The Kissing Dance polka

Also known as The First Kissing Dance, The Kissing Dance #1, The Kissing Dance No. 1.

There are 4 recordings of this tune.

The Kissing Dance has been added to 1 tunebook.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The Kissing Dance
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
g2 f|:e2 A2|A2 fe|ed BA|B2 Bc|
dd AB|cA FG|A2 G2|1 Gg- gf:|2 G2 GA||
|:B2 BA|Bd dB|BA AB|A2 Bc|
dd AB|cA FG|A2 G2|1 G2 GA:|2 Gg- gf||
X: 2
T: The Kissing Dance
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
gf|:e2 A2|e2 fe|ed BA|B2 Bc|
dd AB|cA FG|AG GG|1 G2 gf:|2 G2 GA||
|:B2 BA|Bd dB|Bd cB|A2 Bc|
dd AB|cA FG|AG GG|1 GD GA:|2 G2 gf||

Two comments

The Kissing Dance

From the playing of Figgy Duff, who learned it from Larry Barker.

It’s played in Gmaj, Dmaj, and Cmaj.

Often set with two other Nfld singles, "Around The House" and "The Red Island Tune".
Larry Foley pairs it with "The Gortnatubrid", and another tune, in his "Potluck Polkas" set. Which isn’t surprising, given that Seamus Creagh had lived in Newfoundland.

I’ve heard two people say that it might have been derived from the Irish folk song "The Rising Of The Moon".
I can hear a resemblance, though, a quick comparison of the notes didn’t reveal as close of a match as I had thought.

The Kissing Dance, X:2

A setting from Jamie Snider’s "Dance Music Of Canada" collection/manuscript.

Page 114:

He commented that:
"[The Kissing Dance is a] cumulative group dance. The initial dancer kisses someone through a piece of cloth (a kerchief, handkerchief, etc.), they become his partner, she then takes the cloth, kisses someone else who then joins the dance (all dancers hold hands). This procedure is repeated until the whole room is dancing".

This can be seen in the following video clip (recorded in the 1970’s, possibly from the "Land and Sea" program):

From page 279 Colin Harding Quigley’s 1981 Thesis ("Folk Dance And Dance Events In Rural Newfoundland", ):
"Eventually, someone would announce that the last dance would be The Kissing Dance. As one’s choice of partner in the dance was often an indication of a choice of beau, some curious old ladies who had heard rumours of possible courtship would wait around all night to see who asked whom out in the ‘Kissing Dance’."

Evelyn Osborn writes about the dance in pages 54-57 of her 2002 Master’s Thesis ("Exploring Fiddlers and Dance Music in Newfoundland: Red Cliff, Bonavista Bay and Bay de Verde, Conception Bay" , ).
A segment of what she wrote:
"While the handkerchief theoretically separated the couple’s lips, it was understood that this was not always the case".