It's just too embarrassing, see. Whilst many of us are chomping at the bit to get in heels and spangles to ballroom dance or shake our wobbly, fringed bits to a samba vibe, most of us have little inclination to take to the street with a bunch of bearded men in white pyjamas, skip in circles, wave hankies and shout OI.
Morris dancing was already ancient hundreds of years ago and is intimately connected to the earth, the countryside and fertility rituals. For sure, it's more at home in the Cotswolds or East Anglia than in the West End but surprisingly, London has its fair share of fervent folky types, home as it is to Cecil Sharp's English Folk Dance and Song Society. The Westminster Morris Men, London Pride and The World Famous Hammersmith Morris Men are all active and ale-drinking in London and we'd be very surprised if Morris men didn't crop up at one of the friendly folklorist events run by SELFS some time soon.
So there is hope. The Morris Ring's campaign may well be hampered by its continuing refusal to allow women full membership but luckily there's the more progressive Morris Federation and Open Morris to fly the flag for Morris dancing for all. And, much as it might damage one's street cred to admit it, it's bloody good fun once you get going. Shave the Donkey, anyone?