Abram Circle Dance, The

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ABRAM CIRCLE DANCE, THE. English, Country Dance Tune (2/2 time). England, Lancashire. G Major. Standard tuning. AABBCCDEFFGG’. A morris dance collected in the Lancashire village of Abram (near Wigan–Abram being a contraction of 'Abraham') by Maude Karpeles, who described it in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 1932. The dance is a true Maypole dance and was performed in Abram prior to 1901, although it has since been revived. It was part of a festival that preserved a plot of land that was kept in trust, so long as the young people of the village performed the festival every 25 years (otherwise, the land would revert to the nearby colliery). Karpeles informant, Richard Porter, was in poor health and died soon after he was interviewed by Karpeles. Poerter himself had learned it from another elderly dancer, and although Karpeles interviewed people who had at one time witnessed or taken part in the dance, she had to cobble together a description of the dance from their reports, and she did not actually see it performed herself.

The melody appears to have itself been cobbled together from tunes popular in the North-west of England in the mid-19th century, and includes melodic material from "Faithless Nancy Dawson" and "British Grenadiers (The)."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 1.

Recorded sources:




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