Humphrey's Jig (1)

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X:1 T:Humphrey's Jig N:From the playing of Carlton Rawlings (1907-1969, Bath N:County, Ky.), from a field recording that came into N:the possession of John Harrod in the 1970's. M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel N:Played "swung", i.e. dotted rhythm. Q:"Moderately Quick" N:Few slurs, mostly saw bowing. D:https://soundarchives.berea.edu/items/show/3988 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G [G,2G2]B2d2 BA|[G,2G2]B2d2 BA|[A2A2] [^c2e2]e2[c2e2]|[A2A2][^c2e2] edcB| GABc dB {Bc}BA|ABde fdfa| bfaf ed {Bc}BA|GABd edgd:| |:dgBg dgBg|dgfg a2a2|^caAa caAa|[M:2/4]^caba| [M:C|][B2g2][B2g2] dgBg |dgBg dgfg| afdf bfaf|[M:3/2]ed {Bc}BA GABd edg2:|



HUMPHREY'S JIG [1]. AKA and see "Doctor Humphrey's Jig." American, Reel (cut time). USA, Kentucky. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. A regional fiddle tune popular at one time with Kentucky fiddlers especially in the eastern portion of the state. Some versions have a first strain that in duple time and a second strain in triple time--apparently a cross between a breakdown and a jig. Other versions are more straight-forward. It is derived from a Scottish tune called "<incipit title="load:bob" width=850 link="https://tunearch.org/wiki/Bob of Fettercairn (The)">Bob of Fettercairn (The)</incipit>," and not easy to play, and many fiddlers have retained vestiges of the characteristic dotted Scottish rhythm in their playing (c.f. Carlton Rawlings). Mark Wilson and Guthrie Meade (1976) point out that east Kentucky fiddler Ed Haley's [1](or Hayley, 1885-1951) version of the tune resembles not the mainland Scottish versions but rather a Shetland version of the melody called "<incipit title="load:kail" width=850 link="https://tunearch.org/wiki/Kail and Knockit Corn">Kail and Knockit Corn</incipit>/Knack and Knockit Corn." Regardless, they say, it is extremely rare for a tune "of this nature to survive in the American South, where the original dance function of the music has been forgotten."

Elderly fiddler Wilson Douglas (W.Va.) declared in 1995:

I've only heard one man who I thought would come up to Ed Haley, and I believe he died a year or two ago. A man named George Hawkins from Ashland, Kentucky. I'd put him and Ed Hayley together, you couldn't tell 'em apart. He and Ed Hayley's the only two men I heard could play the tune "Humphrey's Jig." I never got a chance to learn it.

Kentucky fiddler J.W. Day recorded the tune twice for the Library of Congress, and George Hawkins, also of that state, also released a version on a 78 RPM. Douglas stated the tune was in old Saul Carpenter's (Clay County, West Virginia) repertoire, and was handed down to his son, Tom, who taught it to his son, the regionally influential French Carpenter (d. 1965), a distant relative and mentor of Wilson Douglas. See "Humphrey's Jig (2)" for a more syncopated, ragtime version of the melody.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - John Hartford [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 116.

Recorded sources: -Field Recorders Collective FRC 718, "Carlton Rawlings: Bath County, Kentucky Fiddler" (2015). Rounder 1010, Ed Haley - "Parkersburg Landing" (1976).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2] Hear Bath County, Ky., fiddler Carlton Rawling's field recording at Berea Sound Archives [3]



Back to Humphrey's Jig (1)

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