Trenchmore (Lovelace)

Submitted by Andrew Swaine on Thu, 2018-03-15, 19:49
Historical sources
Set formation
Difficulty

All lead up a double and back twice. Face partners, set and turn single left and right.

In cross hand hold, couples swing one way, then the other way.

Set around the set: 1M sets forward to 2M, then turns round and sets forward to chase after 1W as she backs or dances away, then down to 3M as 1W follows him, up to 1W again, etc. all the way around the set to all men and women. 1W does the same, starting again with 2M, going around the set in the same direction.

Couples swing both ways again.

1M strip the willow: 1C start swinging the normal way again, then 1M arm left with 2M, arm right 1W, etc. all the way around the set.

Couples swing both ways again.

1M strip the willow: 1C start swinging the normal way again, then 1W arm left with 2M, arm right 1M, etc. all the way around the set.

Couples swing both ways again.

1M and 1W weave down their line to the bottom, cross-hand swing, then weave back up to the top, and swing both ways.

1C cast to the bottom as the others start the dance again with a lead up a double.

Continue until all have had a go leading.

Trenchmore; as many as you please

Leade up twice; & sett twice; then every man shall turne his mayde as long as he please, on way, and then backe agayine, the other way, Then stand all still, but the first, man, and woeman, and then the first man shall set to the 2 man, and his woeman shall follow him, and then his woeman shall turne back agayne; and he shall follow her, and then sett to the third man, she folow him, and then turne backe, and follow her, and soe all round, bot the men and woemen, and as he set to any man, and woeman, they shall follow him, and as soone as he hath sett, she shall turne backe againe and he follow her, and after he hath all, after this fashion, then all the men shall face their maydes, and dance round with them, first the one way and then the other way, and then if you please, the woemen shall doe the same, the men did before;

Having soundly turned both ways, every man, with his woeman, the first man shall turne the 2nd man, his owne woeman standing by, he shall turne her, and then the next man, and then his owne woeman, and then the 3rd, and then his owne, soe all round like before, as soone as having turned any of them, he shall turne his owne woeman, and soe followe each other, and then all men and woemen turne round as before as fast as they can, then the woemen do first like the man, and turne all againe soundly;

They shall weave apace bethwene the man, and woeman, one on the one side, and the other on the other, and having weaved downe to the bottome they alone shall turne, and then weave up agayne to theire places, and turne both forwards, and backwards;

Lead up a double and back twice, set and turn single twice

Then every man shall turne his mayde as long as he please, on way, and then backe agayine, the other way: two-hand turn both ways, but note that this is quite unphrased.

Now 1M starts setting around the set, but starts with 2M, not 2W – this enables a set off of the left foot.  It’s described as a bit of a chase between 1M and 1W – he is chasing after everyone in the set (men included), interspersed with chasing his partner.  So 1M sets forwards to 2M, then turns around and chases back to his partner with a set, then comes towards 3M with a set, his partner chasing him, then chases back, etc.  This continues around all the men and women.

Then all the men shall face their maydes, and dance round with them, first the one way and then the other way, and then if you please, the woemen shall doe the same, the men did before.  This probably means everyone two-hand turn both ways (hand-hold not specified – could be a cross-hand swing, and almost certainly not walked, especially given the language that comes later), followed by (optionally) 1W going around the set as 1M did. I’d have thought this would be singular rather than plural (the woman shall do the same, the man did before but maybe there was more than one set involved.  Unless it’s meant to relate to the turn, but how is the women turning the men different from the men turning the women?  Note it’s “dance round with them”, not “dance round them”, so I don’t believe the men’s line dances around the women’s line, and that would feel out of place in this dance anyway.

Then 1M goes to 2M to start things off again, turning instead of setting.  This is effectively a strip the willow. It says “turn” where Playford says “arm”; a two-hand turn is possible – see “La Chasse” in Feuillet, which seems derived from this – but I'm more willing to believe that “turn” means by a single hand or arm here, especially since it's an arm turn in Playford and it so clearly wants to be a strip the willow. It’s quite possible that practice varied of course.

If we're going to strip around the set then you don't want to start with a right arm on the side because that'll go “against the grain”. We've just been turning our partner both ways, so the cleanest solution is for 1C to start turning in the centre the normal way again, which gives 1M a free left hand for 2M to start the strip.

Then all men and woemen turne round as before as fast as they can – turn both ways, clearly not sedately!  Then the woemen doe first like the man – here it’s “man” singular, and the woman goes around the set, and turne all againe soundly.

They shall weave apace bethwene the man, and woeman, one on the one side, and the other on the other, and having weaved downe to the bottome they alone shall turne, and then weave up agayne to their places, and turne both forewards, and backwards.  This is pretty clear: 1C weave down their own lines, turn at the bottom, then weave back up again, and turn both ways at the top.

This leaves the first couple where they started.  It says nothing about them casting to the bottom to give the next couple a go – they might all be bored by now, or they might only be getting started!  Once through the whole dance, assuming a 4-couple set, takes:

  • 16 bars for the intros

  • 8 bars for turning

  • 24 bars for the man to set around the set

  • 8 bars for turning

  • 24 bars for the woman to set around the set

  • 48 bars to repeat the previous 64 with turning instead of setting (approximately)

  • 8 bars for turning

  • 16 (or more) bars for the weaving and turning.

In total this is (approximately) 152 bars, which works out as about 2½ minutes of dancing.  If we want to carry on for all 4 couples we’ll be dancing for 10 minutes – which is on the long side by modern standards but not unreasonable, and they had longer attention spans then!  Also note that the Playford version finishes with the rest doing these Changes, i.e. they all get a go there, and that version is even longer! So we'll do the usual thing of casting to the bottom to start again.