This is the third in a series of six posts covering the six figures of the Mid Lothians, a set of quadrilles from the 1820s. The first figure, background information, and sources are discussed in the first post and the second figure here.
The third figure of the Mid Lothians is set to "Riggs O'Barley", previously known as "Corn Rigs are bonie" but taking on a new name after being used by Robert Burns for his 1783 poem, "The Rigs O' barley". Numerous recordings (with the Burns lyrics) are available. It is also found on the sound track of a classic 1973 horror film, The Wicker Man, under the title "Corn Rigs".
Evans' arrangement consists of three eight-bar strains (ABC), with the A strain having an alternate second ending as well. The thirty-two-bar figure is noted on the sheet music as starting on the A strain, so I would expect a repeat structure of A (ABACx4) with the initial A using the first ending and subsequent ones the second.
The instructions for the figures are given on the sheet music as follows:
En avant 4 et en arrière,chaque cavalier fait un tour des mains avec sa Dame de vis_à_vis; un Cavalier chasse autour de sa Dame pendant que la dame de vis_à_vis chasse autour de son Cavalier, demie chaine anglaise. Les Dames en moulinet, chaque Cavalier fait un tour de mains avec sa Dame à sa gauche,et demie chaine anglaise.
Four advance, retire and each Gent:turn the opposite lady with both hands. Opposite Lady and Gent: chasse round their partners and half right and left. Ladies hands across and back again each Gent turn the Lady on his left and 4 half right and left.
The spelling and punctuation above are as in the original. The instructions in Pollock's and Whale's books are the same other than punctuation.
The reconstruction is straightforward, with only issues of flow between figures discussed in the notes below.
Mid Lothians, Figure 3 (8b+32bx4)
8b Head couples advance & retire, then turn opposites by two hands
4b First lady and opposite gentleman move forward and around partners to places
4b Head couples half right and left
8b All four ladies right hands across and left hands back (to face corner gentlemen)
4b All turn corners to places
4b Head couples half right and left
The figure is then repeated three times led in turn by the second lady and opposite gentleman (the other half of the head couples), the third lady and her opposite, and fourth lady and her opposite.
Figure flow issues
1. "Chasse round their partners" (chasser, Fr. "to hunt" or "to chase") is a fairly uncommon figure, though not unique to the Mid Lothians. The direction is not specified, but it flows nicely into the following half right and left as well as providing a brief social moment for the two opposites if they move on mirrored tracks, coming through the inside of the set and around the ouside of their partners back to places and then approaching their opposite again in the right and left.
2. The transition from the end of the moulinet into the corner turn. This is potentially a little awkward if the lady simply slips into her usual place beside her partner, turning counter-clockwise to face in, since she then has to immediately turn the other way towards her corner gentleman. It feels a little bit better if she loops around slightly so that she is turning clockwise into her place, but that requires extra travel on not much music. So, purely for aesthetic reasons, I prefer the ladies to end the moulinet still inside the set, dropping hands and facing their corner gentleman as they jeté-assemblé, so that they can easily extend the hands for the turn which will take them back to their place beside their partner.
Advance and retire with any suitable sequence of steps
Turns with partner or corner with three chassé; jeté; assemblé
Going around partner with three chassé; jeté; assemblé
Half right and left with three chassé; jeté; assemblé
Right hands across/left hands back with three chassé; jeté; assemblé each way