Oh! Susanna/O Susannah
Source: Traditional; provided by Keith Uttley; published in English Dance & Song, July/August 1956. Vol XX. No. 6
||Head Couples go out to the Right, Circle Up Four
Head Men go Home Alone (leave Lines of Three at the Sides) (8)
Forward Six and Six Fall Back; Lonesome Men Go Forward & Back (8)
||Forward Six and Six Fall Back; Lonesome Men Cross Over (8) - Men check your new home
Corner Swing (8) - this is your New Partner
||Promenade to Menís New Home (16) - singing
||Partner Swing (8)
||The Head Men have swapped places; Ladies have moved one place to the Right
Repeat for the Heads, then twice for the Sides
"Oh! Susanna" is a minstrel song by Stephen Foster (1826-1864), first published in 1848. It is among the most popular American songs ever written. So, of course there are multiple dances to this tune. The most common is a simple circle mixer with a Grand Chain.
The way I have written it above, the music is 32 beats for the Figure using the A Music twice, 16 beats for the Promenade, with everyone singing the chorus, using the B music, then an 8 beat bridge, repeating the last part of the B music, for the Swing. This is how it is often played for the song.
To fit in with the tune, as described above, the Circle to a Line needs to be done quickly, and the Forward & Backs done overlapped. This is my interpretation of the timings. If you have a live band who can adjust the number of As and Bs easily then there are other ways to do it.
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