Horney Ewe (The)
X:1 T:Horney Ewe, The T:Hornio N:From the playing of fiddler Melvin Wine (1909-2003, Braxton County, N:central West Virginia) on a Berea College performance video. N:Wine plays with a pronounced backbeat. M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel Q:"Moderately Quick" D:https://soundarchives.berea.edu/items/show/7672 Z:Andrew Kuntz K:G [G,2D2]-|[G,2D2][G,2G2] [DB]dBG|[D2A2][F2A2]D2AB|cBAB B-dBG|[D2A2][G,2G2]-[G,2G2][G,2D2]-| [G,2D2][G,G]G [DB]dBG|[D2A2][F2A2]DDAB|[E/B/]-[E/c/]-[Ec] [D2A2] [DB]dBG |[D2A2][G,2G2]-[G,2G2]|| |:[DA]-[DB]-|[DB][DB][DB]G [DA]dGA|[D2B2][D2d2]J[e3e3][^de]-|[ee][ef][ee]d BdGB|A2 [G,2G2]-[G,2G2]:|]
HORNEY EWE, THE. AKA and see "Gunboat," "Going Down to Georgie-O," "Hornio," "Who'll Take Care of the Baby-O." American, Reel (cut or 2/4 time). 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).
Gerry Milnes sang these rhymes to the tune, in performance with Braxton County, W.Va., fiddler Melvin Wine (1909-2003) at Berea College:
I split my shin and I broke my toe,
And I run a little race with a hornio.
The hornio is a very fine sheep,
And the rest of the flock is hard to beat.
Plant my corn all in a row,
And I give it all to the hornio.