Confesse, his Tune ~ Palmer

The Court Lady ~ Palmer

Confesse, his Tune ~ Pat Shaw Confesse, his Tune ~ Cecil Sharp Confesse, his Tune ~ Palmer

Confesse, his Tune ~ Palmer or The Court Lady ~ Palmer is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master, London. It was interpreted by William Palmer in 1987 and published in Palmer's Pocket Playford, 3rd ed.. Found in The Playford Ball. It is a Custom3 dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a multipart dance. The dance lasts 96 bars. It is in the key: G Minor.

Playford writes:

Men all a D. Back again That again Men go between the we. on your left hand, leading them from the other, change hands, meet again, turn them you meet Lead your own wo. from each other, meet again, turn them as you meet

Go all cross the Room to the left hand Back again One man go forwards alone, take one wo. with one hand, then the other, hands all four and go round The other as much

Go all cross the Room to the right hand Back again The two we. at each end lead to each wall, while one man goes up and the other down, the three we. meet, hands and go round, men turning S. Go all as before, men hands and go round, we. turning S

Meet all as at first The men lead the we. at one end to the wall and back, while the other we. go up on the outside, and come each under the others arms and turn each other, men turning each a wo. as much with the other we.

In The English Dancing Master Playford provides two titles for this dance: Confesse his Tune in the table of contents, and Confesse on the dance's description, after 1670 he provides a third name: The Court Lady. The Playford Ball calls it Confess. Mr. Confesse was a dancing master from the seventeenth century.

I have tried to follow the figures given in The Playford Ball but most videos show something similar but not exact.

The Playford Ball attributes the interpretation to Cecil Sharp, but it seems to be to be William Palmer's, which, admittedly is based on Sharp

The biggest change from Sharp is in A of the second and third parts. Palmer has people balance back and come forward, turn and repeat, but Sharp has people leading out two doubles, turning and leading back. This manouver is probably closer to Playford's intent: the instructions from 1651 say Goe all crosse the roome to the left hand/Back againe/.

In B1 of the first part one video has the center dancers move right (rather than left) this means that when they two hand turn they only need go once and a quarter, which takes some time pressure off

In the third part Palmer has people turning single right, then left (there is time for two turn singles), but Playford simply says "turn single", and many videos show a single turn.

Playford prints a stock picture for a 3 couple longways set, but it is clear from reading the text that this is not the actual arrangement, and the center dancers should be men, with the sides as women.

The tune was published by Playford in 1651 with a dance of the same name, and the music was synthesized by Colin Hume's software.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), turn single, circle, cast, lead, siding (and probably others).

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

If you wish to link to this animation please see my comments on the perils of youtube. You may freely link to this page, of course, and that should have no problems, but use one of my redirects when linking to the youtube video itself:

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1987 by William Palmer. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2020 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023,2024 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.