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Crossroads dance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The crossroads dance was a type of social event popular in Ireland up to the mid-20th century, in which people would congregate at the large cleared space of a crossroads to dance.[1] In contrast to the later ceili styles, crossroad dances were generally set dancing or solo dancing.[citation needed] The crossroads dance declined in popularity in the mid-20th century, due to rural depopulation, musical recordings, and pressure of the Catholic clergy which resulted in the Public Dance Halls Act of 1935 which restricted all dancing to licensed establishments.[2] In the early 1930s the wooden platforms at crossroads became the focus of standoffs and faction fights between Fianna Fáil and the Blueshirts, with some destroyed by arson.[3]

The phrase "comely maidens dancing at the crossroads", a misquotation attributed to Éamon De Valera's 1943 Patrick's Day radio broadcast, has become shorthand for a maudlin yearning for a vanished Irish rural idyll.[3] The name of John Waters' 1991 memoir Jiving at the Crossroads was a metaphor for Fianna Fáil's continuing cultural relevance in rural Ireland, with Irish dance replaced by jive.[4] The 1996 Irish chart-topping song "Dancing at the Crossroads" anticipated Wexford's victory in the that year's All-Ireland hurling final.[5][6]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Harmonica licks & riffs #1 (from Crossroads - Dance with harmonica)
  • Crossroads



  1. ^ Sean Williams (26 April 2010). Focus: Irish Traditional Music. Routledge. pp. 36–. ISBN 978-1-135-20413-6. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Simon Broughton; Mark Ellingham; Richard Trillo (1999). World music: the rough guide. Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Rough Guides. pp. 171–. ISBN 978-1-85828-635-8. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Arson at the Crossroads!". RTÉ.ie. RTÉ Radio 1. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Waters, John (1991). Jiving at the Crossroads: The Shock of the New in Haughey's Ireland. Blackstaff. ISBN 978-0-85640-478-8. 
  5. ^ Devereux, Dave (2 September 2015). "Songs GAA fans love to sing". Ireland's Own. Retrieved 12 December 2017. 
  6. ^ Kelly, Niall (28 Sep 2013). "Dancing at the Crossroads: the hurling song that summed up a summer and toppled the Spice Girls". The 42. Retrieved 14 December 2017. 
This page was last edited on 15 December 2017, at 10:18
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