Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Back O' Bennachie

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE BACK O' BENNACHIE (R8x32) 2C (4C set) John M Duthie 8 SCDs

1- 8 2M dances reel of 3 with 1s (RSh to 1L)
9-16 2L dances reel of 3 with 1s (LSh to 1M)
17-24 1L+2M change places RH, 1M+2L change places RH, 1s+2s dance ½ R&L
25-32 1s cross, cast and dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s

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


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

The Back O' Bennachie - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The title of this dance, The Back O' Bennachie, comes from The Back O' Bennachie - Poem a famous old Scots song also known as Whaur Gadie Rins. Very many versions exist, the original author is unknown dating back to the early 1600s.

O! gin I war whaur Gadie rins
Whaur Gadie rins, whaur Gadie rins
O! gin I war whaur Gadie rins
At the back O' Bennachie

The Gadie Is a stream flowing at the base of Bennachie, in the north west corner -"The Back" of Bennachie. On maps it is shown as "Gadie Burn".

One version was believed to have been written by Dr. John Park (1805- 1865) a minister in St. Andrews. He reportedly heard a peasant girl singing the words. There are a number of versions of the song, the main theme of which is how the singer yearns for childhood playing in the Gadie Burn at the Back O' Bennachie.

The NW side of Bennachie faces the central highlands, whereas the east side of Bennachie faces Aberdeen on the more populous East coast. To a person on the east coast the back of Bennachie would be its west side.

No doubt the park was named after the famous old song. The trees in the picture below look about 40 years old, fast growing pines or firs, part of an "industrial" tree plantation or re-afforestation project, grown for lumber.

Bennachie is a range of hills in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It has several tops, the highest of which is Oxen Craig. To the north of Oxen Craig is a Forestry Commission car park and forest named Back o'Bennachie. In winter it is in the shade of Bennachie all day, so for several weeks the sun never shines on it at all.

The Back O' Bennachie Song - Information Video

Back O' Bennachie Image
The Back O' Bennachie Forest Trail


Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Bennachie article on Wikipedia.
Image Copyright Anne Burgess under this Creative Commons Licence.
Additional search terms: Back Of Bennachie, Duthrie.

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