Music saved my sanity during the Covid pandemic. On my husband Julian's birthday (December 16, 2020) I began recording and sending out an English Country or folk tune a day, with vignettes and commentary, to friends and family. By May, 2021, the list topped 220. It became my reason for getting up every morning! You can enjoy them all on this website. Here are the tune descriptions, listed alphabetically, singly, or by the first tune of a medley.
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- After Dinner Maggot, The / Alexander's Birthday
A garland of Gary dances! The music for the After Dinner Maggot, an advanced dance by Gary Roodman, was composed lickety-split by Jonathan Jensen. Gary says Jonathan and his family were over for dinner, when Gary asked him to write a new tune, "something with conviction." Jonathan dashed it off before he left that evening!
Here is a video of the Germantown Country Dancers performing the After Dinner Maggot. This kind of dance is called a triple minor, with three couples in minor sets that progress down the line of dancers. At one point, you see two couples at the top, just hanging out, for a third couple to join them, before they can resume dancing. In triple minor dances, the active couple is nearest the head of the set. They dance the same figure until they reach the bottom; while couples number two and three alternate roles until they reach the top, then they become active. You always hope the dance goes on long enough for you to become an active couple, because that's the really fun part!
Alexander's birthday, celebrating a grandson, is an easier two-couple dance – very handy when only four dancers show up for class!. Gary often collaborates with dead composers like Handel and Purcell and in this case, Renaissance musician Fabritio Caroso. The tune is called Alta Vittoria.
In this video, performed by a group in Northern Florida, you see a characteristic of many Roodman dances – a change in orientation from up and down the hall to side to side. As always, the steps fit the music to a "T." Alexander's Birthday is a "USA" dance – U for stepping forward to honor the other couple, then stepping back, S for siding or moving forward until you touch shoulders with your partner, then back, and A for arming, or hooking elbows with your partner and turning. In between the U, S and A is a repeated chorus. youtu.be/5-Yi-bDv0A0
- Alexander's Birthday see (The) After Dinner Maggot
- Amelia/Shepherd's Wife / Star of the County Down
Amelia, by Bob McQuillen, inspired by a cute three-year-old daughter of a bandmate.
Shepherd's Wife, a traditional tune, and a favorite, for obvious reasons.
Star of the County Down, traditional Irish.
- American Husband, The
Written by the clever choreographer Pat Shaw, who popularized English Country Dance in the U.S. in the 1950s, The American Husband is subtitled, "Her Man." Sounds like a ragtime tune to me.
- Ani's Waltz / Dublin Bay
Ani's Waltz was written by Endwellian Charlene Thomson for a Country Dance and Song Society camp auction to commemorate the arrival of a Princeton librarian's grandchild. Former Binghamtonian Gary Roodman wrote a dance, which became a classic and has been included on our Binghamton English Country ball program. Charlene often writes dances for special people, after researching their interests and personalities or after trips or to honor friends and family. She wrote Elizabethan Tango Man for her brother, who wrote poetry, was a champion tango dancer and loved the sonnets and plays of Shakespeare.
Dublin Bay was written in 1713 and called We'll Wed and We'll Bed. Apparently, the name was deemed too risque, so it was changed.
- Argos Inn, The see Moonflower
- Ashford Anniversary / Old Wife Behind the Fire
Maybe too much history???? But they are wonderful zippy tunes and dances! The Ashford Anniversary, 1580, published by Peeter van der Phaliesen, (c.1510 – c. 1575) was a Flemish bookseller, printer and publisher. Aside from a number of literary and scientific works, his printing press is mainly known for its publications of music in the sixteenth-century Low Countries.
Old Wife Behind the Fire, once popular throughout Britain, albeit in different versions. the Scottish version of the tune was first published by Robert Bremner (1757) and Neil Stewart (1761). However, the melody appears earlier in the Drummond Castle Manuscript (in the possession of the Earl of Lancaster at Drummond Castle), inscribed "A Collection of Country dances written for the use of his Grace the Duke of Perth by Dav. Young, 1734."
- Ashokan Farewell see Leah's Waltz
- Astonished Archeologist, The / The Delighted Dendrologist
Career paths! When the late Belgian choreographer Philippe Callens wrote The Astonished Archaeologist in 1992 to the tune Goff Hall by Dan Lanier, he didn't know he started a trend.
Others wrote the Merry Musicologist, the Delighted Dendrologist (studies tree rings), the Amazed Geneticist, the Bemused Bethologist (studies the ocean floor) etc., etc.
Our own dance caller/choreographer Terry Glasspool was inspired to write the dance The Bamboozled Biologist to honor Julian Shepherd. As Julian's favorite composer is Brahms, Terry set the dance to Brahms' Lullaby. We quickly gave the dance an alternate title – the Enchanted Entomologist. Now, we need a dance called the Concerned Conservationist!
Here is a video of the Astonished Archaeologist, danced at an Adirondack Dance Weekend with caller Gene Murrow and enchanting music by Gene, Karen Axelrod, Earl Gaddis and violinist Mary Lea. youtu.be/PREmxOe_O0A.
My recording is the Astonished Archaeologist and the Delighted Dendrologist, which you might recognize as the Scottish traditional tune, The Banks of Inverness. You will have to hum your own Brahms' Lullaby.
- Autumn Cascade / Banjo in a Bear Suit
Some haunting tunes. The Belle of Greensboro is a dance by former Binghamtonian Gary Roodman, to a tune by Lydia Ievins, written in 2009. Some may remember Lydia, who grew up in Binghamton, daughter of Janet and Paul. She is a first-class Scandinavian fiddler.To hear Scandinavian twin fiddling by Lydia and Andrea Larsen, go to lydia-andrea.com/recordings/ and click on the samples.
The Bishop's Hallowe'en is a dance by Fried de Metz Herman to the tune The Witch Under the Stairs, written by Jonathan Jensen in 1996.
- Autumn in Amherst
Autumn in Amherst, a dance by the late Belgian choreographer Philippe Callens to the tune Red Star Line by Kathy Talvitie. Kathy is the piano player for the band Hold the Mustard. The Red Star Line is the shipping company that brought many immigrants to American in the early 1900s. This is one of Julian's favorite English Country dance tunes and he joins me on cello.
- Banjo in a Bear Suit see Autumn Cascade
- Bare Necessities / Bellamira
Bare Necessities, a tune and dance by Pat Shaw written in 1974, a creative Englishman who inspired many people with his original dances and music. The tune is much loved for its haunting phrasing and long, spare lines.
Bellamira comes from John Playford's The Dancing Master, 17th Edition, 1721. The tune first appears as "La Belle Marie" in a French collection published by Anthony Pointel in 1688, including bass lines and harmonies, previous information omitted in the publications of Playford and his successors. The reconstruction of the dance is by English Folk Dance Society members Douglas and Helen Kennedy. The "B" section includes some hectic choreography, very satisfying for those who master it.
Here is a video of Bellamira, taken at a dance in Atlanta, in 2019: youtu.be/QCfyfeJOi3s. It was taken from every vantage point, showing off the choreography, elegant costumes, first-rate calling by Joanna Reiner Wilkinson, and music by our favorite band, Alchemy. Listen to those inspired improvisations by violinist/violist Eric Martin, pianist Karen Axelrod, and accordionist Rachel Bell!
- Barn Elms / Corelli's Maggot
Barn Elms hails from 1713. Can't find much about it, although Barn Elms is also the name of a Georgian mansion and park in London. Here is a video of Bellamira, taken at a dance in Atlanta, in 2019.
Corelli's Maggot is a tune classical musicians would recognize, set to a contemporary dance by Cathy and John Miller. Here it is, danced in 2017, in Atlanta, with caller Tom Amesse and the best English band in the land, Bare Necessities. youtu.be/7247oNnDvj4
- Be Thou My Vision
Be Thou My Vision, a popular Irish hymn. The English dance is called Alex and Charles.
Words to Be Thou My Vision:
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my ligh
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with thee one
Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art
High King of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.
- Beach Spring
A Shaker Tune attributed to B.F. White called Come and Find the Quiet Center. The flowing English Country dance is called Beach Spring. Peace.
- Beggar Boy, The / Jovial Beggars
The wistfully sad The Beggar Boy from 1651 and the cheerful Jovial Beggars, showing both sides of the coin of being penniless.
Before the 1700s, The Jovial Beggars appeared as Parthenia, but by the time of its publication by Walsh in 1718, it had its current name.
Researcher Graham Christian notes that the dance and tune capitalized on the "perennial success" of Richard Brome's play "The Jovial Crew," from1641, a long-running ballad opera extolling the idea of merry beggars and the joys of drinking.
- Bellamira see Bare Necessities
- Benjamin's Birthday / The Sapphire Sea
Benjamin's Birthday, is a happy dance and tune by Binghamton's own Gary Roodman, written for one of his six grandchildren. The retired BU statistics and applied mathematics professor says, "The trick (in choreographing dances) is to avoid any contrivance that might tip off the dancers that we are working within tight constraints imposed by figures and music. After dancers have learned one of my dances, I would like the flow of the dance to seem as inevitable as the flow of the music, with little need to concentrate on what comes next. I may not ever achieve that, of course, but I find the pursuit great fun."
Sapphire Sea, alternately called Tom Kruskal's, is a dance by Christine Robb and tune by Emily Troll and Amelia Mason. Tom Kruskal was a long-time member of the Pinewood's Dance Camp community, who for many years encouraged young people to attend, introducing hundreds to its music and traditions. The composers are two of "his Pinewoods children."
Sapphire Sea includes a lovely figure called a dolphin hey – an interweaving pattern that mimics a school of dolphins! Here is a video of the sweeping, grand dance. The band is Bare Necessities. youtu.be/g-8LyExynvA
- Bishop's Halloween, The see (The) Belle of Greensboro
- Bittersweet / Braes of Dornoch
Bittersweet is a tango by Chris Rua, written in 2003, and choreographed by Victor Skowronski the same year. Chris is a recorder and woodwind player with Cirque du Soleil and a graduate of SUNY Potsdam. Victor is a senior systems engineer from the Boston area.
Braes of Dornoch is a Scottish tune written (collected?) by Johnson in 1757. Bagpipes alert! Here it is, danced beautifully at the 2016 Stockade Assembly in Albany, called by Gene Murrow with music by Hold the Mustard – Kathy Talvitie, Barbara Greenberg and Daniel Beerbohm, more veterans of the Binghamton Ball. youtu.be/Wb2LVMgWjSc
- Bloomsbury Market
This is an English Country Dance tune in G Major, in cut time, first published by Henry Playford in the "Dancing Master," 1703 edition. Later editions gave it the alternate name of Queensborough.
Bloomsbury Market was developed in 1662 in central London by the Russell family, in the fashionable Borough of Camden where they had a home. It had two market houses – one for flesh and one for fish. One dissatisfied customer said it was "ill served with provisions," so he chose to shop elsewhere. Heed that lesson, Wegmans and Weis!
- Blue Heron Waltz / Charlene's Celebration
Blue Heron Waltz is a lovely lilting tune by Rachel Bell, written in 2010, with a dance by Susan Amesse.
Charlene's Celebration is a four-couple set dance by Gary Roodman to Charlene Thomson's Elizabethan Tango Man, written for her brother, who loved both tango dancing and Shakespeare!
Here is a video of Charlene's Celebration, definitely recommended only for advanced dancers. I participated in a successful set, at Mendocino Dance Camp in California with such a group, and unsuccessfully at Across The Lakes Dance Weekend in Vermont, where it fell apart! If one dancer among the 8 the set falters, you can't easily recover. But boy, is it fun when it works!! youtu.be/JvLDehynZbA
- Bonny Cuckoo, The / Leona Tuttle
The Bonny Cuckoo English dance uses the traditional tune, Sheebeg and Sheemore by O'Carolan, an itinerant blind Irish harper. The second tune is the lyrical Leona Tuttle by Larry Unger, written in 1986 and named for his grandmother. And he must have loved her lots! For the four-couple dance, musicians flow from one tune to the other and back again! This is one I cannot dance without tearing up because of the beautiful synchrony of tune and movement.
- Bora Dingo Oasis / Peridot Ring
Some more Rachel Bell favorites! Bora Dingo Oasis, one of the best autocorrects ever (boarding pass), and Peridot Ring, 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Rachel, a member of many bands including Alchemy, Peregrine Road and Eloise, has a tune book coming out soon. Go to Rachel's Facebook page to order the book!
- Braes of Dornoch see Bittersweet
- Broome, the Bonny, Bonny Broome
Collected by Playford in 1651.
- Bryon's Boutade
A bit of dance hall music: "Bryon's Boutade" or "A B in the Bonnet, " to the tune "Hubbub" by Bryon Bonnett, 1988.
- Bury Fair
Bury Fair is by that prolific composer A. Nonymous in 1686.
- Candles in the Dark
Candles in the Dark, written by Jonathan Jensen in 2004. Dance is by Loretta Holz. Jonathan writes beautiful English country dance tunes. His day job (although probably on hiatus) is bassist with the Baltimore Symphony. This could be music for your candle-light Christmas Eve church service!!
- Cape Breton Home
If there's one emotion we're not feeling these days, it's longing for home. But that wasn't the case for so many of our immigrant ancestors brave enough to travel to a new country.
Cape Breton Home is by Master Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland (1955-2009) wrote it for his father in 1988. Jerry says, "He was awfully sentimental and soft-hearted – he loved the Irish ballad and that sort of thing. And it just seemed to be something that he would have really appreciated and loved." Holland, who lived on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, was born in Massachusetts, to Canadian parents. He began to play the fiddle and step-dance at the age of five and played at his first square dance at the six. Holland's family made annual summer trips to Cape Breton, and he moved there in 1975. The Bug Man learned Cape Breton Home from Jay Ungar and Molly Mason at Ashokan Northern Week and it is one of his favorites.
- Cat Dancer / Companions
Cat Dancer is a tune and dance by Colin Hume, written in 1997. It starts and ends in the Key of D, but meanders quite a bit in the middle.
Companions is a 2002 dance by Victor Skowronski to a Medieval tune, Mon Amy or Ronde II by T. Susato.
- Celebrate Love Today! see Love Always
- Charlene's Celebration see Blue Heron Waltz
- Chestnut see Fenterlarick
Childgrove is a traditional tune dating to 1701, played by me and the cello player. This is often the first dance learned by new English country dancers. Here is a lovely video created by our friend Theresa Lee-Whiting, to go with the music. vimeo.com/494109715
- Chocolate Equation, The / Chocolate Round O
Some Suites for You! In the video below, The Chocolate Equation is called by choreographer Brooke Friendly (written with husband Chris Sackett). The fabulous music is played by Roguery: Anita Anderson, Dave Bartley, Jim Oakden and tunewriter Shira Kammen, recorded at a dance in Atlanta in 2017. Shira called the tune "72%" Check out the woman in the Civil War era hoop skirt (close-up near the end). The costume is dancing all by itself! youtu.be/IjSSe-XxEcw.
Chocolate Round O is a dance by Belgian choreographer Fried de Metz Herman to a tune adapted from Purcell.
- Chocolate Round O see (The) Chocolate Equation
- Christina / The Collier's Daughter / Come Let's Be Merry
These three tunes have nothing in common, except that they are all spirited and fun to dance to, and appear on the same page in the ECD musicians' bible, The Barnes Book of English Country Dances.
Christina is a modern tune/dance by Naomi Alexander. The Collier's Daughter, alternatively called The Duke of Rutland's Delight, was published by Playford in 1728 and Come Let's Be Merry was published in 1727.
- Collier's Daughter, The see Christina
- Colony Cove see Johnson City Traffic Circle
- Come Let's Be Merry see Christina
- Companions see Cat Dancer
- Corelli's Maggot see Barn Elms
- Dancing Wife, The / Delia
The Dancing Wife is a dance by choreographer Gary Roodman to the tune Pell Mell, collected by Playford in 1686. It is a tribute to Gary's dancing wife, Rowena.
Delia, or The Amorous Goddess, is a dance by Ellen Taylor to the 18th-century melody by Samuel Howard. She must have been gorgeous and stately!
- De'il Take the Warr
We think this tune from 1721 by Young it is a protest by a Scottish woman lamenting that her man was sent to fight.
- Dear Abby / Emma Turns Three
Roodman grandkids! Dear Abby, tune and dance by Gary Roodman, and Emma Turns Three, dance by Gary and tune by Jonathan Jensen. Both Abby and Emma are Roodman granddaughters.
- Delia see (The) Dancing Wife
- Delighted Dendrologist, The see (The) Astonished Archeologist
- Dick's Maggot see Jack's Maggot
- Doctor Vincent's Delight / The Doubtful Shepherd
Doctor Vincent's Delight is a sprightly 20th century dance choreographed by Charles Bolton. Here is a video of the dance, with calling by Gene Murrow, with music by Persons of Quality: youtu.be/BiqZa3IaWXI.
The Doubtful Shepherd hails from 1780, when it first appeared in Thompson's Compleat Collection of 200 Country Dances. There is also a song of the same title published on a single sheet in Salisbury around 1775, with the lyrics, "When Delia on the plain appears." Often, country dance tunes were derived from popular single-sheet ballads.
- Double Lead Through see Dusty Miller
- Doubtful Shepherd, The see Doctor Vincent's Delight
- Dover Pier / Dunant House Waltz
I bet the catchy Dover Pier was on the Top 40 list in 1791!
Likewise, Dunant House Waltz, but in 1991. Dunant is a swingy waltz for the dance Nel's Farewell by Colin Hume, set to a tune written by Roger Davidson.
- Drive the Cold Winter Away
Drive the Cold Winter Away, 1651. No composer known. An appropriate sentiment on a frigid day, I think!
- Dublin Bay see Ani's Waltz
- Duck Duck Go see Eloise
- Dunant House Waltz
A happy and simple tune for your waltzing pleasure! Dunant House Waltz, a dance by Colin Hume to the tune Ned's Farewell written by Roger Davidson in 1991.
- Dunant House Waltz see Dover Pier
- Dunsmuir Waltz
Dunsmuir was written by Kathy Talvitie in 1993 and choreographed by West Coaster Bruce Hamilton.
- Dusty Miller / Double Lead Through
The title of this dance, The Dusty Miller, comes from the Dusty Miller song, written (or collected) by Robert Burns in 1788. Written from a woman's point of view, it tells of a brief and casual entanglement with the local miller.
Hey, the dusty miller,
And his dusty coat!
He will win a shilling,
Ere he spend a groat.
Dusty was the coat,
Dusty was the colour;
Dusty was the kiss,
That I gat frae the miller!
Double Lead Through takes its name from the characteristic dance move where in a three-couple dance, the bottom couple stands still, while the other two couples dance down between them, turn individually, and go back to their original place.
- Dying Embers
Molly Mason wrote Dying Embers, a torrid waltz, to the chord changes of Jay's Gypsy Midnight. Think smoky cocktail lounges and Film Noir!
- Early One Morning
The tune is Early One Morning, no attribution or date!
- Easter Morn see Easter Thursday
- Easter Thursday / Easter Morn
Easter Thursday is a tune by anonymous, dating to 1733.
Easter Morn is a dance by Emrna Lynn Bogue written in 1994, to Miss Gordon of Gight, a Scottish tune by Isaac Cooper written about 1790. It is a sweeping, seamless dance that flows from step to step and creates a hypnotic sensation after being danced a few times through.
- Elizabeth see Lovely Nancy
- Eloise / Duck Duck Go
Eloise and Duck Duck Go are two Rachel Bell tunes! Eloise is named after Rachel's duo with fiddler Becky Tracy (both have the middle name Louise) and Duck Duck Go! is a tune that has been choreographed and called Moveable Feast by Susan Kevra. Rachel has a new tune book, called This Part of the World. To order copies, visit her website at www.rachelbellmusic.com.
- Elverton Grove
Elverton Grove, aka "A Trip to the Camp," is an English Country Dance that first appeared in John Walsh's 24 Country Dances For The Year 1712. Researcher/dance caller Graham Christian says the tune might have originated as part of an overture to George Fredrich Handel's work Vincer se stresso e la maggior, Vitoria Rogerio, performed in Florence in 1707. It somehow got appropriated for a revival of Ben Johnson's The Alchemist for a 1710 performance at the Queen's Theatre in London. As for Elverton, it is probably a medieval castle (Aulton, Alton) built in about 1175, that has passed through many hands as a manor and estate and now is owned by the Catholic Church. No references to a "grove" can be found.
- Emma Turns Three see Dear Abby
- Emma's Waltz / Emperor of the Moon
Emma's Waltz is a 20th century dance by Colin Hume to a tune by Brian Stone.
Emperor of the Moon sounds contemporary, but it was published by Playford in 1690. A bit monotonous, but also mesmerizing!
- Emperor of the Moon see Emma's Waltz
Enrichez-Vous is a 1989 dance to a melody of the same name, written by Edith Farrar in 1986. She intended it to mean enrich yourself, but apparently, in French, the grammatically incorrect title means nothing.
- Epping Forest / Well Hall
Epping Forest first appeared in Playford's Dancing Master in 1670.
Here is a "vintage" video of the dance, performed the Burlington Country Dancers in 2008: youtu.be/bp6boTtJoiA.
For the four step and honor moves, Julian and I like to slow and slow down, until the dancers come close to falling on their faces, then suddenly speed up for the conclusion. What can I say, English dance musicians sometimes get bored and have to amuse themselves in silly ways!
By the way, Epping Forest is a 5,900-acre area of ancient woodland between Epping in Essex to the north, and Forest Gate in Greater London to the south, straddling the border between London and Essex. It is a former royal forest and is managed by the City of London Corporation.
Enjoy the lovely Well Hall played by the Baltimore Consort. youtu.be/MdH_OMEjC3k
- Faithless Nancy Dawson / Halfe Hannikin
Faithless Nancy Dawson might refer to a famous London stage dancer of the 1760s. The tune is definitely known a A-Rovin' or The Maid of Amsterdam, a bawdy ballad. Here are the words:
In Amsterdam there lived a maid,
Mark well what I do say!
In Amsterdam there lived a maid,
An' she wuz mistress of her trade,
We'll go no more a-ro-o-vin' with you fair maid.
Since rovin's bin my ru-i-in,
We'll go no more a-rovin',
With you fair maid.
One night I crept from my abode,
Mark well what I do say!
One night I crept from my abode,
To meet this fair maid down the road.
We'll go no more a-ro-o-vin' with you fair maid.
Since rovin's bin my ru-i-in,
We'll go no more a-rovin',
With you fair maid.
I met this fair maid after dark,
An' took her to her favourite park.
I took this fair maid for a walk,
An' we had such a lovin' talk.
I put me arm around her waist,
Sez she, "Young man, yer in great haste!"
I put me hand upon her knee,
Sez she, "Young man, yer rather free!"
I put my hand upon her thigh,
Sez she, "Young man, yer rather high!"
I towed her to the Maiden's Breast,
From south the wind veered wes'sou'west
An' the eyes in her head turned east an' west,
And her thoughts wuz as deep as an ol' sea-chest.
We had a drink – of grub a snatch,
We sent two bottles down the hatch. Her dainty arms wuz white as milk,
Her lovely hair wuz soft as silk.
Her heart wuz poundin' like a drum,
Her lips wuz red as any plum.
We laid down on a grassy patch,
An' I felt such a ruddy ass.
She pushed me over on me back,
She laughed so hard her lips did crack.
She swore that she'd be true to me,
But spent me pay-day fast and free.
In three weeks' time I wuz badly bent,
Then off to sea I sadly went.
In a bloodboat Yank bound round Cape Horn,
Me boots an' clothes wuz all in pawn.
Bound round Cape Stiff through ice an' snow,
An' up the coast to Callyo.
An' then back to the Liverpool Docks,
Saltpetre stowed in our boots an' socks.
Now when I got back home from sea,
A soger had her on his knee.
The dance and tune Halfe Hannikin dates to 1651. Love this modal version played on lute and bombard. Great energy. youtu.be/9aPlulJBZBU
- Familiar Quotations / Key to the Cellar
Familiar Quotations is a 2004 dance by Sharon Green to the heart-felt Lillehammer Waltz by Jonathan Jensen.
Key to the Cellar, also called Locked Out Again or No Key to the Church, is 2004 dance by Jenny Beer to a traditional tune. The story goes that when the dance group couldn't get into the dance hall, they danced in the parking lot. Could not have been in the northeast in winter!
- Fandango / Lilliburlero
My very favorite dance – The Fandango, written in 1774. Three couple dance is done three times to give each couple a chance to solo. There are two times you will hear a lot of joyous laughing and whooping – the slipping circle and at the very end, when everyone is dancing a figure eight (a hey) and skipping. As caller Brad Foster says as he starts the third time through, in the video below – you know it now, relax and enjoy yourself!!
Here is a video taken at the Fandango Atlanta dance, with Brad calling and music by Karen Axelrod, piano, and Daron Douglas, fiddle, who comprise the band Foxfire: youtu.be/6vllqfa3ZtQ.
Another favorite – Lilliburlero, published in 1690, with music of Henry Purcell.
- Far Away / Turn of the Tide / Turning By Threes
"Far Away" is a dance by Gary Roodman to Peter Jung's tune of the same name, written in 1985.
Listen to the waves sweep in and out in "Turn of the Tide," a dance by Ron Coxall to "Moonlight Moorings" by Heather Bexon, from 1998.
"Turning by Threes" is a circle dance by Gary to the melody, "Tourner a Trois" by Paul Machlis, composed in 1998. It was so popular and danced so often that people said they tired of it, although I don't know how anyone could have too much of this beautiful dance.
Here is a nice Youtube video of the dance. The dance starts about two minutes into the video: youtu.be/fyRckJFytJ8
- Farewell Marian / Faithless Nancy Dawson
The Farewell to the Shore, also known as Farewell Marian, comes from a lovely Welsh folk melody. See above for Faithless Nancy Dawson.
- Farewell to Devon / A Moveable Feast
An oldie but goodie and a more modern dance.
Farewell to Devon is a waltz composed in 1959 by ethnomusicologist, musician, choreographer and teacher Pat Shaw. Today, it is often played as an alternate tune for Margaret's Waltz, but Shaw composed the pair as a medley for a specific dance that honored Margaret Grant on her retirement as Devon's representative for the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
A Moveable Feast is a dance by Susan Kevra to Duck-Duck Go by Rachel Bell, written in 2016.
Here is a video of A Moveable Feast played by Rachel on accordion. Susan is dancing – she's the dark-haired woman with a silver barrette on the back of her head: youtu.be/rNIIvCJKHBU
- Farewell to Stromness
Farewell to Stromness (in the Scottish Orkneys), a classical piece by Peter Maxwell Davies.
- Felicity / Fine Companions
Then a medley of "Felicity", a tango by British choreographer Colin Hume to a tune by another Brown (Dave), written in 2002, with "Fine Companions," written by Endwell's own Charlene Thomson, and our Fine Companions bandmate. I dedicate these melodies to Cheryl Spiese, the flautist/percussionist in our English Country Dance ensemble, who left us too soon. Filigree was one of her favorite dances.
- Female Saylor
Female Saylor dates to 1706. The fast, unrelenting pattern is a great warm up dance for a cold evening.
- Fenterlarick / Chestnut
Two old chestnuts! Fenterlarick is a dance by Joyce Walker to "Nancy's Fancy" by Fred Grimshaw. It has a unique orbiting figure, where a couple turn by the right hand, while the other two orbit around the outside and meet up. Caller Gene Murrow says he found Fenterlarick on medieval maps of England, but on a trip to England, he found no evidence that it still exists. On this YouTube video, the Germantown Country Dancers, a fine demonstration team, dance Fenterlarick with elegance and precision. youtu.be/PoC2heEihW8.
Chestnut, alternately named Dove's Figary, was written in 1651, and John Playford published it in The Dancing Master in 1698.
Filigree, a graceful dance to the tune "Lady Marian" by Gregory Brown, written in 2008.
- Fine Companions see Felicity
- Flying Sorceress / Gambols
Flying Sorceress is a dance by Kalia Kliban to A Bruxa by Anton Seaone. A great Halloween tune! (If you know of the Kliban cat cartoons, that's Kalia's dad).
Written just for us in 1799, The Shepherd and the Shepherdess, collected by Thompson. It was choreographed by Jenna Simpson for a dance called Gambols.
- Footprints in the Sand
This lovely melody needs no words of explanation. Footprints in the Sand is a dance by Chris Sackett and Brooke Friendly to Mendocino Morning by Kate Barnes. Kate is the author of three volumes of the Barnes Book of English Country Dance Tunes, a compilation of hundreds of melodies and used by English musicians worldwide.
- Foxhunters, The / The Girl I Left Behind Me
The Foxhunters is a traditional Irish tune used by Chris Sackett and Brooke Friendly for their dance, Trip to Town-o.
The Girl I Left Behind Me is a Morris dance from Lancashire, set to another traditional Irish. The first known printed text of a song with this name appeared in the serial song collection The Charms of Melody, printed in Dublin in 1791. It's thought to have reached America as early as 1650, under the name "Brighton Camp."
It has many variations and verses. Here is one example:
All the dames of France are fond and free
And Flemish lips are really willing
Very soft the maids of Italy
And Spanish eyes are so thrilling
Still, although I bask beneath their smile,
Their charms will fail to bind me
And my heart falls back to Erin's isle
To the girl I left behind me.
Gleaners is a dance by British choreographer Ron Coxall to Field of Dreams by Heather Bexon, written in 1998.
- Gambols see Flying Sorceress
- General Grooviness of the Universe, The see Highlander's Humour
- Gigue for Genny, The
The Gigue for Genny is a 1975 dance by Daniel Herr. The Germantown Country Dancers recorded this for registrants to watch and prepare for a ball. www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdCKdstNJzE
- Girl I Left Behind Me, The see (The) Foxhunters
- Golden Green / The Lark in Clear Air
Golden Green is a waltz by the late Philippe Callens to a tune written in 2011 by Jonathan Jensen, composer, parody writer, bassist with the Baltimore Symphony and terrific ragtime piano player! Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it was written to honor West Coast caller Sharon Green and her hubbie David.
The Lark in the Clear Air is a 3/2 Irish traditional tune, set to a dance by Colin Hume.
- Graes Inne Maske
Graes Inne Maske is a dance, reconstructed and adapted by Dutch choreographer Fried de Metz Herman. Its meter changes from 4/4 to 6/4 and the tempo alternates between sprightly and stately and the key varies from D to G Dorian.
It was alternately known as Poor Tom, Mad Tom, New Mad Tom of Bedlam, based on songs of the 1600s, sometimes attributed to Henry Purcell, but actually in print long before Purcell was born! Dance Master Graham Christian has traced the song to Giovanni Coprario, aka John Cooper, in his manuscript of five pieces, now in the collection of the British Museum.
The air appears in the first edition of John Playford's English Dancing Master (1651). It also appears in the ballad operas Penelope (1720) and The Bay's Opera (1730).
Gray's Inn was one of the four great Inns of the Temple Barr to which lawyers allied themselves in 17th century England. Gray's Inn, along with Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn and Middle Temple, held annual revels that included song and dance. Built in1545, Gray's Inn burned to the ground during the Blitz but was later reconstructed along original lines.
- Greensleeves and Yellow Lace see Hambleton's Round O
- Gypsy Round
Gypsy Round by Eric Leber, 1979. Enjoy!
- Halfe Hannikin see Faithless Nancy Dawson
- Halsway Manor Jig
Halsway Manor Jig, written by Liz Donaldson in 2001. The dance is called Halsway Manners. When Mary Devlin was testing it with a group of us dancers at Halsway, the Somerset home of England's Country Song and Dance Society, I suggested the bad pun for its name, and it stuck!
- Hambleton's Round O / Greensleeves and Yellow Lace
Greensleeves and Yellow Lace, found in Playford's Dancing Master in 1721 and attributed to Anonymous, incorporates the well-known Greensleeves melody, but takes it on a flight of fancy. The dance was adapted by Douglas and Helen Kennedy in 1929.
Here is the choreography, demonstrated by little computer-generated figures created by George Williams: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLF5fk2_5I4
- Haymakers, The / Jacque Latin
The Haymakers is a dance to the tune Highland Lilt composed by or collected by Neal in 1726. The dance video was taken at a Seattle Sunday Afternoon Tea in 2017 with a particularly nice arrangement played by Dawn Corl, piano, and Marianne Tatom, clarinet. youtu.be/VdmFyAt3XFE.
Jacque Latin is a dance and tune from the 1700s as well.
- Hazelfern Place / Interruptions
Hazelfern Place, a dance by Chris Sackett and Brooke Friendly, is set to a 1997 tune by Rejean Brunet known as La Maison de Glace.
Interruptions is a dance by Miriam Newman to the Haapavesi Waltz, a Finnish-sounding tune written by Keith Murphy in 2001. Keith says in the summer of 1999, he went to Finland to teach at a folk music school, then attended a festival in the small town of Haapavesi.
"The people were wonderful and the experience of days without darkness was slightly otherworldly."
In this 2018 video, the Toronto English Country Dancers perform Interruptions, titled that because the first move gets the dancers halfway around a circle, then after doing another step, they repeat the first step to get them home. There is a similar interrupted pattern in the second half of the dance. Clear as mud?? Watch the video to illustrate! youtu.be/d98lTa6DrAQ
Heidenroslein, or Rose on the Heath, is dedicated to my friend Anneliese Heurich, who can sing the German words while we dance. The poem, by Goethe, tells of a young man's rejected love; the woman is represented by a rose. There is a companion poem by Goethe, "Das Veilchen," in which the man is represented by a violet. The popular German folk song has been adopted by many composers, most notably Schubert. Here are the words:
Once a boy a Rosebud spied,
Heathrose fair and tender,
All array'd in youthful pride -
Quickly to the spot he hied,
Ravished by her splendour.
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
Heathrose fair and tender!
Said the boy, "I'll now pick thee,
Heathrose fair and tender! "
Said the rosebud, "I'll prick thee,
So that thou'lt remember me,
Ne'er will I surrender! "
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
Heathrose fair and tender!
Now the cruel boy must pick
Heathrose fair and tender;
Rosebud did her best to prick -
Vain ‘twas ‘gainst her fate to kick -
She must needs surrender.
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
Heathrose fair and tender!
- Helena see Sarah
- Highlander's Humour / The General Grooviness of the Universe
The Highlander's Humour, which dates to 1718, and The General Grooviness of the Universe by Kate Barnes, written in 2010. It was choreographed by Brooke Friendly and Chris Sackett. Enjoy!
- Hole in the Wall
One of the most elegant dances and tunes in the repertoire, Hole in the Wall, to music by Henry Purcell from 1689.
There is a signature move in this dance, dubbed the Hole in the Wall crossing, where dancers approach each other, face and then back up.
Listen for the Circle of Fifths in the harmony, or harmony reminiscent of Pachelbel's Canon.
This dance illustrates the mantra that it is never admirable to arrive where you need to be too soon, and then have to stand still and wait for the music to catch up. You should fit the steps to fill ALL the music, and if you aren't go bigger and grander with the steps!
Here are the Germantown Dancers demonstrating the dance, As always, this group is perfect in its execution, arriving just where they need to be, exactly when they need to be! youtu.be/qbB4b0HfEgU
- Homecoming, The / Horseplay
The Homecoming is the first English dance I ever danced, and I was instantly hooked. As with most of Gary Roodman's dances, the steps sync with the music perfectly, with plenty of room for playfulness and flirting. The tune was written by Jonathan Jensen in 1997. Watch it danced by a German dance group, with a tutorial in German! www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIVQ5NB9M0E.
Horseplay is a medieval tune, Branle des Cheveaux, by Arbeau, choreographed by Gary Roodman in 2001. Listen for the hoofbeats!
- Honeysuckle Cottage
Honeysuckle is a tune by the multi-talented Jonathan Jensen (bassist in the Baltimore Symphony and very cool jazz and Ragtime piano player), written in 2003 and choreographed by Binghamton's own Gary Roodman.
- Hop Ground, The
The Hop Ground is an energetic romp on a major jig. It was published in Preston's Twenty-Four Country Dances for the Year 1794 (Preston & Son) and Kentish Hops collected and arranged by A. Simmons. Below is a link to a dance video with caller Val Medve and Music by Spare Parts: Bill Matthieson (piano), Liz Stell (flute) and Eric Buddingtion (violin). It was videotaped in 2018 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Albany, an event sponsored by the Capital English Country Dancers.
By the way, a "hop" is a bitter-tasting plant used to balance the sweetness of malt in the production of beer. youtu.be/-ZYAodA3Nlo
- Horseplay see (The) Homecoming
- House on Wake Street, The / In My Dreams I Go Dancing
The House on Wake Street is a modern dance by Jenny Beer to A Man of Consequence by Kathy Talvitie, written in 2011.
In My Dreams I Go Dancing is a dance by Jonathan Sivier to the tune Weathered Inn Waltz by Al White, written in 1994.
- Hudson Barn / Joy After Sorrow
Hudson Barn is a dance by the great improvisatory pianist Jacqueline Schwab (of the band Bare Necessities and as heard on many of the Ken Burns' documentaries) and Charles Hammond. A strong, mesmerizing, non-stop figure perfectly captures the mood of the Northumberland tune, "Dance to your Daddy. " Joy After Sorrow is what we will all feel once this pandemic is over!
The dance was reconstructed by Dutch choreographer Fried de Metz Herman. Here it is, at a 2010 Country Dance of New York ball, held in Fried's memory. The complex and flowing choreography is easier to master than it looks – as they say, the music tells you what to do!! youtu.be/KVkqk-KVGnw
- Hundson House / Knives and Forks
Hunsdon House dates from 1665.
Knives and Forks, from 1726, is a chestnut, often the first dance learned in a beginner English Country dance class. Look at this clever diagram of the choreography. youtu.be/Owt60wB81KU
- If I Had Maggie in the Wood see Irish Lamentation
- Impertinence see (The) Introduction
- Impropriety / Laurelhurst
Impropriety is a 1999 dance by Brooke Friendly and Chris Sackett to a 6/8 jig, Miillison's Jegge, collected by Playford in 1651.
Laurelhurst is a 1996 dance by Fried de Metz Herman to a waltz, Green Fingers, written by John Stapledon in 1968.
- In My Dreams I Go Dancing see (The) House on Wake Street
- In the Presence of Monarchs / The Invitation
In the Presence of Monarchs is a traditional English tune called Monk's Gate. The dance is by Joseph Pimentel.
The Invitation is a Scottish-style slow air in waltz time by Kate Barnes, written in 1989 and choreographed by Gary Roodman and Robert Moir. Watch Gary's version danced at the 2016 Lenox Assembly. It is an unusual four-couple dance, done four times through, where each dancer starts from a different position and with a different partner. www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkz7Eu1OkzM.
The music is played with great feeling by Karen Axelrod, keyboard; Doug Creighton, flute; and Eric Martin, violin and viola. Robin Hayden led the dance. Along with the music, you will hear the floor "singing." A goal of good dancing is never to hear a footfall. But here, It is not the dancers' fault, but rather the condition of the floor at the Lenox Community Center.
- Indian Princess, The / The Indian Queen / Indian Summer
The Indian Princess is a modern dance/tune by Brit Colin Hume, his take on Indian Queen, a Playford dance/tune from 1701. Indian Summer is a dance by Elizabeth Goosen to Jonathan Jensen's beautiful Susan's Waltz, written in 1984.
In his calling and teaching, Colin stresses that good posture and eye contact are key aspects of English Country Dancing. This video, of the family-friendly Old Dominion Dancers from Omaha, Nebraska, is a superb example of doing it right! And they are smiling too – gives me confidence that English Country Dance has a future among today's young people! youtu.be/tdCJ3fHcS5E
- Indian Queen, The see (The) Indian Princess
- Indian Summer see (The) Indian Princess
- Interruptions see Hazelfern Place
- Introduction, The / Impertinence
An impertinent introduction!
The Introduction, a 1996 dance by Dutch choreographer Fried de Metz Herman, was written to a tune by itinerant Irish harper O'Carolan and in honor of Helene Cornelius, a beloved teacher and dancer from Boston, who died in 2013.
When Herman was asked by members of the band Bare Necessities to write a dance for Cornelius, her first effort was a dance so difficult that she followed it with The Introduction, a four-couple set dance in waltz time that is far more accessible.
The dance features three signature elements of Fried's choreography, a cross-hands waltz swing and a Choice Morsels or diagonal hey (weaving or braiding figure).
In this video, taken at the 2016 Playford Ball in New York City, you will see the third element. The top couple come toward each other at the outset to cement the bond between them.
The caller is Gene Murrow; musicians are Karen Axelrod, piano, Eric Martin, violin/viola, and Daniel Beerbohm, clarinet. You might recognize former Binghamtonian Ken Morgan, who in my experience, never misses a single step. Look for a tall, graceful man with snow-white hair and ponytail. youtu.be/8Ooyqrx29-c.
Impertinence is a dance and tune adapted by Herman to a tune borrowed from Handel.
- Invitation, The see In the Presence of Monarchs
- Irish Lamentation / If I Had Maggie in the Wood
A little blarney for you! One of Julian's favorites, even though he is British, is "Irish Lamentation," originally named King James' March to Limerick, c. 1735. Its triple-time measures were probably once danced with a six-count minuet step. Bare Necessities' Kate Barnes remembers playing it at a St. Patrick's Day concert and telling the audience they didn't know whether it was an Irish or English tune. Their very Irish M.C. smiled and said, "Oh, it's Irish, all right!"
Another undoubtedly Irish melody, choreographed by Colin Hume, is If I Had Maggie in the Woods. The lyrics go:
If I had Maggie in the woods, I'd do her all the good I could.
If I had Maggie in the woods, I'd keep here there til morning.
If I met Maggie in the wood, I would kiss her if I could,
for that's the thing that would do her good, and a cup of tay in the morning.
- Jack's Health
Also known as Cuir Barrad ar an Dorus, and in the English dance tradition, Jack's Health. A 1686 Irish tune in Dorian mode and a spirited, fun English country dance. Enjoy!
- Jack’s Maggot / Dick’s Maggot
Maggots! No, this is not an entomological message. A maggot, in English Country Dance lingo, is a tidbit, a flight of fancy, a bit of whimsy.
Jack’s Maggot, found first in Thompsons’ Compleat Collection, 1702, is a "chestnut." With its straight-forward figures and a lively feel, Jack’s is a favorite with dancers everywhere.
Here is a video of the Regency Dancers, in period costume. There is a pop-up a few minutes in that demonstrates the choreography: youtu.be/olw45x_vDnQ.
Dick’s Maggot, first published in 1703 is alternately called "Double the Cape." It explodes into skipping in the second half, adding to the fun!
Here is a symphonic version by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra by Ernest Tomlinson (1924-2015), from his First Suite of English Folktunes. Enjoy the paintings too! youtu.be/WyoqiMB25-4
- Jacque Latin see (The) Haymakers
- Jamaica / Juice of Barley
Jamaica, a rousing tune, first appeared in John Playford's "The Dancing Master" in 1670. Juice of Barley is credited to Henry Purcell in 1690.
For a consort interpretation of Jamaica, followed by Eastern Morn and Lilliburlero, listen to this Midtown (New York) Concert by the Gotham Early Music Ensemble. youtu.be/al94DmlCJDs
- Jenny Pluck Pears / Juice of Barley
Jenny Pluck Pears, from 1651, changes meter mid-stream, which is fun to play and dance!
Juice of Barley is a 1690 tune by Henry Purcell. Here are the Old Dominion Dancers in Omaha, Nebraska, demonstrating the dance. I love the energy of these young people. The trick with this dance is to ancers ize the clap and put it just on the beat. Otherwise, you may drive the musicians around the bend! This frustrated musician has resorted to shouting "Clap!" in the right place, when the sound from the floor sounds more like applause (arggh). youtu.be/PielgxkkhyY
- Johnson City Traffic Circle / Colony Cove
Binghamton's own roundabout, the Johnson City Traffic circle is remembered by composer Charlene Thomson in her tune of the same name. The circle is gone, but the challenge to navigation skills is not forgotten! Listen for sudden lane changes.
Charlene wrote Colony Cove after a week-long dance trip to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2005. Char says she savored the warmth and sunshine. Loretta Holz wrote an English dance to Char's tune, called The Belle of the Ball.
- Jovial Beggars see (The) Beggar Boy
- Joy After Sorrow see Hudson Barn
- Judy and Jim's Wedding
Judy and Jim's Wedding, by Larry Unger (no relation to Jay Ungar). Written some time before 2004. It's one of our favorite tunes! Played by Lee and the cello man. The Dance is called Sunlight through Draperies.
- Juice of Barley see Jamaica
- Juice of Barley see Jenny Pluck Pears
- Julian's Jig / Lee's Waltz
These are tunes written for us by our friend, composer Charlene Thomson.
- Juniata or Drifting on the Dreamy Juniata
Here's a tune about a lazy summer day on the placid Juniata River, near Harrisburg, Pa., by Jonathan Jensen and played by Shepherd and Ewe. Jonathan wrote both the tune and a song. Please sing along! "Lazy and contented, I pass the time away, drifting on the dreamy Juniata. Gazing at the water to see the fish at play, drifting on the dreamy Juniata. Here in my canoe, nothing much to do, listen to the birds and admire the view. Come to Pennsylvania and spend a summer day. Once you feel the magic, you'll just want to stay. Drifting on the dreamy Juniata."
The always clever Pat Shaw choreographed and wrote the tune for K&E, a grand square dance, in 1974, and named it after the drafting and instrument supply company, which manufactured the slide rule. The company was founded in1867 by German immigrants William Keuffel and Herman Esser and was the first American company to specialize in these products.
The dance requires multiple squares of 8 dancers. You not only dance with your own square, but also with folks adjacent to you in other squares, and thus you move around the room from square to square! The movement mimics that of a slide rule.
I only danced it once, with 16 squares, at a festival, and it was so cool!
- Key to the Cellar see Familiar Quotations
- Kitt Cucomer / Rebecka Ridinghoode
A number of years ago, Julian and I joined British pianist Jonathan Cohen and flutist Jacqui Morgenstein to play a whole dance weekend at Halsway Manor, the home of the English Country Dance and Song Society in England. Our caller was the notoriously demanding caller Andrew Shaw. Needless to say, we were nervous, especially when the promised music didn't arrive before we left the states and we had to sight-read the whole weekend.
But Jonathan, who knew and played with the legendary Pat Shaw, was a gem as a pianist, and our little band jelled right away. We were relieved and thrilled when Andrew praised our music at the conclusion of those three long days. I was so exhausted that I promptly came down with the worst cold I had ever had, as we set off for the rest of our British vacation.
I have kept in touch with Jonathan, who is known for mounting elaborate Christmas shows every year at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
But I digress. The point of the story is, the Brits prefer their English Country Dance music bouncy and upbeat and aren't crazy about the lyrical, graceful, melodic tunes and dances Americans enjoy. So from an entire packet of about 100 tunes we sight-read that weekend, only two were keepers – Kitt Cucomer and Rebecka Ridinghoode, from the early 1700s, collected by Walsh.
- Kitty at the Door / Lambs on Green Hill
Kitty at the Door is a dance by Gary Roodman to a melody by Jonathan Jensen.
Lambs on Green Hill is a traditional Irish tune choreographed by Dan Seppeler. The story, of course, has a sad ending! Here are the lyrics.
The lambs on the green hills, they sport and they play,
And many strawberries grow round the salt sea.
And many strawberries grow round the salt sea
How many's the ships sail in the ocean.
The bride and bride's party to church they did go,
The bride she rode foremost, she bears the best show.
But I followed after with my heart full of woe
To see my love wed to another.
The first place I saw her, it was in the church stand,
Gold ring on her finger and her love by the hand.
Says I, my wee lassie, I will be the man,
Although you are wed to another.
- Kneeland Romp / Well Done, Jack
Gary Roodman adapted Marin Marais' (17–?) zippy tune "La Basque" to a dance he named after Kneeland Avenue, his address when he lived in Binghamton. Did I mention that Gary's dances are beloved for the tight fit between the music and dance steps? – so satisfying!
Well Done, Jack, 1718, is a dance by Nathaniel Kynaston. Many of his dances have been reconstructed and enjoyed for their complexity by folks who like a challenge. I once cut my losses at a week-long Kynaston dance workshop in England because learning the dances made my brain smoke, i.e., several hours to learn the choreography of a single dance, then 10 minutes to execute it!
Here is a video of Kneeland Romp, called in French, at a dance in Montreal. We know many of the Canadian dancers from the Across the Lakes Weekend in Burlington, VT. They are the friendliest bunch and have the loveliest costumes!! youtu.be/Ui3_GoVa8qE
- Knives and Forks see Hundson House
- Knole Park see Solstice Maid
- La Gavre see Mile of Smiles
- Lambs on Green Hill see Kitty at the Door
- Land of Mist and Wonder
I love the mysterious Land of Mist and Wonder by Rachel Bell.
- Lark in Clear Air, The see Golden Green
- Lass of Richmond Hill / Long Live London
Richmond Hill is 7-8 miles from London, up the Thames, home of huge deer park. Here is a song version of The Lass of Richmond Hill, sung by the King Singers!! youtu.be/eri1A7KbgzQ.
Long Live London, is a dandy tune written by Pat Shaw in 1971.
- Laurelhurst see Impropriety
- Lavender / Leslie's Valentine
Lavender is a 2004 dance by Brooke Friendly and Chris Sackett to the tune The Baker's Favorite by Bo Leyden, 2003.
Leslie's Valentine is a dance by caller/choreographer Scott Higgs to Miss Grace Hayes' Delight, written in the 18th century by Neil Gow. It has many nice moves, a chase, a Mad Robin, lines up and back and gating! Copy and paste this to see what I mean! www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x5eQWSsxtg.
Scott Higgs is calling the dance to music by Foxfire, Daron Douglas, violin, and Karen Axelrod, keyboard.
- Leah's Waltz / Ashokan Farewell
Leah's Waltz, written by Belgian choreographer Fried de Metz Herman in 1989, is set to a tune by veteran dance musician Bob McQuillen.
Ashokan Farewell, written by Jay Ungar in 1983, is best known as the theme song for Ken Burns: The Civil War series on PBS. At Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp Northern Week, which Julian and I have attended for a couple of decades, it is always the last tune played at the last dance. And of course, we all cry. Jay says he wrote Ashokan Farewell when such a campers' week was over. As he left campus, sadness overtook him as he realized that the closeness, camaraderie, compassion and kindness of the camp community did not typify the wider world.
- Leather Lake House / Pease Strae
Leather Lake House is attributed to Henry Bishop in 1788, with its alternate tune, Pease Strae, by Neil Gow in 1745 –- a breathless dance with no forgiveness for being late, but also the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Watch it danced at a Boston Ball, with Joanna Reiner calling and music by the inimitable band Band Necessities. youtu.be/gKkIpE0fzdo.
P. S. English dances only rarely come with alternate tunes, but it's up to the band to decide how many times to do each tune and when to change (it's courteous to warn the caller). The unexpected melody give ancers a lift to their steps. You get the same effect if you transpose the tune into another key, play a major tune in minor or vice versa, or throw in a quotation – maybe a snippet of Yankee Doodle Dandy, Camptown Races, Jamaica Farewell, the Sailor's Hornpipe, the Meow Mix jingle, the Ode to Joy or Rule Brittannia! When the caller lets the dance go on too long, the band. Is guaranteed to ward off boredom with a few musical antics.
- Leaving of Liverpool
Leaving of Liverpool, an English traditional song, and Weep On, by P. Richardson. Through digital magic, I played this duet with Kim VanNorstrand from a Great Bear Trio recording. Jules kitty just had to sing along.
- Lee's Waltz see Julian's Jig
- Leona Tuttle see (The) Bonny Cuckoo
- Leslie's Valentine see Lavender
- Levi Jackson Rag, The
For those of you who think English Country Dancing is just too precious, elegant, stuffy and stilted, here is proof otherwise! The Levi Jackson Rag, written by the irrepressible Pat Shaw jumped a couple of steps of evolution and created the ultimate square dance, except with a characteristic quirk – it's for five couples and must be repeated five times to get everyone home!
Excuse my finger-fumbles – it ain't the easiest piece to play on the piano!
Here's a truly Western cowboy interpretation of the dance by the Colorado Dancers. Yee-ha!!
A five-couple dance. This dance is in a U-shape with two couples at each side position and one couple at the head position. www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcFahvQla_c
- Liberty's Golden Shore
I am joined by the Bug Man for Liberty's Golden Shore, written by Jay Ungar. It commemorates the South Street Seaport, the site of the original port of New York, where thousands of immigrants landed, including my Jewish grandparents and Jay's forebears. Listen for the ship entering the harbor, passing the Statue of Liberty and coming to rest at the shore.
- Lilliburlero see Fandango
- Lissome Lass / Lucy's Lead
Lissome Lass is a dance by Sharon Green to the tune Pauina by Patti Cobb, written in 2016.
Lucy's Lead is a dance and tune by Carol Compton, written in 2014.
This dance group, in Gainesville, Florida, has two things going for it – a spectacular dance hall and a band with a cello. In Binghamton, we are lucky to have a cello with our band – Julian Shepherd – but not all dance groups are so blessed! Caller is Seth Tepfer. Music performed by Chimney Swift – Cecile Leroy on cello; Zoe Madonna on accordion; Daniel Raine on cittern and guitar; and Yaron Shragai on percussion and recorders. Recorded at The Historic Thomas Center Gainesville, Florida on February 23, 2019. Watch Lissome Lass at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy1u30-yojQ
- Long Live London see Lass of Richmond Hill
- Love Always / Love and All That Hijaz / Celebrate Love Today!
"Love Always" is a dance set by Oregonians Brooke Friendly and Chris Sackett to a real snake charmer of a tune, "Love and All That Hijaz" by Dave Bartley, written in 2011. Next is "Love and Cherish," a dance by Paula Kelley and Val Medve of the Burlington, VT. dance community, to the very hummable "Waltz in D" by Lar Duggan, written in 2009. Feel free to belly dance and/or waltz in your kitchen!
- Love and All That Hijaz see Love Always
- Love of My Life
Love of My Life by Jay Ungar, played by Shepherd and Ewe, which you might recognize as the theme of Ken Burns' National Parks series. As with most of the Ken Burns documentaries, you will hear Jay and Molly Mason (the love of Jay's life} playing on those PBS documentaries. Jay and Molly graciously share their tunes with us at the camp they run, Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp in the Catskills.
- Lovely Nancy / Elizabeth
Cherish the ladies! Lovely Nancy is a dance reconstructed by Nicholas Broadbridge. "Farewell Lovely Nancy" or "Lovely Nancy" is a traditional ballad, widely found in the south of England and in Ireland.
"Elizabeth" is a dance and music written by the curmudgeonly Brit Colin Hume in 1991. This has to be the most frequently listed English dance on ball programs around the world, enjoyed for its flowing beauty.
- Lucy's Lead see Lissome Lass
- Mad Robin see Maid Pepped Out the Window
- Maid Peeped Out the Window / Mad Robin
Here's a cute little tune – The Maid Peeped Out the Window, or, The Friar in the Well, from 1651.
And then there is Mad Robin, from 1686, known for its signature move – a tandem loop with your opposite around your partner, always keeping flirtatious eye contact.
Here is Mad Robin danced in Atlanta, with caller Tom Amesse and the fine English Band, Bare Necessities. Listen for the untethered improvisation by pianist Jacqueline Schwab. (She is a featured musician on almost all of Ken Burns' PBS documentaries). And Bare Necessities violinist/violists Earl Gaddis and Mary Lea, and flutist Kate Barnes, easily match Jacqueline for creative flights of fancy!! youtu.be/MhBv7l8cFdo
- Make the Sun Dance / Mendocino Cure
Make the Sun Dance is a dance by Chris Sackett and Brooke Friendly to Tatshenshini Triple by Chris, written in 2011.
Mendocino Cure is another tune by Brooke and Chris to a tune by Dave Bartley, written in 2007.
About a decade ago, Julian and I attended the Mendocino camp, set smack in the middle of a redwood forest. The setting was spectacular; the food out of this world; the West Coast dancers friendly and welcoming; the dancing first-rate. The mosquitos were the size of small birds. The whole experience was worth traveling such a long distance. My informal "job" was playing keyboard right outside the dining hall nightly, entertaining campers as they waited for the dinner bell!
- Marching to Praetorius see Peter and Peggy
Marina was written by Mickie Zekley in 1987 to honor his daughter. Recorded on December 16th, it also honored Hanukkah and Julian's birthday, as well as the birthdays of Jane Austen and Beethoven (250!).
- Mary Kay
Mary K is a dance by the mathematically-minded Gary Roodman (he taught statistics at Binghamton University) to a fiery tango by Dave Wiesler, Scherzo in Cm, written in 1999.
Computer-generated dancing figures, created by Keith Wood and George Williams, illustrate the beautiful complexity and symmetry of this dance, I love the delicious move Gary calls petit fours. And the music, by bands MGM and Reunion, is luscious! MGM is Mary Lea, Gene Murrow and Mary Ann Martin. Reunion is Barbara Greenberg, Daniel Beerbohm and Jonathan Jensen. The inspiration for the dance was Mary Kay Friday, an avid dancer from Washington, D.C., and a good friend to many, including Gary. youtu.be/7kXrKLMs2HY
- Mavis Sweetly Sing, The / Now is the Month of Maying
The Mavis Sweetly Sings is a dance by Fried de Metz Herman, set to a tune of the same name by Henry Purcell. A mavis is a song thrush. Here are the words:
When as the mavis sweetly sings,
rapture and love his notes inspire;
as nestward now his way, he sings,
his way he wings, his blissful song shall never tire.
His loveborn carol he repeats,
when to his mate he finds his way;
who list'ning, welcomes him and greets
who list'ning greets, his coming long'd for all the day.
Thomas Morley, 1557-1603, is the composer of Now Is the Month of Maying. it was choreographed by Fried for a dance of the same name. Celebrate the arrival of May with The King Singers! youtu.be/LJ7VirCScp0
- Mendocino Cure see Make the Sun Dance
- Michael and All Angels
Dance writers can't go wrong when they collaborate with Purcell. This is his Air, set to a dance by the late Fried de Metz Herman, a small Dutch woman with immense talent as a choreographer. She also was a legendary caller who would call out and eject dancers from a hall if they mis-stepped!! But they worshipped her because they loved her dances.
- Michedonia / New Hampshire Nocturne
Michedonia is a dance by Dan Blim to a traditional Carpathian tune. The Germantown Dancers execute it perfectly, as always, with style and grace. www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2yox3WjxIM.
New Hampshire Nocturne is a dance by Gary Roodman to a tune written by Jonathan Jensen in 2010. Watch computer-generated dancers execute this dance, without any troublesome humans! The music is magnificent! www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjaqABpg0k4.
Apropos of nothing... On May 10 in 1812, the waltz was introduced at Almack's dance hall in London. It was the first closed-couple dance the English aristocracy had ever seen. Men and women embraced one another as they were dancing, and the men lifted the women over their thighs as the couples turned. Critics called it "disgusting."
- Midnight Ramble
The Midnight Ramble dates to 1773.
- Mile of Smiles / La Gavre
Mile of Smiles and La Gavre, merged into a medley that crosses several centuries. To watch folks dancing La Gavre, a traditional Belgian dance and tune, visit: youtu.be/37sYrjhrYxM .
Mile of Smiles is a tune by Dave Wiesler, copyright 2011, choreographed by Joseph Pimentel. Guaranteed to make you smile!!
- Miss DeJersey's Memorial
This is a favorite tune of mine, written and choreographed by Pat Shaw. Last year marked the centenary of the birth of Shaw, one of the foremost composers and collectors of folk song and dance of the twentieth century. Through his performances, his teaching and his research, Shaw became a popular and committed ambassador for the folk music tradition/ He is associated with Pinewoods Camp in Massachusetts, where he helped usher in a new era of English Country dancing in the U.S.
Miss DeJersey's Memorial was written by Shaw in 1971 to honor Miss Everal DeJersey, a well-known pianist with the English Folk Dance and Song Society. This haunting and evocative composition is a love potion in G minor, the dance flowing and weaving with a winding figure called a hey.
- Mistwold see Naked and Bare
- Molly Andrew / Puck's Deceit
The Molly Andrew by Dave Wiesler, written in 1997, also known as the Saturday Morning Waltz, followed by Puck's Deceit, also known as Kettle Drum, dated 1651. Both have dances by Brooke Friendly and Chris Sackett, a west coast couple who create intricate and clever choreography. We remember Dave Wiesler from a class at Ashokan fiddle and dance camp about 15-20 years ago. He made us shut our English country dance fake books, which filled us paper-trained musicians with trepidation, then asked us to play a tune and transpose it up a half step 12 times. In those early days of learning to improvise, that was a steep challenge, but we did it!
- Monterey Ploughman
This catchy tune, Monterey Ploughman, was written by Rachel Bell, for her bandmate Eric Martin. Both talented musicians, Rachel on accordion and Eric on violin and viola, are in the band Alchemy, along with pianist Karen Axelrod, a favorite band we've hired for the annual Binghamton English Country ball. Eric's day job is ploughing snow in Monterey, Massachusetts.
Here is a video of Susan Kevra calling Monterey Ploughman, danced in Atlanta in 2018: youtu.be/7dtRhdjd9xo
- Moonflower / The Argos Inn
A Rachel Bell extravaganza! Here are some favorite tunes by our friend, accordionist/composer Rachel Bell: Moonflower and The Argos Inn, written in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The Argos Inn in a bar in Ithaca!
- Mount Hills see (The) Mulberry Garden
- Moveable Feast, A see Farewell to Devon
- Mover and a Shaker, A / Muriel's Measure/Somerset Square
"A Mover and a Shaker," a traditional Shaker song called "My Robe is New," put to a dance in 1997 by Gary Roodman – and another of our favorites, Muriel's Measure. Both the tune and dance were written by Colin Hume in 1995.
This video of Muriel's Measure is from a Jane Austen Ball in Rochester. The spacious and elegant ball room has a balcony all around the dance floor, for a bird's eye view. I am pretty sure I was there! dancevideos.childgrove.org/ecd/ecd-modern/286-muriels-measure.
A little tribute to Philippe Callens, a Belgium choreographer and friend who left us too soon. He is teaching and calling this clever dance, called Somerset Square. youtu.be/SLn592IFaH8
- Mr. Ganiford's Maggot / Mr. Isaac's Maggot
More maggots! Mr. Ganiford's Maggot was written and choreographed by Pat Shaw, an influential person in popularizing English Country dancing in this country in the mid-1900s.
Mr. Isaac's Maggot dates from 1695. Maggot, in case you didn't catch an earlier explanation, is a whimsey or fancy, theorized to stem from calling someone maggoty-brained!
This video was recorded in Atlanta in 2017. The caller is Tom Amesse, the gentleman from Staten Island who has called Binghamton Balls a few times; the band is the inimitable Bare Necessities – Kate Barnes, recorder, Mary Lea and Earl Gaddis, violin/viola, and pianist Jacqueline Schwab. There's a grand moment in the choreography where everyone moves up in lines toward the top of the hall. In Regency times, that would honor "the presence," the monarch who presided over the dance. youtu.be/eYp0bryJsVc
- Mr. Isaac's Maggot see Mr. Ganiford's Maggot
- Mulberry Garden, The / Mount Hills
The Mulberry Garden, 1670, and Mount Hills, 1721.
- Muriel's Measure see (A) Mover and a Shaker
- Naked and Bare / Mistwold
But don't worry, you will be hidden in mist!
Mistwold is a modern composition by caller Dudley Laufman (Canterbury, New Hampshire) in honor of Mistwold Farm in Fremont, New Hampshire, where he first country danced in the living room on a wide-board floor.
"Everyone could tell when we had come straight from the barn without bathing because of the heavy odor of talc," Laufman said. David Newitt set an English country dance to the tune in 1993.
Naked and Bare is a traditional and haunting Shetland/Orkney Island jig or quadrille in Aeolian mode.
- Nan's Waltz see Never Love Thee More
- Never Love Thee More / Nan's Waltz
The very sweet Nan's Waltz was written by the British dance innovator/composer Pat Shaw, the dance in 1967, the tune in 1946.
Never Love Thee More was written in 1686. Here it is danced at the 2017 George Washington Ball in Williamsburg, VA., music played by the band Hot Toddy (Anna Rain, Melissa Running, and Edith Coakley Stowe). Get a load of those elegant costumes! youtu.be/SNO6l6ivS_I.
Julian, with Charlene Thomson, serenaded me with Never Love Thee More at my 60th birthday party!
- New Hampshire Nocturne see Michedonia
- Night Watch / Old Maid in Hopes
Night Watch is a tune by Karen Axelrod for a dance by Rick Jackson.
The Old Maid in Hopes is a dance by Kynaston, and collected by Walsh in 1718. To see it danced and played with great verve in Berkeley, California, watch this! www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXb6NRSUir0
- Now is the Month of Maying see (The) Mavis Sweetly Sing
- Old Friends / Randolph Farewell
Old Friends is a dance by Gary Roodman to a tune by Jonathan Jensen, "Jane in the Lane."
Randolph Farewell is a dance choreographed in 1995 by Fried de Metz Herman to a tune by Tom Seiss. Tom, a Canadian, was a very enthusiastic participant at Pine Woods Camp in Massachusetts, our song leader and instigator of all kinds of mischief/merriment. He wrote the tune to express his grief after saying good-bye to a dying friend during a last visit to her home in Randolph, NH.
- Old Maid in Hopes see Night Watch
- Old Mill, The
A dulcet modern tune by Brian Jenkins, The Old Mill, and a mesmerizing dance that you wish would never end.
- Old Wife Behind the Fire see Ashford Anniversary
- On the Carpenter's Porch see Wibsey Roundabout
- Orange Nan / Ore Boggy
By one account, Orange Nan was first published by Playford in 1718. By another, Orange Nan first appeared in Twenty-four Country Dances for the Year 1713, published by Walsh. The dance was reinterpreted by British caller/historian Andrew Shaw in 2002. Ore Boggy, published by Neal, hails from 1726.
According to allen lutins, the "Ore" is really "O'er" as in "Over" (early versions of the tune were named "O'er Bogie" or "O'er Bogie wi' My Love"). Scottish poet Allan Ramsay (1686-1758) set words to the tune, in which "O'er Bogie" refers to departing from one's home to start a new life following marriage.
- Oranges and Lemons / Parson's Farewell
Oranges and Lemons, traditional, dating to 1665. Parson's Farewell, traditional, dated 1661.
- Pandemic Panda see We're Not Broken
- Parson's Farewell see Oranges and Lemons
- Pat's Tradition
The playful Pat's Tradition is alternately titled "My Wife's a Wee Wanton Thing." The dance is by Cor Hogendijk.
- Peace Be With You
Fried de Metz Herman borrowed Rigadoon Royal, 1718, for her beautiful dance Peace Be With You right after the 9/11 World Trade Tower destruction. It was danced all over the world to remember those who died. Seems like we are at another time in our history where we could use a musical peace message.
- Peace on Earth
The title is our wish for the world, Peace on Earth, and an end to the pandemic. Jay Ungar and Molly Mason say they each composed a portion of this musical prayer for peace, then found the parts fit together perfectly. The first few bars come from the hymn, Old One Hundredth, attributed to French composer Loys Bourgeois, 1510-1560.
- Pearl, The
A haunting melody, The Pearl, written in the 1980s by Scottish accordionist Phil Cunningham. The folk process lives – I learned it from fiddler extraordinaire John Kirk, who got it from his bandmate in the Susquehanna String Band Rick Bunting. Cunningham is a founding member of Silly Wizard and brother to the late Johnny Cunningham, John Kirk's friend and inspiration.
If you want to hear the accordion version, go to youtu.be/KwVcCDbFuc4
- Pease Strae see Leather Lake House
- Peridot Ring see Bora Dingo Oasis
- Peter and Peggy / Marching to Praetorius
Peter and Peggy is a dance by Gary Roodman to a tune by Jonathan Jensen. Here it is, danced at Pinewoods Camp. www.youtube.com/watch?v=56LXSCFWGeU.
Marching to Praetorius is a clever two-couple dance by Gary Roodman to a 1600 tune by Pierre Caroubel. The Germantown Country Dancers, with their usual style and verve, demonstrate the dance. www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrA9BF5dpR8
- Prince of Westborough / Ten-Year Tested
Paula Kelley wrote the Prince of Westborough to honor her dancing/hiking friend, Ken Prince. The tune is the haunting melody The Middle of the Night by Kate Barnes, written in 2003.
Ten-Year Tested is a tune and dance by Colin Hume, written in 1989 for The Kafoozalum Tenth Birthday Party Dance at Cecil Sharp House in London. It was a great success, Colin writes, attended by 255 people. "As befits the occasion, the dance is for ten people, the lines of music are ten bars each." He challenges Brits to name a favorite song quoted in the patty-cake clapping sequence, and names it for American audiences who might not know it – Nellie the Elephant! This could easily be labeled a contradance, with couples sliding down the line and back, partner swings and do-si-dos.
- Puck's Deceit see Molly Andrew
- Punch Bowl, The see Quite Carried Away
- Queen of Sheba
There's a funny memory to go with this tune. I was on a "Yanks and Limeys" English Country dance trip to England a few years back and had been enlisted to play violin with a local band for a community dance. Queen of Sheba II is traditionally the last dance for the evening. I courageously launched into it and soon noticed a good-natured "Prank on the Yank" – the other band members had packed up and left the stage, (just like that Haydn symphony)! They thought the tough solo would be my undoing. But I stayed the course and played Queen of Sheba four or five more times, without missing a beat! I should have been paid by the note that evening, but twice or thrice nothing is still nothing!
The tune for Queen of Sheba II comes from Handel's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.
- Quiet Room, The
Here is The Quiet Room, written by Jay Ungar, who was inspired by the spectacular recovery of his wife, Molly Mason, from brain surgery. In performance, Jay and Molly dedicate this tune to nurses, the unsung heroes of the medical profession.
- Quite Carried Away / The Punch Bowl
Quite carried away by the punch bowl! Here are two tunes we love.
The Punch Bowl was first found in the 1701 edition of Playford's The Dancing Master. Englishman Pat Shaw's reconstruction of the original dance epitomizes the flowing style cherished by dancers today.
Quite Carried Away is a tune and dance by Shaw, written in 1974, alternately titled "Joan Transported."
- Rafe's Waltz
The dance Rafe's Waltz, you will recognize as the medieval carol The Cutty Wren (Oh what can you tell me, said Milder to Molder, and what can you tell me, said Fessel to Foe). Ralph Vaughan Williams also incorporated the tune into his classical works.
- Ragg, The / The Rakes of Rochester
The Rakes of Rochester (England, not New York State) was first printed by John Walsh in his Caledonian Country Dances, vol. II (c. 1737), and later in his Fourth Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master (London, 1747).
Here is a 2012 video of The Rakes danced in Rochester, New York, at a Jane Austen Ball. I love the little tyke, dressed like a miniature Mr. Darcy, partnered with his mother! youtu.be/1sXthXa_IJ8
- Rakes of Rochester, The see (The) Ragg
- Randolph Farewell see Old Friends
- Rebecka Ridinghoode see Kitt Cucomer
- Red and All Red
Red and All Red, a Scottish melody collected and published by Thompson in 1757.
- Safe Haven
Orly Krasner wrote this tune/dance in 2001 to console people after 9-11. Unfortunately, it is appropriate today as well.
- Sally From Poland see (The) Severn Bore
- Sally in Our Alley / Take a Dance
Sally in Our Alley, published by Walsh in 1719 in The Complete Country Dancing Master, features sweeping figures in the reconstructed version by pianist Jacqueline Schwab.
The Ballad of Sally, a popular song by Henry Carey (1687-1743), was found in the annals of Drury Lane Theatre. The low-life lady presented in the song prompted singer "Mrs. Willis" to dress as a "shoemaker's 'prentice".
Take a Dance, demonstrated by the Germantown Country Dancers, in preparation for a Predominantly Playford Ball. It is danced with style and precision. You can tell because their lines are always straight (when you stand at the top of the hall and look down the line) and everyone moves in synchrony! youtu.be/ql5qMYZccn4
- Sapphire Sea, The see Benjamin's Birthday
- Sarah / Helena
Cherish the ladies! Sarah, a dance by Binghamton's own Gary Roodman, to the 1631 melody Agatha, written by Erasmus Widmann.
And much cherished, Colin Hume's tribute to Helena, another dance and tune written in 1988 for a wedding of a friend.
- Scotch Cap / Scotch Morris
Scotch Cap, 1651, and Scotch Morris, 1727.
Morris dancing is a form of English folk dance accompanied by music provided by a fiddler or concertina player. Morris dancing is characterized by rhythmic stepping in choreographed figures by a group, usually wearing bell pads on their shins. Sticks, swords and handkerchiefs also may be wielded, smacked together or waved. The dance genre has a long recorded history in England, the earliest reference dating from 1448! There are reports of Morris Dancing at court in the 15th century.
A few years ago, I was at the Chippenham Music Festival that featured a parade of dozens of Morris teams, hailing from villages all over England. The costumes were gloriously colorful, but the topper was a group of teens in black-garbed, masked Goth-style costumes, having a blast scaring us! Here is a Youtube link of a video of Morris dancing in Oxford. youtu.be/RZjLATAUwao
- Scotch Morris see Scotch Cap
- Severn Bore, The / Sally From Poland
The Severn Bore is a dance by Dutch choreographer Fried de Metz Herman written in 1993 to a Sarabande by Corelli.
The Severn bore is a tidal bore seen on the tidal reaches of the River Severn in south western England. It is formed when the rising tide moves into the funnel-shaped Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary and the surging water forces its way upstream in a series of waves, as far as Gloucester and beyond.
The wave of dancers re-enact the tidal bore movement, sweeping down the hall, then dancers reverse course and sweep up the hall. This version was danced at a 2016 Lenox Assembly. Musicians are Cynthia Shaw, Doug Creighton and Eric Martin. Our good friends Ken Morgan and Nikki Herbst are among the dancers. www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ9zqcqPxNk.
Sally from Poland is a dance by Pat Shaw to the traditional Slavic tune Poolsche Sara.
- Shepherd's Wife see Amelia
- Short and the Tall, The / Sparkling and Still
The Short and the Tall is a dance by Ron Coxall to the traditional tune, the Cumberland Reel.
Sparkling and Still is a dance by Alan Winston to the Fanny Power, by the 17th century blind Irish harpist, O'Carolan.
- Shrewsbury Lasses / The Siege of Limerick
The Shrewsbury Lasses dates from 1765. I love the syncopation in the harmony. Here is a video taken at the 2013 Jane Austen Ball in Rochester and I was there! youtu.be/PFD2EaNb7Vg.
The Siege of Limerick is a dance set to a tune written by Purcell in 1698. It commemorates an historic event in 1691 when William of Orange invaded Ireland.
- Siege of Limerick, The see Shrewsbury Lasses
- Slockit Licht, Da
Da Slockit Licht, or "The Extinguished Light" is a tune by the late Tom Anderson, who is credited with saving and reviving the rich musical heritage of his native Shetlands through his work with young musicians. Mr. Anderson was saddened by the departure of Shetland youth to other places when he wrote this tune. It has become an anthem to the people of the Shetland Islands and at his request, was played at his funeral.
- Softly Good Tummas
Softly Good Tummas is a 1718 dance by dance master Kyneston that feels very modern. Dancers inevitably jazz it up and start strutting. It is among my Top Ten favorite dances for sheer fun. Here is a video of the Germantown Country Dancers showing how it should be done. www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQjejTOBE-U
- Soir et Matin
Soir et Matin (evening and morning), a tune by French accordionist Gilles Le Bigot, written in 1987 to honor touring musicians who stay up very late at night, but still have to get up early in the morning. May they soon be able to tour again!!
- Solstice Maid / Knole Park
Solstice Maid is an Irish-sounding air by Jay Ungar written to commemorate both the longest day and longest night of the year.
Knole Park is your next stop.
Allen lutins unearthed a vintage video of my visit to Knole Park in England on Ken McFarland's trip many years ago. I was with a group of dancers/musicians on a tour through great houses and gardens a few years back. Knole Park is known for its big deer park.
Knole Park is also one of the chestnut dances we English dancers all know. During our tour, a dancer casually asked a docent how long it had been since Knole Park had been danced there and he said, "Oh, about 300 years!"
Of course, we had to do it – we assembled in the courtyard a half hour later, me with my violin and another lady with her flute. Our dancers valiantly performed on an uneven grass surface and we became the tourist attraction of the day. You might recognize other Southern Tier folks among the dancers... Eve Daniels, Charlene Thomson, the late Gay Stannard.
Knole Park was unique among the many great houses we visited. Henry VIII ransacked it to furnish Hampton Court when he took the property from the Catholic Church. Today, Knole Park is filled with treasures of the right period, but not original to the house
YouTube has preserved our visit and impromptu dance for posterity. Here is the link: youtu.be/3wC320K8WIQ
- Somerset Square see (A) Mover and a Shaker
- Sparkling and Still see (The) Short and the Tall
- Sprigs of Laurel / There's Nae Luck Aboot the Hoose
Sprigs of Laurel is from Fallibroome No. 5. What is Fallibroome? It's a collection of six books of dances, but not in the same way as Playford, Thompson or Johnson, which were original collections published at the time. The Fallibroome collection contains modern interpretations of 18th century dances from various sources. The interpretations are by Bernard Bentley who lived in a small village in the parish of Prestbury in Cheshire called Fallibroome. So someone may say "That's a Fallibroome dance", someone else may say "No, it's from the Dancing Master", and they can both be right! One thing the dances are not, is Playford; John and Henry Playford were both dead by then and the Dancing Master was being published by John Young. These are mainly 18th century dances, a few from the early nineteenth century and one square written by Bernard Bentley himself. Bernard Bentley, who died in 2003, was a founding member of the Manchester Morris Men. He was an authority on North-west Morris, as well as a noted interpreter of English country dances.
There's Nae Luck Aboot the Hoose is used for the dance Thady You Gander and others. It is a Scottish song written by Jean Adam (1704-1765), who kept a school in Crawford's Dyke, Greenock. It first appeared on the streets around the 1770s. Adam was born in Greenock into a maritime family and was orphaned at a young age. Nae Luck is a tale of a sailor's wife and the safe return of her husband from the sea. It is reported that Robert Burns remarked on its quality in 1771, some years after Adam's death.
- Star of the County Down see Amelia
- Stepping Stones see Sylvan Park
- Sylvan Park / Stepping Stones
Sylvan Park is haunting tune by our friend Rachel Bell, the accordionist with the group Alchemy.
Stepping Stones is a lovely tune by Brian Jenkins, dance by Tom Cook.
- Take a Dance see Sally in Our Alley
- Tango in Toronto
And for something completely different, here is Tango in Toronto, written in 2010 by English choreographer/composer Colin Hume. Feel free to tango around the room!
- Ten-Year Tested see Prince of Westborough
- Terpsicourange / Wa' is Me
Terpsicourante is one of Gary Roodman's collaborations with dead composers, in this case Praetorious. The serpentine pattern in the B part of the dance is what makes the dance unique and satisfying.
In Greek mythology, Terpsichore ("delight in dancing") is one of the nine Muses and goddess of dance and chorus. Here is the dance, performed at Pinewoods camp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjXTEG5PIx4.
Wa' is Me, What Mun I Do, alternately called Epsom Wells, was probably incidental music for a 1672 stage production by poet and playwright Thomas Shadwell, (a successor to Thomas Dryden as English poet laureate when Shadwell's political party came into power), with music by English composer Henry Purcell. Dance historian Graham Christian begs to differ. He believes it was written by Jacques Paisable, a recorder and bass viol player and composer for stage and court of the same era.
- There's Nae Luck Aboot the Hoose see Sprigs of Laurel
- Ties of Love
Ties of Love is a dance by Jenny Beer; the tune is Rose By the Door by Scandinavian fiddler extraordinaire Andrea Hoag, copyright 1985. Featured cellist is the Bug Man.
- Trip to Kilbourn / Trip to Paris
Trip to Kilbourn was a dance written or published in 1728 to the Black and Grey, 1686. Trip to Paris was published in 1711 by John Walsh in his collection, "The New Country-Dancing Master." It is a powerful, driving tune with a chase scene for the instrumentalists.
Trip to Paris, a boisterous, simple dance, includes a challenge for the first couple to take a lengthy "trip" around their dance set and return home just in time to honor their partner with a turn over their right shoulder. And it has an optional move – face and pass your partner, turn over your right shoulder twice and back up to add to the fun and dizziness!
In this time of Covid, where we mostly take trips to the living room or kitchen, you'll be happy to know that there are English dances titled Trip to.... Bath, Canterbury, Chippenham, Durrow, Erskine, Greene, Highgate, Holy-Well, Lille, Richmond, Ridgewood (New Jersey!), San Jose, Stonington, Teddington, Tintagel, Town-O, Tunbridge, Virginia, Woodstock and Trip to the Jubilee!!
- Trip to Provence
Happy trails to you! Trip to Provence is a dance by Susan Kevra to the tune, Voyage de la Diabline written in 2015 by our talented friend, accordionist/composer Rachel Bell.
- Trip to the Manors see True Kit
- True Kit / Trip to the Manors
True Kit, set to a stately Baroque tune, Mr. Warwicke's Mask, and Trip to the Manors, set to a rollicking 1600s melody, Kemp's Jig. Both are great dances by Binghamton's own Gary Roodman (BU statistician turned prolific choreographer). Have to note that the only dances we are doing these days are "Trip to the Living Room" or "Trip to the Kitchen!"
- Turn of the Tide see Far Away
- Turning By Threes see Far Away
- Wa' is Me see Terpsicourange
- Walpole Cottage
A rollicking tune and dance by the irrepressible English dance choreographer Pat Shaw.
- Weep On
Through the magic of technology, Lee plays a duet with Kim Van Norstrand on this supremely sad hymn.
- Well Done, Jack see Kneeland Romp
- Well Hall see Epping Forest
- We're Not Broken / Pandemic Panda
Two tunes by Rachel Bell, appropriate for the joyous and hopefully permanent reprieve from the pandemic -- We're Not Broken, taken from the words of Rachel's bandmate Karen Axelrod, as music continues to heal us and get us through all kinds of tough times.
The second tune is Pandemic Panda, heralding the stuffed dance partner some employed during the year of virtual dances in one's kitchen or living room.
- Whately Barn
Whately Barn is a dance by Gary Roodman to Richard's Reminder by Debbie Jackson. Gary notes that Whately Barn is a dance barn in Whately, MA, used frequently for English Country dancing. It is owned by the generous and welcoming Flora and Richard Chamlin. Watch it danced here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvchqjS5SE0
- Whistling Swans
A beautiful melody by fine violinist Hope Grietzer of Owego. It is the title tune of one of her CDs.
- White Wheat
Mary Hopkin, who sings with unadorned beauty, jokes that this is just another happy Welsh folk song. Hear her version at: https://youtu.be/ZXpUkO600HU
"Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn" (English: Watching the White Wheat) is an 18th-century traditional Welsh love song relating the tragic love affair between Wil Hopcyn and Ann Thomas from the village of Llangynwyd in Glamorganshire. Because Wil was only a farm laborer, Ann's mother rejected him as a suitor and forced her daughter to marry another. As with most Welsh folk songs, it ends with death from a broken heart. It was collected from the oral tradition in the 1830s and was first published in 1844. The English Country Dance is called White Wheat, choreographed by Britain's Hazel Moir. Our version features the deep tones of the cello.
- Wibsey Roundabout / On the Carpenter's Porch
Going in circles? Wibsey Roundabout is a clever five-couple circle dance by Gary Roodman to Hugh O'Donnell by O'Carolan. Here is a video from the Berea College folk school in Kentucky. Musicians are Earl Gaddis, viola, Dean Herington, piano, with caller Gene Murrow. youtu.be/HsHWFSO3R98.
Hope Grietzer, fine fiddler from Owego, says this is one of her favorite tunes. “I learned it from the composer, hammered dulcimer player Princess Harris, and her band's fiddle player, Kelly Wertz, at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS back in the late 90s. Princess recorded it with her band, The Plaid Family, on their "The Flying Book" CD in 1994.” In their liner notes, it says that it was written "In honor of the place where Princess first began performing – the porch of the carpenter's shop at Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, Kansas."
- Winter Memories / Winter Dreams
Winter Memories by Colin Hume and Winter Dreams by Jonathan Jensen.
A Xmas Day salute to our dance friend and Barbara McGrew of Burlington, who, born on Christmas, always has a birthday party to go to! She has generously extended hospitality to us in her beautiful home for many years running!
- Wood Duck, The
The Wood Duck was written by Dutch composer and choreographer Fried de Metz Herman in 1978 and inspired by ducks seen during the blizzard of 1978 ("the beauty of his feathers defies description").
- Yellow Stockings / Zephyrs and Flora
You won't believe how many times the Yellow Stockings tune has been recycled by the Scots, English and Irish since the 1600s! Other names for it include Cuddle Me Cuddy, Cuma Liom Cummilum, Fairest Put on Awhile, I Don't Care), Hey My Kitten, Humors of Whiskey, The Kitten, Mad Moll, The Peacock Follows the Hen, Riding a Mile, Up and Down Again, or the Virgin Queen.
Henry Playford first printed it in 1698 in his Dancing Master (under the title Mad Moll, a dance named for Mary "Moll" Frith, an amateur actress and professional pickpocket).
As a vocal melody, it can be heard in Charles Coffee's ballad opera Boarding School (1733) and The Cobbler of Preston (1732), and it was published in a folio of songs from Henry Brooke's Jack the Gyantqueller (London, 1749). Thomas Moore used it as the vehicle for his lyric song Fairest Put On Awhile. Sir John Hawkins mentioned the tune in this quote regarding tavern entertainment from his 1576 A General History of the Science and Practice of Music.
Here it is, danced in 2018 at Pinewoods Camp. The goal of this dance is to achieve warp speed in the cross-hand-hold swing!! www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_ny8te44do.
Just to add to your storehouse of useless information, the French village of Vaucluse, Provence, was famous for yellow dyes made from dyer's rocket or mignonette. Other sources of yellow dye include the berries of buckthorn, used for illuminating manuscripts, the European smoke tree and the bark of the black oak. India's most renowned yellow dye is turmeric. In England, saffron was not only an expensive and highly prized spice, but also a source for yellow dye. In Shakespeare's time, the wearing of yellow stockings signaled illicit sexuality and marital betrayal. And since Elizabethan times, yellow has been equated with jealousy. Today, it signals cowardice.
The sprightly tune Zephyrs and Flora is from 1728.
- Zephyrs and Flora see Yellow Stockings