The Merry Salopians or The Old Mill is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Nathaniel Kynaston in 1718 and published in Walsh's Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year 1718. It was interpreted by Tom Cook in 1987 and published in Hunter's Moon. Found in The Playford Assembly. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 312. The minor set lasts 32 bars. It is in the key: G major.
Each strain twice
The 1st. man cast off and turn the 3d. wo. quite round the 1st. wo. (at the same time) follow him below the 2d. man: then the 1st. wo. cast up go to her own place, the 1st. man follow her at the same time and turn partners in the top the 1st. wo. do the same on her side the 1st. cu. slip down the middle, lead between the 2d. and 3d. wo. and cast off; then between the 2d. and 3d. men cast off and turn improper in the 2d. cu. place the 1st. cu. cross up above the 2d. cu. and turn single, lead down the middle below the 3d. cu. cast up above 'em, and turn in the 2d. cu. place
Salop is an old name for Shropshire, a county near Wales
The tune, called "The Old Mill", was composed by Brian Jenkins. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album Favorites of the Boston Centre. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.
The animation plays at 98 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.
The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, turn single, cast, lead, hey, mirror hey, lead and cast, siding (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 © 1987 by Tom Cook. 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 © 2021,2022,2023 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.