Teleri (telerib) wrote,

Ideas for a Maypole

Gathering the crowd: A crier, a flute, and and tambourine circulate through the site. The flute and tambourine play appropriate music (possibly the pieces they will play later) while the crier shouts, "The maypole! The maypole! Come, maids and youths, to the maypole!" or similar words to that effect.

Optional: Queen of May and Setting the Maypole Up: The crier carries a bouquet of flowers. Assemble the maids into a group and toss the bouquet, wedding-style, for a fast selection of May Queen. Then turn attention to the maypole, which the flute and tambourine cannot get up, no matter how they try. Ask one maid to help, then another: nothing works. But at the lightest touch from the Queen of May, the pole goes right up. (If they don't get it, they were too young anyway.)

Securing the Maypole and Dance Instruction: While the flute and tambourine (and possibly others) secure the maypole upright, the crier instructs the dancers on circling the maypole, taking up ribbons, and weaving in and out.

Now Is the Month of Maying: Flute and tambourine play the Morely spring song with the following modification: Crier sings first half of a verse ("Now is the month of maying, when merry lads are playing") and then do the repeat when all sing. Yes, it breaks the melodic flow of the song. Cope. All sing together "Fa la la." Crier sings second half of verse, all repeat, all sing second "Fa la la". Continue until maypole ribbons are laced.

Pease Bransle: Like most bransles, this one is N steps to the right followed by N steps to the left. Music from flute and tambourine. Teach the refrain with the following words:
Men: Come with me! (jump)
Women: Go with you? (jump)
Men: Come with me (jump) and merry be! (hop, hop, hop)

Women: I will stay! (jump)
Men: You will stay? (jump)
Women: I will stay (jump) and dance and play (hop, hop, hop switch partners)

Write 3 maying verses for the bransle verses (TBD) to be sung by the crier.

Bransle Official: More steps to the right and left, followed by six steps to the left and a jump. Easy to teach, more partner swapping. Flute and tambourine. 3 maying verses (TBD) to be sung by the crier.

Refrain for singing:
Fa la la la la la la... (continue las as you would the "gloria" in "Ding Dong Merrily On High")
Now we go a-maying (the "hosanna in excelsis" part)

Prinkum Prankum: A kissing dance/game as described here; in college, we did this as a chant since no one knew the tune. If we danced (which I don't recall) it was just singles or perhaps that odd skipping step in a circle. Remind the maids and youths that, unless you are 100% rock-solid certain of the person you are about to kiss, kisses should be directed at hands, not lips.

Finale: A May Song, perhaps the "Old May Song" described here, with all singing the repeated lines. Words very reminiscent of Sussex Mummer's Carol (per the Revels); not sure if adapting that tune would bring pleased smiles or torches and pitchforks. Or consult Oxford Book of Carols for another song suitable for group singing.
Tags: music, sca
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