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Village 10. The Hands Off Waltz Blind Cupid I Pan's Prank I Smitten in Error

Village 12. The Even Handed Landler Bitter Sweet I The Owl's Lament I The Nightingale'sJoy

Country 3. The Little Landler Weathervane off the Gable / Storkneston the Chimney I Dovecote in the Steeple

Town 4. The Grand Illusion Imagining Home / Begetting Parents / Suckling on Nostalgia

Town 9. The Alexandrina Waltz Creeping Upstairs / Assembly Aflight I Breather on the Balcony

Court 4. Two Steps to Hell Lamplight Wonderland I Ballroom Blur I Open the Widows

(extracted from Lost Dances of Earthly Delights, Volume 1 - Winter 6)

I Wonder as I Wander


Form as many couples as will facing along the l.o.d. holding inside hs. Start outside foot (M's l.f., W's r.f.). Prepare for travelling waltz steps. Finish sequence either staying with same partner or having progressed to a new, M against l.o.d, W along. Dance the 16-bar waltz sequence as many times as will.


I wonder as I wander

out under the sky


With 4 travelling waltz steps M pass W across to left, (from his r.h. to his l.h.) taking new inside hand.

How Jesus the Savior

did come for to die


M pass W back to r.side, and as she comes in front of M she puts her l.h. on her r.hip and he puts his r.arm (under joined arms) behind her back to take her l.h., to flow into a cw wheel, finishing M on inside facing along l.o.d., W on outside facing against..

For poor orn'ry people      


With 2 waltz steps W releases M's l.h. from her r.h. and turns out over l.sh. all the way to face back against l.o.d., her l.h. now holding M's r.h. in front of her chest, and her r.h. slips behind the M's back to take the l.h. which the M has put behind his l.hip.

like you and like I,


M, doing as W did, lets go with his r.h. to turn out over l.sh. once around, and resume back hold by slipping his r.h. back behind W's back to there once again take her l.h.

I wonder as I wander


W does a second turn out over her l.sh. but this time finishing facing partner and hesitating with the music

out under the sky.


Either, 2h turn once around cw and open out ready to start again with same partner, Or, M guides W on along l.o.d. to next M and reaches back against l.o.d. to receive own new partner.


This carol was collected in Murphy, North Carolina in July 1933 by John Jacob Niles (1892-1980), a leading American folksong collector, who, it is said, paid a young travelling evangelist Annie Morgan 25c an hour to sing it until he had memorised it. Niles published it in his 1934 Songs of the Hill-Folk. It is often referred to as a traditional Appalachian carol, but just how far back it goes is not clear. Some believe it was only a generation old when collected. Its questioning pensiveness and gentle free speech lilt give it, nevertheless, a certain timeless quality. Copyright in Australia is claimed by Warmer/Chappell Music and with their permission the full text and tune have been reproduced in The Christmas Carol Dance Book. The first stanza only is offered here to inform the dance instructions, and should not be reproduced without copyright permission.


To match the A part of this 'open air' carol is a very expansive almost wandering figure. Worked into the B part is the central feature of the beautiful waltz Lloyd Shaw learnt from a young Russian immigrant to the U.S. and included as 'The Tamara Waltz' in his 1948 classic The Round Dance Book. The hesitation towards the end of the tune is matched in the dance by a hesitation before taking 2hs with partner and turning or progressing on to a new partner. The dance leader may wish to make a game of switching between the two possible versions - at the hesitation inviting dancers to say 'hello' and stay with partner or say 'good-bye' and progress on. To make the face-to-face hesitation even more dramatic, make sure all the preceding figures are danced strictly side-by-side, promenading in A1 both facing forward, and starting and finishing the wheel in A2 and turns in B1 facing in exactly the opposite direction, r.sh. to r.sh.. Once mastered dancers will discover they can actually dance the turn outs in the B part while continuing to wheel.