Cotton-eyed Joe reel

There are 5 recordings of a tune by this name.

Cotton-eyed Joe has been added to 1 tune set.

Cotton-eyed Joe has been added to 182 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Cotton-eyed Joe
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:cABA FAEA|cABc d2ed|cABA FAEA|cABc A2AB:|
|:cefe a4|aefa e4|aefa ecAB|cABc A4:|

Eleven comments

Heard on track 11 of The Chieftains 10, this reel is suggested on the liner notes to be descended from The Mountain Top (with which it is paired on the track).

Do you remember Long time ago
Daddy worked a man called Cotton Eyed Joe
Daddy worked a man called Cotton Eyed Joe

I could have been married long time ago
If it hadn’t ‘a been for Cotton Eyed Joe
If it hadn’t ‘a been for Cotton Eyed Joe

Old bull fiddle and a shoe-string bow
Wouldn’t play nothin’ but Cotton Eyed Joe
Wouldn’t play nothin’ but Cotton Eyed Joe

Play it fast or play it slow
Didn’t play nothing but Cotton Eyed Joe
Didn’t play nothing but Cotton Eyed Joe

Where do you come from where do you go
Where do you come from Cotton Eyed Joe
Where do you come from Cotton Eyed Joe

Come for to see you come for to sing
Come for to show you my diamond ring
Come for to show you my diamond ring

The unholy laugh that Paddy Moloney lets out at the end of that track had me laughing for a week.

Also Michelle Shocked

There’s a rendition of this tune by Michelle Shocked; she calls her’s "Prodigal Daughter", framing it as a song about abortion, and recorded a studio version on Arkansas Traveler (Mercury 314 512 101-2)

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Hmm

this doesn’t seem to be the version of the tune I’m familiar with (the pop-song version, I think) can anyone reconcile this …?

Cotton Eyed Joe

The version posted here is much different than the American tune… I might agree with the Chieftans archeomusicological observation in comparsion with their version and "The Mountain Top", but the American Cotton Eyed Joe could be compared to a lot of standard reels and don’t see the similarities myself.

A classic Old-time tune

I’d have to disagree with Mary-Highlander’s statement that"The version posted here is much different than the American tune". This version is quite close to the version used for the Texas dance of the same name, and entirely cognate with many other American versions, especially song airs, such as Doc Watson’s. To be sure, there are a great many variants of this tune in American tradition, many barely recognizable when compared with this more or less standard version, and some arguably distinct. The Chieftains appear to have adapted a very common version of this classic Old-time tune.

Cotton Eyed Again

It just goes to show that there are many styles of playing and variations of tunes in the good old USA. I have to admit that I don’t know much about Texas style fiddling and this version is new to me. I shouldn’t have made such a general statement.

Is there a first part?

On the Chieftain’s recording, Ricky Skaggs starts playing something else—what i’ve always thought of as Cotton Eyed Joe—and then it goes into the reel posted here. Does anyone know the first part?

Isn’t this also an Old-TIme tune? I’ve never heard it as an Irish tune.