Duck or Die is so named because the dancers in the middle of the set must take turns ducking while sticks are clashing above their heads. Although nobody has actually died while performing it, the threat of grievous bodily harm has been found to be a strong motivation for accurate dancing.
Source: Written by Mike Miller of the Bassett Street Hounds
Tune: British Grenadiers (traditional) as A(AB2)? (A=sticking, B=figures)
X: 1 T:Duck or Die T:British Grenadiers M:4/4 L:1/8 A:Longborough P:A(AB2)2 K:G P:A D2 |G2 D2 G2 A2 |B2 cB A2 Bc | d2 G2 G2 B2 | AGFE D3 D | G2D2 G2A2 | B2AB c2Bc | d2G2 BAGF | G4 G2 || P:B Bc | d3 e d2 c2 | B3 c d2 d2 | e2 e2 dcBA | G4 F2 D2 | G2 D2 G2 A2 | B2 AB c2 Bc | d2 G2 BAGF | G4 G2 |]
Formation: A square set of four.
Sequence: Once to Yourself, Chorus (sticking), Solar System Allemande, Chorus, ?
Chorus: The sticking sequence is: backhand, forehand, forehand, backhand, forehand, backhand, forehand, with the hits being shared between all four dancers. Each dancer should follow their stick and spin appropriately between hits.
The chorus is a square bombast with sticking. The dancers are numbered as follows:
2 3 M 1 4
As in the standard square bombast, 2 and 4 begin by hooking through the center (passing right shoulders) and 1 and 3 begin by sliding along their sides, so the entire set moves counterclockwise one position. The first clashes are between 2 and 3, backhand and forehand, as they begin to move. 2 follows their stick by spinning counterclockwise, and the entire set moves to this position:
3 M 2 4 1
For the next clashes, 4 ducks and hits the ground twice, while 2 and 1 hit forehand and backhand. The set moves to this position:
3 M 4 2 1
And it's 4's turn to duck and hit the ground while 2 and 3 clash forehand and backhand. The set then moves back to the square:
3 4 M 2 1
And 2 and 1 finish by clashing once forehand.