The Helston Furry.


or

The Cornish Floral Dance

As I walked home on a Summer night,
When stars in Heav'n were shining bright,
Far away from the footlights' glare,
Into the sweet and scented air
Of a quaint old Cornish town.
Borne from afar on a gentle breeze,
Joining the murmer of summer seas,
Distant tones of an old world dance,
Played by the village band perchance
On the calm air came floating down.

I thought I could hear the curious tone
Of the cornet, clarinet and big trombone.
Fiddle, cello, big bass drum,
Bassoon, flute and euphonium,
Far away, as in a trance,
I heard the sound of the Floral Dance.

And soon I heard such a bustling and prancing,
And then I saw the whole village was dancing,
In and out of the houses they came,
Old folk, young folk, all the same,
In that quaint old Cornish town.
Ev'ry boy took a girl round the waist,
And hurried her off in tremendous haste,
Whether they knew one another I care not,
Whether they cared at all, I know not;
But they kissed as they danced along.

And there was the band with that curious tone
Of the cornet, clarinet and big trombone.
Fiddle, cello, big bass drum,
Bassoon, flute and euphonium,
Each one making the most of his chance,
All together in the Floral Dance.

I felt so lonely standing there,
When I could only stand and stare,
For I had no boy with me,
Lonely I should have to be,
In that quaint old Cornish town.
When suddenly hast'ning down the lane
A figure I knew I saw quite plain;
With outstretched hands he came along,
And carried me into that merry throng,
And fiddle and all went dancing down.

We danced to the band with that curious tone
Of the cornet, clarinet and big trombone,
Fiddle, cello, big bass drum,
Bassoon, flute and euphonium,
Each one making the most of his chance,
All together in the Floral Dance.

Dancing here, prancing there,
Jigging, jogging ev'rywhere,
Up and down, and round the town,
Hurrah! for the Cornish Floral Dance.

Words and Music by Katie Moss

The Helston Floral Dance, more properly called the Furry Dance, is one of the oldest surviving customs in the Country, and is a May Day celebration to the coming of spring and the passing of winter. Its origins are thought to be in pagan times.>