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Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'

DigiTrad:
LORD OF THE DANCE
LORD OF THE DANCE (PAGAN)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Lord of the Dance (Dubliners) (7)
(origins) Lord of the dance - tune (46)
Lyr Req: SOURCE of Carter's Lord of Dance ly (7)
(origins) Lyr Req: Lord of the Dance and who wrote them (12)
Lyr Req: Lord of the Dance ^^ (6)
P-L-E-A-S-E-! Lord of the Dance info needed (9)
Lyr Req: Lord of the Dance (tune: Simple Gifts) (7)


Penny S. 01 May 01 - 04:43 PM
Wavestar 01 May 01 - 04:58 PM
Penny S. 01 May 01 - 05:04 PM
Dita 01 May 01 - 05:19 PM
Susan of DT 01 May 01 - 05:28 PM
Joe Offer 01 May 01 - 05:29 PM
paddymac 01 May 01 - 05:41 PM
Penny S. 01 May 01 - 05:56 PM
Susanne (skw) 01 May 01 - 06:53 PM
Snuffy 01 May 01 - 07:07 PM
Wavestar 02 May 01 - 08:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 May 01 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Rana 02 May 01 - 10:42 AM
Wendy_ 02 May 01 - 12:57 PM
Ringer 02 May 01 - 01:29 PM
Penny S. 02 May 01 - 03:34 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 May 01 - 05:54 PM
Art Thieme 03 May 01 - 12:16 AM
Ringer 03 May 01 - 03:49 AM
Irish sergeant 03 May 01 - 08:54 AM
wysiwyg 04 May 01 - 02:27 AM
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Subject: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Penny S.
Date: 01 May 01 - 04:43 PM

This morning our school had a visit from morris men. They dressed in the Cotswold style, with knee breeches, white shirts, coloured baldrics, and opened with a "traditional" Cotswold stick dance from Addersbury (sp) called "Lord of the Dance", danced to the well known Sidney Carter tune, which it fitted very well. The dance looked usual enough. I suspect that the tune was picked because it was a way to grab a school audience.

Is this sort of back formation a good idea?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Wavestar
Date: 01 May 01 - 04:58 PM

A good idea? If you're attempting authentic re-enactment or period music education, maybe not. If you're attempting to entertain and encourage enthusiasm for the tradition and the activity, why not?

-J


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Penny S.
Date: 01 May 01 - 05:04 PM

I think what bothered me was that they stated that it was a traditional dance, with that title. I've nothing against grabbing the attention by playing with the medium. If it had been - here's a dance which men learned from their grandfathers who learned from their grandfathers back for hundreds of years, and we're dancing it to a tune you know - great. But it wasn't.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Dita
Date: 01 May 01 - 05:19 PM

Penny, it's a living tradition, mabye they did'nt have as much knowlage as you do. For them "Lord" might well be a traditional tune, as far as they are concerned. I know that others do not agree with me, but Sidney's song has as much right as any, to go into tradition, and now is as good a time as any.
love, john


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Susan of DT
Date: 01 May 01 - 05:28 PM

The tune, of course, is Simple Gifts. I doubt that the Shakers are part of the English Morris tradition, but perhaps the Shakers borrowed an earlier tune for Simple Gifts that Carter borrowed for Lord of the Dance. Anyone know if the tune is older than Simple Gifts?


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of Lord of the Dance
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 May 01 - 05:29 PM

Penny, did they sing the Sydney Carter lyrics? The tune dates back to the Shakers of the U.S., a song called Simple Gifts. This thread (click) has quite a discussion of the song. As far as I could determine, "Simple Gifts" was written in 1848, and "Lord of the Dance" in 1963. I don't know if the tune is older than 1848.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: paddymac
Date: 01 May 01 - 05:41 PM

First recorded publication dates don't necessarily mean that the credited composer or publisher created the product de novo.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Penny S.
Date: 01 May 01 - 05:56 PM

They sang the Carter chorus. And I always have had the impression that English morris research their dances (the ones who have not inherited them from their forebears, that is). (Which is now most of them.) Mind you, to be fair, this lot had been up since 4.30, and dancing, until we saw them about 11.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 01 May 01 - 06:53 PM

Penny, did you ask them about it? Either they don't know what we know, or there is something we don't know that they do ...


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Snuffy
Date: 01 May 01 - 07:07 PM

The dance was probably traditional, but doing it to that tune is definitely not

Simple Gifts/Lord of the Dance is not one of the traditional morris tunes in Lionel Bacon's 'A Handfbook of Morris Dances'. It's use is therefore relatively modern. I have never seen it used for an Adderbury stick dance, but I have seen several sides perform the Bampton 'Glorishears' to this tune, and it is very effective indeed.

The use of this tune is not traditional, but there is a long tradition of 'borrowing' tunes from anywhere and everywhere if they fit the dance. Morris men have always stolen popular tunes to fit their existing dances - The Black Joke was a hit in the 1720s and found its way into several morris traditions. There is one Adderbury stick dance that (with very minor variations) was traditionally danced to at least 5 tunes - all of which were popular songs - Brighton Camp; Happy Man; Postman's Knock; Roast Beef of Old England or The Flowing Bowl. I think they cover a fair timescale.

The Adderbury tradition is to sing a verse or chorus before they start dancing, so they would naturally do this with Lord of the Dance, too.

More recently I have seen 'Banks of the Dee' (Fieldtown) danced to Beethoven's Ode to Joy: I don't think that dates back to the 1820s. It's the dances that make the tradition, not the tunes - they come and go. Most dances are older than their tunes.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Wavestar
Date: 02 May 01 - 08:49 AM

Great answer, Snuffy, very informative! I was thinking that there might very well be a dance with the name "Lord of the Dance" that they simply chose to set to the modern tune, and therefore the dance would be traditional and the tune wouldn't. I'm blathering.

-J


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 May 01 - 09:45 AM

I suspect the tune to the song we know as Lord of the dance is based on an earlier one. The song popularised as "In an English country garden" was based on Percy Graingers interpretation of an even older Morris Tune 'Country Gardens'. At least that is what I have been told - can someone correct me if I'm wrong as I would hate to mislead anyone.

As to how the dance was done, what tune it was danced to etc. we must remember that Cecil Sharpe, Maud Karples and co. collected a lot of these dances in the Victorian era. One I know in particular (the Abram circle dance) was collected by Miss Karples (is that the right spelling btw?) who later admitted that she had made some of it up! It is only by because of research by Abrams current 'squire' (and Morris genius I add) Geoff Hughes that the existing Abram Morris Dancers perform a more traditional version than some others.

As said before. It is a living tradition. I have danced morris to Richard Thompson tunes. Worn 'deally boppers' and plastic bin liners and used bit of driftwood while dancing. Who knows what will happen next and who cares as long as people enjoy it. No-one really knows the origins of early tunes and dances so a little bit of enhancement by modern performers will not do much harm.

Dave the Gnome
Whose views are often wrong, sometimes right and always puddled.....


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: GUEST,Rana
Date: 02 May 01 - 10:42 AM

Very often a dance will be "in the tradition of", as someone pointed out the dances may be traditional if the tune isn't. We do a dance in the tradition of Bledington but based on the Stan Rogers "The Idiot". It has the feel of a traditional Cotswold Dance though the tune certainly isn't. How far do you have to go back for a tune to be traditional? Most of them at one stage would not have been.

Rana


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Wendy_
Date: 02 May 01 - 12:57 PM

In addition to the very interesting thread Joe Offer posted above, there was a discussion of "Simple Gifts" in this thread:

Simple Gifts alt lyrics?

I was really surprised at first to learn that "Simple Gifts" was a "quick dance" tune for the Shakers. But the lyrics are dance instructions, so it actually makes perfect sense! (See, for more on that, this page. .

Wendy


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Ringer
Date: 02 May 01 - 01:29 PM

In a book called London Lavender, E V Lucas, the writer, describes a visit with C# (whom he called "The Director") to collect morris dances (If memory serves, it was to Longborough, that marvellous vigorous tradition). In an upper room a side of old men went through half a dozen dances; there was, says EVL, only one dance, to half a dozen different tunes, but the dancers didn't realise this, thinking they were performing half a dozen different dances. I think that's a splendid story. I wish I could find the dam' book - it must have got lost in various flits I've made in the 25 (ish) years since I've seen it.

I remember (from almost as long ago, before family and age curtailed my dancing) dancing Longborough Beethoven to Ode to Joy.

Geoff Hughes is still at it then, is he? He was dancing with Rumworth last time I heard of him.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 May 01 - 03:34 PM

Thanks for that - especially Snuffy. The whole event was fun, the stick bit fitted the tune well, but I couldn't talk with them, as a) I was a bit breathless having been coerced into a version of the Shepherds' Hey with other staff, and b) by the time I had seen my class out, they had vanished. They mentioned an urgent appointment at noon at a local hostelry......

I shouldn't be hypercritical, I suppose - but I have been put on the alert to rewriting by some odd adverts in the last few years, and it worries me. I did wonder if the original Simple Gifts had an origin back before the Shakers left Manchester.

Does anyone know the origins of the sort of costumes women clog dancers wear? Penny


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 May 01 - 05:54 PM

Yep, Bald Eagle, Geoff is still at it. Rumworth (what IS a Rum worth btw???), Seven Stars Sword and Abram, as well as being St George in the Abram pace-eggers and an all round know-it-all (in the nicest possible way!)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 May 01 - 12:16 AM

I do remember Stan Rogers saying once that all Morris Dances had the same Neanderthal knuckle-dragging tempo.

I'm sure he was joking, right ? ;-)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Ringer
Date: 03 May 01 - 03:49 AM

Right.


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 03 May 01 - 08:54 AM

I'm out of my league but I learned a bit here today. Thanks all, Neil


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Subject: RE: Mysterious aging of 'Lord of the Dance'
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 May 01 - 02:27 AM

Our teen boys were MORRIS DANCERS???

~S~


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