Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Muirland Willie

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

MUIRLAND WILLIE (J8x32) 3C (4C set) RSCDS Book 21

1- 4 1s lead down middle and cross over to cast up to 2nd place while 2s set and cross RH to 3rd place while 3s cast up to 1st place and cross RH
5- 8 All set and ½ turn 2H to own side
9-16 Repeat bars 1- 8 from new positions
17-24 1s lead up to 1st place (4 bars); 1s set (2 bars) then 1s+2s set advancing ready for...
25-32 1s+2s dance Poussette. 213

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


Muirland Willie
Anon   RSCDS Book 21
Jig   8 x 32 bars   3 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Longwise Set

  1-4   1s cross down to third place and cast up to second place WHILE 2s set and cross down to third place WHILE 3s cast to the top and cross, finishing 3s1s2s on opposite sides;

  5-6   all take hands and set on the sides;

  7-8   all cross with both hands to own sides;

  9-16 repeat bars 1-8 from new positions, finishing 2s3s1s on opposite sides;

17-20 1s lead to the top;

21-22 1s set;

23-24 1s2s take hands on the sides and set, advancing;

25-32 1s2s poussette.

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


Dance Notes

  1-4   Very quick; 1s 2s take right hands when crossing down.

  6-6   Release hands early and set advancing on this left foot step.

  7-8   Use pas-de-basque step.

  9-12 Very quick; 3s (from 1st place), 1s (from 2nd place), take right hands when crossing down.

14-14 Release hands early and set advancing on this left foot step.

15-16 Use pas-de-basque step.

17-20 Sedate. Nearer hands joined is more comfortable.

19-20 2s 3s take hands on the sides and step down.

25-32 In the 2nd, 4th and 6th repeats, 1s2s3s dance poussette for 3 couples (preferably the more graceful form but, if preferred, the athletic version for the young and agile) so that 1s finish in 4th place of the full set and all others are in place for the new repeat when the new 1s2s3s must all be active on bar 1.


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Muirland Willie - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The title of this dance, Muirland Willie, comes from the "Muirland Willie Song" which is by an unknown deviser and can be found in 'A Collection of Old Ballads', an anonymous book published 1723 - 1725 in three volumes in London by Roberts and Leach.

Hearken and I will tell you how
Young Muirland Willie came to woo,
Tho' he cou'd neither say nor do;
The truth I tell to you.
But aye, he cries, Whate'er betide,
Maggy I'se ha'e to be my bride,
With a fal, dal, etc.

In the third volume there are a few Scottish items - "The Broom Of Cowdenknowes", "Bessy Bell And Mary Gray", "Muirland Willie" and "The Gaberlunzie Man".

Muirland Willie Song - Information Video

Pleasures Of The Ball Painting Image
"The Pleasures Of The Ball" Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), Oil On Canvas, c. 1717


Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Collection of Old Ballads article on Wikipedia.
Image Copyright Antoine Watteau [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'Muirland Willie' page