Four Lanes End

Source: Shropshire Bedlams, written by John Kirkpatrick as Four Lane End (via Rebecca Jordan of Lemon & Capers in July 1991)

Tune: Four Lane End (John Kirkpatrick) as (AB)5 with the last B longer, as noted (A=figures, B=chorus).

T:Four Lane End
C:John Kirkpatrick
H:A Shropshire Bedlam dance for 4 
Z:abc-edited-by Bill Owens September 2, 2014
G2 GB d2 cB | ce dc BG DF | G2 GB d2 cB | ce dB G2 gf | 
e2 ge dB GB | AB cA Bc d2 | ef ge dB GB | BG AF G2 Bc ||
d2 c2 BG Bc | dg dc BG Bc | d2 c2 BG dB | AB AG FA de |
d2 c2 BG Bc | dg dc Bd gf | e2 d2 c2 B2 | AB AG FA dc |\
"repeat 3x on 5th chorus"
BG cA BG cA | BG AF G4 |]

Formation: A square set of 4, each with a short stick.

Stepping: Single step (Hounds do not use the Bedlams signature stepping pattern).

Sequence: Once to Yourself, Chorus, High and Low, Chorus, Multiples, Chorus, Turn and Toss, Chorus, Tosses, extended Chorus.

Chorus: Starting with the dancer closest to the musician's right hand and proceeding clockwise around the set, each dancer clashes forehand with the dancer to their left, backhand with the same, backhand with the diagonal opposite and backhand with the dancer to their right, then forehand with the diagonal opposite and forehand with the dancer to their left, backhand diagonal and to their right, then forehand-backhand with that same while the other pair also clash forehand-backhand. The second dancer proceeds from their forehand-backhand clash directly into the sequence. When the fourth dancer finishes, everyone clashes another six times in alternating pairs: first with fourth and second with third, then first with second and third with fourth. Each time first and third swing outside, second and fourth inside.

Figures: All figures have the same pattern, beginning with first corners (the diagonal pair including the dancer closest to the musician's right hand) who dance the figure first, then second corners, then pairs across the set (using the numbering from the chorus these pairs are one and two, and three and four), then pairs along the set (one and four, and two and three).

High and Low: Dancers pass right shoulders in the center, clashing forehand high then swinging their sticks in a forward arc to clash low as they pass.

Multiples: Dancers pass right shoulders while clashing seven times, starting with clashing backhand, and then alternating forehand-backhand for the rest of the clashes.

Turn and Toss: Dancers pass right shoulders and clash forehand high, quickly turn in each others' places and toss sticks to each other, catching with the same hand.

Tosses: Dancers toss sticks to each other twice (back and forth); each toss should take two beats. When the usual pattern has completed, all four dancers simultaneously toss diagonally through the center of the set, seven times, during the remaining four measures of music.

Final Chorus: The second to last measure will repeat three times at increasing tempo; continue the inside-outside clashing pattern more quickly and end with sticks high.

Notes: Aside from the name and different stepping, the original version of this dance as communicated to the Hounds had slightly different figures: Allemande (with no sticking), Multiples, High and Low, Turn and Toss. The final figure is Tosses, done with tambourine to mark the rhythm and no music, and with all four dancers tossing at once across the center, followed by a final ending using the last two bars of the B music and the matching sticking from the end of the chorus. We have also seen video of the Bedlams doing a different version of Tosses, each dancer sending their stick to the dancer to the left by tossing across their body, then catching with the same (right) hand.