Location: Momentum > Interesting Times > Dances

Interesting Times dances

Most of the Interesting Times tunes are associated with dances, but in different ways. Some of the tunes were published for specific dances in 17th and 18th century collections. These often had rather brief notes for the dances so these days dancers usually rely on modern interpretations, by Cecil Sharp in the early 20th century and others more recently. Some of the tunes have become associated with a different dance since publication, or have had a new dance written for them. Others aren't associated with a specific dance, but we've suggested where to find dances they could be played for. One or two aren't dance tunes at all. Music for all the tunes is also available.

This page isn't supposed to be exhaustive. We've given pointers to particular interpretations or versions that we know, but in many cases there are others as well so if you find a good version then please tell us. Similarly we've listed some places where you can buy the books we've mentioned, but there are probably others as well. Some abbreviations:

Black and grey
A PDM dance: see HS for interpretations.
However, the tune's now associated with the dance A trip to Kilburn. Both Black and grey and A trip to Kilburn are in PDM, and each dance has its own tune, but in CDB Cecil Sharp put his interpretation of A trip to Kilburn together with the tune for Black and grey. Sharp did this rather a lot, in fact: modern dancers usually dance Jacob Hall's jig to the tune Under and over and Step stately to the tune Jack pudding for the same reason, although many probably don't realise it.
The Dorset Triumph
A CDM dance.
Please note that the Interesting Times track is 4 × 24 bars to match this version of the dance, contrary to what the sleeve notes say!
De'il take the warr
Andrew Shaw's interpretation is published in The She Favourite, available from Andrew Shaw or the Anglo-American Dance Shop.
The King of Spain / Off she goes / Leaping Jack
General tunes: try CDM.
Mad Moll
A PDM dance.
Colin Hume's interpretation was inspired by Interesting Times.
Miss Thompson's hornpipe
A general tune: try CDM.
Wild boy
Robert Moir has written a dance to this tune inspired by Interesting Times.
The serpent with corners
Sharon Green has written a dance called Doctor Bending's Serpent to this tune inspired by Interesting Times (the notes and music are also available on Thomas' website).
Kevin Prigmore has written a dance called The Eastbourne Rover to this tune inspired by Interesting Times.
A trip to the Jubilee
A PDM dance.
The recruiting officer / Quick step in the Battle of Prague / Dr Fauster's tumblers
The recruiting officer and Dr Fauster's tumblers are PDM dances.
Philippe Callens' interpretation of The recruiting officer is published in Antwerp Antics, available from the Anglo-American Dance Shop or the Country Dance and Song Society (USA).
HS has other interpretations of these dances.
Please note that for the original versions of these dances the tune needs to be played more than the three times through we play in the Interesting Times medley.
Michael Turner's waltz
Bob Lilley suggests that this tune works well for his dance Melanie's Maggot.
La Schottische
A general tune: try CDM.
La Partida
Although this was originally a song people now use it as a general waltz. We've often played it for Karla's waltz by Peggy Hazell, published in Norfolk Capers and available from Amazon, The Music Room or the Anglo-American Dance Shop. Please note that this is a 32-bar dance, so you can dance it through 5 times to the Interesting Times version of La Partida which is 2½ × 64 bars.
Whimbleton House
A PDM dance.
Colin Hume's interpretation was inspired by Interesting Times.
Douglas Kennedy and Helen Kennedy's interpretation is published in the Country Dance Book New Series 1, available from Amazon.
HS has other interpretations.
Mr Cosgill's delight
A PDM dance.
Douglas Kennedy and Helen Kennedy's interpretation is published in the Country Dance Book New Series 1, available from Amazon, and HS has other interpretations.

This page is maintained by Thomas Bending, and was last modified on 28 March 2016.
Comments, criticisms and suggestions are welcome. Copyright © Momentum 2017.