Rochdale Coconut Dance reel

Also known as The Rochdale Coconut Dance.

There are 6 recordings of this tune.

Rochdale Coconut Dance has been added to 9 tune sets.

Rochdale Coconut Dance has been added to 109 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: Rochdale Coconut Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:EFGF E2 B2|EFGF E2 B2|c2 Ac B2 G2|AG F2 E2 D2|
EFGF E2 B2|EFGF E2 B2|c2 Ac B2 G2|AG F2 G4:|
|:G2 BB G2 B2|AGFG ABcA|G2 BB G2 B2|AGFE D2 D2|
G2 BB G2 B2|AGFG ABcA|BdcB AcBA|G2 B2 G4:|
X: 2
T: Rochdale Coconut Dance
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:EFGF E2 B2|EFGF E2 B2|c2 Ac B2 G2|AG F2 E2 D2|EFGF E2 B2|EFGF E2 B2|c2 Ac B2 G2|AG F2 G4:|
|:G2 BB G2 B2|AGFG ABcA|G2 BB G2 B2|AGFE D2 D2|G2 BB G2 B2|AGFG ABcA|BdcB AcBA|G2 B2 G4:|

Twenty-two comments

Its from my town rochdale,i think originally perforned my moris dancers, although their all gone now. Bellowhead play this on their cd although in some books i have found that the second section that i wrote is played first, but this version of the rochdale cocnut dance is writen how bellowhead perform it


Hi Nicky, I think your CAPS Lock got stuck in the ABC as well as your comment ๐Ÿ™‚ The highest note ought to be c so you should find the tune is all upper case except for those c’s. Give me some time and I’ll dig out my version.
We sometimes follow it with Speed the Plough (this one - ) though not in A

Rochdale Coconuts

OK Here’s my take on it … working from your ABC as a start point…. and yes some people play the A & B parts the otherway round, which can lead to the tune going on forever as noone knows where to finish it … it can get quite mesmerising after half a dozen or so repeats.

X: 1
T: Rochdale Coconut Dance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Gmaj
|: EFGF E2 B2 | EFGF E2 B2 | c2 Ac B2 G2 | AG F2 E2 D2 |\
EFGF E2 B2 | EFGF E2 B2 | c2 Ac B2 G2 | AG F2 G4:|
|: G2 BB G2 B2 | AGFG ABcA | G2 BB G2 B2| AGFE D2 D2 | \
G2 BB G2 B2 | AGFG ABcA | BdcB AcBA |G2 B2 G4 :|

Thanks for posting this tune - I absolutely LOVE it!

Rochdale Coconut Dance

This is a tune from the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup ( Often played with the Tip Top Polka in Englsih sessions as that is also one of their tunes.

Posted by .

Sweet, And you’re right, spindizzy: it’s hard to stop, once you’ve gone through it a couple of times. Spinning in small circles…

Posted by .

More of their coconut bashing and garland waving courtesy of U-Tube ~

Britannia Coconutters Bacup outside Marios

Easter Saturday in Bacup 2007 ~ and a bit of camera-obscura ๐Ÿ˜‰

Britannia Coco-Nutters Bacup Market

Bacup Coconutters

The Famous Brittannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup

Britannia Coconutters at Ellenroad


..and if you listen to the grand oompah silver band players in all these clips, you’ll find that they DON’T play this tune - these are the Bacup or Britannia Coconutters, the only surviving team and their tune is on JC’s tune finder as the Bacup Coconut Dance.
(I don’t play that one - so I’d just be doing a cut ‘n paste to enter it here - I suspect my boss, a morris melodeon player will know it, so I may put in a version later)
I assume the Rochdale tune belonged to a now extinct group of dancers.
Those (few) still reading ๐Ÿ™‚ may want to check out pulling the Saddleworth Rush Cart, another local fest.

Yeah, I know Spin. I did a long search and listened to a load of things and didn’t find this tune amongst them, but I so enjoyed the vids I had to share them somewhere,so ‘coconut dancers’. ๐Ÿ˜

Be sure to link back here when you submit the Bacup tune. Having played brass in the past, and low brass too, if never Oompah, I enjoyed those clips, good fun, and just had to put those links somewhere… I did an initial transcription but didn’t find the tune here. I suppose I could have added it as they gave it but didn’t have a name for it…

Tiptop polka

Looks like the "Bacup" tune is here as the tip-top polka.
- Ooops cross post, I see you’ve already got that one.
ps I’m enjoying all the Miuneiras and An Dro’s

Rochdale morris dancers

Yeah there are definately no morris or coconut dancers in Rochdale anymore, I have looked. And in some recordings of the tune seem to go for ever but it doesn’t really seem to get boring!!!!!!! Does anyone know the actual dance to this tune cos I’d be really interested to know what it goes like though its kind of hard to dance and play the fiddle at the same time but I’ll have a go. Please could someone get back to me on that???
Oh yeah and sorry about the CAPS,spindizzy ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!!!

"The Tip-Top Polka" / "The Britannia Coco-nut Dance"

Duh! ๐Ÿ˜ Yes, I did say I was ‘sick’ this week didn’t I. Well, I’m recovering. I’ll add two more transcriptions to the Tip-Top Polka for the entertainment of yourselves and others, D & G… At least I got some sleep last night… ๐Ÿ˜‰

This piece sounds like a schottische to me, definitely. Just try to dance to it.

Posted by .

Reminds me of that tune I posted recently Hill’s Fancy for the Circassian Circle dance.

Yes, Mario, I once danced a Scottische to it! It really works as a Scottische.

But it’s a morris tune so there must be a morris dance to go with it…

Order of the parts ?

I have only heard this in sessions and for dancing with the parts the other way round so that the change to minor happens within the tune. Pete Cooper has it that way.

"This tune entered the repertoire of The New Victory Band some time in the 1980s and has a rather unclear provenance. Although there is a coconut dance in nearby Bacup, there is no evidence to suggest that a coconut dance ever existed in Rochdale. If not, where did the tune come from? It is likely that it came from the pen of some northern musician and found its way by stealth into the greater repertoire via NVB. The band Bellowhead popularised the tune in 2004 but their version reverses the order of the A and B parts."

Rochdale Coconut Dance

Most clips of this on youtube are people who say they learn’t it from Bellowhead and I find it hard to work out what is ‘the tune’ and which are bits of Bellowhead flamboyance that they have picked up on. The New Victory Band recording is fairly zaney as well. The tune asks for it I suppose.

I just found this clip of Bellowhead in session mode which I find much more accessible.

Rochdale Coconut Dance

I could hardly believe this was not a genuine traditional tune. Now it looks like it was. I found the following on, page was here: Comment was by Ruth Archer on 16 Feb 2010:

"Subject: RE: Tune Add: Bacup Coconut Dance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 05:05 PM
Johnny: I think I may be able to help. There is great advantage to living with a folkie scholar, and his library! When I asked if he could shed some light, he went to the shelf and immediately pulled down the Journal of the English Folk Dance Society from 1927 (how does he DO that?!). It contains an article written by Anne Gilchrist entitled "The Lancashire Rush-Cart and Morris-Dance". This is a transcript of the relevant bit:
"Dr Henry Brierly, a native of Rochdale, sends me the tune of a ‘Coco-nut Dance’ which accompanied the Rochdale rush-cart in the ‘fifties [she is referring to the 1850s]. The dancers held half a coco-nut shell in each hand, a half-shell also being strapped to each knee, and clapped the shells rhythmically to this unvarying tune, played by the band. The dance was stationary, but according to his recollection the coco-nut dancers preceded the drawing-team of young men, ‘prancing’ in the procession. The tune has a general resemblance to Mr Cecil Sharp’s traditional versions of ‘Country Gardens’ and ‘Hunt the Squirrel’. I have seen no other record of this dance."
It goes on to transcribe the music and it does indeed start with the major part."

So there. I’d love to see a transcript to abc notation of the tune she found in the 1927 Journal of the English Folk Dance Society, if anyone can do it.