Today is my Birthday!!! I’m gonna have a good time. Well, I did have a good time. Tonight, as a birthday treat, Christina took me to the Feasting Fort Collins 3rd Anniversary dinner at Fish, which was amazing.
And before we went there, I had the chance to get together with the CROMA folks and record my fiddle tune (complete with a plug for their 3rd annual Oldtime Music Festival.) This must be the day for 3’s. They have been doing a great job with building a solid old time music community in Colorado, and I’m really proud of what they have been doing.
In honor of the oldtime crowd, I played a tune that Bob Zuellig taught me (with Bob) called Hawk’s Got a Chicken, and flew in the woods. Bob’s an old Missouri style player, and I don’t know the origin of the tune, but it sure sounds OLD.
HAWK’S GOT/CAUGHT A CHICKEN (AND FLEW IN THE WOODS). Old‑Time, Breakdown. USA; Kentucky, Texas, Missouri. G Major (the ‘A’ part starts on an E Minor chord). Standard tuning. ABACC. A tune indigenous to east‑centralKentucky, according to Charles Wolfe (1982). It was recorded in 1930 by Kentucky fiddler Doc Roberts, and though he recorded many sides, he was supposed by Wolfe to have paid little attention to music outside his home region. Roberts’ son James remembered playing the tune with his father in the mid‑1920’s, thus dating it early in Roberts’ repertoire. Musically, Wolfe thinks the end phrases resemble the Kessinger Brothers’ “Little Betty Brown.” Meade (2002) also lists a versions as “Did You Ever See the Devil, Uncle Joe/John?” Texas fiddler Eck Robertson, who recorded in the 1920’s, seems also to have known a tune by this name, as did north Virginia fiddler John Ashby (1915-1979). Words are sometimes sung to one of the parts, along the lines of the following:
Wake up John, get your gun;
Hawk’s got a chicken and gone.
Source for notated version: Eck Robertson (Texas) [Phillips]; Emanuel Wood (1900-1981, Taney County, Missouri) [Beisswenger & McCann]. Beisswenger & McCann (Ozark Fiddle Music), 2008; pg. 164. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; pg. 108. County 202, “Eck Robertson: Famous Cowboy Fiddler.” County 773, John Ashby and the Free State Ramblers – “Fiddling by the Hearth.” County 412, “Fiddling Doc Roberts.” Gennett 7110 (78 RPM), Doc Roberts (1930). Rounder 0437, Noel Scott – “Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks, vol. 3: Down in the Border Counties.”