Pop Goes The Weasel ~ Porter is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Jas. W. Porter in 1853 and published in Pop Goes The Weasel, monograph. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2020. Originally a 5 Couple Longways this version is a proper Longways as many as will dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 23451. The minor set lasts 32 bars.
According to Wikipedia this country dance first became popular in December of 1852. In New York, 1853, Eugene Coulon edited a version with music and a description of the figure.
FIGURES. Form in Two Lines _
Top Couple Ballancez, Four Bars_ then Gallop down inside and back, Four Bars _ take the next Lady, Hands Round Four Bars_ then Two Bars back and (while all Sing Pop goes the Weasel) pass her under your arms to her Place_ Repeat with the lady's Partner then Gallop down inside and back, Four Bars_ and down outside to the other end of the line, Four Bars, which finishes the Figure_ The next Couple follows, &c. &c.
A textual source from 1857 (which I think is more likely to reflect the original) is Hillgrove's The Scholar's Companion and Ball-Room Vade-Mecum (available from the Library of Congress).
The American Dancing Master - Howe, 1862, and American Country Dances - Emma Burchenal, 1918 have the same version as Hillgrove (the one presented here).
This is performed in the same manner as the Country Dance, the ladies and gentlemen being placed in lines opposite to each other.
The couple at the top begin the figure. The run forward with the line and back, and then without the line and back again the same, each occupying four bars (16 bars).
After which they form a round of three, with one of the ladies next to them on the line, and turn once round to the right and once to the left, at the end of which making the one they have chosen pass quickly underneath their arms to her place - all singing "Pop goes the Weasel." (8 bars.)
They then turn quickly to the other line, and repeat the same figure with the partner of the last selected. (8 bars.)
After this they have to run forward and backward, inside and outside the line, and repeat the same figure with the next couple. When they have passed three couples, the lady and gentleman at the head begin and repeat the same figure, and so on for all the rest.
The tune is a traditional one which became popular in the 1850 on both sides of the Atlantic. The music was synthesized by Colin Hume's software
The animation plays at 113 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 (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 dances of George Williams (including this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license.
An online description of the dance may be found here.
|5-8||1s gallop down the middle and come back|
|9-16||1s+W2 circle three right, then back by the left halfway, W2 pops through|
|17-24||1s+M2 circle three right, then back by the left halfway, M2 pops through|
|25-28||1s gallop down and come back|
|29-32||1s cast down the outside to the bottom, others move up 1 place|
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 copyright © 2020 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 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 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.