Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Ale Is Dear

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE ALE IS DEAR (M-(S16+R16)) Round The Room Iain Boyd SCD Archives
Round the room dance, 3 facing 3

Strathspey
1- 8 In lines of 3 all set and change places RH with opposite person and circle 6H round to left
9-16 The 2 Men set (centre dancers), cast to their right and dance a Fig of 8 round the end Ladies to end BtoB facing other Ladies

Reel
17-24 All dance Double Triangles
25-32 Men dance reels of 3 with original partners giving RSh to Lady on right

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


Dance Information

This medley, The Ale Is Dear, is a round the room medley.

The title of the dance is taken from the traditional tune The Ale Is Dear, also known as Maighstir Ord, Tha Leann Daor Aig Na Gillun.

The recommended music is The Wife She Brewed It, and The Ale is Dear.

The tune The Ale Is Dear was written by William Gunn (1795- 1867) who was a Highland piper, pipe maker and teacher. It was published in his Caledonian Repository of Music Adapted for the Bagpipes in 1848.

While "Dear" in the music's title means expensive or costly, the alternative meaning of the word would suffice for many an ale drinker.

The Ale Is Dear - Information Video

In The Tavern, oil on panel
"In The Tavern" Adriaen Brouwer (c. 1605/1606-1638), Oil On Panel, First Half Of 17th Century


Image copyright Adriaen Brouwer / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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