Lady of the Lake (5)
X:1 T:Lady of the Lake  M:C| L:1/8 N:From Ken Kolodner, Journey to the Heartland, MM231 N:Transcribed by Bruce Thomson K:G |:"G"G,B,DG B2GB|dBGA B2AB|"C"c2cB AGFG|"D"AGFE DCB,A,| "G"G,B,DGB2GB|dBGA B2AB|"C"cdcB AGFE|[1 "D"G2F "G"G2B,A,:|[2 "D"G2F "G"G2Bc|| |:"G"dcBd g2g2|"Am"edce a2a2|"D"f2fg fedf|"A7"ed^ce "D"d2B=c| "G"dcBd g2g2|"Am"edce a2a2|"D"f2fe dcAF|[1 "G"BA F2G2Bc:|[2 "G"BAF2G2B,A,|]
LADY OF THE LAKE . AKA and see "Gypsy Hornpipe (4)," "Miss Johnson's Hornpipe," "Old Towser," "Portsmouth Hornpipe." American, Reel. USA, New England. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AA'BB' (Phillips). The New England contra-dance Lady of the Lake is set to this melody, although other tunes have also been used as vehicles for the steps. Linscott (Folk Songs of Old New England, 1939) thought the dance itself was derived from the Weavers' Guild, although he could find no specific citations regarding its origins. He notes, however, that there is an old tune "Launcelot du Lake" attached to a ballad founded on the romance of Sir Launcelot du Lake, and speculates it may be the dance and tune originated from that source. Regarding the music itself, "Lady of the Lake" is a wide-spread melody whose melodic material crops up often: the first strain of the tune also appears in Ryan/Coles as "You Bet Reel" and "Silver Cluster Reel." A Missouri title is "Gypsy Hornpipe (4)." See Bayard Hill Country Tunes "Buttermilk and Cider" and the first strain of his No. 35. See also Irish variants in O'Neill--"Off to California," and "Whiskey You're the Devil." Gary Stanton of Fredricksburg, Va., has sleuthed the dissemination of the tune in modern old-time circles, finding that it is originally sourced to two unnamed renderings (one as a schottische, one as a polka) in the key of G recorded and transcribed from the playing of Glen Lyn, Va., fiddler Henry Reed. Alan Jabbour visited Reed in the 1960's and researched much of his repertoire, teaching it to others. Bertram Levy picked up the tune, still unnamed, from Jabbour when they both lived in Durham, N.C. in the 1960's and took it with him when he moved to Palo Alto in 1968, teaching it to Marty Somberg around 1970. Somberg was Seattle accordion player Laurie Andres source, who in turn taught it to New Hampshire fiddler Rodney Miller (see recording cited below). Stanton wrote to Jabbour in the course of his research on the tune, and received the reply:
Your account of the likely evolution of the "Lady of the Lake" tune sounds right. I didn't know about it till I was at the Lady of the Lake dance camp in northern Idaho, and they asked me (Tommy Thompson was with me, but not Bertram) to play their theme tune. I responded with a different "Lady of the Lake" (in A, like Henry Reed's "Ducks on the Pond") and they looked quite crestfallen. Then Tommy and I hit on the unnamed Henry Reed tune in the course of just playing all our old repertory, and they exclaimed, "That's it!" The year, by the way, was about 1990 or 1991... ... (posted to Fiddle-L, 1/07/2004)
Jabbour suspects the name "Lady of the Lake" became attached to the tune either through confusion with "Lady of the Lake (6)," also played in Durham in the 1960's, or by association as a vehicle for the dance of the same name, as often occurs. Vermont fiddler Pete Sutherland learned the tune from Laurie Andres and also had a part in popularizing the tune, albeit played with a Southern inflection. Paul Mitchell notes that the melody is the third change of "Ticknor's Quadrille," recorded by the Henry Ford Orchestra in the 1926, named for the grandfather of Clayton Perry (the fiddler in the group), whose name was George Ticknor, or Ashtabula, Ohio.