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Bodmin Riding / St Ives Well Procession

Bodmin Riding / St Ives Well Procession

Words English REFERENCES

Old Cornwall Society Magazine Oct 1927 p 35

As remembered by WJP Burton

Inglis Gundry

Canow Kernow Soundpost Publications, 1966 (see Bibliography) p 11

Quiller Couch

Box Miscelaenous music MSS RIC Courtney Library

Contributed by `Q` for RIC Journal 1864

Racca 2, Calstock, 1997 (see Bibliography) 2, Calstock, P 1, NOTES

Collected at Christmas 1976 by Merv Davey from St Ives Geese Dancers, Dancing in Truro.

Words by J Barber


Come let us sing this merry little lay

As we lightly sprightly dance on the way

May we all rejoice, with heart and voice

So great this maiden from afar

Her steadfast faith an ever guiding star

To light our path whereever we are

Truth light and love, ever shining from above

The Message of St Eia.

The Geese dancers firmly associated the tune with the St Ives Well procession and called it such. Apparently Took Place on the Sunday nearest to St Thomas`s Day (July 7th).

Interviewed in Oct 1987 Inglis Gundry commented that the repeated rhythmic structure of this tune hinted at early 19th Century origins say 1810. This was not to say that it could not have been based on something older. Inglis said that this rhythm could easily have been influenced by Elgar.

There is also a manuscript apparently contributed by Thomas Quiller Couch for the Royal Institute of Cornwall Journal in l864. It is a tune that is still in living tradition however and is also known in the west as the `St Ives Well Procession` and the North as `Bodmin Riding` In 1999 it continued to be used for the St Ives Feast Dance , Bodmin Riding and Mazey day in Penzance. (Merv Davey) click here to play the midi file click here for the noteworthy file