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Morris Poetry

1. Ode to Spring Grove Morris Men, Tony Bryan
2. Morris Dancing, John Hegley - after reports of imminent morris extinction
The 2010 Christmas Dinner at Merrits, Richmond produced these marvelous verses, reproduced here for the wider public to enjoy
CHRISTMAS 2010-12-25
The men of Spring Grove are renown
For dancing by leap and by bound.
They are feared by Thames Valley
And cursed by East Surrey,
And Yateley Men seldom sleep sound.
The Rooster Men, they are renown
For keeping both feet on the ground.
Each kicks up the dust
While putting his trust
In his stick - to help stop falling down.
The pride of the Morris Men is Sue.
There's nothing this lass cannot do.
The most difficult of tunes she can play
For a whole summer’s day
Then sing in the bar for the crew.
Our band features Gerry McCann
And Tony the violin man.
The sound the band makes
'slike squealing of brakes
Set to farts in a rusty tin can.
There’s nothing your band cannot play
From Bampton, down Oxfordshire way.
Though they play fit to bust,
They get one request – just!
It’s: can you play further away?
So let’s drink to good Morris folk all,
Be they short, fat of thin, long or tall.
May they prance with panache,
While the public throw cash
And the church cuts the price of the hall. 
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Tony Bryan

Morris Dancing

John Hegley – Jan 2009 after reports of Imminent Morris Extinction


The Morris is a mate of mine
the rumours state it's in decline!
My answer is a little dull,
it's not decline – it's just a lull:
like concertinas squeeze to shut
until the arms unbend,
like deckchairs go back in the hut
at every summer's end.
But, out again that seating comes,
like dentures in and out of gums.

It doesn't help, it may be said
the way we don't promote the tread
of Morris manners in the school,
they've hardly heard of Squire and Fool:
for childer out there in the yard
the Morris has been all but barred,
the Morris in which I have played
in facing pair and long parade,
wrongfooting steps tradition trod
with rag of truce and rapping rod
with high-rise handkerchief and stick,
does it look odd? It does the trick:
I took some inner-city youth to meet the Bampton Squire,
he taught them but the basics, but I tell you they caught fire.
The little with which they were hit, lit up their city eyes,
and they now know it's not "Morrison's Dancing".
And with the Morris guys of Hammersmith
I danced out in the square.
With all ages of citizen, I quickly learned to share
the step and flick of handkering required for the parade.
We went in and out of local shops
and in and out of shade
as the concertina played
and assistants weren't resistant,
though no purchases were made.

The Morris once was just for man,
but now the other gender can
engender its own style,
the Morris it is versatile.
You'll one day maybe see the hop
a party piece performed with Pop
The Morris it may go to seed
but flower again, it shall indeed:
most powerfully blossom out
as hearty as a brussels sprout
A tried and measured treasure, sure.
The Morris, Doris, shall endure.