1- 8 1s cross RH, cast 1 place, ½ turn LH and lead (LH) up to top, staying in middle facing down
9-16 1s+2s circle 4H round and back
17-24 1s lead down the middle and back
25-32 1s+2s dance Poussette. 2 1
(MINICRIB, Dance Crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)
The melody is believed be very old, having been first published by John Playford in his "Musick's Hand-Maid" as A Scotish March (1663), then later in his "Musick's Recreation" (1669) as "Montrose's March". It appears as A Rock and a wi Pickle Tow in Mitchell's "Highland Fair" (1731) and as Rock and a wi Pickle Tow in publisher James Oswald's "Curious Collection of Scots Tunes" The melody was also used in other tunes (e.g. Pretender's March, and Carawith Jig).
The song describes a woman drop spinning, her frustrating problems with it and the inevitable loss of her temper.
Rock is a distaff or spindle for spinning.
Pickle refers to a small quantity of something, a little.
Tow is a small tuft, lock or bundle of fibre such as wool or flax, prepared for spinning by scutching.
The first verse of Ross' song is: