Given your keen interest in poetry, Dear Reader, you must have also been charmed by square-dance callers’ rhymes back in the day. Oh? Still dancing in those wide skirts and cowboy vests? Well - you young whippersnapper, you - you can read along, too.
Our square-dance club finally hung up our boots and flats. As we faded into the sunset, we converted first to annual reunions and then, sadly, to one last adios. The poem that follows was recited at our final gathering.
As you’ll see, real square-dance calls are in italics, tucked in among my observations of how we wound down over the years. As you read along, do try to adopt that familiar square-dance cadence. Tap your foot. Wearing a bandana or pretty little scarf might help.
Square Dance Reprise
Back then, when it all began:
Since we want a social hub
Let’s just start a square-dance club
Ladies chain with your left hand
Gents line up for the right and left grand
Potluck suppers mighty fine
This month your place, next month mine
You bring salad, I’ll bring cheese
Those aren’t beans, they’re black-eyed peas
Finger food, but first things first
Here no man will die of thirst
Wheel Around now, two by two
Grab your partner, Skip to My Loo
I drank too much wine with you
Now I gotta Skip-to-YOUR-Loo …
Courtesy Turn and Shoot That Star
Promenade Left and Allemande Thar
Did you get how that call was put?
Oh, he must mean THAT left foot
Roll Away with a Half-Sashay
Right arm turn and stay that way
Don’t try to teach that step to me
I only have a Ph.D.
Circulate go single file
Slip the clutch then walk a mile
That last call was might queer
You just can’t get there from here
Triple Scoot then All Stand Pat
Bend the Line and Box the Gnat
Box the Gnat, now what is THAT?
And who would want a gift-wrapped gnat?
And just the other day:
Chicken in a bread pan kickin’ up dough
Circle left and Do Paso
When we danced we’d paint the town
Then the time came to slow down
The caller hollered lend an ear
You said thanks you’d LIKE a beer
To keep on dancing was insane
Your new walker bent my cane
So the dancing went away
Potluck and wine still made our day
Then our potluck luck ran out
And red and white gave me the gout
There’s just time for one last call:
Bow to your partner
Bow to your corner