Liberty is a traditional fiddle tune that is played throughout the United States and Canada. I have always enjoyed playing it as a twin fiddle tune.
Today, I played a 4 hour gig with Steve Eulberg at the Winter Farmer’s Market, and when it came time to pick the fiddle tune for the day, this was the one.
Liberty according to the Fiddler’s Companion
LIBERTY . AKA and see “Reel de Ti‑Jean” (Canadian), “Tipsy Parson ,” “Raccoon and the Possum,” “Liberty Two‑Step,” “Liberty Hornpipe.” Old‑Time, Bluegrass; Breakdown. USA, Widely known. D Major. Standard tuning. AB (Silberberg): AABB (most versions). According to Paul Wells, the first recordings of the tune were by Texas fiddler Bob Wills, though Tommy Jackson also made a recording for Dot Records that may have helped popularize the tune. However, Meade finds earlier recordings by Georgia’s Fiddlin’ John Carson, Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers (1928), and Herschel Brown (1928). Paul Tyler notes that “Liberty” seems to be the “hoedown” of choice among Cajun fiddlers, when asked to play one. “Liberty” is one of ‘100 essential Missouri tunes’ listed by Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden. The reel is very popular among Ozarks fiddlers, according to Beisswegner & McCann, where it is often an introductory tune for beginning fiddlers (in simplified version), although the authors suspect it is a relatively recent addition to Ozarks fiddle reertoire. In Martin Scorcese’s period film The Gangs of New York (2002) a dulcimer player is briefly shown and heard playing the melody.