Green Willis (1)
X: 92 T: Green Willis  O: trad USA M: C| Z: Transcribed by Mary Lou Knack, modified by John Chambers N:Based on the version by Taylor Kimble (1892-1979, Laurel Fork, southwest Va.) R: reel K: D |: (3ABc\ | "D"d2dc d2fe | dAdA d2gf | "A"edcB ABcd | edcB A2 (3ABc | | "D"d2dc d2fe | dAdA d2gf | "A"edcB ABcA | "D"d6 :| |: fg \ | "D"agfg agfe | d2de d2ef | "G"gfga bagf | "A"edcB A2fg | | "D"agfg agfe | d2z2 "G"g3f | "A"edcB ABcA | "D"d6 :|
GREEN WILLIS . AKA and see "First Come in was a Bumble Bee," "Green Willis the Raw Recruit," "New Rigged Ship (1) (The)," "Old Hickory," "Noddin' Boy," "Raw Recruit (The)," "Chapel Hill Seranade," "Jackson's March." Old-Time, New England; Breakdown or Reel. USA, southwestern Va. D Major. ADae or Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Green Willis was a 19th century fiddler from the Galax, Virginia, area whose name became associated with the tune, according to the Kimble family, who recorded the tune in 4/4 time. The melody, in 6/8 time, was also in the repertoire of Galax area fiddler Emmett Lundy (b. 1864), who recorded it when he was an elderly man. The melody had been employed as a “school breaking” march -- as Christian Wig explains: "the last day of the school year, a sad occasion for the children who would not see their friends for months. Nevertheless, there was a big celebration with “box lunches, speeches, dialogues (plays), music and perhaps a march. If a march were held, the children would line up behind the banjo and fiddle players and march out of the schoolhouse to the strains of this tune” and other marches like it" [Notes to "Lost Indian: Fiddle Tunes on the Frontier"]
A closely related, and probably ancestral tune (actually the same melody in jig version) is "New Rigged Ship (1) (The)," long popular with fiddlers and melodeon players in English traditional circles. It has been stated that a waltz setting is known as "Peekaboo Waltz (The)," however, the tune usually known by the latter title seems not to be related.
Drinkin' moonshine at the age of fifteen,
Caused poor Willis' face to turn green;
Then it turned red, 'cause he was ashamed,
So we'll play the tune that goes by the name