Row Well, Ye Mariners is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by Cecil Sharp in 1912 and published in The Country Dance Book (Part 3). It is a proper 7 Couple Longways dance. The dance lasts 120 bars.
Lead up a D. forwards and back · That again : First man two slips cross the Room one way, the woman the other · Back again to your places : Fall back both · Meet again : Clap both your own hands, then clap each other's right-hands against one another's; clap both your own hands again, then clap left-hands, then clap both hands again, then clap your breasts, then meet both your hands against one-aother · The same again, only clap left-hands first :
First man sides with the next wo. and his wo. with the next man, doing the like till you come to your own places, the rest following and doing the same.
Playford's description of Part 2 certainly sounds as if he intends either the 1s or 2s to be improper, but Sharp has made the dance proper. Of course Playford does make mistakes.
I'm not sure why Sharp has the up a double done by everyone, while the rest of Part 1 is only done by the first couple. Perhaps that's why he suggests omitting the first part.
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. 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.
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.