Audio Recordings Fire on the Mountain
- Fire on the Mountain
- Contributor Names
- Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
- Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
- Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
- Created / Published
- Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, August 27, 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: A
- - Strains: 2 (high-low, 4-2)
- - Compass: 9
- - Rendition: 1r-2r-1r-2r-1r-2r
- - Phrase Structure: ABAC QR (abac ab'de dqd'e)
- - Henry Reed's "Fire on the Mountain" is a fine set of a tune that is well-documented from early America down to the present, yet seems not traceable to the British Isles. It is thus (along with a number of other tunes in this collection) evidence that by the late eighteenth century there was already a distinctly American repertory of fiddle tunes. The tune seems to be associated with a cluster of playful rhymes and jingles used in children's songs, play-party songs, and courting songs across the early frontier. The jingles in turn give rise to many of the bewildering array of titles that have turned up for this tune. Some representative examples are "A. Shattuck's Book [ca. 1801]," p. 59 "I Betty Martin--tipto fine"; Riley's Flute Melodies (ca. 1814), p. 87 "Free on the Mountains"; Winner's Choice Gems, p. 66 "Granny Will Your Dog Bite. (Jig.)"; Brown, The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore vol. 5, 119 (#158) "Chicken in the Bread Tray"; Wilkinson, "Virginia Dance Tunes," p. 9 "Fire on the Mountains," played by J. H. Chisholm, Greenwood, Virginia; Ford, Traditional Music of America, p. 58 "Tip Toe, Pretty Betty Martin"; Adam, Old Time Fidders' Favorite Barn Dance Tunes #62 "The Butchers' Dog"; Moser, "Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians," pp. 5-6 "Old Daddy Bowback (Fire on the Mountain)," played by Marcus Martin, Swannanoa, North Carolina. As in Henry Reed's case, Southern sets are inclined to begin with the high strain, while Northern or Midwestern sets (and hence most printed sets) begin with the low strain.
- - Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
- - Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds
- - Spoken: HENRY REED: Been so long since I played them pieces I mighty nigh get tangled up with them.
- - Recording chronology: 054
- Audio tape
- Call Number
- AFC 1967/007: AFS 13035A43
- Source Collection
- Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1
- American Folklife Center
- Digital Id
Rights & Access
The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices for additional information and restrictions.
The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.
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
Rights assessment is your responsibility.
More about Copyright and other Restrictions
For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.