Paddy on the Turnpike (1)

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X:1 T:Paddy on the Turnpike [1] M:C L:1/8 R:Reel B:Septimus Winner - Excelsior Collection for the Violin (1864, p. 31) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Gmin DGG^F G2 GA|BGdG BGdG|DFF=E F2 FG|AFcF AFcF| DGG^F G2 GA|BABc d2 de|fgfd cAFG|AGG^F G2z2:| |:Gggg g2 dg|bg~g2 bg~g2|Ffff f2 cf|af ~f2 af~f2| Gggg g2 dg|bg ~g2 bg~g2|defd cAFG|AGG^F G2z2:|]



PADDY ON THE TURNPIKE [1]. AKA and see "Bunch of Keys (1),” "Flowers of Limerick (1) (The),” “Half Past Four,” “Indian Nation (1),” "Jenny on the Railroad," "Mills are Grinding (1) (The)," "Old Town Reel," "Paddy on the Handcar," "Paddy on the Handlecar," "Pigeon on the Gatepost (1)," "Reel de la bombarde," "Reel du plombier," "Telephone Reel." Irish, Scottish, Canadian, American, Old-Time, Bluegrass; Reel or Breakdown. USA; Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska. Canada; Prince Edward Island, Quebec. G Major/Mixolydian (Perlman): G Mixolydian/Dorian (Bégin, Perlman): G Minor/Dorian (Brody, Cole, Howe, Miller & Perron, Winner): A Dorian (Bayard, 31A): A Minor (Kennedy & Raven): A Major or A Mixolydian (Silverberg, Thede) {see Wilson Douglas's recording}. Standard tuning or AEae (Wilson Douglas, Edden Hammons) (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AA'BB (Phillips, 1994): AA’BB’ (Perlman).

"Paddy on the Turnpike" is an Irish reel with a long history in America and the British Isles. It is quite popular and widespread and is played throughout Britain and Ireland and in nearly every North American fiddle tradition. Variants abound, with tonalities that span major mode through dorian mode, and many versions mix modes. Some attempts have been made to sub-classify the "Turnpike" tunes depending on key or mode, and there does seem to be two main branches of versions in which either the mixolydian/major or the doran mode predominates, but variants even within traditions are often idiosyncratic to the fiddler or the local area and thus it is difficult to categorize. Alan Ng, in his Irishtune.info index, defines two main branches of Irish "Paddy on the Turnpike" tunes, one branch including "Flowers of Limerick (1) (The)," "Mills are Grinding (1) (The)," "Cronin's Favorite (1)," "Bunch of Keys (1)," "Boys of the Spuds (The)," "Ewe with the Crooked Horn (3)," "Patty on the Turnpike," "Paddy on the Handcar," and "Last House in Connaught (1) (The)." A second branch consists of Bunch of Keys (1)," "Turnpike (The)," "Groves Reel (The)," "Fairy Hunters (The)," "Walsh's Favourite," "Galway Rambler (The)," "Paddy Finlay's Favourite."

In America, key of ‘A’ versions are as or more common than key of ‘G’ versions, which predominate in Ireland. Bayard (1981) identifies "Paddy on the Turnpike" as a descendant of a once well-known Scottish song air known usually as "Waulkin' o' the Fauld (The)." Stylistic considerations, maintains Bayard—namely the modal character (with sets appearing in more than one mode), wide diffusion, and the plentitude of names attached to it—indicate the tune has some "respectable" age—although Bayard points out it has not been traced before the early 18th century. Wilson Douglas, a fiddler from Clay County, W.Va., points out there are two versions in ‘old time’ repertory, with "the West Virginia one ...different from the one they play in Kentucky and North Carolina. The one I play is the West Virginia 'Paddy on the Turnpike.' Its got a hornpipe time, if you notice, and a drone. Its played by all the old mountain fiddlers; even (eastern Ky. fiddling master) Ed Hayley played the West Virginia 'Paddy on the Pike' [Ed.—recorded by Hayley as “Half Past Four”]. It was first played by the (West Virginia fiddling families) Carpenters and the Hammonses." Rush, Ky., fiddler J.P Fraley notes that two portions of this melody are similar to the fiddle tunes "Pidgeon on the Gate" and "Bluebird(y) on the Snowbank." The title appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountains fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954.

Ken Perlman (1996) remarks that it was one of the most widely known "good old tunes" on Prince Edward Island, and that a more modern version which changed the tonality from dorian/minor to mixolydian/major emerged on the island in the 1920's. See also a Franco-American version from Larry Riendeau (Berlin, N.H.) called “Patte du mouton," and Joseph Allard and J.O. LaMadeleine's "Reel du plombier," recorded in Montreal at the end of the 1920's.

Missouri fiddler Bob Holt mentions the tune in the following anecdote about his love of traditional music being derived from his family. He told Bittersweet magazine in 1981:

My dad and my Grandad both loved fiddle music though they neither one could play. My Granddad kept a fiddle in his house. He lived down the road here from where I now live, and this used to be the main road from Ava down to the southwestern part of the county. There were a lot of travelers on it, and a lot of times they’d stop and stay all night. If they could fiddle, Dad said they never got any sleep ‘cause Granddad would make them play all night. He always wanted ‘Paddy on the Turnpike’.

See also tunes mixed mode mixolydian/dorian/minor tunes in all traditions under the titles "Paddy on the Turnpike," including "Broomstick (The)," "Down the Hill," "Ducks on/in the Pond," "The Ewe Wi' the Crooked Horn" (floater), "Jinny in the Lowlands (3)" (Pa. floater), "League and Slasher (1)," “Mallow,” “Marie à Pierre,” "Molly Maguire (1)," “Old Reel (The),” "Patty on the Turnpike," "Pigeon on the Pies," "Rainy Day (1) (The)," "Salt River (2)," "Yellow Heifer (2) (The)" (Pa.).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Charlie Higgins (Grayson County, Virginia) [Krassen]; Earl Collins (Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma) [Thede]; Bob Walters (Burt County, Nebraska) [Christeson]; Red Steely with the Red Headed Fiddlers [Phillips]; Vic Kibler via his uncle, Lewis Nichols (Hamilton County, New York) [Bohrer/Kibler]; Carthy Sisco [Silberberg]; Melvin Wine [Silberberg]; Graham Townsend (Toronto, Canada) [Brody]: Irvin Yaugher Jr. (Mt. Independence, Pa., 1943; as played by his great-uncle) [Bayard, 1944]: 13 southwestern Pa. fiddlers [Bayard, 1981]; Francis MacDonald (b. 1940, Morell Rear, Northeast Kings County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman]; Archie Stewart (b. 1917, Milltown Cross, South Kings County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman]; fiddler Dawson Girdwood (Perth, Ottawa Valley, Ontario) [Bégin].

Printed sources : - Bayard (Hill Country Tunes), 1944; No. 31A. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle) 1981; No. 347A–M, pp. 335–340. Bégin (Fiddle Music in the Ottawa Valley: Dawson Girdwood), 1985; No. 45, p. 54. Bohrer (Vic Kibler: Adirondack Fiddler), 1992; No. 6, p. 6. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 214. Christeson (Old Time Fiddler's Repertory, vol. 1), 1973; No. 29, p. 21. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 23. DeVille (Universal Album), 1912; No. 64. Krassen (Masters of Old-Time Fiddling), 1983; p. 42. Henebry (A Handbook of Irish Music), 1928; p. 246. Henebry (Irish Music), 1903; p. 37, No. 9. Howe (Musician's Omnibus, No. 3), 1865; p. 264. JIFSS, No. 12, p. 16 (a shortened version called a 'lilt'). Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1954; p. 8. Lowinger (Bluegrass Fiddle), 1974; pp. 20–21. Miller & Perron (New England Fiddler's Repertoire), 1983; No. 76. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; Nos. 1196, 1555. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 47 (two versions). Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; No. 918. Phillips (Fiddle Case Tunebook: Old Time Southern), 1989; p. 32 (appears as "Paddy on the Handlecar"). Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 179. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 168. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 47. Scanlon (The Violin Made Easy and Attractive), 1923; p. 80 (appears as "The Broomstick"). Silberberg (Fiddle Tunes I Learned at the Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 115 (two versions). Thede (The Fiddle Book), 1967; p. 77. Septimus Winner (Excelsior Collection for the Violin), 1864; p. 31.

Recorded sources : - County 507, Red Steely and the Red Headed Fiddlers. County 775, Kenny Baker – "Farmyard Swing." County 722, Joe Greene – "Joe Greene's Fiddle Album." County 772, Bobby Hicks – "Texas Crapshooter." County 527, The Red Headed Fiddlers – "Old-Time Fiddle Classics, vol. 2" (appears as "Paddy on the Handcar"). Elektra EKS 7285, The Dilards with Byron Berline – "Pickin' and Fiddlin.'" Flying Fish 70572, Frank Ferrel – “Yankee Dreams: ‘Wicked Good Fiddling from New England’” (1990). Folkways FTS 31036, Roger Sprung – "Grassy Licks." June Appal 007, Thomas Hunter – "Deep in Tradition" (appears as "Paddy on the Handcar"). Kicking Mule KM-325, Banish Misfortune – "A Health to the Company" (1981). Kicking Mule, Richard Lieberson – “Flat Picking Guitar Festival.” Living Folk LFR-104, Allan Block – "Alive and Well and Fiddling." Marimac AHS #3, Glen Smith – “Say Old Man” (1990. Appears as “Patty on the Turnpike,” learned from Jim Shumach). Omac 2, Berline, Bush and O'Conner – "In Concert." Rounder 0047, Wilson Douglas – "The Right Hand Fork of Rush's Creek" (1975). Rounder 7001, Joe Cormier – "Scottish Fiddle Music of Cape Breton" (1974). Rounder 7002, Graham Townsend – "Le Violin/The Fiddle." Rounder CD 11661-7033-2, Natalie MacMaster – “My Roots are Showing” (2000). Rural Records RRCF 251, Curly Fox (Ga.) {1970}. Victor 19450 (78 RPM), 1924. Shanachie SH 29009, "Andy McGann & Paul Brady" (learned from Katherine Brennan). Voyager 309, Benny and Jerry Thomasson – "The Weiser Reunion: A Jam Session" (1993). WMT002, Wendy MacIsaac – “That’s What You Get” (1998?). 5 String Productions 5SP05002, The Hoover Uprights – “Known for their Reputation” (2006. Learned perhaps from an old recording of Paul Warmack’s Gully Jumpers).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [3]
Hear western North Carolina fiddler Manco Sneed's c. 1960's field recording at Slippery Hill [4]
Hear north-central Kentucky fiddler Kelly Gilbert's 1978 field recording by John Harrod at Berea Sound Archives [5]



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