Mudcat Café message #3944097 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944097
Posted By: GUEST,Observer
15-Aug-18 - 09:55 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
" I would suggest that there is plenty of evidence that, particularly in the dog days of winter that the rural poor with any talents were pleased to join the plough stots, mummers, tipteerers, morris etc. in their rounds. Of course they were doing it for the love of it, anything that would lift spirits in their drab existence was welcome - but so was the sharing of the money that they collected for performing outside the pubs and from their pre-arranged visits to the vicarage, the manor and the various landed gentry." - Vic Smith.

Well Vic that would cover from what we now know as late December to mid-January, and as we are mentioning "evidence", the evidence suggests that these were local men - not bands of wandering players - which brings us back to - So if there was some form of social event in the community they had to do it all themselves ......"

History of Morris Dancing

"'as with many folk customs, the origins are hidden in the mists of time and coloured by later perceptions, which may or may not have been correct' Alun Howkins

Over time the dances were assimilated by the established church, and by the 1500s Morris was being performed for Easter, Whitsuntide, and saint's days. In fact Morris dancing became so much an accepted institution that medieval churchwarden's accounts show that accessories were provided by parish funds. St Lawrence Church Reading, accounts show "Moreys Dawncers" perfomed on Dedication Day 1513 and were given 3d for ale.

The accessories mentioned included shoes and bells do you honestly think that parishes doled out money for passing troupes of itinerant morris dancers? I do not think so, those making up the members of the troupe were locals. Why would total strangers have to black their faces to avoid being recognised in a particular parish? Locals would. The 3d for ale brings us back to - the only form of payment they might get, if any, would be in the form of food and drink.

Besides I do not believe that there were that many Plough Stots, mummers,tipteerers or morrismen doing the rounds in Scotland, Ireland or Wales.

There is also documented evidence that traditionally the music for the above was originally provided by a flute or a whistle and a tabor or a drum, very basic. Other instruments only became common much later when people were actively reviving the art.