Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Moggie And The Fish

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Moggie And The Fish 48 bar Reel for 3 Couples Rod Downey The Johnsonville Collection
A three couple 48 bar reel in a 3 couple set.

1-8 All take hands on the side and set (2) cross over RH (2) set, crossing back RH to finish ready for a three couple promenade.
9-16 First second and third couples dance a three couple promenade.
17-32 The three ladies dance a Progressive Sheepskin Hey around the three men, finishing in order 2,3,1 on the ladies' side. To wit:
 The three ladies follow the first lady across the set, first lady and second lady dance behind the first man, in front of the second man, and behind and around the third man turning to come back up the set (as if the first and second ladies were dancing a figure of eight around the men).
 The third lady follows except after she dances around the second man, she casts UP, now the leader of the group. First lady will follow her followed by the second lady.
 The first lady follows the third lady in front and around the first man then casting down the set ready to follow the second lady around and in front of the second man.
 The second lady will be following, and this time she will instead dance around in front of the second man, ready to dance out between the second and third men so that she now leads the group (now in order behind the second lady 2,3,1) behind the third man, across the foot of the set and home to place in progressed places.
 (In effect, the first lady crosses and dances 1½ figures of eight around the men. The trailing person (first the third woman, second the second woman) will complete a full loop to change direction as they travel around the second man. These could be thought of a "lead change half figures of eight".)
33-48 The three men dance likewise around the women.

Repeat two more times.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser Rod Downey, Johnsonville SCD Club Tutor)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

This reel, Moggie And The Fish, was devised on 27th May 2014.

The dance is given to Moggie Grayson who found my fish kilt pin, which I lost at the local Viking Ball, and mailed it home to me, along with the following poem.

On Finding Rod's Kilt Pin

Said the fishy to the tablecloth
Please look down here at me
I jumped off Rodney's kilt and landed way below his knee
Please pick me up and save me
From an agonizing fate
I could be crushed 'neath heavy feet
And then I would be "late"
O, happy day, and bless the gentle hand that made me fly
Adventure now awaits me
In a postman's bag to hide
En route to Downey's household
And reunion so gay
Please pin me tight and off we'll go
To dance another day.

Moggie Grayson, 19 May, 2014.

The Sheepskin Hey (sometimes called "Sheephead Hey") is a similar figure from traditional English Country Dancing, in dances like Picking Up Sticks. This is about ⅔ of the figure which I modified to make it progressive. My wife Kristin, and I, learned of the figure whilst dancing with a medieval dance group in Cambridge (UK), the Capriol Dancers.

The recommended tune is "Miss Gayton's Hornpipe". A suitable recording is "The Sound of Harris" by Andrew Rankine and his Band.

(Dance information from The Johnsonville Collection Of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey)

Published in The Johnsonville Collection, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey.

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