Tuesday, April 08, 2014

"The World in Creolization" by Ulf Hannerz / new link to "Global Sounds and Local Brews" by Paul Rutten

"The World in Creolization" Africa / Volume 57 / Issue 04 / October 1987, pp 546-559 / Ulf Hannerz

From the time when I first became entangled with the Third World, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, I have been fascinated by those contemporary ways of life and thought which keep growing out of the interplay between imported and indigenous cultures. They are the cultures on display in market places, shanty towns, beer halls, night clubs, missionary book stores, railway waiting rooms, boarding schools, newspapers and television stations. Nigeria, the country I have been most closely in touch with in an on-and-off way for some time, because of its large size, perhaps, offers particular scope for such cultural development, with several very large cities and hundreds if not thousands of small and middle-size towns. It has a lively if rather erratic press, a popular music scene dominated at different times by such genres as highlife, juju and Afro-beat, about as many universities as breweries (approximately one to every state in the federal republic), dozens of authors published at home and abroad, schoolhouses in just about every village, and an enormous fleet of interurban taxicabs which with great speed can convey you practically from anywhere to anywhere, at some risk to your life.
Opening paragraph in Cambridge Journals Online http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7905202.

"Global sounds and local brews: Musical developments and music industry in Europe" by Paul Rutten. Soundscapes — Journal on Media Culture 2 (July 1999). http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/MIE/Part2_chapter01.shtml. This essay originally appeared in: Rutten, Paul (ed.), Music, culture and society in Europe. Part II of: European Music Office, Music in Europe. Brussels, 1996, 64-76.

… Moreover European metropolises have developed into melting pots of musical styles, providing ground to many multi-cultural music scenes to develop. For immigrants from many parts of the world, music has become a major focus in developing their identity in a strange world. This coming together of musical streams has led to processes of cross-fertilization which has produced and promoted numerous interesting forms. In a similar way as for instance Irish immigrants and Afro-Americans have left their mark on today's American music, immigrants from the Caribbean and the West Indies have left their traces in British music and immigrants from former French colonies determine the face and the sound of French rap.

Soundscapes is an independent media studies journal in the Netherlands. Their non-mission statement, or "colophon" (cf. the colophon at the end of a book) reads:

No mission statement? Soundscapes is an online journal on the history and social significance of media culture. That's all. No, this journal has no mission statement, nor does it have a corporate identity. It is non-profit and educational. In short, it's just an academic journal that likes to talk back to the load of fleeting media messages that are overflowing all of us on a daily base. What are these things doing to us and what are we doing with them ourselves? It is this question that, one way or another, all of our essays try to address by informing their readers about radio programs, television series, popular music, styles of presentation and representation, and all that's related to the sounds and images of media culture. If you also like to talk back to the media with comments or contributions of your own, please mail them to the editors.

http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/HEADER/colophon.shtml ICCE (Department of Educational Technology) at the University of Groningen

Monday, April 07, 2014

Augustana Luther League, "Youth's Favorite Songs"

Youth's Favorite Songs. OCLC WorldCat has Minneapolis, Minn. : Augustana Luther League, [19--?] at http://www.worldcat.org/title/youths-favorite-songs/oclc/221428849 … but 1962 on page showing all editions at http://www.worldcat.org/title/youths-favorite-songs/oclc/221428849/editions?referer=di&editionsView=true

Discussed in Preaching from Home: The Stories of Seven Lutheran Women Hymn Writers by Gracia Grindal

Also The Junior Hymnal Rock Island: Augustana Book Concern, 1928.

Augustana Synod Luther League Lets Remember filmstrip. A film strip looking back at the Augustana Luther League conventions in 1951 in Colorado Springs, in 1953 in Boston, and in 1955 in Calgary.

Hymnary.org has a hardbound edn. dated 1955 at http://www.hymnary.org/hymnal/YFS1955 w/ hymns apparently in alphabetical order.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Creolization, hybridity, cross-pollination, crossover and/or all of above: "Give Me Your Hand" / "Tabhair Dom do Lámh" / "Da Mihi Manum" / "Gje Meg Handa Di" ** UPDATED x1 ** w/ dulcimer tab


Stumbled across this while I was looking for examples of folk hymnody … And it struck me, partly because I like the song, and partly because I'm not entirely comfortable with what I'm researching about creolization in immigrant communities in the upper Midwest and Chicago. I like James Leary's idea that creolization isn't limited to "tropical climes where European traders, soldiers, missionaries, and colonizers encountered African, Arab, and East and American Indian peoples" in the Caribbean but also occurs in "polkabilly" dance music of the upper Midwest, where "musical interactions have long been distinguished by egalitarianism, by freewheeling accommodation and blending across complex boundaries. Here reside North Coast creoles." (Click here for more.) But at least in the Illinois music I'm studying, the interactions have been complex.

Here reside Prairie State Creoles? Well, yes, maybe, but …

Postmodernist students of cultural globalization find creolization a useful concept, but they also talk about "hybridity" (click here and here). "Crossover" fits, too. Doesn't sound all postmodernist and academic, either, but it applies to everything from Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift to http://www.classical-crossover.co.uk. Anyway, the influences and correspondences I'm looking for are subtle and complex, and I don't have a good word for them.

Cross-pollination? Plays off the same metaphor as hybrid musical genres. Might work. And we have a lot of hybrid corn growing in Illinois. Closer. Getting warmer. But not there yet.

Some clips from YouTube, which is what got me started.

Planxty in HD - Tabhair Dom do Lámh (1973 RTE). The legendary Planxty in concert at the national stadium in 1973, with "Give me your hand", is Tabhair Dom do Lámh. And Three Drunken Maidens. Banna ceoil traidisiúnta Éireannach é Planxty a bhunaigh Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny agus Liam Ó Floinn i mBaile Átha Cliath sna seachtóidí.

Ensemble Passacaglia. Written in 1603 by Rory O'Cathan (Ruairi 'Dall' O'Cathain) a blind Irish harper, as a response to an apology by Lady Eglington of Ayrshire. "Ensemble Passacaglia [of Massachusetts] was formed in 2001 when Lisa Esperson, Tom Hanna and I became intrigued with the striking combination of winds, plucked strings and percussion. A mutual affinity for medieval and renaissance music brought us together as accompanists for the vocal ensemble the Solstice Singers, and soon thereafter we started performing as a trio. We began incorporating music from the Middle East into our concerts, finding richness in the cross-cultural influences suggested by the intricate rhythms and melodies. In 2007 Molly Johnston joined us, adding the warm and resonant sound of viola da gamba to the mix. http://www.solsticesingers.org/passabt.htm

Sondre Bratland and Annbjørg Lien. Traditional Irish tune with Norwegian lyrics ("Give Me Your Hand"). Annbjørg Lien plays the Swedish instrument nyckelharpa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyckelharpa). From a TV documetary on Sondre Bratland, 2005. So how, as Elizabeth Barrett Browning never would have thought to ask, do I creolize thee? Let's count the ways. We've got a song composed in Gaelic by an Irish harper for a Scottish patron popularized by an Irish traditional band translated from English into Norwegian and sung by a Norwegian vocalist backed by a Swedish instrument.

Kurt Nilsen og Helene Bøksle /m KORK - Gje meg handa di, ven. Minnekonsert fra Oslo domkirke lørdag 30. juli 2011. (KORK is the orchestra for Norwegian radio -- it's an acronym with the "K" from "Kringkasting," which means broadcasting, and "-ORK" from the Norwegian word for orchestra.)

Dulcimer tablature by Judith Giddings, a retired special ed professor who finger-picks MD arrangements of Carolan and other harp music.

Swoops, slurs and melisma -- especially in ballads and folk hymnody

Melisma (Greek: μέλισμα, melisma, song, air, melody; from μέλος, melos, song, melody), plural melismata, in music, is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. Music sung in this style is referred to as melismatic, as opposed to syllabic, in which each syllable of text is matched to a single note.

Some sound clips follow, in no particular developmental order.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

"The Vicar of Bray"

Last night at a Lenten soup supper, the subject of the English Reformation came up (exactly how it came up is a long story), and I was reminded of a song -- I'm always reminded of a song -- so today I looked it up on line and found out more than I'd expected. That always happens, too. The song is "The Vicar of Bray," and it pokes fun at the twists and turns of English ecclastical polity during the 1600s and early 1700s.

Author is unknown. Apparently it circulated widely both under its present title and as "The Religious Turncoat; Or, the Trimming Parson." Wikipedia has the text, with a close reading and annotation. Also, especially of interest to dulcimer players, a JPEG file of the melody -- in D!

(A hat tip BTW to Berkley Moore of Springfield, who has a better ear for Samuel Bayard's tune families than I ever will. Berkley tells the melody is that of "An English Country Garden," the well-known folk song collected by Cecil Sharp and arranged for orchestra -- and high school band! -- by Percy Grainger.

(Somewhere I have DAD tablature from the dulcimer club in Crossville, Tenn. Another long story, involving a rest stop on I-40 during the 4th of July weekend.)

Richard Dyer-Bennet sings "The Vicar of Bray"

And here's an adaptation that plays too fast-and-loose with history for my taste, but features a tolerable performance of the song in period dress. It's from a 1937 movie set in Ireland during Cromwell's invasion. The first verse is true to the original, but the second invents a ditty about Cromwell.

Says YouTube user Michael Lampett, who posted the clip: "A film version of the tale (The Vicar of Bray) was released in 1937 starring Stanley Holloway as the vicar. In the film, the vicar (of Bray, County Wicklow in Ireland) is given a more positive character and events are placed at a slightly earlier period, during the English Civil War. He successfully protects his parishioners by adopting a diplomatic approach during the turbulent events and secures forgiveness for moderate rebels from the restored Charles II." I wonder if that's making light of Cromwell's reign of terror in Ireland, but I haven't seen the movie. And the clip is kind of fun.

The first verse gives the flavor of the original song:

In good King Charles's golden days,
When Loyalty no harm meant;
A Zealous High-Church man I was,
And so I gain'd Preferment.
Unto my Flock I daily Preach'd,
Kings are by God appointed,
And Damn'd are those who dare resist,
Or touch the Lord's Anointed.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my Dying Day, Sir.
That whatsoever King may reign,
I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!
The song was hugely popular. Not too many years later, it was reworked by Loyalists who supported the British during the American Revolution. Those lyrics (in C) are available on line on the Digital Tradition folk music website. Again, the first verse gives the flavor of the thing:

When royal George ruled o'er this land and loyalty no harm meant
For Church and King I made a stand and so I got preferment
I still opposed all party tricks for reasons I thought clear ones
And swore it was their politics to made us all Presbyterians
And this is the law that I'll maintain until my dying day, sir
That whatsoever King might reign, I'll still be Vicar of Bray, sir

A couple of notes are in order here. The "party tricks" don't refer to fun and games at a social gathering -- political parties were in their infancy, and the word "party" had disreputable, factional connotations. American patriots, to use another word that had *negative connotations at the time, were apt to be Presbyterians or others who did not conform to the Anglican established church. Other than that one reference, however, the American version of the song is wholly political and non-religious.

Sara L. Johnson, perhaps better known as "The Kitchen Musician" for her books and website on early American and Anglo-Celtic folk music, sketches in some history, first in 16th- and 17th-century England:

The vicars of Bray, in Berkshire, have been some of its most interesting characters, apparently all upholding the same principle as the most famous one, Simon Aleyn, of the mid-sixteenth century. “He was a Papist under the reign of Henry VIII, and a Protestant under Edward VI; he was a Papist again under Mary, and once more became a Protestant in the reign of Elizabeth. When this scandal to the gown was reproached for his versatility of religious creeds, and taxed for being a turncoat and an inconstant changeling...he replied, ‘Not so neither, for if I changed my religion, I am sure I kept true to my principle; which is, to live and die the Vicar of Bray.’ ” (He succeeded and is buried there.) The well-known song, however, was written about 1720 in the reign of George I, perhaps by a soldier in Colonel Fuller’s troop of Dragoons, of Dr. Francis Carswell, Vicar of Bray during the reigns of Charles II, James II, William III, Ann, and George I. He was said to have been “an old rich stingy turncoat and a curmudgeon of unsettled head.”
And of the American version:

The subject of the American version is unknown, but may have been the publisher of the Pennsylvania Evening Post, Benjamin Towne, whose newspaper, before, during and after the British occupation espoused the viewpoint of whoever was currently in power.


* "Patriotism having become one of our topicks, [Dr. Samuel] Johnson suddenly uttered, in a strong determined tone, an apophthegm, at which many will start: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." But let it be considered, that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self-interest." James Boswell's Life of Johnson April 7, 1775 (1791). Qtd. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Nationalism.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Two new tunes for Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music -- "River" and "Sumer Is Icumen In" (summer is a-coming in)

Blast email I sent out today to the Clayville list, edited to embed clips and fix minor illiteracies. -- pe
Hi everybody --

We're adding a couple of songs to our playlist when the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music meets from 10 a.m. till noon this Saturday at Clayville Historic Site, Ill. 125, Pleasant Plains. Last night in Springfield, we played "River," a song by singer-songwriter Bill Staines, and "Sumer Is Icumen In" (summer is a-coming in) for the first time. And everyone enjoyed them so much we decided we want to keep working on them both in Springfield and Clayville.

In addition, "Soldier's Joy" is back by popular demand. We've already had a request for it, and last night we followed up on that request and learned it easily. So we decided it's a keeper, too.

I've attached dulcimer tab for "River" and "Sumer Is Icumen In" to this message, and links to dulcimer tab and lead sheets with the melody line and guitar chords for "Solider's Joy" below.

In addition, I'm linking to YouTube videos of "River" and "Sumer Is Icumen In" so you can *hear* the tunes. I'll post them to Hogfiddle, too.


An old clip of Staines performing the song with singer-songwriter couple Aileen and Elkin Thomas at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 1979


It's an a cappella round that topped the charts in England about 1260 AD. Here it is as revived more recently by members of the English post-punk rock band the Futureheads:

And as performed by English singer-songwriter Richard Thompson backed by Debra Dobkin on drum and Judith Owen harmony vocal. When Playboy magazine asked Thompson to list the best popular songs of the last 1,000 years for a Y2K feature, he suggested this one. He never heard from Playboy again, but it gave him the idea for a successful night club act. Their grand entrance to the club starts at 1:33:

And -- my favorite -- a group of English folk singers and fiddle players (I think I also hear banjos playing the rhythm part) at Cecil Sharp House, headquarters of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London. I especially like this one because you can tell how much fun they're having with it:

There's more information about the song, and several more traditional YouTube clips performed by a cappella choirs and early music consorts, on Hogfiddle at:



Dulcimer tab and a lead sheet with guitar chords are available in a directory on the Music Roots website out of Mountain View, Ark., at:


I'll also copy this message to the blog.

Hope to see you at Clayville Saturday morning!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Flash mob in Odessa fish market: As international tension rises again in Ukraine, Beethoven and Schiller's "Ode to Joy"

From an off-topic post on Diane Ravitch's education blog today:

This is not an April Fools’ joke.

Russian troops are massed on the borders of Ukraine.

People are shopping in the fish market in Odessa, going about their daily life.

Then a flash mob appears.

What do you think they do?

Her link is to a recent item on Andrew Sullivan's blog The Dish, which embeds a YouTube clip of the flash mob. (It's also embedded below on Hogfiddle.)

Ravitch asks:

Why do these notes always speak of hope? Why do they stir us so?

Why do we hear this music and think of a better world?

Here's the original YouTube video:

Official (Официальное) - Flash mob (Флешмоб): Odessa (Одесса) Musicians Privoz (Музыканты Привоз). Published on Mar 24, 2014. Flash mob: Odessa Musicians for Peace and Brotherhood. / Флешмоб: Одесские Музыканты за Мир и Братство. (Официальное Видео). В флешмобе 22. 03. 2014 года на Одесском привозе приняли участие Национальный одесский филармонический оркестр и хор Одесского национального академического театра оперы и балета. Хормейстер Л. Бутенко, дирижер Хобарт Эрл. (Official Video). Saturday, March 22, 2014, 10:29 am. Odessa Fish Market ('Privoz'). Members of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra and Odessa Opera Chorus, Hobart Earle, conductor, perform music from Beethoven's 9th symphony.

A reader of Sullivan's blog gives this background:

As World War I got underway, Romain Rolland and Hermann Hesse, two Swiss writers, appealed to their war-frenzied friends in France and Germany citing the lede to the choral movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony: O Freunde, nicht diese Töne! sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen! (Friends, not these sounds! Let us rather make more pleasant, more joyous notes). And last Saturday, in Odessa, a Russian-speaking city of Ukraine, one of the cultural treasure-houses of Europe, the city that gave us Anna Akhmatova and Issak Babel, Sviatoslav Richter, David Oistrakh, Nathan Milshtein and Emil Gilels, performers from the Philharmonic flash mobbed a performance of the last bars of the symphony at the Odessa fish market. …

Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Soldier's Joy": New tune for April @ Prairieland Strings and Clayville

We've had a request for "Soldier's Joy," and I've located dulcimer tab for our "first Tuesday" session of the Prairieland Strings on April 1. It's one of the grand old fiddle tunes, and we'll introduce it at Saturday's session of the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music, too. It's on the Music Roots slow-jam program's website out of Mountain View, Ark., and it's a very playable version of one of the grand old fiddle tunes:


Along with the dulcimer tab, Music Roots has a lead sheet with guitar chords. PDF files of both are available in the directory of tab for beginners at: http://www.oldtimeozarks.com/Music_Roots.html.

Among other lyrics cited in Andrew Kunz' online Fiddlers Companion are these:

Chicken in the bread tray scratchin' out dough,
Granny will your dog bite? No, child, no.
Ladies to the center and gents to the bar,
Hold on you don't go too far.


Grasshopper sittin on a sweet potato vine, (x3)
Along come a chicken and says she's mine.


I'm a‑gonna get a drink, don't you wanna go? (x3)
Hold on Soldier's Joy.


Love somebody, yes I do, (x3)
Love somebody but I won't say who.


I am my mama's darling child (x3)
And I don't care for you.


Dance all night, fiddle all day,
That's a Soldier's Joy. (Kuntz)

Here are couple of YouTube clips:

One shows the Athens, Ala., Dulcimer Jam Group playing in unison ...

And here's a good basic festival version on fiddle and guitar. (When you hear people talking about the "festival version," it means the standard, fleet-model, no-frills version of a tune.) Says Wilmer Kerns, who played guitar and posted it to YouTube, "This is a basic version of the fiddle tune for those who are interested in learning it. Variations of this oldtime tune may be traced back as far as the late 1600s.Texans play it differently than players in Southern Appalachia and from those in New England and Nova Scotia. Sometimes it is played with so many embellishments that the tune is hardly recognizable."

And a 1929 recording, with lyrics, by Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, on the PreservationHall101 website:

Preservation Hall 101 gives this background on Gid Tanner, whose recorded version became pretty much the standard in 20th-century America:

James Gideon Tanner, fiddler extraordinaire and comedian, was born at Thomas Bridge, Georgia in 1885. His old time fiddle music was to become one of the ingredients of modern country and western music as formulated by Jimmie Rodgers in the early 1930s. The Skillet Lickers were very influential in the 1920s-30s building the bridge that connected Appalachian folk music to modern popular music and gave respectability to the formerly ridiculed "hillbilly" music. The band of crazy geniuses consisted of blind Riley Puckett-guitar (and vocals on this recording); Clayton McMichen-fiddle ; Fate Norris-banjo; and chicken farmer Gid Tanner-fiddle. McMichen's voice can be heard at the intro saying "Well folks, here we are again . . ." Tanner memorized the words and music to over 2000 fiddle tunes but couldn't read a note of music.. Tanner, at age 38, and Puckett made their first recordings (duets) for Columbia as early as 1924 in New York. They had been coaxed to those 1924 sessions by Frank Walker of Columbia and their sessions pre-dated recordings of early pioneers such as Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family by several years. The first records cut as The Skillet Lickers were produced in Atlanta, Georgia in 1926. The Skillet Lickers recorded sporadically with different musicians making up the band and when they disbanded in '34, they had made around 100 records for Columbia and Bluebird.
But the tune is much older than that. Andrew Kunz has this at http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/FCfiles.html#S:
SOLDIER'S JOY [1] (Lutgair An Sigeadoir/t-Saigdiura). AKA and see "French Four" [2], "I Am My Mamma's Darlin' Child," “John White,” "The King's Head," "The King's Hornpipe [1]," "(I) Love Somebody [1]," "Payday in the Army," "Rock the Cradle Lucy." Old‑Time, Bluegrass, American, Canadian, English, Irish, Scottish; Breakdown, Scottish Measure, Hornpipe, Reel, Country Dance and Morris Dance Tune. D Major (almost all versions): G Major (Bacon, Bayard‑Simmons). Standard or ADae (Edden Hammons) tunings. AB (Athole, Bayard‑Simmons, Shaw): AABB (most versions): ABCDE (Cooke {Ex. 54}). One of, if not the most popular fiddle tune in history, widely disseminated in North America and Europe in nearly every tradition; as Bronner (1987) perhaps understatedly remarks, it has enjoyed a "vigorous" life. There is quite a bit of speculation on just what the name ‘soldier’s joy’ refers to. Proffered thoughts seem to gravitate toward money and drugs. In support of the latter is the 1920’s vintage Georgia band the Skillet Lickers, who sang to the melody:


Well twenty-five cents for the morphine,
and fifteen cents for the beer.
Twenty-five cents for the old morphine
now carry me away from here.


Bayard (1981) dates it to "at least" the latter part of the 18th century, citing a version that has become standard in James Aird's 1778 collection (vol. 1, No. 109) and Skillern's 1780 collection (pg. 21). London publishers Longman and Broderip included it in their Entire New and Compleat Instructions for the Fife in 1785. Kate Van Winkler Keller (1992) says that the hornpipe “Soldier’s Joy” appeared with a song in London in about 1760. John Glen (1891) and Francis Collinson (1966) maintain the first appearance in print of this tune is in Joshua Campbell's 1778 A Collection of the Newest and Best Reels and Minuets with improvements. It has been attributed to Campbell himself but Collinson notes it is hardly likely as it is a well known folk dance tune in other countries of Europe. There is also a dance by the same name which is "one of the earliest dances recorded in England, but no date of origin has been established. It is still done in Girton Village as part of a festival dance. The tune is also well known in Ireland" (Linscott, 1939). The melody was used in North‑West England morris dance tradition for a polka step, and also is to be found in the Cotswold morris tradition where it appears as "The Morris Reel," collected from the village of Headington, Oxfordshire. Scots national poet Robert Burns set some verses to the tune which were published in his Merry Muses of Caledonia. In the first song of Burns' cantata, The Jolly Beggars, by the soldier, is to the tune of “Soldier's Joy.” Early versions of "Soldier's Joy" can be traced to a Scottish source as far back as 1781; variants can be found in Scandinavia, the French Alps, and Newfoundland (Linda Burman‑Hall, "Southern American Folk Fiddle Styles," Ethnomusicology, vol. 19, #1, Jan. 1975). Jean-Paul Carton identifies a version of “Soldier’s Joy” in the tablature manuscript of French fiddler Pierre Martin, dating from around 1880. He says: “I find (Martin’s) version of Soldier’s Joy—simply referred to as Été [a type of dance], tab #132—surprisingly close to some of the American versions, including the bowing, which is indicated in the tab.” [Reference: Claude Ribouillault, Violon du Poitou, Répertoire de danses en tablatures (Cahier de Pierre Martin, vers 1880), UPCP-Métive, Les Cahiers du CERDO No. 1, CPCP-Métive: 2003].

And this:
In America the melody is ubiquitous. Early printings of the melody are in Benjamin and Joseph Carr’s Evening Amusement (Philadelphia, 1796), Joshua Cushing’s Fifer’s Companion (Salem, Mass., 1804) and Daniel Steele’s New and Compleat Preceptor for the Flute (Albany, 1815). It was cited as having commonly been played for country dances in Orange County, New York, in the 1930's (Lettie Osborn, New York Folklore Quarterly), and Bronner (1987) confirms it was a popular piece at New York square dances in the early 20th century. The title appears in a repertoire list of Norway, Maine, fiddler Mellie Dunham (the elderly Dunahm {b. 1853} was Henry Ford's champion fiddler in the late 1920's). Musicologist Charles Wolfe (1982) says it was popular with Kentucky fiddlers. The tune was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, from the playing of Ozark Mountain fiddlers in the early 1940's, and, for the same institution by Herbert Halpert in 1939 from the playing of Mississippi fiddlers John Hatcher, W.E. Claunch and Stephen B. Tucker. Fiddler and outdoorsman Leizime Brusoe (Rhinelander, Wisconsin), born in Canada around 1870, recorded it on 78 RPM under the title “French Four,” which was actually the name of the dance he usually played it for. “Soldier’s Joy” is one of ‘100 essential Missouri tunes’ listed by Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden. It was also recorded by legendary Galax fiddler Emmett Lundy, and is listed as one of the tunes played at a fiddlers' convention at the Pike County Fairgrounds, Alabama (as recorded in the Troy Herald of July 6, 1926) {Cauthen, 1990}. Arizona fiddler Kenner C. Kartchner said: "Every fiddler plays this. Some not so good" (Shumway). Howe (c. 1867) and Burchenal (1918) print a New England contra dances of the same name with the tune. Tommy Jarrell, the influential fiddler from Mt. Airy, North Carolina, told Peter Anick in 1982 that it was a tune he learned in the early 1920's when he first began learning the fiddle, at which time it was known as "I Love Somebody" in his region. Soon after it was known in Mt. Airy as "Soldier's Joy" and, after World War II, as "Payday in the Army." Another North Carolina fiddler, African-American Joe Thompson, played the tune in CFgd tuning. Gerald Milnes (1999, pg. 12) remarks that tune origins were of significant value to West Virginia musicians who often tried to trace tunes to original sources. It was the first tune learned by Randolph County, W.Va., fiddler Woody Simmons (b. 1911). Braxton County fiddler Melvin Wine (1909-1999), says Milnes, used family lore to attribute the tune to his great-grandfather, Smithy Wine, of Civil War era. Smithy, it seems, had been detained by the Confederates in Richmond under charges of aiding Union soldiers. Although imprisoned, his captors found out he was a fiddler and made him play for a dance, and Smithy later associated the tune with this incident, calling it “Soldier’s Joy.” For further information see Bayard's (1944) extensive note on this tune and tune family under "The King's Head." During a Senate campaign in the 1960's the piece was played to crowds by Albert Gore Sr., the fiddling father of the Vice President during the Clinton administration (Wolfe, 1997).
And much, much more. I first learned the tune on dulcimer from Betty Smith of western North Carolina as a children's song with lyrics "I love somebody, yes I do."