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Salty Dog Rag – USA [Ricky Holden*]

This is a couples dance you may have done in junior high or thereabouts. It done in Twenties-style ragtime with a schottische base step. The lyrics call out some of the steps.

Introduced by:Ricky Holden
Format:Couples Sequence (circle)
Hand Hold:Promenade, your choice: Skater’s or Varsouvienne
Composer:John Gordy & Edward Crowe
Performer:Red Foley (1952 #8 hit single)
Date Taught:04/04/23
Away down yonder in the state of Arkansas
where my great-grandpa met my great-grandma
they drink apple cider and they get on a jag
and they dance all night to the Salty Dog Rag

They play an old fiddle like you never heard before
They play the only tune that they ever did know
It's a ragtime ditty and the rhythm don't drag
now here's the way you dance to the Salty Dog Rag

One foot front, drag it back,
then you start to ball the jack.
You shake and you break and then you sag,
if your partner zigs you're supposed to zag.
Your heart is light, you tap your feet
in rhythm with that ragtime beat.
(Just) pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
and dance all night to the Salty Dog Rag.

Away down South 'neath the old Southern moon
the possum's up a tree and the hounds treed a coon
They'll hitch up the buggy to a broken down nag
and go out dancing to the Salty Dog Rag
They tune up the fiddle and they rosin up the bow
They strike a C chord on the old banjo
and holler hang on 'cause we ain't gonna drag
'cause here's the way you dance to the Salty Dog Rag

Teaching & Dancing Examples

Dancing: Bill and Karen Faust
Teaching: London Barndance Company

Worth a look, but not allowed to embed: Dance with Peetipuff

Dancing: Dunav
Dancing: TNTPD

Music Examples

Music: Red Foley, 1952 single, #8 on the charts
Music: Red Foley, backup copy.