Old Time Billy in the Lowground

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X:1 T:Old Time Billy in the Lowground S:Kelly Gilbert (1895-1991, northeastern Ky.), who had the tune S:Lewis Goins, a local fiddler and mentor. M:C| L:1/8 Q:"Quick" N:From a 1978 field recording by Guthrie Meade & John Harrod F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/old-time-billy-low-ground Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G (3DEF|G2D2[B,4D4]|E2 DC B,[G,3D3]|G2AB cBAG|F2 AB A2(3DEF| G2D2[B,4D4]|E2 DC B,[G,3D3]|G2AB c2dc|[M:3/2]BGAF [G,6G6]|| f2-|[M:C|]g2 eg f2d2| c2 Ac B[G,3G3]|g2 eg f2d2|f-a2b [A4a4]| g2 eg f2dB|c2 Ac B[G,3G3]|A2B2c2dc| BGAF [G4B4]||



OLD TIME BILLY IN THE LOWGROUND. American, Reel (cut time). USA, Kentucky. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. There is no musical relation to the key of 'C' tune usually played under the title "Billy in the Lowground," beyond perhaps an attempt to enhance the value of the melody by linking it with the more popular tune. The source for "Old Time Billy in the Lowground" is Kentucky fiddler Kelly Gilbert (1895-1991), who said it was originally known to local fiddlers as "Billy in the Lowground," but that the appellation "Old Time Billy..." was added when recordings of the 'C' major tune began to circulate, a common practice when the same name applied to two different tunes. Gilbert told researchers Guthrie Meade and John Harrod that he had learned the tune from his mentor Lewis Goins and that it was played in Franklin County in the 19th century (Goins' father was a fiddler who had six sons, all of whom were fiddlers, remarks Jeff Titon).

The first strain is similar to, and probably derived from, the Northumbrian hornpipe/reel "Morpeth Rant (2)" or "Old Morpeth Rant." The second strains are less similar.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Kelly Gilbert (Frankfort, Franklin County, Ky., 1978) [Titon].

Printed sources : - Titon (Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 120, p. 148.

Recorded sources : - Rounder 0377, Kelly Gilbert - "Traditional Fiddle Music of Kentucky, vol. 2: Along the Kentucky River" (1997. Various artists).

See also listing at :
See John Lamancusa's transcription of Gilbert's melody, via Lewis Wills [1]
See hear the Canote brothers play the tune on youtube.com [2]
Hear John Harrod's 1978 field recording of Gilbert playing the tune at Slippery Hill [3] and at Berea Sound Archives [4]



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