What the Devil Ails You? (2)

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X: 43 T: 39. What the Devil Ails You? [2] B: Sam Bayard, "Hill Country Tunes" 1944 #39 S: Played by Mrs Sarah Armstrong, (near) Derry, PA, Nov 18, 1943. R: shottish M: 4/4 L: 1/8 Z: 2010 John Chambers <jc:trillian.mit.edu> K: D .D>F[AD]>B [A2D2][f2A2] | D>FA>B [A2D2][a2A2] | ^/g2f2 e2d2 | c>dc>B A2G2 | F>GA>B A2[f2A2] | D>FA>B A2[a2A2] | ^/g2f2 e2d2 | cABc d2z2 || e2e2 a2a2 | c>Ac>d e4 | B2e2 c2e2 | B2e>f e>dc>d | e2e2 a2a2 | c>Ac>d e4 | e2^gf edcB | A4- [A2F2]"D.C."z2 |]



WHAT THE DEVIL AILS YOU [2]. AKA and see “Blue Bird Schottische,” “Everybody Schottische (1),” "Hi-Lo Schottische," "Jack Clumb Up the Plum Tree," "Rochester Schottische (2)," "Cat Clumb Up the Plum Tree Schottische," "Sparrow in the Treetop." USA, western Pennsylvania. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. A very popular and widespead schottishce melody throughout North America. Samuel Bayard (1944) remarked that the title of the tune very often was not known among western Pennsylvania fiddlers, giving rise to a number of different names. His source for the title, Charles Armstrong, husband of fiddler Sarah Armstrong (Bayard's source), recalled two lines of a rhyme, attached to the tune in tradition:

What the devil ails you, what the devil ails you?
Why the hell can't you tell, what the devil ails you?

There are some resemblances to the large "Rolling in the Ryegrass" tune family in Irish tradition, although whether there is a direct or derivative relationship is not known. It seems likely that the Armstrongs’ title for the tune, "What the Devil Ails You," is an import from Scotch-Irish tradition, brought to southwestern Pennsylvania by settlers.

Additional notes

Sarah Armstrong, Derry, Pennyslvania

Sources for notated versions: - Mrs. Sarah Armstrong (Derry, Pa., 1943) [Bayard, 1944]: eight southwestern Pa. fiddlers [Bayard, 1981].

Printed sources : - Adam (Old Time Fiddlers' Favorite Barn Dance Tunes), 1928; No. 61 (as "Hi-Lo Schottische"). Bayard (Hill Country Tunes), 1944; No. 39. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 424A H, pp. 402-404. Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 60 (appears as "Rochester Schottishe"). Howe (Diamond School for the Violin), 1861; p. 56.

Recorded sources: -



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