Folding Down the Sheets

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FOLDING DOWN THE SHEETS. AKA and see "Hanging Out the Sheets" (Ky. title), "Mackilmoyle Reel," "Missouri Hornpipe," "Republican Spirit," "Winding Sheep." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; southwestern Va., West Virginia, Kentucky. D Major. Standard or ADae tunings (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB. A somewhat-similar tune, perhaps a version of the melody, appears under the title "Republican Spirit" in George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels, volume I (1839), and elsewhere the tune appears in mid-nineteenth century Elias Howe volumes as "Missouri Hornpipe." Canadian fiddlers, such as Don Messer, have a version of the melody (most similar in the 'B' parts) calling it "Mackilmoyle Reel." Most modern sources learned the tune from the playing of southwest Virginia fiddler Henry Reed (Glen Lyn, Va.), however, another set of "Folding Down the Sheets" was recorded in 1954 by Wyatt Insko from the playing of Floyd Burchett in Pike County, Kentucky. Bruce Greene says the title "Hanging Out the Sheets" was a local Barren County, Kentucky, name for the tune and that it may have been brought to Southern Kentucky by one John Gregory, originally from Virginia. Henry Reed told Alan Jabbour that he learned the tune from his mentor, Old Man Quince Dillion (formerly a fifer in the Civil War), and from John Dillion and an unidentified "Falls", but that "all of 'em played it" (see note for "Quince Dillon's High 'D' Tune" for more on Dillon). Indeed, Reed was right, for as "Folding Down the Sheets" or one of the alternate titles, this tune was well-known to both Northern and Southern musicians at the time of the Civil War (Jim Taylor). See also the Kentucky variants "Winding Sheep" and "Jimmy Arthur's," "Lady French's Feather," and West Virginia fiddler Melvin Wine's "Lady's Waist Ribbon."

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Henry Reed (Glen Lyn, Va.) [Krassen]; Henry Reed via Alan Jabbour with the Hollow Rock String Band [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 110. Krassen (Masters of Old-Time Fiddling), 1983; p. 91–92. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 91. Silberberg (Fiddle Tunes I Learned at the Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 45. Spadaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1980; p. 8.

Recorded sources: -Cassette C-7625, Wilson Douglas – "Back Porch Symphony." Kicking Mule 209, Bob Carlin – "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo." Kanawha 311, Hollow Rock String Band – "Traditional Dance Tunes." June Appal 028, Wry Straw – "From Earth to Heaven" (1978. Learned from Pete Vigour and Ellen Scherer).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
See Alan Jabbour's notes on Henry Reed's version at the Library of Congress [2]



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