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BILLY WELLS - Morris Dancing

At Bampton "Jinkey", or Billy Wells (1868-1953), fool, dancer & fiddler recounts his life-story to Peter Kennedy in 1952 & talks about the dances together with pre-war recordings of him playing in the street. Other musicians & dancers were recorded in the streets on Whitmonday in 1955, playing and talking, including Bertie Clark, Jim Buckingham, Arnold Woodley, Jimmy and Albert Townsend, Michael Bowden, Billy Flux & William Brooks (known locally as "Brannen")

CONSTANT BILLY - Talk about family & nickname - Birthplace & education - His first job & start in the Morris - other jobs - Family involvement, first costume, odd stockings & Enoch Tanner - The Fool (his own poem) - Explanation of Sword in the cake & diddles (mouth music) - HIGHLAND MARY (played on fiddle with humming) - Talk about finding dances and playing at Leafield (Field Town) - tune and & description of THE FORESTER (or FORESTRY-KEEPER'S JIG) - OLD TOM OF OXFORD - Words of OLD TOM OF OXFORD & talk about hawkers, two men & 1 woman living in a caravan and "they never quarrelled" - THE QUAKER -LUMPS OF PLUM PUDDING - THE PIPE DANCE ('Bacca Pipes) - THE WEBBLEY (named after a man called Webb to the tune of "Banks and braes" disapproved of by Cecil Sharp House) - CONSTANT BILLY - the longest dance & done in three different ways - MAID OF THE MILL - Names of other dances, words of BONNY GREEN GARTERS - PRINCESS ROYAL - explains the various capers - BOBBING AROUND - achievements as fool, fiddler, dancer & trainer, and performed in front of two princesses and had three generations in one set - Playing the tunes on six different instruments: penny-tin-whistle, mandoleon, concertina, melodeon, violin, swiss pipe but "you can't beat the fiddle - THE DUMB MAID - recites words, a fragment of his own song composition: "Being a gentleman's son" - FLOWERS OF EDINBURGH - Talk about tent covering a dancing booth, twopence a dance paid by men & boys - STEP AND FETCH HER ("Pretty little dear") - HANDKERCHIEF DANCE with description - TOMMY, MAKE ROOM FOR YOUR UNCLE - words of song - "Every dog has his day"

Other performers at Bampton - BOBBING AROUND - Jim Buckingham (melodeon) playing for team in 1955 - FLOWERS OF EDINBURGH - Arnold Woodley (fiddle) - Interviews in street with Jim Buckingham, young Jimmy Townsend, young Michael Bowden and Billy Flux - MAID OF THE MILL - Bertie Clark (fiddle) - SHEPHERDS HEY - CONSTANT BILLY - BONNY GREEN GARTERS




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