Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Birks Of Invermay

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE BIRKS OF INVERMAY (S8x32) 3C (4C set) Thomas Skillern RSCDS Book 16

1- 8 1M+2L turn 2H, 1L+2M turn 2H (3 bars) and 1s+2s+3s dance in for...
9-16 1s+2s+3s Promenade
17-24 1s cross RH, cast to 2nd place, cross up between 2s and cast to 2nd place (2s move up on bars 23-24)
25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Birks Of Invermay - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

"The Birks of Endermay" (or Invermay) was a song published in William Thompson's "Orpheus Caledonius (1733)". It will always be associated with the Tragedy of Captain William Leslie and Dr. Benjamin Rush. As "The Birks of Invermay" it was also sung by the Scots poet Robert Fergusson as he lay dying from a head injury, in the Edinburgh madhouse, aged 24, in 1774. The original lyrics were by David Mallet (or Malloch) - though inevitably Robert Burns later got in on the act too! Invermay is a place 8 km SW of Perth in central Scotland; and "birk" is Scots for a birch-tree. Who devised the dance, and when, isn't entirely clear but it is credited to Thomas Skillern in his book of 24 dances published in 1795.

Forest Of Birches, Scotland Image
A Forest Of Birches, Scotland

Dance information by Sir Christopher MacRae, KCMG.
Image Copyright M J Richardson under this Creative Commons Licence.

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