Wa Is Me, What Mun I Do?

Wa Is Me, What Mun I Do? is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1698 in The Second part of the Dancing Master. It was interpreted by Helwig in 1995. Found in The Playford Assembly. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars. It is in the key: F major.

Playford writes:

The 1. man take the 2. wo. and his own wo. by the hands, and turn them round till he comes into the 2. wo. place, then all hands, then lead them both round the 2. man into the 2. wo. place till they come all square, the 2 man turn the 2. 2o. improper till he comes into the 1. man's place, all abreast, then lead the two we. round the 1. man as he stands till he comes into the 1. co. place improper, all square as before. This to the first Strain play'd twice.

The two men and two we. fall back face to face, the slip face to face the man below and the we. above, then each man lead his wo. to the wall, and all four cast off singly face to face, then cross over in each other's places and turn face to face, then 1. man meet the 2. wo. and back again, and the other do the same; then all hands round till the 1. cu. come into the 2. cu. place.

The tune, "Epsom-Wells" was composed in 1693 either by Henry Purcell or James Paisible. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album Mrs. Beveridge's Triumph. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.

The animation plays at 90 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is 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: set, circle, cast, lead, hey, rights and lefts (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.

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1995 by Helwig. 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.