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Dance Jenny dang the Weaver 3235

Also known as “Musselborough”.

Reel · 32 bars · 2 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 21)

Devised by
Jno Johnson (18C) (1748)
44 44 80 88 = 62% (1 turn), 43% (whole dance)
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Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
Jenny Dang The Weaver

(or “Musselborough”)

At Willie’s weddin’ o’ the green,
   The lasses, bonnie witches,
Were busked out in aprons clean,
   And snaw-white Sunday mutches;
Auld Mysie bade the lads tak’ tent,
   But Jock wad na believe her;
But soon the fool his folly kent,
   For Jenny dang the weaver.

In ilka country dance and reel
   Wi’ her he wad be babbin’;
When she sat down, then he sat down,
   And till her wad be gabbin’;
Where’er she gaed, or butt or ben,
   The coof wad never leave her,
Aye cacklin’ like a clockin’ hen,
   But Jenny dang the weaver.

Quoth he, my lass, to speak my mind,
   In troth I needna swither,
Ye’ve bonnie e’en, and, gif ye’re kind,
   I needna court anither!
He humm’d and haw’d, the lassie cried “pheugh,”
   And bade the coof no deave her,
Syne crack’d her thumb, and lap and leugh,
   And dang the silly weaver.

The above song was written by Sir Alexander Boswell of Auchinleck (1775–1822), son of the Johnsonian biographer James Boswell. One of the elegant literati, Boswell wrote a number of poems, the best known being his variation on “Jenny’s Bawbee”, “Good Night, and Joy Be wi’ Ye A’” and “Bannocks o’ Barley Meal” (See “Argyll’s Fancy”). He set up a private printing press on his estate and reprinted various rare works preserved in the Auchinleck Library. He was a member of Parliament for Ayr and Lieutenant-Colonel of the Ayrshire Yeomanry Cavalry. It was Boswell who masterminded the erecting of the monument to Robert Burns that stands on the banks of the Doon at Alloway. A political conservative, Boswell had published in a Glasgow newspaper a poetic satire against James Stuart of Dunearn, a leading Edinburgh liberal. Incensed by Boswell’s sarcasm, Stuart challenged the author to a duel which took place at Auchtertool in Fife and which resulted in Boswell’s death from a pistol shot.

The tune is supposed to have been composed about 1746 by a Mr Gardner, minister of the parish of Birse in Aberdeenshire, who was also something of a musician. As he was playing one of his own compositions on his fiddle one evening his attention was diverted by a heated altercation between his wife and the manse handyman, formerly a weaver. When he saw his enraged wife beating the handyman with a kitchen utensil, he named his new tune “Jenny Dang the Weaver”. This is an apocryphal, albeit amusing, story since the tune dates well before 1746. It was used by Allan Ramsay for “O Mither dear, I gin to fear” in William Thomson’s Orpheus Caledonius, 1733 edition.

As to the second title, “Musselborough”, a humorous old song to the tune of “Jenny Dang the Weaver”, is found in David Herd’s Ancient and Modern Songs, published in 1776, which begins:

As I came in by Fisherraw,
   Musselburgh was near me;
I threw my mussel-pock aside,
   And courted wi’ my dearie.
Up stairs, down stairs,
   Timmer stairs fear me;
I thought it lang to lie my lane,
   When I’m sae near my dearie.

Jenny Dang the Weaver Colin Dewar and his Scottish Dance Band Book 12. LP+ 3 R32 42:27 36.8
Jenny Dang the Weaver Bobby Brown and The Scottish Accent Book 12. CD 3 R32 84:41 35.1
Jenny dang the Weaver 2/4L · R32
1M+2W turn RH 1½ to exchanged places ; 1W+2M repeat (2x,1x)
Repeat [1–8] to own places
1c down the middle (2c up) ; 1c up the middle, turn LH to 2pl
2c+1c R&L
Jenny dang the Weaver 2/4L · R32
1M+2L turn RH 1.1/2 times, 1L+2M turn RH 1.1/2 times
1s & 2s repeat above Fig
1s lead down, back to 2nd places & turn LH
2s+1s R&L

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Twice in a 2 couple set.

Added on: 2020-04-16 (Murrough Landon)
Quality: Demonstration quality

NameDateOwnerLast changed
MkeScd 2023_08_07 2023-08-03 Terry Garner Aug. 4, 2023, 12:31 a.m.
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2011 Ball Scott Marsalis Jan. 20, 2012, 2:06 p.m.
Darmstadt_2017_09_25 2017-09-25 OnYourToes Darmstadt Sept. 20, 2017, 8:16 p.m.
Darmstadt_2015_11_30 2015-11-30 OnYourToes Darmstadt Nov. 29, 2015, 7:06 p.m.
Forqueux - May 2024 2024-05-10 Kristian Vestli May 5, 2024, 9:19 p.m.
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RSCDS Book 12 Ward Fleri Oct. 12, 2021, 9:37 p.m.
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MkeSCD 2023_09_25 2023-09-22 Terry Garner Sept. 22, 2023, 10:50 p.m.
MkeSCD M-T Dance Party 2023_11_08 2023-10-27 Terry Garner Oct. 27, 2023, 11:12 p.m.
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Darmstadt_2016_11_21 2016-11-21 OnYourToes Darmstadt Nov. 18, 2016, 8:20 p.m.
Beginner Dances Emma Sellke Sept. 23, 2023, 2:19 p.m.
RSCDS-LA Zoom Class, 2020-07 July 2020-07-31 Tony McQuilkin Nov. 9, 2021, 7:13 p.m.
2015-11-21 Paris 2015-11-21 Aliénor Latour Nov. 5, 2015, 1:52 p.m.
MkeSCD M-T class 2023 Fall 2023-11-05 Terry Garner Nov. 6, 2023, 3:12 p.m.
Dances for two virtual couples 2020-07-14 Tovar - March 14, 2023, 2:10 a.m.

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