Peter O'Tavy

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PETER O'TAVY. English, Waltz. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. Peter O'Tavy is the name of a dance from the Isle of Mann. Music and figures to the dance appear in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (III, No. 2, pp. 110-116), in Mona Douglas's article "Manx Folk Dances: their Notation and Revival." It is a slow dance for four performed at weddings (the bride and groom and best man/woman) that requires deliberate movements and considerable balance [1]. A lyric accompanies the tune, sung in Manx:

The man is not drunk, not half drunk, half drunk,
Quarter drunk, quarter drunk, if he can dance.
The man is not drunk at all, at all,
If he can dance Peter o’Tavy.
Peter, Peter, Peter O.
When we’re married away we’ll go.
If we’re not drunk we’ll all have to show
That we can dance Peter o’Tavy!

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (Master Collection of Dance Music for the Violin), 1984; No. 29, p. 28. Speers (Manx Traditional Music for Sessions), 2013.

Recorded sources: Kelly Records MFD 18, Charles Guard - "Daunseyn Theayagh Vannin/Manx Folk Dance Music."

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