Snow Deer is a fun old fiddle tune. It’s upbeat, and happy, and fun to play. AND, it is a great twin fiddle tune. I really can’t think of a reason to dislike it unless you are an angsty teen who is looking for songs that are angry and depressing.
I just finished my fiddle lessons for the day, and this was the first tune that came to my mind, so I recorded it. Enjoy!
Snow Deer according to Fiddler’s Companion
SNOW DEER. American, Canadian; Two‑Step or Polka (2/4 time). USA; Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina. G Major (Johnson, Phillips): D Major. Standard tuning. AB (Johnson): AA’BB’ (Phillips). In the repertory of Arizona fiddler Kenner C. Kartchner, who said it was a “pioneer song of long ago.” In actuality it was a Tin-Pan-Alley song by Percy Wenrich who composed it around the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, during the craze for ethnic American Indian songs. Johnson (1986) says it is a popular tune with Michigan fiddlers, and indeed from its tin-pan-alley beginnings it entered traditional North American fiddle repertoire. Most older Pennsylvania fiddlers know and play the tune, according to Robert Buckingham, “always in harmony if there are two or more fiddlers.” It was in the repertoire of Sandhills/Cape Fear, North Carolina, regional fiddler Lauchlin Shaw, though it was uncharacteristic of most of his repertoire of reels and waltzes. Also in repertoire of New Brunswick, Canada, fiddler Ned Landry. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician’s No. 7: Michigan Tunes), vol. 7, 1986‑87; pg. 5. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 2, 1995; pg. 132. Ruth (Pioneer Western Folk Tunes), 1948; No. 72, pg. 26. RCA LCP 1001, Ned Landry and his New Brunswick Lumberjacks ‑ “Bowing the Strings with Ned Landry.” Ruffwater Stringband ‑ “Michigan Winter.”
Michael Friedman says
Excellent musical performance !
Vi Wickam says
Thanks, Michael. It's a classic. 🙂
Francis Meador says
Pretty. Has some very nice chords. Thank you.
Vi Wickam says
Yep. Going to the 2 always makes for an interesting changeup. 🙂