Jack Pudding

Submitted by Andrew Swaine on Wed, 2017-09-13, 16:22
Historical sources
Set formation
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This dance appears in Playford, Lovelace and Sloane.  Goody!  The Sloane version is very incomplete however.

The tune was repurposed by Cecil Sharp for Step Stately, which most people today know it by.  In this dance, the B section is repeated, making it a 24 bar tune.

I've filed this dance under three couple longways but don't be fooled!

Updated 2018-4-10 following trying these out at Halsway.

First and second couples stand side by side facing up, with 3rd couple below.

Playford version:

Part 1
A1, A2 (8) 12C lead up a double and back twice, finishing facing across to each other while 3C lead up between them in two doubles, turn around and lead back in two doubles.
B1 (8) 12C make arches: 3C lead up between them to the top, separate and cast around the top person, cross over under both sets of arches to the other side, cast around the bottom person to meet each other at the bottom.
B2 (8) 12C circle left. (4)
3C turn 1½.(4)
Part 2
A1, A2 (8) Treating the set as a circle, partners side right and left.
B1 (8) Men hands three once around to the left, then raise their joined hands. (4)
Women come underneath to the middle of the circle (from to the right of their partner), face their partner, take left hands with them (the men letting go) and turn to place. (4)
B2 (8) Women hands three once around to the left, then raise their joined hands. (4)
Men come underneath (from to the left of their partner) and right hand turn partner to place. (4)
Part 3
A1, A2 (8) Still in a circle, partners arm right and left.
B1 (8) 1C arch: 3C lead under their arches, go around 1M and come to face 1C. (4)
Hands four about halfway to the left, then 1M break the circle to finish in each other’s places. (4)
B2 (8) 3C from new places go under 2C arch, go around 2M; hands four about halfway and 2M break the circle to again finish having changed places, this time facing up. (4)

Repeat all twice more until everyone is home.

Lovelace version:

Part 1
A1, A2 (8) All lead up a double and back twice, 1C and 2C finishing facing across to each other.
B1 (8) 1C and 2C make arches: 3C separate and dance up the outside, go round the top person, come down the middle a little, under the arch between the couple on their own side, and to the bottom, then turn each other at the bottom.
B2 (8) 1C and 2C circle left and right.
Part 2
A1, A2 (8) Partners side right and left.
B1 (8) Men fall back, then advance and raise joined hands in a ring. (4)
Women go under the arches, around their partner, out under the other arch and back to place behind their partner. (4)
B2 (8) Repeat, men and women swapping roles.
Part 3
A1, A2 (8) Partners arm right and left, finishing as in starting positions but with 1C and 2C facing down.
B1 (8) 1C arch: 3M lead 3W to the left of 1C as they face them, through the arch (effectively around 1W) and face up to them. Circle left halfway, finishing in each others' places.
B2 (8) 2C arch: 3M leading 3W again, go above 2C, through the arch and face up to them. Circle left, opening out the circle after going halfway, finishing with both couples facing up, 2C on the left and 3C on the right.

Repeat all twice more until everyone is home.

Here's the instructions in Playford:

First and 2. Cu. leade up a D. and fall back, whilst the 3. Cu. leade up to the top betweene the other, first and 2. Cu. leade up againse and back, whilst the 3. lead downe. Third Cu. leade up betweene the other, and casting off, goe on the out side under their armes, crosse over and under their armes, and fall to the bottome as at first, then the first foure hands and round, and sit whilst the third doe as much.
Side all  ·  That againe  :  Men round and hold up their hands, Wo. under their armes and turne their own, We. goe round, and each man turne his owne.
Armes all  ·  That againe  :  Third Cu. leade under the first Cu. armes and come face to the We. hands you foure and round, the first Cu. fall into the 3. place, the third Cu. leade under the 2. Cu. armes, and hands round, the 3. Cu. fall into the 2. and the 2. into the first place  · 

The Playford description is extremely confusing. It’s a 3 couple longways set, but something just isn’t right from the start: “First and 2. Cu. leade up a D. and fall back, whilst the 3. Cu. leade up to the top betweene the other…” – how can the first and second couples lead up a double and back while the third couple are leading between them?

This dance is also in Lovelace, which comes the rescue with a complete curveball in the form of a set diagram showing two couples standing side by side at the top, with a third couple below:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/TwYs1kpivaOAg7pPhUBbpU75MMHDqx0oqffXv1SyJixrU_CBjsDt6lwMWuNFMB1SEyLtyXgeVPLK_IxQF5J4xAqjVK9DTPN7aofYCr94tcIzgsG0yoEN2D2l5DyOoErCqcV7BHQ_

In this posture here at the side you shall leade up, and falle backe twice, and the two lowest shall leade the dance, then the lowermost couple shall quitt hands, and goe up a pace to the top the woemen towards the right hand, and the men towards the left and each on his side shall goe round him, that stands uppermost, and come in betweene them and soe both into their places, and there turne round, then the 2 couple at the top shall joyne hands, and goe round, then backe againe into their places;

In the same posture, every man shall side with his woeman, twice, then the woemen standing still, all the men shall fall backe, and come into the midle, and the 3 hold hands all on high, then the woemen shall goe under their armes every woeman about his man, and soe all fall backe into their places, then the woemen doe fall back, and coming into the midle, and the men goe under them as before;

Armes all every one with his mate standing yett in this posture, like before, then the couple that leade shall goe up to the top apace, and the man shall leade his woeman towards his left hand, higher, then that couple that stands towards the left, and then leade her in betweene them both, and then all 4 joyne hands, and goe round once and that couple being left goe, they shall goe into the place, of the couple, that leade the dance, and then doe the like to the other couple; and put them in the place which is on the left hand, and your selfs on the right, and then the other couple doe the like for his part, doing the very same thing putting himself on the right hand, and the couple that leade the dance on the left, and the other couple at the bottome, and then that couple doe the like, soe that att last they shall come all in theire places in doing after this manner;

This shows three couples emphatically not in a longways set. Things start to make a lot more sense after this, and indeed the rest of the description appears very similar between Playford and Lovelace.

It’s also in Sloane, although that description appears incomplete:

[Inkblot] by two stand trianglewise, faces the same way.

They lead up.

The two hind most, goe halfe round those on the left hand before, when they are come behind passe under their hands then goes to the other two, and then the four formost turne round hand in hand.

They Set.

then the men fall in hold up their hands together while their pass under about their owne.

Then the women fall in &c.

Hands the two hindmost [blank]

This confirms the triangle starting formation, but is pretty unclear for the rest!

The fact that this is one of the rare dances to appear in Playford, Lovelace and Sloane is at least a hint that it could have been moderately popular!

As an aside, it does beg the question what other vital pieces of information we're missing without which a reconstruction of a dance is utterly impossible!

It’s not immediately obvious which way the top two couples are facing. It starts with everyone leading up a double and back though, so we should assume all facing up to start; while the second figure is in a ring, the first figure gives an opportunity for the top two couples to turn around in the circle. And the description in Lovelace of the final figure explicitly requires the original 3C to finish on the right, which only results in a full-set progression if everyone finishes facing up. 3C are at the bottom; the dance seems to make most sense if 1C are on the left at the top and 2C are on the right.

For the first introduction, in Lovelace the three couples simply do a lead up and back in this triangle. In Playford 3C lead up for two doubles between 1C and 2C, and then back down for 2 doubles, while the others lead up and back as before.

The second figure however is quite clearly in a circle. Given that the the top two couples need to change the way they’re facing for the second figure, and they have a hands four to do in the first figure, and given that Lovelace describes the third couple going around him, that stands uppermost, it seems logical that after the lead up a double and back, those couples should face across to each other, rather than continue to face away from 3C. It’s also weird to stand with your backs to the action!

In the first figure, the Playford description is clearest: Third Cu. leade up betweene the other, and casting off, goe on the out side under their armes, crosse over and under their armes, and fall to the bottome as at first. This requires 1C and 2C to be facing across at the end of the lead up and back, which flows naturally; 3C lead to the top, separate and cast off behind the other couples, and come in through the held arches of those couples, across through the other couple and cast down to the bottom. Since it says as at first, 3C need to change places back again at the bottom too.

The Lovelace description is a bit different: the lowermost couple shall quitt hands, and goe up a pace to the top the woemen towards the right hand, and the men towards the left and each on his side shall goe round him, that stands uppermost, and come in betweene them and soe both into their places, and there turne round. To me that's saying that 3C separate and go up the outside of 1C and 2C to the top, go round the top person, come down and out through the side couples, cast back home, and have a quick turn at the bottom. 3C never crossed over so don't need to cross back.

After all this Playford says then the first foure hands and round, and sit whilst the third doe as much. and Lovelace then the 2 couple at the top shall joyne hands, and goe round, then backe againe into their places: in Playford the top couples circle, then 3C turn (equivalent of a circle), while in Lovelace the two couples circle left and right, 3C having already turned at the bottom.

Let's see whether Sloane's version of the first figure makes sense: The two hind most, goe halfe round those on the left hand before, when they are come behind passe under their hands then goes to the other two, and then the four formost turne round hand in hand.. This does fit as the first figure, but again it looks quite different: the top couples face across, 3C come up behind the couple on the left, under their arch, coming therefore to the other couple, and circle round, 3M breaking to finish where they started.

Second figure is going to be in a circle, so I'd do the second introduction in a circle.

Lovelace's second figure is the easier of the two: the woemen standing still, all the men shall fall backe, and come into the midle, and the 3 hold hands all on high, then the woemen shall goe under their armes every woeman about his man, and soe all fall backe into their places, then the woemen doe fall back, and coming into the midle, and the men goe under them as before. Men fall back and forwards, make an arched ring; women go under the arches, around their partner, back out under the next arch and back home; repeat with swapped roles.

Playford's is slightly harder: Men round and hold up their hands, Wo. under their armes and turne their own, We. goe round, and each man turne his owne. Men circle left instead of falling back a double and coming forward, and then form the same arched ring; however, then the women go under the arms and somehow there's time for a turn. There's not really time for the women to go under the arches, come out under the other arches and then turn their partner; If they omit going out again and just start turning once in the centre then it's really very cramped. You also need to turn the non-standard way the first time to make it flow well, putting the women into the middle. However if it's a single-handed turn then it seems to work quite well.

As for Sloane: then the men fall in hold up their hands together while their pass under about their owne. Then the women fall in &c. This looks a bit like the Lovelace version, but taking the fall back and advance bit as read.

Then we get to the third figure. When I first interpreted the Lovelace version of this, I had seen the triangle diagram at the beginning of it, but hadn't noticed that the same diagram turns up before the third figure, with the text Armes all every one with his mate standing yett in this posture, like before – indicating that we finish arming where we started the dance, face up in a triangle formation. The top couples could arguable be facing down by I don't think that's really like before, so let's assume that they face up. then the couple that leade shall goe up to the top apace, and the man shall leade his woeman towards his left hand, higher, then that couple that stands towards the left: 3C, led by 3M come up the left hand side of the set, and stand above 1C. and then leade her in betweene them both, and then all 4 joyne hands, and goe round once and that couple being left goe, they shall goe into the place, of the couple, that leade the dance: If 3C go between 1C and turn around before taking hands four with them, the circle will finish with 1C the wrong way around at the bottom, and they won't have gone round once either. If 3M carries on leading, and 3C go between 1C, around 1W and back to where they started, they can circle all the way around, finishing with 1C at the bottom as directed, although the circle needs to move down a bit to make that possible, and it's really tight. Which brings us back to the original assumption of 12C facing up – if they were facing down instead, with like before indicating the alignment rather direction of facing, then instead we can have 3C just go between 1C from above, circle left halfway, and there's plenty of time. and then doe the like to the other couple; and put them in the place which is on the left hand, and your selfs on the right: again, 3C can go between 2C, around to face them, and circle left, opening out after halfway into a line facing up in new places.

For the record, my previous version of the third figure had 1C facing 2C and was: 3C lead to the top, and 3M leading 3W go round above 1M, between 1C, finish facing them and take hands four; circle left about halfway, finishing with 1C in 3C place. 3M leading 3W again, go round below 2M, between 2C and take hands four;
circle left about halfway, finishing with both couples facing up, 2C on the left and 3C on the right.

The Playford version is less verbose: Third Cu. leade under the first Cu. armes and come face to the We. hands you foure and round, the first Cu. fall into the 3. place. You could do what I've just concluded from Lovelace, which sort of fits, but assumes a lot of implication for 3C coming up to the top before going through the 1C arch. I'm also not quite sure how it describes come face to the We.. I prefer to do something different: if we finish the arming in a circle, as we did the siding, then 3M leads 3W between the couple on their left (1C), around 1M, and on coming back round in front of 1C them they are effectively facing 1W. They can then circle left halfway and then 3M breaks the circle to open out into new places. This is far less awkward to fit in the timing and flows nicely. the third Cu. leade under the 2. Cu. armes, and hands round, the 3. Cu. fall into the 2. and the 2. into the first place: Because we're in a circle, it's straightforward to do to the same to 2C and you naturally all end up in new positions facing up, as described.

The Playford version, having just got everyone to new places, leaves it as read that the dance is repeated until everyone is home, similarly to e.g. Maiden Lane. Lovelace however says and then the other couple doe the like for his part, doing the very same thing putting himself on the right hand, and the couple that leade the dance on the left, and the other couple at the bottome, and then that couple doe the like, soe that att last they shall come all in theire places in doing after this manner. Key to this is whether the like is the whole dance or just the final figure. John Sweeney's done an interpretation of Jack Pudding which has it to mean just the final figure, whereas for me at least it's more in keeping to repeat the whole dance. Take your pick.

As for the Sloane description, it gives up altogether in the third figure!