“Ripon Sword-Dance”


"Christmas time has now been approaching." The characters have come from far away. Room is made for each and each has his lines: General "Warrington" from Waterloo, Hieland laddie, Tom the tinker, Beelzebub, Big Head, St George and doctor.


Hall, notes to Voice16: The Ripon Sword Dancers used this song in their Boxing Day mummers' play completed, in its entirety, in two minutes and fifty seconds.

For two similar examples of Christmas song/sword-dance/drama see Robert Bell, editor, [The Project Gutenberg EBook (1996) of] Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England (1857), "The [Wharfdale] Sword-Dancers' Song" ("The first that enters on the floor") and "The [Durham] Sword-Dancers' Song and Interlude" ("Good gentlemen all, to our captain take heed"). - BS

I find myself wondering if this might not be a sort of inland equivalent of thing like the "Pace-Egging Song," which introduces Lord Nelson, Lord Collingwood, and the hands serving under them. Here, it is Wellington ("Warrington,") the land her of Waterloo, as Nelson was the naval hero of Trafalgar. - RBW


  • The Ripon Sword Dancers, "Make Me a Room, For I Am A-Coming" (on Voice16)


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1980 (recording, The Ripon Sword Dancers)
Found in: Britain(England(North))