Moonlight Clog hornpipe

Also known as Moonlight, The Moonlight.

There are 4 recordings of this tune.

Moonlight Clog has been added to 4 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Moonlight Clog
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:Bc|dBGB d2~e2|ecAc egfe|dfab c'afa|(3gfa (3gfe dcBc|
dBGB d2~e2|ecAc ef (3gfe|dfab (3c'ba fd|g2g2 g2:|
|:Bc|db (3gbg d2>^d2|e2c'2 (3ac'a e2>g2|f2df bfaf|(3gag fe dcBc|
db (3gbg d2>^d2|ec' (3ac'a e2>g2|f2df bfaf|g2g2g2:|
|:a^g|a2 [d2f2][d2f2] ef|Tg2Tf2 Te2Td2|^cdef Tg2 (3Ace|defg a2>b2|
a2[d2f2][d2f2]ef|Tg2Tf2 Te2Td2|^cdef gece|1 d2d^cd2:|2 d4=c4||
|:BcdB G4|ABcA E4|DFAB c2AF|GABc d4|
BcdB G4|ABcA E4|DFAB cAFA|1 G2B2 G4:|2 G2B2 G2||

Three comments

Moonlight Clog

Recorded by Cape Breton fiddler Angus Chisholm back in the 1930s: Paul Cranford wrote it out from Angus’s playing: The setting I present here is my own take, a bit; the rolls on the downbeat in the 1st and 5th measures, for instance, to make it a bit “Irish.” I left in Paul’s trills on the 4 quavers gfed though, and always play something double grace note-ish there, though. A bit of a fingerbuster tune, with its high c notes - Angus had even more of a fondness for technically challenging tunes than most of his CB colleagues.

As it happens this was also recorded way back when by Mississippi artists Gene Clardy and Stan Clements, and perhaps Angus picked it up from their record - or vice versa? As another example of Canadian Scottish musicians picking up tunes from the Southern US, Winston Fitzgerald also played a tune apparently obtained by MS Old Timers the Stripling Brothers, they called it Big Eyed Rabbit but Winston slapped the title “Southern Melodies” on that one, I think we can safely say that tune travelled northwards.

The brilliant Kentucky fiddler Ed Haley also played a version of this tune, which he called Parkersburg Landing, which was selected as title track of one of the 1970s Haley home recording LPs. His tune is related but not a note-for-note match really. You can hear him play it on the Grey Eagle 2CD.

Moonlight Clog

MOONLIGHT CLOG. Cape Breton, Old-Time; Schottische. The tune is to be found not only in Cape Breton tradition (recorded by Cape Breton fiddler Angus Chisholm for Decca in 1934) but was also played by Southern fiddlers as well (it was recorded in Memphis, Tenn., by Mississippi fiddler Gene Clardy in 1930) [Tony Russell]. Clardy (pronounced ‘Clair-Dee’) was one of the older Mississippi fiddlers to record in the 78 RPM era, although his career was cut short when he was killed by a dancer at a dance after he refused to continue playing. It is said he taught Mississippi fiddling great Willie Narmour to play. In between those geographical extremes, the melody was cited as having commonly been played at country dances in Orange County, New York, in the 1930’s (Lettie Osborn, New York Folklore Quarterly), and it was in the repertoire of Norway, Maine, fiddler Mellie Dunham (1853-1931), who so impressed Henry Ford. It may appear in Ryan’s Mammoth (1883)/Cole’s 1000 (1940) under a different title.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Decca 14004 (78 RPM), Angus Chisholm (1934). Document 8028, Gene Clardy & Stan Clements - “Mississippi String Bands, vol. 2” (1998. Reissue recordings). Shanachie 14001, “The Early Recordings of Angus Chisholm” (Cape Breton). Vocalion 5418 (78 RPM), Gene Clardy & Stan Clements (1930).

A simplified version of this tune… the key of F is included by Josephine Keegan as The Moonlight Hornpipe on page 89 of her 2004 tunebook “A Drop in the Ocean”.

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