Miramichi Fire, The | Bowing Down Home

About this tune

The Mirimichi Fire is a rousing, lively tune that is particularly popular among fiddlers west of Charlottetown. It is one of the most variable tunes in the repertoire, and versions differ in great detail – not only among regional styles – but from player to player. There seem to be roughly three major “approaches” to the tune, which I’ll refer to respectively as the Eastern, East Prince, and West Prince variants.

Eastern variant (Hughes, Smith): relatively sedate feel, some of the more notey segments are somewhat telescoped relative to the western versions.

East-Prince variant (Biggar, Jones, Poirier, Robinson, Silliker, Sonier): somewhat more up-tempo, notey phrases fully articulated

West-Prince variant (Eddy Arsenault, Edward P Arsenauolt, Baglole, Joseph Doucette, Pat Doucette, Pitre): most up-tempo version; some notey phrases altered to allow for insistent bowing accents

The Great Miramichi Fire of October 1825 originated in the the Miramichi River Valley and raged through much of northern New Brunswick; it ultimately consumed roughly 16,000 square kilometers of forest land, destroyed several communities wholesale, and leveled a substantial proportion of Fredericton. According to oral tradition, the fire was so bright that it was visible from the west-facing shore of Prince County, some 100 km distant.

Notation for this tune as played by Andrew Jones is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.

Tune Selections

Arsenault, Eddy - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Amand Arsenault, gtr; Ken Perlman, bjo
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
info
Arsenault, Edward P - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Marie Gallant Arsenault, pno; Ken Perlman, bjo
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
info
Baglole, Sidney - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Margaret Ross MacKinnon, pno
West Prince
info
Biggar, Jackie - The Miracmichi Fire / Paddy on the Turnpike, A/Setting Accompanied by: Ken Perlman, bjo
West Prince
info
Doucette, Joseph - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Vincent Doucette, gtr
West Prince
info
Doucette, Pat - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Ernie Gallant, gtr
West Prince
info
Hughes, Emmett - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Gary Hughes, pno
Eastern Queens
info
Jones, Andrew - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Ken Perlman, bjo
West Prince
info
Pitre, Dennis - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Vincent Doucette, gtr
West Prince
info
Poirier, Zelie-Anne Arsenault - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Jacques Arsenault, gtr
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
info
Robinson, Elmer - Pride of the Ball / Miramichi Fire Accompanied by: John Cousins, gtr; Ken Perlman, bjo
West Prince
info
Silliker, Alton - Miramichi Fire / Joys of Québec Accompanied by: Florence Silliker Young, pno; Eugene Gallant, gtr
West Prince
info
Smith, Tony - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Alfred Gallant, gtr
Western Queens
info
Sonier, Ervan & Toussaint Arsenault - Miramichi Fire, The Accompanied by: Anne-Marie Gallant Arsenault, pno
info