Growling Old Man and Grumbling Old Woman (The)

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GROWLING OLD MAN AND (GRUMBLING OLD) WOMAN, THE. AKA – "Old Man and the Old Woman (2)," "Growling Old Man and Cackling Old Woman," "Marmotteuse (La)." AKA and see "Chicaneuse (La)," "Disputant (The)," "Disputeuse (La)." French Canadian (originally), New England; Reel. A Dorian ('A' part) & A Mixolydian ('B' part): A Mixolydian (Phillips). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB (most versions): AA'BB' (Perlman). A Québec reel popularized by Maritime radio and TV fiddler Don Messer. It was taken up by "revival" fiddlers in the early 1970's and became a staple of New England contra dance repertoire, and has since become widely disseminated. See also the related "Highlander's Farewell (4)," from the playing of Virginia fiddler Emmett Lundy.

Source for notated version: Kenny Baker [Phillips]; Donna Hébert (Amherst, Mass.) [Fiddler Magazine]; Edward P. Arsenault (b. 1917, Chrysostom, East Prince County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman]; Steve Trampe [Silberberg].

Printed sources: Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 128. Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 75, p. 51. Fiddler Magazine, vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 1966; p. 8. Hinds/Hébert (Grumbling Old Woman), 1981; p. 17. Miller & Perron (New England Fiddler's Repertoire), 1983; No. 148. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 87 (appears as "La Marmotteuse"). Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 107. Silberberg (Fiddle Tunes I Learned at the Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 57. Spadaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1980; p. 33. Welling (Welling's Hartford Tunebook), 1976; p. 8.

Recorded sources: Adelphi AD2004, Delaware Water Gap – "String Band Music." Apex 26322-B (78 RPM), Don Messer (1950). Bee Balm 302, "The Corndrinkers." Biograph 6008, Ebenezer – "Fox Hollow String Band Festival." CHCDC045, Donna Hébert – "Chanterelle, French in America." County 725, The Riendeau Family – "Old-Time Fiddling." Fretless 200A, Yankee Ingenuity – "Kitchen Junket" (1977). Heritage XXXIII, The Correct Tone String Band – "Visits" (1981). Philo 2000, "Louis Beaudoin" (1973, as "Growling Old Man and the Cackling Old Woman," heard on a Don Messer radio show in the 1950's). Rounder 7008, "Jerry Holland" (appears as "The Old Man and the Old Woman"). Smithsonian Folkways Records SFW 40116, "Mademoiselle, voulez-vous danser?" (1999. Ron West. Various artists).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [2]
Hear Don Messer's recording on youtube.com [3] [4]




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