Annotation:Silver Bells

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X:1 T:Silver Bells N:From the playing of fiddler Cecil (1918-1991) and John N:Snow of Fort Smith, Arkansas, here Cecil retired. M:2/4 L:1/16 R:Air or Polka D: D:Cecil & John Snow - "Old Time Fiddlin' and Pickin': Sounds D:from the Ozarks." Q:Moderately Quick Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G {A}B4{B}c4 |{c}d2d2{B}c2c2|{A}B2 BB A2G2|G2B2D4-|D2B2A2G2|F2A2 D4-| D2c2B2A2|{A}B4d4-|d4|{A}B4{B}c4 |{c}d2d2{B}c2c2|{A}B2 BB A2G2| G2B2D4-|D2B2A2G2|F4d4-|d2c2 (B/c/B) A2|G8-|G2|| G,A, B,2C2|D4D2D2|E4c3A-|B2B4GE|D4c3[GA]-|[A2A2][A4A4]FE| D3A-c3A-| B2B4GE|D4- D2 G,A, B,2C2|D4D2D2|E4c3A-| B2B4GE|D4c3[GA]-|[A2A2]AB A2 FE|D2c2 (B/c/B) A2|G8-|G2||

SILVER BELL(S). American, Song Tune (cut time). D Major ('A' part) & G Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB'. This tune, originally a 1910 Tin-Pan-Alley song with words by Edward Madden and music by Percy Wenrich (the latter born in Missouri but moved to New York City two years before the song was published, the beginning of an important career on Tin-Pan-Alley). Like "Red Wing" it tells of Indian maids being courted by cowboys and chiefs.

Silver Bell sheet music cover

Beneath the light of a bright starry night

Sang a lonely little Indian maid.
"No lover's sweet serenade
Has ever won me."
As in a dream, it would seem, down the stream,
Gaily paddling his tiny canoe,
A chieftain longing to woo
Sang her this song:

CHORUS: "Your voice is ringing,
My Silver Bell.
Under its spell,
I've come to tell
You of the love I am bringing,
O'er hill and dell.
Happy we'll dwell,
My Silver Bell."

“Silver Bell” was absorbed into old-time repertoire in the 1920’s and its popularity among fiddlers cemented a decade later by Texas bandleader Bob Wills. However, old-time versions were earlier recorded by Clayton McMichen (Ga.), Ernest Stoneman and Jess Young (Tenn.). The earliest sound recording of the song, however, was by Ada Jones and Billy Murray, for Edison in 1910 (Ed 10492). Stacy Phillips notes that the tune has been recorded in the keys of G, C and B Flat as well, and that sometimes there is no key change in the second part.

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Johnny Gimble and Cliff Bruner [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2) 1995; p. 127.

Recorded sources : - Columbia 15400-D, Jess Young’s Tennessee Band (1929). OKeh 4055, McMichen’s Home Town Band (1925). OKeh 45060, Ernest Stoneman & Joseph Samuels (1926). OKeh 45379, Scottdale String Band (1929). Vocalion 04934 {78 RPM}, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys (1939).

See also listing at :
Hear Ada Jones & Billy Murry's 1910 recording at [1]
Hear Clayton McMichen and the Home Town Band's 1925 recording at Slippery Hill [2]

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