The Grasswood Stump


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Eight dancers in a longways set

Sticking Side (R L RRL) x 2
Opposite (R L RRL) x 2

Dance on (to the woods)

Round the woods


Peel the bark


Spark off

           This dance celebrates the cutting of the sticks in the Grass Wood, an ancient and mysterious site somewhere in North Yorkshire. Every Spring, Flagcrackers gather there for the annual ritual of coppicing. Deep in the Wood they chant their chants, break branches and eat sandwiches. They choose the best branches and bear them off to be weathered, and prepared for the Green Man's visitation, after which they're initiated into the mysteries of the morris.

A few years ago there was great excitement when the Grass Wood revealed its long-hidden secret - an ancient druidic barrow. Careful excavation yielded the priceless manuscript which was identified as the famous Codex Mendaciorum, a history of the early British tribe, the Fracti Saxorum Quadratorum. Among the many legends in the Codex was the amazing story of the doomed village of Semerwater, and its celebrated pudding.

Over The Hills (and Far Away)

Oops! We changed it again in 2014. See the pdf for the latest version.

Another tune I learned at my mother's knee. She has very musical knees, my mum. Unfortunately she never sang the B part, so I made it up. Nobody's quite sure if there ever was a B part to this song, but if there wasn't, as it were, this would have been it. Again we play it crisply in the As and over decorate the Bs. Just to prove we can play in more than one key we switch to the key of A for one round - the Perversion - which is danced across the set. Because the band also like to prove they can dance too, they emulate the staggering move in the Timber. This is in addition to any other staggering the band may, from time to time, elect to do.

Sadly, there are few references to melodic traditions in the Codex Mendaciorum, and details of tunes which might have been appropriate for this dance are absent from the text. Illustrated fragments suggest that the most courtly instrument was the bowed pslattery, and applications for the post of player of this ancient instrument in the FC band are invited.

Studious readers will notice that latest PDF files show some minor variations in the tune. THIS IS NOT AN ERROR. The new version was adopted in 2005 and then changerd in 2014.

Format AB Key G and A
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