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Tune Sales Tax Toddle

This strange tune comes from the playing of the Nations Brothers in 1935. You can hear it on Vol 1 of County's "Mississippi String Bands" compilation, and of course it's on YouTube.


N.B. don't trust the MIDI.

1 — Introduction. You'll only play this once.
2 — A - as many times as you like
3 — A1 - once
4 — A - once
5 — A2 - once
6 — A - once
7 — Interstitial nightmare
8 — B - as many times as you like
9 -- B1 and back to step 2
9 — B2 and stop.

I know perfectly well that you can't read from this. I've chosen where to put the bar lines in order to simplify the transcription, and eliminate things like first and second time bars, so that the bars don't really represent the phrasing. Listen to the Nations Brothers recording! Hopefully this will save you a bit of time in understanding what's going on.

Incidentally, the process of transcription was fascinating to me and revealed some interesting facts, such as that the "Interstitial nightmare" can be seen as consisting of a single repeated four-beat phrase. I don't feel that this representation well represents the phrasing of the tune, but there it is, so perhaps it's my analysis that's at fault! Or, perhaps better to say that your analysis might differ. In any case, you should pay more attention to your ears than your eyes in this case in particular.

Trad arr. © 2005 Ben Paley

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  • The Nations Brothers, "Mississippi String Bands - Volume Two"

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