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Items from "Northern squares": 252

David Millstone - Ninepin

David Millstone, caller, with music provided by Jane, Sophie, and Russell Orzechowski (fiddles and piano) and Deanna Stiles, flute. Recorded at Kensington, NH, on May 21, 2004. The tune played is "Olde Tyme Quadrille" by Bob McQuillen.

The basic pattern of this version of Ninepin:

Head couples sashay over and back, passing to the right of the…

Annie Lurie (clip) - David Park Williams

The dance figure here is the familiar Head Two Men Cross Over, changing to the name tune, and a different meter,for the promenade and break.

From the CD set "Mostly Quadrilles," containing two CDs of called dances, 24 in all, and two CDs of just instrumental tracks, arranged by David Park Williams. Musicians are Bill J. Sparrow, fiddle;…

Louisiana Swing (clip) - Ralph Sweet

Singing square: this clip contains once through the figure and the break, which contains a Grand Square. Recorded at the February 2, 2004, at the Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA, on the occasion of recording an album of singing squares. Musicians are the Ralph Sweet All-Stars: Dave Langford, fiddle; Ann Percival, guitar and backup vocals;…

Ralph Sweet - Oh Johnny (clip)

Singing square: this clip contains once through the figure and the break, which contains a Grand Square. Recorded at the February 2, 2004, at the Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA, on the occasion of recording an album of singing squares. Musicians are the Ralph Sweet All-Stars: Dave Langford, fiddle; Ann Percival, guitar and backup vocals; Pete…

Shoo-Fly (clip) - Mac McKenrick

Singing square, called to the familiar children's song; not to be confused with the "Shoo-Fly Swing," a figure sometimes found at the end of big circle dances.

Crooked Stovepipe - Tod Whittemore

The caller is Tod Whittemore; musicians are Randy Miller, fiddle; Peter Siegel, mandolin; and Bob McQuillen, piano. Danced during a Retrospective session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 15, 2011. Ralph adapted this from a traditional French-Canadian dance and tune, and it is often the first square learned by New England callers. You…

Gents and Corners - Tony Parkes

Danced during a Retrospective session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 15, 2011. The caller is Tony Parkes; musicians are Randy Miller, fiddle; Peter Siegel, mandolin; and Bob McQuillen, piano. The tune is Dusty Bob's Jig. Tony found this figure, called "Heads and Sides" and attributed to Ralph, in a copy of American Square Dance…

The Route - Bob Dalsemer

Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Seattle, 2009

Texas Star - Bob Dalsemer

Recorded at Dare To Be Square, Seattle, in 2009. For a more complete view of dances from the weekend, see the audio and video files posted here.

Singing Calls - a short history

History of Singing Squaresby Tony ParkesThe earliest description of a singing square I've found so far (in fairly shallow digging) appears in the first edition (1925) of Good Morning, prepared by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lovett for Henry Ford. It is Plain Quadrille No. 13, Figure 4, page 65, "Girl I Left Behind Me." It is first described in the same…

Just Because - Walter Lenk

Caller Walter Lenk, backed up by Tony Parkes, leads dancers through the singing square Just Because. Recorded at the Saturday night Grand Dance, January 1988, at the first Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, NH. This version of the dance was popularized in New England by caller Duke Miller. The musicians are RP Hale, hammered dulcimer;…

Glenn F. Pease - Old-Time Barn Dance Caller

Glenn F. Pease: Old-Time Barn Dance Caller

From just after WW II to the early 1970s, one of the places to be on a summer Saturday night in a small corner of west-central New Hampshire was at a square dance where changes were called by Glenn Pease of Orford, NH. Glenn was a farmer, selectman and Grange member who was born and lived all his life…

Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes is the caller in this excerpt of a Ted Sannella composition, "Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides." The dance, at the Kingston, New Hampshire town hall on the evening of November 18, 2005, was a tribute to Ted Sannella, marking the tenth anniversary of Sannella's death. The musicians are Old New England: Bob McQuillen, piano; Jane Orzechowski,…

Nellie Bly - George Hodgson

Veteran dance caller George Hodgson leads the classic singing square in this 2004 appearance at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend. Dancers at that event over the years became familiar with George's version of the dance-- on the chorus, when George sings "Hi Nellie," the dancers respond with an enthusiastic "Hi, George!"Music by Wild Card: Terry…

Marching Through Georgia - Dudley Laufman

Better known for his barn dances and as a contra dance caller, Dudley Laufman also includes some traditional squares in his repertoire. Here, joined by his wife Jacqueline-- "Two Fiddles" -- he leads dancers in Marching Through Georgia, a singing square dance. In Dudley's characteristic fashion, instead of walking through the entire dance…

Fred Breunig - Listen to the Mockingbird - singing square

An excerpt of the calls for this old square dance, led by Fred Breunig and recorded at the 2004 Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend.

Music by Wild Card: Terry Traub (Piano), Vince O'Donnell (Fiddle), Robin Kynoch (Whistle) and Jon Weinberg (Hammered Dulcimer)