|Island HELP 24 (LP, UK, 1976 (recorded 1973))
The Personnel is mostly uncredited but includes
John Locke, fiddle;
Albion Morris Men, dancers;
William Palmer, spoken word;
and Cyril Papworth, dancer.
Side 1: Rattlebone
Morris Dancing of the Wales Border Counties Herefordshire, Shropshire and
- Reading from Piers Plowman.
- A cylinder recording of the Herefordshire gypsy fiddler John Locke, playing an unnamed hornpipe. Made by Cecil Sharp at the turn of the century.
- Old Hall was the legendary Elizabethan pipe-and-tabor player. This eulogy (unnamed reader) comes from a contemporary pamphlet. The tune for pipe and tabor is Jack off the Green
from William Preece of Dilwyn, Hertfortshire.
- The Bromsberrow Heath Three Handed Reel is a tune from Bromsberrow melodeon player, Beatrice Hill
musicians playing melodeon, concertina, tambourine).
- This is followed by a local carol (a variant of Christ Made a Trance)
- The Elizabethan actor and morris-dancer William Kemp is said to be the author of the pamphlet Old Meg of Herefordshire
for a Mayd Marian and Hereford Towne for a morris daunce or 12 morris dauncers in Herefordshire of 12 hundred years old
(1609 London). This quote comes from it.
- The next dance is from Brimfield. The tune is a hornpipe from Stephen Baldwin of Upton Bishop, Herefordshire. (Unnamed
dancers plus unnamed musicians playing melodeon, bones, tambourine)
- An account of dancers at Shrewsbury from Shropshire Notes and Queries, 1885
- Dance from Much Wenlock
(unnamed dancers plus unnamed musicians playing anglo-concertina and tambourine)
- Broseley Morris tune Om si the Gom. A stick dance went to this.
(unnamed singer and musician playing vocal
- One of the earliest references to morris dancers making a nuisance of themselves. This is from Puritans at a Much Wenlock
court case in 1652.
- Into Worcestershire. The bagpipes (smallpipes or lowland bagpipe) play two Border tunes, Not for Joe and Sheepskins.
The latter is the same tune as Om si the Gom.
- Frozen rivers meant that fishermen couldn't work, so another way of raising money was needed.
- The future? Albion Morris Men perform the Upton-Upon-Severn Stick Dance to electric guitars and drums.
track was previously released on The Electric Muse where the musicians were identified
as John Watcham, anglo-concertina; Simon Nicol, electric guitar; Ashley Hutchings, bass; Roger Swallow, drums)
Side 2: Ploughjack
Molly Dancing of the Fens and Plough Customs of the East Midlands
- Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, 1931
- Birds a'Building dance from Girton, Cambs. When the leader called “Set!” the dancers bobbed down
momentarily in imitation of birds nesting
(unnamed dancers plus unnamed musician playing anglo concertina)
- The Hi Ninny Naw Nee chant was meant to simulate the sound of the “nags”.
(unnamed reader and
- Smash the Window dance from Girton
(unnamed dancers plus unnamed musicians playing anglo concertina and tambourine)
- William Palmer reads his own account of a visit to Little Downham on Plough Monday, 1933. As it turned out, this was one
of the last times that Molly dancing was to be seen in the Fens.
- Frank Beeton of Balsham, Cambs., had this old rhyme (All in a Row or similar). The Molly dancers used to recite
it. (unamed voices)
- “Cross-Hand” dance from Comberton, Cambs., danced to the tune Shave the Fiddle
plus unnamed musicians playing mouth organ and tambourine)
- Into Lincolnshire with the first of many Plough-Play quotes and the sound of the bagpipes.
(unnamed reader plus unnamed
musician playing smallpipes or lowland bagpipe)
- Cambridge man Cyril Papworth dances the Broom Dance, which he first learned from his grandfather, on of the old
Comberton Molly dancers.
(unnamed reader plus unnamed musician playing fiddle)
- College Hornpipe dance from Girton, to a tune from the Little Downham musician George Green.
plus unnamed dancers plus unnamed musician playing English concertina)
- The Straw-Bear quote comes from the Folk-Lore Society's journal (volume 20, 1909), which also contains
two wonderful photographs of the Whittlesey Straw-Bear - the only ones that I know of.
- The final tune is from George Green.
(unnamed musicians playing melodeon, banjo and drum)
- Little Downham, 1931, again.
This is an extract from a booklet
about Border Morris Dancing,
which is published by
The term was coined by
Dr Cawte in an article for
performance in the Welsh Border
counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire
problems, solutions and answers
from Rich Holmes
Welcome to the Foxs Border Morris
wonderful web site!
So who are we I hear you cry!
Well we are a group of
approximately 20 men and
women who meet every Thursday
practice and dance
traditional border Morris....
This paper was originally
prepared for the
Roots of Border Morris Conference
organised by the Morris Federation at
West Malvern on 29th February 1992.
The online guide to folk song,
dance and roots music for
the West Midland counties
The Loose Women dance their own
interpretation of Border Morris,
which is a ‘loose’, loud, stompy
style of dancing. The only hankies
you’ll find in this team will be to
blow their noses on.
The West Midland counties
seem to have been
great carol country and
there's an interesting range of styles
an article written by
that esteemed player of
melodeons and concertinas,
Mr. John Kirkpatrick
and published by
Direct Roots". the new folk directory
and guide published by
Mrs Casey Music, 2001