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Harrison's Rant


Snook Smallpipes Halifax Harrison's Rant
Snook Smallpipes Halifax Harrison's Rant
Harrison's Rant
00:00 / 01:25

The Rant Step is peculiar to clog dancing in Northumberland and County Durham, with a characteristic "to-MA-TO SOUP, to-MA-TO SOUP rhythm:

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Danced by The Reading Traditional Step & Dance Group in 1985. Rant step starts at around 1m40s  

Note in the above video the dancers cross feet throughout the step. Dance teacher and historian Mike Barraclough↗̱ disagrees with this approach, stating “Originally it was never done with crossed feet.  However, after London Folk danced a rant with crossed feet (for theatrical reasons, emulating the NW Morris polka) at the Royal Albert Hall Folk Festival everyone assumed that was 'correct' and started to do that.”  This theory appears to be supported by this recording of Northumbrian rapper dances in 1926:

Rapper dancers from Winlaton, formerly in County Durham.

The Harrison of the title may refer to Thomas Harrison, a shepherd who appears in the 1911 Census.  He lived in in a two-room cabin on Seaton Snook with wife Mary, daughter Margaret, and granddaughter Gladys Vera.  



Halifax Manuscript


Tune Type



Northumbrian Smallpipe Characteristics:

Diatonic transposition in bars 1, 3, and 5-6 [blue boxes]

Leaping intervallic figures in bars 5, 6, and 7 [pink boxes]


Snookish Characteristics:

Major 7th intervals in bars 4 and 8 [orange boxes]

Ends on Dominant (D or So) [purple circles]

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