NORTHERN LIGHTS



Call arranged by Floyd Parker of Allenspark, Colorado.
 

Music: Originally Blackberry Quadrille, RCA Victor 45-6184. Music is now available on a Custom CD with the Sandia Hots playing.


There is no musical introduction. Wait for 4 beats of the music before beginning the call for each couple. If you are calling to live music, you still wait 4 beats of music after the first of the phrase for each couple.

1. The first old couple you bow and swing,
Lead right out to the right of the ring,
And look at those northern lights - HEY!

2. Into the ig-a-loo by the door
You clap your hands and clap all four
Clap (own hands), Clap (opposite's hands),
Clap (own hands), Clap (partner's hands),
Clap (own hands), Clap (opposite's hands),
Clap, clap, clap (3 short claps, synchopated, in 2 beats).

3. Out of the ig-a-loo into the sleet
You swing your honey to generate heat,
Then mush your huskies down the street,
And look at those northern lights - HEY!

4. Repeat 2 with the third couple.

5. Out of the ig-a-loo into the storm,
You swing your honey to keep her warm,
Then mush your huskies and show your form,
And look at those northern lights - HEY!

6. Repeat 2 with the fourth couple.

7. Out of the ig-a-loo into the hall,
Allemande left your corners all,
Grand right and left, go round the hall,
And look at those northern lights - HEY!
And when you get about halfway round,
The first old couple goes underground,
And everybody is homeward bound,
Under those northern lights - HEY!
 
 

When starting the dance, and when calling each active couple out for the first time, the caller must wait four beats of the music before beginning the call. The call is not a prompt, but runs with the music. This is a single visitor dance, pure and simple. People have tried to do two couples at once, but it does not work. 
Both the visiting couple and the couple being visited hold inside hands. As the visiting couple approaches the other couple, they raise their free hands and shout "Hey!" at the same time swinging the outside foot forward, or, better yet, stick the outside foot forward as far as possible, heel down, toes straight up, swinging the outside hand high in the air, and joyously shouting "Hey!" Make it look and feel quite barbaric. Then the active couple ducks under the arched hands of the couple being visited. Once through, all dancers in the four face their opposites. (8 counts for this; woman twirls L-face under their joined hands on the second 4). In the following action around the set: come out of the igloo (4 cts), swing (4 cts), go to the next igloo (4 cts), and say "Hey!" (4 cts).

As the caller sends the other couples out to do the dance, he can
change his patter. I recommend it. Here are some possible lines:

Out of the ig-a-loo into the ring,
You give your Eskimo girl a swing,
Then mush along with the dear little thing,
And look at the northern lights - HEY!

Out of the ig-a-loo into the snow,
Then swing your honey, it's forty below,
Just one more swing and on you go,

Out of the ig-a-loo into the ice,
Then swing your honey and swing her twice,
And then you take her along real nice,

Out of the ig-a-loo into the cold,
And swing her hard if you're not too old,
Then mush your huskies brave and bold, etc. etc.

You start out with #1 each time, of course, and it would be well to
end up, for the fourth couple, with the original call.
 

Concerning the going "underground: "the active couple reverses direction and ducks under the arched arms of the three other couples in succession, while they progress in the regular promenade to home position. If you are interested, you will find "Northern Lights" in what may be its original form in "Partners All - Places All," by Kirkell and Schaffnit, Dutton, 1949. Here it is a very simple play-party dance (done to Arkansas Traveler) with no wild "HEY!" (it says both couples stand still and look at the ceiling!! The clapping sequence much reduced, no delightful lyrics, no tunnel. All the square music used up in swinging.

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