Round Corner Round Corner

Valiant Soldier

Valiant Soldier

Taken from the dancing of Hunters Moon and Paradise Islanders, with a few tweaks of our own. The Paradise Islanders call it Uncle Ned, and use it to end their local mummer's play.

The Music

Sheet music for the dance Valiant Soldier

Occasionally, we dance this to singing rather than music. We tend to use verses from the older Queen Anne version of the song.Lyrics at bottom of page.


This is a dance for four dancers.

Figure Music
Walk On AB
Tips and Butts A
Hey B
Sticking A
Swing B

The main portion of the dance, from Tips and Butts through to Swing is repeated three times in total.

Walk On (AB)
Count Moves
1-32 Dancers line up in an order of 1,3,4,2. Hold sticks near the top with the butt resting vertically on the ground. Tap sticks in unison as you walk forward. Squire leads dancers onto the dance area, ending by walking in a clockwise circle to get everyone into place in a square, facing their partner.
Tips and Butts (A)
Count Moves
1-4 Holding the middle of the stick in your right hand, turn in crisply to face your opposite (1 should face 3, 2 faces 4). Tap the tip of the stick with the person facing you, then tap the butts together, then tips, then butts.
5-8 Turn in to face your partner (1 faces 2, 3 faces 4) and repeat the sticking, tips and butts, tips and butts.
9-12 Face opposite. Tips and butts, tips and butts.
13-16 Face partner. Tips and butts, tips and butts.
Hey (B)
Count Moves
1-12 Meet right shoulders with partner to make a line along the centre of the set and immediately turn right, everyone facing partners in a line.
Do a hey of four along the set for a total count of 12 steps, passing alternate shoulders, first past right and then left, right left and so on. When you are on your own at the end of the set, do a left turn of 180 degrees back into the line, instead of passing a left shoulder.
End up in a straight line in the position where you started the hey.
13-14 Two steps on the spot, making sure the line is straight.
15-16 Stand still while striking the stick twice to the ground on your right.
Sticking (A)
Count Moves
1-16 Stand facing partner with your feet planted firmly, shoulder width apart.
Hold the bottom of the stick firmly in both hands.
Clash sticks 16 times forehand/backhand, alternating right to left and left to right.
Swing (B)
Count Moves
1-4 Swap stick to left hand, tip resting on your left shoulder. Swing for four with your right arm around your partner's waist.
5-8 Spin out of the swing towards your partner's side of the set, stepping forward for four.
9-12 Right hand turn on the spot, swapping stick to right hand, and take four steps back into line.
13-16 Swing for four, left hand round your partner's waist, ending up back in square formation in your original place.

Do the whole dance three times in total. At the end, raise your stick into the air and yell.


1. Hark! Now the drums beat up again,
For all true soldiers gentlemen,
Then let us list, and march I say,
Over the hills and far away

Over the hills, and o'er the main
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain
Queen Anne commands and we'll obey
And go over the hills and far away

2. All gentlemen that have a mind,
To serve the queen that's good and kind;
Come list and enter into pay,
Then o'er the hills and far away

3. Here's forty shillings on the drum,
For those that volunteers do come,
With shirts, and clothes, and present pay,
When o'er the hills and far away

4. No more from sound of drum retreat
When Marlborough and Galway beat
The French and Spaniards every day
Over the hills and far away

5. Over rivers, bogs, and springs,
We all shall live as great as kings,
And plunder get both night and day,
When o'er the hills and far away

6. We then shall lead more happy lives,
By getting rid of brats and wives,
That scold on both night and day,
When o'er the hills and far away

7. For if we go 'tis one to ten,
But we return all gentlemen,
All gentlemen as well as they,
When o'er the hills and far away

Rules of Thumb
Rules of Thumb

Unless otherwise specified, the following general rules apply:

  1. Always start right foot first.
  2. There are 4 beats to a bar. This works out as two steps.
  3. The top of the set is towards the band. Likewise, the bottom of the set is away from the band.
  4. When resting stick on shoulder, the tip of the stick should be level with the middle of your ear.
  5. Turns on the spot will usually be right-hand turns (clockwise). Common exceptions are when dancers need to turn in or out of a set the shortest way.
  6. When passing shoulders with another dancer, the first pass will be a right-shoulder pass. Many dances will have figures that alternate right and left shoulders.
  7. Where a fast turn on the spot is needed, it will be on the first beat of the bar. E.g. If you need to turn and then move across the set, you can count it as 'turn, two, three, four'.
  8. Swings with a partner will be right-hand (clockwise), with the stick held in the left hand, unless otherwise specified.
  9. Figures are usually in multiples of four beats. If you mentally keep counting 'one, two, three, four', then you'll have a good idea of when to move and change.

It is PRACTICE SEASON and we can be found at our practice hall every week until early June.

We rehearse Thursdays from 7:30 - 9:30pm,
St John's Heatherlands, 378A Ashley Road, Poole, BH14 9DQ

More information on the venue.