The Morris On polka

Also known as The Morris March.

The Morris On has been added to 7 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Morris On
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:z|gd de/f/|gd de/f/|gd dc|B2 G:|
|:A/B/|ce ed/c/|Bd dc/B/|AB cd|B2 G:|

Six comments

The Morris On

This is a companion tune to (The) Morris Off which was submitted recently as tune #6595. They are both tunes for processional Morris dances, that is they are used for dancing into the dance arena and out again later on after the set dances have finished.
As processionals the dances are simple: for the Morris On the dancers enter the arena in single file and finish in a column ready for set dancing; in the Morris Off the dancers dance off in single file, saluting the audience by bowing and raising hat or touching forelock as they depart (these are somewhat simplified descriptions from the Headington version of the dances in Bacon’s Handbook).
Both dances are listed in Bacon in different versions from three localities: Bidford and Ilmington in Warwickshire, and Headington in Oxfordshire, but the music for Morris On and Morris Off is given only for the Headington entry.
Morris On, being an entry processional, is more elaborate and longer than Morris Off, which, as one might expect, is a short tune for the exit.
No composer is mentioned, so we may assume for the time being that Morris On is “Traditional by Anon” - unless it turns up in Renaissance music from the Low Countries by Tielman Susato.

The Morris On

It is not entirely clear why this has appeared here as a “polka” in 2/4, when I had submitted it as a “reel” in 4/4. In Bacon, the tune is written in 4/4, as is its companion tune “Morris Off”.

Famously know as Winster Processional, although the eponymous Morris On uses a different tune again, this tune featuring on one of the later children cds.

The Morris March

Bacon gives ‘The Morris March’ as an alternative title to ‘The Winster Processional’. he also states that after being used as a processional the dancers (from Winster), using the same tune and without a break.would then go into a full dance called ‘The Morris Dance’.

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Ilmington Morris On

Ilmington tradition gives ‘Bumpus of Stretton’ as the tune for the dance ‘Morris On’ During the dance it has been noted that the tune ‘Old Mother Oxford’ is also used.

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