Countries, Culture, UK

Happy May Day you dancer…

Handkerchiefs and shin bell pads aren’t just for May Day. But I’m digging out my drawers all the same, so Happy May Day you dancer!

We’ll leave the red flag waving and marching to others. Today we’re all about little doylies and skipping.

Now wouldn’t the world be a more peaceful place if we all just waved hankies at each other and clapped wooden sticks and swords?

Morris dancing will for ever be associated with English village life.

And, of course, they don’t just don the shin bell pads on May Day or St George’s Day.

English village life

Spending many a tipsy afternoon with my own English village girl on festival days they seem to get the shin bell pads out whenever the sun shines.

Of course it is a dance craze which dates back to 1448 (specific) and clearly even earlier than that.

And it has outlasted the Lindy Hop, the Jitterbug, the Lambeth Walk, the Mashed Potato, the Monster Mash and the Loco-Motion.

Learn to Morris dance

So you want to learn. Well here’s how.

All for one: The Cadi Ha dancers

You don’t have to go to the Motherland to see some good old-fashioned Morris dancing.

But why wouldn’t you, and, of course, cider or warm bitter beer is almost obligatory.

A Welsh spin

Anywhere around the workd the English took their culture and their cricket they packed their hankies and shin bell pads.

Best foot forward: The Rutland Morris Men.

We last tapped feet and made a laughable imitation of the Cadi Ha experts who were performing for us in Northern Wales.

And now our leaders have been good enough to allow us to move around the UK again I know one English village girl hankering for an English summer.

So, it’s the Royal County of Berkshire for us and a little canalside pub, the Dundas Arms for us.

The Dundas Arms: A part of Chez Murty

And if the high-heid-yins don’t allow dancers who have been clip-clopping through wars and national crises then here’s the food news.

Now we’ve followed the video above we can put on our own performance.

My English village girl is, of course, pretty handy with a wooden sword, or any other sharp implement, for that matter.


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