Also known as
Coon Dog, The Federal Hornpipe, Georgia Boys, Get Away From The Federals, Get Out Of The Way Of The Federals, Got A Little Home To Go To, Got No Little Home To Go To, Heel Flies, Hell Among The Yearlin’s, Hell Among The Yearlings, Higher Up The Monkey Climbs, The Higher Up The Monkey Climbs, I’m On My Way To Texas To Eat Cornbread And ‘Lasses, John Hoban’s Polka, Little Home To Go To, Old Raccoon, The Old Raccoon, Raccoon’s Tail, Rock Along John To Kansas, Running From The Federals, Seneca, Seneca Square Dance, The Seneca Square Dance, Seneca War Dance, Shelby’s Mule, Shelby’s Mules, Shoot The Turkey Buzzard.
I’m surprised this tune has never been posted before. It gets played frequently at nearly every session I been to—maybe, done to death, some might argue. Possibly, it’s never been posted because it’s less popular in "pure Irish sessions"-I don’t know.
I’ve never heard this tune played in a U.S Irish session. Here, it’s mainly associated with old-time fiddling and contra-dance music. It’s also called Seneca Square Dance. It’s been years since I’ve played this tune and its posting here brings back some fond memories. I might try it out on the pipes just for giggles and grins.
I was going to say that too, Bill. I thought it was an American Old Time tune, as I learned it in an Appalachian fiddle class.
I first heard this tune some years ago in a gig in Scotland, but the band couldn’t tell me where it came from. It’s the only time I’ve heard it live, and we like to play it now and then in a very lively mood.
Related to "Shoot That Turkey Buzzard"
This is certainly and Old-time tune, although Aly Bain has recorded it, which probably accounts for any currency it might have in Ireland or Scotland. I expect it would be frowned upon in most American Irish sessions, however, regardless of which Celtic Fiddle God may have dabbled in it. Narry the twain shall meet, I reckon.
The tune is related to "Shoot That Turkey Buzzard" and there is a quite interesting discussion of this and another very similar tune called "Davy Dugger", both played by the very fine Kentucky fiddler Clyde Davenport to be found on the following link: http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/davenport/DAVY_DUGGER.html
This discussion points up the way old-time fiddlers consider tunes to be seperate and distinct based on seemingly slight variations.
One old-timer once said "They ain’t no notes to it, you just play it!" Says a lot about trying to play old-time tunes from notation; perhaps more than any other fiddle tradition, old-time defies transcription.
Is there a dance specifically to this tune ?
After playing this at a session at a folk festival earlier this year, I was asked if there is Seneca Square Dance dance to go with the tune. None of my New England contacts have been able to answer this yet.