Old Drummer's Delight
X:0 T: No Score C: The Traditional Tune Archive M: K: x
OLD DRUMMER'S DELIGHT. AKA and see "Canteen Call (The)," "French Taptoo." The alternate title reveals that the 'old drummer' is not a musician, but rather a purveyor of goods. During the Civil War traveling stores, wagons filled with sundries, followed the armies and sold to soldiers who were off-duty-a kind of mobile (and civilian) PX. The proprietors were called 'drummers', while 'canteen call' signaled liberty for the soldiers to visit. The tune is derived from the Bourree in George Frideric Handel's "Water Music Suite 2," composed in 1717, which appears in Neil Stewart's Select Collection of Scots, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, Jiggs & Marches (1784, No. 41, p. 19) as "Air by Mr. Handel"