Old Wife Behind The Fire

Old Wife Behind The Fire is an English Country Dance. It was devised by John & William Neal in about 1726 and published in Choice Collection of Country Dances. It was interpreted by Rich Jackson & George Fogg in 1950. Found in The Playford Assembly. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars. It is in the key: G major.

The Neals write:

1st. cu: sett, cast off & turn both hands in 2d. cu: place: 2d. cu: ye same in their own place: 1st. cu: cross over into 2d. cu: place, 2d. cu: ye same into their own place: all improper: All 4 lead a breast to ye top and back, right ⩝ left:

The tune was published with the dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album Strong Roots. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). 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), set, cast, lead, hey, rights and lefts, lead and cast, bend the line (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.

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I do not have a publication date for the dance and not know whether it is under copyright or not. The interpretation is copyright © 1950 by Rich Jackson & George Fogg. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2019 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022 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.