Audio Recordings Leather Britches
Articles and Essays with this item:
Jabbour, Karen Singer
- Leather Britches
- Contributor Names
- Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
- Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
- Jabbour, Karen Singer (Collector)
- Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
- Created / Published
- Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, June 18, 1966
- Subject Headings
- - Instrumental music
- - Fiddle tunes
- - Folk music--Appalachian Region
- - Breakdowns
- - Reels
- - Ethnography
- - Music
- - Field recordings
- - United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn
- Field recordings
- - Meter: 4/4
- - Key: G
- - Strains: 3 (low-middle-high, 4-4-4)
- - Rendition: 1r-2-3-2-1r-2-3-2-1
- - Phrase Structure: ABAC QRQS A'B'A'C' (abac abde qrqs qrts a'b'a'c' a'b'd'e')
- - Compass: 16
- - Stylistic features: Separate and slurred strokes in bowing.
- - "Leather Britches," a well-known reel in British and American tradition, is probably Scottish in origin. An eighteenth-century Scottish version in Gow's Collection of Slow Airs, Strathspeys and Reels (ca. 1795) is called "Lord Macdonald's Reel," the name under which it usually appears (with or without "lord") in nineteenth-century tune collections. One Thousand Fiddle Tunes, p. 22, is a typical set. The title "Leather Britches" (or "Breeches") is primarily an American title; it appears in sets from Pennsylvania (Bayard, Hill Country Tunes, #1) and West Virginia (Artley, "The West Virginia Country Fiddler," p. 38) to points west and is now widely distributed on the contest fiddle circuit. But there may be an Irish connection to the title; see Roche, Collection of Irish Airs, Marches, and Dance Tunes vol. 2, 20 (#240) "O the Breeches Full of Stitches" and Petrie, The Complete Collection of Irish Music #473 "The Breeches on."In the Appalachian South the term "Leather Britches" is also used to describe string beans strung on strings and hung up on porches to dry. Fiddlers are attracted to the rolling arpeggios of the tune, which involve bowing as well as fingering challenges, and think of "Leather Britches" as a lively showpiece. Most printed versions have two strains, but Henry Reed's version is not alone in adding a third strain that essentially repeats the low strain an octave higher; see also Ford, Traditional Music of America, p. 48; Thomas, Devil's Ditties, pp. 134-5; Adam, Old Time Fiddlers' Favorite Barn Dance Tunes, #33.
- - Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
- - Spoken: HENRY REED: You want to try, try a little bit of that?/ALAN JABBOUR: Alright./HENRY REED: My arm gives out on me./ALAN JABBOUR: I know./HENRY REED: I hurt that arm one time, right in the shoulder./ALAN JABBOUR: Oh really?/HENRY REED: And it gives out on m
- - Recording chronology: 008
- - Duration: 1 minute, 46 seconds
- Audio tape
- Call Number
- AFC 1967/007: AFS 13034B36
- Source Collection
- Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1
- American Folklife Center
- Digital Id
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Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1 (AFC 1967/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2 (AFC 1969/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Fiddle tunes of the old frontier: the Henry Reed collection online presentation (AFC 1999/016), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
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