Descripition of Wedding Reel dance | Bowing Down Home


File: macpheegeorge-oh-weddings_M.mp3


GM – George MacPhee

KP – Curator Ken Perlman

GM They had a certain tune they used to play for the old wedding dance. They used to tune the fiddle up in high bass, and Dad used to play it all the time. But it's kind of a tricky tune to play.

KP Was there a special kind of square dance or set they used to do for that tune?

GM Yeah, like the wedding party danced, eh. They get up and done their dance: the bridesmaid and the best man, and the bride and groom, and they always had somebody that could step dance good; they took them in the dance with them. They used go in to dance the Wedding Reel; they'd go around, and then they'd stop in front of each other and they'd step dance. That would be pretty near the opening of the wedding, gettin’ going. Then they'd get dancing and fiddling. That would be after the meal, eh, the wedding dinner. Some of the weddin’s were pretty good; they used to last quite a long time.

KP How many fiddlers would be there?

GM Oh God, there'd be fiddlers from all over there you know. Anyone who could play the fiddle would be trying to play. I remember a lot of good weddin’s. I played for a lot of weddings myself.

KP Can you remember a wedding that was special?

GM Well, a time at my own - Our wedding here, we had it right in the house here, we had a building outside and that's where they danced in, and we had the meal in the room there, the dining room. It was a real good time; there was a lot of people, oh the yard was full of people. And we had lots of liquor and lots of food. It was a day wedding, it was in the afternoon. It went on here – We left around 6 o'clock in the evening, and it went on till after midnight I guess after we left. Some of them were still here the next day. It was a real good time. The old home weddings were great – It’s a lot better at a house weddin’ than at a hall, eh. Of course back then there'd be lots of good liquor. There'd be a lot of step dancers. Some of them were good and some of them weren't so good. (laughs).