The Crooked Stovepipe reel

There are 7 recordings of this tune.

The Crooked Stovepipe has been added to 4 tune sets.

The Crooked Stovepipe has been added to 62 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Crooked Stovepipe
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D2|:G2 B2 Bc dB|G2 B2 Bc dB|G2 B2 e2 B2|d2 c2 c3A|
F2 A2 AB cA|F2 A2 AB cd|e2 d2 e2 f2|1 G,2 [B2g2] [B2g2] D2:|2 G,2 [B2g2] [B2g2] a2||
|:b4 b2 a2|g3 g g2 f2|e2 e2 f2 g2|a4 a2 b2|
c'4 c'2 a2|f3 f f2 e2|d2 ^d2e2 f2|g2 ^g2 a2 ^a2|
b4 b2 a2|g3 g g2 f2|e2 e2 f2 g2|a4 a2 b2||
c'4 c'2 a2|f3 f f2 e2|d2 ^d2e2 f2|1 G,2 [B2g2] [B2g2] a2:|2 G,2 [B2g2] [B2g2] z||

Seven comments

Composed by John Burt 1938

This is a very popular tune here in the Ottawa Valley.
It is usually described as a Breakdown and that is a hard term to pin down. I’ve listed it as a reel but it could be a polka .
I’ve also seen it credited to Jim Magill.

Crooked stovepipe

A favorite all over Eastern Canada and New England as well. Some French have another name for it, not referring to woodstoves at all. I’ve seen it credited to Ralph Page as well, but I have a feeling it’s really been around a lot longer than any of the above.

I first learned it years ago in Alberta.

Re: The Crooked Stovepipe

Fiddler’s Companion says it is “sometimes attributed” to Colin Boyd of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Earliest(?) recording: 1932; Hugh A. MacDonald, of Antigonish area. However, I’ve seen it credibly sourced to an Ontario fiddler, whose name I’ve forgotten.

Okay, I looked it up - from the Canadian Encyclopedia:

Magill, Jim
Jim (James Creighton) Magill. Fiddler, composer, b Northern Ireland 1902, d Toronto 28 Jan 1954. He moved to Toronto in the early 1930s and worked in the CNR’s telegraph department for 20 years. A skilful and admired oldtime fiddler, Magill performed with his band, the Northern Ramblers, for square dances in Toronto and was heard 1946-54 on radio station CFRB. He made many 78s for London. His most popular pieces were Saskatoon Breakdown and The Crooked Stovepipe. A folio of his square dance tunes was published by Harry Jarman in 1952.

Re: The Crooked Stovepipe

The version of “Crooked Stovepipe” which I learned by playing piano with a local folk dancing/contra dance group and by playing my acoustic string bass with a local old time folk music group is completely different from this one by McMandolin. The same fiddler plays with both groups. The tune I know as “Crooked Stovepipe” is in D Major.


Re: The Crooked Stovepipe

I first heard this tune from the Yetties’ album “Come to the Yetties’ Barn Dance.” It sounded familiar and then I realized why.
I grew up in the Lithuanian tradition, and had an old cassette when I was younger, where there was a song called “Ridikelis ir Petruska” (which would translate to “radish and parsley”, I believe). The melody is very similar to the A-part of this tune, at least from what I recall (I must find that tape!) It’s always interesting to see how far tune relatives migrate.