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Apr 18, 2021 - 9:15:54 AM
371 posts since 12/14/2010

This version of "Downfall of Paris" I stumbled across today was new to me and I was taken with it.

( Downfall of Paris - Warren Wilson College - Digital Library of Appalachia ( ). It's a recording by James Bryan, Carl Jones, Tom Jackson, and Don Pedi.

It's much like / probably a predecessor of, in James Bryan's words on the audio, "Mississippi Sawyer," with some differences: For one thing, in the Bryan, Jones, et. al. version, it's being played in the key of G rather than "Miss. Saw.'s" customary key of D. Also, both the A and B parts feature slightly crooked variations that are not present in the tune "Miss. Saw."

Really a great tune, and so well played.

Edited by - hayesdt on 04/18/2021 14:58:29

Apr 18, 2021 - 9:48:58 AM
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2308 posts since 2/2/2008

Apr 18, 2021 - 1:06:19 PM
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10063 posts since 12/2/2007

The Fiddlers Companion says this tune is related to the downfall of Napoleon after Waterloo, but its probably much older. I believe it may refer to Paris of Troy, whose marriage to Helen of Sparta precipitated the Trojan war. These tunes are very ancient. Not sure what key was originally preferred.

Edited by - DougD on 04/18/2021 13:08:04

Apr 18, 2021 - 1:52:11 PM



371 posts since 12/14/2010

Here's a version somewhat similar to the one James Bryan is playing. It's played by Dave Cannon and is based on the version that had earlier been done by Charlie Acuff. And it's being played (as Mississippi Sawyer normally is) in D rather than James Bryan's key of G. An only slightly crooked version too (just part A, while the Bryan-played version contains crooked parts in both A and B).

Edited by - hayesdt on 04/18/2021 13:53:37

Apr 18, 2021 - 2:32:55 PM
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9054 posts since 3/19/2009   has several settings of the tune, all in G... I've played this in the past but never associated it with Mississippi Sawyer... good tune, not too hard to play...... 

Sounds like what is posted above..'sort of'..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 04/18/2021 14:35:47

Apr 18, 2021 - 2:55:04 PM



371 posts since 12/14/2010

I just now listened to the audio versions listed on the . These Celtic versions of "Downfall of Paris" are entirely different -- and probably are more frequently played -- than the "Downfall..." version being played by James Bryan. Bryan's version, which is similar to a version once played by Charlie Acuff, seems to be a different tune altogether with just the same title and also features the similarity to the tune we all know as "Mississippi Sawyer," which doesn't seem to be the case with the Celtic versions of the tune.

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