Long Morris

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LONG MORRIS. English, Morris Dance Tune (2/4 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B. The tune (and song) is an accompaniment to the Lancashire processional morris, from the Moston Rush-cart tradition. These words are sung to the melody:

Cheese and bread, the old cow's head,
Roasted in a lantern,
A bit for me, and a bit for thee,
And a bit for morris dancers;
A bit for me, and a bit for thee,
And a bit for morris dancers.

or

Morris Dance is a very pretty tune,
I can dance in my new shoon;
This is it, and that is it,
And this is morris dancing.
My old father broke his leg,
And so it was a-chancing.

See Anne Gilchrist's article "The Lancashire Rush-Cart and Morris-Dance" (Journal of the English Folk Dance Society No. 1 1927, p. 17), where she notes:

The 'song' above menthioned belongs to 'Long Morris' - the only Lancashire morris-tune (as far as I know) to which words were sung by the dancers. This was the 'old tune' and the universal one for the processional, and it is interesting to note that it appears to be a variant of the well-known Helston Furry dance-tune, the Furry dance also being a processional. The 'old cow's head, Roasted in a lantern', suggests a reminiscence of the pagan sacrifice of cattle, in which there was a competition to secure a part of the head, considered of special sanctity. One of the best sets of morris-tunes sent to me came from Smith Williamson, formerly a bandsman in the Moston and Newton Heath.

Gilchrest recorded that at the village of Cheadle Wakes, Lancashire, "Long Morris" was known as "Apper Pie."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Cottey Light Industries CLI-903, Dexter et al - "Over the Water" (1993).




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