Gisburn Processional

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GISBURN PROCESSIONAL. AKA and see: "John of Paris," "New School (The)," "Old Ninety-Fifth (The)." English, Morris Dance Tune (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Raven): ABA (Barnes). The tune and dance were collected from the village of Gisburn, near Clitheroe, England, in the Ribble Valley; once part of Yorkshire, it has been since 1974 (when the boundaries were changed) in Lancashire. The tune is not unique to the area, being relatively common under the alternate titles given (it is even printed by O'Neill as "New School (The)"). The Gisburn dance was collected by Leta Douglas (and others, such as Maude Karpeles) and dates from the end of the first decade of the 20th century, when it was thought to have been introduced to the village by a peddler from the Burnley area, who settled in the village. Douglas, a gym mistress at Settle High School, published the dance in a collection entitled “Three More Dances of The Yorkshire Dales” (1934), and gives this description:

As danced by a team of 12 men and 12 women annually at the Village Field Day, generally held in June. The men wear white shirts, red knee breeches, the women wear white dresses, red sashes over the left shoulder tied on the right hip, with bells across the chest, red stockings and clogs, and a red band on their hair.

All carry short white sticks with a bell attached at each end, the men’s wound round with red braid and the women’s with yellow braid. These sticks are carried in the outside hand by their sides during the procession and at head level during the dancing of the figures, and continuously shaken to ring the bells. The dance is done throughout with the left foot leading, a jaunty walking step for the procession, skipping step for the figures.

There are other, unrelated, processionals from different communities (see "Tideswell Processional," "Fieldtown Processional").

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 50. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 83. Karpeles (The Lancashire Morris Dance) (London: Novello & Company), 1930.

Recorded sources:




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