Redwing barndance

Also known as Charlie Chaplin, Little Redwing, Pretty Redwing, Red Wing, Union Maid.

There are 10 recordings of this tune.

Redwing has been added to 7 tune sets.

Redwing has been added to 70 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Redwing
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D2|G3D G2 B2|d6 B2|c2 e2 g2 e2|d6 B2|
c2 cB A2 c2|B2 BA G2 B2|A2 E2 F2 G2|A2 F2 E2 D2|
G3D G2 B2|d6 B2|c2 e2 g2 e2|d6 B2|
c2 cB A2 c2|B2 BA G2 B2|A2 E2 F2 D2|G4 g2 f2||
e4 c4|e2 g2 f2 e2|d4 B4-|B2 d2 e2 d2|
d4 A4-|A2 d2 e2 d2|d4 B4-|B2 g2 f2 =f2|
e4 c4|e2 g2 ^f2 e2|d4 B4-|B2 d2 e2 d2|
d4 A4-|A2 c2 B2 A2|G8-|G4 z2||

Twelve comments


This tune (which was mentioned in a recent discussion) is used for a square dance of the same name.

Note that the total tune length of 32 bars is achieved without any repeats.

Bars 1-16 are played for the “figure” of the dance: bars 17-32 are played for the “chorus” of the dance.

However, some callers begin the dance with the chorus - so if this is the case, you may required to start it at bar #17.

Pretty Redwing

Thanks for sending in this tune, Mix O’Lydian. I had been listening to all the versions of it on YouTube and want to learn the tune. Thanks too for the advice about using it as a square dance. Will mention it to our band caller. You also encourage me to learn ABC to turn it into “dots”.

Weejie, thanks to you too for all the other information.

Red Wing - Redwing?

Interesting information, Weejie - but that doesn’t seem to be the same tune.

“Interesting information, Weejie - but that doesn’t seem to be the same tune”

Of course it is the same tune. It’s pretty famous. The tune that Woody Guthrie used for Union Maid (based on the words too) - and a song against Charlie Chaplin mimicking it was recorded.

Here is a well known rendition:

Woody Guthrie:

“Charlie Chaplin”

Schumann’s original:


Apologies Weejie - ’twas a typo on my part. I had meant to say “not quite the same tune”.

I hadn’t known about the Schumann source prior to your post.

It’s interesting to note that other seemingly trad/folk tunes have their origins in classical music: e.g. Huntsman’s Chorus & Michael Turner’s Waltz.

Q. Do you know of any more?

It’s so close to your ABC, Mix that I’m surprised you even mention the difference!

Here is the original published version by Kerry Mills scanned into photoscore and played through Sibelius (in E flat, of course):

It just highlights the accuracy of your own transcription.

I’m sure there are more tunes that have origins in classical pieces, but there are probably more classical pieces that have origins in traditional tunes!

I’ve always thought that the kazoo interlude in PinK Floyd’s “Corporal Clegg” had strong similarities to the chorus. I wouldn’t be surprised if Red Wing was the inspiration.


Just read your note about the dance instructions, Mix O’Lydian. I shall pass them on to our caller/co-fiddler. Many thanks

Re: Redwing

Yet another tune which I have been playing with the local old time folk music group for years.


Re: Redwing

I played the Schumann piece at one point when I was taking piano lessons. The English translation was “The Merry Farmer” and it was probably my favorite piece that I learned.