Elk's Festival (The)
X:1 T:Elk's Festival, The M:C| L:1/8 R:Hornpipe S:Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D (FG) | A>FA>d f>ed>c | B>GB>e g>fe>d | c>Ac>e a>gf>e | f>cd>B A2 (FG) | A>FA>d f>ed>c | B>GB>e g2 (ag) | f>af>d B>ge>c | d2d2d2 :| |: (fg) | (3.a.a.a (fd) A>df>d | (3.g.g.g (ec) A>ce>c | f>dg>e a>fb>g | e>cd>B A2 (fg) | (3.a.a.a (fd) A>df>d | (3.g.g.g (ec) A2 (ag) | f>dA>F E>ge>c | d2d2d2 :||
ELK'S FESTIVAL, THE. AKA - "Elk's Hornpipe." American? Scottish?, English (?); Hornpipe or Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A latter 19th century hornpipe of uncertain provenance. "Can be used as a Clog," states Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883), where, around the same time with James S. Kerr's Merry Melodies vol. 2, it was published. A version of this tune appears in Samuel Bayard's Dance to the Fiddle (1981) collection as "Tune Used in the Lancers" (Appendix, No. 5, p. 574) collected from a fiddler reared on Prince Edward Island. A quadrille called "Elks Festival" was published in America in the late 1870's, although this hornpipe does not seem musically connected. The title may be associated with the activities of an American fraternal organization and social club, the Benevolent Order of the Elks, founded in 1868 as a social club for minstrel show performers, called the "Jolly Corks". This theory may lend weight to an American provenance, as Ryan's Mammoth Collection contains a large number of black-face minstrel associations.
Don Meade notes the two parts of the tune are frequently found as the last parts of "Derry Hornpipe (The)" while researcher Conor Ward finds the first and last (parts 1 and 6) of Francis O'Neill's "Londonderry Hornpipe (The) are the same two strains as "Elk's Festival." Other tunes that resemble it in whole or part are "Texas Quickstep (2)" (Jarman) and "Little Black Moustache (1)" ('A' part only).