Volume 20 #4
The Scottish Country Dancer
January/February 2004

Articles in This Issue
    • Teacher's Message
    • Sign up For Class!
    • About One of Our Dances
    • Calendar of Events
Teacher's Message
by Marge van Nus

Many, many thanks to Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers for sharing our dance with numerous community organizations. You have danced 33 times this past year, from the Airport (PDX) to Westfield Shopping Town (almost A to Z!). WOW!! AND we actually had more requests than we could honor.

Ghost Stories was a first for us; fun for us all, and it gave a great boost to our treasury. A special thank you to the children who participated with us. Dancing for Westfield Works Wonders was gratis this time; however, it could become a fund raiser for us if we so desired. The hour we danced went by so quickly!! Time does fly when we are having good fun!

We have a standing invitation to dance for Art Walk/Alive After Five in downtown Vancouver. They really enjoyed our dancing. That added exposure is what lead to more requests during the summer and fall.

I stand in awe, and salute you all for dancing so many times over and above our usual activities!

To every one of you, and your families, a very Good, Healthy New Year,

Happy dancing, Marge

Sign up For Class!

This is just a reminder to be sure to sign up for class. The course number is EN0290; the cost is $60 for residents of Vancouver City, $66 for those outside the city. Please try to register before January 7th.

To register, just call 696-8236; you can also walk, mail, or fax-in your registration. For more information, see the Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation catalog. The class is listed under Adult Enrichment.

About One of Our Dances

The following is an article our teacher, Marge, posted on the bulletin board in the class, about one of the dances on our Dinner Dance program, "The Sow's Tail". It is from RSCDS Bulletin No. 63 - "Amendments to Publications". -ed.

The Sow's Tail

The proper title is The Sow's tail to Geordie -- from a Jacobite song of the early eighteenth century which was a scurrilous lampoon of George I and his mistress, Madame Kilmansegge, whom he brought with him, along with the rest of his belongings, from Hanover. The complete song is to be found in Hogg's Jacobite Relics. Madame Kilmansegge, or the Countess of Darlington as she became, was called the 'The Elephant' in England, a nickname suggested by her ample proportions. The Scots Jacobites, however, were not so fastidious and called her 'The Sow'. Here are some verses from the song:

    It's Geordie's now come hereabout,
    O wae light on his ugly snout!
    A pawky sow has found him out,
      And turned her tail to Geordie.
        The sow's tail is till him yet,
        A sow's birse will kill him yet,
        The sow's tail is till him yet,
        The sow's tail to Geordie.
    It's Geordie he gat up to dance,
    And wi' the sow to take a prance,
    And aye she gart her hurdies flaunce,
      And turned her tail to Geordie.
    It's Geordie he sat down to dine,
    And who came in but Madam Swine?
    'Grumph! Grumph!' quo' she, 'I've come in time,
      I'll set and dine wi' Geordie.'
    It's Geordie he lay down to die;
    The sow was there as weel as he:
    'Umph! Umph!' quo' she, 'he's no for me,'
      And turned her tail to Geordie.

The tune is a 'mild' Scottish Measure, and is published in McGlashan's Collection. Burn's liked it and wrote a dialogue duet to it for Thomson entitled 'O Philly, happy be that day'.

The Gows published the tune in Strathspey style with variations 'for the Piano Forte, Violin &c' in their Second Collection (1803), and this is the version used by the R.S.C.D.S. for the dance. It is not precisely correct to assign the tune to Niel Gow (as the Society has done); 'Niel Gow's Set' would have been more accurate.


Calendar of Events

Jan 7 - Apr 28, 2004: Winter term of Vancouver USA Dance Class
Marshall Community Center, Oak/Elm Rooms, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA, Wednesdays, 7:45-9:15pm. The cost will be $60 for residents of Vancouver City, $66 for those outside the city. The course number is EN0290. Please try to register before January 7th. To register, call 696-8236; you can also walk, mail, or fax-in your registration -- see the Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation (P & R) catalog. The class is listed under Adult Enrichment.
Jan 10: Portland SCD Dance Party
7:30 pm, Tigard Grange 13770 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard. (Music from CDs and tapes) $4.00
The program:
  Light and Airy       BJ  4 #5
  Bea's Delight        IR  43 #7
  Bedrule              BS  33 #7
  Pigeon on the Gate   IJ  Dunedin V2
  The Sailor           BIR 24 #4
  Casting Glances      IS  Wilson
  Surprise Dance
  Red House            IR  7 #2
  Jimmy's Fancy        BS  14 #11
  Cranberry Tart       IJ  Glasspool
  Blue Bonnets         BJ  3 #5
  Argyll Strathspey    IS  35 #3
  Reel of the 51st     BR  13 #10

Feb 14: Portland SCD Dance Party
7:30 pm, Tigard Grange 13770 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard. (Music from CDs and tapes) $4.00.
The Program:
  The Sailor                BR  24 # 4
  Argyll Strathspey         IS  35 # 3
  Light and Airy            BJ  4 # 5
  Bees of Maggieknockater   IJ  Drewry
  Balmoral Strathspey       BIS 22 # 3
  The Peat Fire Flame       IR  Drewry
  Surprise Dance

  Pelorus Jack              IJ  41 # 1
  Bridge of Nairn           BIS 13 # 11
  Red House                 IR  7 # 2
  The Jubilee Jig           BJ  RSCDS Leaflets # 19
  Ceol na Mara              IS  Clindinning
  The Montgomeries' Rant    BIR 10 # 1
Feb 21: Vancouver USA SCD Annual Dinner Dance

With many dances from the 1700's, our theme this year is "Tartan(ic) and Old Lace!". Semi-formal attire. Live music will be provided by Scottish Rose. 5:30-11:00pm at Luepke Center, 1009 E McLoughlin Blvd. Dinner 5:30pm, Family dancing 7pm, Grand march and dance 8-11pm. Meat and beverages will be provided. Diners, please bring a dish to share. Adult dinner and dance: US$14; Youth (13-18): US$5; 12 and under free; Dinner only: US$7; Dance only: US$7.

Contact Van Meter Hord 360-699-2174 or Margaret van Nus 360-892-4366 .
The Program:
  Cold and Raw              J  Bk V 12   (1718)
  The Braes of Breadalbane  S  Bk XXI 7  (1795)
  Sleepy Maggie             R  Bk XI 5   (c.1755-60)
  The Gentle Shepherd       J  Bk XVII 5 (??)
  Land O' Cakes             S  Bk XXIX 1 (1793)
  Red House                 R  Bk VII 2  (1731)
  Frog in the Middle        J  Bk MMMII 10 (??)
  The Sow's Tail            S  RSCDS 1965  (1748)
  West's Hornpipe           R  RSCDS 1965  (1797)
  Mrs. Stewarts Jig         J  Bk XXXV 1   (1986)
  Argyll Strathspey         S  Bk XXXV 3   (1985)
  The Cumbrae Reel          R  Bk XXVIII 8 (??)
  Old Nick's Lumber Room    J  Bk XXVI 6 (1759)
  Jimmy's Fancy             S  Bk XIV 11 (1751)
  Duke of Perth             R  Bk I 8    (1827)
Mar 13: 25th Anniversary Workshop and Ball, Portland
Celebrating 25 years of dancing, friendships, and memories.

Teachers: Ruth Jappy, and Wes Clindinning. Music: Lisa Scott, Calumn MacKinnon, Leslie Hirsch

Registration forms will be available in Januay. For more information or registration forms, please contact Debbie McRobert at 503-620-3034, or Linda Gertz at 503-692-5963.
Mar 13: Playing Music for Scottish Country Dancing
10am - 4pm: A workshop with Alasdair Fraser, fiddle, and Muriel Johnstone, piano, for all musicians. 7pm, dance with music provided by Alasdair, Muriel, and workshop misicians. Cost: $45 (includes workshop, lunch, and evening dance). Some scholarships may be available. For information: contact Heather MacKay at 510-653-7507, or . Click here to see the flyer.

Albany Veterans Memorial Building
1325 Portland Ave.,
Albany, California

Mar 26-28: 28th Annual Workshop and Ball
The Vancouver Island Scottish Country Dance Society invites you to their 28th annual workshop and ball weekend in Victoria, BC. Teachers: John Drewry from Scotland; Mary Murray from Vancouver, B.C.; and Fiona Carnie from Calgary, Alberta. Musicians: Ken Nattrass and Ron Krug from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
They are offering a wonderful weekend of dancing at two venues: Friday night Ceilidh at a new larger location - the Edelweiss Hall, and on Saturday, enjoy classes at multi-levels in the morning and choose from specialized areas in the afternoon.
The Saturday evening Dinner and Ball will be at the most popular Ward Room overlooking the wonderful harbor and straits, and the Sunday morning Social and Brunch across the road in the Chief and P.O.'s Mess with the same grand view.
For more information, registration dates, and fees, contact the registrar, Mike Hanna, at . Also, you can visit the webpage describing the ball at http://www.viscds.ca/springball.html.

"And how is your new Minister getting on?" the Scottish villager was asked.
"0h fine, I think," was the reply, "but he's hardly settled in yet."
"But they tell me he is one of the kind that doesn't believe in Hell."
"Well," came the grim rejoinder, "He'll not be here long before he changes his mind."

  Do you have an item of Celtic interest you would like to see in print?  
  You can contact me in any of the following ways:  
  By mail:  
  John Shaw
  PO Box 2438
  Battle Ground, WA 98604
  By email:  
  The Scottish Country Dancer is a bi-monthly publication of the Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers, a non-profit educational organization. For changes of address, please contact John Shaw, PO Box 2438 Battle Ground, WA 98604, . The editor reserves the right to alter or edit any material submitted for publication for reasons of taste, style, or clarity. All materials for publication should be sent by email to the editor at the address above, preferably in straight text. Deadline is one week before the end of the month prior to publication date. Editors of other newsletters may use or adapt any materials in the Scottish Country Dancer unless a specific copyright notice is included. Please credit author and original source.
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