Queen of the Earth Child of the Skies

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QUEEN OF THE EARTH, CHILD OF THE SKIES. AKA – “Queen of the Earth, Child of the Stars.” AKA and see “Blackbird (1) (The)," "Wounded Hoosier.” Old-Time, Air. D. DDad tuning (fiddle). Played by West Virginia fiddler Eddon Hammons. The tune is a Hammon’s refashioning of the Irish air “The Blackbird.” Fiddler Gail Gillespie finds the title similar to a line from a shape-note hymn called “Star of Columbia” (AKA “Columbia”), found in the Social Harp (1855) and other hymnodys, which begins:

Columbia! Columbia! to glory arise,
The queen of the world and the child of the skies;
Thy genius commands thee with raptures behold,
While ages on ages thy splendors unfold:
Thy reign is the last and the noblest of time,
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
Let crimes of the east ne're encrimson they name,
Be freedom and science and virtue thy fame.

Words are credited to “Dr. Dwight” and music to “Miss M.T. Durham” (although the melody employed is a traditional fiddle tune called “Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine”). Later generations of the Hammons family played the tune somewhat differently, with Burl Hammons calling the piece “Old Man of the Woods” and Sherman Hammons calling it “Star of Bethlehem.”

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: - Copper Creek CCCD 0199, James Leva – “Memory Theatre.” West Virginia University Press CD, The Edden Hammons Collection, vol. 1. Rounder 0304, Jody Stecher – “Our Town.” Dirk Powell, John Herrmann, and Tom Sauber – “One Eyed Dog.” Edden Hammons Collection I. Reed Island Rounders – “Goin’ Home” (2002).

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