The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

The Morris Dancer

The Morris Dancer is the occasional journal of the Morris Ring. Latest and previous editions are available here for download, in Adobe PDF format.

Hey, how about it! The newest edition of the Morris Dancer is now officially out! Love it, print it out (or not), discuss it, but most of all, please have a read, and let us know what you think.

At the 2014 Jigs Instructional, the three Editors agreed to remind readers what sort of material would be accepted for each Ring publication. In the case of The Morris Dancer, it is any article, paper or study which expands our knowledge of the Morris in all its forms. It is better that the text is referenced, so that other researchers may follow up if they wish to do so, but non-referenced writing will be considered.

Text and pictures should be forwarded to: Mac McCoig, mac [dot] mccoig [at] btinternet [dot] com Tel: 07939 084374


Articles are copyright of the various authors and their opinions are theirs alone. They do not reflect the views of the Editor or the policy of the Morris Ring.


We are adding optically character read (OCR) versions of all of the Morris Dancer back catalogue working forwards from Issue 1 - May 1978. It is something of a labour of love and it will take some time, but we have the will and the technology! Issue One, including its index , is now complete.

Latest edition

The latest edition of The Morris Dancer is The Morris Dancer Volume 6, Number 2 November 2020 , published November 2020. File size is 2.13 MB.

Summary of contents

In this edition of the MD, I reproduce an article by Liz Mellish and Nick Green, originally presented at the ‘What to do with Folklore?’ International Interdisciplinary Symposium, Institute of Ethnomusicology SRC SASA, 24-29 September 2009 and Trapped in Folklore? Studies in music and dance tradition and their contemporary transformations, 2013. A very good juxtaposition of Romanian folk dance and English Morris dance, well researched and including some interesting analysis and an insight into Romanian traditional dance that most of us may be unfamiliar with.

George Frampton’s look at newspaper reports of traditional Molly dancing is an excellent and thorough piece of research. Let us also hope that, like Jameson Wooders, George will continue his researches and turn up some more fascinating Morris history.

As well as providing us with a memoir, John Jenner has listed some excellent material for future researchers in our field in his second contribution: the Travelling Morris and Old Dancers. It certainly demonstrates how much time and effort the TM spent in talking to the old dancers and validating their practice from the horse’s mouth.

An intriguing glimpse at a tangential but relevant part of Morris history is provided by Jameson Wooders. I can only hope that his curiosity will take him into other neglected corners of our tradition.

Peter Harrop’s response to Julian Whybra’s articles in previous editions of The MD. Julian is not a writer who steers shy of holding a controversial view on folk tradition, however if one holds to this standpoint, one must expect some well-researched flack.

Finally, I include an excellent article on Border Morris developments since 1963 by John Swift. Well researched and comprehensive, I have learned a lot from John’s writing and I hope when you read it, you will appreciate this facet of English traditional dance a lot more as a result. John’s essay on the Border tradition is a must-read for anyone interested in both Cotswold and Welsh Border Morris, being an excellent encapsulation of Border’s history and development in recent times.

It is my aim as Editor to provide a space in which writers, traditional dance historians, ethnographers, anthropologists and anyone interested in the study of Morris dance and associated traditions, can share their research and ideas.

Printed copies of Vol 6, No 2 can be available at £7.00 each, inc postage. Printed copies are B5 (170 x 245), Perfect bound with 250 gsm silk covers, full colour.
If you wish to join the subscription list for Vol 6, No 2, please email mac [dot] mccoig [at] btinternet [dot] com with your name, address and contact No. (Please indicate if you want to remain a subscriber for future editions, or your contact details will be deleted after your copy is posted.)

Editor’s note: I am experimenting with the availability of printed copies, and the price above depends on a run of at least 25 copies for Vol 6, No 2. Should there be little interest in your obtaining a beautifully bound copy of your favourite magazine, I will be unable to go to print. If there is more interest in this option, the price will reduce. For example, a run of 50 copies will work out at £4.50 inc postage. The final cost of each printed issue will depend, of course, on the number of pages and the number of copies requested.

In this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, I hope you all stay safe and well.

Mac McCoig

All editions of The Morris Dancer

Title Publication Size Summary
The Morris Dancer Volume 6, Number 2 November 2020 November 2020 2.13 MB The Morris Dancer November 2020 - another bumper edition.More
The Morris Dancer, Volume 6, No. 1. February 2020 1.65 MB

This edition of The Morris Dancer is a particularly lengthy one. It contains articles by authors well - respected in their field, well researched...More

The Morris Dancer Volume 5 No 6 April 2019 May 2019 1.85 MB A revised version of the the edition published on 3rd May now including a review of Discordant Comicals - The Hooden Horses of East Kent and some...More
Volume 5 Number 5 September 2017 1.63 MB

The Oxford University Morris Men 1899 – 1914 Part Two (Continued from MD Vol 5 No. 3 Nov 2014) Roy Judge (1970) The Golden Bough, Mumming and St...More

Volume 5, Number 4 February 2016 1.53 MB Editorial; The Longborough Morris; Morris Music – Some personal thoughts; The Hinckley Bullockers; Roy Dommett, Oddington and Thames Valley; The...More
Volume 5, Number 2 March 2014 1.73 MB The Immortal Memory of Cecil Sharp; The Bradmore Morris Dancers of 1618; Morris in the Media – Two cuttings; Book Reviews: Wassailing - Reawakening...More
Volume 5, Number 3 February 2014 2.09 MB Editorial; The Farnborough Morris; The Morris Dancer at Sulgrave Manor; The Lost Sword Dance; The Oxford University Morris Men 1899 – 1914 Part OneMore
Volume 5, Number 1 July 2012 1.46 MB An introduction to the new editors; Further Reflections on Rural Morris Dance Sets in the Metropolis; The Immortal Memory; Revival of Morris Dancing...More
Volume 4, Number 2 May 2010 1.78 MB The Lancashire Morris Before The War; The Millbrook (Stalybridge) Morris Dance; The Medlock Morris Dance; New Mills Morris Dancing; Mawdesley Morris...More
Volume 4, Number 1 January 2009 507.81 KB A Just so story Or How The Rapper became; Coxbench Long Sword Dance; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; The Morris Ring Folkplay Archive - R. Shuttleworth...More