Ithaca-on-Hemp Tradition (Heartwood Morris)

A dance in the (modern) tradition of Ithaca-on-Hemp for a multiple of 3 dancers with a multiple of 6 long sticks. The music is the folk tune "County Gardens", arranged for Morris dancing by Peter Hoover. This dance is notable for its distinct, complex, and rapid sticking pattern in the chorus.

Dance Notes

Danced with two long sticks held in the middle. Standard 3-person Ithaca-on-Hemp stick dance figures. Ends on rounds (bonfire). The chorus is repeated twice, with a standard 3-person hey after each repetition. The chorus is as follows:

  • All take a step in, and hold left-hand sticks horizontal with the butt in the center, so that all 3 left-hand sticks are close to each other (perhaps 1 foot apart in the middle).
  • With the right-hand sticks, all tap the stick of the person to their right in the pattern:
    • Top inside (of the other person's hand)
    • Bottom inside
    • Top outside
    • Bottom outside
    • Repeat 2x (8 total clashes)
  • Raise the left-hand stick, and hold the right-hand stick out horizontally with the butt towards the middle (mirroring the start of the previous section)
  • With the left-hand stick:
    • Clash down with the top of the stick on the "inside" of the person to your left's stick, hard enough to raise it (ideally the partner allows their right-hand stick to rotate to a 45 degree angle)
    • Clash up with the bottom of the stick on the "outside" of the person to your left's stick, which should raise it up to nearly vertical
    • Clash "out" with the the top of the stick on the "outside" (now top) of the person to your left's stick
  • Follow through the final clash to turn over your left shoulder until you face into the center again, then begin the hey

Sheet Music


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