Gathering Peascods

From Cunnan
Revision as of 18:55, 14 March 2006 by HenryMaldon (talk | contribs) (initial version)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigationJump to search

Gathering Peascods is a dance from Playford's English Dancing-Master.

Steps and Movements Used

  • Doubles forward by the left foot and right (DL and DR) and back (DLb and DRb)
  • Turn Single (TS)
  • Clap at the end of a double
  • Sides (SdR and SdL)
  • Arms (AR and AL)



This dance starts with any number of couples (though it is more practical to limit the circle, perhaps to about seven couples or fewer) in a circle, man on the left and woman on the right.

First Verse

Holding hands around the circle and facing left, do two forward doubles around to the left, let go and turn single; repeat to the right.



2nd Strain

The men go once clockwise around the center holding hands, and end up back in their places. Then the women do likewise. (It is sometimes taught that one should turn single at the end of this figure, but this is not in any way supported by the Playford instructions. It may reasonably be regarded as an optional variation, suitable for experienced and agile dancers or for use in a small circle.)

Any footwork you like (as long as it gets you there without mishap).

3rd Strain

Men go forward to meet in the middle, and clap their hands. Women go forward to meet and clap, as the men go back out. Men go in again to meet and clap (see notes below), as the women go back out. Men turn single while going out to their places. Repeat this entire figure with reversed roles, the women going first.

DL Clap (men)
DL Clap (women) simultaneous with DRb (men)
DL Clap (men) simultaneous with DRb (women)
TS (men)
DL Clap (women)
DL Clap (men) simultaneous with DRb (women)
DL Clap (women) simultaneous with DRb (men)
TS (women)

Second Verse

Sides by the right with partners, turn single, sides by the left, turn single.



Do the first chorus with reversed roles, so that the women go first where the men went first before.

Third Verse

Arms by the right with partners, turn single, arms by the left, turn single.



As first chorus.


This version is more specific about footwork than the original Playford instructions. The kind of doubles used to circle around at the beginning is not specified in Playford, but it appears that both of the first two doubles must go the same way around the circle, because when the figure is repeated it goes "back againe". The doubles and the specific feet recommended in the third strain are conjectural, and may reasonably be replaced with other footwork.

The "don't clap" version

There is a version of the chorus in which each third clap is omitted. The explanation for this is that the Playford instructions do not mention a clap at that point. However, the usual form of that version includes claps at certain other points where the Playford instructions do not mention claps, even though they spell out who meets and who goes back.

The claps that might belong in this figure are either specified or not mentioned in the Playford instructions as follows: A clap is called for by name only once, the first time the men meet. The second clap is called for by reference to the first. The third and sixth claps are not mentioned, and are not done in the "don't clap" version. The fourth and fifth claps are also not mentioned, but they seem to be taken for granted and are usually if not always done in "don't clap" versions. If the fourth and fifth claps were omitted, the apparently implied symmetry of the figure would be destroyed.

If the author of Playford's instructions meant that some of these possible claps, though not mentioned, are still supposed to be done, then it would have been necessary to say specifically which potentially implied claps (if any) are not supposed to be done. But the instructions are not clear on either point. So it would seem that if any claps other than the first two out of six were to be done, then the author trusted the reader to fill in the claps at the appropriate moments, presumably by an uncomplicated analogy with the claps that are specified when men or women meet. This conclusion is supported by the general conciseness of the instructions—the author even used "as much" at one point, and later used "meet" for the same purpose when it would be shorter by just a few letters.

External Links