The Ale Wife & Her Barrel ~ Hume

The Ale Wife & Her Barrel ~ Hume The Alewife and her Barrel ~ RSCDS

The Ale Wife & Her Barrel ~ Hume is an English Country Dance. It was published by Johnson in 1750 in A Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, Vol. 5th, London. It was interpreted by Colin Hume (website) in 2023 and published in Colin Hume's Website. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars. Someone thought this dance was Easy / Intermediate.

Johnson published this in his 5th volume of Country Dances (1750), and Rutherford publishes essentially the same figure in 1756. Rutherford is online, so...

Rutherford writes:
Cast off & turn your Partner Cast up again & turn Foot it & Hands across The same Back again First Man set to the second Wo. & turn her First Woman does the same Cross over figure In & Right Hand & Left

Rutherford provides 4 bar A and B tunes.

Colin Hume kindly provided me with a reconstruction. He also points out that the "foot it", here translated as set twice, should actually be done thusly.

The tune was published by Johnson with the dance, and the music was synthesized by Colin Hume.

The animation plays at 120 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.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, cast, lead, figure eight, hands across, rights and lefts, cross go below (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.

If you wish to link to this animation please see my comments on the perils of youtube. You may freely link to this page, of course, and that should have no problems, but use one of my redirects when linking to the youtube video itself:

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 2023 by Colin Hume. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2023 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023,2024 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.