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Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

Jack Blandiver 08 Sep 07 - 10:51 AM
jonm 08 Sep 07 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Sep 07 - 09:58 PM
TheSnail 14 Sep 07 - 10:09 PM
treewind 15 Sep 07 - 03:53 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Sep 07 - 07:49 AM
RTim 15 Sep 07 - 08:36 AM
Ruth Archer 15 Sep 07 - 01:31 PM
treewind 15 Sep 07 - 01:43 PM
The Sandman 15 Sep 07 - 01:54 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Sep 07 - 02:18 PM
The Sandman 15 Sep 07 - 02:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Sep 07 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Sep 07 - 09:11 PM
RTim 15 Sep 07 - 09:42 PM
Ruth Archer 16 Sep 07 - 05:13 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Sep 07 - 05:32 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Sep 07 - 05:52 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Sep 07 - 06:10 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Sep 07 - 06:15 AM
The Sandman 16 Sep 07 - 08:21 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Sep 07 - 08:32 AM
The Sandman 16 Sep 07 - 09:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Sep 07 - 11:21 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Sep 07 - 11:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Sep 07 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 16 Sep 07 - 02:08 PM
treewind 16 Sep 07 - 02:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Sep 07 - 03:39 PM
Ruth Archer 16 Sep 07 - 03:41 PM
Rowan 16 Sep 07 - 11:00 PM
Ruth Archer 17 Sep 07 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Sep 07 - 03:34 AM
Mary Humphreys 17 Sep 07 - 03:46 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Sep 07 - 04:16 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 17 Sep 07 - 04:43 AM
The Sandman 17 Sep 07 - 05:00 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Sep 07 - 06:53 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Sep 07 - 06:55 AM
The Sandman 17 Sep 07 - 02:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Sep 07 - 03:02 PM
Herga Kitty 17 Sep 07 - 06:38 PM
Jack Blandiver 18 Sep 07 - 03:56 AM
treewind 18 Sep 07 - 04:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 07 - 05:47 AM
The Sandman 18 Sep 07 - 07:21 AM
Jack Blandiver 18 Sep 07 - 09:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 07 - 06:06 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Sep 07 - 06:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 07 - 06:38 PM
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Subject: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 10:51 AM

I'm seeking clarification on the provenance of that beautiful old English melody known as 'The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance', which I've been told has nothing to with the dance itself. What's the story?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: jonm
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 10:54 AM

The Abbots Bromley men claim that they have not and do not use it, yet it has been known to creep in at a late stage in the beer/day.

Thaxted MM use it for the dance, though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 09:58 PM

Curious area to explore - strange, yeilding softness for a door.

REFRESH

FOR THE WEEKEND.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Surely.... you sorry sotten lots can expand

Sedayne - once again - a couple (tune-website-lyric) links will help the "bloodhounds" in their trace.

You appear knowledgable - you are asking un-known others for help - PLEASE when asking a question - reveal all you currently know....or at least a couple sources.....i.e. I've been toldWHO, WHEN, WHERE, CONTEXT of Conversation.

You have a pleathora of "search angels" through this portal....We know...we can find...we have connections - PLEASE a little more information!!!! Could care less than a possum's piss down a Kat-Leg about YOU.... just present .... What YOU Know....and What YOU would like to know.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:09 PM

It's also known as Robinson's Tune. If you put "Abbots Bromley Robinson" into Google you'll get quite a lot but possibly not reach any meaningful conclusion.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: treewind
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 03:53 AM

Thaxted use it now, and it's quite likely that more people have seen the horn dance at the annual Thaxted Ring meeting than have seen it done at Abbots Bromley.

It was used in Abbots Bromley, when Robinson was alive - the tune apparently dates from 1857.

The current AB dancers may well say they don't use it and never have, but don't expect a straight answer from them! They may well not have used it in their living memory.

It's great fiddle tune, but doesn't translate well to melodeon. Especially in the original key....

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 07:49 AM

I've heard it as a melodeon (?) tune on the old Saydisk LP 'All Around England and Back Again' with a moving testimonial from one of the old dancers dubbed over it. I must say, I'm a sucker for this sort of of thing and assumed it to be authentic until I read somewhere that the whole thing was faked.

I first heard the tune on the LP 'Times & Traditions for Dulcimer' by Roger Nicolson, Jake Walton & Andrew Cronshaw over thirty year back & it's stuck with me ever since.

I've heard various ideas - one suggestion was that the tune was 'Medieval', but whatever the case, I still play it on the whistle at this time of year; goes especially well on my old Generation brass Bb bought at the Rothbury festival in 1984...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: RTim
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 08:36 AM

Here in the USA where Abbotts Bromley is a regular part of Revels productions, the Robinson's "Wheelwright" tune is used all the time.
Having once spoken to the late lamented Doug Fowell, he assured me they that NEVER used the tune, it is only associated with the dance because the tune was collected from Mr. Robinson, a Wheelwright, and occasionionly he played for the team in the old days.
The reason the tune is used in the US is because Jack Langstaff saw it performed at Thaxted and that is what he decided to use in The Revels.
Many Morris teams in the USA do the dance (Incl. Pinewoods Morris who I danced with) and it is regularly performed at Pinewoods Camp during summer evenings, which is very different than the UK where I think only Thaxted do it in addition to the Abbotts Bromley village team.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 01:31 PM

"Here in the USA where Abbotts Bromley is a regular part of Revels productions, the Robinson's "Wheelwright" tune is used all the time."

Why does every aspect of that sentence depress me so much?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: treewind
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 01:43 PM

Why does every aspect of that sentence depress me so much?"
I know what you mean.
They should all go to Abbots Bromley to see how it's really done. Very different, very ordinary but still magical in a quite different way.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 01:54 PM

Are you sure that the tune is not a more recently composed tune?
I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere that it is,possibly a Pat Shuldham Shaw composition.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 02:18 PM

I agree, Anahata.

The thing about calendar customs is that they are part of the community and the location where they happen. When I first heard about Thaxted, and how they do Abbots Bromley at twilight to make it all spooky and use the Robinson tune because it's more "atmospheric", I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. They may have a lovely time prancing about with their horns, but whatever they're doing, it ain't Abbots Bromley. That happens in one place, performed by one group of people, who may occasionally take their custom to other places and share it - if you're lucky. Surely that's enough.

The thing that makes these events special is the fact that you have to go to the place where they happen to see them! They are site-specific, as it were. A lot of the time, the joy of them doesn't come from the custom itself - have you ever seen the Abbots Bromley "dance"? It's little more than weaving about. Why would you want to recreate that? Half the appeal is the fact that they use the ancient horns, and those never even leave the parish - so you CAN'T recreate that.

The joy comes from being priveleged to share in the tradition itself. The people who take part in the real customs aren't even folkies, most of them: they do it because their families, and their communities, have always done. The idea of folked-up recreations of their traditions is mystefying.


Give me the Isle of Capri any day.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 02:25 PM

Robinsons tune was writen about 1700,correction.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 08:29 PM

I think it counts as rooted in Thaxted now. And it raises the hairs on teh back of my neck every time I see them doing it with that tune. Here's a YouTube clip of it - complete with sound effects of Stansted airliners going overhead.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 09:11 PM

Got it.

Thank you!

Sincerely
Gargoyle

Another of those morris type things with ribbonz and bowz and old-chicken-pluckers dancing with bois.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: RTim
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 09:42 PM

Ruth & Anahata - I don't understand why Abbotts Bromley in the USA depresses you so much - and Many Americans I know HAVE been to Abbotts Bromley and seen the dance performed, and many have a very soft spot for the dance and treat it with great reverence.

Ruth - Have you been to the USA to see how some people here treat English Customs?
In my experience (and that is after years of dancing in Two Revival Traditional villages in the Cotswolds) many people here are MORE interested in the Tradition than most English people. And Revels is also a community in its own way.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 05:13 AM

Tim, I'm American. I've been living in England for 15 years.

Doing Abbots Bromley in America would be like like doing the Munmmer's Day Parade in Cleethorpes. No context. It's a pretendy version of the real thing. And that kind of faked-up "tradition" makes my skin crawl.

I have a soft spot for the Hallaton Bottle Kicking. That doesn't mean I think I should re-enact it on our village green. What the hell would be the point?

If people had real reverence for these calendar customs and traditions, they would realise that it is their uniqueness and sense of place that makes them special - versions of the custom popping up all over the bloody place, and claiming to BE that thing, de-value it somehow.

"I think it counts as rooted in Thaxted now."

No, it doesn't. What they do at Thaxted is NOT Abbots Bromley - it's no better than the kind of twee Victorian romanticism that the tradition has been fighting against for a century. It's precisely this sort of claim that does my nut. What they do at Thaxted is the worst kind of "tribute", because they've actually tried to "improve" upon the real tradition! It might be all woooooooo and spooky with haunting tunes and fading twilight, but it's bollocks.

Hey, I've got a really good idea! Why doesn't Disney do a new addition to its theme parks? It could be called Tradition World. That way everyone who can't be arsed to come and see the real thing could go and see nice, folked-up versions of calendar customs and traditions. And they could clean them up and make them all pretty and sanitised, so there was no more mud and dirt and locals getting pissed and fighting, which is the sort of thing that accompanies the real customs most of the time. And you could even buy your fake Abbots Bromley horns to wear around the park!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 05:32 AM

I've just been on Youtube, watching various Americans doing what they think is Abbots Bromley. My favourites were the ones in strange medieval garb, clearly performing at some ghastly "Ren-Fayre" type of event, who were doing some odd hopping thing that bears no relation whatever to the Abbots Bromley dance. But it did look like an outtake from Blackadder. Hilarious.

The other American sides don't seem to know what it's supposed to look like, either - but they DO seem to have seen Thaxted, which is what they're copying.

To avoid confusion, maybe they ought to call it the Thaxted Horn Dance. Then it would be clear that what they're doing is nothing to do with Abbots Bromley, but based on a revival. Actually, can you have a revival when something is still alive? maybe not - so let's call it an imitation. But at least people would know they were NOT seeing ther Abbts Bromley Horn Dance.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 05:52 AM

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

Compare this to the Thaxted link above...how can anyone say they're the same thing?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 06:10 AM

Thanks for that link, Ruth - having browsed the other You Tube clips (especially the Ren-fair) my soul was beginning to wither rather, but that's just perfect.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 06:15 AM

And another ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 08:21 AM

Ruth your point about Hallerton hare pie and bottle kicking,and starting it somewhere else is interesting.
all Traditions were started by someone at sometime,and get altered and changed along the way,lets take PADSTOW HOBBY HOSS,Is it exactly the same as when it first started,were there always two osses?.how original is the merry making?has the merry making changed?has their been input to merry making from outsiders?
There may not be any point[debatable] to starting the same traditions Somewhere else,but there is no logical reason why you shouldnt start another tradition on your village green.
If we think of customs in the same way as traditional songs[they were all written by someone at sometime,and often have acquired new verses over the years and are living and changing]customs were started at some time,some are older than others, [Guyfawkes is comparitively recent]they can also change and grow.
The point of starting a tradition on your village green,[regardless of whether it is acopy of someone elses]is that you will, if it is successful, draw people to your area[you may not think that an advantage]More Importantly you will start to create a community spirit,through the community activity of the tradition.,youmay also if you introduce folk music to a wider audience if you are successful
There is no logical reason, WHY new traditions should not be started.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 08:32 AM

I agree completely, Dick. New traditions are important, too. In my last village we had the Happening, which was only about 20 years old and was our May Bank Holiday festival. It was as valid as any other tradition, and it united the community, which is what these things are all about. And people from other villages and towns, who might not have antything similar themselves, used to come and take part, and that was lovely, too.

New traditions are a different thing from copying other people's ancient traditions. Once you remove them for their original context, they are simply not the same thing.

I don't object to people getting hold of some horns and prancing about if they want to. What I object to (and what the Abbots Bromley dancers themselves object to, if the comments on Youtube are anything to go by) is people calling it Abbots Bromley - especially these versions that bear so little resemblance or relation to the original. Let them call it something else, or say it's inspired by Abbots Bromley. But there's only one group of people who can do the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. Just like there's only one group of Bacup Coconutters, or Marshfield Paperboys.

Does that make sense?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 09:28 AM

Yes, I agree ,Ruth.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 11:21 AM

As you say Cap'n... A custom in a traditional context is an organic, evolving thing, touched by many hands, over many generations, part of a wider continuity, the corporeal & empirical immediacy of which is of so more importance than any idle speculation on possible origin (or, worse still, meaning). If it's older than living memory, I'd say that's pretty significant; and if it still happens, then surely that's meaning enough.

Unlike traditional songs, such customs can only be transplanted from their traditional context as an imitative approximation of someone's version of the prototype, operating at a significant remove, by whatever degrees of separation, and affected only by whatever agendas comprise the motivation of the participants. I shudder to think what's going through the minds of those hopping Ren-fair re-enactment buffoons in the USA, but saying that, the psycho-socio-cultural context of such cavortings is perhaps worth a look in the light of the current state of world culture, whereby all things, real or imagined, might at least be of some significance to someone.

It has been suggested that the innate cultural conservatism of folkies is altogether at odds with the radical politics that they invariably subscribe to. Not so sure what I think of that myself, but I do feel that the dissemination of tradition is interesting, so long as it is an observable organic phenomenon and not a case of a wholesale 're-imagining' (or 'remake') of something that is alive and well elsewhere.

I started off this thread in a quest for 'authenticity'; I now get the impression that certain parties feel that what they're doing is more authentic than what happens at Abbots Bromley. A grim but not altogether unexpected state of affairs!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 11:36 AM

This one's the best yet!

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 12:23 PM

I think calling what happens in Thaxted the "Thaxted Horn Dance" would be an excellent idea. So long as they still keep doing it every June.

Traditions migrate and they change in the process. Nothing wrong with that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 02:08 PM

Ruth, you're so right.

I've read this thread with ever increasing horror. I'm a local - I live about 5 miles away from Abbot's Bromley and have seen the horn dance more times than you can shake a stick at.

I had no idea that there was a Thaxted version. I've just clicked onto the link. How very dare they? I can only imagine what an American version must be like, if it's based on the Thaxted version.

The horn dance is performed once a year and the rest of the time the horns are kept in the church at Abbot's Bromley. Most of the people who perform belong to the same family. Very occasionally they do a special performance at other times - and even that seems somehow wrong.

If you want to see the Abbot's Bromley Horn Dance, you'll just have to go to Abbot's Bromley.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: treewind
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 02:43 PM

Actually I like what they do at Thaxted. The theatre and amosphere of it was palpable even on my first encounter which was hearing a recording made on a crappy pocket cassette recorder. I subsequently saw the dance at Thaxted and was similarly entranced.

However it's not the same at what Abbotts Bromley do (which I only saw years later) and I also think it's very wrong to copy the Thaxted style (a) rather badly without creating the same atmosphere and (b) without realizing that this is not the Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance.

Actually I thought I heard or read somewhere that the Thaxted thing happens with the knowledge and approval of the Abbotts Bromley dancers, but I can't cite source.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 03:39 PM

They've been dancing the Horn Dance at the Thaxted Ring Meeting every June since 1947. That's what I meant by "I think it counts as rooted in Thaxted now."

And as is only right, it has changed over the years. I would srongly suspect that the same will be true of the dance as performed in Abbots Bromley. Living traditions aren't set in amber so they never change.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 03:41 PM

If you look at the messages on Youtube, Anahata, it wouldn't appear to be universal consent!

McGrath, personally I think it would be a good thing if they started referring to the Thaxted Horn Dance, and the sides in America did the same...nothing wrong with that at all, IMHO. There needs to be a distinction between what they do, and the annual Abbots Bromley tradition. That's all.

Chris, it's their choice to occasionally perform it outside the parish, and that's their privilege. But as you say, it's not the same thing as seeing it in Abbots Bromley.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Rowan
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 11:00 PM

As one from the other side of the equator (where antlers were not part of the precontact history) who plays a version of the tune very similar to the Thaxted one, I'm interested in the comments on the thread and perhaps some of you know about the antlers used in the "original" Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance. How long have they been stored in the church and what species are they from?

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 03:14 AM

I have been told that they've not been kept in the church for all that long. Previously they lived in the village hall, which is now one of the pubs in the village. I can try and find out when they moved from the village hall to the church.

They are reindeer horns, but apart from that I don't know anything more specific.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 03:34 AM

So....we are all in agreement? Good!

Shortly, after the New Year's festivities, the International House of Pancakes (known as IHOP) shall begin a promotional in the USA (known as the Colonies) in preparation for the coming Easter Season (known as Shrove Tuesday but to run ((literally)) for four full weeks.)

While the primary purpose is to expand immediate USA sales....the underlying purpose is to git more Brits to eat panckes on days other than the traditional Shrove Tuesday.

It is IHOP'S sworn beleif that we can add pancakes into the daily UK diet inceerting them soundly between the baked beans and the roasted tomatoe.

We have reached unversal consensus. Let it be.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 03:46 AM

I have come into the discussion a bit late - sorry. But for those who want to know when Robinson's tune was written, here is a link to a very useful West Midlands site:
Robinson's Tune
Mary


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 04:16 AM

Thanks for that, Mary. I see it doesn't mention 'The Archers' theme, which I remember being mentioned by an associate of mine who saw the dance in the early 1980s.

Does anyone know when Robinson's tune was first called 'The Abbot's Bromley Horn Dance'? And by whom? Have Thaxted been using Robinson's tune since 1947?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 04:43 AM

QUOTE: perhaps some of you know about the antlers used in the "original" Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance. How long have they been stored in the church and what species are they from?

"The horns are six sets of reindeer antlers, three white and three black. In 1976, a small splinter was radiocarbon dated to around 1065. Since there are not believed to have been any reindeer in England in the 11th Century, the horns must have been imported from Scandinavia."
(Wikipedia)

"Carbon dating has shown one set of antlers to be in the region of 900 years old."
(Time Travel Britain)

To add my two pence worth to the part of the discussion about where and by who the ABHD should be performed, I think an important thing to note is that it's THE Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance, not simply AN Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance. This is an important distinction. There are so few of these folklife remnants left in England that it's a shame to muddy the waters by doing something else somewhere else and calling it by the same name. The people concerned really ought to have the good manners to come up with a new name for what they do.

Otherwise I'm having a Lewes Bonfire and a Padstow Hobby Horse here in Manchester next year... and the Lewes Bonfire won't be on November 5th!

If anyone's interested, Colin Irwin writes about Abbotts Bromley and various other folklore renmants in his hugely entertaining "In Search of Albion" - well worth a read. And very funny.

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 05:00 AM

Mary,According to other info on the internet,Robinsons tune was collected in 1857,BUT was written in 17oo,,On close examination this information As to when it was written could be wrong as Robinson a wheelrwright,was not born till 1790,unless it is an older tune that was written in 1700,but was called Robinsons tune,because Robinson played it a lot.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 06:53 AM

Was Robinson's tune aways known as The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, or did it have another name (other than Robinson's Tune, as you say, Catapain)? What I'm trying to understand here is at what point did the tune become associated with the dance?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 06:55 AM

Catapain? Slip of the fingers...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 02:03 PM

sedayne.ROBINSON'S TUNE. AKA and see "Abbots Bromley Horn Dance." English, Dance Tune. G Minor. Standard. AB. One of the tunes associated with the ritual horn dance from the village of Abbots Bromley (Staffordshire), written c. 1700. "It was sent to (British folksong collector Cecil) Sharp in 1910 by a Mr. Buckley, an Abbots Bromley resident who noted the tune in 1857 or 1858. He learned it from William (or Henry) Robinson, the town's wheelwright and a very good fiddle player. While he never played for the dance, he was the only one in the village who remembered the tune, which he said was still used when he was a young man. We know that Robinson was born in the 1790's, because his sold his shop in 1878 while he was in his eighties. Robinson indicated that the tune was ancient in his day. However, because of technical aspects of the tune, doubt has been raised as to the authenticity of Robinson's tune as an early horn dance accompaniment (see particularly Cawte, pp. 78‑79)" [Bullen, 1987]. Andrew Bullen, Country Dance and Song, May 1987, vol. 17, pg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 03:02 PM

"Quite a number of tunes have been used to accompany the horn dance at Abbots Bromley. Here is a selection of them"

Including Yankee Doodle, American horn dancers might like to note.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 06:38 PM

IIRC, Roy Dommett taught the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance at a Sidmouth festival morris workshop in the Ham Marquee about 30 years ago, with Tubby Reynolds as musician, and using chairs as horns.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 03:56 AM

Abbots Bromley Tunes

There sees to be something missing from that transciption of Robinson's Tune as I've come to understand it over the years (and as can be heard on the various films on YouTube of Thaxted, Pipe & Bowl etc.) - or is it more a case of something having been added?

Thanks for the info Captain, a clear picture is at last beginning to emerge.

Many years ago I was playing Robinson's Tune on a penny whistle whilst sitting in a Northumbrian woodland; becoming aware of a certain presence, I looked up to see a fallow deer buck watching me from a distance of about twenty yards. I kept playing; he kept watching. At the time my head was full of mythological images, Cernunnos & 'Herne' etc, so this encounter seem of especial significance. Over twenty years on, every time I play the tune on my penny whistle (the same Bb brass Generation I bought at the Rothbury Festival in 1984!) I get the same creepy feeling that he's watching me still...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: treewind
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 04:12 AM

The transcription on that site is as I know the tune, except there should be a repeat mark after the first 16 bars, and then I think the last 8 bars are repeated too. Not that it makes much difference to the dance, which is universally done with very little reference to the music in terms of stepping to the beat or fitting figures to 8 and 16 bar sections.

I love the spooky deer story.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 05:47 AM

Also on that site of tunes that have been used for the Abbots Bromley Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is "another of Robinson's tunes - The Flaxley Green Dance."

Just about as strange a tune as the other "Robinson's Tune" - and in the same way. It sounds as if William (or Henry) Robinson in 1857 or so must have had a pretty interesting repertoire. I wonder if any of the other tunes he favoured have survived? (Or did he actually put them together himself?)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 07:21 AM

He[Robinson] indicates that Robinsons tune was not his composition,that it was ancient in his day.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 09:09 AM

The Flaxley Green Dance - curiouser & curiouser... that's going to be stuck in my head all day.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 06:06 PM

They are an odd (and haunting) pair of tunes - I can't think of any others like them. That initself doesn't mean too much - but can anyone else?

The fact that William (or Henry) Robinson was said to have told people he was playing an old tune, rather than one he'd made up wouldn't rule out him having actually adjusted them to match his own tastes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 06:23 PM

Abbots Bromley itself is a scary place. We went to stay there because it is near my sister's house and I heard it was a pretty village. The dance wasn't on or anything. Found three (I think) decent sized pubs in the village where we asked for accomodation. The first had three people sat in the bar playing dominoes and we were told they were too busy. The second two were even quieter and we were told they were too busy as well. We left before darkness fell... ;-D

As to the dance. I play for Abram Morris and I thought seeing people dancing round in circles all day was dull. Glad I don't have to watch more than 1.5 minutes of the horn dance...

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 07 - 06:38 PM

Sounds a bit like The Slaughtered Lamb - I wonder what dances they did round there... (That's a YouTube clip from An American Werewolf in London)


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