The Green Man


Click here to see the latest version in standard FC format PDF

Six dancers in a wide longways set, and the Green Man

Sticking [R L R "Woo!" R L LLL] x 2

Dance on

Green hey


Circular hey

Three tops hey

Green sticks

Raise him up and off


The Codex Mendaciorum, a history of the early British tribe, the Fracti Saxorum Quadratorum, includes an allusion to the ritual expression of the legend of the Green Man in a section headed Homo Virens, Certamen et Natura. This part of the manuscript is fragile, with many gaps and poor legibility. What follows is a reconstruction by the eminent folklore sociologist, Dr Esme Paluka.

"The Green Man is a deity venerated for his powers over the forces of Nature. The dance starts in Winter, when the Green Man is resting, and mankind scattered [dancers in the crowd]. The music stirs the Green Man, and the dancers try to control him by bringing him into the set. Virile sticking with partners and opposites shows the opposing forces which the Green Man tries to control [Spring].

By the second move, Stars, the Green Man has partially succeeded in getting the dancers to work together in threes. The heys show the dancers co-operating more fully [Summer], but by Autumn the dancers are fragmenting in the move Green Sticks, dancing in opposition to each other and the Green Man. The Green Man almost dies, but at the last moment, the dancers relent and raise him up, and he dances away to hide for the Winter."

Dr Esme Paluka comments "The existential quiddity of resolution and conflict is inherent in the meniscal sinuosity of the dithyrambic flux."

The Fairy Dance

Not a lot to say about the tune - it's an English reel well known to Thomas Hardy. Numerous versions of it are published on the web in various formats.

We play the tune in two keys, D and G (not usually at the same time). The D key is used when the  Green Man is out of the set, and G for when he is in. A little constructive syncopational dressing near the end of the dance is the only embellishment.

Format A BB Key G and D
download midi file