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



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.