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Collection Dungworth, 2022

  1. Rolling River
  2. Southern Aristocracy
  3. Molly Put The Kettle On [A]
  4. The Orphan
  5. The Maid In The Meadow
  6. The Cameronian
  7. Kruspolskan
  8. Sörmländsk Brudlåt
  9. Hjortingens Polska av Hjort Anders Olsson

I had this version from the 1978 album "Ship in the Clouds" by Andy Cahan, Laura Fishleder and Lisa Ornstein; their source was a Library of Congress recording. The Traditional Tune Archive says it's a version of "Tennessee Wagoner" played by African-American musicians John Lusk (1889-1969, fiddle), Murph Gribble (banjo) and Albert York (guitar) and recorded for the Library of Congress in September 1946 at Campaign, Tennessee by Margot Mayo, Stuart Jamieson and Freyda Simon.

"Lusk's grandfather had been trained as a slave fiddler in New Orleans, and John had a reputation as an outstanding square dance fiddler in a multi-county region. The first strain is repeated ad lib by Lusk before proceeding to the 2nd strain, and sounds more like a 'vamped' variation on five notes than a developed melody".
As a general rule I see no problem with renaming tunes and rewriting lyrics to avoid causing offence. I've done it myself, and I daresay I'll do it again. In this case I'm a little uncertain: perhaps renaming this tune amounts to whitewashing? The word "coloured" was probably the most generally neutral and polite term used to refer to African-Americans at the time the tune was named, and the term "coloured aristocracy" itself could have entirely positive as well as negative connotations, depending on context. I don't see a clear right or wrong here, so I've decided simply to mention the issue whenever it seems appropriate.

As for the music, I got this version from my dad, Tom Paley. It's essentially the version that appears on the New Lost City Ramblers' eponymous first album, released in 1958. There's always a question about whether to play an E major or an E minor against the third and fourth bars. I like both: the NLCR play the major, and that certainly creates a more unusual sound. But why choose?
John Hartford plays a fantastic, somewhat more muscular version of this tune in G, but I also love this gentler fretless banjo version from Andy Cahan. It's a solo on 1978's "Ship in the Clouds" from Cahan, Laura Fishleder and Lisa Ornstein.

It's really fun trying to imitate Cahan's fretless banjo playing on the fiddle. He slides down on the second note in the A part, starting from C♮ to something close to a B♮. It's a subtle but effective slide which I tried to incorporate into my playing. A similar moment is in the seventh bar of the B part, where I've notated a half-sharp: what I play is a small slide from something a little sharp of C♮ to something a little flat of C♯.

At least that's what I think I'm doing: trust your ears over my notation.
I learnt this tune, like so much, from the great anglo concertina player Mandy Murray in Brighton. It's not hard to find great versions of it on the internet. There's a lot of variation in how often we go down to the low A, and this version represents a compromise that suits me. I've notated it without repeats in order to include more variation: it's that kind of tune, but it's still essentially AABB.
It's just a great tune! I particularly love the subtle and understated version on Yvonne Casey's 2004 album, "Yvonne Casey".
The 1997 album "The Fiddle Music of Donegal, Volume 2" is a wonder throughout, but Ronan Galvin's version of the Cameronian really stuck out to me. You could think of the first part as being in F natural Lydian rather than G Mixolydian, but I chose to write it here as G major all the way through for ease of notation. And yes, it's crooked. Irish tunes can be crooked too.
When you've had enough, finish on the F♯ at the beginning of the last bar.
Styrbjörn Bergelt plays this tune on his 1979 album "Tagelharpa och Videflöjt" and there's a very different version by Hedingarna from 1991 on "Kaksi!".
Another tune I first heard on Styrbjörn Bergelt's "Tagelharpa och Videflöjt"
I can't remember where I got my version of this tune, I think possibly from Staffan Larsson. It's a bit different from Hjort Olsson's version.

Don't be scared of all the double stops — they are much less complicated than they seem to look at.

Once through the tune is AA, BB, CC and back to BB.

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Recordings:

  • New Lost City Ramblers, "New Lost City Ramblers", 1958

Recordings:

  • Andy Cahan, Laura Fishleder, Lisa Ornstein, "Ship in the Clouds", 1978

Recordings:

  • Yvonne Casey, "Yvonne Casey", 2004

Recordings:

  • Ronan Galvin, "The Fiddle Music of Donegal, Volume 2", 1997

Recordings:

  • Styrbjörn Bergelt, "Tagelharpa och Videflöjt", 1979
  • Hedningarna, "Kaksi!", 1991

Recordings:

  • Styrbjörn Bergelt, "Tagelharpa och Videflöjt", 1979

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