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Stripping the Willow

GUEST,Big Al Whittle 09 Dec 20 - 02:37 PM
Joe Offer 09 Dec 20 - 03:22 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Dec 20 - 03:56 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Dec 20 - 04:18 PM
leeneia 09 Dec 20 - 05:48 PM
The Sandman 09 Dec 20 - 06:10 PM
The Sandman 09 Dec 20 - 06:13 PM
Sarah the flute 09 Dec 20 - 06:32 PM
Joe G 10 Dec 20 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 10 Dec 20 - 05:44 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Dec 20 - 10:11 AM
Long Firm Freddie 10 Dec 20 - 10:12 AM
Long Firm Freddie 10 Dec 20 - 10:16 AM
Jos 10 Dec 20 - 10:43 AM
leeneia 10 Dec 20 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,JHW 10 Dec 20 - 04:51 PM
Mo the caller 10 Dec 20 - 05:26 PM
Steve Gardham 11 Dec 20 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Peter 11 Dec 20 - 10:06 AM
The Sandman 11 Dec 20 - 10:44 AM
Sarah the flute 11 Dec 20 - 11:18 AM
Joe G 11 Dec 20 - 11:23 AM
Mo the caller 11 Dec 20 - 01:54 PM
The Sandman 11 Dec 20 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Chris Peacock 11 Dec 20 - 02:25 PM
DaveJohnson 11 Dec 20 - 06:40 PM
Mo the caller 12 Dec 20 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 12 Dec 20 - 11:52 AM
The Sandman 12 Dec 20 - 12:30 PM
Mo the caller 12 Dec 20 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Dec 20 - 02:30 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Dec 20 - 03:01 PM
The Sandman 14 Dec 20 - 02:25 AM
The Sandman 14 Dec 20 - 02:31 AM
The Sandman 14 Dec 20 - 02:44 AM
BobL 14 Dec 20 - 03:17 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 14 Dec 20 - 03:27 AM
The Sandman 14 Dec 20 - 05:05 AM
Mo the caller 14 Dec 20 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 14 Dec 20 - 08:37 AM
The Sandman 14 Dec 20 - 12:58 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Dec 20 - 02:41 PM
Mo the caller 14 Dec 20 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,JHW 14 Dec 20 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,CJB666 14 Dec 20 - 05:17 PM
GUEST 14 Dec 20 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,CJB666 14 Dec 20 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Julia L 14 Dec 20 - 10:10 PM
BobL 15 Dec 20 - 05:05 AM
leeneia 15 Dec 20 - 11:37 AM
The Sandman 17 Dec 20 - 12:06 AM
The Sandman 17 Dec 20 - 02:06 AM
GUEST 17 Dec 20 - 02:06 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Dec 20 - 02:07 PM
The Sandman 17 Dec 20 - 04:02 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Dec 20 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Jerry 20 Dec 20 - 04:42 AM
Mo the caller 20 Dec 20 - 06:51 AM
Jos 20 Dec 20 - 08:55 AM
Tattie Bogle 20 Dec 20 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Jerry 21 Dec 20 - 02:36 PM
Mr Red 23 Dec 20 - 08:11 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Dec 20 - 10:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 20 - 11:24 AM
Mo the caller 23 Dec 20 - 11:26 AM
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Subject: Strippimg the Willow
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 02:37 PM

Very nice little section in Bargain Hunt today about Stripping the Willow as practised in the Somerset Levels.


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Subject: RE: Strippimg the Willow
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 03:22 PM

Gotta say I had no idea what "Stripping the Willow" was. I figure it might be something kinky that Bargain Hunters do in Somerset. Wikipedia says it's a country or barn dance, so I guess it's not all that kinky. Guess I'll have to look elsewhere for titillation.....


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Subject: RE: Strippimg the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 03:56 PM

Hi Joe,
You're mixing it up with 'Strip the Widow' which is a completely different dance;-)


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Subject: RE: Strippimg the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 04:18 PM

My favourite dance is Drops of Brandy which is all stripping the willow, and probably my favourite set of dance tunes switching from schottisches to slip jigs and getting progressively faster. There's another modern dance by Hugh Rippon 'Willow Tree' for eight couples which I also like that contains a short strip the willow.

Drops of Brandy is a quintessential Scots dance but a great favourite at English ceilis. Our band used it as the penultimate dance to tire out the dancers before heading home.


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Subject: RE: Strippimg the Willow
From: leeneia
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 05:48 PM

Strip the Willow may be a tune. It's also a dance move, just as right-hand star and grand-right-and-left are dance moves.


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Subject: RE: Strippimg the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 06:10 PM

its a dance move that involves both men and women
https://vimeo.com/89897917


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Subject: RE: Strippimg the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 06:13 PM

I was playing for these dances 43 years ago, great fun


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Subject: RE: Strippimg the Willow
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 06:32 PM

I usually do an orcadian strip the willow for Scottish wedding ceilidhs


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Joe G
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 05:15 AM

Steve those are my two favourite dances too. Also enjoy Cumberland Square 8 - that can get pretty wild with the right band!


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 05:44 AM

Re 'wild dances' have you ever played for the Eightsome reel in Scotland?- makes those standard dances seem like the Veleta....


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 10:11 AM

JoeG
Absolutely love CSq8 and always followed it with Ninepins.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 10:12 AM

To underline Jim Bainbridge's post, here's a graphic, hilarious description of a Scottish Ceilidh dance:

Scottish Ceilidh

LFF


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 10:16 AM

Warning - There's a bit of language in the video I linked to which I'd forgotten about - apologies for any offence!

LFF


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Jos
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 10:43 AM

I got so caught up in the dance I didn't notice any "language" that might merit an apology. I'll just have to watch it again later.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 11:45 AM

He describes the terrifying experience from the perspective of a tourist, but I suspect he's telling what happened to a young, Scottish rock or punk fan when he wandered into the wrong pub.

He'd heard that kind of music and carrying-on existed, but never dreamed he'd find himself in the midst of it.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 04:51 PM

Been to ceilidhs where Jim Eldon played and called ie one man event, did Sandman do the same? (43 yrs ago)

Once at a dance at Applecross any dancer at random seemed to cross to the opposite sex line and do any turn. Jim B or anyone else been there?


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 05:26 PM

What had it got to do with Bargain Hunt?

My 'wedding ceilidh' STW dance is Barley Reel. Most of it is simple, The STW can be fudged if necessary as long as 1s get to the bottom.

Orcadian is good too, but everyone can soon end up at the far end of the hall.

Reg Holmes, who used to call in Cheshire until the end of the last century, described the figure as "The men go to the Ladies, the ladies go to the Gents."


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 08:13 AM

Rather than try to talk the dancers through if they are beginners, it's always a good idea to get a set up to demonstrate, and really only the top couple need to know what's going on, as long as the others have an inkling and are ready to be grabbed. (Drops of Brandy).


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 10:06 AM

"Reg Holmes, who used to call in Cheshire until the end of the last century, described the figure as 'The men go to the Ladies, the ladies go to the Gents.'"

If you have a caller who believes in gender free calling it is best to watch the car crash from the side of the hall. I have never seem strip the willow explained successfully to beginners without using gender specific terminology.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 10:44 AM

no i never called and played on my own


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 11:18 AM

I explain it by shopping!
We have a row of ladies shops selling ladies things eg diamonds, cup cakes, handbags, chocolate
And a row of mens shops selling man stuff from man sheds
There can be an assistant of either sex serving you
If you are the shop keeper you must not move out of your shop or you will get burgled!

Top couple go shopping.
They take the car and do a few handbrake turns while they decide which town to shop in
Using left arm Man will buy something for his partner in the Ladies shop and she will get something in the Mans shop for him
Shop keeper holds out their left arm enticing person into their shop in a cunning marketing exercise
After the turn of the purchase they go back into car with right arm to partner and discuss what they bought then off to the next shop in the street.

Next couple get shopping once the high street is clear because you don't want to queue in the shop!

I also adapt depending on audience to Tall People and Small People

At a wedding I will wait for bride and groom to return to top & get them to do a STW down the line on their own. Then all make a tunnel and bride and groom return to top but couples follow down and it sort of regenerates and then finish with just bride and groom running up the tunnel on their own

Mad but it works!


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Joe G
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 11:23 AM

Must admit it did take me a long time to get it!


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mo the caller
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 01:54 PM

Well I often call it gender free almost by default. 'Look at the people in a line beside your partner. You will work your way down the set turning each of them but coming back to your partner in between each'- 'possibly!'
But I also tell them not to worry if they turn on the wrong side. And if they aren't in segregated line it does make the mistakes less noticeable.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 02:11 PM

Country dancing should be sex free?if people start stripping the willow they might start stripping each other
out of curiosity has anybody ever called a dance in a nudist camp.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,Chris Peacock
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 02:25 PM

George Macdonald Frazer (author of the Flashman stories) writes a very amusing short story in his book "The General danced at Dawn" about an army unit in a barracks in North Africa during the Second World War. A visiting general persuades the members of the unit to perform an eightsome reel, and this eventually goes through the progression , ending with, I think, a one hundred and twenty eightsome reel, which includes non-military staff, German prisoners of war, etc., and culminates just as daybreak rises over the African desert. This, and in fact, the whole book are well worth the read.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: DaveJohnson
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 06:40 PM

About playing for a dance at a nudist camp...
In the 1980s I was booked with a band to play the New Year's Eve dance at a naturist camp on the Wollondilly River near here. We went into a huddle before the show started and decided to start out clothed and peel off if we thought it politic later..
Our fears were allayed as only one chap came along in the altogether and in retrospect I realised it is one thing to commune with Nature starkers and quite a different thing to socialise and dance.

Off on a tangent.. There was a well-known jazz band booked for a society wedding and the best man paid them extra to perform naked as the wedding was to have bride, groom and guests dressed similarly. They were ready to start. Up went the curtain. The room was full of society belles in their finery and their partners in penguin suits. What a great practical joke!


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mo the caller
Date: 12 Dec 20 - 09:32 AM

I wonder it the groom every spoke to the best man again. Sure the brides grandmother didn't.

Yes Mr Sandman. Country Dance can mean whatever you want it to mean. When I was younger I saw it as partly playacting a more chivalrous age, flirting with the knowledge that it wouldn't be taken as meaning anything. A younger generation see flirting on the dance floor as 'creepy'. And they are keen to be inclusive so some try to avoid using gendered terms. That can't be a bad thing, though it is something that some find it hard to get used to after years of dancing to gendered calling.
In any case gender-free dancing is not uncommon. At many dances women (willing to get up and dance) greatly outnumber men. If there are many young children it can be an advantage to arrange the sets differently. And soldiers and colonist danced with few women.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Dec 20 - 11:52 AM

What had it to do with Bargain Hunt

Well.... in Bargain Hunt, there was this feature about a chap in the Somerset Levels who Stripped the bark stuff off Willow wands. Then he wove the wands into a basket. He was very tradional. Beard ...everything.

It wasn't mentioned in the programme, BUT you could see how the dance move go its name. With a skilled willow stripper the bark sort of divided and shot off into strips of two going off to left and right.

hope this explains


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Dec 20 - 12:30 PM

beards traditional?or was it hairderessers being closed during lockdown


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mo the caller
Date: 12 Dec 20 - 03:44 PM

Thanks Al, that gives an interesting take on the figure


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Dec 20 - 02:30 PM

I've found a video that teaches how to dance Strip the Willow. Apparently it's not a dance move, it's a dance unto itself. It's fun to watch.

stw


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 20 - 03:01 PM

Hi Leeneia
As the very clear instructor says the dance is also called 'Drops of Brandy', by which it is known in England, and as the instructor says, it is danced quite differently at ceilis. The strict Scots version commences with the triple turn whereas the English or ceili version is one and a half turns. Also the ceili version is more often done with arming (linking arms) rather than a hand grip, or even more often an elbow grip at folk ceilis rather than those for general public or beginners. 'Strip the Willow' is indeed a dance component as mentioned above in, for instance 'The Willow Tree'. In such cases it usually consists of just the third part where the top couple strip the willow together to the bottom of the set. Also the 4-couple set is not always adhered to. The caller normally announces for 4 or 5 couples, but 6 is not unknown. It's useful to callers to have a few dances where the number of couples can be varied, or even for 'as many as will'.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 02:25 AM

it is best danced to slip jigs 9/8 of which drops of brandy is a 9/8 tune a dance tune. i believe it is in the thomas hardy collection


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 02:31 AM

leenia it is a move within the dance and a dance in itself
when i played for it it was ALWAYS known as drops of brandy drops of brandy
How to Dance Strip the Willow, or Drops of Brandy

Song:
Strip the Willow

Basic step:
(Highlands Schottische)
Laddie: Left, Right, Left, Hop (1&2 hop); Right, Left, Right, Hop (3&4 hop).
Strip the Willow at Cherokee castle

Strip the Willow at Cherokee castle

Lassie: Right, Left, Right, Hop (1&2 hop); Left, Right, Left, Hop (3&4 hop).

Starting position:
It is a longways set dance, and a set is 8-10 people. The set is dances with 4 or 5 couples in two lines with Laddies and Lassies facing each other

Single Reel:
With a short arm grip (grabbing forearm or hand to hand) Swing your partner around as you dance your basic step.
Right to Right will be clockwise, Left to left will be anti-clockwise (counter clockwise).

Memory Tip:
Your right hand is for your partner, your left hand is for moving down the line, or stripping the willow.

Dance Sequence:
1-8 The couple at the head of the lines reels right hand to right hand 1 ½ turns putting the Lassie facing the Laddie lineMerida , Scottish King Fergus, and Queen Elinor
1-4 The lassie joins Left to left with the next laddie in line and does a reel 1 turn, Her Laddie dances down the line to meet her
5-8 The Lassie catches her partner Right to Right and they dance a reel.

The couple continues in this manner until they reach the end of the line.
1-8 The couple reaches the bottom of the line and reels right hand to right hand 1 ½ turns putting the Laddie facing the Lassies line

Now the Laddie strips the willow back up the Lassie line, offering Left hand to each Lassie for a turn, and Right hand to his partner for a turn until they reach the top of the line.

1-8 The first couple reels right hand to right hand 1 ½ turns putting the Lassie facing the Laddie line, and the Laddie facing the Lassies line

Both partners will strip the willow down the line, Joining Left hand to left hand down the line and Right hand to right hand as they meet in the middle.

1-8 The couple reaches the bottom of the line and reels right hand to right hand 1 ½ turns and ending at the bottom of the line.

The couple at the top of the line will now repeat this sequence, and it will repeat until the song has ended.

Short hand description:

Top couple Reels, Lassie strips the willow down the Laddie’s line, Couple reels at the bottom, Laddie strips the willow up the line, Couple reels at the top, both partners strip the willow down the line, Couple Reels at the bottom and gets back in line as a new couple begins again at the top.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 02:44 AM

leenia
i seem to remember there were other dances that included a strip the willow section
it is primarily a dance move, because it occurs in other dances apart from drops of brandy.
this is an example of usage and abusage of language


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: BobL
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 03:17 AM

Must agree with Sandman, it's best danced to slip jigs. Sharp substituted hornpipes, partly (I believe) because a step-hop was easier for the kiddies to do, and partly because his Edwardian classically-trained pianists would have regarded 9/8 as outrageously exotic. In his Country Dance Books Sharp also found substitutes for other slip jigs such as "Up With Aily".

Incidentally Hardy notated the tune "Drops of Brandy", in common time with strange accentuation.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 03:27 AM

Would that be the version of Drops of Brandy that I have heard Dave Townsend and the Melstock Band do?

Robin


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 05:05 AM

no idea, if it is, its as silly as the women morris dance side that learned a dance from the last surviving dancer, who was bandy legged and couldnt dance properly.
it also reminds me of the preople who like to dance siege of ennis to jigs, the dance has its own tune very similiar to salmon tails but with an extra part, it should have seven steps in it , if you try dancing that top a jig it is not satisfactory , ideally its own tune or rattlin bog or even a reel


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 06:57 AM

Dancing it to 'drops of brandy' I would use a running step.
When calling Barley Reel to a slip jig at a beginners ceilidh where you have been using jigs and reels all evening I fund it useful to warn people that instead of 'Lines-go-forward-and lines-go-back--', it needs to be 'for-ward-and back-ward--'.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 08:37 AM

I lied about the beard. My official status is Unreliable Source.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 12:58 PM

mo, you have more experience of calling, i have only done it a couple of times years agomost of my experience had been in playing for dancing


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 02:41 PM

In Yorkshire and the North East going back to the 60s it always started with a set of schottisches slowly building up speed before launching into the slip jigs until breakneck speed was reached, but that was for the young and fit who knew the dance inside out. The High Level Ranters were the biggest influence on our ceili bands in the 60s onwards, until the southern hornpipe bands began to infiltrate.

Typical set
Keel Row
Kafoole-um
Washing day
Drops of Brandy
Foxhunters' Jig
Rocky Road.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 03:30 PM

Oh to be young and fit


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 04:56 PM

Re teaching a dance. In the Auvergne one year afer St.Chartier (mostly easy couple dances) went to a Village Hall dance. Display team arrived in costume. Did show dances then the team split and each man gathered a lady from the audience, each lady team dancer grabbed a man - so - everyone on the floor had an experienced partner to show him or her the ropes. Perfect.

I couldn't hum Drops of Brandy but I'd know it as soon as I heard it and I'd know to do Strip the Willow.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,CJB666
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 05:17 PM

Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Joe G
Date: 10 Dec 20 - 05:15 AM

Steve those are my two favourite dances too. Also enjoy Cumberland Square 8 - that can get pretty wild with the right band!

====

Here's Millom FDB with Cumberland Square Eight.

https://www.mediafire.com/file/h7av7we5clk2nkj/cumberland-square-eight-millom-folk-dance-band-mono.mp3

====


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 05:24 PM

Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Dec 20 - 02:11 PM

Country dancing should be sex free?if people start stripping the willow they might start stripping each other
out of curiosity has anybody ever called a dance in a nudist camp.

====

Yes, at a Naturist Camp - in a forest setting near Woking. They even let me camp overnight 'cos it didn't finish 'till well late. They had a club house, but insisted on starting off in an open-sided marquee. They all dressed up western style. No nudity - it was too cold. But the real killer (almost literally) was when the ground mist came down and the amp. and mic. started to 'tinge.' They really didn't want to go inside. How I - as caller - escaped electrocution is a moot point.

====


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,CJB666
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 05:27 PM

'tingle'


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 10:10 PM

Not about dancing, but performing at a nudist camp. A friend was asked to play for one of these groups and organized a pick-up group. When the band arrived, the bass player looked around and exclaimed "I thought you said they were Buddhists!"
JL


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: BobL
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 05:05 AM

Would that be the version of Drops of Brandy that I have heard Dave Townsend and the Melstock Band do?

The very one, BBCW.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 11:37 AM

abcnotation.com has tunes for Strip the Willow as a polka and in 9/8. I like the looks of the 9/8 tune and plan to try it on flute.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Dec 20 - 12:06 AM

yes when i play tune drops of brandy, in the second part i like to hit those high gs with attack staccato or stotty as ali anderson would say. what is the dance where there is a double strip the willow?


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Dec 20 - 02:06 AM

double stripthe willow ,perhaps my memory is playing tricks


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Dec 20 - 02:06 PM

9/8 Remember Blowzabella claiming they did tunes with time signatures like spanner sizes. British spanners of old.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Dec 20 - 02:07 PM

Dick, by double strip the willow do you mean the dance I mentioned above where the end couples (of 8) strip the willow towards the centre? If that is so it is called 'The Willow Tree' and was written by caller Hugh Rippon. The strip the willow in this case could be referred to as double as it equals the third movement in Drops of Brandy.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Dec 20 - 04:02 PM

yes thats it thanks


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Dec 20 - 04:34 PM

In case anyone wants to use it, here's the notation. If you decide to use it please credit Hugh Rippon.

8 couples longways
Top couple gallop to the bottom of the set and man exchanges his partner for bottom lady and they gallop back to top.
Bottom man and top lady gallop back to top of set and he retrieves his partner and gallops back to the bottom with her.
Top and bottom couples then double strip the willow to the centre where they join hands and form a circle of arches.
Second couple and 7th couple then cast off left and right at either end followed in line by the other two couples behind, and each line of 3 comes under the side arches to meet partner and back to new places where all swing partner to end of music.

x4

New top couple gallop down etc.

Once through the dance is usually plenty as it's quite long.

I would hesitate to call it to beginners without a good few who have danced it before to help.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 04:42 AM

I know this variant (starting from both ends) as the Double Gloucester, but not sure where that name came from, unless someone thought it was a cheesy old dance.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mo the caller
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 06:51 AM

I rather like the variant for an extra couple which gives more room in the middle by having 6 people arching. The 8 couple version is a bit squashed. I can't remember who suggested it (Martyn Harvey?) to avoid someone having to sit out, and I suspect you have to be careful to avoid a couple getting stuck at the middle.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Jos
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 08:55 AM

I'm sure I remember one chaotic evening, doing it for many more couples than that. It was a bit hectic, but fun.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 20 Dec 20 - 05:14 PM

The 2 Scottish Ceilidh Bands that I play in always finish the night (prior to Auld Lang Syne, of course!) with the Orcadian Strip the Willow, played to 6/8 jigs throughout. "Last Waltzes" have long since been dumped! If it's a really long line we may need to play the whole set of tunes twice through, or until the caller gives us the "cut throat" signal.
The "Strip the Willow" figure does occur in some other dances, including some versions of Virginia Reel (of which there are almost as many versions as callers!)


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 21 Dec 20 - 02:36 PM

Also in the Stoke Goulding Country Dance, for instance, as I recall.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Dec 20 - 08:11 AM

IME beginners usually take time to get it. It is not intuitive. I often say to beginners "Think double helix" and Oxford undergrads nod, and once the music starts - mayhem. But it is the only way to telegraph the move without explanations that would cut across what the caller is saying.

It is ironical that learning StW is quite a headache, yet the bark of the willow is rich in salicylic acid - natural asprin (or aspirin if you must).


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Dec 20 - 10:26 AM

As I said, with beginners I would not even attempt any complex dance movement or whole dance without a few 'dancers' to demonstrate. At a ceili or barn dance with paying customers there just isn't time for lengthy explanations. Luckily we usually had a few dancers who followed us around, but for private dances like weddings I would ask the people making the booking if there were likely to be any 'dancers' there, and if not I would keep it quite simple to squares circles and simple longways. Even Waves of Tory would be out.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 20 - 11:24 AM

Joe hadn't heard of it - perhaps its called something else in American folk Dance.


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Subject: RE: Stripping the Willow
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Dec 20 - 11:26 AM

Yes keep it simple at drunken weddings. Though there can be a feeling of satisfaction when you 'get' something tricky. My Waves of Tory alternative is a dance I call Waves of the sea. Long set, forward and back twice, cast and come up the middle, dip and dive until I shout swing. Start again from wherever you are (since the progression in WofT often goes wrong anyway). And I call Barley Reel unphrased and let them get to the other end of the set by whatever method they choose (show strip the willow, suggest leap frog or gallop or any variation). You have to judge it on the night.
If only we could, not called a dance since Burns Night.


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Mudcat time: 23 April 1:01 AM EDT

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