bar facing up.
A1 1 - 8 Foot up. Up (2 bars 4/3), back (1 bar 4/2 ,step and ft., striking sticks). All this repeated.
B1 1 - 4 Double Clap
5 - 8 Same again.
A2 1 - 8 Half hands, stepping as in Foot up.
B2 1 - 4 Single Clap
5 - 8 Same again
A3 1 - 8 Back to back
B3 1 - 4 Double Clap
5 - 8 Same again
And so on finishing last B music with "Clap High"
The hand movements accompanying the ordinary Morris step were not stereotyped, but varied considerably, although within certain limits. The normal movements seemed to us to be as follows:
Arms held out in front of the body, elbows curved and held well away from the sides - very much the same as in the initial position in "dip in dip out" (Eynsham). Counter twists (ie c cl in right, cl in left), in rather large vertical circles or ellipses are then made beginning with a downward and inward thrust, the accent with which is made on the first beat of the bar. As the hands come up and in to complete the circle they are bought close together in front of the body, falling slightly to that position with and accent on the third beat of the bar. Very often the curves described by each hand were shallow ellipses (major axes horizontal), ie the up and down movement was very slight and made mainly with the wrists as in the ordinary counter twist. In that case the movement becomes a mixture of the "dip in
and dip out" and the "counter twist". Wave always accompanied the Caper.
A 1 - 8 Once to yourself. Whole rounds walking or dancing, concluding with four capers facing up on last four beats
A1 1 - 8 Foot up; up ( 2 bars 4/3), back (2 bars 4/2), up ( 2 bars 4/3), back ( 4 capers).
B1 1 - 8 Partners clap
9 - 16 Same again
A2 1 - 8 Half hands, stepping as in Foot up.
B2 1 - 16 As in B1, striking breasts.
A3 1 - 8 Processional down.
B3 1 - 16 As in B1 tweaking noses.
A4 1 - 8 Processional up
B4 1 - 16 As in B1, only striking tops of heads.
A5 1 - 8 Whole gip.
B5 1 - 16 As in B1, except that in second and fourth bars all jump and raise right and left arms respectively on first beat; and in bars 5 and 6 jump and raise right and left arms respectively on middle beats. All in.
RORY O MORE
The chief points of this dance are (1) that all the A movements end with one caper on the second beat of the last bar (with of course the Wave); and (2) a pause is always made in the middle of the 6th bar of the A music, the hands being bought down to meet in fornt of the body with great emphasis, and with a greater fall than usual. In other respects that dance is a poor one, Mr Walton evidently forgetting the distinctive movement, as he danced Whole rounds, Half rounds, Whole gip, etc. to B music and Foot up always to A music
THE BLACK JOKE
A 1 - 12 Once to yourself. Walk round in a circle, cl. capering four times on last four beats, all facing up ready for the Foot up.
A1 1 - 6 Foot up , up (2 bars 6/3), back (2 bars 6/2), 4 capers in position
7 - 12 Same again
B1 1 - 2 All side step down, odds to right, evens to left, as in Old Women Tossed up, Ilmington version (except as to direction) with cl twists.
3 - 4 All side step back in reverse direction to places.
5 - 10 Foot up once.
The rest of the movements as in other danses, B music being danced throughout in same way.
As in this dance the Foot up occurs in B music, Once to yourself should be 6 bars only, Standing in Col. formation with 4 capers at end. Then A1 would be whole rounds not Foot up.
No handkerchiefs were carried in this dance.
A 1 - 8 Once to yourself. Walking around clockwise facing up on the last three beats and clapping both hands in front then behind again, on last note, in front. this clapping formula on the last three beats of A music is constant throughout the dance.
A1 1 - 4 Foot up. Up ( 2 bars 4/3), down (1 bar 4/2 and clap formula).
5 - 8 Repeat
B1 1 - 4 Clapping
b lt b /b rt b / b un.l b un.r/ fr beh fr/
5 - 8 Repeat
A2 1 - 8 Half hands as in Foot up.
B2 1 - 8 clapping, touching knees instead of toes in first two bars.
A3 1 - 8 Processional down (footing as in Foot up).
B3 1 - 8 Clapping, touching breasts in first two bars
A4 1 - 8 Processional up (footing as in Foot up)
B4 1 - 8 Clapping, touching top of head in first two bars
A5 1 - 8 Whole gip.
B5 1 - 8 Clapping raising arms thus
b r.up/ b l.up/ in first two bars - the remaining as in B1
All in - Facing up on last clap.
N.B. b = clasp own hands together.
lt, rt = touch left or right toe
un.l, un.r = clap under left leg or under right leg.
r.up, l.up = raise right or left leg arm vertically up, jumping at the same time.
This dance cannot consist of more than five figures, so it would be advisable to omit Back to back and in addition Half hands, if it is especially desired to conclude with Whole hey.
Mr Walton said they used to do certain Jigs eg Jockey to the Fair and Princess Royal. He sang the tunes to these
but he could not, because of his age dance them sufficiently for me to note them. He said that you could put in almost and steps and capers you liked, or,
as he expressed it, " The more features you put in the better, so long as you didn't step over the tune." One interesting little piece
of clapping he did in Princess Royal (marked in tune book). The Jigs were done either by one dancer or by two or more.
If in the last way the first couple would dance a figure first, then the second couple and finally the third. This gave them plenty of time to recover their breath.