Cecil Sharp famously collected his first morris tunes in Oxford on Boxing Day of 1899, but it was only some seven years later that he began collecting morris tunes in earnest.
From 1907 to 1912 he collected a number of morris tunes around the 'Cotswold' area but didn't notate the dances to go with the tunes, with the result that these traditions have become 'lost'.
With a few exceptions, the 'lost morris' tunes on this CD can be found in Sharp's manuscripts (Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, Cecil Sharp House). They come from the counties of Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and Oxfordshire, from locations such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Shipston-on-Stour, Lower Swell, Clifford's Mesne, Filkins, and Brill. A few are subtly different versions of well-known morris tunes such as 'Constant Billy' and 'Maid of the Mill', but many are tunes that don't turn up in other traditions.
It is hoped that the project to unearth and record these tunes will help to get them back into the morris and session repertoire, to make them live again. A few, such as 'Bourton Six' and 'Moll in the Wad', have been published in tune collections, while one or two have been previously recorded-most notably 'Old Hog or None' by Martin Carthy on Son of Morris On (1976)-but the majority are, we believe, here recorded for the first time. The musicians have been allowed the freedom to interpret Sharp's notations as they see fit.
The musicians on this CD are all Oxfordshire based, and all are experienced in playing and dancing morris.
Lost Morris: Audio album from the English Folk Dance Project
- Brand: Icknield Way Morris Men
- Product Code: LM v1
- Availability: 3
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