The Beggar Boy

The Beggar Boy 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 1911 and published in The Country Dance Book (Part 2). 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 72 bars. It is in the key: G phrygian.

Playford writes:

Lead up all forwards and back That again First and last on each side to the wall, while the 2. cu. meet, back all to your places, men hands and go half round, we. doing the like All that again

Sides all That again ·: First and last meet and change places, while the 2. Cu. go back and meet, first four hands and go round, while the other set and turn S. All this again.

Arms all That again ·: Back all a D. meet half the S. Hey That again

The tune, also called The Beggar Boy, appeared in Playford with the dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album By Choice. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.

The animation plays at 90 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.

I.A1-4Up a double and back
5-8Up a Double, back (again)
II.A1-4Right shoulder siding
5-8Left shoulder siding
III.A1-4Arm right
5-8Arm left
I.B11-41s+3s face out, 2s in: forward a double and fall back
5-8Men circle three, women circle three
I.B21-8That again: Forward a double, fall back, circle three
II.B11-41s face down and join hands, 2s fall back, 3s face up, 1s+3s switch places
5-8Top couples (3s+2s) circle four as bottom couple (1s) set and turn single
II.B21-41s face up and join hands, 2s fall back, 3s face up, 1s+3s switch places
5-8Top couples (1s+2s) circle four as bottom couple (3s) set and turn single
III.B11-4Taking hands on the sides all fall back a double and come forward
5-81s face down, others up, half parallel right shoulder heys for three on the sides
III.B21-4Taking hands on the sides all fall back a double and come forward
5-81s face up, others down, half parallel right shoulder heys for three on the sides

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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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 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.