[SCA-Dance] The Boone Companion: "Goe abut"

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Wed Feb 27 13:55:28 EST 2013

I've been working on The Boone Companion, an ECD from the Pattricke
and Sloane manuscripts but _not_ in Playford.  The text in Pattricke
cuts off after verse 2, so for chorus 2 we have only Sloane.  It's
longways for 6 or 8.  We have no music, so at Dafydd's suggestion, I'm
using a repeated version of the Broadside Band's Boone Companion (a
major-key mutation of Fine Companion), in which the chorus is 16+16

Men and Women chan-
ge plcaes; and whiles
the men goe abut, the
women they come
to their owne side..
The same againe, and
the men are as they
were before.

This is what I have in my draft article so far:


So much for my hopes for a nice unambiguous interpretation.

Trying an ultranuanced reading of the Sloane text is a mug's game.
After all, this is the same source that has, for verse 2 and chorus 2
of Amy, "Then Changing Women hand in hand; they doe the same: Bur
first <del>set, s</del> sides and sett first to their owne, then to
the others".  Nevertheless, here's my try.

The starting position is presumably longways proper.  Halfway through,
each lady and each lord have to be paired one-to-one, to be able to
"change plcaes [sic]" "The same againe".  The ladies have "come to
their owne side", but that's not said of the lords; they're not "as
they were before" until the end.  I can see only two ways this could

A. The lords and ladies are proper in their columns, but at least the
    lords are permuted into a different order.
B. The lords and ladies are improper: the ladies are in their home
    column, but the lords are on their rights, two widths right of
    where they started

I might be too nuanced here, but with "as they were before" being used
at the end but not for anyone halfway, I'm inclined to think that it's
choice B, and the ladies may be permuted.

Seeing uses of "go about" in the Sloane manuscript, it appears to be
some sort of circling.  Sollibrand: "the man goes about the woman".
Bobing Joe: "First woman and Second man hold hands whiles ye other goe
about: All hands held, they goe about ...", where Boobing Jone in
Pattricke has a somewhat different thing for the first and a star for
the second.

(1) The first time, we exchanged and then had the lords do a J figure
(follow-the-leader halfway around the women, as in Picking of Sticks)
into their original line's position (thereby reversing the line).
During that, the ladies walked 3 steps to their original positions.
There's no obvious prompt for them to go across, so it looked awkward
when they straggled across at different times.  They also said it was
very boring.

(2) Later, we exchanged and then both of the sex lines do a J figure
back into their own lines, clockwise, so the last man and first woman
were leading their lines, both lines ending reversed.  So the entire
effect is an elongated O.  The repeat went counter-clockwise, so last
man and first woman led again.  The dancers felt this satisfactory.
It's a type of circling, as in chorus 3.  But it doesn't match the
Sloane text, but it doesn't clearly contradict it, and I feel a need
to bow to modern sensibilities.


Other possibilities that have occurred to me:

(3) The men circle around the line of women all the way.  But that
would be a full circle in 12 beats.  It's hard to do that in Goddesses
in 16.  The original tune may have had more beats, but that's not what
I have at the moment.

(4) One that I like: women do a J figure into their line and the men
do a J figure *away from the women*.  The overall effect is an
elongated S as a snake figure.  It would be choice B (ending
improper), which I'm inclined to think is more likely.  (The repeat
would indeed take everyone home.)  The dance's first verse appears to
me to have doubling up and then doubling down; this would fit nicely
into that motif by shifting in the two other available directions.

But, for all that I like it, (4) doesn't look like a move I've seen in
any other ECD.

(5) Some other form of men taking hands and circling.  But there's
lots of hands-N circling in chorus 3: it would be redundant and tiring
to do it here too.

Any suggestions?  Can anyone justify (4)?

Danyll de Lyncoln
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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