Hanged Man's Reel


Jean Carignan playing Hangman's Reel
during a live session

There is an LP "French Canadian Fiddle Songs - Jean Carignan" (LEG120). This contains the track "Hangman's Reel" with superb fiddle playing. The tune is also known as "Hanged Man's Reel". I wrote this dance to include a Hangman's Noose figure.


4 couple Beckett.
That is a line of 2 couples facing another line of two couples, with the lines up and down the hall.


Hangman's Reel, also known as: Reel Du Pendu, Fandens Polsdans, and Hanged Man's Reel.

Hangman's Reel (4x32+8 bars)

Played 4×AABB + A.

Scores can be found at:


A1 1‑8 The man at the top of a line of four takes his line (holding hands) around the other line of four back to places. This line keeps holding hands.
A2 1‑8 The Hangman's Noose: Top man and his partner hold up their joined hand to make an arch. Other line join hands and the two people at the bottom of the set join hands as well. The lady at top leads the whole line (of 7) through the arch (so she starts by "threading the needle"). She continues to take the line down around bottom of the set, then up until all are back to places. Drop hands across bottom of set.
B1 1‑4Lines forward and back,
5‑8drop hands to do-si-do opposite person.
B2 1‑4All half right and left through with opposite couple,
5‑8look diagonally left, if there is a couple there, then half right and left through with them.
Couples have progressed one place anti-clockwise around set.

Repeat 3 more times,

Once at end of dance
A 1‑4Lines forward and back,
5‑8swing partner.


Graham Foster, March 2013