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Kemp's jiggers get between the covers...

This year's re-enactment of Will Kemp's jig from London to Norwich is now the subject of a book - written on the move. "Dr Uid" of Golden Star Morris has sent the Donkey a brief note:

Julie alias the scribe who recorded the re-enactment of Kemp's jig this year (I only played the box and walked for the whole route) has indeed got the record published! It is an excellent read and funny to boot.

It has not been amended by the publishers at all as it was done on the hoof into a Dictaphone and only tidied up for readability's sake. So it has the rhythm of the music and the dance woven into the text. It is also very cheap (there is no money in morris, is there?)at 5 post free.

And he adds:

We were on Telly!!! The official unveiling of Kemp's sculpture in Norwich was last sat. We (that is the Golden Star Morris) were not in morris kit but were in our winter molly kit as the Norwich Shitwiches. So is that the first time a bunch of (that's quite enough of that - BB)

All hold hands from winter revels

They sure know how to whip up a frenzy in the States, judging by a recent Washington Post report. Sadly, we spotted it too late for readers to join the fun. The paper wrote:

Singalong programs are not hard to find at this time of year, but at Lisner Auditorium they've taken things a step further: the dance-along. One comes just before the intermission of the 18th annual Christmas Revels.

The dance-along begins with a group of Morris dancers cavorting to the tune of "Simple Gifts," the Shaker hymn that Aaron Copland used for a major segment of "Appalachian Spring." This evolves into a singalong, with the whole Revels contingent joining in, holding hands, dancing in a circle around the stage, pouring off the stage and sweeping audience members into an ecstatic dance up the aisles.

This is just one moment in a fast-moving, colorfully costumed, hilarious evening of song, dance, storytelling and folk-theatricals contrived, as the refrain of one of the songs insists, "to drive the cold winter away."

Tourist chiefs guilty of hairy thinking

The British Tourist Authority has been agonising about a fall in business, and is keen to challenge familiar perceptions of the old country.

According to a report in The Independent, its image-makers have been making fun "of the beard sported by many morris dancers, which represents 'a traditional disdain for modern hygiene, and contains half a pint of Guinness and three-quarters of a sausage roll from 1973'."

The nutritional value of beards had hitherto escaped my attention. I wonder how much food is stored away in a open-toed sandal? And I wonder how much marshmallow there is inside a BTA spokesman's skull...

Perhaps they're suggesting that Britain's tourist industry would be rescued from their incompetence if morris dancers started shaving. Signs of desperation, methinks.


2000 Simon Pipe, Mark Rogers, The Outside Capering Crew

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