Sunday, August 08, 2010

* GIG 0910 * Vachel Lindsay -- fiddle tunes heard at sawmill camp near Jacksonville, Ill.

Thursday, May 30, 1912. From Tramping Across America (our ed., 1999): 15-16.

[in old boxcar set up on wagon wheels and shunted back and forth by a sawmill owner west of Jacksonville ... an "old gentleman [whom] I spied through the window stemming gooseberries and singing 'John Brown's Body'." ... It was a family operation, he and his sons were clearing land "of all but its walnut trees"]. Lindsay's account:

... My old host looked like his general, McClellan. He was eloquent on the sins of preachers, dry voters and pension reformers. He was full of reminiscences of the string band at Sherman's headquarters, in which he learned to perfect himself on his perfect fiddle. He said, "I can't play slow music. I've got to play dance tunes or die." He did not die. His son took a banjo from an old trunk and the two of them gave us every worth while tune on earth: Money Musk, Hell's Broke Loose in Georgia, The Year of Jubilee, Sailor's Hornpipe, Baby on the Block," Lady on the Lake, and The Irish Washerwoman, while I stemmed gooseberries, which they protested I did not need to do. Then I read my own unworthy verses to the romantic and violin-stirred company. And there was room for all of us to sleep in that one repentant and converted box-car" (14).
YouTube versions are available of all but one of the tunes:

Money Musk

Nils Fredland calls Money Musk at the Swallowtail 30th anniversary dance weekend [see post below, earlier today, for more]

"Hell's Broke Loose in Georgia"

Elizabeth Fitch and Rachel Eddy (fiddles), Kristian Herner (banjo), Kevin Fitch (banjo uke), and Ashley Carder (guitar) play Hell Broke Loose in Georgia at an old time jam at Ashley's camp at Clifftop 2009.

"Year of Jubilo"

Annie & Mac Old Time Music Moment ...

Sailors Hornpipe

[Copied and expanded on blog post Aug. 12}

... flatpicked on two guitars

Music avaialbe from O'Neill's on the website - two versions No. 1577 and No. 1578 are both in D.

Kuntz has this in

SAILOR'S HORNPIPE [1]. AKA and see "College Hornpipe," “Duke William’s Hornpipe,” "Jack's the Lad [1]," "Lancashire Hornpipe [1]." English (originally), American; Reel, Hornpipe, or Breakdown. England, Northumberland. USA; New York, southwestern Pa., West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas. G Major (Most versions): D Major (Sweet): B Flat Major (Hardings, Seattle/Vickers). Standard tuning. AABB. Originally titled the "College Hornpipe" this melody became known as the "Sailor's Hornpipe" through its association with the performance of the hornpipe dance, typically performed on the stage in nautical costume (see notes for "College Hornpipe"). At the turn of the 18th century a sailor was a favorite character of the musical stage and the nautical theme became so associated with the dance that many hornpipes were generically labeled a 'sailor's hornpipe'. The dance itself features a distinctive 'side-cutting' step. The style retained its popularity throughout the century, and none‑less than J. Scott Skinner, the famous Scottish violinist who was also a dancing master, taught the dance at Elgin and other places to his pupils. George Emerson, in his article on the Hornpipe (Folk Music Journal, vol. 2, No. 1, 1970) finds an early reference:

”at Drury lane, May 1740, Yates .. billed to perform a 'hornpipe in the character of Jacky Tar. There is no mention then or later of anyone performing 'the' or 'a' sailor's hornpipe. It is always a 'hornpipe in the character of a sailor'..”


As the "College Hornpipe" the tune was in print in 1797 or 1798 by J. Dale of London, and although the melody predates Dale's publication, the English antiquarian Chappell's editor dates it no earlier than the second half of the 18th century. Emerson suggests the comic ballet The Wapping Landlady (1767) was the source of the Sailor Hornpipe that was famously danced by the American dancer Durang for some twenty years at the end of the 18th century. The ballet featured the trials of Jack Tar ashore, and was choreographed by Arnold Fisher (of “Fisher’s Hornpipe” fame). See also note for “College Hornpipe” for more.


"Sailor's Hornpipe" was imported to North America where it entered traditional repertoire and became fairly widely known, still with its nautical connotations--so strong was the association, in fact, that it was selected as the theme song of a popular mid-20th century animated cartoon character, Popeye the Sailorman. Bronner (1987) reports the earliest known printing in the United States was in a publication by B. Carr entitled Evening Entertainments in the year 1796 (under the "College Hornpipe" title). Although the name "Sailor's Hornpipe" has been something of a floating title in the United States, it is probably the 'College' tune under this title which 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). Similarly in American tradition, it was played at a fiddle contest in Verbena, Alabama, in 1921 (as noted in the Union Banner of October 27, 1921), and also in another 1920's contest in Georgia by one R.L. Stephens of Camp Hill, Alabama (according to the Columbus (Ga.) Register of December 10‑12, 1926) {Cauthen, 1990}. The title also appears in a list of traditional Ozark Mountain fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph

Baby on the Block

can't find it in YouTube or Google {but see post on Ned Harrigan above - and Charles Hamm, Yesterdays: Popular Song in America (280-81, 281 n. 17) }

Lady of the Lake

Festival Jammin at the '07 Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-time Music Association's Spring (June) "Kickoff." The players are Geoff Shannon on guitar, Karen Mueller on autoharp and mandolin, Debbie Sorensen-Boeh on Fiddle, Craig Evans on frailin banjo and Terry Sullivan on bass. Woo-hoo! "

Irish Washerwoman

Ian Walsh teaches the classic Irish Jig the Irish Washerwoman. In G. For fiddle players.


CJS said...

For "Baby", try "The Babies on our Block", by Harrigan/Braham, a song from an Irish-themed Broadway show from 1879. Don't *know* that this is the tune, but it seems likely.

雅王任 said...