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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Civil War Era Tune List


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/7144

TimK - Posted - 01/29/2009:  06:58:16


I have been asked to help form a CW string band to perform at reenactments. As a starting point I put together a list of CW era tunes that I currently play. I'm posting it here as an example of the types of tunes that were played by the men of both armies. It is broken down into three categories: Patriotic, Popular and Fiddle tunes. It is by no means a complete list of period tunes, just the ones that I do.

TimK

Civil War Era Songs & Tunes

Patriotic: Battle Cry of Freedom, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Just Before The Battle Mother, Marching Through Georgia, Bonnie Blue Flag, Dixie,
Garry Owen, The Girl I left Behind, Stonewall Jackson’s Way, Wait For The Wagons, Tramp Tramp Tramp, Year of Jubilo, Yankee Doodle, Battle Hymn of the Republic

Popular: The Old Kentucky Home, Hard Times Come Again No More, The Glendy Burke, Old Folks At Home, Aura Lee, Lorena, Sweet Evalina, Cumberland Gap, The Minstral Boy, John Brown’s March, Rose Of Alabama, Goober Peas, Home Sweet Home, Yellow Rose Of Texas, Jim Along Josie, Beautiful Dreamer, Listen To The Mocking Bird, Buffalo Gals, Johnson Boys, Sweet Betsie from Pike, Nellie Bly, Ring Da Banjo, Camptown Races, Oh Susanna

Fiddle: Soldier’s Joy, Liberty, Angelina the Baker, Temperance Reel, Flowers of Edinburgh, Swallow Tail Jig, Irish Washer Woman, January the Eight (Battle of New Orleans), Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning (Perry’s Victory), Kelton’s Reel (Stoney Point) Waiting for the Federals (Seneca Square Dance), Haste to the Wedding, Neil Gow’s Lament, Tam’s Slow March, Arkansas Traveler, Devil’s Dream



_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.


Edited by - TimK on 01/29/2009 11:17:02

tiquose - Posted - 01/29/2009:  07:06:21


Where did you learn Tam's Slow March, Tim?

Janet
"Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back." -my grandmother, Bertha Morgan Nelson

How to Add Hyperlinks to Your Message

TimK - Posted - 01/29/2009:  07:17:05


Janet,

I learned it from the video that was posted here on the HO.

TImK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.


Edited by - TimK on 01/29/2009 07:17:26

bj - Posted - 01/29/2009:  07:42:41


I'm surprised at how many of those popular and patriotic tunes I actually know from my childhood. I think I'll have to start working them up on fiddle, especially since I do play some historic farm reenactment events that roughly date from Civil War times. Thanks, Tim!

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So many fiddles. So little time!

Me on the Web --
http://doneinstyle.com
My inspiration:
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Eric Sprado - Posted - 01/29/2009:  10:48:16


Tim: Do you have words to Nellie Bly. Used to know them as a kid. Sad sad sad song.

TimK - Posted - 01/29/2009:  11:06:58


Yes Eric, I can help you with that. I'll send them to you in an e-mail.
We might not be on the same page on this one though. The version I know, Stephen Foster I believe, has a somewhat comical story line and is sung with a minstrel diolect. ie:

Nellie Bly, Nellie Bly, bring da broom along
we'll sweep da kitchen clean my love and have a little song
Stoke da wood my lady love, make dat fire burn
An when I gets da banjo down, give da mush a turn

Hi Nellie, Ho Nellie, listen love to me
I'll sing for you an play for you a dolcem melody.



TimK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.


Edited by - TimK on 01/29/2009 11:13:13

Fiddling Bill - Posted - 01/29/2009:  12:14:20


Another good Civil War era song is "The Vacant Chair" (aka We Shall Meet But We Shall Miss Him".

It was sung by Andy and Barney on one of the Andy Griffith episodes.

Eric Sprado - Posted - 01/29/2009:  13:41:53


Thanks Tim: The Nelly Bly I knew of was about a slave woman who had all her children taken away from her. I'll see if I can find it somewhere.

chris via - Posted - 01/29/2009:  17:43:49


I think the tune you are remembering is Nelly Grey. Thats a sad slave song too.

Chris Via
www.gilesmountainstringband.com

www.myspace.com/gilesmountainstringband

bsed - Posted - 01/29/2009:  18:24:06


quote:
Originally posted by chris via

I think the tune you are remembering is Nelly Grey. Thats a sad slave song too.

Chris Via
www.gilesmountainstringband.com

www.myspace.com/gilesmountainstringband

My group does a canned Lincoln program. We do the Vacant Chair occ., and we do Nelly Grey.
Other Civil War era tunes/songs we do are
Senecca Sq. Dance
O Susannah
Colored Aristocracy
Lynchburg Town
Lincoln & Liberty (of course!)
Dixie
President Lincoln's Hornpipe
Johnson Boys
Somebody's Darlin'
Hard Times
I am Weary
Booth Shot Lincoln


Just call me Dwight.


Edited by - bsed on 01/29/2009 18:25:25

carlb - Posted - 01/30/2009:  05:54:15


Going through the index in the manuscript book of a Reading, PA fiddler, "James E. Frill's Musick Book, Reading, August 17th, 1830" [best guess of year of entries is 1815-1850], the following tunes (i.e ones that I'm familiar with today) appear and could well have been played by string band during the Civil War:
Black Bird
Bohemian Waltz
Cambels a comming
Chapel Hill March (a jig, that became the 4/4 Green Willis or the Raw Recruit; check Emmett Lundy)
College Hornpipe, Sailor's Hornpipe
Come haste to the wedding
Devil's Dream
Downfall of Paris
Fishers Hornpipe
Flower of Edinburgh
Greegs Favourite (the old jig Voulez-vous Danser from which La Bastringue was probably derived)
Hail to the Chief
If a body meet a body need a body cry (Coming thru the Rye)
Jackson's Bottle of Brandy
Jackson's Morning Brush
Money Musk
Over the Water to Charlee (alt title - Sean Bui, an Irish jig)
Red Haired Boy
Rickets Hornpipe
St. Patrick's Day
Staten Island Hornpipe (similar except C# not C natural; check Ryan's or Coles)
White Cockcade
Yankee Doodle


There are, in all, about 235 tunes in the Frill collection (contact me if you want a copy). Also, if you find a library that has a copy of Riley's Flute Melodies (2 volumes; 1816 and 1820), it has many more tunes then Frill and a really good index. You can find lots of titles there.

And one more, in another 1850s flute manuscript book, there's a really nice version of "Sich a Gettin' Upstairs".

And more; check out the list of titles of pre-Civil War sheet music at:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/sm2html/sm2home.html

Carl

TimK - Posted - 01/30/2009:  07:43:51


Nice list Carl, thanks for posting.

TimK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.

Fidla - Posted - 01/30/2009:  10:40:16


quote:
Originally posted by TimK
Fiddle: Soldier’s Joy, Liberty, Angelina the Baker, Temperance Reel, Flowers of Edinburgh, Swallow Tail Jig, Irish Washer Woman, January the Eight (Battle of New Orleans), Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning (Perry’s Victory), Kelton’s Reel (Stoney Point) Waiting for the Federals (Seneca Square Dance), Haste to the Wedding, Neil Gow’s Lament, Tam’s Slow March, Arkansas Traveler, Devil’s Dream




Most of these are Celtic. Are you saying that Celtic fiddling was popular in the Civil War days?

______________
Join us online at the Fiddle World
http://fiddleworld.ning.com/

Eric Sprado - Posted - 01/30/2009:  10:40:16


You're right. Nelly Grey. I also know a funny version Nelly Grey about revenuers taking her away and breaking up her still....

TimK - Posted - 01/30/2009:  11:15:15


quote:
Originally posted by Fidla

[quote]Originally posted by TimK
Fiddle: Soldier’s Joy, Liberty, Angelina the Baker, Temperance Reel, Flowers of Edinburgh, Swallow Tail Jig, Irish Washer Woman, January the Eight (Battle of New Orleans), Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning (Perry’s Victory), Kelton’s Reel (Stoney Point) Waiting for the Federals (Seneca Square Dance), Haste to the Wedding, Neil Gow’s Lament, Tam’s Slow March, Arkansas Traveler, Devil’s Dream




Most of these are Celtic. Are you saying that Celtic fiddling was popular in the Civil War days?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adam,

Absolutely it was. A good percentage of the men who fought in the CW were Irish Immigrants who brought their music to the battlefieds & camps. One of the most famous units of the Federal army was the Irish Brigade. Their Regimental Colors was a Green Flag trimmed in gold edging with a Gold Harp and Erin Go Bragh on it. They won great honors at the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. At the battle of Fredericksburg, one of the saddest and most ironic events of the war took place. A unit of Southern Irish infantry was posted behind a stone wall on the heights. Their possition was assalted by the Federal Irish Brigade across an open field. Both units were flying their regimental colors which showed their Irish heritage. Irish immigants came here to find freedom from war and tyranny and ended up killing each other here in America as the price for their freedom. There were 23,000 casualties in the one day battle of Fredericksburg, VA December, 1862.

TImK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.


Edited by - TimK on 01/30/2009 11:45:11

curlyrayfan - Posted - 01/30/2009:  14:40:33


Wayfaring Stanger is a civil war song. not really a fiddle tune, but ive heard it played as an instrumental.

_______________________________________________________________

“I''ve always called my music old time mountain music or old time bluegrass music. I wouldn''t have it any other way."
-Ralph Stanley

Humbled by this instrument - Posted - 01/31/2009:  09:08:58


I've asked TimK before about "Scotland the Brave," and then "Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond" comes to mind now. I would guess that these two would be popular, at least with the Scottish troops?
Humbled

Inquisitor: "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Intellectual Illuminati?"
Me: "Does this question have something to do with light bulbs?"

TimK - Posted - 01/31/2009:  16:37:35


Humbled,

In addition to the Patriotic and Popular tunes of the day, there were many tunes that predate the Civil War as Carl's list above shows. I believe that both of those tunes predate the CW and would most likely have been heard around a campfire or two. Scotland the Brave could also have very well been played by a regimental brass band as a march. St. Patrick's Day in the Morning, the Girl I Left Behind, Garry Owen and the Minstrel Boy were all used as marches

TimK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.

carlb - Posted - 01/31/2009:  19:05:02


Concerning "Scotland the Brave"
"SCOTLAND THE BRAVE. AKA and see "My Bonnie Lass(ie)," "Brave Scotland," "Scotland Forever." Scottish, March (2/4 time); English, Morris Dance Tune. G Major (Brody, Wade): D Major (Reiner). Standard tuning. AB (Wade): AA’B (Johnson): AABB (Brody): AA'BB (Reiner). Tune used for a polka step in the North#8209;West (England) morris dance tradition, and a march in Scotland and Shetland. Jack Campin believes it first appeared around the turn of the 20th century.................
The oldest appearance of the melody Campin has seen was in a Boys’ Brigade pipe tune book from about 1911 where the title appeared as “Scotland, the Brave!!!” Charles Gore say the tune appears to date from about 1891-5, when it was published in Keith Norman Macdonald’s Gesto Collection of Highland Music under the title "Brave Scotland" and/or "Scotland for Ever.”

Concerning "Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomand"
"BONNIE BANKS O' LOCH LOMOND. Scottish, March or Air (4/4 time). G Major. Standard. AB (Neil): ABC (Kerr). The tune is one of the most famous of Scots airs and appears to be based melodically on "Kind Robin (Lo’es Me)." It is thought to date from the year 1746, and the lyrics are supposed to refer to one of Bonnie Prince Charlie's ill#8209;fated followers who was about to be executed for rebellion."

Thanks to the Fiddler's Companion for this info.
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/

Carl


Edited by - carlb on 01/31/2009 19:06:12

coelhoe - Posted - 01/31/2009:  21:36:55


Add "Rally "Round the Flag," and "Faded Coat of Blue."

Dennis

"Not being able to play very well is a good substitute for not having good taste." -Eddie Adcock

TimK - Posted - 02/01/2009:  04:48:08


Carl,
You should be a Historian Nice research!

TimK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.

TimK - Posted - 02/01/2009:  05:30:07


Many of us here know Wayne Erbsen for his "Ignoramus" instructional books.
Mr. Erbsen also holds a MA in History and is the author of Rousing Songs and True Tales of the Civil War. It is a pocket size book containing the music and lyrics for some of the more well known tunes of the CW as well as short stories written in his own, humorous style.
It is available through his company, Native Ground Music.

TimK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.

plucknpick - Posted - 02/03/2009:  05:40:21


I have found that many Civil War lovers have forgotten that the War for Independence was only seventy years hence. Many tunes were still very popular.
Another source that many ignore is religion. Fanny Crosby, and many others, were very popular. Not every tune played was a hornpipe.
One interpretation that is often overlooked at many jams, re-enactments and other gatherings is the hymns of the faith.
I have an original mourner, from the services given for my Civil War Vet, that has over a dozen hymns
that were sung at the 'mourning service' for the vets. I suggest these web sites www.33rdfoot.org
for Rev War. If you want a copy of the mourner reply to me: plucknpick@hotmail.com

plucknpick

TimK - Posted - 02/03/2009:  06:18:49


[quote]Originally posted by plucknpick
One interpretation that is often overlooked at many jams, re-enactments and other gatherings is the hymns of the faith.

Plucknpick,

Interesting observation concerning CW period music. While it is not common to hear sacred music played around the campfire at a reenactment, almost every weekend long event includes a Sunday morning, period worship service which does include period hymns.

As for jams, I only attend one regularly. It is held at a local church and the first hour is all sing along hymns. The second hour is open stage.

TImK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.

DougD - Posted - 02/08/2009:  07:14:06


Does anybody here play the tune "General Lee's Surrender?" Its a bittersweet waltz I heard from North Georgia fiddler Ross Brown.

Also, TimK, have you looked in any of the "Beadle's Dime Song Books?" I've seen them advertised in Harper's Weekly from the period. Here's one thats online. No music unfortunately: http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icd...lang=English

Twelvefret - Posted - 02/08/2009:  07:47:47


quote:
Does anybody here play the tune "General Lee's Surrender?" Its a bittersweet waltz I heard from North Georgia fiddler Ross Brown.



Jim Taylor does one called General Lee on his Bright Sunshine album. Mr Taylor has recorded several Civil War tunes/songs.

chuck

TimK - Posted - 02/08/2009:  08:11:56


Doug,

I am not familiar with those books nor have I heard General Lee's Surrender.
Wayne Erbsen has a nice selection of Civil War music available on his web site:
Native Ground .com

TImK

_______________________________________________________________

Wrangle up yer mouth parts, drag yer banjer out, tune yer ole geetar till it twangs right stout, for the snow is on the mountain and the wind is on the plain, so we''ll cut the chimny''s moanin with a livelier refrain.

DougD - Posted - 02/09/2009:  13:33:23


General Lee's Surrender is on "The Art of Field Recording, Vol II," played by Ross Brown. "Vol. I" won a Grammy yesterday I believe. Ross may have been the only source for this tune. I recorded him back in 1990 for a project for the John C. Campbell Folk School, when he was 80, and evidently Art Rosenbaum did too at some point. I'll put a version of this tune on my homepage here when I get a chance.

Chuck, thanks for the reference to Jim Taylor's recording. I can't find it online, but I wonder if its the same tune. There's a tune called "General Lee" listed at the Fiddler's Companion thats supposedly related to "Dubuque" and "Duck River."

Meanwhile, here's a link somebody just sent me to a sensitive version of "Darling Nelly Grey." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyKWFFAtn4Q


Edited by - DougD on 02/09/2009 13:34:20

OTJunky - Posted - 02/09/2009:  13:39:29


quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Meanwhile, here's a link somebody just sent me to a sensitive version of "Darling Nelly Grey." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyKWFFAtn4Q
LOL!! You fooled me.

Ain't American music great - a surprise around every corner...

--OTJ
"I can barely fiddle on four strings. Why would I want five?"

DougD - Posted - 02/09/2009:  13:48:44


I think thats actually a Swedish singer, whose real name is Sven Erik Fernström, although I'm not positive. I'm still "reeling" from the "Country Sisters!"

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