Maid Behind the Bar, The | Bowing Down Home
About this tune
Maid Behind the Bar is enthusiastically played throughout Prince Edward Island, where it has undoubtedly been in circulation for generations (fiddler George Chappelle played the tune on his CFCY radio show in the late 1930s). In most Island versions, the melody is adjusted ever so slightly so that fiddlers can increase the rhythmic instensity of the high turn.
One of the earliest appearances of this tune in print was in Ryan’s Mammoth Collection (1882), later republished as 1000 Fiddle Tunes (it actually appears twice in this book under different names: Judy’s Reel and Indy’s Favorite). Since the 1920s, it has appeared on numerous recordings as Maid Behind the Bar or variants thereof (the Barmaid, the Bartender, Maid Behind the Barrel, and so on).
In Québec, the high turn of Maid Behind the Bar is incorporated into a well-known three-part tune known as La Renfleuse Gorbeil.
Notation for this tune as played by Elmer Robinson is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.