“Slowly slipping into history feel us go
With these times another age could never know
See the photos black and white and quaintly dressed
Stood in queues of people smiling, sorely pressed”
Behind the aspic, radical intention? I don’t profess to know much about Morris Dance, but I’d guess that for many people, even those who like ‘folk music’, (whatever that is…), ”…morris has become the anvil round the (folk music) revival’s neck. Its boisterous moves, outlandish costumes and trite musical accompaniment treated as a national joke”. [From "Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music" by Rob Young]. I certainly don’t recall seeing any Morris Dance in the Olympic Opening Ceremony…
Having just spent the weekend at the Wickham Festival, there’s been a lot of it about! But here’s the thing. During my time in Nepal, it seemed to me that the preservation of indigenous culture and tradition was something which could engage young people, and help give them a greater sense of engagement and identity. The Tharu dances shown here seem not too far removed from some of the stick dances performed by Morris sides. (Granted, this is based upon little more than personal opinion, rather than any objective anthropological research…but you get the drift hopefully). So maybe time to see Morris as a tool for engaging the disenfranchised and marginalised too. Just a thought… .
And a plug for the Knockhundred Shuttles… especially two of the three muskateers with the musical instruments above. Beer, philosophy and assorted ruminations on Morris…thanks guys. Don’t think they were entirely convinced by my suggestion of combining Thrash Metal with Morris though…
Oh….and The Levellers were stunning.
“There’s only one way of life, and that’s your own…” indeed