Boatsman (2)

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X:1 T:Boatsman [2] T:Boatman T:Boatman's Dance [1] N:From the playing of fiddler Melvin Wine (1909-2003, Copen, Braxton County, N:central West Virginia) on a Berea College performance video. N:Wine plays with a pronounced backbeat, often with double stops. M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel Q:"Quick" D:Marimac AHS2 (cass.), Melvin Wine - "Hannah at the Springhouse" (1989) D: D: Z:Andrew Kuntz K:A ((3efg|a2)fg a2af|beaa f2((3efg|a)gaf ecec|BB[Be]B A2((3efg| a2) aa a2 af|beaa f2((3efg|a)gaf ecec|BB-BA A2|| ag|fdfd A-cea|f(d[df])f e2aa|fdfd (Ac)ec|BBBB A2ag| fd[df]d A-cea|f(d[df])f e2ag|fd[df]d (Ac)ec|BBBA A2|| |:A2-|AA[ce]A B2 c2|J[e3e3] [ee] [ee]fed|cdec BABB |J[A3A3][AA][A2A2][A2A2]-| [AA2]A[ce]A B2c2|J[e3e3] [ee] [e2e2]aa|fdfd A-cec|BBBA A2:||

BOATSMAN [2]. AKA - "Boatman." AKA and see "Sailing Down the River on the O-hi-o," "Ohio River," "Boatman's Dance (1)." American; Air and Reel. USA; W.Va., Pa. A Major (Krassen, Phillips): D Major (Johnson): G Major (Spadaro). Standard (Melvin Wine), AEae (Ed Haley) or DDad (Marcus Martin) tuning (fiddle). AABBC: ABCC (Johnson): AABBCC (Milliner & Koken, Phillips). The fiddle tune is derived from the minstrel piece credited to Dan Emmett called "Boatmen Dance (De)" or "Dance Boatman Dance (1);" the tune (words below), according to some accounts, was first heard in performance in Boston in 1843. Emmett published it in that year, advertising it as "An Original Banjo Melody." The tune appears in many American and even English songsters of the 19th and early 20th centuries; Scott (1926) prints it as "Sung by the Ethiopian Serenaders." Both Nathan and Cauthen (1990) assert the melody was in folk currency before the minstrel era, and that it made its way back to folk currency in the fiddle tradition after popularization by minstrels; this is probably true, for it was in print (as "Ohio River") in George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels, volume IV (Baltimore, 1839) -- associated with Ohio River boatmen -- before it was played on the minstrel stage. See also "Boatman's Dance (1)" for version of the tune in the minstrel and morris dance tradition and "Little Rabbit" and "Little Bobby" for a cognate melodies in Old-Time tradition.

The Boatsman dance, the Boatsman sing,
The Boatsman do most everything.
And when the Boatsman get on shore,
Spends all his money and he work for more.

Dance, Boatsman, dance. Dance, Boatsman, dance,
Stay out all night, 'til the broad daylight,
Coming home with the girls in the morning.
Hey, ho, the boatmen row,
Sail down the river on the Ohio.
Hey, ho, the Boatmen row,
Sail down the river on the Ohio.

Well, I never saw a pretty girl in my life,
But what she'd been some boatsman's wife.
When the Boatsman blows his horn,
Look out, men, your daughter's gone! [Johnson]

The boatmen whistle and the boatmen sing,
And the boatmen tell me some good thing.
Way, oh, boatmen row,
Sailing down the river on the O-hi-o. ... [Bayard]

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Debbie McClatchey (Spadaro), George Strosnider (an elderly Greene County, Pa., when collected in the 1930's) [Bayard]; Melvin Wine [Milliner & Koken, Silberberg].

Printed sources : - Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 21, pp. 25-26 (appears as "Sailing Down the River on the O-hi-o"). Johnson (The Kitchen Musician: Occasional Collection of Old-Timey Fiddle Tunes for Hammer Dulcimer, Fiddle, etc), No. 2, 1988 (revised 2003); p. 3. Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; p. 69 (appears as "Boatsman"). Clare Milliner & Walk Koken (Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011, pp. 64-65 (three versions). Mrs. Joe Person (A Collection of Popular Airs), 1889; p. 9. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 32. Scott (English Song Book), 1926; p. 78. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 14. Spadaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1980; p. 28.

Recorded sources : - Folk-Legacy FSI-38, "Sara Grey with Ed Trickett" (1970). Kanawha Records 307, Frank George - "Traditional Music for Banjo, Fiddle, and Bagpipes." Marimac AHS2 (cass.), Melvin Wine - "Hannah at the Springhouse" (1989). Rounder CD0262, Mike Seeger - "Fresh Oldtime String Band Music" (1988). Rounder CD 0382, Marvin Gaster - "Uncle Henry's Favorites." Rounder 1133, Ed Haley vol. 2 - "Grey Eagle".

See also listing at :
Hear Melvin Wine's recording at Slippery Hill [1]
See/hear a video of Melvin Wine playing the tune (accompanied by Gerry Milnes) at a 1989 Berea College concert [2]

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