Standard Set

Right now we have a standard set of dances that we use (with variations) at public performances.

The current standard set contains:

  1. Young Collins (Fieldtown, sticks, tune: Young Collins)
  2. Trunkles (Fieldtown, hankies, tune: Fieldtown Trunkles)
  3. The Rose Tree (Border, small sticks, tune: The Rose Tree)
  4. Fiddler’s Jig (Bampton, fiddles, tune: Flowers of Edinburgh)
  5. Valentine (Fieldtown, hankies, tune: Valentine)
  6. Much Wenlock Stick Dance (Border, sticks, tune: Not for Joe OR The Girl I Left Behind Me–if Not for Joe has been used in the same set)
  7. Muddled (Duns Tew; hankies; tune: British Grenadiers)
  8. Squirmishing (Adderbury; sticks; tune: Lillibulero)
  9. Three (Four) Musketeers (Fieldtown; sticks; tune: Rambling Sailor; to be danced only if we can’t do Squirmishing for some reason)

Broader Repertoire

We’ve had a lot of different dances in our repertoire over the years. Some are from so long ago that very few of the Figs remember how they were done. The ones that we perform now are shown in bold (hopefully, most of the Figs can remember how to do these!)

Tradition Dance Comment
Banks of the Dee
Donkey Riding The tune “Donkey Riding” is a capstan shantie popular on timberships. The term “donkey riding” refers to the process of loading logs through the timber ports in the stern of the ship. Someone (usually a ships boy) rode the log in order to guide it through the port.
Balance the Straw
Bobby and Joan
The Cuckoo’s Nest A double jig.
The Idiot Twice as long as most dances, it takes six idiots to dance it.
Jockey to the Fair
Step Back a.k.a. Old Molly Oxford
Three Musketeers Danced by six dancers for redundancy.
Trunkles A classic corner-challange dance.
Valentine The Ascott-under-Wychwood dance adapted to the Fieldtown tradition.
Very Young Collins Almost like “Young Collins” but slightly different. We do this dance with our very young dancers.
Waltzing Matilda To the Australian tune of the same name. Anyone that drops a stick buys a round for the team.
Shepherd’s Hey Here is the local variation of the classic beginner dance.
Country Gardens
Simon’s Fancy Written by Jocelyn Reynolds, the directions can be found on the Lemon and Capers page. We learned this at Ale Hallow’s Eve back in 1991 from The Dead Ringers.
Highland Mary We have also danced the variant known as “Island Mary” to the tune of “Jamaica Farewell”
Highland Three This is a triple jig version of Highland Mary that we invented on the spur of the moment during a visit with our friends up in Santa Barbara, Monarch Grove Morris. It got a good response then and we’ve been dancing it ever since…
Speed The Plough
Lumps of Plum Pudding
Step and Fetch Her
The Nutting Girl A jig.
The Fiddler’s Jig A dance where the dancers rest and the musicians do all the work. A specialty of Jon Roussos, now with Marieke Thayer
Adderbury Shooting a.k.a. The Beaux of London City
South Australia
Blue Bells of Scotland Oh why, tell me why, do I have this purple thumb…
Squirmishing A headspinning variant on the Three Musketeers
Postman’s Knock Different from the one published by Lionel Bacon
Duns Tew
Seaside Shuffle
Muddled We revived the dance called Muddled by adapting it to the Duns Tew tradition.
Old Gordon
Ducklington Lollipop Man a.k.a. Lads of the Bunch
Jockey to the Fair A triple jig. Not at all like the Fieldtown dance.
Brackley Maid of the Mill Competitive wool-winding…
Muddled A dance that our former Fore, Kathy Annunziata wrote for us. She skipped town shortly after its first public performance. She was last seen in Arizona.
Old Woman with a Broom Just like Old Woman Tossed Up In A Blanket except it’s a different tune. This is a linked hankie dance.
Haste to the Wedding
Headington Rigs O’ Marlow
Hunt the Squirrel a.k.a. Hunt the Squire
Litchfield Vandals of Hammerwich Perhaps it should be called ‘Vandals of Half’erwich’. It’s rare that we have eight dancers for a gig and so we chopped the dance across the middle so that we could dance it with four dancers.
Border Morris Upton-on-Tijuana Stick Dance Based loosely upon the original Upton-on-Severn dance and also related to the Chingford Stick Dance, this is reputed to have come into our hands via Australia. In any case, it’s different from either of the aformentioned dances, so we rename it periodically just to confuse people.
Much Wenlock Stick Dance Not quite the same dance that is recorded in Bacon. This was taught to us by the English group, Black Pig.
Shropshire Bedlam Stick Dance This may not be the real name of this dance, but lacking anything else to call it, this will have to suffice.
Ockington This dance, in it’s original form, apparently came from Okehampton in Devon. We picked it up from the mid-West of the USA where it’s probably been buggered up beyond recognition.
Ragged Crow
The Rose Tree