Semerwater Pudding 



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Eight dancers in a longways set

Sticking (RRR LLL R L RRR) x 2

Dance on

Crossover hey

Stars and circles


Circular hey
and dance off

Semerwater is a cold and creepy lake near Hawes in North Yorkshire. Legend has it that, many years ago, a wanderer came to the village of Semerwater in search of food and drink. He was rejected at every dwelling, and left, chanting a curse "Semerwater rise, Semerwater fall..." That night the rain came, like no rain the villagers had seen. The lake of Semerwater rose quickly and drowned the village. It happened so quickly there was no time to escape; the doomed villagers gathered in the church and rang the bells for help, but it was too late. Even now, on dark and stormy nights, you can hear muffled bells in the lake.

Recently, however, there was a dramatic development to the legend. An ancient manuscript, the Codex Mendaciorum, was discovered in the Grass Wood, where the Flagcrackers celebrate their annual coppicing ritual. It describes the history of the early British tribe, the Fracti Saxorum Quadratorum.

The Fracti were a group of wandering dancers and minstrels, who came to the village of Semerwater in search of food and drink. At the first hovel, the wizened crone croaked "There's nobbut some stale crusts of bread, but ye won't enjoy them unless ye get rid of ye great stench." They'd noticed a bit of a pong, but the minstrels thought it was the dancers.

They accepted the crusts, and found a similar story at the next hovel: "There's nobbut some sour cream, but ye won't enjoy that unless ye get rid of ye great stench." This continued as they collected curdled milk, rancid butter, and rotten fruit. The Wise Woman of the Fracti, Annie the Speller, worked her magic with the ingredients, and produced a fabulous pudding. As the Fracti sat down to eat, the villagers gathered round, humming a haunting six-note theme. "That's it!" cried the Fracti minstrels, "that's where the stench is coming from!". They found the source of the stench and hurled it into the lake. What was it? Download the midi file to find out.

There was great celebration, and the Fracti left the village next day replete with pudding and bonhomie. That night, a wanderer came to the village of Semerwater in search of food and drink. He was rejected at every dwelling, as there was no food left....

Waterddy Lane

Composed by John Kirkpatrick copyright  Squeezer Music

Paul, a committed Kirkpatrick fan, came up with this offering when we first put the dance together. Personally I don't like it (sorry, John)(no, actually John, I'm not sorry at all. I've heard you speak very highly of us)  but we've beefed it up a bit to make it more interesting. I should point out that the very best tunes can pall when played over and over on practice nights. We dotted the B parts to give the tune a bit of a skip, which, like most things, we probably seriously overcook. We also introduced an iconoclastic feature for a morris band - the drummer switches to the off beats (2 and 4 instead of the normal 1 and 3) on the B parts. The switch from A to B and back again has given many a tyro drummer sleepless nights. There were worries from the dancers that this switch would throw them off the beat, but this doesn't seem to have been a problem. Actually we don't think they're listening anyway. For the last 2 bars, on the dance off, we switch back an undotted version of the B part, accompanied by a manic drum beat on the last 7 beats.

Format A BB (mostly)
Key G
The notation is in The John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris Tune Book, Opus Pocus, page 50.