Walls of Jericho (1)

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X:1 T:Walls of Jericho [1] N:From the playing of fiddler Munsey Gaultney, learned from an 85 year old fiddler N:named William Hurley ("He was some kind of music teacher"), who learned the N:tune from his own father when he was a little boy. Gaultney, born in Healing N:Springs in 1906 was "a fiddler, writer, and all around character from Ashe County, N:North Carolina". Gaultney had an antiques store in Jefferson, N.C. N:The air is also called "Jack of Diamonds" and "Drunken Hiccoughs" M:C| L:1/8 R:Air N:AEAc# tuning N:"+" = pizzicato note. Drone low 'A' note on the 'G' string while N:doing the pizz. notes. D:Rounder 0058, Maunsey Gaultney - Old Originals, vol. 2" (1978) D:https://www.slippery-hill.com/content/walls-jericho Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:A SA>(AB/|c2) A2 A-c|B2 A2 A-B|c2A2 A-c|B2 A2 (AB)|c2 A2 (Ac)| B2 A2 (AB)|1A6-|A4:|2 A6||J[c4e4][c2e2]| [c2f2][c2e2][c2c2]|[c6e6]|:A,6|"+"c2"+"A2"+"E2| "+"c2"+"A2"+"E2| "+"c2"+"A2"+"E2|"+"c2"+"A2"+"E2|[M:1/2][EA][EA]|[M:3/4] [F2A2] DD DD |F2 D2 D>D| D2F2A2||1{B}c6:|2 {B}c4 B2|A6-|A4S||



WALLS OF JERICHO [1]. AKA and see "Drunken Hiccups (1)," "Frosty Morning (3)," "Rye Whiskey (1)." American, Listening Piece (3/4 time). USA; southwestern Va., western North Carolina. A Major. AEac# tuning (fiddle). AABB'. "Walls of Jericho" is a version of a tune widespread in the South, the Midwest, and down to Texas, with a variety of titles and variants, but all in the distinctive AEac# cross-tuning of the fiddle, essential to playing the pizzicato notes over a low 'A' note. According to Tom Carter and Blanton Owen (1976) the sections of the tune were considered by source fiddler Munsey Gaultney ( b. 1906) [1] to represent scenes from Joshua's struggle at the walls of Jericho. Gaultney said he had learned "Walls of Jericho" from an 85 year old fiddler by the name of William Hurley, and that Hurley (who was "some kind of music teacher") had himself learned the tune from his own father when he was a little boy[1]

Gaultney's piece has broad similarties to "Jack of Diamonds (3)," although it is a different tune. Sam McNiel of the Floyd County Ramblers also had a piece by this title in the same AEac# cross-tuning; a similar, but distinct tune.

Munsey Gaultney, photo by Mark V. Sanderford
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A tune by called "Walls of Jericho" was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph from the playing of Ozarks Mountains fiddlers in the early 1940's. Arkansas fiddler Violet Hensley’s family played a tune called “Jericho” in the same cross-tuning with pizzicato notes, and Mark Wilson suggests both are versions of a common ancestor.


Additional notes





Recorded sources : - Rounder 0057, Sam MacNiel (Pilot, Montgomery County, Va.) "Old Originals, vol. 1" (1978. Learned from influential Franklin County, Va. fiddler Fountain Kingrea). Rounder 0058, Munsey Gaultney (Va., originally from Ashe County, N.C.) "Old Originals, vol. 2" (1978).

See also listing at :
Hear Muncey Gaulney's recording at Slippery Hill [2]



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  1. Some fiddlers take care to cite a tunes pedigree, spurious or not, often highlighting the antiquity of the piece. Gaultney's title also sounds like an attempt to 'sanitize' references to liquor and licentiousness present in other versions (some of which have words).