Audio Recordings The Girl I Left behind Me
Articles and Essays with this item:
- The Girl I Left behind Me
- Contributor Names
- Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
- Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
- Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
- Created / Published
- Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, November 26, 1966
- Subject Headings
- - Marches
- - 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
- - Strains: 2 (high-low, 4-4)
- - Key: G
- - Rendition: 2-1-2-1-2
- - Phrase Structure: ABAC QRAC (abcd abef qrqs abef)
- - Compass: 10
- - Stylistic features: Lack of repeats for strains make it sound like a long marching song rather than an ordinary instrumental tune.
- - Related Tune(s): I've Got to Leave You
- - Related Tune(s): I'm Going Away to Leave You, Going to Tennessee
- - "The Girl I Left behind Me" has a history in both the British Isles and America as a song and a march, but it has become an item of general repertory for many fiddlers. For typical examples on both sides of the Atlantic, see "A. Shattuck's Book [ca. 1801]," p. 18; Howe, Leviathan Collection, p. 10; Fillmore, American Veteran Fifer, #64; Linscott, Folk Songs of Old New England, pp. 79-80; Ford, Traditional Music of America, p. 116; Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 3, 352; Ruth, Pioneer Western Folk Tunes, p. 2. For sets with different titles but some similarity, see Joyce, Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909), #443, #648.Henry Reed played "The Girl I Left behind Me" on this occasion in the usual melodic form for the tune. On another occasion, he played a very unusual version of the tune with an irregular phrase structure (AFS 13703b20). The sequence of tune associations that called forth that unusual version from Henry Reed's imagination is fascinating. The preceding song, "I've Got to Leave You," though quite different melodically, has an almost identical phrase within it that may have been the musical bridge or trigger leading to the unusual set of "The Girl I Left behind Me." Compare a different title in this collection, "I'm Going Away to Leave You, Going to Tennessee," which seems to be yet another scion of this cluster of musical ideas. Though we think of Henry Reed's tradition as a memory-based tradition that retains tunes as separate artifacts preserved in their entirety, examples such as this remind us of the musical flux that underlies tunes in the imagination and the capacity of the artist, either involuntarily or at will, to conflate or creatively reassemble the musical building blocks. Henry Reed's children, though in awe of his memory and his vast repertory, also believe that he made periodic alterations in tunes, sometimes from forgetting and sometimes from a conscious impulse to recast a tune in a fresh way.
- - Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
- - Duration: 45 seconds
- - Spoken: HENRY REED: That's "The Girl I Left . . . ."/ALAN JABBOUR: "The Girl I Left . . . ."
- - Recording chronology: 075
- Audio tape
- Call Number
- AFC 1967/007: AFS 13037A05
- Source Collection
- Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1
- American Folklife Center
- Digital Id
Rights & Access
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Photographs in this collection produced by Carl Fleischhauer, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Kit Olson are reproduced here with their permission. Mr. Fleischhauer does not object to additional use of the photos he created provided he is credited as the photographer. Persons contemplating other kinds of uses or use of the other photographers' work should contact the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:
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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