Back to Old Towser
OLD TOWSER. AKA and see "Buttermilk and Cider," "Fireman's Reel, Going to California," "Gypsy Hornpipe (4)," "Off to California (1)," "Possum Up a Gum Stump. "Possum Up a Gum Stump Coonie in the Hollow," "Silver Cluster," "Whiskey in the Jar (1)," "Whiskey You're the Devil," "You Bet." Old-Time, Breakdown. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A version of the large "Going/Off to California (1)" tune family. Many of the alternate titles are floaters (i.e. attached to several different tunes). Ford printed the following verse with the tune, which has not been found elsewhere.
Daddy had a bull-dog, Towser was his name, sir.
He used to chase the bell-cow, up and down the lane, sir.
He wasn't worth a cuss for to sick him on a hog, sir,
But whip his weight in wildcats could this old bulldog. .... (Ford)
The tune may also have been called "Lexington," although this name is shared with other melodies. Influential California mandolin player Kenny Hall (1923-2013) called the tune simply "Plain Quadrille."
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 108.
See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources