Off to California (1)

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X:1 T:Off to California [1] L:1/8 M:4/4 R:Hornpipe K:G D/E/F|GFGB AGED|GBdg e2 d/e/f|gfgd edBG|ABAG E2 D/E/F| GFGB AGED|GBdg e2 d/e/f|gfgd edBG|AGEF G2:| |:Bd|gfeg fedf|edef edBd|gfgd edBG|ABAG E2 D/E/F| GFGB AGED|GBdg e2 d/e/f|gfgd edBG|AGEF G2:||



OFF TO CALIFORNIA [1] (Imtigte go California). AKA and see "Going to California," "Humors of California" "Whisky Hornpipe (The)," "Whiskey You're the Devil," "Whiskey in the Jar (1)," “Portsmouth Hornpipe," "Possum up a Gum Stump (1)," "Old Towser," “Miss Johnson’s Hornpipe,” "Gypsy Hornpipe (4)," "Buttermilk and Cider" (Pa.), "Fireman's Reel." Irish, English, American; Hornpipe. USA; New England, southwestern Pa. G Major (most versions): A Major (Craig). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Doyle, Silberberg): AABB (most versions). The hornpipe probably has an Irish provenance, although the melody has been adopted by several genres. The first part combines with other parts for "Fireman's Reel," "I'm Waiting for You (2)," "Silver Cluster," "Five Miles Out of Town" and the Texas-collected "Mabel." A version from the North of England appears as “A Clog Dance” in Doyle's Plain Brown Tune Book, the modern publication of selections from the c. 1847 manuscript of Ellis Knowles, a musician from Radcliffe, Lancashire. Seattle fiddler, producer and folklorist Vivian Williams found a version of “Off to California” in a hand-written music manuscript book dating from the 1860’s and 1870’s from western Oregon, where the melody is titled only as “Jig Cotillion.” Like many such manuscripts, it belonged to a musical family, and tunes were entered in different hands probably by different generations. Francis O’Neill also collected the tune in California in the mid-19th century. See also the related “Hillside Cottage” and the reel “You Bet.” "Far from Home" is sometimes confused as a member of the tune family, owing to its similar form (AA'BA, where the latter part of the 2nd strain returns to repeat the beginning of the 1st strain melody) and to the melodic and harmonic similarity of the 2nd strain, particularly in the first four measures. The melody may also have been called "Lexington," although this name is shared with other tunes.

The first strain of "Going to California [1]" is shared with "Clog Dance (2)" in Aberdeen publisher Thomas Craig's Empire Collection of Hornpipes, printed around the turn of the 20th century, and with William Bradbury Ryan's "Leviathan Hornpipe (2)." The second strains of the tunes are different from each other.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Capt. Francis O'Neill learned this tune in the San Joaquin Valley of California when he was aged 19—presumably the title appealed to him in his circumstances, having left County Cork in his mid-teens [O'Neill/Irish Folk Music].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 205. Cotter (Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor), 1989; 83. Thomas Criag (Empire Collection of Hornpipes), c. 1899; p. 2 (appears as "Clog Dance"). Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1954; p. 3. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880's, p. 45 (appears as “Clog Dance”). Kerr (Collection of Reels and Strathspeys), p. 35 (appears as "Clog Dance"). McDermott (Allan's Irish Fiddler), c. 1920's, No. 100, p. 25 (appears as "Humours of California"). O'Neill (Krassen), 1976; p. 180. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 1628, p. 302. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 859, p. 148. Doyle (Plain Brown Tune Book), 1997; p. 5. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 165. Silberberg (Fiddle Tunes I Learned at the Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 108. Spadaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1980; p. 30. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, vol. 1), 1999; p. 13. Williamson (English, Welsh, Scotch and Irish Fiddle Tunes), 1976; p. 90.

Recorded sources: -Front Hall 010, Fennigs All Stars – "Saturday Night in the Provinces." Kicking Mule 209, Hank Sapoznik – "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo.” Rounder CD 1087, Peter Guinan – “From Galway to Dublin” (1992. Reissue of 1937 original). Topic TSCD 602, Michael J. Grogan – “Irish Dance Music” (1995. A reissue of the 1931 original).

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]



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