Ordinary shoes or boots; dark knee-length socks; ordinary
schoolboys' short trousers (with braces); white, or at best, pale
shirts with rosettes pinned up the front and back in vertical
rows, usually pinned onto braces; straw hats decorated with paper
flowers, long ribbons hanging from waist band all round; a long
white cloth held in each hand; some wore ties. '
Various tunes e.g. "Pop Goes The Weasel", "Oh
Susannah", but mostly "Yankee Doodle" which was
generally called "Charlie Barber" after the words sung
by Ned Rowles:
"Charlie Barber shaved his father,
With a wooden razor.
The razor slipped and, cut his lip,
Well done Charlie Barber."
"Toasted cheese is very, very good
Toasted in a lantern.
A bit for me, and a bit for you,
And a bit for the Morris Dancers."
Ned also sang "Smack 'em up me lucky lads"
Dancers numbered 8 or 12, but could be done with any multiple
Step across (and back) = 2 figures
Cast (up or down)
The step up and turn is used as a repeated chorus.
STEP AND TURN
8 bars (used to start dance, and as a Chorus)
Jump on both feet, left in front of right.
Jump onto left foot.
Jump on both feet, right in front of left.
Jump onto right foot.
Turn (single upwards and outwards, starting on left foot making
three steps and stamping right foot (walked).
Repeat 1 with opposite feet
Repeat 2 downwards and outwards starting on right foot.
Cross hands in front at waist level, left in front of right.
Flick hands outwards (apart)
Cross hand again with right hand in front
Flick outward again
On first and third step, bring cloths smartly down from head
level. On stamp flick cloths above head.
Repeat 1 with opposite hands in front.
Even numbers reverse feet and hands,
Stepping for the figures is a fast skip-step, two steps to a
bar of music, with the free leg behind, and starting on the
inside foot. Hands are over-arm bowling action, left arm with
right leg etc. and are flicked above head on the
1. STEP UP
Three steps forward starting on the inside leg, then outside leg
thrown forwards. Three steps back starting with the outside leg,
then free leg is stamped "feet together"
REPEAT - 8 bars of music
2. STEP ACROSS
Partners change places, and turn to face, using eight steps (four
All perform step and turn, then repeat to cross back to original
(16 bars of music in all).
Partners cross passing right shoulder, then all turn left to form
left hand stars in groups of four. Stars travel half way round,
and partners again cross (this time left shoulder) and turn right
into right hand star back to place.
Inside foot start.8 bars in all. No information on hands.
4. CAST UP
Bottom couple dance together up the middle of the set, and cast
out and down the outside back to places, with continuous steps
starting on the inside foot. As this couple pass the top (four
bars of music) the next pair dance up together and cast round,
followed by each couple in order. While not on the move, all
dancers perform the step and turn, and move off at four bar
This was also performed as a CAST DOWN.
5. DOUBLE CAST
This is a combination of the CAST UP and the CAST DOWN, and was
invented by Ned Rowles. Each couple goes in a different order,
and in alternately opposite directions. Bottoms cast up, followed
by tops casting down, and so on, until all couples have performed
a cast. Again step and turns are performed in position while
awaiting turn, or after returning to place.
FIGURES 4 and 5 both take 24 bars of music for an eight-man set,
and 32 bars for 12 men.
First corners, in each group of four cross over, passing by right
shoulder, while the second corners do a step and turn. Second
corners then cross, while first corners do a step and turn.
This may be four bars or eight bars long, and the step and turn
could be either "half" or "whole" in each
case. If the crossing takes eight bars, then this is really two
figures: a corners cross, and a cross back, as in FIGURE 2.