The Doubtful Shepherd ~ Merrill

The Doubtful Shepherd ~ Merrill The Doubtful Shepherd ~ Contra The Doubtful Shepherd ~ Williams

The Doubtful Shepherd ~ Merrill is an American Country Dance. It was published by Thompson in 1780 in Twenty four Country Dances for the Year 1780, London. It was interpreted by James E. Morrison in 1976 and published in Twenty Four Early American Country Dances, Cotillions & Reels for the Year 1976. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 40 bars.

This is very similar to The Splendid Shilling and The Physical Snob

Thompson writes:

The 1st.&2d.&3d. Gent: take hands & go round their Partns The Ladies do the same The 1st Cu. go round with the Allemand till they come to their places the 2d.&3d. Cu. follows Cross over and Right & Left at top

Early source in the US: Joseph Merrill, ~1790:

Three Ladies take hold of Hands & dance round three gentlemen 3 gentlm do the same 3 couple Allemand Cast of one Couple 6 hands round Right & Left

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance will often be slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), circle, cast, lead, rights and lefts (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 © 1976 by James E. Morrison. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2023 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.