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 1 Index August 1992 487.4 KB This index is dedicated, with respect, gratitude and affection, to the memory of Ewart James Russell, sometime Bagman of the Morris Ring (1959-1971)...More
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 21. March 1985 289.7 KB Ewart Russell’s final edition as editor including contributions from several clubs of Yuletide Activities; Geoffrey Metcalf, Roy Dommett, & Ted...More
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 20. November 1984 420.69 KB Contriburors include Walter Abson, Douglas Kennedy, Julian Pilling, Carl Willetts, East Suffolk Morris Men and Cyril Smith, Thames Valley Morris Men.More
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 19. August 1984 171.46 KB Philip Heath-Coleman, Walter Abson, Anthony Heywood, Keith Chandler, Dr. Christopher Cawte, Pruw Boswell, Mike Heaney, Geoff Rye, Clive GareMore
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 18. March 1984 248.43 KB Contributors include Mike Heaney, Keith Chandler, Julian Pilling, Trevor Stone, Gael Turnbull, Roy Dommett & Philip S Heath-ColemanMore
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 17. November 1983 323.64 KB Contributors include, Bob Grant, Mike Heaney, Keith Chandler, Datchet MM, Walter Abson, Ivor Allsop and Carl WillettsMore
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 16. August 1983 335.86 KB Contributors include Douglas Kennedy, Mike Heaney, C D Smith, Philip S Heath- Coleman, Roy Dommett, Walter Abson & Carl WillettsMore
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 15. March 1983 507.07 KB Contributors include Keith Chandler, Mike Heaney, Ewart Unicorn (Adlington MM), and Paul DavenportMore
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 14. November 1982 261.35 KB Contributors include Roy Dommett, Philip Heath-Coleman, Roy Smith (Leyland MM), John Jenner, Mike Heaney, Douglas Kennedy, William Palmer and Charlie...More
The Morris Dancer, Volume 1, No. 13. August 1982 308.47 KB Contributors include Pruw Boswell, Paul Davenport, Douglas Kennedy, Roy Dommett and Ivo BarnesMore