Red Herring Border Dances

Last updated: 2017/04/14 07:48

This page contains dance descriptions only. A collection of tunes can be downloaded in a separate file.

For PDF and MIDI files of individual tunes, follow the links for the individual dances.

Alexandra Park Road Stick Dance No. 22.5

Tune: Durham Rangers
Set: 6 dancers, 34“ (long) sticks, single steps
Source: New St. George Morris via the Bassett Street Hounds
Chorus: wind up and circle on beats 7-8. Dib back on beat 1, then partner F-B (beats 2-3), back (4), partner (5-6), back (7-8). Then swapping: circle around person diagonally to left, clashing on beat 3, then continue circling to partner's place by beat 6. Repeat entire chorus.
Figures: Once to Yourself (back up on beats 1-4), Cross Into Rounds, Interlocks, Solar System, Spaghetti Junction, Cross Into Rounds & Off

Tune: I Fought the Law, by Sonny Curtis
Set: 5 dancers, 34“ (long) sticks, single steps
Source: Jeff Bigler, Rickland Powell & Jeff Keller / Red Herring (2007)
Chorus: motorcycle hey for 5, then center clashes with #1, #2 (“I fought the law”), #1-4 clash with center (“and the law won”), center clashes with #3, #4 (“I fought the law”), #1-4 clash with center (“and the law won”)
Figures: “barrier” (or “barricade”) rounds, out to the left (“choo-choo”), bombast, starburst, tosses

Tune: Cock of the North
Set: long line, in pairs; 21“ (short) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Mystic Garland
Chorus: stick F-B for 16 bars (32 beats)
Sequence: hey for 8 bars (32 beats), chorus ; repeat getting gradually faster ad defessum.

Tune: Captain Bike, by Jeff Bigler
Set: 8 dancers; 34“ (long) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Jeff Bigler / Red Herring (2008)
Chorus: (Bar 1) clash with partner. (Bar 2) clash with partner while crossing to partner's place. (Bar 3) Turn right and clash with partner. (Bars 4-6) Move along the line to the next person & clash. When you reach the end, loop around & head back toward the top of the set. (Bars 7-8) turn out from middle to face partner. Repeat.
Figures: dance on & spokes (rounds with sticks in like spokes of a wheel), cross & swing, J-loops, motorcycle hey & off

Tune: Charlotte's Web by Char Morgan (2009)
Set: 6 dancers; 34“ (long) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Rickland Powell, Rex Powell, & Jeff Bigler / Red Herring (2011)
Chorus: 1. first triangles alternate toss (counterclockwise) and dib while second corners alternate dib & clash (all-in). 2. First triangle clash through (advance one spot in triangle) 3. second triangle clash through (advance one spot in triangle) 4. Everyone spins to advance one spot around circle. Repeat. (All spins over left (non-stick) shoulder.)
Figures: asterisk on, there & back again, inside/outside, egg beaters, wake up & off

Tune: Glise à Sherbrook (The Big Ship)1) (MP3 played by Jeff Bigler & A.J. Liuba)
Set: 4 dancers; 29“(medium) sticks2); skipping (single steps)
Source: (Connecticut) Not For Joes
Chorus: stick neighbor-partner-high/low, partner-neighbor low/high; repeat.
Figures: dance on & rounds, staggered back-to-back, hey, starburst, bombast, double time or rounds & off

Tune: The Bear Dance
Set: 4 dancers, two 29“ (medium) sticks per dancer, single steps
Source: Jeff Bigler & Rickland Powell / Red Herring (2012)
Chorus: clash self, clash circle, self, basket (right, forehand), self (facing out), basket (left, backhand), move one place counterclockwise, 1st corners (places, not faces) self, cross (with clash), 2nd corners self, cross (with clash), self, basket clash (left, backhand), move one place counterclockwise (back to home spot)
Figures: dance on (corners), square hey, escapement, bombast, tosses

Tune: Joy by Jeff Bigler (MP3 played by Jeff Bigler)
Set: 6 dancers; 29“(medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Jeff Bigler (2017)
Chorus: middles (#3 and #4) dance clockwise, clashing with stationary dancers on the downbeats of bars 1, 3, 5, and 7 as they pass. Everyone else starts with #1 clashing with #3, #6 clashing with #4, and #2 and #5 tossing diagonally across the set. Then the inner 4 dancers rotate one person to the left and class, then rotate left again and clash out or toss. Repeat.
Figures: dance on (TBD), through, staggered starburst, hexagonal bombast, triangles off

Tune: Return from the Waterside, by Andy Anderson
Set: 8 dancers; 29“ (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Andy Anderson & John Kirkpatrick
Chorus: EITHER clash with partner while stepping in place 1-2-123-, 1-2-123-, 123-123-, 1234567- OR clash (standing still) L L CL CR, R R CR CL, L CL CR R, CR CL L CL
Figures: single hey, hey in pairs, circular hey, Lichfield hey

Tune: The Idiot, by Stan Rogers
Lyrics: John Barleycorn, by Jon Berger
Set: 4 dancers; 21“ (short) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Karin Howe & Mike Miller (Bassett Street Hounds)
Chorus: B(H)-F(L) in pairs, B(H), F(L) in square; 4x
Figures: once to yourself/rounds, linear hey/square hey, linear bombast/square bombast

Tune: Five in a Bed, by Andy Anderson (Red Stags)
Set: 5 dancers; 29” (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: James Allwright (Red Stags)
Chorus: Set is always 4 dancers + 1 fool. Clash x-x-xxx- ground, then low, then high. “Roll over” (spin over your right shoulder) to the next place clockwise in the set. (#1 becomes the fool).
Figures: dance on & rounds, cross & swing, “dog bones”, square hey, stars, bombast

Tune: Julian of Norwich
Set: 6 dancers, two 29“ (medium) sticks per dancer, single steps
Source: Jeff Bigler / Red Herring (2015)
Chorus: 1st triangles clash self, right (basket), self, left (basket), spin & pass through beyond corner's place, loop & return to corner's place. 2nd triangles clash self, left (with right stick of dancer to your right), self while looping behind that dancer, left (with left stick of same dancer), twirl twice to advance one more place around the set. You are now corner-crossed (and triangles are switched). Repeat chorus to get home.
Figures: dance on (triangles), grand right & left, solar system, vines

Tune: The Fool and the Bag, by Jeff Bigler
Set: 8 dancers (can be done for 4); 29” (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Jeff Bigler / Red Herring (2009)
Chorus: clash, toss & cross, clash, clash 3x, clash, toss & cross, clash forehand-backhand-forehand
Figures: dance on/rounds, cross & swing, starburst, motorcycle hey (or bombast if done for 4) & off

Tune: Four Lane End (MP3 played by Jeff Bigler), by John Kirkpatrick ?
Set: 4 dancers; 29“ (medium) sticks3); bedlam stepping (step-hop-step-hop run-run-run-hop)
Source: John Kirkpatrick (via Debbie Lewis)
Chorus: sticking sequence by dancer #1, then #2, #3, #4: left-middle-right-middle-left-middle-right then forehand-back for next dancer to start sequence. End with repeated forehand-backhand, alternating between neighbor & partner.
Figures: dance on & rounds, high-low, multiples, turn & toss, tosses

Tune: Jolly Roger (?), by ???
Set: 6 dancers, 29“ (medium) sticks, single steps
Source: Beltane Border Morris (via YouTube video)
Chorus: middles clash forehand-backhand with 1st corners, then spin over left shoulder and clash forehand-backhand-forehand with 2nd corners. Then spin over left shoulder back to 1st corners. Repeat a total of 4 times.
Figures: square hey, implode & explode, solar system, bombast, rounds & off

Tune: Mairi's Wedding (traditional)
Set: 4 dancers, 29“ (medium) sticks(?), single steps
Source: Snowbelt Morris
Chorus: (needs description)
Figures: double hey, pinwheel, bent rounds, linear hey, binary hey

Tune: George Green's College Hornpipe, (MP3 played by Jeff Bigler) by George Green
Set: 4 dancers; 29“ (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Andy Anderson / Red Stags
Chorus: clash G-G-PPP4) [low], R-L-PPP [high], repeat
Figures: cross & swing, J-loops, mini-brook, dragon's bane, rounds (with sounds) & off

Tune: Moonstruck Marrow, by George Martin Fell Brown
Set: 8 dancers; 29“ (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: George Martin Fell Brown / Red Herring (2009)
Chorus: 1. Outside four go 1/4 of the way around CCW while middle four go 3/4 around CW; all clash. (Set is now rotated 90°.) 2. Top & bottom sets of four each go half-way around CCW; all clash. Repeat steps 1 & 2 three more times.
Figures: dance on/grand right & left, linear bombast (for 8), (slow) spaghetti junction, zipper hey & off

Tune: Morning Glory, (MP3 played by Jeff Bigler) by Andy Anderson
Set: 4 or 6 dancers; 21“ (short) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Andy Anderson / Red Stags
Chorus: “four” (1-2-123 four times); “1-move-2” (1-2-123, move, 1-2-123, 1-2-123)
Sequence: once to yourself, “four”, hey, “1-move-2”, cross & swing, “1-move-2”, hey, “1-move-2”, J-loops, “1-move-2”, hey, “four” & out with a “Hoy!”

Tune: Drowsy Maggie (slightly modified)
Set: 4 dancers; 29“ (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Robert Harris / Ockington Morris (via Mike Miller / Bassett Street Hounds)
Chorus: clash stick into the pile in the center center (on each beat), #1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, Wump-Wump-Wump (ground).
Figures: rounds, back-to-back (clash on beats #2 & 6), samurai (clash on beats #2 & 5), inside circle (clash on beats #1, 3, 5, & 7), square hey (clash forehand across, backhand up & down), right & left (clash on beats #1, 2, 3, 5, 6, & 7)

Tune: Over the Top (MP3 played by Jeff Bigler), by Jeff Bigler
Set: 4 dancers; 34“ (long) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Jeff Bigler / MOTley (2000)
Chorus: (1) high-low while (2) dib & toss; then clash while dancing through to corner's space. Repeat with (2) high-low while (1) dib & toss.
Figures: dance on & rounds, staggered back-to-back, J-loops, out-to-the-left, bombast

Tune: Scottiche a Bethanie
Set: 6 dancers; 34“ (long) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Boggart's Breakfast
Chorus: Clash across 3x. #1 & #6 cross over, #3 & #5 slide up, #2 & #4 slide down, clash 2x. Rotate new set 90 degrees so #1 & #6 clash (in middle) on beat 2. Reverse pattern. Repeat.
Figures: rounds, zig-zag (cross over), hey (A music 2x), posts, through & off

Tune: Scotch Polka” (MP3 played by Jeff Bigler & A.J. Liuba)
Set: groups of 3 dancers; 29“ (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Grimspound Border via Orange Peel
Chorus: clash around triangle: (1-2, 2-3, 3-1) 4 times, then everyone strike the ground 3 times.
Figures: #1 hey (around #2 and #3), left-hand star, #2 hey, “rabbit traps”, #3 hey, rounds & off (If dancing with multiple sets, all sets join into one large rounds)

Tune: Thème Vannetais, by Tri Yann
Set: 5 dancers; 34“ (long) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Boggart's Breakfast
Chorus: (B music) While stepping, middle (#5) dibs ground, then clashes 2x with #1, then repeat with #2, #3, and #4 (anticlockwise around the set). Meanwhile, each of dancers #1-4 (while stepping) dibs the ground and then either clashes once or raises the stick in the air. The order for #1 is: clash with center, raise stick in the air, clash left (once), clash right (once). #2 starts clashing right, #3 starts clashing left, and #4 starts raising stick in the air. Sequence is repeated twice.
Figures: (A music) once-to-yourself (A), cross over (B), reels (B), weave (B2), cross & pass (B), surreal (B), aardvark (instead of chorus)(A2), rounds & off (B vamp).

Tune: Flowers of Edinburgh
Set: 4 dancers; hankies; skipping (single steps)
Source: via Debbie Lewis
Chorus: dancers #1-#4 each wave & bow, then “small rounds”
Figures: large rounds, star, crossover (“dog bones”), bombast, large rounds & out with a “Hoy!”

Tune: The Keel Row (MP3 played by Jeff Bigler)
Set: 8 dancers; 29“ (medium) sticks; skipping (single steps)
Source: Ironmen (via Kearn Morris)
Chorus: H-L-H-L-H-L-FBF (all but last FBF while stepping)
Figures: forearm swings, star, casting (mirror) hey, motorcycle hey, casting hey, star, forearm swings, final chorus speeding up and ending with one dancer chasing the other off

1)
MOTley Morris often used a medley
2)
The Not For Joes use shorter sticks
3)
many other teams use 19”
4)
G = ground; P = partner

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