The Dances

The Figures, Tunes and Notations

About the Dances
This page provides some information about each dance, tune, source and miscellaneous information. Click on any dance name to find out more.
A short stick dance which has travelled to the USA and back to be with us today. The side's "Coming On" dance, excellent for Morris flash-mobbing.
TuneKeel Row
FiguresHands Around, Star, Mirror Hey, Litchfield Hey, Mirror Hey, Star, Hands Around, Chase off.
SourceThe Ironmen, UK


Stags use the tune "Return from the Waterside", which I wrote for my wife. That's what you get for being married to a musician - no flowers, just tunes.
TuneReturn from the Waterside
FiguresSingle Hey, Double Hey/Hey in Pairs, Circular Hey, Lichfield Hey.
SourceThe Shropshire Bedlams, UK
As a nod to the Geeks in the side, you know who you are. Following this came Babylon Five (5), Silent Running (3), and i-Robot (1).
TuneRigs of Marlowe
FiguresHey & Swing, Mind the Gap, Star & Rounds, Brook, Lines & Out.
SourceRed Stags Morris
Another dance from The Bassett Street Hounds, and I couldn't say it better than Mike Miller says in his dance notation: "The sticking patterns for doubles and triples are fiendishly difficult to remember, especially when your brain is oxygen-depleted from dancing."
FiguresSingles, Stars, Singles & Doubles, Triangle Swing, Doubles & Triples, Parallel Heys, Triples & Triples
SourceThe Bassett Street Hounds, USA
Constructed for the first Morris Federation "Border" workshop in Towcester, 1987. All those years ago. Ah, those were the days.
TuneOff to California
FiguresOut-and-Swing, There & Back, Hey, D-into-Rounds
SourceRed Stags Morris
We would not let Becky leave the side until she had taught us this dance. Which she was then dragged into at her University Graduation.
TuneGloucester Hornpipe
FiguresRounds & Reverse, Cast Into Stars, Back-to-back Pass 2, Orbits, D & J into Rounds & Off.
SourceRed Stags Morris (Becky)


The dance was originally called Morning Glory, for a workshop [1991]. (I don't know where these names come from, I just sit in pubs and make them up - you have to call the dance something for a workshop, otherwise you end up having to say things like 'the dance we did just before the straight line one').
TuneMorning Glory
FiguresHey, Cross & Swing, Linear Bombast, J-Loops, Hey
SourceRed Stags Morris (Andy)
Take a token, call the figure, move on. We are all Number One.
TuneFive In a Bed
FiguresCross & Swing, Square Hey, Dogbones, Stars, Bombast.
SourceRed Stags Morris
Okay, I made it up, based on some of the late and much lamented Dave Jones' musings about the Cleehill bannering customs. These are alluded to in the Church court rolls from the area, in a case in which several dancers stole the altar-cloth to use as a banner. Let this be a lesson to those of us who forget to carry the props around.
TuneMad Moll of the Cheshire Hunt
FiguresRounds, Small & Large Back-to-back, Linear Bombast.
SourceRed Stags Morris (Andy)
I still have the 7" single from the Jona Lewie's 1980 release of "Stop the Cavalry", we don't sing this anti-war protest song we just play the catchy tune.
TuneStop the Cavalry
FiguresRounds clockwise then anti-clockwise, Cloverleaf, Star right then left, Bombast
SourceRed Stags Morris
An adaptation of the Whiffler to give a mutating set of lines and squares, more fun than Whiffler (well it has the Linear Bombast!).
TuneSoldier’s Joy
FiguresDiamonds (back-to-back), Vees (half-gyp), Rounds-and-3/4 (to line), Linear Bombast
SourceRed Stags Morris
TuneOver the Top
FiguresRounds, Staggered back-to-back, J-loops, "choo-choo", Bombast
SourceMOTley Morris, USA


Arrghhh Hitch-backs, twiddles and memory failure.
TuneGeorge Green’s College Hornpipe
FiguresCross & Swing, J-Loops, Mini-Brook, Dragons’ Bane, Bombast
SourceRed Stags Morris (Andy)
Practise the deer caught in the headlights look, there are flying sticks everywhere.
TuneFour Lane End
FiguresHigh-Low, Multiples, Turn & Toss, Tosses
SourceThe Shropshire Bedlams, UK (John Kirkpatrick)
It's a bit of a signature dance for The Bassett Street Hounds, but it's such a brilliant dance, it'd be a shame not to share the fun! They call it "the carwash dance" and our new (as of 2013) rags really fly for this one. I'm always torn as to whether it should be played by our musos (who do a crackin' job of it) or whether to sing it.
TuneThe Idiot (Stan Rogers)
SongJohn Barleycorn (Jon Berger)
FiguresRounds, Linear & Square Heys, Linear & Square Bombasts
SourceThe Bassett Street Hounds, USA
This was the first dance I learnt and its still one of my favourites. The starburst resulted in the unexpected and never repeated "accidental piggyback" figure. Perhaps I should have started with whiffler!
TuneLucy Farr’s
FiguresRounds, Staggered Back-to-back, Ho-Hey, Starburst, Bombast, Rounds with Sounds
SourceThe Not For Joes, Canada
I have traumatic memories of this being danced by four Telletubbies, at a New Years ceilidh in deepest darkest Crewkerne, ending in a group hug.
SongCam Ye O’er Frae France
FiguresForward-Back-Crossover, Corners Cross, “Backstep Starburst”
SourceRed Stags Morris (Andy)
Dancing this in a wheelchair is not advised.
TuneBleddington Morningstar
FiguresSticking in Pairs, Hey-U, Sticking in Lines, Hey Lines, Sticking in Pairs, Hey-U, Sticking in Lines, Hey Lines
SourceMOTley Morris, USA
Loads of sides dance it as a) it's a fun dance and b) it only takes 3 dancers. That said, the geometry of dancing it for 6 or 9 is lovely!
TuneScotch Polka / The Plane Tree
FiguresReel left, 3 star left, 2 (+5) reel left, Rabbit Snares, 3 (+6) reel left, Round & off
SourceGrimspound Border, UK (Gozzer)
Is it a dance or isn't it? Are these the figures? What do you mean I'm going the wrong way, how can you tell I'm not also going the right way?
TunePretty Polly Polka
FiguresCats, Hey, Trig/Corners, Starburst
SourceRed Stags Morris
In 1957, Dr Chris Cawte would meet someone who remembered a village nearby [Richard's Castle] where "...they didn't do a real dance, just jigged about a bit to amuse the children."
SongSo Far From Home
FiguresRounds, Hey
SourceRed Stags Morris (Andy)


Made up in the car on the way to Crewkerne, when we needed another dance for two, and later modified for more spectacle.
TuneSpeed the Plough
FiguresDiamonds (back-to-back), Vees (half-gyp), Circles (whole gyp)
SourceRed Stags Morris (Andy & Christina)
Our response to the North-West morris tradition. One minute and ten seconds, including the musical intro. Blink and you will miss this great condensed dance.
TunePelican Gunner
FiguresCrossover, Back-to-Back, ½ Linear Bombast
SourceRed Stags Morris