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Calling On (Ruardean Morris) (Tune from Henry Allen)

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Source: Copy of C. Sharp ms no. 2324 in Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
Performer: Allen, Henry
Place Collected: Stratford-upon-Avon
Date collected: 1909 (27 Aug)
Collector: Sharp, Cecil

Henry Allen was originally from Ruardean and played for the Morris side there until 1871 when a meeting between rival sides on Plump Hill produced a fight and a fatality. When Sharp met him, he was living at Mere Street in Stratford-on-Avon and playing fiddle on the boats there. When Sharp later was collecting morris in the Forest of Dean, he asked people if they knew him. However, he got the name wrong, asking for “Anstis”, so of course people said they’d never heard of him.

In the linked abc file this is tune number X:6

Calling On (Ruardean Morris) was always the opening air “to call ’em together”. Henry Allen also called it a march. The morris dancers numbered 6 or 8 – he could not remember. They were accompanied by a fool or “merriman” a flag bearer and a sword bearer. The flag bearer “cut the flag” which bore the letters RW – possibly to denote the village of Ruardean Woodside.