Annotation:Hell on the Potomac (1)

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HELL ON THE POTOMAC [1]. AKA and see "Hell on the Wabash (1)," "Wake Up Susan (1)," "Hell on the Rappahannock," American, Reel. USA, southwestern Pa. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Bayard (1981) identifies this as "one of the three or four" tunes universally known by Pennsylvania folk musicians. The melody is usually known as "Wake Up Susan (1)" or "Hell on the Wabash (1)" and it is sometimes found with other parts; Bayard is not sure if this means the tunes with different titles are "divergently evolving cognate tunes" or the result of trading strains or "otherwise infecting one another." Ultimately, the first strain is derived from the tune whose most famous title is "Mason's Apron." The "Hell on the (insert place-name)" is a floating title, and a popular naming convention, and were attached to a variety of different melodies at the whim of a fiddler. Other tunes using more-or-less similar melodic material are "Night We Made the Match (The)," "Picnic Romp," "Jack of Diamonds (1)" (Thede), "Cottage by the Sea (The)," "Red-Headed Girl (The)."

Source for notated version: versions by 17 southwestern Pa. fifers and fiddlers [Bayard].

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 352A-Q, pp. 346-353.

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