Drunken Sailor (2)

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DRUNKEN SAILOR [2], THE. AKA and see "Brigade March or Old Number Four," "Old Three-Part Two-Four," "General (2) (The)." American, March (2/4 time). USA, southwestern Pa. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC. The alternate titles stem from its martial uses, "Old Number Four" being its position in a series for performances and "The General" being any tune formerly used to call soldiers to camp duties. Bayard (1981) notes that at the outbreak of the Civil War the demand for fifers outstripped the ability of the Army to train musicians in the approved military calls, so fifers substituted tunes they already knew from home for various soldierly functions; he found that almost every traditional fifer he met played this tune. The 'A' part is the "Drunken Sailor" of version #1, but the 'B' part originated in the early 1700's (as it appears in several ballad operas from the 1739's) and is known variously as "Buttered Peas (1)," "Reel of Stumpie (The)" ("Stumpie"), and "No Man's Jig."

Source for notated version: Bayard (1981) gives versions from 6 different southwestern Pennsylvania fifers or fife manuscripts.

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 224A-F, pp. 181-183.

Recorded sources:




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