Click here to go back to the general introduction to Morris Dancing

How to dance 'Lads-a-Bunchum'

This dance is from the village of Adderbury.

The structure of the dance

Cotswold Morris dances have a sequence of movements called figures.

Every dance has several common figures.
These are common to all the dances from that particular village
The common figures of Lads-a-Bunchum occur in all the dances from the village of Adderbury.
The common figures are rather like verses in a song. They are danced to the first part (the 'A' part) of the tune.

Every dance also has a distinctive figure.
The distinctive figure in this dance is the stick clashing part.
The distinctive figure is special (distinctive) to this dance.
It is danced after each of the common figures to the second part (the 'B' part) of the tune (rather like the chorus in a song).


The tune for Lads-a-Bunchum

The tune is in two parts - 'A' and 'B'.

The A music is played for the walk round at the beginning of the dance and for the common figures.

The B music is played for the stick clashing (the distinctive figure).

Click here
to view, save & print the music as a PDF file
(Go to the site map page if you need to download Adobe Reader)


This video clip shows you the basic stepping for the dance 'Lads-A-Bunchum'.

If you listen carefully you can hear the dancer counting in rhythm:

• 1 - 2 - 3 - hop (a double step)

• 1 - 2 - 3 - hop (a double step)

• step - hop - step - hop (2 single steps)

• feet together - jump


In this next video clip the 'A' music is played for the walk round with singing. This is how the dance begins.

The dancers turn to face a clock wise direction and walk round in a circle (starting with the right foot). They often sing a nonsense song while they walk round:

Oh dear mother what a fool I've been
Six young fellows came a courting me
Five were blind and the other couldn't see
Oh dear mother what a fool I've been


In this video clip the 'B' music is played for the sticking.

The sticking is demonstrated here by one pair of dancers.

When the full side is dancing the two lines of dancers face across the set, opposite their partners, and all join in the sticking.

Click on Formation to see the diagram showing the arrangement of odds and evens in the set.
The odds (dancers 1, 3 and 5) strike first.
The evens (dancers 2, 4 and 6) hold their sticks with both hands horizontally in front of them, presenting them to their partner to strike 3 times.
Then the odd sides present their sticks for their partners to strike 3 times.
Next:
Odds strike partner’s stick once. Evens strike once.
Odds strike partner’s stick once. Evens strike once.
Odds strike partner’s stick once. Evens strike once.
Partners clash sticks together by raising their sticks vertically and striking their partners stick by moving it from the right to the left to strike.
All of this sticking pattern is then repeated.

Click here to learn the 6 common figures which are danced to the 'A' music

Or Go direct to:
FIGURES 1 & 2 Foot up & Back to back
FIGURES 3 & 4 Processional Down & Up
FIGURES 5 & 6 Hands around & Adderbury Hey
THE WHOLE DANCE from the walk round to the walk off (with a list of the figures)
Dance Notation summary for the whole dance (for printing)


More about Cotswold morris
Help with learning and teaching morris
Notes for musicians
Back to the SITE MAP