Three Jolly Black Sheepskins


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Six dancers in a longways set without sticks

The sheepskins hey is a luscious, flowing curve. We dance it round hats; some sides dance round people, as in the Playford dance Picking of Sticks, where the men do a sheepskins hey round the women, then the women hey round the men.

Three Jolly Black Sheepskins - the tune

This is one of our earliest dances and tunes. We were taught it by Plum Jerkum. The As and Bs come in sets of 2, or 3 for the heys, the final A or B in either case is marked by a variation in the tune that carries it up to an octave above the starting note at the end. We also apply a general band habit of playing one part (usually sticking) slightly staccato, and the other part legato to present a contrast. We have to do something to make these tunes more fun to play! The band is supposed to advance to meet the dancers at the end for a final flourish before the dance off. The dance off was often a version of All Around My Hat by Steeleye Span. Lately the dance off has become anybody's guess

Format AA BB or AAA BBB Key G
Dance off whatever

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