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Audio Recording Pop Goes the Weasel

Pop Goes the Weasel

About this Item


  • Pop Goes the Weasel


  • 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


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


  • Ethnography
  • Music
  • Field recordings


  • -  Strains: 2 (high-low, 4-4)
  • -  Compass: 12
  • -  Key: G
  • -  Meter: 6/8
  • -  Rendition: 1r-2r-1
  • -  Phrase Structure: AA'BC QQ'BC (aba'b' cdef qrqr' cdef)
  • -  Stylistic features: Noticeable tendency toward 2/4. If Henry Reed has a normal jig speed and style, this is perhaps it. Note that he appears to begin on high strain.
  • -  "Pop Goes the Weasel" is widely distributed in the English-speaking world and has especially broad popularity in America, probably because it sustains itself as a song for children--often, actually, for adults to sing or play for the entertainment of children. It also has been used for dancing, though not necessarily for jigs, despite its 6/8 meter. Typical sets are Sharp, Country Dance Tunes, vol. 1, pp. 10-11; Linscott, Folk Songs of Old New England, p. 108; Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 3, p. 368; Ford, Traditional Music of America, p. 40; Winner's Collection of Music for the Violin, p. 79; One Thousand Fiddle Tunes, p. 24 (with dance directions); Ruth, Pioneer Western Folk Tunes, p. 3 (with left-hand picking directions).On the fiddle, it is a perennial favorite with a special feature: the "pop" is played by picking the E-string with the left hand. Henry Reed's version is in G, which is customary and indeed required to make the "pop" come out on the open E-string; but in his version the "pop" is actually "pop goes"--that is, it is two picked strings, the open E-string followed by the open A-string.
  • -  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
  • -  Duration: 36 seconds
  • -  Spoken: HENRY REED: You know that?/ALAN JABBOUR: Yeah, "Pop Goes the Weasel."/HENRY REED: [Laughs]
  • -  Recording chronology: 040


  • Audio tape

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1967/007: AFS 13033B32

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, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Henry Reed. Pop Goes the Weasel. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

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

MLA citation style:

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