Nuts in May




Nuts in May at Marlboro Morris Ale (2015)

Nuts in May Performed by Marlboro Morris and Sword (1982)

Nuts in May performed by Shirtless Marlboro Morris and Sword (1982)


Main Idea: Introduction, Fight Sequences, Conclusion

Starts with sticks.

No figures are normal.

In some details, there is uncertanity, Windham has not danced this enough to have developed a clear answer for all details.

Introduction: Swagger Round, Step in Place

Starts with musicians playing once to themselves. At end of last time through, everyone scissor capers (as in Max Headroom)

Swagger Round: Slow. The whole thing uses the music twice. First time through the music, everyone will have swaggered half way to form a new set facing down, music ends with scissor caper. Second times though the music, finish the swagger round to come back to place, scissor caper.

Step in Place: Twice through the music, each time double-stepping in place, scissor caper at end. First time: During scissor capes 1-4 turn around to face 5-8, so everyone is facing in. How do we turn? I suggest out, over castlering shoulder.

Music Switches Here

Fight Sequences

Basic Fight Pattern: 2 double steps in place, scissor caper in place, 2 Lichfield capers slowly approaching, fight (brace, clash, jump, land). Each round the brace and clash are a little different (a round consists of 2 times through the sequence with different pairs)

First fight:

3-6 go first, pairing off 3&5 and 4&6. They do the basic fight pattern (they will start close to each other so there’s not much “approaching” on the Lichfields). * Brace: step R toward each other.

  • Clash: hit sticks, pressing sticks together for a full beat. *
  • Jump: Jump/push each other back.
  • Land, and get rid of stick Then they walk back to the ends of the set while the other pairs do the fight pattern.

Note that the fight actually happens at the beginning of the music, simultaneous to when the next pair starts their double steps.

The other pair do the same fight pattern. Then the whole sequence of 2 fights repeats itself twice more, with different fights:

Second fight:

  • Brace: Step R toward each other
  • Clash: Take both hands up high, leaning into one another
  • Jump: Jump together off to the side, still holding hands (or else push away, but this should be decided, at least by each pair)
  • Land

Third fight:

There is some uncertainty about the third fight. The key thing is to agree with your partner and to try to make it the most dramatic of the 3 fights.
One way: clash with R foot (in a gentle one-legged squat, press R feet against each other and push off, dramatically into partner’s waiting arms)
Another way: just crouch low and do the clash like the second one, joining hands, but then push off dramatically into partner’s waiting arms
Landing in partner’s arms will disrupt the beginning of their fight sequence. That’s OK. They can skip the double steps and the scissor caper, as needed.

After last fight, get back in set and do 2 Lichfield capers.

Music Changes


Heading Up: 4 double steps, 4 swingbacks, scissor caper (facing in or facing up? traditions differ; we should decide)

Heading Out:

variation 1 (as done by Marlboro Morris and Sword in existing videos): go to heading out position from Ring O’Bells, double stepping and finishing with scissor caper:

5 6 1 2 3 4 7 8

variation 2 (as written in the published description of the dance): first go to heading up position:

3 1 2 4
7 5 6 8

Then go to this position, ending with scissor caper:

7 5 3 1 2 4 6 8

This final position can be understood as the 7&5 pair moving up and left and the 6&8 pair moving up and to the right. Kind of a “heading up” thinking of side-by-side pairs as units.

Note: the 1983 Stafford Morris Men do yet another variation, coming to heading up differently, but then moving from there to a full line like in variation 2.


Once to yourself. Two different tunes: one at beginning and end, another for fight sequences in the middle.