Oaken Leaves is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford in 1670 in The Dancing Master, 4th ed.. It was interpreted by Cecil Sharp in 1916 and published in The Country Dance Book (Part 4). It is a Square dance. There is no progression in this dance. The dance lasts 128 bars.
Hands all, and two D. round, set and turn S. · That again :
First two men against each other change places, we. as much, the S. Hey, all four back to your places ·: the other four as much •:
Sides all, set and turn S. · That again :
Every man lead his wo. by the co. hand to the wall, faces to your own, fall a D. back, pass before your wo. to the next, turn her : That again four times, over to your places ·:
Arms all, set and turn S. · That again : Meet all men and back again, go to the left hand to the co. wo. and turn them ·: Do thus four times over to your own places.
Playford (and Sharp) number couples clockwise, but I (and the people I associate with) find the counter-clockwise numbering of a square dance more familiar. When Playford says "First two men" (and Sharp says 1st and 2nd men) he means what in a square dance would be 1st and 4th men. However there's nothing particularly magic about that pairing. So I in my animation I shall display 1st+2nd couples (in the modern numbering), knowing full well that's not what Playford meant, but also knowing that it doesn't matter, and will be clearer to most of my audience. If you object to this, my apologies.
The animation plays at 120 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.
The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, turn single, circle, lead, hey, circular hey (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.
The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This website is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V
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.