One Hundred Essential Missouri Fiddle Tunes

One Hundred Essential Missouri Fiddle Tunes

by Charlie Walden

This page went “live” in 2002 and was one of the first pages I added to the newly minted missourifiddling.com way back in the dark ages of the interwebs. The original list was drafted in response to numerous requests from people new to Missouri fiddle playing as to which tunes they should learn. Since that time tunes have come in and out of vogue and most of the old fiddlers from my youth have passed on, replaced by young lions that might be interested in different set of melodies. So, I’ve tried to update the list taking these circumstances into account. That said, I’ve kept some of the more obscure tunes from the original in the hope that current players will be encouraged to pick them up. The old list appears at the bottom of this page.

I had some great help from friends who posted their “Top Ten” Missouri fiddle tunes in response to a request on Missouri Fiddling on Facebook. Thanks to Bill Peterson, Roger Wilcox, Richard Shewmaker, Thomas Coriell, Joe Fedrizzi, Joshua Johnson, John P. Williams, Tom Schaefer, Curtis Ames, Kirk Hunter, Daniel C. Lamb and Ben McClure for taking the time to contribute. Interestingly, the tune suggested most frequently by this august group was “Coming Down From Denver”. If you want a transcription of this tune visit my “Dots” page at https://charliewalden.com/dots/reels-hoe-downs/

The contributions via facebook were mostly hoe-downs & reels so I’ve knocked out the waltzes, quadrilles & pieces so this is a list of all hoe-downs, breakdowns & reels. I’ll seek input for a list of waltzes and “pieces” in the future and maybe include them in “Another One-Hundred Essential Missouri Fiddle Tunes”. The original list, by the way, appears at the bottom of this page.

I made a decision to leave out some obvious standards. Come on if you don’t know Soldier’s Joy, Turkey in the Straw, Ragtime Annie and Liberty you’ve got a little “woodsheddin'” to do – right?

See how many you recognize. If you want to be a true traditional Missouri fiddler I encourage you to add those you don’t know to your repertoire. You can download a PDF of the list and use as a checklist for knocking ’em out.

Send your feedback or suggestions for the next big list to missourifiddling@gmail.com

    1. Angus Campbell – A
    2. Aunt Mary’s Hornpipe – D
    3. Back in ’89 – A
    4. Bert Co. Breakdown – A
    5. Big Horned Cattle – A
    6. Black Sally Goodin – G
    7. Brickyard Joe – G
    8. Chicken Reel – D
    9. Cincinnati Hornpipe – D
    10. Climb Upstairs the Monkey – G
    11. Clyde Durst’s Tune-C
    12. Comin’ Down From Denver – A
    13. Dance Around Molly – A
    14. Dark & Curly Hair (a.k.a. Cotton Blossom) – C
    15. Dark-Haired Girl – G
    16. Dick Sand’s Hornpipe – A
    17. Dry & Dusty – D
    18. Duncan’s Hornpipe or Reel –A
    19. Dundee Hornpipe – D
    20. Durang’s Hornpipe – D
    21. Eighth of January – D
    22. Fever in the South – G
    23. Fiddler’s Hoe-down – D
    24. Fiddler’s Hornpipe – Bb & F
    25. Fisher’s Hornpipe – (D & F versions)
    26. Fire on the Mountain – A & D
    27. Five Miles Out of Town-D
    28. Forked Deer – D & A
    29. Frisky Jim – A
    30. Garfield’s Hornpipe (a.k.a. Bluewater Hornpipe) – Bb
    31. Gilsaw – D
    32. Goin’ Across the Prairie – G
    33. Grand Picnic
    34. Granny Will Your Dog Bite
    35. Grey Eagle – A
    36. Grey Eagle in C – C
    37. Happy Jack-C
    38. Hell Among the Yearlings – D
    39. Hell on the Wabash – D
    40. Hooker’s Hornpipe – G
    41. Irish Cobbler – G
    42. Irish Hornpipe – D
    43. Jack Danielson’s Reel – A
    44. Jim Clark’s Hornpipe – D
    45. Johnny Bring the Jug Around the Hill – A
    46. Johnny Don’t Come Home Drunk – D
    47. Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle – D
    48. Jump Fingers – C
    49. Kansas City Rag – G
    50. Ladies on a Steamboat – G
    51. Lady on the Green – A
    52. Lantern in the Ditch – D
    53. Last Night in Leadville – A
    54. Lazy Kate – A
    55. Leather Britches – G
    56. Liverpool Hornpipe – D
    57. Long John – G
    58. Lonnie’s Hornpipe – Bb
    59. Marmaduke’s Hornpipe – D
    60. Mississippi Sawyer – D
    61. Missouri Mud – D
    62. Money Musk – A
    63. New Five Cent Piece – D
    64. Nine Mile – D
    65. Oklahoma Redbird – Bb
    66. Old Countryman’s Reel – Bb
    67. Old Hen Cackle – G
    68. Old Jeff City (a.k.a. Katon’s Hornpipe or Caton’s Hornpipe)
    69. Old Dubuque-D
    70. Old Fort Smith-G
    71. Old Joe-C
    72. Old Melinda-C
    73. On the Right Cheek – A
    74. Opera Reel-D
    75. Pacific Slope-A
    76. Polk County Breakdown-A
    77. Rachel – D
    78. Ragtime Annie – D
    79. Rickett’s Hornpipe – D
    80. Rocky Road to Jordan – D
    81. Saddle Old Kate
    82. Salty River Reel – A
    83. Sleepy Eyed Joe – A
    84. South Missouri-D
    85. Spotted Pony – A
    86. Joe Hornpipe-Bb
    87. Steamboat ‘Round The Bend – G
    88. Talk To Dinah – A
    89. Threshing Tune – C
    90. Tie-Hacker Hoe-Down #1 – C
    91. Thunderbolt Hornpipe – Bb
    92. Turkey Knob – A
    93. Wagner – C
    94. Wake up Suzie – A
    95. Walk Along John – G
    96. Wes Muir’s Tune – C
    97. White Man (Bell Cow) – D
    98. Zack Wheat’s Piece – D
    99. Zigzag Hornpipe – F
    100. Zinger – A

The Original List of 100 Tunes

Hoe-downs: 1. Aunt Mary’s Hornpipe-D 2. Bert Co. Breakdown-A 3. Big Horned Cattle-A 4 Black Sally Goodin-G with E string tuned down to D 5. Brickyard Joe-G 6. Caton’s Hornpipe-G 7. Climb Upstairs the Monkey-G 8. Clyde Durst’s Tune-C 9. Comin’ Down From Denver-A 10. Cyril’s G Tune-G 11. Dance Around Molly-A 12. Dark & Curly Hair-C 13. Dick Sand’s Hornpipe-A 14. Dry & Dusty-D 15. Duncan’s Hornpipe-A 16. Eighth of January-D 17. Fever in the South-G 18. Fiddler’s Hoe-down-D 19. Fiddler’s Hornpipe-Bb & F 20. Fire on the Mountain-A & D 21. Five Miles Out of Town-D 22. Forked Deer-D & A 23. Garfield’s Hornpipe-Bb 24. Gilsaw-D 25. Grand Picnic-D 26. Grey Eagle-A 27. Grey Eagle in C 28. Happy Jack-C 29. Hell Among the Yearlings-D 30. Hell on the Wabash-D 31. Hooker’s Hornpipe-G 32. Irish Cobbler-G 33. Irish Hornpipe-D 34. Irish Reel-D 35. Jack Danielson’s Reel-A 36. Jim Clark’s Hornpipe-D 37. Johnny Bring the Jug Around the Hill-A 38. Johnny Don’t Come Home Drunk-D 39. Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle-D 40. Jump Fingers-C 41. Kansas City Rag-G 42. Lantern in the Ditch-D 43. Lazy Kate-A 44. Liberty-D 45. Long John-G 46. Marmaduke’s Hornpipe-D 47. Mississippi Sawyer-D 48. Missouri Mud-D 49. Money Musk-A 50. Oklahoma Redbird-Bb 51. Old Countryman’s Reel-Bb 52. Old Hen Cackle-G 53. Old Dubuque-D 54. Old Fort Smith-G 55. Old Joe-C 56. Old Melinda-C 57. Opera Reel-D 58. Pacific Slope-A 59. Polk County Breakdown-A 60. Rocky Road to Jordan-D 61. Salty River Reel-A 62. Sleepy Eyed Joe-A  63. Soldier’s Joy-D 64. South Missouri-D 65. Spotted Pony-A 66. St. Joe Hornpipe-Bb 67. Talk To Dinah-A 68. The Threshing Tune-C 69. Thunderbolt Hornpipe-Bb 70. Turkey Knob-A 71. Walk Along John-G 72. White Man (Bell Cow)-D 73. Zack Wheat’s Piece-D 74. Zigzag Hornpipe-F 75. Zinger-A Waltzes: 76. A & E Waltz-A & E 77. Canary Waltz-A 78. Clark’s Waltz-A 79. Cook’s Waltz-G 80. Does Your Mother Come From Ireland-Bb 81. Forty Years Ago-D 82. Four States Waltz-F 83. Mother’s Waltz-G 84. Ranger Waltz-D & G 85. Rose Waltz-C 86. Shamus O’Brien-Bb & Gm Shenandoah Valley Waltz-D 88. Stars & Stripes Waltz-C 89. Vee Latty’s Bb Waltz-Bb 90. Westphalia Waltz-G Other Pieces: 91. Art Wooten’s Quadrille-Bb 92. Cyril’s “G” Schottische-G 93. Echoes of the Ozarks-Bb 94. Ford One-Step-C 95. Huckleberry Blues-D 96. Jefferson & Liberty Quadrille-D 97. Little Red Barn Quadrille-A 98. Old Spinning Wheel-Bb 99. Put on your Old Grey Bonnet-Bb 100. Quadrille in “G”-G