WHEN ALL WAS NEW: 1996-2000
This is an account of what we do on Mayday morning, and why we do it, written when I played the drum for the mass dances but was not yet on a Morris team. In retrospect: The second to last paragraph surprised me by reminding me of why this all seems important to me, now that I am actually dancing.
This is from my first year of dancing, before my first danceout, pondering the notion of "straight male energy" with special additional material about growing up folkie.
Straight Male Energy; Morris Dancing and Me
When the dance, and partnering, started to happen for me. Splitters as sexual metaphor.
The tree of life must oft be watered by the blood of neophyte Morris dancers. That being me in this case.
Initiation By Injury
An early description of my Border Morris team's annual Halloween danceout.
My Fabulous Halloween
This is an accounting of the first incredibly wonderful once-in-a-lifetime dance I was part of. My father said that this was the first thing he'd read about Morris dance that described what it was like from the point of view of the dancer, from inside the dance, which I took as a great compliment.
The Best Bledington Trunkles Ever
There was a strange summer when everywhere I looked I saw a reference to Abbot's Bromley and then a few weeks later I unexpectedly found myself in Abbot's Bromley itself for the annual horn dance. Weird.
My Year of Abbot's Bromley
DOCUMENTING THE DANCE: 2003-2004
Once I started doing my writing in an online journal, my Morris writings became general accounts of specific Morris danceouts and other public events, with my personal musings on their significance.
An account of a standard Border danceout, and the musings it yielded.
One Sang Bonnie Bonnie Biscay-o
Another account of dancing out on Halloween as a musician for the Border/Molly team.
Twenty-five Bottles of Scotch in the Hall
Dancing on Guy Fawkes night!
Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot
Mummer's on Twelfth Night
Powder and Shot to Conquer the Lot
An account of the now-mostly-defunct Minnesota Midwinter Ale
The Midwinter Ale
THE 2004 BRAGGARTS SEASON
Each year we dance anew. Each year I write some more.
Why we destroy our bodies forever for the sake of the Morris moment.
Soreness, stiffness, and aches? It's Wednesday!
Every Morris practice is different.
Fingerprints, Snowflakes, Irises, and Morris Team Practices
Hungry, hungry Braggarts
Feeding the Morris Masses
Countdown to Mayday
'Oss, 'Oss, Wee 'Oss
Dancing and Community
The Twin Cities as Cotswold Village
Andy would dance on the rim of a live volcano
Laughing At Clouds So Dark Up Above
Andy proves me correct. Or, as he would have it, I have the power to control the universe through writing in my journal.
Beware What Your Wish For
THE BRAGGARTS GO TO THE 2004 TORONTO ALE
These are some accounts of one of the major events in Braggarts history: Our trip to Toronto in the fall of 2004.
The Braggarts are leaving for Canada to attend the Toronto Ale
American Guns and 500 Men
What a great ale was Toronto.
Help Me, Bob, I'm Dancing in the Alley
The myth of Ramsey's Braggarts
Mythologizing the Braggarts
More Toronto Ale Reminiscence: Singing on the bus and whatnot
The Dancers on the Bus Go Doo-Ron-Ron
THE 2005 BRAGGARTS SEASON
In comes I with my firkin of guac,
My chips in a sack, and my cheese in a crock,
My biscuits tight-packed in a lithographed tin,
Now unfold the tables let us begin.
We've dips, spreads, and crackers, both savory and sweet
We've thousands of glorious tidbits to eat,
So tap out the keg, lads, and draw up the beer
The Braggarts and likewise their stomachs are here.
In Comes I, With My Firkin Of Guacamole
First moment of first dance of the season
The Pristine Virgin Foot Up
Then there was the time we put away our hankies.
The Night of Stick Dances
A brief account of a random Braggarts practice
The Fattest Braggart
I couldn't let a Mayday go by without writing something.
For It Is The First Summer's Day-O
Dancing out with Minnesota Traditional Morris: The Light Rail Tour
Ding Ding Ding Went the Bell
This was a link to some amazing photos of Ramsey's Braggarts, but the website is currently down. This is a placeholder for now.
The Flying Fat Man
An account of a fun Morris moment during a danceout, nearly impossible to explain to a non-dancer. I describe it as "Morris crack".
Randomly Ecstatic Morris
Dancing out for Harry Potter.
The Butterbeer Song on a Hot Night
Just a little bit about Border dance season, 2005.
Border Morris (and a Molly Dance)
THE 2005 MIDWEST MORRIS ALE IN PORT HURON MICHIGAN
In which I anticipate the 2005 Midwest Ale by explaining what an Ale is all about.
Countdown to the Ale
An account of how I became a White Rat for a night at the 2005 Midwest Ale.
Rat for the Night
More on the 2005 Midwest Ale in Port Huron, with special focus on the Great Lakes
Man, What a Great Lake
A fine moment of song at the 2005 Ale.
Singing at the Ale
THE 2006 DANCING SEASON
Another account of a Morris practice, and moving as a team.
The Invisible Rope
Still writing about Morris practice, which seems always to be about food.
Braggin' 'bout the Braggarts
Anticipating Mayday, with a bit of Twin Cities Morris history in the comments.
The First Flash of Mayday Madness
A brief followup a few days later:
Only aedifica and botanacavix will find this funny
An account of Mayday 2006.
A Fine and Wet Mayday
Some accounts of the 2006 Midwest Morris Ale in Wisconsin.
The Revivifying Ale
Juicy Juice, Thou Art My Darling
Singin' 'bout Interspecies Transmogrification
A Braggarts Moment on a Summer Eve
Lolling About in Our Whites
The Braggarts learn a little bit of a different tradition, just for fun, out of season.
Brackley, Brackley, Brackley!
Dancing in a downpour
Once You're Wet, You're Wet
I GO TO MELBOURNE AND DANCE OUT WITH BRITANNIA MORRIS
From Melbourne: Attending practice with Britannia Morris
Whose Life Is It, Anyway? A Morris Dancer's!
Still in Melbourne. An account of my weekend that includes a photo of the American Morris dancer among the Aussies.
Several Weekends in One
Lots of photos of dancing out in Melbourne!
Fishcakes on the Maling Road
THE 2007 DANCING SEASON
The Midwinter Sword Ale, Sort Of
Saturday's Pub Crawl
The words to my Old Squire Steven poem.
You Are Old, Squire Steven
A piece about my issues with balance in general and not just Morris dance in particular, but a British Morris dancer followed up with some interesting comments about Fieldtown style.
On Being Off-Balance
I once actually tried to write a dance. It never came to anything, but it proved a point -- that we needed more dances that did not involve all of us dancing all the time without any rest. So we wrote a different dance that fits this criterion and we never went back to my silliness, described here -- which was a dance to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel", a fact I don't mention here.
Steven the Sluggard's Choreographer
The music to a tune named after me, written by Bob Walser.
One of Bob's Tunes
Another of Bob's tunes.
More Tune Talk
The Braggarts spent a whole Saturday together during the height of our practice season, stretching and practicing and writing a new dance.
The Braggarts Day of Dance
A description of a particular sweet instant at practice.
A Morris Moment
The annual account of Mayday.
Free the Toast!
Some photos of Mayday morn in MPLS, 2007, including some nice captures of how the Braggarts dance.
Some Mayday Illustrative Photos
A Morris team is better than therapy.
One Possible Explanation For It
Dancing Out with Uptown-on-Calhoun
A More Traditional Molly Dance
Great Waters Brewpub with some Lovely Ladies
Dancing Out with the Bells of the North
Dancing out in the Community: The Como-Harriet Streetcar Line
Through The Open Window She Hands Charlie A Sandwich
Dancing out with MTM and Northern Lights, the local children's team.
Dad For a Night
The Braggarts and the Bells on the Fourth of July, with photos
A Real Live Nephew of My Uncle Sam
The words to the Butterbeer Song, to sing at the Harry Potter book release
The Butterbeer Song
The words to the Train to Hogwarts song, to sing at the Harry Potter book release danceout
The Triumph of Evil is an Awful Shame
Dancing Out to Fight Voldemort
Dancing for Harry
The annual Halloween Border Danceout, this time with pictures
Dancing on Halloween
THE 2007 MIDWEST MORRIS ALE IN ST. LOUIS
Getting ready to head to the Ale
Off to the Ale!
A photo accounting of the Braggarts dancing at the Ale
Served Up In Pewter It Tells Its Own Tale
More photos and descriptons of the Ale, this time focusing on the attributes of our friend h.
h's butt! h's butt!
A spiritual moment of songleading at the Ale
Stupefied By Song
The moment captured in a picture
Stupefied By Memory
SOME GENERAL STUFF ABOUT THE MORRIS (2007-2009)
Relying on Something Other Than Consciousness
Amnesiac Morris Dancing
The Morris Team Incest Taboo
It Takes a Village
Abram's Circle for a Wedding
Morris Dancing is Not Folk Dancing
It's so Quaint and Charming
My thoughts on watching a delightful short film (linked to in this post) about a weekend for younger Morris dancers.
Youth! Recruitment! Morris! The Folkie Cult!
THE 2008 DANCING SEASON
There's a new longsword team in town:
My, What A Long Sword You Have!
Picture and video:
So What's Sword Dancing, Anyway?
Preparing Food as a Gesture of Love for my Team
How Are Things in Guacamole?
The yearly account of the first practice of the season
Anticipating Mayday 2008
An account of Mayday itself
What Makes for a Mayday
Outdoor Patios in Bars Make for Better Morris Tours
A Fortuitous Side-Effect of the No-Smoking Laws
Public Singing after Border Practice
A Snippet of Public Singing
THE 2008 MIDWEST ALE IN NEBRASKA
Anticipating the Ale
Off to the Ale
An Ale Moment: Double Joy of Six!
The Joy the Joy of Six of Twelve
The cacophony of the bells.
Singing for the Molly at the Ale
Singing All the Day
Songleading at the Ale
This is the video I point people to when I want to show them how my team dances.
Wonderful Dance Moment: Caught on Video!
You'll find that you're in the Rotogravure.
You Oughta' Be In Pictures
Indiscriminate song parodies kill the fun.
Parodies at Singing Time
The Ale is a Different Beast than Morris as a Community Dance
Morris Dancing is Not The Ale
I pretend to be a member of Minnesota Traditional Morris
My Life as a Morris Double Agent
THE 2009 DANCING SEASON
The Fancy-Eats Morris Side
Surprising Moments of Braggarty Bizarreness
Brief Mayday account with photo
Silver Bells, Silver Bells: It's Mayday Time in the City
Video of Mayday Morning: This was made by a local residnet who is not a dancer, but who wanted to come and put this film together. I didn't notice the filming at the time, but this is a lovely introduction to what dancing at Dawn on Mayday feels like in the Twin Cities.
Mayday Minneapolis Sunrise Video!
The 2009 MIDWEST ALE in MINNESOTA
Anticipating the Ale
Midwest Ale Hits the Twin Cities This Weekend
3am Sunday Night, the Dance of a Lifetime, with photo. This is the picture I keep showing people, of an amazing moment of dance. I have a hard time believing that this is really me, but those are certainly the clothes I was wearing.
Isaac Newton Be Damned
Playing my big big drum for the big big dances.
Me and My Drum
My team took a bus full of Morris dancers to Bob's house for our Saturday pub stop and fed them with nice snacks and fine beer and good song.
A Lovely Moment
The universe takes care of what it needs to take care of, especially at an Ale.
The Tale of the Black Shirt
PINEWOODS MORRIS INTENSIVE, JULY 2009
I went to the Morris Intensive program at Folk Music Week at Pinewoods Dance Camp. I had a lot to say. Or maybe I just had a really good time.
Going to Morris Camp
General Summary on my Return
Morris Intensive and Pinewoods Folk Music Week
Women Dance the Morris
And The Ladies Go Dancing at Whitsun +364
A dance that filled me to overflowing with pleasure.
There was singing, too.
Songleading at Pinewoods: A 1000-Word Picture
More Pinewoods memories and stories
Tales from the Piney Woods
Old Men Dance the Morris
How Young Adam Saved the World Through Morris Dance
The Story of Young Adam
Photographic recounting of the beautiful Mayday of 2010
My Big Fat Fabulous Morris Mayday in Pictures
Highlight of the day, caught on video
Ramsey's Braggarts Dance for the Lord Mayor