Mother Flanagan (2)

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MOTHER FLANAGAN. American, Reel (cut time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'AA'CC'. All the parts of this tune (a different melody than the more familiar "Old Mother Flanagan") are irregular. West Virginia fiddler Kenton Sears, the source for this tune, related how he learned to play:

I decided I wanted to play [Dad's] fiddle--he had a beautiful fiddle. He didn't want me to tear it up or dismantle it in any way, so he told me to stay away from it unless he told me. Buth, when he'd be gone I'd get it out of the case. I'd always shine her back up and put it back in as near as I could. One time I broke a strong on it! He knew I did it. It was a prize possession in them days. It wasn't that he didn't want me to do it, but he didn't want me to destroy his good fiddle. You could understand that.

I learnt to play on a fiddle that was made out of a cigar box with a fiddle neck in it. Back them days, cigars would come out in wooden boxes. I got this cigar box and cut square holes in the side of it so I could get my bow in there and glued it up and took some pins and pinned it. I'll never forget the first set of strings I bought--I ordered from Sears Roebuck. Paid seventeen cents for 'em. They was Silvertones. [quoted in Gerry Milnes' Play of a Fiddle, 1999, p. 127].

Sears learned some of his music from fiddler Robert "Bob" L. Wine (1877-1953), a respected fiddler from Falls Mills, Braxton County, father of the influential regional fiddler Melvin Wine.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Kenton Sears (Braxton County, West Virginia) [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes vol. 1), 1994; p. 158.

Recorded sources : - Augusta Heritage Recordings, Kenton Sears - "Old-time fiddling of Braxton County, volume 2" (1992. Various artists).




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