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Balancy Straw

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Alternative title: The 29th of May

Source: C. Sharp ms no. 2427 in Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
Place Collected: Bould
Date collected: 31 December 1909
Collector: Sharp, Cecil

Charles Benfield was the main informant for the Bledington tunes, most of which were noted by Cecil Sharp at Benfield’s house at Bould (Oxon), a hamlet about a mile from Bledington (Glos).
CJ Sharp wrote, 2 September 1909:
“Ch. Benfield was fiddler to the Bledington Morris till it lapsed about 15-20 years ago. He afterwards taught some younger men but could not induce them to continue. He is an agricultural labourer and a keen morris dancer. His fiddle was bridge-less and bow-less so he half hummed and half whistled this & following 2 tunes.”

Balancy Straw
C. Sharp noted, referring to the tune, “See Lads a Bunchum (Adderbury)”. I would add “29th of May” from Headington.
C. Sharp gives no indication concerning the accompanying dance (unlike many of his other notated tunes).


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