Annotation:Miramichi Fire (The)

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MIRAMICHI FIRE, THE. AKA - "Willie D's Favourite." Canadian, Reel. Canada; Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton, New Brunswick. A Mixolydian/Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Perlman (1996) notes this tune is among the "good old tunes" on Prince Edward Island, however, it is thought to have been Acadian in origin and quite old. The title commemorates the great Miramichi, New Brunswick, fire [1] of 1825, visible from western Prince Edward Island. It is still considered the largest forest fire in eastern North America (consuming forests in Maine as well), burning up to a fifth of New Brunswick's forests. It killed more than 160 people and devastated many communities, leaving thousands homeless. It is thought the fire was responsible for the demise of the mast-making industry on the Miramichi River.

"A View of Miramichi", 1760, by Francis Swaine

Paul Steward Cranford remarks that Cape Breton fiddlers sometimes call the tune "Willie D's Favourite," a title sourced to fiddler Cameron Chisholm (Margree), who learned it from the lilting of his father, Willie D. Chisholm, brother of renowned fiddler Angus Chisholm. Willie D., notes Cranford, worked in New Brunswick and Quebec in younger days, where he may have acquired the tune.

Source for notated version: Andrew Jones (b. 1918, Roseville, West Prince County, Prince Edward Island; now resides in Pleasant View, PEI) [Perlman].

Printed sources: Cranford (Brenda Stubbert: The Second Collection). Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 83.

Recorded sources: Rounder Records, The Robichaud Brothers - "The Slippery Stick: Traditional Fiddling from New Brunswick" (1995). Rounder CD 7014, Dennis Pitre - "Fiddlers of Western Prince Edward Island" (1997).

See also listing at:
See notation at Cranford Publications site [2]

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