Horney Ewe (The)

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HORNEY EWE, THE. AKA and see "Hornio," "Who'll Take Care of the Baby-O." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Braxton County, W.Va. The tune sometimes appears as "Hornio" or "Horneo," a corruption, reveals Gerry Milnes (1999), of the title "Horney Ewe" stemming from vestiges of Scottish dialect in the Appalachians where 'ewe' is pronounced so as to rhyme with 'row' (c.f. the song "Broom of the Cowdenknowes (1)" or "Broom the Bonny Bonny Broom," where 'father's ewes' is the rhyme for 'Cowdenknows'). The tune was mentioned (as "Horneo") by William Byrne who described a chance encounter with West Virginia fiddler 'Old Sol' Nelson during a fishing trip on the Elk River. The year was around 1880, and Sol, whom Byrne said was famous for his playing "throughout the Elk Valley from Clay Courthouse to Sutton as...the Fiddler of the Wilderness," had brought out his fiddle after supper to entertain (Milnes, 1999).

Source for notated version: Ernie Carpenter (Braxton County, W.Va.) [Milliner & Koken].

Printed sources: Milliner & Koken (Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; p. 305.

Recorded sources: Augusta Heritage Records 003, Ernie Carpenter - "Elk River Blues: Traditional Tunes From Braxton County, W. Va." (2001).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Ernie Carpenter's recording at Slippery Hill [2]

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