From The Traditional Tune Archive
Jump to: navigation, search
Welcome to The Traditional Tune Archive
    The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish
 traditional instrumental music with annotations, formerly known as
                          The Fiddler's Companion.

40,879 Tunes by title with Annotations

Crystal Clear app xmag.svg Search the archive 1rightarrow.png Nuvola apps bookcase simplified.svg Query the archive Subscribe Subscribe 1rightarrow.png Insta.png Find us

December 7 2019  Featured tune:         CARROLL COUNTY BLUES
December 7 2019  Featured tune:         CARROLL COUNTY BLUES


This melody is popular under several titles, however, the title itself "Granny Will Your Dog Bite" is also a floating title attached to several tunes. It was frequently played at Mid-Western fiddle contests. R.P. Christeson says his version is dissimilar to the tune of the same title in Ford (1940), but is similar to "Tip Toe, Pretty Betty Martin" in the same book. Bayard (1981) notes the resemblance between this tune and the "Betty Martin" variants, many listed as alternates above. He believes the tune possibly has Norwegian connections (though he did not elaborate or offer sustaining information). The tune was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph from Ozarks Mountains fiddlers in the early 1940's (in particular from Arkansas fiddler Lon Jordan, in 1941), and was recorded commercially by Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers in 1928. See also related tunes "Gate to Go Through" and "Old Coon Dog (2)." Ford (1940) said that "occasional verses" were sung by fiddlers while playing the tune, and indeed, various verses have been collected from both white and black sources. (Ford's collection area was the Mid-West, often Missouri, and Thede printed Oklahoma versions). Charles Wolfe (1991) remarks the tune has been collected widely from Mississippi to California, and notes that Ray Browne (writing in The Alabama Folk Lyric, 445) heard it often as a banjo tune popular more with blacks than whites.

Granny will your dog bite, cow kick, cat scratch?
Granny will your hen peck, sow root the corn patch?
Granny will your duck quack, old grey goose hatch?
Granny will your dog bite? "Yes, child, No!" (Ford)

Granny will your hen peck, hen peck, hen peck,
Granny will your hen peck, Lord, child, no;
Hog bit 'er pecker off a long time ago. (Thede)

Granny will your dog bite, dog bite, dog bite,
Granny will your dog bite , Lord, child no;
Wolf bit 'er biter off long time ago.

African-American collector Thomas Talley, in his Negro Folk Rhymes (edited in a new edition by Charles Wolfe in 1991) printed lyrics under the title "Chicken in the Bread Tray." They go:

Auntie, will yo dog bite?
No, Chile, No!
Chicken in the bread tray
A makin' up dough

Auntie, will yo broom hit?
Yes, Chile, Pop!
Chicken in the bread tray,
Flop, Flop, Flop!

Auntie, will you oven bake?
Yes, Jes fry!
What's dat chicken good fer?
Pie, Pie, Pie!

Auntie, is yo pie good?
Good as you could 'spec,
Chicken in the bread tray;
Peck, Peck, Peck!

...more at Granny Will Your Dog Bite? - full Score(s) and Annotations
Past Featured Tunes

Granny will your dog bite
Source: Berea Sound Archive -]
Fiddle played by John Masters and recorded in Fayette County, Kentucky by John Harrod [1980s

X:1 T:Granny will Your Dog Bite? [1] S:John Masters (1904-1986, Lexington, Fayette County, central Ky.) M:C| L:1/8 N:Field recording by John Harrod c. 1975 F: Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz R:Reel N:AEae tuning (fiddle) K:A +slide+[e2e2]-|[ee]fed c2A2|B2c2 [d2f2][d2f2]|efed c2A2|B2G2 A2+slide+[e2e2]-| [ee]fed c2A2|BAc2 [d2f2][d2f2]|efed c2A2|BA G2 A2|| [e2e2]-|[ee]fed c2d2|e2f2=g2f2|efed c2d2|e2 fg a2[E2A2]-| [EA]fed c2d2|e2f2=g2f2|efed c2d2|e2 fg a2||

Latest Tunes
Latest Tunes

Who Builds The Archive
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

Please register as a user to make the most of the many functions of the TTA, and enjoy the many ways that information about traditional tunes can be elicited and combined, from simple to complex situations. Users may make contributions, which, when reviewed by an editor, become part of this community project. Serious user/contributors may become editors through the TTA's autopromotion process, in which quantity and quality of entries allows increased levels of permission to edit and review the entire index.
Above all, the developers wish you joy in the use of the TTA.

Help Getting started


Navigation: Registered users can navigate the Traditional Tune Archive for information in a number of ways.

  • Search. The Search function is located at the top right, and can be used to search the entire index for any key word. See Search help pages
  • Alphabetically by tune title. Under “The Archive” on the SideBar on the left is “All Tunes”. Click on “All Tunes” to open up the list of tune titles in the TTA arranged in alphabetical order, 200 titles to a page. At the top of the page is an alphabetical breakdown that serves as a shortcut to pages. Clicking on any title will bring one to the music and tune fields. Once the tune appears, clicking “Tune Discussion” at the bottom of the page (below the notation) will open up the narrative information on the tune.
  • Query the Archive. The “Query the Archive” function under “The Archive” in the sidebar can be used to draw down reports from the TTA in either in single items or in a number of combinations. One might, for example, use a single item query to run a report in the TTA for a particular composer/core source. Clicking on the arrow at the right of the bar draws down a list of composer/core sources, or one may be typed in. For example, clicking on “Bill Pigg” and then the “Run Query” tab at the bottom left will result in a list of all compositions listed in the TTA that the Northumbrian piper either composed or is the core source for. Reports may also be run in combinations, as, for example, by selecting “William Marshall” as a composer/core source, “Three Flats” for the number of accidentals, and “Major” for the Key/Mode. This will result in a report of all Eb Major compositions of Scottish fiddler/composer William Marshall that are indexed in the TTA.
  • Tune Books/Magazines in the TTA can be accessed under “Publications” in the left side bar. These are reproductions of publications for which access has been granted to the TTA by the copyright holder, under the Creative Commons license.