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Carcassonne big set, #2

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Carcassonne big set, #2


This is another example of traditional southern Appalachian big set square dance, recorded by John Ramsay in Carcassonne, Kentucky, September 19, 1991. With relatively few examples on our site of this style of dancing, we have included the dance in its entirety. This one includes at least one figure not shown in #1, lady fall through the old side door.

The caller is Harmie Griffie, of Cornettesville, KY; notice his focus on the dancers, giving his calls just when they are ready to flow into the next move. The tune is Turkey in the Straw, played by the Pinetop Ramblers: Eugene Fields, Daylo Lewis, Marlin Smith, and Ovit Couch.

Circle Left
Next Couple Out

Round That Couple, Lady in the Lead
Gent Fall Through and Take the Lead
Lady Fall Through the Old Side Door
Everybody Swing All Four
You Swing Mine and I'll Swing Yours
Give Me Back Mine and I'll Give You Back Yours
Everybody Swing and Promanade

Four Leaf Clover
Turn it Over
Do-si-do ...

Chase That Rabbit, Chase the Squirrel
Chase That Pretty Girl Around the World
Chase That 'Possum, Chase the 'Coon
Chase That Bad Boy Around the Room
All Four Swing and Form a Ring
Do-si-do ...

Round That Couple Take a Little Peek
Back to the Center and Swing Your Sweet
Round That Couple and Peek Once More
Back to the Center and Swing All Four
Do-si-do ...

Peter Rogers comments:
The dance was often ended this way by the band rather than by the caller. The band leader also directed the order of dances, alternating "Let' Square Dance", "Let's Hoedown", or just playing (and often sang) a slow number for a "slow dance".

When I first discovered the Square Dance at Carcassonne in the early 1970's, there were usually two circles -- one at either end (and separated by the pot-belly stove in the middle). Each circle had a caller who danced as the first couple. Willis Fields usually called for the circle on the same end as the band (which was on the kitchen end). This circle was small enough that only one couple would lead at a time. Other callers would take turns calling for the second circle. This circle was sometimes larger so one or more additional couples from different parts of the circle would lead out at the same time as seen in these videos.

Note the unique local feature of 'passing the lead' progression: 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, etc. This may have originated on Kings Creek and been introduced to Carcassonne by Willis Fields.

Also note the common features of squares in southeast:
circle based (maintain position relative to other couples but no 'home' spot on the floor),
start in big circle but main body is visiting couple figures,
finish figure with do-si-do,
dance-walk or low 2-step,
short walking swing,
minimal reversals (never reversing the circle),

Date Created

September 19, 1991


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Item Relations

This Item is related to Item: Big Circle Dance from Carcassonne, KY - Phil Jamison
This Item is related to Item: Carcassonne big set - Phil Jamison
Item: Carcassonne big set, #1 is related to This Item
Item: Kentucky Set Running - 1914 firsthand account is related to This Item