Old Man and Old Woman a-Quarrelin'

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OLD MAN AND OLD WOMAN A-QUARRELIN'. AKA and see "Bonaparte's Retreat (1)." American, Reel. USA, southwestern Pa. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC. Bayard (1981) says the pattern of one strain of a tune being played slow, another quick, to suggest two suggest a quarrel or argument has been adapted to a number of tunes. He believes this particular tune a direct descendent of the Irish tune "Fead an Iolair" (Eagle's Whistle (1) (The)), even though the latter is in triple time, not duple as in the Pennsylvania set. In America the tune is usually known as "Bonaparte's Retreat (1)." The title "Old Man and Old Woman Quarreling" properly belongs to several variants of a Canadian melody.

Sources for notated versions: fiddlers Walter Ireland (Greene County, Pa., 1944), James Taylor (Greene County Pa. and Wetzel County, W.Va., 1930's), John or Hiram White (Greene County Pa., 1930's), David Rogers (elderly fiddler from Greene County, Pa., 1930's; identified as one of older fiddler John Tustin's tunes) [Bayard].

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 239A-D, pp. 199-200.

Recorded sources:




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