100 Essential Missouri Fiddle Tunes

100 Essential Missouri Fiddle Tunes

This page first 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.

In my experience there is no more important ingredient to preserving a living fiddle tradition as we have enjoyed in Missouri than to maintain a shared repertoire. When Missourians and fans of Missouri fiddling get together to play there shouldn’t be a lot of hemming and hawing around about what to play. Knowing 100 tunes in common is a good start, don’t you think?

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 and all of the others listed below 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.

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.

In the meantime and over the course of time I’ll create a blog post at  blog.charliewalden.com/ dedicated to each tune so check there often or better yet subscribe and get a notification. All of the transcriptions with annotations will be compiled into a downloadable PDF book. Check my Resources page to see when it is available. There will also be corresponding posts on my YouTube Channel and audio files available at fiddleschool.charliewalden.com/

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

Charlie Walden

Here’s the list:

1 Adrian’s Hornpipe
2 Angus Campbell
3 Arkansas Traveler
4 Art Wooten’s Hornpipe
5 Aunt Mary’s Hornpipe
6 Back in ’89
7 Belles of America
8 Bert Co. Breakdown
9 Billy in the Lowground
10 Black Sally Goodin
11 Bob Walter’s Hornpipe
12 Bob Walter’s Tune in C
13 Brickyard Joe
14 Casey’s Hornpipe
15 Chicken Reel
16 Climb Upstairs the Monkey
17 Clyde Durst’s Tune
18 Comin’ Down From Denver
19 Dance Around Molly
20 Dark & Curly Hair (a.k.a. Cotton Blossom)
21 Dick Sand’s Hornpipe
22 Dry & Dusty
23 Duncan’s Hornpipe or Reel
24 Dundee Hornpipe
25 Durang’s Hornpipe
26 Eighth of January
27 Fever in the South
28 Fiddler’s Dream
29 Fiddler’s Hoe-down
30 Fiddler’s Hornpipe
31 Fisher’s Hornpipe
32 Fire on the Mountain
33 Five Miles Out of Town
34 Flop-Eared Mule (a.k.a. Peach Tree Limb)
35 Forked Deer
36 Frisky Jim
37 Garfield’s Hornpipe (a.k.a. Bluewater Hornpipe)
38 Gilsaw
39 Goin’ Across the Prairie
40 Grand Picnic
41 Granny Will Your Dog Bite?
42 Grey Eagle
43 Grey Eagle in C
44 Happy Jack
45 Hell Among the Yearlings
46 Hell on the Wabash
47 Hooker’s Hornpipe
48 Irish Cobbler
49 Irish Hornpipe
50 Jack Danielson’s Reel
51 Johnny Bring the Jug Around the Hill
52 Johnny Don’t Come Home Drunk
53 Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle
54 Jump Fingers
55 Kansas City Rag
56 Ladies on a Steamboat
57 Lantern in the Ditch
58 Leadout
59 Leddy’s Hornpipe
60 Liberty
61 Little Whiskey
62 Liverpool Hornpipe
63 Long John
64 Lonnie’s Hornpipe
65 Marmaduke’s Hornpipe
66 Mississippi Sawyer
67 Missouri Mud
68 Oak Ridge Stomp
69 Oklahoma Redbird
70 Old Countryman’s Reel
71 Old Hen Cackle
72 Old Jeff City (a.k.a. Katon’s or Caton’s Hornpipe)
73 Old Fort Smith
74 Old Joe
75 Old Joe Clark
76 Opera Reel
77 Old Reunion
78 Pacific Slope
79 Paddy on the Railroad
80 Polk County Breakdown
81 Rachel
82 Rickett’s Hornpipe
83 Sarah’s Reel
84 Shoal Creek Breakdown
85 Shoot Two-Bits
86 Sleepy Eyed Joe
87 Soldier’s Joy
88 South Missouri
89 Spotted Pony
90 St. Ann’s Reel
91 Talk To Dinah
92 Tie-Hacker Hoe-Down #1
93 Tomahawk
94 Turkey in the Straw
95 Wagner
96 Walk Along John
97 White Man (Bell Cow)
98 Whiskey Before Breakfast
99 Woodchopper’s Breakdown
100 Zack Wheat’s Piece

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