Bits and Bobs



Some additional information about the GMM.


Although a great number of men in the side are called Bob, this has nothing to do with them or dancing penguins come to think of it!



We dance a large selection of dances from the various Cotswold villages, but mainly those originating from within Gloucestershire. The sources of the dances range from the notes published by Cecil Sharp to our own research and subsequent development with notes passed down over the years.

The Gloucestershire villages where we have information concerning the dances performed are Bledington, Sherborne, Longborough and Oddington. We supplement dances from these villages, for variation, with others from neighbouring counties including those from the villages of Adderbury, Bampton, Headington, Bucknell and Field Town, together with some eight man dances (clever lot up north!) from Lichfield in Staffordshire.

The following is a list of the dances that we perform as far as I can remember them. They are arranged under the heading of the their originating village.

Sherborne Oddington Longborough Bledington
Old Women Tossed up Young Collins Hey Diddle Dis Hey Away
Young Collins Constant Billy Country Gardens Young Collins
Constant Billy Highland Mary Maid of the Mill Constant Billy
Cuckoo's Nest Old Frog Dance British Grenadiers Idbury Hill
Lads a-Bunchun Trunko Swaggering Boney Over the water to Charlie
Orange in Bloom   Old Trunkles Gallant Hussar
Trunkles Bucknell Staines Morris William & Nancy
How d'ye Do Willow Tree Field Town Cuckoo's Nest
Monk's March Queen's Delight Country Gardens Trunkles
  Room for the Cuckolds Valentines Glorishers
Adderbury   Old Molly Oxford Saturday Night
Constant Billy Bampton Balance the Straw  
Lads-a-Bunchum Quaker Dearest Dicky Lichfield
Beaux of London City Bobbing Around   Ring O' Bells
Blue Bells of Scotland Step & Fetch Her Headington Vandalls of Hammerwich
Postman's Knock Banbury Bill Getting Up Stairs  
Black Joke Bonny Green Garters 29th May Upton upon Severn (in the style of)
    Jockey to the Fair Twin sisters


  The Costume or "kit"

The Gloucestershire Morris Men's costume is a fetching little number consisting of the following:


A White shirt with collar and long sleeves

White full length trousers

Black shoes, White Socks, White Hankies, Dirty Grey Y-fronts

A red cross braid baldric (about 2 inches wide) with Blue, Red and Gold rosettes at the front, rear and sides

A straw "Panama" style hat with red, blue and gold ribbons, decorated with flowers

Bell pads (with about 15 to 25 bells) on both shines decorated with red, blue and gold ribbons

Surgical trusses and supports to suit

A red waistcoat is now part of the costume, but is never worn whilst dancing



Morris Jargon

For the uninitiated the world of Morris dancing can be a little confusing with names and terms freely banded about. Here are just a few of the most common bits of jargon that come to mind.

The Squire
The man elected annually to be the boss, the man in charge. Quite often the man who is shouting to introduce the dances and the man which most of the dancers seem to be ignoring completely
The Fool
The being who is what his name suggests "a fool". Normally a very good dancer, he will do his own thing dancing within the dance or around the dance but always fooling and joking around. He's the chap who has the bladder on a stick amongst other things to keep people amused and bemused.
The Foreman
The teacher and font of all knowledge when it comes to the dances.
The secretary and general organiser of the Morris side. The person to contact if you wish to book us or invite us to some exotic place.
The Beast
With origins probably based upon the old hobby horse seen in many Spring time traditions, Morris sides often have a person dressed or wearing an animal costume. The Gloucestershire Morris Men's beast is a fine horse who answers to the name of Crumpet. He is the second horse, the first, Trumpet, retired several years ago and can be found in the Gloucester folk museum.
This is how we refer to the Morris team as a side. It would seem to suggest some sort of competitive nature to Morris dancing, which probably did occur in the past, but is seldom witnessed in modern times.
The Morris Ring is the overall club representing Morris sides worldwide. It is a male bastion and as such alternative organisations such as the Morris Federation and Open Morris have formed in order to represent ladies or mixed Morris sides.
A stick is a stick. Sounds fair enough! Normally wooden, about 30 inches in length with a diameter of about 1.5 inches. Sometimes the stick is half length and termed a "short stick" ! Used within the dance.
Capers are dance steps, little leaps or bounds in the air!
A piece a cloth, normally white used for wiping one's nose. (Well, what else did you expect!)
Ouch! *$%&^*
The sound heard when dancing precision stick dances late in the evening with little light