The Ballad of the Morris Men
By Caleb Parkin
English version, to the tune of Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl
Now look at our almighty bells!
Our baldricks are red, our shirts are white.
Behankied hands! Legs that leap!
Flow’ry hats, lovely and bright.
We all drink the tankard ale,
Seek company in ev’ry worthy inn.
Then scatterbrained men barely know
How gyps do end, or hays begin.
We entertaining men, singing songs -
Unto your ears our squeezebox sounds!
Oh chuck us not into a terrible rubbish bin,
But behold our dances, our riotous rounds.
We’re Morris Men, the boyfriend and me,
Whose wonderful forries gleam!
Our bottom muscles do ache
The same as all who’re on the (gay or Morris) team.
Glossary of Morris Terms:
baldrick: part of the Morris uniform for Cotswold sides
gyps/forries: types of jumping dance move
hays/rounds: particular dance moves/figures
squeezebox: standard folk instrument, like an accordion
Tankard: ale hydration apparatus
Team/side: Morris group (‘on the Team’ also a Polari term for ‘on side’, queer)