Derry Down Derry

This is reputed to have been composed by one Mr. Ryan (from Cumberland) who emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1900s. It is reported that it was collected by a Mr. Mumford from Timaru in the South Island. It was subsequently contributed to the EFDSS 'Community Dance Manual - 7' by caller Tony Foxworthy. The dance was featured in a short article in the EFDSS magazine English Folk Dance & Song.

However it has not been recorded as actually having been danced in New Zealand.

In the UK in the 1980s it was revived in traditional style - that is with the dancers wearing clogs (wooden-soled shoes) - by the Reading Traditional Step & Dance Group aka the Reading Cloggies. This is their version.

Derry Down Derry

Set: longways - see diagram

Set starts thus:

Four Couples:

W1    W2     M3    M4

top

bottom

M1    M2     W3    W4

Shoes: clogs (or hard-soled shoes)

Music: 'Salmon Tails Up The Water', A (intro.) then AABB, ABB, AABB, ABB, AABB

Steps: hop L, step R, step L, step R, pause, hop R, step L, step R, step R, pause, ... (i.e. polka step: 'hop 1 2 3 pause', etc., throughout, even when inactive)

Note: Westmorland shuffle-off at end of dance during last 2 bars (i.e. tap L, step L, tap R, step R, tap L, step L, shuffle R, hop L, step R (back), step L, step R (close))

Dance: all hold hands about arm height, turn slightly towards direction of travel

A - Circle left
A - Circle right
B - Full reel of four on sides all passing right shoulders to start (i.e. M4 & M3 face, W2 & W1 face, W4 & W3 face, M2 & M1 face)
B - Single cast from top, meet partner at bottom, return to places up middle of set with 'coach & horses' promenade hold (i.e. hands behind backs).

A - Double cast as couples with 'coach & horses' promenade hold (i.e. hands behind backs) from top (1st cu. veering L, 2nd cu. veering R, 3rd cu. veering L, 4th cu. veering R), meet other cu. at bottom, come up the middle in lines of four, then all face partner:

Set is now at right angles to original:

W2    M4

top

M2    W4

bottom

W1    M3
M1    W3

B - Rights & lefts (in fours) without hands (starting with partner)
B - All swing partner (twice round), all swing nearest opp. (twice round)

All hold hands and 'thread the needle' thus:
A - 1st arch by 1st cu., W3 leads underneath, (W1 turns under raised arms at end)
A - 2nd arch by 3rd cu., M1 leads underneath, (M3 - ditto -)
B - 3rd arch by 4th cu., W2 leads underneath, (W4 - ditto -)
B - 4th arch by 2nd cu., M4 leads underneath, (M2 - ditto -).

A - All swing opp. (twice round), swing partner (twice round)
B - Rights & lefts (in fours) without hands (starting with partner)
B - Double cast as couples with 'coach & horses' promenade hold (i.e. holding hands behind backs) from bottom to original places cus. 4 veering L, 3 veering R; followed by cus. 2 veering L, 1 veering R. Meet at the top and cus. slot into position to reform the original set.

Set is now thus:

W1    W2     M3    M4

top

bottom

M1    M2     W3    W4

A - Single cast from bottom to original places (4th cu. leading)
A - Full reel of four as above  (face partners to start)
B - Circle left
B - Circle right (a bit faster - music speeds up), then all face in (*) with hands on hips and do a Westmoreland shuffle-off for last 2 bars.

Note: (*) for a public performance it is better to all face out for the shuffle-off.

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