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MitfordRI

The Nine Lives Of Morris

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I'm not sure it is generally considered to be related to Morris dancing. It is just another English traditional dance form. You might as well say that haggis and midges are generally considered to be related because they are both found on Scottish picnics.
Er, I won't bother with a riposte to your dig about haggis (yawn!) as you obvioulsy don't know much about Scotland. Picnics? Here? In the pouring rain? Ha!

Euphemisms abound.

Or is that
rebound
?

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And my stock example is the tune known in numerous English-speaking traditions as Soldier's Joy. It's considered a "native" tune in both Finland and Poland, and I suspect all across Western Europe.

For instance, in Sweden, where it goes by the name of Sexling ...

 

Chris

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Many years back an Irish friend told me that there are Morris dancers in Ireland (Republic, not Northern), and that they're an old tradition, not a recent introduction (as they are in North America). He also said that they're very rare, local survivals which might not survive much longer.
Dublin City Morris Dancers?

Dunno.

Just now I couldn't find a web site for them, or anything about their origins. Only a couple of notices about where they might be appearing.

 

About 20 years ago I met a woman (in America), who told me that as a teenager she had been a member of a Morris dance team in Liverpool. ... Also, by her description the dancing seemed rather like a cross between a drill team and cheerleading, or certainly closer to Northwest Morris than to either Cotswold or Border.
This is Carnival (A.K.A "Fluffy") Morris Dancing....

Thanks, Woody. I followed your links. Interesting stuff. It also seems to confirm my tentative description as "a cross between a drill team and cheerleading", at least as we know those things in the US. :D

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Yes, that's exactly the tune (it has two more strains, but that's the first one). And I just checked, our lead sheet doees use the British spelling of "Humour".

 

So if you play it thru, does it sound Morris dance-able?

Sort of. Any tune can potentially be "Morris dance-able" if you play it right. Most Cotswold Morris dance tunes, however, have a form like AABB or AABBCC. This one has ABAC, and I'm not sure how that would tie in to the figure/chorus structure of the dance. It sounds more like a polka that might be used more in Northwest Morris or Garland dancing.
Some 30 years ago, a Morris dance was devised called "Mister Softee" using this tune.
You got me on this one, David. I don't recognize the tune at all.
I used to hear it all the time when I lived in New York City in the early 1980s. Haven't heard it since. Maybe it's just a NY thing (or an 80s thing).

 

Er, I won't bother with a riposte to your dig about haggis (yawn!) as you obvioulsy don't know much about Scotland. Picnics? Here? In the pouring rain? Ha!
My father was in Scotland during WWII. They told him you could tell the weather by looking out at the mountains. If you could see the mountains it meant it was going to rain. If you couldn't see the mountains, it's raining.

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"Mister Softee" is another brand of ice cream sold in a similar fashion except that instead of ringing bells, the truck broadcasts a silly tune from a loudspeaker. The tune starts like this:

post-65-1188736621_thumb.jpg

Some 30 years ago, a Morris dance was devised called "Mister Softee" using this tune.

You got me on this one, David. I don't recognize the tune at all.
I used to hear it all the time when I lived in New York City in the early 1980s. Haven't heard it since. Maybe it's just a NY thing (or an 80s thing).

Neither.

In 1964 I had a summer job driving a Mr. Softee truck in a (relatively) small town in Ohio.

 

Besides, you say the dance was composed 30 years ago, and that was before the '80's. ;)

 

By the way, in the above music notation there's a D just under the treble staff. At least on my truck, the music box played that note an octave higher. Believe me, I know. :lol:

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Er, I won't bother with a riposte to your dig about haggis (yawn!) as you obvioulsy don't know much about Scotland. Picnics? Here? In the pouring rain? Ha!

 

It wasn't a dig about haggis. It was a mildly humorous parallel example to illustrate a point.

 

Having spent far too many weekends diving off St. Abbs, cruising and diving in the Western Isles and diving the sea lochs and Loch Lomond, as well motorcycling to Orkney, and doing the entire coast road of Scotland, up the east, over the top and down the west, and across some of the isles, sometimes camping, sometimes sleeping rough in just a bivvy bag, I feel moderately well qualified to speak of midges.

 

And when it isn't raining, it's the most beautiful country in the world. I remember that afternoon well.

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Guest Old Leaky

 

Er, I won't bother with a riposte to your dig about haggis (yawn!) as you obvioulsy don't know much about Scotland. Picnics? Here? In the pouring rain? Ha!

 

It wasn't a dig about haggis. It was a mildly humorous parallel example to illustrate a point.

 

Having spent far too many weekends diving off St. Abbs, cruising and diving in the Western Isles and diving the sea lochs and Loch Lomond, as well motorcycling to Orkney, and doing the entire coast road of Scotland, up the east, over the top and down the west, and across some of the isles, sometimes camping, sometimes sleeping rough in just a bivvy bag, I feel moderately well qualified to speak of midges.

 

And when it isn't raining, it's the most beautiful country in the world. I remember that afternoon well.

 

Oh, a professional! I'm sorry. Er, the offence was to Scots, not the haggis!

Edited by Old Leaky

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All these politician type answers.

 

I'd have thought that the quick answer to the original question was. No.

 

Then add, "a distant relation"

 

Chas

 

You are my new boyfriend.

 

Lucy

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In 1964 I had a summer job driving a Mr. Softee truck in a (relatively) small town in Ohio...
It does not surprise me that the tune was played by Mr. Softee trucks much longer ago and farther away than NYC in the 80s. But apparently it's not heard in Maine in the 21st century.
Besides, you say the dance was composed 30 years ago, and that was before the '80's. ;)
I don't know when it was composed, but I had the sense it had been around awhile when I became aware of it 20 - 25 years ago.
By the way, in the above music notation there's a D just under the treble staff. At least on my truck, the music box played that note an octave higher. Believe me, I know. :lol:
You're undoubtedly right. I've never seen it written down nor heard it played on anything other than an overmodulated ice-cream truck loudspeaker, and not since 1985. I was working from memory when I made the music notation snippet.

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BTW There is a school of thought that Morris is actually French in origin ... (Old Leaky)

 

There's actually a record of it being danced by the glovers in Perth (Scotland) :D

 

'Today, the Glover's Incorporation of Perth still dispplays the bell furnishings worn by the Morris dancers when Charles I was greeted by the town in 1633.'

 

from Henry George Farmer, A History of Music in Scotland, London, 1947. pp. 231-233 at http://www.standingstones.com/scotem.html

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...you say the dance [Mr. Softee] was composed 30 years ago,...
I don't know when it was composed, but I had the sense it had been around awhile when I became aware of it 20 - 25 years ago.

You've jogged my memory, slightly. I remember being present when it was composed by the Kingsessing team, though I don't remember whether it was at an Ale, or whether I was on a visit to Philadelphia. I think it must have been hanging out between stands at an Ale (Marlboro?) or other tour, since I remember them being in kit. Nor do I remember what year it was, but I think mid to late 1970's.

 

Those were the days! :)

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Nor do I remember what year it was, but I think mid to late 1970's.
My original estimate of "some 30 years ago" was worded that way to leave open the notion that the only significant digit was the 3 in the 10's place, that is, "30 plus or minus 5." Looks like you agree.

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All these politician type answers.

 

I'd have thought that the quick answer to the original question was. No.

 

Then add, "a distant relation"

 

Chas

 

You are my new boyfriend.

 

Lucy

 

Oh Lucy my hearts all a flutter

 

Chas

 

PS: Where are they now?

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Sort of. Any tune can potentially be "Morris dance-able" if you play it right.

Just to prove this please see my greatest morris dancing appearance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvDQxdv-wuE

 

How wicked effing cool!!! But you must have been a child then. 1992. Good golly. That was a purple haze year.

 

Lucy

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...

 

Back on topic, more or less: Is "Good Humor" a Morris tune?

The Irish/Celtic/Old-Timey band I play in plays this tune a lot. The lead sheet makes a reference to Morris dancing, so I thought I'd ask.

 

I know I'm very late on this reply, I've been away.

 

Way back in the 1970s Good Homour was always the tune of choice to begin the Circassian Circle dance, followed by the Irish Washerwoman. I had thought it was in the Country Dance manuals but I can't find it. Never heard it used in Cotswold or NW Morris.

 

Not heard much these days.

 

Mitch

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