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Bonnets So Blue

[trad. arr. Kemp / Prior / Hart / Carthy / Kirkpatrick]

This tune is from Steeleye Span’s 1978 farewell live album Live at Last!. It is introduced by John Kirkpatrick:

I’m gonna do a dance which is called Bonnets So Blue and it’s a very old dance and it’s a fertility dance. You’ve seen it, yeah? In theory, the idea is that when you feel a bit sort of limp, your crops aren’t growing very well, you haven’t got enough children, oh you know, those sort of things, you got a leak in the roof, you do a dance like this, Bonnets So Blue. It actually comes from the days of the blue bonnet plague, when everyone used to wear blue bonnets. And you do this dance, all over your garden, flatten your crops, knacker yourself. That’s the theory, you’ll see it practised in a minute and you’ll see why it doesn’t work—Bonnets So Blue.