Old Countryman's Reel

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OLD COUNTRYMAN'S REEL, THE. AKA - "Countryman's Reel." AKA and see "Flowers of Cahirciveen." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Nebraska, Missouri. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Old Countryman's Reel" is one of '100 essential Missouri tunes' listed by Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden. Boston publisher Elias Howe printed contra-dance directions along with the tune in his c. 1867 1000 Jigs and Reels, and repeated them in his American Dancing Master, and Ball-Room Prompter (1866). The "Old Countryman" title is Howe's, however, in a later Howe company publication, Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) the same tune is given as "Flowers of Cahirciveen." Speculatively, the tune's provenance is Irish, alluded to in the "old countryman" title (i.e. the tune's source was an immigrant), and that an Irish title was either discovered or manufactured at a later date. In any case, the tune was adopted by Midwestern fiddlers undoubtedly from one of the Howe publications. The tune and dance were still being performed in New England in the mid-20th century, and were both printed in Ralph Pages periodical Northern Junket (Volume 3, Number 6, July 1952; p. 18).

Source for notated version: Bob Walters (Burt County, Nebraska) and Cyril Stinnett (Oregon, Missouri) [Christeson].

Printed sources: R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, vol. 2), 1984; p. 24. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 90.

Recorded sources: Curly Miller & Carole Anne Rose - "Horse Shoe Bend."

See also listing at:
See Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden's transcription at Missourifiddling.com [1]

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