Clear the Kitchen

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X:1 T:Clare de Kitchen M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Minstrel tune B:Elias Howe – Second Part of the Musician’s Companion (1843, p. 57) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G D/G/|BB BG/B/|dd dB/d/|gg a/g/f/g/|ba a>d| b>g a>f|(gd) (Bd)|b>g a>f|(gd) (Bd)| c>B Ac|Ac Ac|d>c Bd|Bd Bd| e>g f/>g/a/>f/|g/>a/b/>a/ g/>f/e/>d/|e/>f/g/>e/ f/>g/a/>f/|gbg:|



CLEAR THE KITCHEN. American, Song tune and Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. An American song [1] from the black-face minstrel tradition, dating to 1832. Lyrics, printed by Ford, to the tune begin:

A bull-frog dress'd in soldier's clothes,
Went out in the field to shoot some crows.
The crows smell powder and fly away,
That bull-frog mighty mad that day. (Ford)

Fiddler and musiciologist Paul Tyler has discovered an account by one Joseph Hayes, born in 1786 in Pennsylvania, who moved from that state down the same Ohio river to settle in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Late in his life he dictated memories of frontier life from circa 1810, including an account of dancing after corn-huskings. Hayes writes that at these events "in one corner would be seated the fiddler delving way with fingers, elbow, cat-gut and horse-hair, to the joy of all around - The pieces of music mostly called for, were 'The gray cat kittened in Charley's wig,' 'Captain Johnston', 'Buncomb' &c. the whole ending in a jigg called 'Clear the kitchen'." The minstrel-dialect title "Clar de Kitchen" appears in Howe's Musician's Companion, Part 2, published in 1843. Additional verses in Ford (1940, p. 407).


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Chaff (The Complete Preceptor for the Banjo), 1851; p. 13. Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 105. Elias Howe (Second Part of the Musician’s Companion), 1843; p. 57.






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