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Dance The Gathering 2419

Reel · 32 bars · 3 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 213)

Devised by
844 888 844 866 = 79% (1 turn), 59% (whole dance)
  • Pas-de-Basque, Skip-Change, Slip-Step
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
The Gathering

From the mists of time when the clan system began until after the unsuccessful Rising of 1745, the gathering was an established event of Highland life. It was the family reunion, the business conference, and the war games of the clan. Normally, the word was passed in the usual fashion, but in times of emergency, for warfare or guerilla action, the chief or chieftain issued the summons for the clan to gather at their traditional place of rendezvous by sending around the firey cross, the crann-tara, the messengers running in relays, up hill and down glen, shouting out the clan slogan.

Many of these summonses to a gathering have been set to pipe music, such as the Cameron “Cruinneachadh nan Camronach” (The Camerons’ Gathering), the MacColl “Ceann na Drochaide Moire” (The Head of the High Bridge), the Mackintosh “Creag Dubh Chlann Chatain” (The Black Rock of Clan Chattan), and the Robertson “Thainig Clann Donnachaidh” (The Robertsons Have Come).

In time of peace, the gathering usually involved Highland games of physical prowess and hunts which kept the men in fighting trim. (See “The Fife Hunt”) Often, however, several clans would meet together, intent upon war, and at those times the cause that united them often made strange bedfellows. Two of the most famous were in the interests of the Jacobites. One gathering was called by John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar, for 26 August, 1715, at the Braes of Mar in support of the cause of James VIII (III). The other great Jacobite gathering took place at Glenfinnan on 19 August, 1745, when Lord William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine, raised the Royal Standard, marking the spot as the gathering place for the Jacobite clans under the leadership of Prince Charles Edward. (See “The Eight Men of Moidart”) John Imlah (1799–1846) wrote, in the very worst excess of Jacobitism, a poem called “The Gathering” which is reproduced here only out of interest.

Rise, rise! Lowland and Highlandmen,
   Bald sire to beardless son, each come and early;
Rise, rise! mainland and islandmen,
   Belt on your broad claymores – fight for Prince Charlie;
      Down from the mountain steep,
      Up from the valley deep,
Out from the clachan, the bothie, and shieling,
      Bugle and battle-drum
      Bid chief and vassal come,
Bravely our bagpipes the pibroch is pealing.

Men of the mountains – descendents of heroes!
   Heirs of the fame of the hills of your fathers;
Say, shall the Southern – the Sassenach fear us
   When to the war-peal each plaided clan gathers.
      Too long on trophied walls,
      Of your ancestral halls,
Red rust hath blunted the armour of Albin;
      Seize, then, ye mountain Macs,
      Buckler and battle axe,
Lads of Lochaber, Braemar, and Breadalbin!

When hath the tartan plaid mantled a coward?
   When did the blue bonnet crest the disloyal?
Up, then, and crowd to the standard of Stewart,
   Follow your leader – the rightful – the royal!
      Chief of Clanronald,
      Donald Macdonald!
Lovat! Lochiel! with the Grant and the Gordon!
      Rouse every kilted clan,
      Rouse every loyal man,
Gun on the shoulder, and thigh the good sword on!

[This bears an uncanny resemblance to the versions of “Blue Bonnets” discussed in the article entitled thus. –A.]

The Disarming Act of 1747, which was repealed in 1782, proscribed the wearing of the tartan and outlawed the bagpipe as an instrument of war and, naturally, prohibited the gathering of the clans. After the accession of George IV in 1820 and his state visit to Scotland in 1822, gatherings and HIghland games once again came to be held. The clansmen were actually allowed to carry arms, but when swords were drawn with blood-letting in mind in 1826 in Dunkeld, the emphasis was placed less upon clan warfare and more on games. Queen Victoria made such peaceful gatherings popular and so they have contined.

The Gathering 3/4L · R32
1c cross RH, cast to 2pl (2c up) ; 2c+1c+3c circle6 L (2,1x,3)
All set to P | cross RH ; repeat, 1c finish facing 1cnrs
Set to and turn corners, finish between corners
Reels3{6} with the corners, start Lsh to 1cnr | 1c cross to own side (2,1,3)
The Gathering 3/4L · R32
1s cross RH & cast 1 place, 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round to left back to places
2s+1s+3s set, cross RH, set, 2s & 3s cross back while 1s turn RH to face 1st corners
1s set & turn 1st corners, set & turn 2nd corners
1s dance reels of 3 on opposite sides passing 1st corner LSh to start 1s cross RH to 2nd place own sides

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NameDateOwnerLast changed
Fado & SCD in Estoril Gala Ball (6 Dec 2014) 2014-12-06 Anselm Lingnau July 7, 2014, 11:56 p.m.
Scottish Flowers Hildesheim 2014-11-17 2014-11-17 Cord Walter Nov. 17, 2014, 11:06 p.m.
White Rose Ball, Scots Gathering, Canmore 2017-10-08 John Aitken Aug. 27, 2017, 8:27 a.m.
CGB Weekend Oberlethe: Advanced Class 2018-09-01 Anselm Lingnau Sept. 4, 2018, 12:19 a.m.
CGB Course AGM Oberlethe 2018: Paul Plummer 2018-09-02 Verena Ebling Sept. 4, 2018, 3:07 p.m.
LSCDC 2019-2020 2019-09-04 Gail Michener Sept. 18, 2019, 9:57 p.m.
Scottish Flowers Hildesheim 2014 Cord Walter Sept. 22, 2014, 10:27 p.m.
Unit 5 Dances Charles Liu March 4, 2015, 2:18 a.m.
SF Hildesheim 4 Paare Cord Walter April 29, 2024, 10:05 p.m.
BSCD Dances Taught 2019-2020 Jamie McDougall Sept. 4, 2019, 12:58 a.m.

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