Cotswold Notes: Bampton: Bonny Green Garters

Form

Any number of couples, longways set.

Verses

Song [optional] | Foot up | Half Gyp | Whole Gyp | Rounds | Sidesteps | Bampton Capers | Sidesteps | Bampton Capers [ending with] All into Centre & Show.

Phrasing

Ax8. A is 8 bars. Musically 6 beats per bar but danced as 4.

Sidesteps

(Everyone does one R sidestep, turn 180 deg cw, one L sidestep, turn 180 deg acw.) x 4 . This is basically 8 sidesteps acw round the set.

Bampton Capers

Everyone faces acw round the set and dances 8 x Bampton Caper forwards.

Use

This dance is often used as a final dance with all dancers present [even non-Cotswold ones and audience volunteers] being brought into it.

Song

"Here's to the ladies, we love them so well, | Though some are regular tartars. | Here's to their stockings, and here's to their shoes, | And here's to their bonny green garters.".

Variation

The Sidesteps & Bampton Capers verses can be done once instead of twice.

Song Variation 1

A traditional alternative for the second line is "A pair for you, & an pair for me, & pair for each of the others.". [This does need a strange pronunciation of ‘others’ to get it rhyming!]

Song Variation 2

A modern alternative for the second line is "Off with their knickers, and off with their bras, and off with their bonny green garters!".

Song Variation 3

A modern sex reversed version of the song is “Here’s to the laddies we know them so well, though some are regular bastards. | They tickle your fancy, they tickle their parts, & you know what they’re bloody well after!” [this might be wrong since it is hard to make this one rhyme]. [Origin possibly = Green Dragon Morris.]

Miscellaneous

If done with mixture of dancers from sides that move hands on the hop with those that do it on the step, it will look an unsynchronised mess. One should therefore try to adapt to whatever version the host side uses.

Source of Information

Learnt as part of Lagabag Morris’s dance repertoire.

Further Information

This page only contains features specific to this dance. Where not specified, the features of this dance are in common with other dances in this tradition.


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