Wabash Jig

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X:1 T:Wabash Jig T:Hell on the Wabash [5] C:Dan Emmett M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Reel N:The tune was published with three sharps in Coes, yet some of the 'G' notes were N:indicated to be played sharped. I believe the tune is meant to be set in A mixolydian, N:and the key signature should have been in 2 sharps--a printer's error. 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. 7) N:George Coes performed with the San Francisco Minstrels in California from 1852 to 1859. Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Amix {g}a|z{g}a A>B|c/d/e/c/ A>{^f}g|z{^f}g G>A|B/c/d/B/ G>{^f}g| z{^g}a A>B|c/d/e/c/ A(3B/A/G/|A/c/ (3e/f/g/ a/e/f/d/|c/A/B/^G/ A:| |:A/B/|c/e/ z/e/ z/e/c/A/|c/e/ z/e/ z/e/c/A/|B/d/ z/d/ z/d/B/G/|B/d/ z/d/ z/d/B/G/| c/e/ z/e/ z/e/c/A/|c/e/ z/e/ z/e/c/A/|A/c/ (3e/f/^g/ a/e/f/d/|c/A/B/^G/ Az:|]



WABASH JIG. AKA and see "Hell on the Wabash (5)." American, Reel (2/4 time). A Mixolydian/Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Wabash Jig," also known as "Hell on the Wabash", was the product of Ohio song and tune composer Daniel Decateur Emmett (1815- ), most famous for his blackface minstrel songs. Hans Nathan, in his book on Emmett, pointed out the cognate relationship of "Wabash Jig" with "Night We Made the Match (The)," an Irish hornpipe printed in Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903). O'Neill sourced the latter tune to Chicago fiddler Edward Cronin, originally from Count Tipperary. However, rather than having an Irish provenance, Fr. John Quinn is of the opinion that Cronin adapted Emmett's tune and supplied it to O'Neill as Irish.

The tune was listed as a 'jig' in Ryan's Mammoth/Cole's 1000, referring not to the Irish 6/8 jig but to a type of old-time syncopated banjo tune known as a "straight" or "sand" jig. The minstrel origins for this syncopated tune are quite evident and the genre was popular on the early variety stage in the 1870's and 1880's. Its use as a march is attested to by its appearance in fife manuals and martial collections. See also the related reel "Lady on the Green," from the repertoire of Nebraska fiddler Uncle Bob Walters, which matches the second strain of "Wabash" and has a low octave setting of the first strain. "Old Grey Cat" is similar to "Wabash" in the first strain.

"Hell on the Wabash" was also included in the 1904 music manuscript collection of New Sumner, Maine, fiddler Clinton W. Bisbee, who copied much if not all of his tunes from the 1864 collection of Maine fiddler Frank Richardson.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Bruce & Emmett (Drummer's and Fifer's Guide), 1862. George H. Coes (Coes Album of Jigs and Reels, something new, for professional and amateur violinists, leaders of orchestras, quadrille bands, and clog, reel and jig dancers; consisting of a Grand Collection of entirely New and Original Clog-Hornpipes, Reels, jigs, Scotch Reels, Irish Reels and Jigs, Waltzes, Walk-Arounds, etc.), 1876; p. 7. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 81 (appears as "H_' on the Wabash"). Hopkins (American Veteran Fifer), 1902. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 423, p. 48. Ryan's Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 114. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; p. 55.






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