Gilderoy (2)

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GILDEROY [2]. AKA and see "Black Rock (2)" (Pa.), "Duck Chewed Tobacco (The)" (Va.), "Guilderoy," "Gilder Roy," "Gilroy," "Gilderoy's Reel," "Injun Et a Woodchuck (2)" (Pa.), "Little Beggarman," "Mairi Bhan Og," "Nellie on the Shore" (Pa.), "Old Soldier (2) (The)," "Old Soldier with a Wooden Leg (2) (The)," "Red Haired Boy," "Wooden Leg." Scottish, Reel; Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Ky., Va., Mich., Ohio, Pa., Mass. A Mixolydian (predominantly, although mixed mode versions are common, from minor through dorian, mixolydian and major). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. See "Gilderoy (1)" for what are probably more archaic minor-mode versions. The title Gilderoy is an Englished version of the Gaelic Gilleruadh or Giolla Ruadh, meaning red-haired lad or youth. Historically, Gilleruadh was the nickname of a famous Scottish highwayman named Patrick McGregor who was captured and executed in 1636; the song describes his exploits and moralizes on his fate. John Purser says the tune was known by around 1660 as it was referred to in a broadside of that period. Glen records that the tune was first printed in the British Isles in 1726 (where it appears in Alexander Stuart's Musick for Allan Ramsay's Collection of Scots Songs, p. 194, in the key of 'A'), in William Thompson's Orpheus Caledonius of 1733 and again in 1742, though Cazden (et al, 1982) dates the tune as "possibly from 1650," perhaps to coincide with the demise of the famous highwayman [which is speculation since no sources were cited]. It quickly became popular and appears in the later 18th century Scottish collections of Aird, Bremner, Gillespie (1768), Oswald (1744 in A Second Collection of Curious Scots Tunes, later republished with different variations in his Caledonian Pocket Companion), McGibbon, and McLean (1772) {where it is ascribed to Robert McIntosh}. The Scots national poet, Robert Burns, set one of his early lyrics to it, called "From Thee, Eliza." Macfarlane, in his 'Studies' claimed this tune, among others, was a Gaelic melody, and postulated that an analysis of airs for alteration of musical accent and the introduction of what he termed 'slurs' could detect which tunes had been originally Gaelic but were altered to fit English lyrics. Bayard (1981), Cazden (et al, 1982) and others have long determined that 'Guilderoy', in both vocal and instrumental settings, stems from the protean 'Lazarus' air (see also "Bonaparte's Retreat"), and numbers among one of the half-dozen or so most extensively used melodies in the entire English-speaking folk tune repertory (see JWFSS, I, 142). Elaborates Bayard: "This melody is one of several which provide some index of the extent to which the local tradition is independent of commerical printed collections of fiddle tunes. Bub Yaugher's (Pennsylvania-collected) variant represents the version in which 'Guilderoy' seems always to be known in western Pennsylvania—distinctive in melodic outling, and invariable played in the mixolydian mode. As might be expected the tune is not always known under this name, which is, however, the one most often attached to it. The mixolydian version of 'Gilderoy' is undoubtedly Irish: the editor has repeatedly heard it performed by Irish fiddlers in Massachusetts, and they have always played this version, in variants rather close to the Pennsylvania sets. The printed collections, on the other hand, nearly always give the tune in dorian or aeolian tonality, which corresponds to the tonality of its well known (English and) Scottish versions. Tune versions like this, therefore, present good evidence for the comparative freedom of the Pennsylvania folk fiddlers from influence of printed collections, and for the independence and authenticity of their tradition. The reason for the tenacity of the name 'Guilderoy' is that the famous song by that name was frequently sung to forms of this tune in British tradition" (Bayard, 1944). It was widely played in Michigan for the square dance call "Do-si Balinet," a second change. Some also knew the name "Gilderoy," but more typically, they called it by the square-dance call. Norman Cazden, in Dances from Woodland, found it used in the Catskill region for the same call.

The title "Gilderoy" appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountains fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. The alternate Pennsylvania titles given above are floaters--"Injun Et a Woodchuck (2)" comes from the ditty sung to the tune:

Injun et a woodchuck,
He et it in a minute ...(or: I'll be darned if he didn't.)
He et it so darned quick
He had no time for to skin it. .....[Bayard, 1981]

Grattan Flood (1906) claims the tune as Irish and says it was originally called "Molly MacAlpin," a lament written soon after five members of that family (also called Halpin or Halfpenny) were outlawed. Another related Irish tune, likewise in the Lazarus family, include the oft-heard "Star of the County Down" ("My Love Nell") (in duple and triple versions).

Sources for notated versions: Irvin Yaugher Jr. (Mt. Independence, Pennsylvania, October 19, 1943; learned from his great-uncle) [Bayard, 1944]: seven southwestern Pa. fiddlers [Bayard, 1981].

Printed sources: American Veteran Fifer, No. 35. Bayard (Hill Country Tunes), 1944; No. 85 (appears as "Guilderoy"). Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 169A-G, pp. 119-122. Elliot and Kay (Calliope), 1788, p. 438 (as "Ah, Chloris!"). Cazden (Dances from Woodland), 1955, p. 32. Harding's Original Collection, No. 51. Howe (Diamond School for the Violin), 1861; p. 39. Jigs and Reels, vol. 2, 1908; p. 8. Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 1), 1853; No. 56. Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 2), 1853; No. 220. S. Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 4: Fine Tunes), 1983 (revised 1991, 2001); p. 12. Sharp, “Carols,” Journal of the Folk-Song Society, vol. 2, no. 7, 1905, pp. 115–139 ([1]). Broadwood and Kidson, “Songs from the Collection of Lucy E. Broadwood,” Journal of the Folk-Song Society, vol. 1, no. 4, 1902, pp. 142–225 ([2]). Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; p. 81. O'Neill (Music of Ireland), 1903; No. 1748. O'Neill's Irish Music, 1915; No. 356. Reavy (The Music of Corktown), 1979; No. 90 (as "The Redhaired Boy"). Robbins (Collection of 200 Jigs, Reels, and Country Dances), 1933; No. 131, p. 42. Roche (Collection of Traditional Irish Music, vol. 3), 1927; No. 188. Sanella (Balance and Swing), 1982. Sime (Edinburgh Musical Miscellany, vol. 1), 1792; p. 240. Smith (Scottish Minstrel, vol. 2), c. 1821; p. 18 (as "Ah! Chloris"). Southern Folklore Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 1, p. 8, 1942 (appears as "The Duck Chewed Tobacco").

Recorded sources: Edison 52022 (78 RPM), John Baltzell {Baltzell lived in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, the same home town as minstrel Dan Emmett (d. 1904). Emmett taught Baltzell to play the fiddle when he returned to the town, poor, in 1888}; Ben Burns, of Bad Axe, Michigan, with calls, Karl Byarski Collection, University of Michigan-Flint [3]. Redwing Music RWMCD 5410, Abby Newton – "Castles, Kirks and Caves" (2001).

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [4]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [5]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [6]




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