Granny Will Your Dog Bite? (1)
X:1 T:Granny will Your Dog Bite?  S:John Masters (1904-1986, Lexington, Fayette County, central Ky.) M:C| L:1/8 N:Field recording by John Harrod c. 1975 F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/granny-will-your-dog-bite-4 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz R:Reel N:AEae tuning (fiddle) K:A +slide+[e2e2]-|[ee]fed c2A2|B2c2 [d2f2][d2f2]|efed c2A2|B2G2 A2+slide+[e2e2]-| [ee]fed c2A2|BAc2 [d2f2][d2f2]|efed c2A2|BA G2 A2|| [e2e2]-|[ee]fed c2d2|e2f2=g2f2|efed c2d2|e2 fg a2[E2A2]-| [EA]fed c2d2|e2f2=g2f2|efed c2d2|e2 fg a2||
GRANNY, WILL YOUR DOG BITE? . AKA and see "Betty Martin," "Boating Up Sandy (3)," "Brad Walters," "Chippy Get Your Hair Cut," Gippy Get Your Hair Cut," "Hog Eye an' a 'Tater," "Hog Eye Man (The)," "Hog Eye ," "Jake Gilly," "Jake Gillie," "Old Mother Gofour," "Old Granny Rattle-Trap (1)," "Pretty Betty Martin," "Very Pretty Martin," "Sally in the Garden (1)," "Tip Toe Fine," "Fire in the Mountain (1)," "Fire on the Mountain (1)." American, Reel and Song Tune. USA; Kentucky, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma. A Major/Mixolydian (most versions): D Major (Sweet). Standard or AEae (e.g. Lon Jordan, John Masters). AB (Silberberg): AA'B (Beisswenger & McCann): AABB (Christeson, Phillips, Sweet): AABBC (Thede). This melody is a popular and widespread American old-time instrumental and song that can be found under several titles and in numerous variants. Tthe title "Granny Will Your Dog Bite" is itself also a floating title attached to several unrelated tunes. As a reel, it was frequently played at Mid-Western fiddle contests. R.P. Christeson says his version is dissimilar to the tune of the same title in Ford (1940), but is similar to "Tip Toe, Pretty Betty Martin" in the same book. Bayard (1981) notes the resemblance between this tune and the "Betty Martin" variants, many listed as alternates above. He believes the tune possibly has Norwegian connections (though he did not elaborate or offer sustaining information). The tune was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph from Ozarks Mountains fiddlers in the early 1940's (in particular from Arkansas fiddler Lon Jordan, in 1941), and was recorded commercially by Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers in 1928. See also related tunes "Gate to Go Through" and "Old Coon Dog (2)." Ford (1940) said that "occasional verses" were sung by fiddlers while playing the tune, and indeed, various verses have been collected from both white and black sources. (Ford's collection area was the Mid-West, often Missouri, and Thede printed Oklahoma versions). Charles Wolfe (1991) remarks the tune has been collected widely from Mississippi to California, and notes that Ray Browne (writing in The Alabama Folk Lyric, 445) heard it often as a banjo tune popular more with blacks than whites.
Granny will your dog bite, cow kick, cat scratch?
Granny will your hen peck, sow root the corn patch?
Granny will your duck quack, old grey goose hatch?
Granny will your dog bite? "Yes, child, No!" (Ford)
Granny will your hen peck, hen peck, hen peck,
Granny will your hen peck, Lord, child, no;
Hog bit 'er pecker off a long time ago. (Thede)
Granny will your dog bite, dog bite, dog bite,
Granny will your dog bite , Lord, child no;
Wolf bit 'er biter off long time ago.
African-American collector Thomas Talley, in his Negro Folk Rhymes (edited in a new edition by Charles Wolfe in 1991) printed lyrics under the title "Chicken in the Bread Tray." They go:
Auntie, will yo dog bite?
No, Chile, No!
Chicken in the bread tray
A makin' up dough
Auntie, will yo broom hit?
Yes, Chile, Pop!
Chicken in the bread tray,
Flop, Flop, Flop!
Auntie, will you oven bake?
Yes, Jes fry!
What's dat chicken good fer?
Pie, Pie, Pie!
Auntie, is yo pie good?
Good as you could 'spec,
Chicken in the bread tray;
Peck, Peck, Peck!
Bruce Baker found the following reference in the North Carolina State Archives (Raleigh, N.C.) in the Lowry Shuford Collection in a folder marked "Civil War Reminiscences." The folder contains a document titled "From 1861 to 1865 As I Remember" by J. A. Bush, Sr., of Lenoir, N.C., wherein he writes:
D. A. Griffin was one of them (i.e. the musicians). When he came to Lenoir to be sworn in, he was playing on his fife, 'Oh, Granny, will your little dog bite? No, child, no.' He took his fife to camp with him and played every evening.
Baker concludes that, while there is no way of knowing which of the "Granny" tunes was the one Griffin played, the reference it "does suggest the tune was playable on a fife and that this floating lyric was floating around Caldwell Co., N.C., in the early 1860s."
See also Brown (3:205).