We're using cookies to make this site more secure, featureful and efficient.
The Strathspey web sites will be briefly unavailable on Saturday 13th July sometime between 11am and 2pm CEST. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Dance Meg Merrilees 4293

Reel · 24 bars · 2 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 21)

Devised by
Unknown (1827)
Intensity
44 88 88 = 83% (1 turn), 57% (whole dance)
Formations
Steps
  • Pas-de-Basque, Skip-Change
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
A discussion of this dance can be found in The Thistle #32.

A discussion of this dance can be found in The Thistle #32.

Meg Merrilees

Meg Merrilees was an important character in Sir Walter Scott’s popular novel Guy Mannering or The Astrologer (1815).

“Her appearance made Mannering start. She was full six feet high, wore a man’s great-coat over the rest of her dress, had in her hand a goodly sloe-thorn cudgel, and in all points of equipment, except her petticoats, seemed rather masculine than feminine. Her dark elf-locks shot out like the snakes of a gorgon, between an old-fashioned bonnet called a bongrace, heightening the singular effect of her strong and weather-beaten features, which were partly shadowed, while her eye had a wild roll that indicated something like real or affected insanity.”

Meg, who put the gipsy curse on Godfrey Bertram, the Laird of Ellangowan, had a real basis in fact. Scott used as his model one Jean Gordon who was born about 1670 at Kirk-Yetholm in Roxburghshire, a town which for centuries was the court, the Little Egypt, of the Scottish gipsies. Jean married Patrick Faa who was transported to the American plantations for the crime of fire-raising. Three of her four sons were hanged for sheep-stealing and the fourth was murdered by another gipsy, Rob Johnstone. Jean herself was reduced to begging from door to door and in 1732 was indicted as a common vagabond. She was a staunch Jacobite and it was after the Rising of 1745 that Jean, very old by then, arrived in Carlisle. It was a fair day and the town was crowded. The old gipsy spied the heads of the Jacobite rebels on top of the Scotchgate and she is reputed to have begun to sing the following words to the Loyalist song:

To wanton me, to wanton me,
Ken ye what maist wad wanton me!
To see King George hung up at Rome,
To see King Jamie croon’d at Scone,
To see England taxed and Scotland free.
This is what maist wad wanton me.

But to daunton me, to daunton me,
This is what sair does daunton me,
To see an ill-faur’d German loon
Keep wrangfu’ haud o’ Scotland’s croon,
And a’ laid low that high should be.
This is what sair doth daunton me.

The Carlisle mob attacked. They threw Jean into the Eden River. Each time she surfaced she would shout another Jacobite slogan and she was left by the rabble to drown. With a final burst of strength the old woman crawled up onto the river bank where she finally died of exposure.

Scott’s novels and narrative poems, though long and immensely involved in plot, are studded with unforgettable characters. During the latter half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, when the steamers of the Clyde were at their most popular, any number of vessels were named for Scott’s works and some of their characters. There were Waverley, Talisman, Redgauntlet, Marmion, Kenilworth, Ivanhoe, Lord of the Isles and Fair Maid as well as Madge Wildfire, Lucy Ashton, Lochinvar, Jeanie Deans, Lady Rowena, Dandie Dinmont, Diana Vernon and, of course, Meg Merrilees.

It is no wonder, thus, that tunes and dances also bore the name of Scott’s characters.

Meg Merrilees 2/4L · R24
1–
1M+2W turn RH ; 2M+1W turn RH 1½ and finish between the first pair in line across, 2c on W side
9–
NHJ in line dance down (turn R about) ; and up, finish in the middle BHJ with P (1,2)
17–
1c+2c Poussette (2,1)
Meg Merrilees 2/4L · R24
1-8
1M turns 2L RH, 2M turns 1L RH 1.1/2 times ending in centre in line across with original partners
9-16
1s+2s dance down the middle, turn to right & dance back to top
17-24
1s+2s dance Poussette

Sorry, this browser doesn't seem to do SVG graphics :^(

Watch on YouTube

(YouTube must be enabled in cookie preferences to embed videos.)

First part of a longer demonstration (from an …

Added on: 2019-05-16 (Zoltán Gräff)
Quality: Demonstration quality

Watch on YouTube

(YouTube must be enabled in cookie preferences to embed videos.)

Twice through

Added on: 2018-11-01 (Ilana Steiner)
Quality: Demonstration quality

Watch on YouTube

(YouTube must be enabled in cookie preferences to embed videos.)

Lochiel SCD Club, NZ, 2023

Added on: 2023-05-17 (Murrough Landon)
Quality: Reasonable

NameDateOwnerLast changed
New List Graeme Ferguson Jan. 20, 2012, 2:06 p.m.
BritishFlair2013 Daniela Schröder Aug. 11, 2013, 12:17 p.m.
GB Class 11/16/23 2023-11-16 Ted Randolph Nov. 16, 2023, 9:16 p.m.
15 10 19 Mervyn Monday 2015-10-19 Chris & Lee Pratt Sept. 20, 2015, 12:52 p.m.
Fleet 2015-11-28 Autumn Apprentices' Dance 2015-11-28 David McQuillan Nov. 4, 2015, 11:52 p.m.
Chiswick - 1 December 2019 (orig) 2019-12-01 James Wilson Dec. 2, 2019, 8:32 a.m.
Chiswick - 1 December 2019 2019-12-01 James Wilson Dec. 2, 2019, 8:33 a.m.
22 10 17 Harrogate Monday 2022-10-17 Chris & Lee Pratt Sept. 17, 2022, 3:32 p.m.
Chiswick - 8 December 2019 Christmas Dance 2019-12-08 James Wilson Nov. 4, 2019, 12:11 p.m.
191208 Chiswick xmas party 2019-12-08 Evelyn Wilson Nov. 2, 2019, 8:44 a.m.
St Columba's Dancers 200302 2020-03-02 Murrough Landon Jan. 15, 2020, 12:31 a.m.
Chiswick - 17 November 2019 (orig) 2019-11-17 James Wilson Nov. 18, 2019, 9:34 a.m.
Chiswick - 12 January 2020 2020-01-12 James Wilson Jan. 13, 2020, 4:42 p.m.
Chiswick - 12 January 2020 (orig) 2020-01-12 James Wilson Jan. 13, 2020, 4:40 p.m.
Chiswick class and social 24.10.2021 2021-10-24 Iris Ronayne Oct. 23, 2021, 12:41 p.m.
Surbiton Caledonian 16 February 2023 2023-02-16 Cathy Daldy Feb. 10, 2023, 12:58 p.m.
RSCDS Book 1 Ward Fleri Nov. 13, 2020, 9:06 p.m.
RSCDS Book 01 Martina Mueller-Franz June 8, 2016, 2:21 p.m.
Westchester 24 April 2019 (Copy) 2019-04-17 Peter Price April 23, 2019, 3:15 p.m.
New Haven Summer Dance 28.08.18 2018-08-28 Peter Price Aug. 25, 2018, 5:18 p.m.
15 04 18 Tunbridge Wells 2015-04-18 Chris & Lee Pratt Feb. 27, 2015, 9:06 p.m.
St Columba's Dancers 190114 2019-01-14 Sarah B. Dec. 21, 2018, 9 p.m.
SURBITON 2024 February 22nd 2024-02-22 Jenny Kendrick Feb. 13, 2024, 5:19 p.m.
Surbiton 2019 February 28th 2019-02-28 Jenny Kendrick Feb. 22, 2019, 12:56 a.m.
Kilts and Ghillies 27 April 2019 2018-09-12 Peter Price May 25, 2023, 8:05 p.m.
Surbiton 6 Oct 2022-10-06 Libby Curzon Oct. 1, 2022, 9:55 a.m.
Chiswick - 26 January 2020 (orig) 2020-01-26 James Wilson Jan. 27, 2020, 7:06 a.m.
St Columba's Dancers 190128 Burns Night 2019-01-28 Sarah B. Dec. 21, 2018, 9:09 p.m.
RSCDS BHS 2013-10-12 Autumn Social 2013-10-12 David McQuillan Oct. 7, 2013, 11:01 p.m.
Pinewoods Scottish Session II 2012 - Wednesday Night Program 2012-07-11 Andy Peterson March 19, 2018, 5:44 a.m.
Delaware Valley Branch Social 3-9-24 2024-03-09 Cecily Selling Feb. 18, 2024, 2:09 a.m.
OSCDG Burns Supper 2019-01-26 Lynetta Taylor Hansen Jan. 1, 2019, 4:31 p.m.
190426 Chiswick easier dances 2019-04-26 Evelyn Wilson April 26, 2019, 9:52 a.m.
RSCDS Summer School 2017 Week 4 - Thursday Programme 2017-08-10 Andrew Locke July 21, 2017, 12:05 a.m.
170810 w4 Thursday – St A. – Younger Hall 2017-08-10 Martina Mueller-Franz May 12, 2017, 12:08 p.m.
Burns Night 2019 - Oslo SCDG 2019-01-26 Kristian Vestli Nov. 11, 2018, 1:04 p.m.
New Haven Summer Dancing - 14.8.18 2018-08-14 Peter Price Aug. 11, 2018, 11:46 p.m.
End of Season dance 2016 Sarah B. May 14, 2016, 6:05 p.m.
St Columba's Dancers 200127 Burns Night 2020-01-27 Murrough Landon Nov. 6, 2023, 11:38 a.m.
Chiswick - 2 February 2020 Burns Night Dance 2020-02-02 James Wilson Jan. 6, 2020, 5:26 p.m.
2018-05-25 Meaudre antoine rousseau March 10, 2018, 11:44 a.m.
Surbiton 2023 October 12th 2023-10-12 Jenny Kendrick Oct. 2, 2023, 11 p.m.
SURBITON 2024 March 7th 2024-03-07 Jenny Kendrick Feb. 27, 2024, 9:35 p.m.
SURBITON 2023 November 30th St Andrew's Evening 2023-11-30 Jenny Kendrick Nov. 21, 2023, 12:38 a.m.
Surbiton 7 Mar 2024-03-07 Libby Curzon March 2, 2024, 1 p.m.
Suggestions 2020 Judith Kowalczik Jan. 5, 2020, 11:55 a.m.
Westchester 3 April 2019 2019-04-03 Peter Price April 1, 2019, 4:04 a.m.
Scotia Dancers 180924 2018-09-24 Sue Ronald Sept. 21, 2018, 9:13 p.m.
Delaware Valley RSCDS Spring Ball 1989 1989-03-04 Andy Peterson Jan. 8, 2018, 3:15 a.m.
RSCDS London Technique Class Jan - Feb 2019 2019-01-16 Jenny Kendrick Feb. 6, 2019, 5:22 p.m.
Delaware Valley RSCDS Hogmanay - 1987-1988 1987-12-31 Andy Peterson March 8, 2024, 4:21 p.m.

SCDDB User Ratings

. 0 votes
. 0 votes
. 0 votes
. 0 votes
. 0 votes
. 0 votes

Rate this Dance

Sign in to rate this dance!

User Reviews

Sign in to review this dance!