Border Morris is the more dynamic style of Morris dancing that was originally practiced along the English side of the Welsh boarders. Men would dance for fun and money with blackened faces, perhaps to avoid recognition. This later has tended to be replaced by the wearing of masks. The dances are performed with short sticks which are knocked either together or on the ground. The dancers wear dark jackets now mostly of tatters, the colours of which will denote their side (team). The movements of the dancers is often quite boisterous with some modern sides going for a dark style of presentation.
Here is a link to a video of me with Bacchus Border Morris, the dance is called Tipsy:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm3I2gS1d4c
We dance in winter, to have some money,
There be twelve of us, when it be sunny.
In hard winters, we dance for our dinners,
In our last lives, we must have been sinners.
Once our little gang, only had one dance,
But it could differ, quite a lot by chance.
After a few pints, masks come in handy,
But all I had, was a glass of shandy.
We be rather proud, of our short hard sticks,
We bang them and knock them, and do high kicks.
Some still insist, on fertility myth,
But only our short sticks, do end up stiff.
Spare a few pennies, for our Morris dance,
Before we collapse, in a shamanic trance.
Empty thine pockets, for a little beer,
If thee fancy, to stop me feeling queer.
Copyright Andrew Rea Summer 2010