Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE BONNIE LASS O' BON ACCORD (S64) Sq.Set John Drewry Bon Accord Book

1- 8 (8 bar introduction) All stand for 4 bars then bow and curtsey to Partner and to Corner
9-16 1s+3s lead into centre and lead opposite person through side couples, cross, cast to meet partner and turn RH to end with Lady on Man's left
17-24 2s+4s repeat and end with Men facing out
25-32 All dance full interlocking Reels of 4 across giving LH in centre, ending with Ladies dancing clockwise round outside of set to meet next Man as Men dance anticlockwise (from LH across) to meet next Lady
33-38 Men turn new partner RH into Allemande hold, dance round anticlockwise ½ way and turn Ladies to face them (as ordinary Allemande)
39-40 All cast round to right passing original partner and turn in to face them
41-48 All dance Grand Chain
49-56 All set to partners and turn 2H opening into 4H round (1s+4s and 2s+3s) opening into
57-64 All circle 8H round and back

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

The Bonnie Lass o' Bon Accord
John Drewry   Bon Accord Book
Strathspey   8+56 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Square Set

8 bar introduction.

  1-2   Taking partner's nearer hand, 1s 3s advance;

  3-4   Taking left hands, 1M3L 1L3M cross out at the side;

  5-6   1M 3L 1L 3M cast and meet partner in the opposite place;

  7-8   1s 3s turn partner by the right, finishing on the wrong side of partner (i.e., each L on partner's left);

  9-16 2s 4s repeat bars 1-8, all now on opposite sides and in partners' places, Mn facing out;

17-22 Mn cast to the right following Ls into ¾ of interlocking reels of 4 (left hands across in centre), finishing with Ls facing out;

23-24 all continue a modified last ¼ of the interlocking reels of 4, Mn with left hands across halfway and finishing facing anticlockwise WHILE Ls cast in a more open loop, finishing with all taking right hands with the approaching second corner (1L with 2M, 2L with 3M etc.);

25-30 all turn into allemande hold facing anticlockwise, allemande halfway, unwind, drop right hands and Mn turn Ls to face anticlockwise;

31-32 Mn cast WHILE Ls dance anticlockwise inside the set, finishing with all pulling right shoulder back to face partners in original places;

33-40 grand chain;

41-44 all set and turn partners with both hands;

45-48 1s4s 2s3s four hands round to the left;

49-56 8 hands round and back.

(MAXICRIB. Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)

Dance Notes

On bar 5 of introduction, acknowledge partners; on bar 7, step slightly away from partner (especially 2s 4s to give room for the dancing couples to get through) and acknowledge adjacent (first) corner.
While waiting for bar 5, make eye contact with your second corner (three dancers away on your partner's side); you have to go off with him/her on bar 24.

  1-4   The original instructions have take right hands in each case but nearer hands to advance with your partner and left hands to cross out with your opposite flows better.

    -16 All on opposite sides and wrong side of partner, Mn facing out.

23-24 Ls make the last loop of the interlocking reels much wider than normal; after the second left hands across in the centre, progress clockwise half a position before pulling right shoulder back to take allemande hold with the next M coming out of his left hands across; Mn continue to face anticlockwise at the end of the left hands across.

    -24 Don't panic! Find your second corner (the one you didn't formally acknowledge) for the allemande.

24-32 The only really tricky bit.

25-28 Only half way round, finishing just past your partner's original place.

    -30 All in the circle facing anticlockwise, each L in front of the M with whom she danced allemande.

45-     As a mnemonic, the couple numbers both add up to 5.

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Bonnie (pretty) - Lass (girl, young lady)

The title of this dance, The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord, comes from the The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord - Song a traditional Scottish tune written by J Scott Skinner in 1884.

The "Bonnie Lass" referred to in the song, was the late Wilhelmina (Mina) Bell whom Skinner had met in Aberdeen in 1884.

On a gravestone in Fetteresso Cemetery, Stonehaven, Scotland, is the inscription: "In loving memory of Mina Bell, who died 8th June, 1938, aged 72 years, immortalised in James Scott Skinner's masterpiece The Bonnie Lass o' Bon-Accord."

The Bonnie Lass o'Bon-Accord,
Looks lang owre the bar o' the Dee,
An' the Bonnie Lass o' Bon-Accord
Comes hame wi' the tear in her e'e.
An there's never a wind but blaws to her gate
Some brisk braw carle come to woo;
But wi' neither the kilt nor the coat will she mate,
For her heart's wi' the jacket o' blue.

The Bon Accord Free Church is a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland in Aberdeen.

Bon Accord is the motto of the city of Aberdeen and is often used as another of the many nicknames for the city; it means "Good Agreement" in French.

Legend tells that its use dates from the 14th century password used by Robert the Bruce during the Wars of Scottish Independence, when he and his men laid siege to Aberdeen Castle before destroying it in 1308 and massacring the English Garrison, retaking Aberdeen for the townspeople. The secret phrase to initiate the campaign was "Bon Accord".

The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord Song - Information Video

Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord

Here Lies The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Heraldry Of Aberdeen article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright C Michael Hogan under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.
Additional search terms: Bonny, Bonn, Acord, Lass Of Bon.

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