Scottish solo step dance. Two versions are known in full.

The first collected from the dancing of William Adamson of Kingskettle in Fife. Original the dance consisted of 10 steps of which Adamson could only remember 6. He danced in highland dancing pumps which had heels made of several layers of leather added to them although he said that clogs could be used. The use of clogs for the dance is discussed in Metherell, C. “Clogs or Shoes? Footwear for the Fife Dances” Instep 12. 1984.

See the the original notes of Tom Flett’s meetings with Mr Adamson on 8/9/1956-12/9/1956 and his fair copy notes, 8/9/195610/9/1956 and 12/9/1956.

Chris Metherell discusses the Liverpool Hornpipe historically and contextually with Mats Melin and show how each step is danced. Filmed on an iPhone 6 at Felton, England, on 14 January 2019.

Liverpool Hornpipe playlist

Liverpool Hornpipe 01 – Introduction
Liverpool Hornpipe 02 – Finish motif of steps.
Liverpool Hornpipe 03 – First Step lead on
Liverpool Hornpipe 04 – Second Step
Liverpool Hornpipe 05 – Explanation of Third Step
Liverpool Hornpipe 06 – Third Step and explanation of catch-in
Liverpool Hornpipe 07 – Fourth Step
Liverpool Hornpipe 08 – Fifth Step

Chris Metherell drafted a description and background information for the Liverpool Hornpipe for a Newcastle Notation Series publication in the 1980s. The draft copy is here which also includes a version of the dance from Wigtownshire as noted from Tom’s daughter Jane.


That second, quite different version, was collected from Thomas Shanks of Wigtown who learned it from and danced it with Peter Marshall. It consists of 8 steps and was performed in dancing pumps.

Information on the second dance is derived from an interview and full notation by Tom Flett with Thomas Shanks on 28/8/1959.

Descriptions of both versions are published in Flett, J.F. & T.M., Traditional Step Dancing in Scotland, Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural Press. 1996, 165-169, 158-164.

Additionally the dance formed part of the repertoires of Professor Blackley a dancing master from Lanark and William Lawson. , a part-time dancing master also from Lanark. However no further information is available.