Composed by the famous Scots composer and fiddler J. Scott Skinner (1843–1927), recorded by him on a 78 RPM disc in the 1920's, at the end of his career, as part of "The Celebrated Hornpipes" medley. A copy of the melody was written on the back of a postcard  and sent by Skinner to Alexander Grant (1856–1942), a younger fiddler of considerable skill, at Inverness in 1905.
New York-born Eugene Stratton (1861–1918) came to England with a minstrel troupe and established himself as a solo music hall performer, whose act included blackface routines at which times he was styled as "The Dandy Coon," or "The Whistling Coon." His most famous song was "Lily of Laguna." He was the President of the Grand Order of the Water Rats in 1896. This charitable group began in 1887 with several music hall performers who owned a trotting pony called Magpie that was winning many races around London. The proceeds from such victories were used to help troubled and distressed music hall stars and to help sustain soup kitchens in London's east end. The name of the group came about when, during a torrential downpour, the pony was being returned to stabling. A horsedrawn taxi driver, seeing the sodden beast shouted: "Blimey, wot you got 'ere?" The trainers replied they had a trotting pony. "Trotting pony!," barked the cabbie, "looks more like a bleedin' water rat."
Edward Le Roy Rice, in his book Monarchs of Minstrelsy (New York, 1911) gives this brief bio:
EUGENE STRATTON (Ruhlman), who is at the present time one of the most pronounced favourites
in England of any man that ever blacked his face, began his stage career about 1878 as one of the
Four Arnold Brothers. On the 21st day of October, that year, he opened at Chicago with Haverly's
Original Mastodon Minstrels. He was a member of that company when they opened at the Drury
Lane Theatre, London, England, July 31, 1880. Shortly after this event he went to Moore and
Burgess' Minstrels in the same city, where he remained about ten years. In addition to being a
good song and dance man, he also developed into a fine comedian. Eugene Stratton was born in
Buffalo, N.Y., about 1864. (p. 320).
See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index, A Guide to Recorded Sources 
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index 
EUGENE STRATTON full Score and Annotations and Past Featured Tunes
Who builds the Archive
Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.
This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.
Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni
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