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PHARAOH. AKA - "Go Away Pharaoh." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Kentucky. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. Source Darley Fulks (1895-1990) said that the tune was once well-known among Wolfe County, Ky., fiddlers, although he himself is the only source known to us at present. His grandfather, fiddler Stephen Tutt, told him the story associated with the melody regarding how it came to be composed. An old man was trying to fiddle while his wife was out on the farm trying to fend away a plague of locusts as best she could. Locally, locusts were called pharaohs, supposedly after the sound they make. When the insects finally moved on, she berated him for not helping her, but he justified himself by indicating that the muse was upon him at the time, and that he was busy composing this tune [1].

Source for notated version: Darley Fulks (Campton, Wolfe County, Ky., 1978) [Titon].

Printed sources: Titon (Old Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 123, p. 150.

Recorded sources: Rounder Records, Darley Fulks - "Traditional Fiddle Music of Kentucky: V. 2, Along the Kentucky River" (1997. Various Artists).

See also listing at:
Hear Darley Fulk's playing the tune on a 1978 field recording by John Harrod [1]

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  1. Jeff Titon, "Old Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes", 2001, p. 150.