Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Gilly Flower

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE GILLY FLOWER (J8x32) 3C (4C set) P Roberts RSCDS Book 36

1- 8 1s+2s set and rotate:
 Set, rotate singly and dance on 1 place clockwise, change places RH on sides and dance on 1 place to own sides (1s in 2nd place)
9-16 2s+1s+3s dance reels of 3 on sides (1s pass 3s by LSh to start). At end 2L and 1M face out
17-24 2s+1s dance RH across, 1s+3s dance LH across
25-28 2s+1s+3s set advancing to form circle (no hands), set turning right about on the spot
29-32 All dance ½ RH across (2 bars), drop hands and chase clockwise round to places

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Gilly Flower - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

It is hard to be certain about what the title of this dance refers to.

"The" in the title is not usually used to refer to a person, so the actress Gilly Flower (1908-2001), an English actress and model, best remembered as the elderly Miss Abitha Tibbs in the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers doesn't quite fit the title.

The flower, Matthiola Incana, a species of flowering plant in the cabbage family Brassicaceae, whose common names include Brompton stock, common stock, hoary stock, ten-week stock, and gilly-flower seems an imperfect fit for the title, since it is usually only called Gilly-Flower or more commonly Gillyflower.

Matthiola incana is a common garden flower, available in a variety of colours, many of which are heavily scented and also used in floristry.

Perhaps the best fit for the title would be the poem To The Gilly-Flower by E H Bickersteth, although the hyphen in the title and the subject of the poem (the flower) still leaves some small doubt, it is such a lovely poem, we will include it here for you.

Come, lonely, melancholy flow'r,
Who lov'st with me the silent hour,
Come shed abroad, when stars are high,
Thy faint perfume, thine od'rous sigh.

The original tune used for this dance is Opera Dance by William Nisbet.

The Gilly Flower
The Gilly Flower, Matthiola Incana

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Gilly Flower article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original Matthiola Incana article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Robert Flogaus-Faust, Creative Commons Licence 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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