Cottage by the Sea (The)

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COTTAGE BY THE SEA, THE. AKA and see "Red Headed Girl (The)," "Picnic Romp," "Night We Paid the Rent (The)," "Jack of Diamonds (1)" (Thede), "Hell on the Wabash (1)," "Wake Up Susan (1)" (first strain only). American, Reel. USA, southwestern Pa. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Bayard (1944) states that the tune was fairly well known in western Pa. and seemed to be common in the South (a southern form is in Ford, 1940, p. 47 as "Picnic Romp"). In his 1981 work he was undecided whether the tune belongs to a small tune family (see alternate titles) with "divergently evolving cognate tunes", or whether the tunes he cited were original but shared influences or perhaps small parts. He long believed that the main tune group is American-fashioned using strains from old country dance music and said "It is possible that the first part of (this tune) is derived from the opening strain of some version of the old Irish dance and march 'Gearran Buidhe (An)' (The Yellow Horse); cf. for example a version of that air in Petrie, No. 1457" (Bayard, 1944). See also his note for "Hell on the Potomac (1)" (Bayard, 1981; No. 352, pp. 352-353) for more information. Ultimately, despite some similarities to the first strain of "Picnic Romp," "Wake Up Susan (1)" and "Mason's Apron," the first strain of "Cottage by the Sea" is at best a very distanced relative, while the second strain is unrelated.

Sarah Armstrong

Source for notated version: Mrs. Sarah Armstrong, (near) Derry, Pennsylvania, November 18, 1943 [Bayard].

Printed sources: Bayard (Hill Country Tunes), 1944; No. 70.

Recorded sources:




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