Shepherd's Holiday ~ Sharp or Labour in Vain is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by Cecil Sharp (website) in 1912 and published in The Country Dance Book (Part 3). Found in The Playford Ball. It is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a USA dance. The dance lasts 84 bars. It is in the key: G minor.
Lead up all a D. back, cross over Lead down, back again, cross over The first man slip before the 2. man while his 1. wo. before the 2. wo. then the last man slip behind the 2. man, while his wo. behind the 2. wo. then all six turn round about to the left hand into their places, the the last cu. do as the first, and the first as the last Sides, back again, cross over That again Three men and three we. back, joyning hands, meet three men, hands and go round, we. doing the like, men and we. back as before and meet, hands backward and go round as before. Arms as you sided The 1. man cross into the 2. wo. place, and his wo. into the 2. man's place, &c.
The tune, also called Shepherd's Holiday, was published by Playford with the dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album A Playford Ball. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.
The animation plays at 107 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.
|I.A1||1-4||Up a double and back|
|I.A2||1-4||Down a Double, back|
|I.B1||1-2||1s slip between 2s|
|3-4||3s slip outside of 2s|
|5-8||1s cast down in a circle to places, others follow to theirs|
|I.B2||1-2||3s slip between 2s|
|3-4||1s slip outside of 2s|
|5-8||3s cast up in a circle to places, others follow to theirs|
|II.A1||1-4||Right shoulder siding|
|II.A2||1-4||Left shoulder siding|
|II.B1||1-4||Taking hands on the sides, lines of three fall back and come forward|
|5-8||Circle three on the sides (clockwise)|
|II.B2||1-4||Lines of three fall back and come forward|
|5-8||Circle three facing out (clockwise)|
|III.B1||1-4||M1+W2 change, W1+M2 change|
|5-8||3s cross go to top as other move down|
|III.B2||1-4||W3+M2 change, M3+W2 change|
|5-8||1s cross go to top as other move down|
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 © 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.