Spirits of France

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X:1 T:Spirits of France M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Reel B:Elias Howe – Second Part of the Musician’s Companion (1843, p. 53) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C V:1 (g/e/)|cc B/c/d/B/|c/B/c/d/ c(a/f/)|dd d/e/d/ |B/c/d/B/ .G(F/E/)| Fddc|EccA|Bc d/c/e/d/|(c/B/)(c/A/) G:| |:E/F/|G/F/E/F/ .GG/E/|F/E/D/E/ .FF/D/|E/C/E/G/ c/G/E/C/|D/C/D/E/ .DE/D/| .C.c.G.e|cgg (f/e/)|de/d/ c/B/[A/c/]B/|(c/B/)(c/d/) c:| V:2 z|EE D/E/F/D/|E/D/E/F/ Ef/d/|BB B/c/B/A/|D/E/F/D/ ED/C/| DFFE|CEEF|DE F/E/G/F/|E/D/E/F/ E:| |:z|E/D/C/D/ EE/C/|D/C/B,/C/ DD/B,/|C/G,/C/E/ G/E/C/G,/|B,/A,/B,/C/ B,C/B,/| G,ECc|Eee (d/c/)|Bc/B/ E/D/F/D/|(E/D/)(E/F/) E:|]



SPIRITS OF FRANCE, THE. AKA and see "Spirit of New Orleans," "Spirit of Ireland (The)." American, Reel or March (4/4 time). USA, southwestern Pa. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Bayard): AABB (Howe, O’Flannagan). "Spirits of France" was a staple of the Boston-based Elias Howe Co. publishing house. Howe (c. 1867) prints directions for a contra-dance to the tune. However, the dance seems much older than his publication, for directions to Spirits of France appear in several publications and commonplace books, as it was, for example, in the copybook of Mrs. George Webb (probably from Vermont), dating from the 1798. It appears to have been particularly popular from the late 1790’s through the first decade of the 19th century. The tune perhaps appears earliest in The Ladies and Gentleman’s Companion, published in Massachusetts in 1803. These dates suggest that the title refers not to (or perhaps both too) French wine or liquor, but rather to the French Revolution of the late 18th century, which resonated considerably in America.

The two stains of Howe's "Spirits of France" were incorporated in Ira Ford's "Spirit of New Orleans" as the second and third strains of a five-part tune.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - William Shape (fiddler from Greene County, Pa., 1930's) [Bayard].

Printed sources : - Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 104, p. 60. Elias Howe (Second Part of the Musician’s Companion), 1843; p. 53. Howe (Diamond School for the Violin), 1861; p. 46. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 81. O’Flannagan (The Hibernia Collection), 1860; p. 4 ('Patrick O'Flannagan' was a Howe pseudonym).






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