Durham Gaol

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Durham Gaol
Tradition Bessels Leigh
Hands two small sticks
Set size 4
Tune Durham Gaol
Musical sequence (AB)4

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  • Foot up - normal Bessels-Leigh foot up
  • Through the middle - normal through the middle
  • Star - turning over right shoulder put right hand into center, sticks up. Left hand is out also stick up. Three ds turning the star clockwise, foot together jump to turn left to face out diagonally and clash own sticks over head. Three ds back to place, foot together jump turning left to face out on diagonal. Jump and turn right to start chorus
  • Hey
    • Everyone cast over right shoulder into a line of 4 on the first corner diagonal
    • 2 facing 1, 4 facing 3, for a right shoulder hey for 4 halfway in 3 ds.
    • Foot together and clash own sticks in inverted line on the diagonal.
    • Continue the hey (still right shoulder) in 3 ds and clash facing out at home.
    • 1st corners do an extra turn single right to face out at end (with the extra time)


  • Facing neighbor along lines, clash own left stick with right twice (left held horizontal at waist)
  • Forehand with right stick with neighbor, forehand with left stick with neightbot, jump and turn to face partner.
  • Repeat sticking with partner, jump and turn to face neighbor again. Repeat sticking. Jump and turn to face diagonal
  • 2nd corners repeat sticking with each other. 1st corners do the first two strikes as before, jump and turn right 180 to face out on 3, clash own sticks over head on 4, jump and turn right to face partner landing on 1.
  • Repeat first 7 bars of chorus (up to double own strike facing on diagonal), all jump and turn right 180 to land and clash over head on beat 3, catch step on beat 4 to go into next figure.


some complicated thing



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Durham-gaol 3.jpg


  • I’m a poor man, as honest as they come, I never was a thief until they caught me
  • And the judge said he swore me hands were red
  • No matter how I'd plead he found me guilty
  • There was no bail, I'm of to Durham Gaol
  • I'm going and nothing now can save me
  • Calamities they always come in threes
  • And that's how many months it was they gave me
  • And it's no never in the livelong day
  • You'll not find me back in Durham Gaol
  • And no never in the live long day
  • You'll not find me back in Durham Gaol