Annotation:Pass around the Bottle

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X:1 T:Pass around the Bottle and We'll all take a Drink M:C L:1/8 R:Song Air K:G D>ED>C B,>DG>A|B>AB>A G4|E>GE>D C>DE>F|(G>A)G>E D4|...

PASS AROUND THE BOTTLE. AKA - "Pass around the Bottle and We'll all take a Drink." American; Song, March and Reel. USA, Mississippi. C Major (Claunch): G Major (Skillet Lickers). Standard tuning (fiddle). A variant of the song and march "John Brown's Body (lies a-mouldering in the grave)," which, according to Frank Kidson[1] was originally a hymn tune intended for American camp meetings. The Skillet Lickers (in the configuration of Gid Tanner and Clayton McMichen on fiddles, Riley Pucket on guitar and vocals, and Fate Norris on banjo) recorded the song in Atlanta on April 17th, 1926, one of eight sides for Columbia records. Wayne W. Daniel (in his book Pickin’ on Peachtree: A History of Country Music in Atlanta, Georgia, 1990) opines: “The output from this historic recording session makes for a rather unimpressive list of what even there were long-familiar tunes and songs: “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane,” “Bully of the Town,” “Pass Around the Bottle and We’ll All Take a Drink,” “Alabama Jubilee,” “Watermelon on the Vine,” “Don’t You Hear Jerusalem Moan,” “Ya Gotta Quit Kickin’ My Dog Aroun’,” and “Turkey in the Straw.”” The tune was also ecorded in 1939 for the Library of Congress by Herbert Halpert from the playing of Tishomingo County, Mississippi, fiddler W.E. Claunch, and from Walter Williams (1937). See also the related "Grasshopper Sitting on a Sweet Potato Vine."

The melody predates the Civil War, and abolitionist John Brown, and was first used for the minstrel song "She had such Wheedling Ways" [1] (1855), credited to "S. Tute".

T:She had such Wheedling Ways
R:Minstrel song air
C:"S. Tute" (1855)
Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion
E|A>AG>B|A>A E>E|B>B ^A>c|(B2B)E|F>A G>B|
A>c e>d|c>A B>G|(A2 A)E|dd B>B|cc AB/c/|d c B A|
(G2G) (E/D/)|C E A>A|G F d>d|c>A B>G|(A2 A)z||
E3D|C E A B|(c4|A2) z2|F3 G| A G A F|E4|C2 z2|E3 D |
C E A B |c4|A2 zA|c2B2|A2G2|A4|A3:|

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Hall & Gray (Kenny Hall's Music Book: Old Time Music - Fiddle and Mandolin), 2011; p. 65.

Recorded sources : - AFS 02972 B3, W.E. Claunch (1939). Columbia 15074-D (78 RPM), Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers (1926). Homestead 16490 (78 RPM), Ernest Stoneman (c. 1929). OKeh 45405 (78 RPM), North Carolina Hawaiians (1928). Oriole 916 (78 RPM), Sim Harris (1927). Victor 20550 (78 RPM), Georgia Yellow Hammers (1927).

See also listing at :
Hear the Skillet Lickers' 1926 recording at the Internet Archive [2] and on [3] [4]
See entry in the Ballad Index [5]

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  1. Frank Kidson, "The Vitality of Melody," Proceedings of the Musical Association, 34th Sess. (1907-1908), pp. 81-99.