Billy Patterson's Favorite

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BILLY PATTERSON('S FAVORITE). AKA - "Billy Patterson." AKA and see "Blackthorn Stick (1) (The)," "Boys of Bockhill/Rockhill," "Catholic Boys (2)," "Eagle's Nest," "Fire on the Mountains (2)," "Fire in the Valley," "Humors of Bantry," "Hare on the Mountain (The)," "Rose on the Mountain (1) (The)." Irish, Double Jig. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Blackface minstrel Dan Emmett (1815-1905) composed a song (probably in 1859, although not printed until 1860) in 2/4 time called "Billy Patterson," which became a hit for Bryant's Minstrels, for whom he was writing at the time. Emmett, one of the founding members of the seminal minstrel group the Virginia Serenaders, employed an older tune. His lyric begins:

Dar was an old nigg dat got hit wid a brick.
Oh! Billy Patterson
He wasn't knocked down kaze his head too thick.
Don't ye tell me. Don't ye tell me.
De first word he said when he was come to:
Oh! Billy Patterson
"Oh, don't hit agin for dat will do!"
Don't ye tell me. Don't ye tell me.

CHORUS:
Bill Patterson rode by.
"Old Bill, your horse will die."
"He dies, I'll tan his skin.
He lives, I'll ride agin!"
I'll gib ten dollars down an leab dem in my will
If anyone can show de man dat ebber struck old Bill.

The title "Billy Patterson's Favorite", employed for this jig of Irish origin, is perhaps an attempt at association with Emmett's song, the term 'Favorite' meant to differentiate the two.

Printed sources:

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 54. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 83.

Recorded sources:




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