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Dance Speed the Plough 6233

Also known as “Inverness Country Dance”.

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

Devised by
880 800 844 800 = 50% (1 turn), 38% (whole dance)
  • Pas-de-Basque, Skip-Change
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
Inverness Country Dance

(or “Speed the Plough”)

In the northeast of Scotland, on the banks of the lovely river Ness, where the Great Glen opens out flat at the edge of the Inner Moray Firth, is the Royal Burgh of Inverness, the “Capital of the North”.

From its very beginning until today, Inverness’ raison d’être has remained unchanged. It was, and still is, a centre for trade and administration. When St. Columba visited King Brude MacBile in 565, it was the capital of the Picts and when it became a chartered burgh in the 12th century it was an active trading community. For many years the Highlands and Islands have been governed from Inverness.

Inverness’ great value from a commercial and governmental standpoint has been its accessibility. There has always been the sea. In 1724 General George Wade (1673–1748) was sent to “open up” the Highlands. This he did by constructing 250 miles of roads and some forty stone bridges.

Had you seen these roads before they were made,
You would lift your hands and bless General Wade.

Inverness was the terminal point of two of Wade’s great roads, one running north from Dunkeld in Perthshire and the other cutting west to east from Fort William on Loch Linnhe. The Caledonian Canal (1804–1847), whose engineer was Thomas Telford (See “The Dean Bridge of Edinburgh”), which connects the Beauly Firth near Inverness with Loch Linnhe, via Loch Ness, made possible easy water transportation between Inverness and the western Highlands and the Hebrides.

Very little is left now of Inverness’ antiquity. The ancient castles are gone. Macbeth’s castle was destroyed in the 11th century by Malcolm III (Canmore) in revenge for the murder of his father, Duncan I, at the hands of Macbeth. Gone too is the old castle of Inverness, built by Malcolm, which surrendered to Queen Mary in 1562. Today’s Inverness Castle is actually the County Building, a red sandstone Victorian edifice, towered and crenellated and perched on Castle Hill high above the River Ness. Queen Mary’s House, where the queen stayed in 1562, is still there, as are the early 17th century Abertarff House and Dunbar’s Hospital, which dates from 1668. The old High Church, from 1772, with its 13th century clock tower and spire, and the 1791 Tolbooth Steeple remain. In teh base of the Mercat Cross before the Town Hall is the ancient Clach-na-Cudainn – the Stone of the Tubs – where, traditionally, the women of Inverness rested their water pails as they climbed up from the river.

Inverness was the winter residence of many of the Highland gentry, eager to leave cold castles and lonely mansions for a few months. In Inverness their children could be educated and for the adults there were routs and assemblies and balls and supper parties. Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus (1797–1885), in her Memoirs of a Highland Lady, describes the social life in Inverness in 1814: “The Northern Meeting was to all of our degree as important a gathering as was the Badenoch Tryst to our humbler acquaintance. It had been set agoing soon after my birth by her who was the life of all circles she entered, the Duchess of Gordon. She had persuaded all the northern counties to come together once a year about the middle of October, and spend the better part of a week at Inverness. There were dinners and balls in the evenings; the mornings were devoted to visiting neighbouring friends and the beautiful scenery abounding on all sides. She had always herself taken a large party there, and done her utmost to induce her friends to do likewise – stray English being particularly acceptable, as supposed admirers of our national beauties! while enacting the part of lion themselves. No one with equal energy had replaced her; still, the annual meeting went on, bringing many together who otherwise might not have become acquainted, renewing old intimacies, and sometimes obliterating old grudges.”

And: “The mornings had hung heavy to many, but not to me. Most people lounged about the narrow ill-paved streets, paid each other visits, or congregated in our northern emporium of fashion, Mr Urquhart the hairdresser’s shop. My father took my mother, Mrs Cooper, one of the girls, and me for charming drives in several directions; it was impossible to turn amiss, the whole surrounding scenery is so enchanting.”

Inverness Country Dance The Cavendish Dance Band Cavendish Dance Band Plays SCD in Traditional Style LP 8 R32 105:18 31.8
Inverness Country Dance Alex Macarthur & His Scottish Dance Band Highlander Music Old Masters Volume 1 CD 9 R32 84:48 36.0
Inverness Country Dance Alex Macarthur & His Scottish Dance Band Scottish Country Dances (Vol. 2) LP 7 R32 84:48 36.0
Speed the Plough Bobby Crowe and his Scottish Dance Band Book 2. Music for Eleven Traditional Dances +1 CD 4 R32 84:27 33.4
Speed the Plough Bobby Crowe and his Scottish Dance Band Book 2. Music for Eleven Traditional Dances LP+ 8 R32 84:27 33.4
Inverness Country Dance The Cavendish Dance Band Saint Andrew's Ball - Volume 1 CD 9 R32 105:18 31.8
Inverness Country Dance The Cavendish Dance Band Saint Andrew's Ball - Volume 1 CD 10 R32 105:13 31.3
Speed the Plough Fiddlers Three Plus Two Eighteen of the Best CD 13 R32 42:17 34.2
Inverness Country Dance The Ron Gonnella Quartet The Lad o' Kyle LP 7 R32 84:40 35.0
Inverness Country Dance Ron Kerr and his Scottish Dance Band Play the St. Andrew's Ball CD 7 R32 84:25 33.1
Speed the Plough John Turner and the Fiddletree Band Stalking the Wild Bagpipe LP 2 R32 80:00 0.0
Inverness Country Dance The Colin Dewar Quartet Music for Collins Pocket Reference. Vol 2 CD 5 R32 84:45 35.6
Speed the Plough Auld Reekie More Capital Reels CD+ 9 R32 84:35 34.4
Speed the Plough Auld Reekie More Capital Reels CD+ 10 R32 84:26 33.2
Speed the Plough Jim Lindsay and his Band The Black Watch Ball CD 13 R32 105:41 34.1
Speed the Plough Jim Lindsay and his Band The Black Watch Ball CD 14 R32 105:39 33.9
Inverness Country Dance James Coutts and his Scottish Dance Band The Joy of Sets
(as “Inverness Country Dance”)
CD+ 3 R32 84:36 34.5
Inverness Country Dance The Pictish Players Honky-tonk Chateau CD 1 R32 95:03 33.7
Speed the Plough 3/4L · R32
1c+2c RHA, LHA
1c lead down the middle (2c up) and up, to face 1cnrs
Set to and turn corners, 1W (1M) finishing between 2c (3c) facing P
1c set twice ; turn 1¼ BH to 2pl
Speed the Plough 3/4L · R32
1s+2s dance RH across & LH back to places
1s lead down the middle & back to face 1st corners
1s set & turn 1st corners, set & turn 2nd corners (1s end in lines across Lady between 2s facing down & Man between 3s facing up)
1s set twice & turn 2H 1.1/4 times to own sides

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Watch on YouTube

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Aberdonian style Inverness Country Dance, instructional tutorial by …

Added on: 2017-09-23 (Iain Ross)
Quality: Informal/Social (RSCDS)

NameDateOwnerLast changed
St Andrew's Dance (Winter Dance) 2019 2019-12-02 Saskia Frisby Nov. 27, 2019, 12:16 a.m.
Beginner SCD Course Budapest - #7 2018-03-20 Judit Kerner March 20, 2018, 12:50 p.m.
Swarthmore Class 2017-03-21 Lawrence Miller March 21, 2017, 3:39 a.m.
RSCDS Book 02 Martina Mueller-Franz June 8, 2016, 2:20 p.m.
RSCDS Book 2 Ward Fleri Dec. 2, 2020, 2:43 a.m.
Wimbledon ~ 191112 Dance 2019-11-12 James Wilson Nov. 12, 2019, 6:09 p.m.
Wimbledon ~ 230817 Dance 2023-08-17 James Wilson Aug. 17, 2023, 11:40 p.m.
2020 Ceilidh Lawrence Miller Feb. 19, 2020, 5:52 p.m.
Hurlingham St Andrews Ball – Saturday 30th November 2019 2019-11-30 Nick Haimendorf Oct. 1, 2019, 1:11 p.m.
Hurlingham 2022-11-26 Iris Ronayne Nov. 26, 2022, 6:16 p.m.
2020 Ceilidh Lawrence Miller Feb. 19, 2020, 5:52 p.m.
Wimbledon ~ 150813 Social Dancing 2015-08-13 James Wilson Aug. 12, 2015, 1:30 a.m.
Hurlingham St Andrews Ball 2022-11-26 Atsuko Clement Oct. 23, 2022, 10:27 p.m.
St.Andrew's Ball - Hurlingham 2023 2023-11-25 Nick Haimendorf Nov. 5, 2023, 1:08 a.m.
A set before scds 2023-11-10 George Hobson Nov. 10, 2023, 12:22 p.m.
Reels for MFL Jane Rose July 20, 2022, 4:08 p.m.
Little Ship Monthly Dance 19 Oct 23 2023-10-19 Iain Ross Oct. 6, 2023, 2:24 p.m.
Reel club 06/03/17 2017-03-06 aec50 Feb. 28, 2017, 9:34 a.m.
ZA 2019-12-31 Hogmanay at Leslies 2019-12-31 Heather Hodgson Dec. 31, 2019, 3:19 p.m.
GASP - April 20 2018 - Bryan Gordon 2018-04-20 John Bottriell April 18, 2018, 1:08 a.m.
Huntsland House ball 2024-02-11 Joan Blake Jan. 21, 2024, 4:54 p.m.
Royal Caledonian 2016-04-29 Christine Grove March 9, 2016, 8:02 p.m.
ZA 2018-12-31 Hogmanay at Leslies 2018-12-31 Heather Hodgson Dec. 30, 2018, 7:09 p.m.
Hurlingham Burns night ball 2023-01-28 Iris Ronayne Jan. 28, 2023, 4:05 p.m.
Wimbledon ~ 150730 Social Dancing 2015-07-30 James Wilson July 23, 2015, 5:11 p.m.
Down Under in Scotland Aug 2018 2018-08-12 Secretary SCD Hamburg June 16, 2018, 7:54 a.m.
Hurlingham Burns Night 25 January 2020 2020-01-25 Nick Haimendorf Jan. 20, 2020, 5:47 p.m.
Pat's Birthday Ceilidh - May 2022 2022-05-21 Nicola Scott May 13, 2022, 5:14 p.m.
Wimbledon core and easy dances Sarah B. July 25, 2017, 7:55 p.m.
Collins book 2017 - More challenging dances Truus de Ceuster Sept. 12, 2017, 5:20 p.m.
Simon's Little Ship List Simon Stewart Feb. 14, 2017, 6:59 p.m.
BSCD Dances Taught 2018-2019 Jamie McDougall Oct. 11, 2018, 12:12 a.m.
Kilmorack 21-22 Dances done in class 2021-09-15 Peter Jamieson Sept. 15, 2021, 9:04 a.m.

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