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Pigtails and Ribbons - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls (and plays accordion) on this singing square, which he learned from callers Otto Wood and Donald Davis, at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Otto's source was probably a recording by California caller Bruce Johnson and the Sundowners Band (Windsor 4839). This clip includes a walkthrough.

Pistol Packin' Mama (Six Hands Forward Up and Back) - Donald "Jake" Jacoby

Recorded by Bob Dalsemer, January 5, 1974 at the Maryland Line Fire Hall, Maryland Line, MD.
Caller: Donald "Jake" Jacoby
Band: The Saw Mill Boys

This popular and widespread old time square dance figure is sometimes called Forward Six and Back or Right Hand High and Left Hand Low.

Pistol Packin' Mama, with jitterbug - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013. During the swing, the dancers adopt a jitterbug style.Livingston writes, "Those…

Polka Square - Ralph Page (clip)

This clip of Ralph Page calling Polka Square demonstrates his melodic style, part patter call and part singing. The musicians are Page's Boston Boys: George Gulyassy, fiddle; Bob Gulyassy, guitar; Phil Jamoulis, bass, joined here by Walter Erickson, accordion, and Walter Lob on fiddle.

Polly Wolly Doodle (clip) - Gene Gowing

This dance uses the familiar children's song as the basis for a singing square. It's unclear whether caller Gene Gowing is singing the song at the beginning; the quality of the voice certainly differs from Gowing's delivery of the calls.

Presque Isle Eighth (clip) - Rod Linnell -

The tune is Crooked Stovepipe. Rod Linnell: "We used to spend each winter in northern Maine and call dances there and in neighboring New Brunswick. During one of these winters, the Presque Isle club held an eighth anniversary dance. The night before he event we had to drive about 120 miles to a New Brunswick engagement, and while on the journey…

Prisoner's Song - Dudley Laufman

Dudley Laufman says he never heard this dance called by anyone other than Lyn Cady, and it was always done to the tune of "If I Had the Wings of an Angel."

Dudley Laufman calls a program of "Old Time Vermont Square Dances" from the repertoire of Lyn Cady. Cady was the dance master at the Sherburne (VT) Center Grange Hall, to which the Farm &…

Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet (clip) - Charley Thomas

Charley Thomas was a vendor of records and books for squares and contra dances. He founded American Squares magazine after World War II, and edited it until it was purchased by Frank Kaltman and Rickey Holden. Jim Mayo calls a MWSD tip to this tune here.

Puttin' on the Style (clip) - Al Brundage

This is an excerpt (opener and first figure) from Al Brundage's recording of the dance on the Windsor label.

Ragtime Lonesome Me - Ted Lizotte and Paul Cote

These two modern square dance callers enjoy working together, billed as "The Duo." This video presents a collection of some of their singing square dance duets, recorded at a weekend at East Hill Farm in southwestern New Hampshire.Paul Cote is the presenter in this workshop presentation on using alternative music in a square dance program. Ted…

Red River Valley - Lester Bradley

Lester Bradley (caller and guitar) with Paul Amey, fiddle, joined by Bob Reed, banjo; David Colburn, guitar; George Randall, 12 string guitar, spoons; Mike Hebb, fiddle; Sue Hunt, piano & accordion; John Derby, mandolin; Samantha Amey, bass.


Recorded at Wentworth, NH; April 2, 2010

Redwing - Dip and Dive - Ed Durlacher

Ed Durlacher, caller. The tune is Redwing.

Durlacher's vocal style is distinctive. Recorded in 1941, with music by Al MacLeod's Country Dance Band.

Reuben, Reuben (Quadrille) - Adam Boyce

Traditional quadrille, recorded at an open house sponsored by the Ed Larkin Dancers, Tunbridge, Vermont, March 12, 2010. The prompter is Adam Boyce, and the musicians are Harold Luce on fiddle and his daughter, Donna Weston, on piano.

Rod's Right and Left (clip) - Rod Linnell

This dance was recorded on the flip side of Mountain Music Madness, on the Apex label, #9-26431. The band is Don Messer's Islanders. The tune is Debbie's Jig.In her notes, Louise Winston writes, "This next dance, composed simply of ladies chain and right and left through, sounds deceptively easy but can throw seasoned dancers the first time they…

San Antonio Rose

There are many versions of singing squares set to this popular tune. Here, Nils Fredland calls one from the repertoire of Keith Blackmon, an upstate New York square dance caller. A selection of Blackmon's dances has been published by Country Dance and Song Society under the title of "New River Train." Recorded for the Square Dance History Project,…