Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Over The Hill (Haynes)

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

OVER THE HILL (S8x32) 3C (4C set) Derek Haynes Carnforth Collection 3

1- 8 1s+2s dance the Tournée:
 1s+2s dance into prom hold (Men with partner on right, 1s face Men's side and 2s Ladies' side), couples ½ wheel anticlockwise and Men turn Ladies into middle, both couples turn 1½ times (2s RH, 1s LH) and 1s end facing 1st corners
9-24 1s dance Corner Chain with 1st and 2nd corners:
 1s change places RH with 1st corners, 1st corners turn LH in centre and return to places giving RH to 1s who turn LH in centre to face 2nd corners
 1s change places RH with 2nd corners, 2nd corners turn LH in centre and return to places giving RH to 1s and 1s end turning LH to end side by side (LSh to LSh) facing 1st corners
25-32 1s dance RH across (1L with 2s and 1M with 3s), pass RSh to dance LH across with other couple

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

Dance Information

Also see the dance Over The Hill (Drewry) by John Drewry.
Also see the dance Over The Hill (Tavener) by Janet Tavener.

At last! A dance that by its very name is right down my street!

Over the Hill is a 32-bar strathspey devised by the inimitable Derek Haynes as part of Volume 3 of his Carnforth Collection. To gain a cautious dancer's close attention, it starts with a Tournée and then leads into a Corner Chain. The Tournée? That's a progression that some of us who are indeed "over the hill", as the saying goes, have to more or less re-learn each and every time it surfaces in a program.

Derek Haynes was born a Lancastrian, whose ancestors may well have fought in the Wars of the Roses in the 15th century in which the House of Lancaster (Red Rose) defeated the House of York (White Rose) to gain the English throne. As a Scottish country dancer, he devised over 60 dances to attain the stature of those other iconic SCD devisers, John Drewry and Roy Goldring.

Check these examples of his devising skill. He was responsible for Miss Gibson's Strathspey, The Clansman, the fearsome (for some) five-couple Black Mountain Reel, the cute, partnerless and very simple Domino Five, and a jig called The Famous Grouse, which I don't think I have ever sampled, except in its liquid form as a premium blended Scotch whisky. With regret, nor have I ever experienced Jennifer's Itchy Fingers, which he devised as a reel.

I believe that all of Derek's dances are contained in his Carnforth Collection. Carnforth is another English town in Lancashire, just a few miles north of his Lancaster home. They are both just off the M6 motorway as one drives towards the Scottish border to reach Glasgow, perhaps after day-tripping to Blackpool, which is always full of Scottish grannies.

In 2005 at the age of 73, Derek shuffled off this mortal coil (as Shakespeare might have said), although he more likely left us by dancing down - but not back. As a tribute to Derek's life and commitment to RSCDS, Roy Goldring devised a reel called The Inimitable Derek, to which I alluded earlier in this piece.

We all know, of course, that "over the hill" is an idiomatic way of saying "past one's prime". That said, it may now be in conflict with a more contemporary turn of phrase which says that "eighty is the new sixty". One thing is certain. Those of us who are unequivocally past our prime are made aware of that certainty the minute we step on the dance floor, and we are always hopeful that those of you who are more youthful will cut us a little slack. Me? Over the hill, but not done yet!

The Barry Pipes Canon 081- February, 2016.

(Dance information from set and link, RSCDS Toronto Newsletter - What's In A Name? The Barry Pipes Canon 2005-2018, reproduced here with kind permission. Copyright Barry Pipes. All rights reserved)

Sun, rising over the hill with lone tree.
Sun Rise Over The Hill

Image copyright (cropped) Photo Dharma from Sadao, Thailand / CC BY (, via Wikimedia Commons.

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