Cross Morris

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X:1 % T:Cross Morris M:2/4 L:1/8 N:Lancashire Processional Morris N:Moston Rush-cart Version B:Gilchrist - Journal of the English Folk Dance Society No. 1 (1927, p. 17) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F c/>B/ (3A/G/F/ c/>B/ (3A/G/F/|c/>B/ (3A/G/F/ df:| c/>B/ (3A/G/F/ c/>B/ (3A/G/F/|c/>B/ (3A/G/F/ df| c/>B/ (3A/G/F/ df|c/>B/ (3A/G/F/ df| c/>d/e/>f/ g/>f/e/>d/|c/>d/e/>c/ ff||



CROSS MORRIS. English, Morris Dance Processional (2/4 time). England, Lancashire. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Folk dance and music collector Anne Gilchrist collected this tune from the playing of Lancashire musicians in the early 20th century and published it in her article "The Lancashire Rush-Cart and Morris-Dance" (Journal of the English Folk Dance Society, No. 1, 1927, pp. 17-), with a quote from Elijah Ridings (1802-):

The Village Festival

Behold the rush-cart and the throng
Of lads and lasses pass along!
Now watch the nimble morris-dancers,
Those blithe, fantastic antic prancers...
All young fellows, blithe and hearty,
Thirty couples in the party...
Now strike up music; the old tune;
And louder, quicker, old bassoon;
Come bustle, lads, for one dance more,
And then cross-morris three times o'er...

Gilchrist describes the Lancashire pageants of the rush-cart that included morris dancing, and includes an account from a letter written in 1830 (found in Fanny Kemble's Record of a Girlhood, 1878) of a rush-cart procession she had just witnessed at Heaton, near Manchester:

The immense wagon, piled with rushes in a stack-like form, was drawn by a team of Lord W____'s finest farm-horses--all covered with scarlet cloths and decked with ribbons and bells and flowers. After this came twelve country lads and lasses dancing the real old morris-dance with their handkerchiefs flying... Next after the village band came 'a species of flowery canopy, under which walked a man and woman covered with finery, who, Lord W____ told me, represented Adam and Eve'. The procession closed with a fool 'fantastically dressed out with stick and bladder....They drew up before the house and danced the morris-dance for us.


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