Five in a Bed was written by James Allwright of the Red Stags, as an “inductive corollary of the Weobley dances”. It is a dance for 5, structured so that you never know from which position in the set you'll be doing any given figure, nor (until the last moment) what that figure will be. Dealing with this lack of predictability requires a different mindset from the “usual” morris, and has led this dance to be described as “far too fun to do.”
Source: Written in 1988 by James Allwright (Red Stags). Taught to the Hounds in 1992 by him. (See also Red Stags dance notation)
Tune: Five in a Bed (Andy Anderson) as A(AB)6A (A=figures, B=sticking).
X:1 T:Five In A Bed H:Dance written by James Allwright of Red Stags Morris H:Tune composed by Andy Anderson of Red Stags Morris C:Andy Anderson. M:4/4 L:1/8 K:G Bc | dgfe d2 c2 | BABc B2 G2 | ABcA B2 A2 | Bcde d2 Bc | dgfe d2 c2 | BABc B2 G2 | ABcA B2 A2 | G2 F2 G4 |] FA AA GB BB | FA GF GB BB | FA AA GB BB | FA GF G2 G2 | FA AA GB BB | FA GF GB BB | FA AA GB BB | FA GF G2 |]
Formation: A square set of four, plus a fool opposite the musician as below. The dancer in the fool's position does whatever they want to, as long as they are back in place in time to “roll over”.
2 1 M F 3 4
Sequence: Once to Yourself, Dance on, Chorus, Figure 1, Chorus, Figure 2, Chorus, Figure 3, Chorus, Figure 4, Chorus, Figure 5, Chorus, Rounds
Chorus: No stepping. Face across the set and tap the ground as x-x-xxx-. Clash low, then high, in the same pattern. Finally, “roll over”=cast over your right shoulder to the next place clockwise in the set (so 1 goes to F, F goes to 4, 4 goes to 3, etc.) The dancer going into the fool position calls the next figure as they roll over.
Dance on: Dance on in a line and circle clockwise, ending in the formation above (number 1 is the first and the fool is the last person in line).
Rounds: Turn out over your right shoulder and dance a large circle clockwise, putting your sticks into the middle on beat 1 with a “whump”. Dance around, then number 1 leads the rest of the dancers off.
Figures 1 through 5 are taken from the following five figures and are assigned randomly and secretly to the five dancers (so that no-one dancing the next figure knows what it will be until it is called).
Cross and Swing: Pass right shoulders across the set and turn over your right shoulder to face back into the set. Approach your partner at the centerline of the set, transferring your stick into your left hand. At the beginning of the phrase, reach around your partner's waist with your right arm and swing, ending back in place.
Dogbones: Pass right shoulders across the set, swerve right and loop left back to your partner's place. Repeat, ending in your original place.
Square hey: Pass right shoulders across the set, turn out 270 degrees to face someone up or down the set, pass left shoulders up/down the set, turn out 270 degrees to face someone across the set, and repeat.
Stars: Do a right-hand star for half the music, then a left-hand star back. Remember where you started!
Bombast: Start from a square set. Each dancer will move one place counterclockwise around the square and then turn out over their right shoulder. First corners (the diagonal pair that includes the person closest to the musician's right hand) will go there directly, but second corners first pass right shoulders in the middle of the set and then go to their progressed place. Repeat this a total of 4 times to get back to your original place.