Wild Goose Chase (1)

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X:1 T:Wild Goose Chase [1] S:Emmett Lundy (1864-1953, Sparta, near Galax, Va.) M:C| L:1/8 N:Lundy often plays irregular measures as he plays through the tune, N:resulting in idiosyncratic rhythm and melodic variants, albeit with N:a strong sense of pulse. D:Library of Congress AFS 04940 A03, August, 1941 F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/wild-goose-chase-1 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G (Bc|d2)d2 dege|dBde dBGB|AGAB (AB)GA |BABc BAGB-| d2d2 dege|dBde dBGB|[D2A2]GB AcBA|(G[G2B2])(G [G2B2]):| |:Bc|d3d d2g2|b4 g4|[D3B3]B- A2GB|[M:6/4]AAG(A BA)Bc BAGB| [M:C|]d3d de g2|b4gb3|[G,3G3]B- AB[G,2G2]|AcBA |(G[G2B2])(G [G3B3]):|]



WILD GOOSE CHASE [1]. AKA and see "Flight of the Wild Geese (1)," “Geese Honking.” American, Reel (cut time). USA; Virginia, Kentucky. B Flat Major (Phillips): G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Kuntz): AABB'BB'. The tune was one of the few recorded by legendary Sparta (near Galax), Grayson County, Virginia, fiddler Emmett Lundy (1864-1953), who played an somewhat irregular version that varies with each repeat. Lundy learned much of his repertoire from an older fiddler named Greenberry Leonard (b. ca. 1810). He was recorded by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax for the Library on Congress (AFS 04940 A03) in August, 1941. The "Wild Goose Chase" title and tune seems to not to have been a local one, however, and there are other, different, tunes that are also called "Wild Goose Chase " The name was entered on in a list of standard tunes in a square dance fiddler's repertoire, as given by A.B. Moore in his 1934 History of Alabama. Clyde Davenport (1921-), a fiddler from Monticello, Ky., learned a tune by this title from Dick Burnett (1883-1977, of the Ky. duo Burnett and Rutherford who recorded for Gennett and Columbia in the 1920's)--see "Geese Honking." Burnett was also born near Montecello, Ky. Banjoist Andy Cahan has recorded the tune under an alternate title, "Flight of the Wild Geese (1)."
Emmett Lundy



The tune (as “Wild Goose”) was mentioned by William Byrne who described a chance encounter with West Virginia fiddler ‘Old Sol’ Nelson during a fishing trip on the Elk River. The year was around 1880, and Sol, whom Byrne said was famous for his playing “throughout the Elk Valley from Clay Courthouse to Sutton as…the Fiddler of the Wilderness,” had brought out his fiddle after supper to entertain (Milnes, 1999).

Additional notes

Sources for notated versions: - Liz Slade (Yorktown, New York) [Kuntz]; Clyde Davenport (Monticello, Ky.) [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 257.

Recorded sources: -County 786, "Traditional Music From the Cumberland Plateau, vol. 1." String 802, Emmett Lundy - "Fiddle Tunes from Grayson County" (1977).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Emmett Lundy's 1941 field recording (by the Lomax's) at Slippery Hill [2]



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