Swamp Angel

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X:1 T:Swamp Angel Reel C:George H. Coes M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Reel B:Coes Album of Jigs and Reels, something new, for professional and amateur violinists, B:leaders of orchestras, quadrille bands, and clog, reel and jig dancers; consisting of a B:Grand Collection of entirely New and Original Clog-Hornpipes, Reels, jigs, B:Scotch Reels, Irish Reels and Jigs, Waltzes, Walk-Arounds, etc. (1876, p. 54) N:Coes performed with the San Francisco Minstrels in California from 1852 to 1859.Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:A (3E/F/G/|A(3c/B/A/ F/A/E/A/|C/E/A/c/ {c}B/A/B/c/|d(3f/e/d/ c/e/A/c/|(3d/c/B/ (3c/B/A/ B/A/F/E/| A(3c/B/A/ F/A/E/A/|C/E/A/c/ {c}B/A/B/c/|d/e/f/g/ (3a/g/f/ (3e/f/g/|a/f/e/c/ Az:| |:(3c/B/A/ e/c/ f/c/e/c/|(3c/B/A/ e/c/ d/B/G/B/|(3c/B/A/ e/c/ (3f/e/c/ (3e/f/g/|a/e/c/A/ {c}B/A/F/E/| (3c/B/A/ e/c/ f/c/e/c/|a/e/c’/a/ b/g/ (3e/f/g/|a/f/g/e/ f/d/e/c/|(3d/c/B/ (3c/B/A/ B/A/G/B/!D.C.!:|]



SWAMP ANGEL HORNPIPE. AKA and see "Music in the Glen." Scottish, American (?), Hornpipe. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Swamp Angel" is a hornpipe composed by blackface minstrel and composer George H. Coes, first printed in his Coes Album of Jigs and Reels (1876). It was subsequently picked up by British violinist and music editor Laybourn for his Köhlers' Violin Repository series. There was an American Civil War cannon called the "Swamp Angel," an eight-inch Parrott Seacoast Rifle. It was used by federal Brigadier General Quincy Adams Gillmore to bombard Charleston, South Carolina, and was manned by the 11th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The battle was the inspiration for Herman Melville's poem "The Swamp Angel."

There is a coal-black Angel
With a thick Afric lip,
And he dwells (like the hunted and harried)
In a swamp where the green frog dip.
But his face is against a City
Which is over a bay of the sea,
And he breathes with a breath that is blastment,
And dooms by a far decree.

There is no recorded association between the cannon and the hornpipe title so any connection is purely speculative.

The tune is quite similar to the Irish reel "Music in the Glen."


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Laybourn (Köhlers' Violin Repository Book 2), 1881-1885; p. 181.






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