Black Eyed Susie (1)

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X:1 T:Black-Eyed Susie [1] N:From the playing of fiddler Doc Roberts (1897-1978, Madison County, Ky.) M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel D:Gennett 6257a (78 RPM), Doc Roberts (1927) D:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/black-eyed-susie-5 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:D P:Intro A part (not repeated): (fg|a2)fg a2f2|g2 ea g2eg|fedf ecec|d2A2F2Ac|| P:B d2d2 fdec|d2d2 B2c2|d2 eg fdec|dBAG F2Ac| d2d2 fdec|d2d2 B2c2|d2d2 fdec|dBAG F2A2|| P:A a3a a2f2|g2b2g2 eg|f2d2 ecec|d2A2F2A2| a3a a2f2|gfga gfeg|fedf ecec|dBAG F2A2||



BLACK EYED SUSIE [1]. AKA and see variant "Hop Up Kitty Puss (1)" (northeast Ky.), "Kitty Puss," "Possum Up a Simmon Tree (1)," "Puncheon Camp," "Puncheon Camps." American, Air and Reel. USA; southwestern Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kentucky. D Major (most versions): G Major (Newcomer). Standard or GDad (Newcomer) tunings (fiddle). AB (Christeson, Krassen/1983, Silberberg): AABB (Brody, Krassen /1973): AA'BB' (Phillips). "One of the most popular breakdown tunes," note the New Lost City Ramblers (1964), widespread throughout the South and Southwest in both song and instrumental versions.

Bayard (1981) traces the history of the tune, beginning in the British Isles with a melody called "Rosasolis," set by Giles Farnaby (c. 1560–c.1600), which appears in the the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. Another version of the melody is called "Morris Off" and appears in Jehan Tabourot's Orchesographie (1588); it is still used for English morris dances and has been called the earliest recorded morris tune. Still another version appears as an old Welsh harp tune in Alawon Fy Ngwlad/Lays of My Land. Later developments of the tune were popular in England and Scotland from the early 17th century through the 18th, under the title "Three Jolly Sheep Skins (1);" while in Ireland a variation became known as "Aillilliu mo Mhailin" (Alas my little bag) {a humorous lament for a stolen bag of sundries}.

Transported to the United States from various overseas sources the melody developed into an old-time standard, "Black Eyed Susie," well-known throughout the South and Midwest. It was mentioned in reports from 1926–31 of the De Kalb County, northeast Alabama, Annual (Fiddler's) Convention, and at a 1929 Grove Hill, southwest Alabama, contest (Cauthen, 1990). It appears in the lists of tunes played at the 1924 Berea, Kentucky, fiddle contest, and in tune lists dating from 1915 from Berea fiddlers. Musicologist Vance Randolph collected and recorded the breakdown in the early 1940's for the Library of Congress from Ozarks Mountains fiddlers, and it was similarly waxed in 1939 from the playing of Tishomingo County, Mississippi, fiddler John Hatcher for the same institution. A fiddler from Texas, Elmo Newcomer of near Pipe Creek, was recorded by John and Ruby Lomax in 1939, playing the tune in GDad tuning. He sang these words to the first strain:
Elmo Newcomer

I love my wife, and I love my baby,
And I Love them flapjacks floatin' in gravy.

Sometimes drunk and sometimes woozy,
And sometimes dance with Black-eyed Susie.

All I want to make me happy,
Is two little boys to call me Pappy.
One named Dick and the other named Davy,
Come to your daddy a-holdin' the baby.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 185A–B, p. 142. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 47. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddler's Repertory, vol. 1), 1973; No. 71, p. 54 (appears as "Black Eyed Susan"). Krassen (Masters of Old-Time Fiddling), 1983; p. 110. Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; p. 51 (appears as "Blackeyed Susan"). Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1986; p. 327. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 28. Silberberg (Fiddle Tunes I Learned at the Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 12. Titon (Old Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; Nos. 11A & 11B, p. 44. Thomas & Leeder (The Singin' Gatherin'), 1939; p. 61.

Recorded sources : - Berea College Appalachian Center AC002, Clyde Davenport – "Puncheon Camps" (1992). Anachronistic 001, John Hilt – "Swope's Knobs." Chubby Dragon CD1008, Brad Leftwich, Bruce Molsky et al – "Mountairy.usa" (2001). Columbia 15332, Lowe Stokes (1928). County 405, "The Hill-Billies." County 712, Lily May Ledford – "The Coon Creek Girls" (1968). County 713, Cockerham, Jarrell, and Jenkins – "Down to the Cider Mill." County CO-CD-2711, Kirk Sutphin – "Old Roots and New Branches" (1994). Davis Unlimited 33015, Doc Roberts – "Classic Fiddle Tunes." Document DOCD-8042, Doc Roberts – "Fiddlin' Doc Roberts" (1999). Document 8040, "The Hill Billies/Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters: Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, vol. 2" (reissue). Folkways FA 2492, New Lost City Ramblers – "String Band Instrumentals" (1964. Learned from J.P. Nestor & Whitter's Virginia Breakdowners). Gennett 6257 (78 RPM), Doc Roberts & John Booker (1927). Library of Congress AFS 02634a01, Elmo Newcomer (1939). Marimac 9009, Rafe Stefanini – "Old Time Friends" (1987). Marimac 9060, Jim Bowles – "Railroading Through the Rocky Mountains" (1992). Okeh 40320 (78 RPM), Whitter's Virginia Breakdowners (Henry Whitter, John Rector, James Sutphin). Rounder 0032, Buddy Thomas (northest Ky.) – "Kitty Puss: Old Time Fiddle Music From Kentucky." Rounder 0194, John W. Summers – "Indiana Fiddler" (1984). Victor 21070 (78 RPM), J.P. Nestor and Edmonds (Galax, Va.) {1927}. Victor 40127 (78 RPM), Jilson Setters (as Blind Bill Day; b. 1860, Rowan County, Ky.) {1928}.

See also listing at :
Hear Elmo Newcomer's 1939 Library of Congress recording at Slippery Hill [1] and at the Library of Congress [2]
Hear the Edmonds/Nestor 1927 recording at youtube.com [3], and hear Norman Edmond's c. 1960 recording at Slippery Hill [4]
Hear Luther Strong's 1937 field recording (by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax) at Slippery Hill [5], Juneberry 78's [6], and Lomax Kentucky Recordings [7]
Hear Surry Co., N.C., fiddler Oscar Jenkins' 1973 recording at Slippery Hill [8]



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