Miss Sally at the Party

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MISS SALLY AT THE PARTY AKA and see "I Asked that Pretty Girl to Be My Wife," "Old Miss Sally," "Pretty Little Girl with the Blue Dress On (2)." American, Reel (cut time). USA, Mississippi. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The source for this version of the tune, W.E. Claunch (1894-1958), was recorded in 1939 for the Library of Congress, by recordist Herbert Halpert. He learned the tune from his father, James Claunch. The Mississippi-collected "Old Miss Sally" is similar in title and words sung to the melody, and the melodies themselves are similar in contour in both strains. Tom Rankin (1985) believes the tune to be a regional north-eastern Mississippi tune played by several fiddlers there, but only found in one other source an Oklahoma fiddler in Marion Thede's fiddle book (under the title "I Asked that Pretty Girl to Be My Wife").

Sung to the fine (first strain):

I asked Miss Sally for to be my wife,
She stuck at me with a bowie knife.

Sung to the coarse strain:

Miss sally, Miss Sally,
Goin’ to the party-o.

Or:

I asked Miss Sally to be my wife,
She stabbed at me with a Bowie knife,
Miss Sally, Miss Sally,
Miss Sally at the party.

Stan Jackson's "Pretty Little Girl with the Blue Dress On (2)" is a related tune.

Source for notated version: W.E. Claunch (1894-1958) {Guntown, Mississippi} [Notes for "Great Big Yam Potatoes"]. Claunch was accompanied on guitar at the time of his recording by his daughter, Mrs. Christeen Haygood.

Printed sources: Rankin, 1985; Notes for "Great Big Yam Potatoes: Anglo American Fiddle Music from Mississippi."

Recorded sources: Library of Congress AFS 02974 A2, W.E. Claunch (1939). Mississippi Department of Archives and History AH 002, W.E. Claunch - "Great Big Yam Potatoes: Anglo American Fiddle Music from Mississippi" (1985. Various artists).




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