The Cherping of the Lark

The Chirping of the Lark

The Cherping of the Lark or The Chirping of the Lark is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a proper 4 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the men are permuted by: 1234 and the women by: 2341. It is a mixer. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

The name is spelled variously: "The Cherping of the Lark", "Chirping of the Lark", "The Chirping of the Larke" and "Chirping of the Larke".

Playford writes:
Lead up all a D. forwards and back That again Set and turn S. That again

First man sides with your own wo. sides with the Co. Turn the third wo. Bring up the last

Lead up as at the first time As at the first time

This as the second time As second time

Lead up as at the first time As at the first time

This as the second time As second time

Lead up as at the first time As at the first time

This as the second time As second time

Playford shows this as an eight part dance, but it's really just a 32 bar dance repeated four times.

I presume that "Bring up the last" means the bottom woman is brought to the top as the other women shift down. In other words, the women progress, but the men do not. Indeed the other men do absolutely nothing, except the up a double.

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.

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.

A11-4Up a double and back
A21-4Up a double, back (again)
B11-4Set and turn single
B21-4Again: Set and turn single
A31-41s side right
A41-4M1 side left with W2
B31-4M1 two hand turn W3
B41-4M1 lead W4 to top as other women shift 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.

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 2021 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 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 © 2021,2022 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.