[Callers] Singing Petronella

Tony Saletan tony.saletan at post.harvard.edu
Wed Aug 4 18:21:47 PDT 2010

Earlier today on sharedweight.net, Dan Pearl credited me with devising 
lyrics to Petronella. I wish I deserved it.

I've heard several callers sing dance directions to the tune, Sarah Gregory 
Smith among others. But I think that most of us who are familiar with a sung 
version learned it from Dudley Laufman, either live or recorded.

Dudley says that in the case of Petronella, he embellished the habit of 
chanting the calls that we both remember from Ralph Page. And he adds that 
several callers used to chant the calls to many dances along with the tune: 
Duncan Hay, Joe Blundon, Dick Best...Today Ralph Sweet does it, too.

Years ago I did make up verses giving dance directions to some of the 
classic contras, singing each either to the classic tune or to a 
counter-melody that I devised if the fiddle tune was not very singable.  But 
I believe that the version of Petronella that Dan quoted is Dudley's 

Tony Saletan 

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