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The Rapper Sword Calling On Song


Calling On Song



Often, the rapper sword dance performance begins with a Calling On Song to introduce the dancers by means of describing the gallant actions of each of their fathers. It takes the form of an introductory verse, a verse for each of the 5 dancers and a concluding verse, telling them to start the dance.

The song used here is based on one collected in Earsdon, on the Northumberland border. The tune is rather haunting and sung "rubato" (with rhythmic freedom - not following a strict beat) but you can easily match the words with the music when you hear it played.

Perhaps it is a good idea to provide the first and last verses and an example of a verse used to introduce one of the dancers. You can make up your own verses to introduce your dancers by describing their or their father's skills - or simply making up an outrageous story about them. At [*] insert your own town and make any grammatical changes you feel appropriate.

First Verse;
Good people, give ear to my story, we've called for to see you by chance;
Five heroes I've brought blithe and bonny, intending to give you a dance.
For [Earsdon*] is our habitation, the place we were all born and bred.
There's no finer boys in the nation, and none that's more gallantly led.

Example of a verse used to introduce a dancer;
This one is the son of Lord Nelson, that hero that fought at the Nile;
Few men with such courage and talent, the Frenchmen he did them beguile.
The Frenchmen they nearly decoyed him, but the battle he managed so well,
In their fortress he wholly destroyed them, scarce one got home for to tell.

Final verse;
Now you see all my five noble heroes, my five noble heroes by birth,
And they each bear as good a character as any five heroes on earth;
If they be as good as their fathers, their deeds are deserving record;
It is all the whole company desires, to see how they handle their swords.

© R. Stradling 2015