Visit Peghead Nation - Bill Evans Lessons

 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Tune o' Week 8/24/08 Shove That Pig's Foot...


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.

/forum-archive/11/125024/1.htm

ScottK - Posted - 08/23/2008:  09:48:20


Hi All,

A couple years ago one of my fiddle buddies was amused by learning tunes with long names and one of the tunes he learned was "Shove That Pig's Foot a Little Farther in the Fire". Since I played banjo with him, I learned it too. Pig's Foot eventually fell out of my rotation until about a month ago when another fiddler friend started playing it. I enjoyed playing it again, so thought it might make a good Tune of the Week to share. It's also useful for highlighting a few handy resources on the net.

The first reource is The Fiddler's Companion where you can find lots of good information about fiddle tunes you're learning. The Fiddler's Companion entry for Pig's Foot says:

SHOVE THAT PIG'S FOOT A LITTLE FARTHER IN THE FIRE. Old-Time, Breakdown. G Major. Standard tuning. AB (Silberberg): AABB (Phillips, Songer). The tune was originally recorded by western North Carolina fiddler Martin Marcus on an LP where he played it as a duet with his son Wayne. Marcus also recorded for the Library of Congress in the 1940's. Joel Shimberg (who says “Surely it’s a barbecue song”) learned the following verse to the (low part of the) tune from Mike Seeger:
***
Shove that pig's foot into the fire,
Do it now, Miss Liza,
Shove that pig's foot into the fire,
Do it now, Miss Liza.
***
Sources for notated versions: fiddler and violin maker Armin Barnett and Jere Canote (Seattle, Washington) [Phillips, Songer]; Tony Mates [Silberberg]. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; pg. 222. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; pg. 145. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; pg. 185. Rounder CD0421, Bruce Molsky - “Big Hoedown” (1997).


The second resource is The Digital Library of Appalachia where you can find lots of great archival recordings of banjo and fiddle music. Turns out that they have a short recording of Marcus Martin playing Pig's Foot.

The third resource is Mike Iverson's awesome Clawhammer Tab & Instruction page. Mike has posted a banjo recording and corresponding tab for Pig's Foot and that's where I learned it. His arrangement has worked well with the fiddlers I've played it with.

The fourth resource is of course YouTube. Nowadays it's often worth doing a search there to see if someone has posted a video of a tune you're interested in. Turns out that there's a great video there of Bruce Molsky playing Pig's Foot with Sharon Shannon, Aly Bain, and others. There's also a cool video of Anna Lindblad fiddling Pig's Foot with Nic Gareiss doing some great clogging.

I didn't realize it before starting to put together this post, but it turns out that Pig's Foot shows up in the movie Cold Mountain as Ruby With the Eye's that Sparkle. I don't have that soundtrack recording so can't check the liner notes, but I did run across a concert review that said:

[Dirk] Powell related a story about his work on the soundtrack to the film Cold Mountain. He and Baugus recorded the tune "Shove That Pigs Foot A Little Further In The Fire" and the film makers changed the title to "Ruby With The Eyes That Sparkle". "That's what Hollywood can do for you", he deadpanned.

But I also found Ruby With the Eyes That Sparkle on the Blackford Fiddle Group's web site. Folk process at work on the internet? Beats me.

I had one fiddler tell me that the pig's foot in the title of this tune is actually a blacksmith tool or a fire poker, but I haven't been able to confirm that. I would be curious to hear if anyone knows.

So there you have it, Tune of the Week! Probably more than you ever wanted to know about "Shove That Pig's Foot a Little Farther in the Fire", but I was having fun once I started to dig into it. Hope you have as much fun playing it!

Cheers, Scott



Edited by - ScottK on 08/23/2008 09:49:31

haiku - Posted - 08/23/2008:  10:15:10


On Cold Moutain, the tune is titled "Ruby With Eyes That Sparkle", played with fiddle & banjo (but there's just a few measure of it):

http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=JZpnI...ture=related

About the possible "fire poker' meaning of a "Pig Foot", I've read it before, here:
http://fiddlehedz.blogspot.com/2006...further.html


I've tried to play that tune, mainly based on Bruce Molsky version, but hadn't come up with a nice arrangement yet...
-----
Folk music is not a crime!
http://www.myspace.com/hobohaiku


Edited by - haiku on 08/23/2008 10:18:02

vrteach - Posted - 08/23/2008:  10:31:56


COOL!

I'll have to run through your full presentation, but I already thank you for it. This is a great tune that I have not yet learned or looked up. I had assumed from the "cute" title that it was very recent, so I'm glad to hear that it is pre-1970, as I define "recent".

I first heard the tune (quite recently) as a medley of "Pearl O'Shaughnessy/ Shove That Pig's Foot a Little Further into the Fire" by "The Sevens." It's great, but I can't figure out where I found the download.

Anyway, excellent choice for tune o' week.

Erich -- There''s always room for cello..

http://vrteach.org/banjo/
http://prairiegrapevine.org/
U of Illinois-Springfield Old Time Music

mrphysics55 - Posted - 08/23/2008:  13:42:17


Thanks for the effort.

MrP



Do you need a Fiddle Player to Practice With 24/7? Go To http://www.fiddletunes.net

LyleK - Posted - 08/23/2008:  14:15:28


Good choice, indeed. Thanks Scott, and especially for all the info and links.

Erich: "Shove that Pig's Foot" seems to get played pretty regularly at the Thursday evening jam here, but I can't say as I've ever really learned it. But it's one of those fiddle tunes where you can just "play peanut butter" to the fiddlers' "chocolate."

LyleK
tabs at: http://lylewk.home.comcast.net


Edited by - LyleK on 08/23/2008 14:16:00

J-Walk - Posted - 08/23/2008:  17:56:36


Great TOTW post, Scott.

I love this tune. I don't recall where I first heard it, but I loved the title. Then I found Iverson's tab. When I was starting out, it seemed impossible to play. Now it's a piece o' cake, and I've come up with my own arrangement that has a lot more drop thumb -- thanks, Dan L!

It's usually done in G, right? The version on the Cold Mountain soundtrack is in D. It's certainly playable in Double D tuning, but I prefer to get out my Bowlin and play along in the low tuning (dADF#A).

In any case, I think this is a tune that should be in everyone's repertoire.

RyanHerr - Posted - 08/24/2008:  06:09:22


One of my daughter's (17 months old) favorite YouTube videos (besides Sesame Street stuff) is "Shove the Pig's Foot" from the Transatlantic Sessions TV special with Bruce Molsky and others.

I have been playing this tune recently as 2 finger index lead, based off of Mike Iverson's tab, but modifying it to better match the version played on Transatlantic Sessions.

-Ryan

Cathy Moore - Posted - 08/24/2008:  11:55:57


Scott, thanks for choosing the tune and doing all that fascinating research. I love the Trans-Atlantic Sessions version.

I've also heard that a pig's foot is some sort of iron implement. Google offered up the following:

"An Inventory of the Estate of the Right Honourable Thomas
Lord Fairfax" -- Frederick County, Virginia, 1782

In the tools section, the list includes:
1 Pigs foot
1 Saw Rest
6 rasps
48 Files
4 Frows

See the whole intriguing list here: http://chnm.gmu.edu/probateinventor...fairfx82.pdf

"A Glossary of the Mining and Mineral Industry" says that a "pig foot" is "1. An iron clamp shaped like a pig's foot used to attach the jack to the feed chin of a continuous electric coal cutter. 2. A pipe jack with a pig foot at one end." From here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=y6...=2&ct=result

A story in the Boston Herald about restoring the USS Constitution says a pig's foot is "a crowbar-like apparatus."

But I don't know why a crowbar would need to be closer to a fire. So maybe it's really just a batch of pig's foot jelly-in-progress that needs to be shoved closer to the fire. Or just an actual pig's foot.

Cathy


Lessons and subversive clawhammering: http://www.youtube.com/user/BanjoMeetsWorld
Illinois and European tunes and tab: http://www.banjomeetsworld.com

RWPark - Posted - 08/24/2008:  18:13:31


Dave Marshall's got a good tab of "Pigs foot" on his website. A British version by Jove!


http://homepage.ntlworld.com/d.k.ma...ndex_004.htm


Rich

I prefer to resonate internally...

ScottK - Posted - 08/24/2008:  18:28:11


Hi All,

Thanks for the comments! Haiku and Cathy, thanks for the info on the possible meaning of pig's foot in the title.

J-Walk, I've only ever heard this played in G in jams around here.

Scott

Bird Dog - Posted - 08/25/2008:  10:05:43


A crowbar would need to be in the fire if a blacksmith was working on it.

Robin

ZEPP - Posted - 08/25/2008:  10:45:56


quote:
I had one fiddler tell me that the pig's foot in the title of this tune is actually a blacksmith tool or a fire poker



Cool--this makes complete sense to me (though I'd not heard this before or even thought about it at all)

Pigfoot:

Poker:


Cheers,
ZEPP


trapdoor2 - Posted - 08/25/2008:  11:04:10


Hmmm...woudln't that be better labled "Porker" and "Poker"?

edit: Actually, any device which is bifurcated in a similar sense will end up being called a pigfoot. Hence, pry bars with a nail-notch look like a pigs foot. We had a specialized clamp for compressing valve springs that daddy called a "pigfoot clamp". It was split down the middle so that the outside edges compressed the spring and the valve stem poked up between the "feet".

Personally, I think it is an edible thang. My ol' man loved pigs feet, esp. the pickled variety.

===Marc

"If banjos needed tone rings, S.S. Stewart would have made them that way."


Edited by - trapdoor2 on 08/25/2008 11:11:05

J-Walk - Posted - 08/25/2008:  15:16:39


Yeah, a fire poker as pig's foot does make sense. That's unfortunate.

I much prefer to envision a two hungry guys sitting around a fire, trading advice on how to make their pig's foot cook faster.

lori nitzel - Posted - 08/26/2008:  16:23:08


Awesome info, Scott, even tho my vegan sensibilities were slightly affected by the text and pics posted by others... :)

Anyway, dare I request that you post your version of the song on your music page? I'd love to hear yours before I listen to the others!

Best,
Lori Nitzel
Madison, WI

ScottK - Posted - 08/26/2008:  18:01:07


Hi Lori! Good to hear from you again! I don't have a recording of myself playing this tune, but I still play it pretty much as I learned it from Mike Iverson's tab. So if you listen to the mp3 Mike posted along with the tab at his web site you'll pretty much hear the way I play it. It would probably be more interesting to hear the version J-Walk worked out to play on his Bowlin if he feels like posting it, since he evolved an arrangement beyond Mike's tab.

Cheers, Scott

Log - Posted - 08/26/2008:  18:33:15


I started reading your post and thought "I wonder if that concert review I wrote is still on the Foghorn site" - and there it is, you linked to it. Great tune and a great Song of the Week post. Thanks.

quote:
[i]
I didn't realize it before starting to put together this post, but it turns out that Pig's Foot shows up in the movie Cold Mountain as Ruby With the Eye's that Sparkle. I don't have that soundtrack recording so can't check the liner notes, but I did run across a concert review that said:

[Dirk] Powell related a story about his work on the soundtrack to the film Cold Mountain. He and Baugus recorded the tune "Shove That Pigs Foot A Little Further In The Fire" and the film makers changed the title to "Ruby With The Eyes That Sparkle". "That's what Hollywood can do for you", he deadpanned.


gdtrfb24 - Posted - 08/27/2008:  19:21:14


I learned Mike Iverson's version awhile back. It's a fun little tune to play.






This post was made by AutoPost 2008 v2.4

BadBrad - Posted - 08/28/2008:  13:04:26


I also learned Mike Iverson's version recently. There is a recording of me playing it, with some guitar and mandolin tracks added, in the music on my homepage here.
http://www.banjohangout.ws/users/au...02972008.mp3

Lemme no whatcha think.

BB

vrteach - Posted - 11/14/2008:  06:55:44


I have to share a particularly rollicking version that we had this week at our jam session, lead by one of our fine mandolin players

http://www.banjohangout.org/myhango...usicid=10471

Erich -- There''s always room for cello..

http://vrteach.org/banjo/
http://prairiegrapevine.org/
U of Illinois-Springfield Old Time Music

BAZ - Posted - 11/14/2008:  09:56:54


I must toot the horn here for a friend...our own BHO member David Brooks does an awesome version of this on his music page.....

http://www.banjohangout.org/myhango....asp?id=2867

chip arnold - Posted - 11/14/2008:  10:42:41


Another toot for D. Brooks. The man's an outstanding player and the tone he gets out of that old banjo is amazing.

**********************
Take what is given
Give what is taken

Chip Arnold

Kitt - Posted - 11/14/2008:  12:01:36


The Molsky version sounds very much like the tune from Cold Mountain, Ruby With the Eyes That Sparkle.

Maybe the others do also, but that's the only one I listened to as yet.

Kitt - Posted - 11/14/2008:  12:02:17


I forgot to put the link in for Ruby...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZpnI_kXhaA

Kitt - Posted - 11/14/2008:  12:11:39


I see now that I posted that before reading the rest of your post. I listened to the Molsky version and heard the Ruby tune in my head and so just wanted to share that. Anyway, I've longed loved that tune since hearing it in that movie so this will be a great opportunity for me to learn to play it.

bdavidoff - Posted - 11/14/2008:  14:14:27


Someone is way off base here. Maybe me, I suppose. It never occurred to me that the lyrics were anything but a sexual reference. There's a lot of similar food/sex imagery in southern country music. Turnip tops, young pigmeat, etc etc.

dbrooks - Posted - 11/14/2008:  14:51:17


BAZ and Chip, thank you for the very nice comments about my version of "Shove That Pig's Foot." I'm not sure what I felt when I read your compliments, but it sure felt good.

The version of Pig's Foot on my page is based on the tune in Cold Mountain called "Ruby with Eyes that Sparkle." Dirk Powell and Riley Baugus took the Pig's Foot tune and played it in double-D. I just recently learned it in G.

David

vrteach - Posted - 11/14/2008:  16:00:36


quote:
Originally posted by bdavidoff

Someone is way off base here. Maybe me, I suppose. It never occurred to me that the lyrics were anything but a sexual reference. There's a lot of similar food/sex imagery in southern country music. Turnip tops, young pigmeat, etc etc.



No reason it couldn't be that, and the iron fire tool, and barbecue all at the same time. Even simple folk are complicated, and some bits of anatomy garner a heap of funny names.

Erich -- There''s always room for cello..

http://vrteach.org/banjo/
http://prairiegrapevine.org/
U of Illinois-Springfield Old Time Music

unclekurty - Posted - 11/14/2008:  22:30:34


David I really liked the way you played it in D and learned that first. I had MIke's Iverson's version about down then went to the Molsky video. There's a whole bunch of great vids from that session. Wow. Anyway I tried it old G and it lays out very easily. And you can do a nice harmonic variation like in the D version.

Thanks for the great tune of the week Scott. I've had a most enjoyable couple of hours learning this tune.

unclekurty - Posted - 11/15/2008:  09:12:22


I just saw this is a tune of the week from August. Thanks for reviving it VR. I posted the version that fell into place in FCFCD last night while playing with the you tube video Scott linked.

http://www.banjohangout.org/myhango....asp?id=5000



Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!




You are not logged in.
Log In


Not a member? Create an Account (FREE!)



3603 BANJO LOVERS ONLINE

HOME | FORUMS | MEMBERS | MEDIA ARCHIVE | TABS & LESSONS | CLASSIFIEDS | REVIEWS | LINKS | CALENDAR | STORE | TERMS OF USE
Viewing desktop version - switch to mobile version