Nigger's Wedding (The)

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X:1 T:Old Joe's Wedding T:N_____'s Wedding T:Day's Wedding N:From the playing of fiddler James W. Day AKA Jilson Setters (Ashland, Kentucky) N:There was a song called "Old Joe's Wedding Day" M:C| L:1/8 Q:"Fast" R:Reel D:Library of Congress AFS 01019 A01, James W. Day/Jilson Setters (1937) D:https://www.slippery-hill.com/content/old-joes-wedding Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G [G,2D2]-|:([G,D]G)GB AGEG|DEGA Bcd2|efga gedB|edBG AGEG| ABGE AGEG|ABGA Bdd2|efga gedB|edBG AB G2:| |:bbb^a (b^ab)=a|gage d2ef|gage dBed|BGAG EG D2| bbb^a (b^ab)=a|gage d2ef|gage dBed|BGAG- G2||



Jilson Setters/J.W. Day, 1932 (Jean Thomas Collection)
NIGGER'S[1] WEDDING, THE. AKA and see "Day's Wedding" "Old Joe's Wedding," "Preachers Wedding." American, Reel (cut or 2/4 time). USA, Ky. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'. The tune was recorded in 1937 in Ashland, Kentucky, for the Library of Congress [AFS 01019 A01] by Alan Lomax from the playing of a Kentucky fiddler whose name was recorded in Lomax's notes as Jilson Setters. "Jilson Setters" was a name for the man born in Boyd County, northeast Kentucky, as James W. Day (1861-1942) but who had the 'Setters' persona fashioned for him by folklorist Jean Thomas, who promoted him in the United States and England. He also made 78 RPM records under the monikers Blind Bill Day and the "Singin' Fiddler of Lost Hope Hollow" (another Thomas advertising inspiration). After a few years Thomas seems to have lost interest in Day/Setters, and he dropped from the limelight although he continued to play locally.



California mandolin player Kenny Hall always substituted the word 'preacher' for the offensive word in the title, and it has also been called "Old Joe's Wedding" and "Day's Wedding" for the same reason.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - J.W. Day, the pseudonym for Kentucky fiddler Jilson Setters, who recorded in the early 1930's [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Clare Milliner & Walk Koken (Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; p. 471 (as "Old Joe's Wedding"). Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 67.

Recorded sources : - Library of Congress, 1019A1, Jilson Setters, recorded for John Lomax, Ashland, Ky., June 1934.

See also listing at :
Hear James W. Day's 1937 recording at Slippery Hill [1]



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  1. Some of items in the Traditional Tune Archive may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of the attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the administrators of this site.
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