• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Singing Squares: Just Because

    January 22nd, 2012
    contra, transcript  [html]
    About a week ago I went looking for recordings of the singing square 'Just Because'. I ended up finding several different versions. It's hard to compare them in audio form, so I decided to transcribe them. Seeing them written out I noticed several big differences:
    • The older versions are really repetitive. While Tod Whittemore and Walter Lenk have everyone do something different each time through (ladies chain, right and left through, stars, promenade the inside (Lenk only), sashay), Frank Fortune and Glenn Pease have the dancers chain each time through.
    • While I think of the break (with the "make it twice") as an integral part of the dance, only the two current ones have it. I wonder when that was added?
    • In a contra dance or unsung square, the caller generally tells you what to do right before the end of one phrase so you can start at the beginning of the next. The calls in a singing square, however, go along with the music and the dancers are used to starting each move on the phrase, which means you're being told what to do at the same time as you're supposed to be doing it. Below you can see the two modern callers occasionally calling out "look for the corner" or "sides your turn" at the end of a phrase so that when they start singing the next call the dancers have a head start. The older recordings don't have that, which makes me think people didn't care so much about being on the phrase. Or maybe no one thought to combine ahead-of-the-phrase calling with the singing.

    Update 2012-01-31: on Saturday I talked to Walter Lenk. He says he learned this square from Tod Whittemore who learned it from Duke Miller. Rewriting the words to not be directed only at the gents ("the one that you just left" in place of "the lady on the left") was quite intentional, though he said he doubts many people notice. He also added the "promenade round the inside" of the set, because he wanted the sashay figure to be with your partner.

    Update 2012-02-29: I tried my hand calling this yesterday and wrote about it after.

    Transcriptions, in chronological order

    Frank Fortune, 1952 Studio Recording (mp3)
    all dosido on your corner
    now dosido with your own
    now aleman left on your corner
    go back and swing your own
    now aleman left on your corner
    go on with the right and left grand
    when you meet your maid you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido on your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido on your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido on your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido on your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    all dosido on your corner
    now dosido with your own
    now aleman left on your corner
    go back and swing your own
    now aleman left on your corner
    go on with the right and left grand
    when you meet your maid you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido on your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido on your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido on your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido on your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    all dosido on your corner
    now dosido with your own
    aleman left on your corner
    go back and swing your own
    aleman left on your corner
    go on with the right and left grand
    when you meet your maid you all promenade
    because, just because
    Frank Fortune, 1955 Live Recording (mp3)
    all dosido with your corner
    dosido with your own
    aleman left with your corner
    go back and swing your own
    now aleman left with your corner
    move on with the right and left grand
    when you meet your maid you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido with your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido with your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido with your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    head two ladies chain right on over
    head two ladies chain right back again
    side two ladies chain right on over
    side two ladies chain right back again
    all dosido with your corner
    everybody swing your corners all
    take that corner maid and you all promenade
    because, just because

    all dosido with your corner
    dosido with your own
    aleman left with your corner
    go back and swing your own
    now aleman left with your corner
    move on with the right and left grand
    when you meet your maid you all promenade
    because, just because
    Glenn Pease, 1973 Live Recording (mp3)
    everybody bow to your partner
    bow to your corner and then
    aleman left and you grand right and left
    half way round you go now
    come back when you meet your partner
    and you right and left back the other way
    when you are home you all swing at home
    because, just because

    oh head two ladies chain over
    and you chain em back home once more
    the two side gents with a ladies chain
    chain em across the floor
    and you aleman left on your corner
    and you swing your partner just once around
    and you take the corner maid and you all promenade
    "because, just because"

    oh head two ladies chain over
    and you chain em back home once more
    the two side gents with a ladies chain
    chain em across the floor
    and you aleman left on your corner
    and you swing your partner just once around
    and you take the corner maid and you all promenade
    "because, just because"

    and you dosido on your corner
    and you dosido with your own
    and you aleman left with the one on the left
    aleman right your own
    then you aleman left and you grand right and left
    half way around to that maid
    take that maid and you all promenade
    "because, just because"

    oh head two ladies chain over
    and you chain em back home once more
    the two side gents with a ladies chain
    chain em across the floor
    and you aleman left on your corner
    and you swing your partner just once around
    and you take the corner maid and you all promenade
    "because, just because"

    oh head two ladies chain over
    and you chain em back home once more
    the two side gents with a ladies chain
    chain em across the floor
    and you aleman left on your corner
    and you swing your partner just once around
    and you take the corner maid and you all promenade
    "because, just because"

    and you dosido on your corner
    and you dosido your own
    and you aleman left with the one on the left
    aleman right your own
    then you aleman left and you grand right and left
    half way around to that maid
    take that maid and you all promenade
    "because, just because"
    Tod Whittemore, 2011 Live Recording (mp3) (youtube)
    bow to your partner
    bow to that corner girl as well
    aleman left with your corner and balance to your own
    grand right and left you will roll
    well you walk right by your partner you keep on going home
    when you get back home you all swing
    you swing with your own and everybody sing (why?)
    "because, just because"

    head ladies chain, right down the center
    you chain those ladies right back home, and then
    side ladies chain, right down the center
    and you chain those ladies right back home again
    aleman left your corner lady aleman right your partner too
    and you swing that corner lady round and round
    and you promenade the ring and everybody sing (why?)
    "because, just because" (face your corner)

    all dosido round your corner
    it's right hands, go twice around your own "make it twice"
    you aleman left with your corner
    and you dosido with your own
    aleman left the corner lady and you balance to your own
    grand right and left you will roll
    when you meet with this one, promenade and have some fun (why)
    "because, just because" (head couples right and left through)

    right, on ovah
    right and left right back home and then
    side couples right and left through on ovah
    right and left right back home again
    aleman left your corner lady aleman right your pahtnah too
    and you swing that corner lady round and round
    you promenade the ring till you head right back and sing (why?)
    "because, just because" (look to your corner)

    you all dosido round your corner
    it's right hands, go twice around your own "make it twice"
    you aleman left with that lady on the left
    and you dosido with your own
    aleman left your corner lady and you balance to your own
    grand right and left you will roll
    when you meet with this one, promenade and have some fun (why?)
    "because, just because"

    head couples star by the right hand in the center
    star by the left until you get back home
    side couples star by the left hand in the center
    star by the right until you're home
    aleman left your corner aleman right your own
    swing that corner lady round and round
    you promenade the ring and everybody sing
    "because, just because"

    you all dosido round your corner
    it's right hands, go twice around your own "make it twice"
    you aleman left with that lady on the left
    and you dosido your own
    aleman left your corner lady and you balance to your own
    grand right and left you will rrroll
    when you meet with this one, promenade and have some fun (why?)
    "because, just because" (head couples sashay, go!)

    whooho
    heads sashay back
    side couples sashay, (come on dickie, you got to get back here before you do the rest of it)
    sashay back
    aleman left your corner lady aleman right your partner too
    and swing that corner, who is that?
    you promenade the ring, and everybody back and swing
    "because, just because"

    you all dosido round your corner
    it's right hands, go twice around your own "make it twice"
    you aleman left with that lady on the left
    and you dosido your own
    aleman left your corner lady and you balance to your own
    grand right and left you will roll
    when you meet with this one, promenade and have some fun (why?)
    "because, just because" (bow to your partner right there)
    Walter Lenk, 2011 Live Recording (mp3)
    well it's everybody bow to your partner
    you bow to your corner just as well (with your corner)
    aleman left your corner, you balance to your own
    it's grand right and left you will roll
    well it's reverse when you meet your partner
    grand ol right and left the other way back and then
    oh when you're home swing your own, everybody swing at home
    "because, just because" (head ladies chain)

    head ladies chain right on over
    you chain those ladies right back home, and then (sides, your turn)
    side ladies chain right over, and then
    you chain them right back home again (look for the corner)
    aleman left your corner, aleman right your own
    swing that corner round and round and round
    well then you promenade the ring, and everybody sing
    because, just because (with your corner)

    you all dosido with that new corner
    turn right hand, go twice around your own "make it twice"
    aleman left the one that you just left
    you dosido back home (back to the corner)
    now aleman left your corner and balance partners all
    grand old right and left go round the hall
    now when you meet that [? ?] meet that maid then everybody promenade
    "because, just because" (heads right and left through)

    head couples right and left right over
    you right and left right back and then (sides, your turn)
    you right and left, right over, and then
    you right and left back home again (look for the corner)
    aleman left your corner aleman right your own
    swing that corner round and round and round
    well then you promenade the ring, and everybody sing
    "because, just because" (with your corner)

    you all dosido around that corner
    turn right hands, go twice around your own "make it twice / fried rice"
    aleman left the one that you just left
    you dosido back home (back to the corner)
    now aleman left your corner and balance partners all
    grand old right and left go round the hall
    now when you meet with that one promenade it's just for fun
    "because, just because" (heads star by the right)

    head couples star by the right hand in the center
    you star by the left until you're home (sides left hand star)
    left hands around in the center of the set
    you star by the right until you're home (heads ?)
    aleman left your corner aleman right your own
    swing that corner round and round and round
    well then you promenade the ring, and everybody sing
    "because, just because" (with your corner now)

    you all dosido with that new corner
    turn right hand, go twice around your own "make it twice / ain't that nice"
    aleman left the one that you just left
    you dosido back home (back to the corner)
    now aleman left your corner and balance to your own
    grand right and left you will roll
    now when half way round you meet, you promenade your sweet
    "because, just because" (heads promenade round the

    inside) say hi, as you go by
    and you promenade back home and then (sides, your turn)
    you promenade, go round the inside of the set
    you promenade right home (look for the corner)
    aleman left your corner aleman right your own
    swing that corner round and round and round TIMBER!
    well then you promenade the ring, and everybody sing
    "because, just because" (with your corner)

    you all dosido go round that new corner
    turn right hand, go twice around your own "make it twice / your very own"
    aleman left the one that you just left
    you dosido back home (back to the corner)
    now aleman left your corner and balance partners all
    grand old right and left go round the hall
    now when you meet with your own promenade and head for home
    "because, just because" (heads sashay now)

    it's gents go back to back across the center (look)
    and the ladies go back to back until you're home (sides, your turn)
    ...
    ... (look for the corner)
    aleman left the corner and balance partners all
    swing your partner round and round and round
    well then you promenade the ring, and everybody sing
    "because, just because"

    well everybody bow to your partner
    you bow to the corner just as well
    aleman left the one that you just left
    you dosido back home (back to the corner)
    now aleman left your corner and balance partners all
    grand old right and left go round the hall
    now when you meet with your own promenade and head for home
    "because, just because" (swing your partner)
    "because, just because" (now keep on swinging)
    "because, just because"

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    What should we do about network-effect monopolies?

    Many large companies today are software monopolies that give their product away for free to get monopoly status, then do horrible things. Can we do anything about this?

    via benkuhn.net July 5, 2020

    More on the Deutschlandtakt

    The Deutschlandtakt plans are out now. They cover investment through 2040, but even beforehand, there’s a plan for something like a national integrated timetable by 2030, with trains connecting the major cities every 30 minutes rather than hourly. But the…

    via Pedestrian Observations July 1, 2020

    How do cars fare in crash tests they're not specifically optimized for?

    Any time you have a benchmark that gets taken seriously, some people will start gaming the benchmark. Some famous examples in computing are the CPU benchmark specfp and video game benchmarks. With specfp, Sun managed to increase its score on 179.art (a su…

    via Posts on Dan Luu June 30, 2020

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact