This dance has changed more than most over the years and the version that we give below is just of many possible interpretations. The Processional was not often performed, being mostly confined to providing an effective means of travelling the 500 yards between the Lame Duck and the Bindweed public houses on feast days although it originally developed as part of the ancient April First peregrinations written about elsewhere in this volume. The survivors of the old team have told us of how the precise steps to this dance were the cause of constant argument and strife amongst the members of the old team with everybody having their own version and “memory” of how it was done “the last time”.
The dance is performed to a tune entitled “Salmon Tails Are Not Worth Eating”. This tune has long been a favourite of the area, and not just with the morris dancers. An early version was associated in legend with the whistling of the monks of Mirkmere Abbey who tended the fish-ponds, but there is more likely a connection with the fact that up to only a couple of centuries ago salmon were commonly caught in local rivers, as were trout, but increasing industrialisation and the noxious products of agricultural discharge have meant that they have been absent now for generations and we only have the title of this excellent tune to remind us of what might have been.
Double file of dancers carrying two sticks each
(A) – 16 bars
- 4 single steps (surge) clashing sticks on each step
- double step holding sticks vertically by side of chest
- then repeat
(B) – 32 bars
- double step forward – sticks vertical by chest
- double step – right file crosses with left
- double step forward again
- double step – file cross back to original side
- side step sequence with no forward movement
- then repeat
And so on until the team tires or reaches its destination. Clearly, this form of dance can be adapted at will so long as the steps fit the music