Moll In The Wad

Source: Sylvia Thursfield; published in English Dance & Song, Dec. 1953 Jan.1954. Vol XVIII. No. 3
Formation: Longways; Proper

A1 Foot It (8)
Two Changes of Rights & Lefts (8)
A2 Repeat to Place
B1 #1s Lead Down, Turn Alone (8)
#1s Lead Up and Cast Down One Place - #2s Move Up (8)
B2 In Gay Gordon's Hold: Double Cast to Progessed Places (16)

The tune goes back to the late 18th century. Details of its history, and what "Moll in the Wad" means, are in the The Traditional Tune Archive.

The first dance reference I know of is in "Campbell's 12th Book of New and Favorite Country Dances & Strathspey Reels" around 1797:

Moll In The Wad shows their interpretation of the dance.

It was common at the time to provide lots of different dance sequences to popular tunes. The Traditional Tune Archive lists a number of dance publications containing "Moll in the Wad". Unfortunately the ED&S article does not identify which manuscript they were working from for their interpretation.

"Foot it" probably meant "do some fancy footwork to impress everyone"; in its simplest form you can just Set Right & Left twice.

"Allemand" is more difficult since it has been used to mean completely different dance moves by different Dancing Masters at different times. Wilson (1816) uses "Allemande" to mean "Back to Back". Whenever callers today use "Allemande" in contra dances or square dances they mean a Hand Turn (and that is how I use it in these pages). In Scottish Dancing it means "Double Cast with a Gay Gordon's Hold to Invert the Set, then turn halfway to end Proper". The same concept is used in modern interpretations of other dances, such as Ap Shenkin. The ED&S interpretation shown here is very similar, but it is a full Double Cast. Without knowing the author of the MSS we can not be sure which version of Allemande was meant originally.

Original page from English Dance & Song, Dec. 1953 Jan.1954

Moll In The Wad

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