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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 7/12/19: The Woodpile Tune


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.banjohangout.org/archive/355374

Adam Kiesling - Posted - 07/12/2019:  06:00:16


This week's tune comes from the fiddling of Iowa's Dwight Lamb. First off, here is Dwight's version from his 2005 CD, Hell Agin the Barn Door: More Fiddle and Accordion Tunes from the Great Plains:



youtu.be/PCvOKo2As_w



Kind of sounds a lot like Squirrel Hunters, doesn't it? The liner notes to Hell Agin the Barn Door (written by Mark Wilson) state that Dwight got the tune from Nebraska fiddler Bob Walters (Dwight got a lot of tunes from Bob, and spent a lot of time recording him in the 1950s), and that Bob got the tune from his father. The liner notes also say that the original title for "The Woodpile Tune" is politically incorrect and suggests that there might have been an African-American origin and probably dates to the early minstrel age. No mention is made of the similarity to "Squirrel Hunters," which was thought to have been a fife tune in origin. Bob Walters was born and raised in Nebraska, but I believe that his family came from Kentucky, so maybe the tune was first learned out east.



Lastly, here's a version where I'm playing with my pal AJ Srubas. I am tuned in A, but A modal would also work.



youtu.be/6Iw6fHybd0M

ndlxs - Posted - 07/12/2019:  08:24:02


Yes, it does sound like Squirrel Hunters, which itself is the melody of the Scottish ballads The Haughs of Cromdale:

 North Sea Gas singing Haughs of Cromdale

WVDreamin - Posted - 07/12/2019:  09:57:40


As an Iowan, I feel remiss for not visiting Dwight when my old time friends go, but his get togethers have not lined up with my schedule yet  



Is this perhaps just mislabeled, track titles switched? "Hail Against the Barn Door" is in the "Squirrel Hunter" family and that title is similar to Dwight's album title. Either way, it is definitely a "Squirrel Hunter" variant. 

Adam Kiesling - Posted - 07/12/2019:  11:30:23


quote:

Originally posted by WVDreamin

As an Iowan, I feel remiss for not visiting Dwight when my old time friends go, but his get togethers have not lined up with my schedule yet  



Is this perhaps just mislabeled, track titles switched? "Hail Against the Barn Door" is in the "Squirrel Hunter" family and that title is similar to Dwight's album title. Either way, it is definitely a "Squirrel Hunter" variant.




I was wondering about the same thing. I didn't think to ask Dwight the last time I saw him.



banjohangout.org/archive/247626



banjohangout.org/archive/180347



Here's what the liner notes say about the tune "Hell Agin the Barn Door:" 



It is remarkable that a fair number of the minor key tunes in Dwight’s repertory came through Bob from his father, indicating their venerable heritage. I have seen this title in several places (by Joe Politte of Missouri and on a 1950’s 78 produced for the square dance set), but the tune itself seems to be different.


Edited by - Adam Kiesling on 07/12/2019 11:33:44

JanetB - Posted - 07/12/2019:  12:18:52


Thanks, Adam, for bringing Dwight Lamb to light and sharing your outstanding duet of The Woodpile Tune. I have one of his other CDs and should listen more.



John Hartford's fiddle was my learning version for a gourd banjo arrangement of Squirrel Hunter.  John's notes pointed to Samuel Bayard's research in his seminal book Dance to the Fiddle March to the Fife. Attached here is a PDF with those notes.  Bottom line is that Bayard confirms this TOTW is part of a related tune family of The Squirrel Hunters and that it was indeed known by the "politically incorrect" name, as Adam mentions.  It's notated as letter "F" in the book under tune #220, fiddled by F. Lloyd in 1952 (about the same time Dwight recorded Bob Walters).  Samuel Bayard reports that they're all part of a widespread family of tunes with very old British Isle origins.  The possible minstrel tie would be worth pursuing.



 


ndlxs - Posted - 07/13/2019:  05:17:12


I used to own a copy of "Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife" that I bought new at a local bookstore here in Sacramento in the mid-1980s!  At one point about 20 years ago, though, I realized how much it was worth, and there was some things I wanted to buy, so I cashed in and sold it on Amazon for over $100. I should have kept it!



Before I sold it, though, I did make a copy of the Squirrel Hunter pages: as I recall, he had 9 different variations on it!



 

RG - Posted - 07/13/2019:  12:36:28


GREAT TOTW Adam and wow... awesome version you guys play!!!

Adam Kiesling - Posted - 07/15/2019:  05:21:19


quote:

Originally posted by JanetB

Thanks, Adam, for bringing Dwight Lamb to light and sharing your outstanding duet of The Woodpile Tune. I have one of his other CDs and should listen more.



John Hartford's fiddle was my learning version for a gourd banjo arrangement of Squirrel Hunter.  John's notes pointed to Samuel Bayard's research in his seminal book Dance to the Fiddle March to the Fife. Attached here is a PDF with those notes.  Bottom line is that Bayard confirms this TOTW is part of a related tune family of The Squirrel Hunters and that it was indeed known by the "politically incorrect" name, as Adam mentions.  It's notated as letter "F" in the book under tune #220, fiddled by F. Lloyd in 1952 (about the same time Dwight recorded Bob Walters).  Samuel Bayard reports that they're all part of a widespread family of tunes with very old British Isle origins.  The possible minstrel tie would be worth pursuing.



 






Thanks for the additional info, Janet! I still hope to stumble across an inexpensive copy of Bayard's book at a garage sale some time.

Adam Kiesling - Posted - 07/15/2019:  05:21:39


quote:

Originally posted by RG

GREAT TOTW Adam and wow... awesome version you guys play!!!






Thanks RG!

Matt Buckley - Posted - 07/15/2019:  15:08:19


A tune with a couple of personal connections.



The Haughs of Cromdale was/is a very old pipe tune. Back in my Highland pipe competition days, I played a 4-part 2/4 march version. Here is a very old 2-part version:



ceolsean.net/content/McLennan/...1%205.pdf





According to Tom MacKenzie's research (and I've spoken to Tom about it), the name "Squirrel Hunters" refers to the 90-day Ohio militiamen who were called up in 1864 to defend southern Ohio against Confederate cavalry raider John Hunt Morgan during his trek across southern Indiana and southern Ohio. What is very cool for me is that George Kinzer, my great grandfather, was indeed a Squirrel Hunter. Called up, left his ancestral farm (I know the place), fought in two actions against Morgan, returned to his farm and took up where he left off, raising corn and a family. Good thing for me he did. :)


Edited by - Matt Buckley on 07/15/2019 15:09:50

Matt Buckley - Posted - 07/15/2019:  15:31:51


quote:

Originally posted by Matt Buckley

A tune with a couple of personal connections.



The Haughs of Cromdale was/is a very old pipe tune. Back in my Highland pipe competition days, I played a 4-part 2/4 march version. Here is a very old 4 part version:



ceolsean.net/content/McLennan/...1%205.pdf





According to Tom MacKenzie's research (and I've spoken to Tom about it), the name "Squirrel Hunters" refers to the 90-day Ohio militiamen who were called up in 1864 to defend southern Ohio against Confederate cavalry raider John Hunt Morgan during his trek across southern Indiana and southern Ohio. What is very cool for me is that George Kinzer, my great grandfather, was indeed a Squirrel Hunter. Called up, left his ancestral farm (I know the place), fought in two actions against Morgan, returned to his farm and took up where he left off, raising corn and a family. Good thing for me he did. :)






 

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