Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Bonnie Charlie

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

BONNIE CHARLIE (R4x32) 4C set Ed Stern Blue Ribbon Collection and Let's All Dance

1- 8 1s+2s also 3s+4s circle 4H round and back
9-16 1s in prom hold (Lady on Man's Left) dance down the middle and dance up behind Men back to places
17-24 All dance RSh reels of 4 on sides
25-32 1s ½ turn RH and dance down opposite sides and turn RH at bottom 1½ times

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


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Bonnie Charlie - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

This reel, Bonnie Charlie, is a good dance for teaching reels of four and is assumed to be an allusion to Bonnie Prince Charlie, in the absence of any deviser's notes saying otherwise.

Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart (Bonnie Charlie) (20 December 1720 – 30 January 1788) was the elder son of James Francis Edward Stuart, grandson of James II and VII, and the Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain after 1766 as "Charles III".

During his lifetime, he was also known as "the Young Pretender" and "the Young Chevalier"; in popular memory, he is "Bonnie Prince Charlie".

He is best remembered for his role in the 1745 rising; his defeat at Culloden in April 1746 effectively ended the Stuart cause, and subsequent attempts failed to materialise, such as a planned French invasion in 1759. His escape from Scotland after the uprising led to his portrayal as a romantic figure of heroic failure.

Bonnie Prince Charlie - Information Video


The title of this dance, Bonnie Charlie, is also shared with the Bonnie Charlie - Poem written by Perthshire-born Lady Nairne (1766-1845).

Bonnie Charlie's noo awa
Safely o'er the friendly main;
He'rts will a'most break in twa
Should he no' come back again.

The song, especially its melody, is widely and traditionally used as a song of farewell.

Bonnie Charlie Song - Information Video

Bonnie Charlie
"Portrait Of Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788)" Louis Gabriel Blanchet (1705-1772), Oil On Canvas, c. 1738


Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Charles Edward Stuart article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original Bonnie Charlie article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Louis Gabriel Blanchet (1705-1772) (National Portrait Gallery: NPG 5517) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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