Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Robert Fergusson's Rant

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Robert Fergusson's Rant (H8x32) 3C (4C set) Lewis N Derrick 2023

1-4 The 1st couple turn by the right hand and cast off one place; the 2nd couple step up on bars 3-4
5-8 The 1st couple turn by the left hand to finish in the centre with the woman facing up and the man down
9-12 Half reels of three across, the 1st woman with the 2nd couple, the 1st man with the 3rd couple. To begin the 1st couple give left shoulders to their first corners and all end with hands joined in double triangles formation, 2nd couple on opposite sides facing down, 1st couple back to back the woman facing up, the man facing down, 3rd couple on opposite sides facing up
13-16 All set twice, on bars 15-16 the 1st couple drop hands and rotate setting a quarter turn by the right to face own sides, the 2nd and 3rd couples remain facing down and up respectively
17-20 Half reels of three on sides, the 1st woman with the 2nd and 3rd men on the women's side, the 1st man with the 2nd and 3rd women on the men's side. To begin the 1st couple give right shoulders to their own second corners (who are on opposite sides) and all end with hands joined in double triangles formation, 3rd and 2nd couples on opposite sides facing in, the 1st couple back to back facing own sides
21-24 All set twice, on bars 23-24 the 1st couple drop hands and rotate setting by the right to second place on own sides ending in order 312 with the 2nd and 3rd couples still on opposite sides
25-28 The 1st couple dance half diagonal rights and lefts with the 3rd woman and the 2nd man; to begin the 1st man dances down and the 1st woman dances up
29-32 The 1st couple dance half diagonal rights and lefts with the 3rd man and the 2nd woman; to begin the 1st man dances down and the 1st woman dances up

Repeat having passed a couple

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick 2023)


Dance Information

This was devised by Lewis Derrick to Commemorate the Scottish enlightenment poet Robert Fergusson (1750-1774) from Edinburgh, whose work inspired Robert Burns.

Suggested tune: Ferguson's Rant.

Devised 1991, first published electronically 2023.

Copyright 1991, 2023, Lewis N. Derrick.

(Dance information from The McGhie Scottish Country Dance Sheets #60, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick)


Robert Fergusson (1750-1774) was a Scottish poet. After formal education at the University of St Andrews, Fergusson led a bohemian life in Edinburgh, the city of his birth, then at the height of intellectual and cultural ferment as part of the Scottish enlightenment.

Many of his extant poems were printed from 1771 onwards in Walter Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine, and a collected works was first published early in 1773.

Despite a short life, his career was highly influential, especially through its impact on Robert Burns. He wrote both Scottish English and the Scots language, and it is his vivid and masterly writing in the latter leid for which he is principally acclaimed.

Robert Fergusson (1750-1774), Scottish poet
"Robert Fergusson, 1750-1774. Poet" Alexander Runciman (1736-1785) (Scottish), Oil On Paper On Millboard, c. 1772


Published in The McGhie Scottish Country Dance Sheets, Collection 6, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.
Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Robert Fergusson article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Alexander Runciman, public domain, via Wikipedia.

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