Over the River to Charlie (2)

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OVER THE RIVER TO CHARLIE [2]. AKA – "Over the Water to Charlie." AKA and see "We prefer our own King," "Wha'll be King but Charlie," "Royal Charlie," "Fy Buckle Your Belt," "More Power to Ye," "Behind the Bush in the Garden (1)." Scottish (originally), Irish, American; Jig or March. USA: southwestern Pa.; Wetzel County, W.Va. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Bayard (1981) feels this tune has more claim to its title than other of the "River" or "Water" tunes, as it had Jacobite associations prior to its first printing. The earliest version found by him is in Capt. Simon Fraser's collection and appears as "Se'n Righ atha aguin is fear linn" (We Prefer Our Own King), and Fraser's notes indicate that it was known in Ireland as well as Scotland. By 1745, the high tide of the Jacobite rebellion, the tune was disseminated enough to be called "one of the incentives of rebellion" (Fraser) and soon became associated with the anonymous lyrics "Wha'll Be King but Charlie?" by which title instrumental versions are often known.

One of Bayard's sources, West Virginia fiddler Scott Phillips, sang the verses to the song "Weavily Wheat"; the chorus to the first strain of the tune, and the verse to the second. Bayard noted it was a "game-song" (Play Party):

I don't want none of your weavily wheat,
Nor I don't want none of your barley;
But I'll have some of your very best flour,
To bake a cake for Charlie.
Cho:
And its over the water and over the sea,
And over the water to Charlie;
And its over the water and over the sea,
And over the water to Charlie.

Charlie he's a fine young man,
And Charlie he's a dandy;
Charlie loves to kiss the girls,
And give them sugar candy.

See also note for "Over the River to Charley's" for more. Bayard also suggests this was the precursor tune for the folksong "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye," or its later derivative "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

Sources for notated versions: Emery Martin (Dunbar, Pa., 1946) and Scott Phillips (Wetzel County, W.Va., 1930's) [Bayard].

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; no. 557A–B, p. 496.

Recorded sources:




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