Georgia Crackers (2)

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GEORGIA CRACKERS [2]. American, Hornpipe. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by Frank Livingston, who contributed several tunes to Ryan's Mammoth Collection, most having titles that reference the South. The colony of Georgia was named in honor of King George II, in 1732. Georgia Cracker refers to the original American pioneer settlers of the Province of Georgia (later, the State of Georgia), and their descendants. Supposedly, it is different from the pejorative term for southern whites. It is said to have derived from the habit of cracking whips while tending cattle. However, there are other explanations. According to Stuart Berg Flexner (Listening to America, 1982), a Georgia Cracker "has nothing to do with the crackers we eat but is from corncracker, one who cracks or pulverizes corn to make hominy grits or corn meal. Such corn cracking was a common chore in all the colonies, and cracker meant a braggart or liar by 1766. Corn remained a basic cereal in the South long after the North had turned to other grains-that's why cracker had come to mean a southern backwoodsman by 1836 and a poor white from Georgia or Florida by 1891 (Georgia has been called the Cracker State since soon after the Civil War). Thus the cracker in Georgia cracker literally means a person who still cracks corn because he is too countrified or too poor to buy cornmeal or to use wheat or other flour." (p. 286).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 104. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 140.

Recorded sources:




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