Horse Called Rover (The)

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HORSE CALLED ROVER, THE. AKA and see "Rooster in the Strawpile," "Cotton Eyed Joe." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, southwestern Pa. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB. A composite tune, perhaps fashioned in America. The 'A' part is quite old, asserts Bayard (1981), going back to the 16th century and appearing as "Malt's Come Down" (included in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book arranged by William Byrd). The 'B' part is a common strain which can be found in collections from European countries (Germany), and in the chorus of the American minstrel ditty "Jim Along Josey" (1840). A version of the tune is found in Ira Ford's (1940, p. 60) as "Cotton Eyed Joe", while the oldest set Bayard found was in Aird (Selections, vol. 1, 1782, No. 155) as "Virginian (The)." The tune was collected in Pennsylvania with these words:

Had a little horse and I called him Rover,
When he lived, he lived in clover,
And when he died, he died all over.

Source for notated version: Hiram White (elderly fiddler from Greene County, Pa., 1930's) [Bayard].

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 10, pp. 20-21.

Recorded sources:




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