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Dancing at Whitsun

Folk This
It All Comes Round Again
John Tams
The Reckoning
Muckram Wakes
A Map Of Derbyshire
The Red Lion
A Bit Of A Song And Dance
New Victory Band
One More Dance And Then
Kate Rusby
Hourglass
Salisbury Folk
From The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs
The Old Hat Concert Party
Sunday 13th May 1969
Seth Lakeman
Kitty Jay
Kitty Jay Lyrics
Freedom Fields
Freedom Fields Lyrics
The White Hare
The New St. George
The Hard Times Of Old England
Prince Heathen
Frost And Fire
Bright Phoebus
History and Companion
Morning Way
Spindle
Polly On The Shore
Western Approaches
Damien Barber and The Demon Barbers
The North Star Grassman and the Ravens
Cropredy's Like That
The Garden of Jane Delawney
Nic Jones
Penguin Eggs
The Noah's Ark Trap
Bandoggs
Bandoggs: The Record
Shirley Collins
Anthems In Eden
Shelagh McDonald
Stargazer
Music From The Unbroken Circle
Gryphon
Glastonbury Carol
Mr Fox
Mr. Fox : The Album
Tiny Tin Lady
The Sound of Requiem
martha tilston
ropeswing
Moseley Folk Festival 2006
Moseley Folk Festival 2006: The Folks
Witness
ROOTS
Countrylife
Countrylife II
The Falmouth Packet / Haul Away Joe
The Setting / Mary From Dungloe
From Clare To Here
A Gift From A Flower To A Garden
1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Coope, Boyes & Simpson
Christmas Truce / Kerstbestand 1914
Passchendaele Suite
A Garland of Carols
Fire and Sleet and Candlelight
Anne Briggs
Anne Briggs : Sing A Song For You
Oak
Welcome to Our Fair Plus
Make it Folky!
A Place Called England
Ragged Heroes
Dancing at Whitsun
The Lark In The Morning
Thomas The Rhymer
Gaudete
Carthy and Swarbrick
What Time Is It Eccles?

[click for larger image]

Dancing at Whitsun

It's fifty long springtimes since she was a bride
But still you may see her at each Whitsuntide
In a dress of white linen with ribbons of green,
As green as her memories of loving
 
The feet that were nimble tread carefully now,
As gentle a measure as age will allow,
Through groves of white blossoms, by fields of young corn,
Where once she was pledged to her true-love.
 
The fields they stand empty, the hedges grow (go) free--
No young men to turn them or pastures go see (seed)
They are gone where the forest of oak trees before
Have gone, to be wasted in battle.
 
Down from the green farmlands and from their loved ones
Marched husbands and brothers and fathers and sons.
There's a fine roll of honor where the Maypole once stood,
And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun.
 
There's a straight row of houses in these latter days
All covering the downs where the sheep used to graze.
There's a field of red poppies (a gift from the Queen)
But the ladies remember at Whitsun,
And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun.

 
[words by John Austin Marshall]
 
 Copyright John Austin Marshall

Whitsuntide

Whitsuntide Walk, Lightcliffe, West Yorkshire.
Whitsuntide Parade

The Origins
 
Pentecost or Whitsun is observed on the seventh Sunday after Easter. The word Pentecost has its roots in the Greek "pentekoste" meaning the fiftieth day after Easter. Whit Sunday commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of flames to the Apostles, as recorded in the New Testament. The recent adoption of a Late Spring Bank Holiday on the last Monday in May is an attempt to deal with the fact that Whitsuntide is a moveable feast dependent on the date of Easter. Although it is no longer necessarily at the church's Whitsuntide, the general public still refers to this holiday as "Whit Monday."

Customs & Traditions

Two main traditions persist, particularly in the North of England - Whit Walks and Whitsun Ales. Whit weekend, being a three-day break, is, like May Day, an important date on the Morris-Dancing calendar, and it also marks the start of the Well Dressing season.
 
Whit Walks are now confined almost exclusively to the industrial towns of northern England although they were once much more widespread.
The whole community assembles at a central point - usually a school or church - and parades around the town or village. The parades will be led by a brass band with the clergy and local dignitaries, followed by the uniformed organisations - Scouts and Guides, Boy's Brigade etc., and finally local families all in their best new clothes with the girls dressed in white, Whitsun being a corruption of White Sunday. The Whit Walkers will very likely make their way to the local green or playing field and there the "Whitsun Ale" will begin.
 
A Whitsun Ale is, despite its name, not a type of beer! Whitsun Ales are country fairs, with sports and competitions, Morris dancing displays, music and of course socialising, eating and drinking, in fact a major event on the social calendar.
After the English Civil War the Puritan government banned all types of merrymaking but after the Restoration of Charles II, Whitsun Ales became a major event - helped no doubt by the fact that Charles was born on a Whit Monday and so encouraged the celebration. The Ales are often sponsored by a pub or brewery, giving rise to the misconception that the event is named for the beer!

Royal Irish Rifles Ration Party. Somme. July 1916

probably the mosr comprehensive
webite on the net, regarding the
"war to end all wars"

Comprising the main Allied attack
on the Western Front during 1916,
famous chiefly on account of the
loss of 58,000 British troops
(one third of them killed) on the
first day of the battle, 1 July 1916,
which to this day remains a
one-day record

"Squire nagged and bullied
till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby's scheme).
I died in hell -
(They called it Passchendaele)."
 

the end of innocence

Woodlands School

morris on, the son, the grandson
and the great grandson

a great explanation of
this holiday from the students
at Woodlands School in
Tonbridge, Kent. this is a truly
amazing interactive website

may1_maypole8.gif

War Memorial

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2006/2007/2008 sam-and-lizzie
all rights reserved