The First of January

The First of January ~ Duple The First of January

The First of January is an English Country Dance. It was published by Johnson in about 1758 in Two Hundred Favourite Country Dances, Vol. 8, London. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2022. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

May be found in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library online collection: Johnson Vol. 8.

Johnson writes:

Cast off and cross over cast up and cross up to the Top. Cross over half figure. Right and Left at Top, foot it Corners and turn. Lead out Sides and turn your Partner

The tune consists of an 8 bar A part, and a 16 bar B part (the B part has a note "this Strain once". Johnson has a strain end mark after 4 bars of figure, and one other at the end of the dance. So I'm going to ignore them as they don't seem helpful.

I thing the casts+crosses should each take 4 bars.

Cross over (and go below) half figure should take 8 bars.

And that basically eats up all the A music.

Foot it corners and turn takes 8 bars.

Lead out sides takes 8 bars.

I don't see how there is time for the rights and lefts, so I shall leave them out.

Or perhaps the A music could be played three times, rather than two...

I assume "foot it corners and turn" is the same as Scottish "corners set and turn", but I suppose it could mean, "1s staying in 2nd place set to 1st corners, then 2nd then turn partner".

I know of three very different meanings for "lead out sides".

The first was used by Keller & Sweet in A Choice Selection of American Country Dances of the Revolutionary Era, in it the 1s meet in the center, take hands and lead out between the women, cast away from each other, looping around the corner, meet again in center, lead out between men cast away, loop corners and return home.

The second is defined by Wilson in his An Analysis of Country Dancing, page 51, in it the 1s again meet in the center, lead to between the men, turn around, lead to between the women, turn around, lead back to center, where he leaves them.

The third involves having everyone face out, lead out, turn and lead back.

The 2s and 3s do nothing. I wonder if I can squish this into a duple minor... "lead out sides may prove tricky...

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. 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 interpretations like this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license.

A11-41s cast down below 2s and cross
5-81s cast up and cross to places
A21-41s cross, go below up as 2s lead up
5-81s half figure eight up through 2s, end facing 1st corners
B1-41s set to and two hand turn 1st corners
5-81s set to and two hand turn 2nd corners
9-16Lead out sides: 1s lead out the men's side, loop to meet in middle, lead out women's side, loop to meet in middle and two hand turn to places

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 © 2022 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2022 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.