Elzic's Farewell (1)

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X:1 T:Elzic's Farewell S:French Carpenter (1899-1965, Clay County, W.Va.) M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel D:Kanawha 301, French Carpenter - "Elzic's Farewell" (1978. Originally recorded 1963). F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/elzics-farewell Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:Ador [A,8E8]|A,2[A,E2]2CA,G,B,|A,CDC A,CG,C|A,2[A,2E2]CA,G,B,|A,CDC A,4| A,2[A,2E2]CA,G,B,|A,CDC A,CDC|A,2[A,2E2]A,CDC|A,CDC A,4|| |:+slide+[e4e4][e2e2][d2e2]|[c2e2][ce][de] cA G2|A2 ab ageA|geaa edc2| +slide+[e4e4][e2e2][d2e2]|[c2e2][ce][de] cA G2|+slide+[A2A2][AA]B AGED|(E[A3A3]) [A3A3]:||

ELZIC'S FAREWELL [1]. American, Reel (cut time). USA, W.Va. A Dorian (Am). AEae or Standard tunings (fiddle). ABB (Phillips, Reiner & Anick): AABB (Phillips). AABBCC (Brody, Songer): ABCBABC (Krassen). This tune has been described as "an old bagpipe tune" from the repertoire of W.Va. fiddler French Carpenter who stated his ancestor (the Elzic or Elzick of the title) played the melody as a farewell before marching off to fight in the Civil War. Elzic went missing in the conflict and never returned, but the tune survived and entered local tradition as "Elzic's Farewell." Wilson Douglas (1922-1999), a younger fiddler distantly related to his mentor French Carpenter (his grandfather and Carpenter's father Saul were half-brothers), thought that Elzic was from Wood County, W.Va. In fact, this is a bit of fanciful embroidery on the part of Douglas and/or Carpenter. The tune's origins have been researched by Jim Comstock of Richwood, W.Va., and were published by him in the West Virginia Songbag (1974). The tune was actually written by one Harvey G. Elswick who was born in Pike County, Kentucky in 1838, and who did serve in a unit from that state during the Civil War. After that conflict Elswick returned to Pike County, but in 1875 he and his family removed to Kanawha County, West Virginia, to live on 80 acres in Malden and Elk districts, and it was there that he wrote the melody now known as "Elsic's Farewell" in April, 1889. Harvey lived on until 1915 and was buried at the Elswick Cemetary at Quick, Kanawha County. Comstock cites the researches of a descendent, the Rev. Albert Elswick of Wallkill, New York, into the Elswick family and finds that Harvey Elswick played the tune at the request of his mother, who was on her deathbed. Complying with her request to "play his fiddle for her once more before she died," Elswick was inspired to play the tune as his farewell. Wilson Douglas plays the tune in standard tuning.
Wilson Douglas

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 99. Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1983; pp. 68–70. Milliner & Koken (Millener-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; pp. 188–189. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 81 (two versions). Reiner & Anick (Old Time Fiddling Across America), 1989; p. 82. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 72.

Recorded sources : - EPACT 100, Pete Sutherland – "Mountain Hornpipe." Kanawha 301, French Carpenter (whose version had only two parts) – "Old Time Songs and Tunes from Clay County, West Virginia." Rounder 0040, "Pickin' Around the Cookstove." Rounder 0047, Wilson Douglas – "The Right Hand Fork of Rush's Creek" (1975). Rounder CD 0397, Scott Nygaard – "Dreamer's Waltz" (1996). Ruthie Dornfeld – "Egyptian Dominoes." Freight Hoppers – "Where'd You Come From, Where'd You Go." Ron Mullennex – "Sugar in My Coffee." Reed Island Rounders – "Goin' Home" (2002).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear French Carpenter playing the tune at Slippery Hill [2]

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