Annotation:Clog Dance (1)

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X:1 T:Clog Dance [1] M:C| L:1/8 B:Kerr - Merry Melodies, vol. 4 (c. 1880's, No. 273) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A A>ce>c a>ec>A|d2f2d2f2|A>ce>c a>ec>A|B2e2B2e2| A>ce>c a>ec>A|d2f2d2f2|e>ag>f (3efe (3dcB|A2c2A2z2|| A2 c>e A2c>e|d2f2d2f2|A2 c>e A2>ce|B2e2B2e2| A2 c>e A2c>e|d2f2d2f2|e>a g>f (3efe (3dcB|A2a2A2||

CLOG DANCE [1]. AKA and see "Willenhall Clog Dance." Scottish, English; Clog or Hornpipe (cut time). A Major (Kerr): G Major (Raven). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "Clog Dance (1)" AKA "Willenhall Clog Dance" is a Lancashire clog (Willenhall is a historic market town in the historic county of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands, England, near Birmingham). Clog dancing in England is particularly associated in the 19th century with cotton mills where wooden-soled clogs were preferred to leather[1]. Initially, the dancing was started simply to alleviate boredom and warm up in the cold industrial towns, and was mostly done by men. Female employees of the mills also clogged to keep time with the rhythmic sounds of the machinery. It is even said that knowledgeable mill people could tell from the dancing which machines the women and girls worked, and at which of the many mills of the Midlands and North West England they were employed[2]. As the popularity of clogging grew to its peak between 1880 and 1904, men would compete professionally in music halls. The money awarded to winners would be a valuable source of income for the poor working classes. There was even a World Clog Dancing Championships, which Dan Leno won in 1883.

The first strain is shared with the English "Dorset Four Hand Reel (2)," Prince Edward Island's "Doucette's Dream" and the Irish "Low Level Hornpipe (The)." See also the related "Leitrim Clog Dance."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 4), c. 1880's; No. 273, p. 29. William McConnell (The Rhythm of the Mills: Violin Duet). Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 155.

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  1. Wooden clogs were preferred as the floors were kept wet to facilitate processing of the cotton by keeping humidity high. Also, nails in leather soles could cause sparks, and the wooden clogs lowered the risk of explosion.
  2. See William McConnell's The Rhythm of the Mills.).