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  • Birdie


  • Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
  • Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
  • White, Smith & Co. (Composer)
  • Jabbour, Karen Singer (Collector)
  • Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)

Created / Published

  • Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, June 18, 1966


  • -  Instrumental music
  • -  Fiddle tunes
  • -  Folk music--Appalachian Region
  • -  Ragtime music
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Music
  • -  Field recordings
  • -  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn


  • Ethnography
  • Music
  • Field recordings


  • -  Meter: 4/4
  • -  Key: C
  • -  Compass: 11
  • -  Strains: 3 (high-low-higher, 8-4-8)
  • -  Rendition: 1r-2-3-2-1-2-3
  • -  Phrase Structure: ABACABDE QRQE' TUVWTUVX (aa'bc aa'de aa'bc fghi qqh'h' qqh'i' rr'st uvwx rr'st uvyy')
  • -  Stylistic features: Separate bowstrokes, especially in second strain.
  • -  Related Tune(s): Fourteen Days in Georgia
  • -  Composed by White, Smith, and Perry, 1870
  • -  "Birdie" is a rag-like country tune well-known in West Virginia. But Henry Reed's three-strain version of it seems to have come about from conflating the customary strains of "Birdie" (appearing here as the third and second strains, in that order) with another tune sometimes called "Fourteen Days in Georgia" (here the first strain). The unusual phrase structure as well as the key of C signal connections to the amorphous but characteristic class of tunes here described as "rags." They seem to be of late nineteenth-century or turn-of-the-century origin and presumably have African-American associations, but they are not all derived from the ragtime repertory of popular music at the turn of the century, and they perhaps provide a glimpse into the country rags of folk tradition which may have preceded and certainly coexisted with the ragtime genre in cosmopolitan popular music.
  • -  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
  • -  Spoken: ALAN JABBOUR: What do you call that again?/HENRY REED: "Birdie."
  • -  Recording chronology: 004
  • -  Duration: 1 minute, 43 seconds


  • Audio tape

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1967/007: AFS 13034B32

Source Collection

  • Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • audio

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.

Credit line

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

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, Alan Jabbour, Smith & Co White, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Henry Reed. Birdie. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jabbour, A., Jabbour, A., White, S. &. C., Jabbour, K. S. & Reed, H. (1966) Birdie. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, et al. Birdie. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.