Ebor Morris


Ebor Morris was started in 1974 during the Morris revival of the 70s that was triggered by the best selling "Morris On" album..  A bunch of the members of the "York Folk Centre" decided they would have a go at getting a side together.  Many a night was spent scratching heads trying to understand what the instructions for a dance actually meant (some things haven'y changed a lot even with good reference material like "Bacon".)

A sense of humour and ability to laugh at yourself are essential prerequisites if you are thinking of joining this bunch, because one thing is certain, if you can't take a bit of leg pulling and develop an immunity to "jingle bells, jingle bells" when you pass a youngster who thinks he is being incredibly original you will not last (my usual retort is "one thousand six hundred and thirty seven" which usually gets the "uh?" response).

Sorry lasses but Ebor Morris are a men's side and although we do dance with sides of the opposite gender and mixed sides we started as a men's side in 1974 before the upsurge of women's sides in the late 1970's and have continued to be a men only side. During those days when womens sides were appearing one liberal minded student member once asked why we didn't have any women in the side and so because of his long hair earned himself the nickname Shirley and received a tart comment about tradition. Nowadays although we are a little more open minded we maintain our tradition of being a men only side.

One of the groups traditions is to call out "Don't forget the galley Paul"during Ascot Under Whychwood dances in the first half gyp as a reminder that it is an Ascot dance and a galley is needed after the cross back steps, but why Paul? Well, Paul is the one who used to need reminding, but if it isn't called nowadays others will sometimes forget, talk about Pavlov's dogs!

Dogs leads me on to an amusing incident that happened one evening in the pub after practice. Well, all I can say is if you are ever in the company of Ebor Morris and Dave Mooring has been let out by his mum don't ask about that stupid dog in the John Bull. Dave was sitting on the bench seats supping quietly when the landlords dog bounded in  and spots Dave.  The dog was so pleased to see him it climbed up onto his shoulder and stuck his wet penis in his ear.  Yes madam it was dog's penis and Dave's ear!

A fun loving gang, on a Morris Ring meeting hosted by Claro in Harrogate on  the coach trip going through Kirby Malzeard a group was coming out of the church so Ebor called for the coach to stop and lined up to kiss the bride.  The other groups on the bus quickly realised what was happening and joined the by now long queu. Having kissed the bride three dances were performed - "Haste To The Wedding", "Getting Upstairs", followed by "Blue Eyed Stranger". The wedding party enjoyed so much that they put a fair bit of money in the hat.

As well as Cotswold style dances Ebor Morris include some Yorkshire Longsword dances in their repertoire, click here for details of the traditions and styles

For a listing of where to see Ebor Morris dancing, visit the Ebor Morris site maintained by Tony Fenech