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ribbon  Dance Traditional English Morris bell

Peterborough Morris Music

(Comments by Mark Swingler), revised 25/02/2024.

Dances check into and out of our repertoire but, like a certain mythical hotel, once on this page they can't leave.

Most of our dances were collected from the traditional dancers of years ago. But we also perform some devised more recently; for more information see the note after each dance.

In 2024 we are emphasising the Northamptonshire dances.

Links go to videos or sound files by Peterborough Morris (PM) unless stated otherwise. If a video is too fast to follow, you may be able to slow it down, as described here.

Most traditional morris tunes are on the Morris Ring website in various formats and are not repeated here. Others are given below if we have it.

But there is more to playing for dancing than simply knowing the tune. Please study this excellent article:-  Playing Music for Morris Dancing by Jeff Bigler

Dances are listed according to the styles of the villages where they were collected.

Tunes are listed under the name of the dance, which may differ from the common name of the tune. Alternative tune titles are given when known.

Adderbury,Northern Oxfordshire

Beaux of London City / Shooting, G YouTube

The Bell, G. Originally a six-man dance but adapted for eight by PM to suit dancing in a church with restricted space. The dancers are arranged like ninepins around the musician. The tune is better known as The Minstrel Boy.

Black Joke, G YouTube

Bluebells of Scotland, G YouTube

The Buffoon, G YouTube.

Lads-a-Buncham (aka "Oh Dear Mother") in G video,

Badby, West Northamptonshire

Balance the Straw, G The Fieldtown tune is used as noted on this page.

Beaux of London City, G YouTube

Broad Cupid, G YouTube. The tune is also known as "From Night Til Morn"

Flowers of Edinburgh, G  (Notation courtesy of Pete Shaw who learned it while dancing with Northampton Morris in the 1970s). This version is only a little different from that in "100 English Folk Dance Airs" by Karpeles and Schofield, EFDSS, 1934. Maybe that's where Northampton got it.

Bampton, Oxfordshire

Banbury Bill, D. We usually use The Rose Tree tune, see below.

Glorishears, G or D mp3 audio

Highland Mary, G YouTube. Same dance as the Quaker.

Lollipop Man, G. PM imagined how the Ducklington dance would be if it had been adopted in Bampton. The tune is shared with the Burns song Lea Rig.

Maid of the Mill, G

Over the Hills and Far Away, D. YouTube PM devised a chorus to go with Bampton figures using this well-known tune.

The Rose Tree, D, Same dance as the Banbury Bill, different tune.

The Quaker, G and D YouTube

Princess Royal, (jig), Bm. YouTube from 20 seconds in. The Bampton version of this well-known tune is in a minor key. The first choice for a D/G melodeon player would be Em, but the wide range of this version doesn't fit on the keyboard. So it ended up in Bm, played mostly on the "D" row.

Riggs of Doom, G. Devised by Utrecht Morris in Bampton style, tune by Frans Tromp. Notation here (search for Frans, and maybe log on to melnet.) Not easy to get Tromp's chords on the melodeon. I like this version on YouTube of John Golightly on melodeon and friend and here is Utrecht Morris.

??? -- A newish tune has inspired a new processional dance. Details to follow.

Trunkles, G. A newish dance in Bampton style using the Bledington tune but with sequence A/B/C. See also Trunkles Bledington below.

Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire

Abraham Brown the Sailor, D mp3 with dance instructions!

Old Woman Tossed up in a Blanket, G YouTube

Princess Royal, as played by Phillip Taylor of Shakespeare Morris mp3

Morris Off, as played by Phillip Taylor of Shakespeare Morris mp3

Bledington, Gloucestershire

None in current PM repertoire

Skirmish YouTube This tune was composed by and is played here by Nick Barber for White Rose Morris.  More info here. and here.

Black Joker PDF mid file. We practiced this in the 1980s with just the one odd half-bar at the beginning of the "B" music, but our current version has a second half-bar!

Brackley, Northamptonshire

Jockey to the Fair, G YouTube

Maid of the Mill, G

Fieldtown, Leafield Oxfordshire

Nutting Girl jig mp3

Headington, Oxfordshire (Not in current repertoire)

Old Mother Oxford

Headington / Bampton

Bonney Green Garters. The finale dance used by many Morris sides.

Hinton-in-the Hedges, West Northamptonshire

Getting Upstairs, G or D

Lads-a-Buncham, G YouTube

Ilmington, Warwickshire

Bold Nelson's Praise (Jig) , G This tune is missing from the Morris Ring website so we give it here in PDF and mid formats. It is a version of the well-known Princess Royal. Small but significant differences occur in the C-music at the end of the "slows". The first time the C-music lead-in notes occur, they are quick, but not quick when they re-appear a moment later. And there is a half-bar with a quick note as the speed returns to normal.
Many morris tunes are from popular songs, although in this case the tune appears to precede the lyrics. Info here and here.

Lichfield, Staffordshire

Vandals of Hammerwich, G

Ravensthorpe, Northamptonshire

Shepherd's Hey. (No Ravensthorpe music notation could be found on line, but there are Youtube videos of both East Suffolk Morris Men and Moulton Morris Men. They differ slightly and perhaps vary from verse to verse. Here is the ESMM version on YouTube with notation as heard by the webmaster as mid and PDF files.)

Ruardean, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Soldier's Joy PDF and Stephen Baldwin on fiddle 1954

Greensleeves PDF and Stephen Baldwin on fiddle 1954. The dance figure music is AA and the chorus BABA, hence the sequence AA BABA, then repeated as necessary.

Steeple Claydon, Buckinghamshire

Not in current PM repertoire

The Steeple Claydon Morris Dance, there is only one, to the tune of Old Mother Oxford, YouTube video of John Weaver playing for Brackley Morris.

Upton-on-Severn, Malvern Hills District of Worcestershire

Not in current PM repertoire

Stick Dance, G. YouTube. Maud Karpeles noted this tune under the name Twin Sisters while in Vermont in 1929. In an article in the EFDS journal in 1933 she suggested it a being suitable for the Upton Stick Dance. - And it stuck!

Wheatley, Oxfordshire

Not in current PM repertoire

Processional. May be used for dancing onto the the display area.

Trunkles, A or G ("A Handbook of Morris Dances" by Lionel Bacon gives the key signature as two sharps, but I reckon it's in "A")

Beyond the usual repertoire...


Not in current PM repertoire

Trunkles, G YouTube

William and Nancy, G YouTube

Young Collins, G YouTube


Not in current PM repertoire

Bonnets so Blue, G, jig YouTube


Not in current PM repertoire

I'll Go and 'List for  a Sailor, Em YouTube (Nothing to do with, i.e. does not include, the song tune "The Unfortunate Tailor".)

And further beyond the usual repertoire. - Not Morris but, from Bourges in Central France Notre Berry

Not even tunes used by Peterborough Morris. In 1982 PM travelled to Bourges, Peterborough's French twin. There we met local folk dance group Notre Berry. We loved their tunes and one of their musicians recorded these for us. (To follow - 1982 tape was digitised, then my PC died before the various tracks were split up and identified. Yet to find where I left off.)