Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

MacDonald Of The Isles For Five Couples

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

MACDONALD OF THE ISLES FOR FIVE COUPLES (Big Mac) (S5x32) 5C set John F Rigby Montreal Moments

1- 8 2s and 4s dance diagonal reels of four with 1st corners and end dancing LSh round partner to face 2nd corners
9-16 2s and 4s dance diagonal reels of four with 2nd corners and ending in original places
17-24 All dance a Cumulative Grand Chain:-
' 17-20 1s+3s cross RH and face down, 1s+2s also 3s+4s change places on the sides LH
' 21-24 2s cross RH as 1s+4s also 3s+5s change places RH on the sides, 2s+4s also 1s+5s change places LH on sides as 3s cross LH. 4(2)5(1)3
25-28 4s+2s also 1s+5s dance ½ R&L, 4s+5s dance ½ Figs of 8 (Men up, Ladies down) 24153

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


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

MacDonald Of The Isles For Five Couples - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Also see the dance MacDonald Of The Isles by Derek Haynes.

The nickname for this dance, Big Mac, is a reference to both MacDonald Of The Isles and the (in)famous Big Mac burger produced by McDonald's, an international fast food restaurant chain. Like the burger, this Big Mac strathspey is a bumper version of the MacDonald Of The Isles dance.

The name of the big burger was popularised by a 1974 advertising campaign featuring a list of the ingredients in a Big Mac: "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions - on a sesame seed bun."

Big Mac - Information Video

The Lord of the Isles is a title of Scottish nobility with historical roots that go back beyond the Kingdom of Scotland. It emerged from a series of hybrid Viking/Gaelic rulers of the west coast and islands of Scotland in the Middle Ages, who wielded sea-power with fleets of galleys. Although they were, at times, nominal vassals of the Kings of Norway, Ireland, or Scotland, the island chiefs remained functionally independent for many centuries.

Their territory included the Hebrides, (Skye and Ross from 1438), Knoydart, Ardnamurchan, and the Kintyre peninsula. At their height they were the greatest landowners and most powerful lords in the British Isles after the Kings of England and Scotland.

The end of the MacDonald Lords came in 1493 when John MacDonald forfeited his estates and titles to King James IV of Scotland. Since that time, the title has been held by the Duke of Rothesay, the eldest son and heir apparent of the King of Scotland, which, since the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain, is now borne by the Prince of Wales. Thus Prince Charles is the current Lord of the Isles.

The only island still in the possession of the MacDonalds is tiny Cara off Kintyre, which is owned by the MacDonalds of Largie, a small remnant of a once vast family inheritance.

MacDonald Of The Isles - Information Video

Big Mac Image
Big Mac


Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Big Mac article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original Lord Of The Isles article on Wikipedia.
Image Copyright Evan-Amos [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Additional search terms: McDonald, Big Mac.

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