Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Carl Cam' Ower The Croft

Scottish Country Dance Instruction


1- 8 1s+2s+3s circle 6H round and back
9-16 1s+2s+3s Promenade
17-24 1s+2s Poussette
25-32 1s dance Double Triangles with 2s+3s

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Carl Cam' Ower The Croft - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

"Carl Cam' Ower The Croft" is Scots for "Carl came over (to?) the croft".

The title of this dance, The Carl Cam' Ower The Croft, comes from The Carle He Cam' Ower The Craft - Song from Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany and an older version of the same song given in Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius, published in 1725.

The carle he cam' ower the craft,
Wi' his beard new-shaven;
He looked at me as he'd been daft,-
The carle trowed that I wad ha'e him.

The meaning of Carl (and the many derivatives e.g. Carle, Karl, Cairl, etc.) is a common man from the lower classes, often associated with peasant farming.

A croft is a fenced or enclosed area of land, usually small and arable with a crofter's dwelling thereon. A crofter is one who has tenure and use of the land.

The word croft is West Germanic in etymology, and is now most familiar in Scotland, most crofts being in the Scottish Highlands and Islands area.

The Gallant
"A Gallant Old Man Courting A Young Woman" Jan Steen (1625/1626-1679), Oil On Panel, c. 1665

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Croft article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Jan Steen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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