Back to Pushee's Hornpipe
PUSHEE'S HORNPIPE. AKA and see “Juniata,” “Juanita (1).” American, Hornpipe. USA, New Hampshire. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Cole): AA’BB’ (Cranford). Composed by Abram Pushee (1791-1868), a New Hampshire fiddler, band leader and dancing master who lived in Lebanon, New Hampshire, for most of his life. Michael McKernan has researched him and finds that he was a well-known dance musician and teacher in the central Vermont and New Hampshire area, who influenced several generations of musicians. He organized for many years the Musicians' Annual Balls in Lebanon, New Hampshire, in the mid 19th century, that brought together musicians from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts (see notes for “Headlight Reel (The)," “Old Granite State Reel”). Pushee is also recorded as leading a band in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1849 (McKernon was able to obtain a photocopy of the 1st violin parts of the manuscript repertoire). Obituary notices praised him for his talent and moral character, but McKernan finds that a more personal account gave that Pushee was rather loud-mouthed and professed to be an atheist, at least in private. "Abram Pushee taught dancing at Darrah's hall in Charlestown [N.H.], the hall of the Eagle Hotel in Newport, and at the Lafayette Hotel in Lebannon, probably on different days of the week. As a Lebanon student recalled, "the rules of politeness" were taught along with the "science of dancing" [Garvin & Garvin, On the Road North of Boston, 2003, p. 98]. There is a photograph of a well-dressed, muttonchopped Pushee seated with his violin in hand on page of Charles Algernon Downs' History of Lebanon, N.H., 1761-1887 (1908, inserted between p. 192-193). Pushee (who died at age 76) is buried in the School Street Cemetery, Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire. A long-time Mason, there is a Masonic seal on his tombstone.
The tune appears under both the “Pushee” title and as “Juanita” in Ryan's Mammoth/Cole's. The hornpipe was recorded on a 78 RPM by Cape Breton fiddler Winston Fitzgerald under the “Juanita” title.
Source for notated version: Winston Fitzgerald (Cape Breton) [Cranford].
Printed sources: Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 88. Cranford (Winston Fitzgerald), 1997; p. 5 (appears as “Juanita”). Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 122.