Horse Shoe Bend

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X:1 T:Horse Shoe Bend S:The Stripling Brothers, Charlie (1896-1966) and Ira (1898-1967), west Alabama. M:C| L:1/8 Q:"Fast" R:Reel D:Decca 5049 (78 RPM), The Stripling Brothers (1934) F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/whiskers-0 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:C g2-gg gagg |+slide+gfed c2cc|aaab a2 gg|gfed c2c2| +slide+[e2e2][e2e2]+slide+[e2e2][ee]g|gage dcA[de]-|[ee]e2[de]- [e2e2]eg|gage dcA[de]-| [ee]e2 ([de]c2)cc|GGA2 {GF}ED C2|[GB]-[Gc][Gc][Gc] G2(3GAB|[Gc][Gc][Gc][Gc] AGEF| GG[GB][GB] A-B[GB][GB]|[Gc][Gc]AG EDCD|[Gc][Gc][Gc][Gc] GGAB| [G2c2][Gc][Gc] [GA][GA]EF|GG[GB][GB] A-B[GB][GB]|[Gc][Gc]AG EDCe||



HORSE SHOE BEND. AKA - "Horseshoe Bend." American Reel (cut time). USA, Alabama. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). The tune is related to the Kentucky tunes known variously as "Soap in the Washpan" or "Hot Corn". Lee Stripling, inheritor of the Stripling family fiddling tradition, plays the tune in four parts. According to Lee, "Charlie heard Horseshoe Bend on one of his many trips around the state and came home playing it, and played it most of the night until he had it right. Since he didn't know the name, he called it after the bend in the South Alabama River near where he learned the tune."


Horseshoe Bend is a descriptive name for a bend in the the Tallapoosa River in central Alabama. It was the site of a battle in 1814 between the Red Sticks, a faction of the Creek Nation of Georgia, and militia forces under the command of Andrew Jackson. The Red Sticks had a heavily fortified position near the bend, and was impervious to cannon fire from Jackson's forces. Jackson finally ordered a bayonet charge, which carried the day, along with the arrival of a separate detachment of American forces to the Red Sticks rear. In the end, four fifths of the thousand Red Stick warriors were killed, with about two hundred, including their severely wounded Chief Menewa, fleeing to the Seminole nation in Spanish Florida. The site is now a United States Military Park managed by the National Park Service.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Charlie Stripling (1896-1966, Pickens & Lamar Counties, west Alabama) [Milliner & Koken].

Printed sources : - Milliner & Koken (Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; p. 306.

Recorded sources: -County 401, "The Stripling Brothers". Document Records DOCD 8007, "The Stripling Brothers vol. 1, 1928-1934" (1997). Fretless FR 160, The Double Decker String Band - "Sentimental Songs and Old Time Melodies" (1981). Vocalion 5395 (78 RPM), Stripling Brothers (Alabama) {1929}. Voyager Records VRCD 349, Lee Stripling - "Hogs Picking up Acorns" (2000).

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



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