Fine Times at Our House (1)

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FINE TIMES AT OUR HOUSE [1]. AKA - "Fine Fun at Our House" (Pa.). AKA and see "Kitty's Got a Baby-O." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; central W.Va., Virginia, Indiana, southwestern Pa. D Major/Mixolydian (Krassen {Hammons}, Bayard {Yeager & Yaugher}): A Mixolydian (Bayard {Smalley & Ireland}). AEae, ADae (Hammons) or standard tunings. ABB (Bayard, 1981): AABB (Krassen). Bayard (1981) points out that the tune "shades" between major and mixolydian in many versions, which is "a genuine, and once common, feature of our fiddling tradition" (p. 255). He sees some vague resemblance between this tune and the Scottish "Crieff Fair," but was unable to trace the tune further in British Isles collections. Bayard's (1944) source 'Bub' Yaugher knew the following rhyme associated with this tune:

Possum up a gum stump, Coonie in the holler,
Devil's on the other side--Don't you hear him holler?
....(Bayard, 1944). See "Possum Up a Gum Stump."

While another from Fayette County, Pa., (Bayard, 1981) gave the following:

Fine times at our house, Sally's got a little one:
A great beg yellow devil just like the other one.

Gerry Milnes collected this verse in West Virginia:

Fine times at our house, Kate's got a little one;
Bless its little soul, it's another little pretty one.

See also the related low strain of Braxton County, W.V., fiddler Ernie Carpenter's (1907-1997) "Downfall of Richmond."

Sources for notated versions: Burl Hammons (Marlinton, Pochahontas County, W.Va.), who says he learned it from his Uncle Neal (rather than Edden Hammons, who played a similar, but somewhat different version) [Krassen, Milliner & Koken]: John Summers (Marion, Indiana) [Krassen, Milliner & Koken, Phillips]: Irvin Yaugher Jr. (Mt. Independence, Pennsylvania, 10/19/1943, learned from his great-uncle) [Bayard, 1944]: James Smalley (Westmoreland County, Pa., 1944), Walter Ireland (Greene County, Pa., 1944), Edden Hammons, via Jody Stecher [Fiddler Magazine, 2008]: Henry Yeager (Centre County, Pa., 1930's) [Bayard, 1981].

Printed sources: Bayard (Hill Country Tunes), 1944; No. 76. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 301A-C, pp. 254-255. Fiddler Magazine, Fall 2008, vol. 15, No. 3; pg. 36. Krassen (Masters of Old Time Fiddling), 1983; p. 80 and pp. 137-139. Milliner & Koken (Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; pp. 196-197. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 84. Wilkinson, Southern Folklore Quarterly, VI, I, March, 1942; p. 10.

Recorded sources: Flying Fish Records FF089, The Red Clay Ramblers - "Chuckin' the Frizz" (1979. Learned from Indiana fiddler John Summers, whose version was in 'A', standard tuning). Greenhays GR 710, John McCutcheon - "Fine Times at Our House" (1982. Learned largely from W.Va. fiddler Burl Hammons). Library of Congress AFS L65-66, Burl Hammons- "The Hammons Family." Rounder Records CD1504/05, Burl Hammons - "The Hammons Family." WVU Press SA-1, "Edden Hammons Collection I" (1999).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]




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