Give the Fiddler a Dram (2)

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X:1 T:Give the Fiddler a Dram [2] S:W.S. Collins (Pottawatomie County, Okla.) N:W.S., "Willie", was the father of fiddler Earl Collins (1911-1975). W.S. was N:originally from Illinois (according to Marion Thede), or from Tennessee, who N:moved to the Missouri Ozarks (where Earl was born) before moving on to N:Oklahoma. M:C| L:1/8 F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/give-fiddler-dram-1 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G (3DEF|G2 [G2B2] [GA][GB]ed|B[GB][GB][GA] [GB]AcB|AGFG A2Ac|B[GB][GB][GB] [G2B2]BA| GB[GB][GA] [GB]ded|BG[G2B2] [G2B2] BG |FGAF D2 Ac|B[G2B2][GB] [G2B2]|| |:(ef|g2)g2 gged|B[G2B2][GA] [G2B2]ef|a2a2 abag|fd3[d2f2]ef| dd[dg][dg] eged|B[G3B3] [G2B2][GB][GA]|[F2A2][FA][DA] [D2A2][DA]c|B[G2B2][GB] [G2B2]:||



GIVE THE FIDDLER A DRAM [2]. AKA - "Fiddler a Dram," "Fiddler's Dram." American, Reel (cut time). USA, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia. G Mixolydian (Brody, Phillips/Carlton, Silberberg): A Mixolydian (Chase, W.E. Claunch, Phillips/Honig). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB (Brody, Phillips/Carlton): AA'BB (Chase): AA'BBCC (Phillips/Honig). "Give the Fiddler a Dram" is part of a conglomeration of songs and fiddle tunes widespread in the American South and Midwest that are variously called "Fiddler a Dram," "Dance All Night (with a bottle in your hand)," "Jawbone," and "Old Joe Bone." These similar song-tunes have floating verses, often shared to one extent or another between versions; some versions have more singing, while some are strictly instrumentals[1]. The earliest printed version of "Give the Fiddler a Dram" was collected by English folklorist Cecil Sharp and appears in his English Folksongs from the Southern Appalachians (1917, p. 246).

One version of this tune was played at a 1931 LaFollette, north-east Tennessee fiddlers' contest, according to a local newspaper of the time. The title appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountains fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. It was also listed by the Fayette Northwest Alabamian of August 19th, 1929, as one of the tunes likely to be played at an upcoming fiddlers' convention (Cauthen, 1990), and was recorded in 1939 for the Library of Congress by Herbert Halpert from the playing of Mississippi fiddler W.E. Claunch. Gerry Milnes, in the notes for his album "Hell Up Coal Creek," writes that this tune was one of old Tom Dillon's (of Webster County, W.Va.) showpiece tune. Dillon was a character who busked around sandlot baseball games for drinks and tips, often dancing while he played. Another trick of his was to play with two bows strapped together.

"Girl with the Blue Dress On" is a related tune.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - banjoist C.B. Wohlford (Marion, Virginia) [Chase]; Gaither Carlton (N.C.) [Phillips]; Peter Honig [Phillips]; Peter Boveng [Silberberg].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 121. Chase (American Folk Tales and Songs), 1956; p. 207. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 98 (two versions). Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 51.

Recorded sources : - Columbia 119-D (78 RPM), Gid Tanner & Riley Puckett (1924, as "Alabama Gal Give the Fiddler a Dram"). County Records, Carter Brothers and Son- "Echoes of the Ozarks, vol. 1." Flying Fish FF-246, Red Clay Ramblers - "Hard Times" (1981). Flying Fish 70572, Frank Ferrel - "Yankee Dreams: 'Wicked Good Fiddling from New England'" (1990). Front Hall FHR-037, Mark Graham - "Natural Selections" (1987). Marimac 9038, Dan Gellert & Brad Leftwich - "A Moment in Time." OKeh 45289 (78 RPM), Carter Bros. & Son (1929). Rounder 0006, Country Cooking- "Fourteen Bluegrass Instrumentals." Rounder CD0364, Brad Leftwich - "The Marimac Anthology: Deep in Old-Time Music." Shanachie Records 6040, Gerry Milnes & Lorraine Lee Hammond - "Hell Up Coal Holler" (1999). Vocalion 5363 (78 RPM), Tennessee Ramblers (1929). Voyager 340, Jim Herd - "Old Time Ozark Fiddling."

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear a home recording of W.S. Collins playing the tune at Slippery Hill [2]



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  1. c.f. Roud #3657 for the song reference for "Give the Fiddler a Dram".
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