Wake Up Susan (1)

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X: 1 T: Wake up Susan [1] R: hornpipe, reel O: Kerr c.1880's Z: 1997 by John Chambers <jc:trillian.mit.edu> B: Kerr (Merry Melodies), vol. 4; No. 268, p. 29 B: Kennedy v.1 p.13 #23 M: C| L: 1/8 K: A ((3efg) \ | "A"a2A2 AcBA | E2A2 AcBA | "Bm"F2B2 BcBA | "E7"GABc defg | "A"a2A2 AcBA |E2A2 AcBA | "E7"GABc defg | "A"aece A2 :| |: cB | "A"A2{g}a2 A2{g}a2 | A2AB c2BA |"E7"E2{^d}e2 E2{d}e2 | E2Bc d2cB | "A"A2{g}a2 A2{g}a2 | A2AB c2BA | "E7"E2Bc d2cB | "A"A2c2 A2 :|]



WAKE UP SUSAN [1]. AKA "Wake Susan." AKA and see "Belcher's Reel," "Breakdown (The)," "Hell on the Potomac (1)" (Pa.), "Hell on the Wabash (1)," "Hell on the Rappahanock" (Pa.), "Hop Up Susan," "Reel des bretelles," "Up Jumped Susie." American, Reel. USA; Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, Texas, northern N.Y. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Bayard, Silberberg): AABB (Christeson, Devil's Box, White): AABBCC (Brody): AABBAAB'B" (Phillips). "Wake Up Susan" is a popular and widely dissmeninated dance tune through much of the East and Midwest. R.P. Christeson (1973) states that "Wake Up Susan" is in most of the older American collections in two-part settings, and Tommy Thompson (1974) states it is a "fairly common American fiddle tune." Samuel Bayard (1981) thinks "Wake Up Susan" to be of American black face minstrel origin using strains from the British Isles, but he is unable to find it in any old country sources. This is curious and perhaps a rare lapse for Bayard, for Alan Jabbour (1971) has associated this family of tunes (there are several related airs in American fiddle tradition) with the very popular Irish and Scottish reel "Mason's Apron," while Hans Nathan (Dan Emmett's biographer) thinks the Irish reel "Night We Made the Match (The)" has contributed melodic material to the tune family, apprently on the strength of the opening octave leap in that tune, but the rest seems dissimilar. The oldest source for "Wake Up Susan" (with tune and title intact) is in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883).

In addition to melody appearing under the alternate titles listed above, melodic themes from "Wake Up Susan" appear in other American fiddle tunes. For example, Howe (Musician's Omnibus, 1864) published "Mountain Dew" (also in the key of A but having four parts), and Christeson says he heard mixtures of the two over the years. Similarly, the first part of "Picnic Romp" in Ira Ford's Traditional Music in America (1940) matches the first part of "Wake Up Susan." Guthrie Meade and Mark Wilson contrast two versions of the tune, calling Tommy Jackson's rendition typical of Southern versions which emphasize the chordal basis of the melody, while East Kentucky fiddler Ed Haley's (1884-1951) version has modal qualities which characterize West Virginia traditional fiddle music. In fact, the tune has been called an Ed Haley ‘showpiece’. Some fiddlers play the tune featuring pizzicato notes (see Franklin George's recording, for example). “Breakdown (The),” a favorite in Scottish Country Dancing, shares the same first strain. See also other related first-strain tunes "Carton's Reel (1)," "Gallagher's Reel (1)," "Lady Carbury," "Mason's Apron," "Mason's Cap (The)," "Mason Laddie (The)," and "Jack of Diamonds (1)."

"Reel des bretelles" is Quebec fiddler Isidore Soucy's (1899-1963) name for the tune, recorded by Famille Soucy in 1952. Soucy was a prolific recording artist, with some 1200 recordings to his credit.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 353, pp. 349 350. Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; p. 283. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, vol. 1), 1973; p. 5. Cole (1000 Fiddle Tunes), 1940; p. 21. Davis (Devil's Box, vol. 20, No. 2), Summer 1986; p. 32. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 4), c. 1880’s; p. 29 ("The Breakdown"). Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 250. Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, 1883; p. 45. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 163. White’s Unique Collection, 1896; No. 52, p. 10.

Recorded sources : - County 762, Lyman Enloe "Fiddle Tunes I Recall." Folkways FTS 31039, "Red Clay Ramblers with Fiddlin' Al McCanless" (1974. learned from West Virginia fiddler Frank George). June Appal 014, John McCutcheon "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" (1977. Learned from Richard Blaustein). Rebel 1552, Buck Ryan "Draggin' the Bow." Rounder 1010, Ed Haley (northeastern Ky.) "Parkersburg Landing" (1976). Rounder CD 0371, Mac Bendord and the Woodshed All-Stars - “Willow” (1996). Rounder 0437, Jess Silvey – “Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks, Vol. 3: Down in the Border Counties.” Rounder Select 82161-0476-2, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley: Hammered Dulcimer Music” (reissues, orig. released 1977). University of Missouri, Cyril Stinnett - "Now that's a Good Tune" (1989. Various artists).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Missouri fiddler Lee Vatty's recording at Slippery-Hill [2]
Hear Eastern Ky. fiddler Ed Haley's recording at Slippery-Hill [3]
Hear West Virginia fiddler Franklin George's recording at Slippery-Hill [4]
Hear Arkansas fiddler Eulis Rorie at Slippery-Hill [5]


Hear north Missouri fiddler Cyril Stinnets three-part version at Slippery Hill [6]


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