Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Seann Truibhas Willichan

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

SEANN TRUIBHAS WILLICHAN (S8x32) 2C (4C set) Thomas Wilson (18C) RSCDS Book 27

1- 8 1s cast and dance down behind own lines, turn outwards and dance back to top
9-16 1L+2M set and change places RH while 1M+2L change places and set and repeat
17-24 1s lead down for 2 steps, turn RH, lead up to top and cast to 2nd place
25-32 2s+1s set and turn partner 2H opening out to circle 4H round to left

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Seann Truibhas Willichan - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

"Seann Truibhas Willichan" or strictly "Seann Triubhas Uilleachain" in Gaelic means "Willie's Old Trousers".

"Seann Triubhas Uilleachain" should be pronounced as "Shah~n True~sh Ooil~chin" in English, with stress on the first syllable and where:
  "sh" is as in "shot";
  "ah" is as in "shah";
  "~" represents the very short, indeterminate, vowel sound;
  "ue" is as in "cue";
  "oo" is as in "noon"; and
  ch is as in "loch".
See Gaelic Dance Names for more information on Gaelic spelling and pronunciation.

There is also a Scottish highland dance Seann Truibhas - Highland Dance Video sometimes danced today at Highland games around the world, as part of Scottish National dances repertoire, which originated from a surprising 18th-century Highland protest song.

After the defeat of the Jacobite Rebellion in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden, the wearing of Highland dress including tartan was proscribed by law between 1747 and 1782. The Gaelic poet Duncan Ban McIntyre wrote a song to protest, set to the tune of a much earlier protest song called "Di'el Stick the Minister" (A sentiment still often expressed today in other contexts...).

However, McIntyre's gripe wasn't the obvious one of most Highlanders forbidden to wear the kilt: it was because the British had failed to distinguish between Highland loyalists like him who had fought for the government, and the Jacobite supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie!

By the mid-nineteenth century, the song had somehow morphed into an early version of the Highland Dance. The original protest is said to lie behind the kicking movements in some versions of the dance (kicking off trousers in celebration of the lifting of Proscription).

Battle Of Culloden
"The Battle Of Culloden" David Morier (1705?-1770), Oil On Canvas, c. 1746

Dance information by Sir Christopher MacRae, KCMG.
Additional dance information Seann Truibhas.
Image copyright David Morier (1705?-1770) / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
Additional search terms: Sean, Trubas, williken, willikan.

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