The Horn Dance


The dance of the deer-men is held at Abbots Bromley on the first Monday after the Sunday nearest to September Fourth.  Here, twelve stout and true yeomen (note Cheesby at centre right) each take a pair of deer’s antlers from the local museum and rampage through the village shouting ” lock up ye daughters, lock up ye wives, horny yeomen four-by-three, for winter is a-coming–O; and so are we”

Although the wild deer sporting these massive horns have long since gone from our shores, the Horn Dance that our forefathers composed is still danced today.

This information was found here

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3 Responses to “The Horn Dance”

  1. Invisible Mikey Says:

    An amusing take on this event!

    I wrote one too, in a somewhat more serious vein.

  2. hornorkesteret Says:

    The Cheesby article sited on “Polnytt” (News of the Poles):
    is the only information I have found on this peculiar ritual/dance so far. The amusing but short description is not in my words, but lifted straight from:
    where other traditonal english dances are also mentioned.

    I am fascinated by your article:
    especially the carbon dating which means as you imply that the antlers must have come from Scandinavia, probably Norway. Where did you get this information? Do you have any additional information about the horn or antler dance tradition?
    And what a nice picture!

    It is fascinating to see how a tradition such as this could have survived a 1000 years. It could possibly be remnants of a much older ritual, probably pagan. All over Europe there seems to be old dances or parades involving costumes and props and symbolic acts that seem to be pre-christian in nature.

    Hornorkesteret who run the “Polnytt” blog are a band playing instruments made from reindeer antlers. Here on “Polnytt” (News of the Poles) we collect news and sometimes our own words on the arctic, antlers, music, the inuit, the sami, polar explorers, the environment and other things we care about.

    Myspace offers streaming music by us:

  3. Invisible Mikey Says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it! I got much of my info from a 10-page booklet sold in the Village, but here are some web-based links:

    Have fun, and thanks for your reply.

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