Wednesday January 20 2021



In Full . . .

On a high horse

Posted on September 29 2014 at 12:35:07

Oh dear, someone getting on their high horse again and not having checked their facts or history, oh well.

I am afraid I could not let the comments from “name and address supplied, Alvechurch”, regarding the Morris Dancers on the cover of the August edition of The Village, pass without comment.

Has “name and address supplied” checked the facts for themself or done their own research? I can only presume not. Perhaps I can enlighten him/her, as I do not know their sex.

You really need to chill out a bit and calm down. From my own investigations and research, the principal reason that these dancers “blacked up” has nothing to do with racism, imperialism or anything similar.

It was for purely practical reasons: a lot of these dancers and performers were farm workers and other lowly-paid employees who, in order to boost their meagre earnings, travelled around their own county and sometimes further afield to partake in these rituals; dancing, telling stories and commenting on political and other social injustices of the times, as they still do today.

The workers disguised themselves in the easiest and most practical way they could as they did not want anyone to recognise them, especially their employer or employer’s relatives or friends, in case this got back that they were in effect “moonlighting”.

The consequences could therefore be that they lost their low-paid employment altogether, at the least being victimised by their employer. 

A collection of cash was then usually taken from the audience afterwards which was split between them.

So you see, this was mainly for practical reasons to enable them to keep their paltry jobs, rather than for any sinister, cultural, imperialist, superior or other reason or connotation.

I personally know several of these Morris men and women as friends and acquaintances and can assure “name and address supplied” that they are not racist, sexist, or imperialist in any way.

They are just trying to keep an old tradition alive before it disappears altogether along with a lot of other things which sadly, are no longer around. 

Why do people wish to change things to suit their present view of the world and culture, especially if it does not fit in to their current perception of reality and our “modern” view of the world or comply with political correctness?

Just because you don’t agree with something or it doesn’t fit in with your own ideology, then it needs to be banned or changed, does it?

Has “name and address supplied” ever been to the New Year’s Day event held at the Crown Inn? These are very well attended and performed admirably by the dancers and guests, are very topical and full of humour.

A good time is usually had by all and I’ve yet to see anybody shout abuse or accuse them of being racist, imperialist or white supremacist.

Unlike “name & address supplied”, I am quite happy not to remain anonymous and take full responsibility for my comments and views and yes, like you, am a resident of Alvechurch and proud of it and proud of the Morris men/women.

Long may they go on.

Richard L Vernon

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