'Songs, dances and reminiscences from Oxfordshire'
(click on the artistes name to see a photo and /or a short biography)
‘Greeny Up’ Is the name used by Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers for their farewell dance ‘Bonny Green Garters’. Bampton are one of the few morris sides who have an unbroken tradition of dancing which they can trace back to over 300 years.
This century the most renowned dancer and fIddle player associated with the side was ‘Jinky’ Wells and it was with his encouragement that Francis Shergold and his brother Roy joined the morris when they moved to Bampton as teenagers. Francis became a good friend of Jinkys’ and he subsequently became the Squire of the morris in 1949. After ‘Jinky’s’ death, fiddler Bertie Clarke from Carterton played for the dancers. When he died, several musicians were tried, but it was not until Londoner Reg Hall was Introduced In 1960 that a regular fiddle player was again found.
Several years later Wiltshire based melodeon player Rod Stradling was invited to play and his playing became one of the inspirations for Francis’ teenage nephew Jamie Wheeler, who has now developed into a highly acclaimed melodeon player.
Francis started singing when he was a youngster and he learned several songs, like ‘Three Acres and a Cow’ and ‘Old John Bradlum’ from his mother. Other songs have been learned from local singers such as ex.pub landlord Reg Pratley or the folk song collector Frank Purslow who lived In Bampton. Francis would sing after a day’s dancing when there is the inevitable music session in the nearest pub. This was particularly true on Whit Monday which Is the traditional day for Barnpton Morris to dance in their village.
Before his death in 2008 Francis Shergold led Bampton Tradltional Morris Dancers to events all over this country and abroad and he did not allow it to become a stagnant tradition. New dances have been devised, to new tunes, but more importantly, Francis encouraged the youngsters in the village to learn the dances and so keep the tradition alive.
These recordings were made on the streets of Bampton on Whit Monday 1987 and in Francis’ house in that year and in 1988 when ‘Old Johnny Bucker’ was recorded in the Eagle public house in the village.
1. Constant Billy - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Jamie Wheeler- melodeon)
2. Bobbin' around - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Reg Hall - fiddle)
3. Needlecase - Francis Shergold (song)
4. Once I had an Old Hen - Francis Shergold (song)
5. Coming through the rye /Foggy Dew - Francis Shergold (melodeon)
6. Webbley Through - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Jamie Wheeler - melodeon)
7. Butter & Cheese - Francis Shergold (song)
8. The Rose Tree - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Reg Hall - fiddle)
9. Story of the Bampton cake - Bob Alison (cake holder)
10. Old Tom of Oxford - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Jamie Wheeler - melodeon)
11. Shave the Donkey - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Reg Hall - fiddle)
12. Three Acres and a Cow - Francis Shergold (song)
13. Old John Bradlem - Francis Shergold (song)
14. Maid of the Mill - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Reg Hall - fiddle)
15. The Italian Job - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Jamie Wheeler - melodeon)
16. Old Johnny Bucker - Francis Shergold (song)
17. Bonny Green Garters - Bampton Traditional Morris Dancers (Reg Hall - fiddle & Jammie Wheeler - melodeon)
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