Parrots at Dawn

An Italian Rant

To the tune of “An Italian Rant”, from the music supplement to the 3rd edition of the Dancing Master, 1657. No dance was written to it at the time. It's a cracking, powerful tune that deserves to be danced to!

The tune has a 4-bar A section and a 10-bar B. It's worth pointing out the extra bars in the B part.

The final progression works well in a Sicillian circle, but the dance can equally well be done in a longways set.

There's a story behind the name. Daisy and I were kindly being put up in a B&B by Chippenham Folk Festival as I was calling. The B&B owners had a parrot that they kept just outside the window of the room we were in, which woke us up very loudly at dawn every morning – funny afterwards but at the time I really needed some sleep!

A1 (4) Side right with contrary (into line siding).
A2 (4) Back-to-back with contrary.
B1 (10) Right hand turn 1¼, leaving women facing away from each other in the middle of a line of 4 (4)
All set right and left to contrary (2)
Half a hey, starting passing contrary right shoulders, finishing next to them in a circle of 4 with the man on the left (4).
B2 (10) Hands 4 slip to the left all the way (4)
Set to partner across the set (2)
Face away from the other couple and take promenade hold with partner: wheel round to the left halfway to face along the direction of travel of the dance (1C down and 2C up if in a longways set) and pass the other couple (men passing left shoulders) to meet another couple (4).
T:Italian Rant, An
B:Playford, Dancing Master,Supplement to 3rd Ed.,1657
Z:Chris Partington <>