Tamerack’er Down reel

By Donald Angus Beaton

Also known as Tamarack ’er Down, Tamarack’er Down, Tamerack’er Down.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

Tamerack'er Down has been added to 10 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Tamerack'er Down
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
f|ecBc AFEF|A2 Af ecce|=g2 fa ecBc|AFEF A/A/A Af|ecBc A/A/A A:|
f|eAce =g2 fa|eAce fBBf|ecce f2 bf|ecBc A/A/A A:|
X: 2
T: Tamerack'er Down
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
f|[M:6/4] ecBc AFEF A2 Af|[M:4/4] ecce =g2 fa|[M:6/4] ecBc AFEF A2 Af|[M:4/4] ecBc A/A/A A:|
f|eAce =g2 fa|eAce fBBf|ecce f2 bf|ecBc A/A/A Af|
eAce =g2 fa|eAce fBBf|ecce fgaf|ecBc A/A/A A||
# Added by Tate .

Fifteen comments

Tamerack’er Down

An unusual lopsided - but satisfyingly driving - reel composed by Cape Breton fiddler Donald Angus Beaton, here transcribed from the playing of his granddaughter Andrea Beaton, from her 2002 album ‘Licence to Drive ‘Er’. Tamerack is a type of tree, and although I’m unsure of what the tune title means, it may have something to do with the timber logging business.

A “Tamerack’er” could well be a reference to an outdoorsman/backwoodsman/trapper etc. “Tamerack’er Down” likely refers to a “Tamerack’er” Downed due to an excess of drink.

“Tamarack’er Down” ~ C: Donald Angus Beaton

Celtic Music Interpretive Centre - Judique, Nova Scotia

Introduction to the Donald Angus Beaton Project

Welcome to Mabou: The Life and Music of Donald Angus Beaton
Biography: http://www.celticmusiccentre.com/collections/dab/bio.htm

Compositions by Donald Angus Beaton

“Tamerack ’er Down” - reel ~ includes sheet music (PDF) and four recordings (MP3s) by ~ The Beatons of Mabou, Glenn Graham, Morgan MacQuarrie, & Robie & Isaac Fraser…

“A “Tamerack’er” could well be a reference to an outdoorsman/backwoodsman/trapper etc. “

I doubt that - Why would you need an apostrophe? I think ’er is “her”- probably referring to an inanimate object rather than a woman (i.e. ‘it’ in standard English).

Tamarack http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_laricina is a species of larch, whose timber, according to the wikipedia entry, can be cut in to thin, flexible strips. I suspect that the verb ‘to tamarack’ might mean to fasten something down with strips of tamarack wood - something you might do with something large and light in high winds.

Then again, I could be completely wrong.

No I don’t think your wrong (I too googled it), it’s just that in the context of the title it likely refers to a person rather than a tree. Therefore someone who either lives among them or deals with them, we need a Canadian here for clarification 🙂

Tamarack’er down on the red pine floor!

Many of us remember the dance hall called Sunnydale Acres on Lake Dore, or Royal Pines at Higgison’s Hill. Some of us know how to tamarack’er down as the fiddle plays and the caller shouts, “partners for a square.” Only a few may know why it was “on the red pine floor.” A red pine floor was considered a hard surface; tamarack was even tougher. If you’ve listened to a step dancer slap the floor, you get the idea easily.]


The title of Andrea Beaton’s album, ‘Licence to Drive ‘Er’, suggests that i. the use of ‘her’ to refer to inanimate objects and ii. h-dropping, are both features of Cape Breton speech. The first of these is not surprising - it’s common in Ulster speech as well. The second is more surprising to me - h-dropping is not something I associate with N. America, and certainly not anywhere in Scotland or Ireland.

I assume the ’Er in the album title refers to the bow.

I must say that I wouldn’t have (or ’ave) expected it in Cape Breton either, but I do know that parts of Newfoundland people drop the ‘h’. This may have something to do with English origins, but there are other possibilities. More French influenced areas might do the same.
Interestingly, there are Swedish dialects where the ‘h’ is dropped.

Insert ‘in’ where necessary.

Tamarack’er Down an Expression…

“‘Tamarack’er down’ is a term of encouragement addressed to musicians to continue playing great music.” From the liner notes of Gerry O Connor, Nuala Kennedy, Gilles le Bigot and Martin Quinn’s album, “Oirialla” – a fantastic album, by the way.

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Tamerack ’er down

Spot on, Ed the Fiddler! That’s what Margie Beaton told me. Belt into it!

Re: Tamerack’er Down

I was told it referred to using a plank of tamarack to stomp on so that you don’t damage the floor. Think Stompin’ Tom. From that, it became an expression of encouragement as mentioned earler.

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