The Willow Tree

Source: Hugh Rippon; published in English Dance & Song, Autumn 1968. Volume XXX. No. 3
Formation: Longways; Eight Couples; Proper

A1 Top Man Gallop Down with his Partner, then Gallops Up with Bottom Woman
A2 Bottom Man Gallops Up with Top Woman, then Gallops Down with his Partner
B1/2 End Couples Strip the Willow, Meet in the Middle, Hold Hands in a Circle and Raise their Hands to Make Arches
C1 New End Couples Lead their half of the Set into a Single Cast, go through and Arch, Meet their Partner, go through a second Arch to Home
C2 Partner Swing

In his book, "The Willow Tree", Hugh gives Dusty Windowsills and The Battering Ram as sample tunes, and specifies 48 bar double jigs.

Although the article says that the bottom couple should start the Strip the Willow with the left arm, and be on their own side for the arches, these elements are not specified in the book, and I have never seen anyone do them - the default for StW is a right arm start, and the swing will sort out which side you are on.

Hugh got the idea for the second half of the dance from Gort met Stroop, a Dutch dance. The first half goes way back to pre-1650 in The Old Man with a Bed full of bones.

Original page from English Dance & Song, Autumn 1968

The Willow Tree

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