Pea Patch Jig

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PEA PATCH JIG. AKA and see "Mechanics' Hall Jig." American, Dance Tune (2/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB. Composed by Ohio (minstrel) Dan Emmett in 1845, although it is thought to have been borrowed from African-American origins. A 'jig' was an old-time name for a kind of syncopated banjo tune, likely derived from the usage of ‘jig’ as a generic dance, or, just possibly, as a derogatory association with African-American dancing. These kinds of ‘jig’ tunes, prevalent in the Howe/Ryan publications and similar mid-19th century volumes, have nothing to do with the Irish 6/8 jig, for these tunes were always in 2/4 time. Howe categorizes the highly-syncopated melody as a schottische. "Great Eastern Jig" is a similar tune. See note for “Camp Meeting (1)” for a sketch of Emmett.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 82. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 53. 'Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 114.

Recorded sources: New World Records 80338, "The Early Minstrel Show."




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