Ed Bossing - Farmer's Daughter (clip)

Title

Ed Bossing - Farmer's Daughter (clip)

Subject

Northern / Prompt & Patter

Description

Ed Bossing was director of the Rocky Mount Folk and Square Dance Summer School in Denver, and was employed regularly by the Chicago public school system. He authored the Handbook of Square Dancing, and he and his wife spent a sabbatical year (1952) traveling around the country leading workshops.

This dance was also collected by Bob Dalsemer in Morgantown, West Virginia, and published in his West Virginia Square Dances. Bob privides a transcription of the dance as called by Worley Gardner:

The Farmers' Daughter (semi-singing call)
Tune: "Chinese Breakdown" (first or "A" music only) [it really doesn't matter what tune is used, whether it's A only, or AABB. It's a square dance and the figures do not have to conform to tight music phrasing.]

Introduction
"Everybody circle eight, circle eight around
Everybody circle eight all the way around
Left hand to your corner, left and right around
Left and right and grand chain all the way around
Everybody promenade"

Figure
"The first gent go to the right, knock on the farmer's door.
Go through the house, round the house, now swing the farmer's daughter
Step right back, watch her grin, bring her up, swing her again,
step right back, watch her smile, bring her up, swing her.
Now go home and swing your own while the farmer swings his daughter.
Leave her there and on you go, knock on the farmer's door.
Go through the house, round the house, now swing the farmer!
Step right back, watch him grin, bring him up, swing him again,
step right back, watch him smile, bring him up, swing him
Now go home and swing your own while the farmer swings his daughter.
Leave her there and on you go, knock on the farmer's door,
go through the house, round the house, now swing the farmer's daughter.
Step right back, watch her grin, bring her up, swing her again,
step right back, watch her smile, bring her up, swing her,
now go home and swing your own while the farmer swings his daughter."

Break
"Dance around your corner gal, dance around her slow
Dance around your partner with a little bit more dough
Left hand round your corner gal, it's left and right around
Left and right and grand chain all the way around
Everybody promenade"

This is a novelty dance in which the caller can direct the visiting man to swing either the woman ("the farmer's daughter") or the man ("the farmer") of the couple visited. The first man goes out to the second couple and "knocks" on the second man's chest. [Use an "air knock."] He goes between the second couple and around either the second man or second woman back to the center ("through that house, around that house"). Then the caller will direct him to swing either "the farmer" or "the farmer's daughter." The caller's decision is frequently drawn out to tease the dancers: "now swing the farmer.....'s daughter!" ...

Jim Saxe (trad-dance-caller's list, September 8, 2012):
Bob's description of the dance as danced at Morgantown says

     ... The first man goes out to the second couple
     and "knocks" on the second man's chest. ...

On at least one occasion when I've done this dance, I recall the active gents being told (I don't remember whether by Bob, Sandy or some other caller) to make a knocking motion in the air, as if knocking on an imaginary door.  Also, the caller's words "knock on the farmer's door", with the word "door' on beat 7 of a phrase, were immediately followed by a pair of "knocking" sounds (perhaps made by one of the musicians tapping on a guitar body), the first on the upbeat and the second on beat 8.  Of course we quickly learned to time our imaginary knocking to match the sound effects.

Creator

Ed Bossing

Contributor

from the collection of Stig Malmo

Item Relations

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