Weave the Wadmal


(Folk song from Denmark)

1. We’re weaving our wadmal *,
We join threads together,
Weave the wadmal, join together,
Pass the shuttle** along.

2. Now forward we’re pushing,
Then backward we’re pulling,
Forward pushing, backward pulling,
Pass the shuttle along.

3. We’re singing and humming,
So merrily working,
We are singing and we’re humming,
Pass the shuttle along.

4. We’re filling our bobbins,
We’re weaving our patterns,
Filling bobbins, weaving patterns,
Pass the shuttle along.

5. Our day’s work is over,
Our supper is ready,
Work is over, supper’s ready,
Pass the shuttle along.

*Wadmal is a coarse wool fabric woven in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Greenland, and the Orkney, Faroe and Shetland Islands from the Middle Ages into the 18th century. (source)

**Shuttle is the part of a hand loom that moves back and forth in weaving. (source)


Formation: Partners stand in two lines (line A and line B) facing each other. Head couple (leader of line A and leader of line B) is at the front of the room.

4 measures – Head couple joins adjacent hands and runs down the center toward the foot of the line (12 steps).
4 measures – Each person turns, joins the other adjacent hands together and runs back toward the head of the lines (12 steps).
2 measures – Head couple turns again, joining adjacent hands and runs halfway down the line (6 steps).
2 measures – Right arm swing 6 steps.
Repeating the song until the dance is finished (number of steps aren’t specified):

  • Person A runs to the foot of line B, and Person B runs to the head of line A. They both do a left arm swing (once around) with the person at the end.
  • Head couple runs to the center, right arm swing each other (once around).
  • Person A runs to the foot of line B and Person B runs to the head of line A. They left arm swing the second person to the end.
  • Head couple runs to the center, right arm swing each other (once around).
  • Head couple continues swinging each person and alternately swinging each other.
  • After swinging the last people, they right arm swing each other.
  • Students in the two lines drop to their knees and clap while the head couple join adjacent hands and run from the head to the foot, then back to the head, Person A running between the two lines, while Person B runs outside line B, then outside line A as they head back to the head of the lines.
  • One more time the head couple runs down the lines with Person B running outside line B, this time taking their place at the foot.
  • All students stand and stop clapping.
  • Dance begins again with a new head couple.

See also

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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