The Health ~ Pat Shaw or The Merry Wassail ~ Pat Shaw is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by Pat Shaw (website) in 1964 and published in Another Look at Playford. It is a proper 4 Couple Longways dance. There is no progression in this dance. The dance lasts 96 bars. It is in the key: C major.
Lead up a D. and back, set That again
First cu. and last meet, turn back to back, cast off, and going on the outside, the other four to come to your places on the inside, the other as much
Hands all backwards, and go half round to the right, set That back again
First Cu. and last meet, turn back to back, hands backward round to your places The other 4 as much
Change places with your own by both hands, then 1. and 2. the 3. and 4. men change, so the we. doing the like, set Change back again to your places
First and last Cu. meet, clap hands, hands across round to your places The other four as much (or this last passage this) First man and last wo meet and give right hands, first wo. and last man the like, then holding hands across go round to your places The other four as much
Playford published another dance with this name in 1728.
Pat Shaw added a B tune of his own composition.
In the second half of the first two figures Sharp has people doing a "back to back", but what Playford says is turn back to back which Shaw interprets as "spin until you are back to back" which seems more likely.
The tune was published by Playford for the dance. Synthesized music by Colin Hume
The animation plays at 111 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.
The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), circle, cast, lead, hands across (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.
The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1964 by Pat Shaw. 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 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.