Vandalls of Hammerwich


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History

Traditional. Here is one explanation for the name (from tunearch.org): Hammerwich is a nearby village, situated on a hill about three miles south-west of Lichfield once served by both canal and railway. The name ‘Hammerwich’ means a place by a hill from the Anglo-Saxon words ‘wic’ meaning ‘place’ and hammer meaning ‘hill’ [1] In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was called Humeruuich. Local lore gives that the dance refers to an incident in the early middle Ages when some of the Hammerwich inhabitants set fire to woods in Cannock Forest, an event mentioned in the Staffordshire Pleas of the Forest (14th, Jan., 1262): “…a certain heath was burnt by the vills of Hamerwich, to the injury of the King’s game…”

Videos

Vandalls of Hammerwich at Putney General Store (2011)

Structure

Swagger Round: Right foot; ends with clash on 2nd to last beat

Heading Up: Right foot; 4 double steps, swingbacks, ends with clash on 2nd to last beat

Chorus

Heading Down: Right foot; 4 double steps, swingbacks, ends with clash on 2nd to last beat

Chorus

Back to Back: Right foot; ends with clash on 2nd to last beat

Chorus

Hey: Right foot; ends with capers back to place and clash on 2nd to last beat

Chorus: Last chorus is done twice, often times with music dropping out for some or all of the clashes

Chorus

Main Idea: Clashes, side steps, big finale

(1) Clashes

Clash diagonally right
Clash diagonally left
3 clashes across
Note: diagonal clashes are slow, clashes across are faster

(2) Sidesteps

Open sidestep right, then left

(3) Big Finale

Caper, caper, CLASH, down

Ending

Ffter last clash in last chorus (2nd of two choruses in a row), everybody turns up, stands on 2 feet, and holds stick horizontally over heads in both hands, shouting “hey!”

Quick Reference


Lead in: Two beats
Sequence: 𝄆 AB 𝄇 AA BB
Song: Vandalls of Hammerwich (in the key of G)