Allemande left! On your right hand
Swing your partner under, stand,
Wait for the fiddle — the Devil’s own chord —
Heaven and Hell will split the reward:
Couples fall back and Lazarus fo’w’rd.
Do-si-do and face your winsome
Peace of mind for a few seconds long would
Be all I’d pray for, choose your handsome
Brief reprieve from a love gone wrong would
Be all I’d need, now promenade along.
Gentlemen, turn to the left and bow, and
Never be bereft, never covered with a shroud, and
Still stand still, stand stepping with the throng;
Face your fear, and turning from despair —
In for a penny, Ladies, in for a dollar —
The heart beats hard, beats listening to the air
And the called forever moving toward the caller.
NOTES for Students of English
the Devil’s own chord – The tritone, a musical interval of three whole tones, was traditionally called “the devil in music” (diabolus in musica ) because it was considered extremely discordant. The tritone also appears in Hertz’s poem The Piano Tuner as “demon triads.”