The annotated Country Bumpkin

A five couple longsways set.

Longways means that you are in couples, facing your partner in a long line stretching away from the band. Or rather, not one long line but two lines with all the men on one side facing all the women on the other. If you look 'up' the set to see if the band's still there, the man have the ladies on their right (or read that also as the ladies have the men on their left)

The Music....

Typically the phrases of the music are described as 'A' parts and 'B' parts, the description of the dance refers to the four phrases. A1, A2, B1 and B2...

Here, you'll find it easy to recognise the A1 and A2 parts, the two 'B' parts can quite happily run together.

The Dance....

A1:

  • Hold hands in line, dance forward and back (4 bars).
  • Then forward again, cross over men making the arch ...
    ... and slowly turn to face (loads of time, another 4 bars)

A2:

  • First couple gallop down the middle of the set ...
    ... turn out and dance individually up the outside of the set. (4 bars down and 4 bars back)
  • If it is crowded, you'll find callers saying 'gallop down and back'. You miss a lot of the fun that way, if there is space make full use of it!

B1:

When back at the top of the set the first couple face each other and all the other people face up.

All the men are on one side and all the women on the other and the pattern is a sort-of up-side-down horseshoe.

  • The first couple give right hands and pull past, they will see another dancer coming towards them (it will be the second couple who are dancing up the set), give them left hand and pull past, there'll be someone else coming, give them the right hand and pull past. And so on until you run out of people.
  • ... This is what is known technically as a 'grand chain' but occasionally in this context 'trousers'

If you are second, third, fourth (etc) couple dancing up the set, you will be doing the same, right hand, left hand, right hand etc. You are dancing along the line of that up-side-down horseshoe (or according to Mr Pott's description, up one trouser leg and down the other)

B2:

  • When the first couple reach the bottom of the set (no one else to dance with, that will take about 8 bars) they make an arch and all the other dancers who are following them dance through the arch and up the set.
  • Number 2 couple are then at the top of the set, everybody will be in their new positions.
    In fact number 2 couple will probably 'just miss' the last couple who are crossing at the top of the set and making their way down to arch).
  • Swing until the time comes to start again...

More information

Origins...

Tunes...

  • There is one tune for this dance which outstrips all others, one worth being in anyone's top ten, Will's Way in the Committee Band arrangement. The tune gives such a feeling of majesty to the dance that you find yourself dancing 3 inches taller as soon as the music starts.

See also...