Flings -what are they????

Flings -what are they????

Hi, I’m new to the session. I found this site a few weeks ago and it was like christmas!!!!
Anyway to the point…..I learnt a tune off the lunasa cd -"Lunasa"-called Terry ‘Cuz’ Teehan’s (track 9) and they call it a fling. The definition I have of a fling says it is "a solo step dance which is generally performed to a strathspey played quickly. In Ireland strashtspey’s seem to be known as flings" Now, the tune lunasa play doesn’t sound at all like a strathspey played quickly and I thought that the irish version of a strasthspey was a highland. As you can tell I’m a bit confused and being an Irish step dancer dancer I’m intrigued as to what a fling actually is (tune wise not the other type of fling🙂 ) Can anyone clear this up for me?

Re: Flings -what are they????

On the Standing Stones website, there’s an essay by Caoimh

Re: Flings -what are they????

The highland, which is still danced in some parts of Donegal, is actually a couple dance, apparently popular for kitchen dances in the old days because it could easily be performed in a small space, with lots of turning on the spot. Some of the tunes are smoothed-out and otherwise modified strathspeys, but many others are not. Highlands can be great tunes but sadly they are rarely heard in yer average session.

Re: Flings -what are they????

Highlands are, or were, as I understand it, confined to the Donegal tradition. Tunes called ‘flings’ seem to occur more widely.

Re: Flings -what are they????

there was (as recently as 10 years ago) a dance in south and west cork known as the "triple fling" - a dance for 3 persons (rather like the middle figures of the "dashing white sergeant", a well known scottish dance) rather than for couples. it was quite a popular dance and was always danced to tunes referred to as "flings" - many of which appeared to be modified hornpipes and unrelated to the donegal "highland". possibly this dance was (or is) rather more widespread than the backwoods of county cork?

Re: Flings -what are they????

I’m not sure exactly what a fling is, but my wife says if I have one, she’ll divorce me. So I just try to avoid them.


Posted by .

Re: Flings -what are they????

*Try* to avoid them, Troy? Heh.


Re: Flings -what are they????

Thanks everyone. I think i’m less confused now🙂
I knew there’d be somoneone - Troy! 🙂
i learnt some higlands when i did a workshop with Liz Doherty and I agree they are great tunes. I didn’t know there was a dance for them danced in Ireland though…i knew about the highland fling - I"ve done one of those ( not very well i might add) and they’re heaps of fun, but it was hard for an irish dancer to co-ordinate the arms with the feet!
Now a tripple fling……that sounds like fun - dance wise!!!🙂

Re: Flings -what are they????

flings ain’t what they used to be.


Re: Flings -what are they????

Highland Flings / Flings / Highlands ~ a dance form and tune form that once was present all over the beautiful isle of Eire… A dance for two, three, four or more…. A swung tune of 16 bars usually with a second ending for the B-part, in agreement with movements step-wise and figure-wise in the dance it accompanies… Akin to a ‘single’ hornpipe, as some would have it, related to the Highland Schottische…. Here’s some more:

tune: "Paddy Joe’s Highland"
dance descriptions: yet to be added…

SCOTTISH DANCE - tradition shared with the Irish:

from ‘Grand Chain: The Edinburgh Scottish Dance Resource’
‘Ceilidh Dance Instructions’
- The Canadian or Highland Barn Dance
- The Highland Schottische

AUSTRALIAN DANCE - more correlations:

1844 - The German Polka / German / Plain Schottische
1854 - Highland Fling Schottische
1855 - Highland Schottische


# Posted on July 8th 2006 by Dow

What is a barndance, mazurka, strathspey, etc ?
Posted by monkeyos ~ January 25th 2006

Barndances, Germans, Hornpipes, Highlands, Flings, Highland Flings, Schottisches, etc.
Posted on Thursday, July 29th 2004 by Dow

Barn Dance on BBC2Folk
Posted on Thursday, November 13th 2003 by Janek

Wot’s a barndance?
Posted on Friday, September 28th 2003 by Dow

Bauern Dance
Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2003 by paul95

Compositions gan ceolachan:

highland fling: The Anderson Family Fling

Reel / Highland Fling: Sláinte Ag An Doras / Hiro’s Highland Fling