Drunken Sailor (1)

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DRUNKEN SAILOR [1], THE. AKA and see "Goodman's Quadrilles Figure 2.' English, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time); American, Dance Tune. USA, Michigan, southwestern Pa. D Major (Raven): G Major (Ford, Sweet). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (O'Flannagan): AABB (Ford, Raven): AABBCC (Sweet). The tune has been used for numerous songs, play-party tunes, and ditties, including "Ten Little Indians" and "The Monkey's Wedding." Bayard (1981) thinks that the tune is a simplified version of the Irish hornpipe called "Groves (The)" (O'Neill's Music of Ireland, Nos. 1598 & 1703), which in turn appears to based on a "simple, fundamental strain" of the Scottish "Johnny Cope (1)." Ralph Sweet, in his collection for the fife, tacks on as a third part to the usual two parts of the tune the first part of the nautical melody known as "Earl-ie in the Morning." Fuld, in The Book of World Famous Music, traces the tune to manuscript collections of around 1800 and in print to the mid-1820's.

The tune appears as the second figure of a set of untitled quadrilles entered into the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper Canon James Goodman (see "Goodman's Quadrilles Figure 2."

Source for notated version: George Strosnider (elderly fidder from Greene County, Pa., 1930's), Thomas Patterson (Elizabeth, Pa., 1930's), Frank King (Westmoreland County, Pa., 1960).

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 223, pp. 179–180. Ford (Traditional Music of America), 1940; p. 74. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 201. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1954; p. 22. O'Flannagan (Hibernia Collection), 1860; p. 14. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 144. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; p. 52. White's Excelsior Collection, 1898; p. 78.

Recorded sources: Edison 51548 (78 RPM), 1923, John Baltzell (appears as 1st tune of "Drunken Sailor Medley" {Baltzell was a native of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, as was minstrel Dan Emmett (d. 1904). Emmett returned to the town in 1888, poor, and later taught Baltzell to play the fiddle}); Albert Boldt, of Harbor Beach, Michigan, in Karl Byarski Collection, University of Michigan-Flint [1];




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