Annotation:Ruidhleadh nan coileach dubha

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RUIDHLEADH NAN COILEACH DUBHA (Reel of the Blackcocks). Shetland, Reel. D Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Each section of the tune consists of only four measures, repeated. Two different two-couple dances called Ruidhleadh nan Coileach Dubha were collected from the Shetland Islands and published by Flett and Flett in their article "Some Hebridean Folk Dances" in the periodical Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol. 7, No. 2 (Dec., 1953, pp. 112-127). One was learned in 1956 in South Uist from one Mrs. Margaret MacAskill, then aged 80, who used to perform the reel at gatherings in the crofts in Smerclett, southern South Uist; the second is from Neil MacNeil and is from Barra. Both are performed to the same tune, which also is the vehicle for a Gaelic dance-song which begins:

Ruidhleadh nan coileadch dubha Reeled the blackcocks
's dannsaidh na tunnagan, And danced the ducks,
Ruidhleadh nan coileach dubha Reeled the blackcocks
Air a' bhruthaich shios ud. On the banks up there.

Flett and Flett (1964) remark: "A number of the older Gaelic dances contained a certain amount of miming, and we believe that this miming was largely determined by the words of the appropriate dance-song. The dance Ruidhleadh nan Coileach Dubha is a case in point--here the kneeling couple represent the ducks, while the dancing couple are the blackcocks." It is a two couple dance in which the dancers are intended to represent blackcocks and ducksm where the dancers peck each other with their "beaks", and waggle their tails. The dance was taught at a dancing school held in Castlebay, Barra by Ronald Morrison in about 1881.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Flett & Flett (Traditional Dancing in Scotland), 1964; p. 169.

Recorded sources: -

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