A Repertoire Timeline | Bowing Down Home
It is difficult to determine what the Island repertoire might have been at any given point in the past. We do have a couple of documents, however, that shed some light on the subject.
In the Guardian’s coverage of the Great Fiddle Contest of 1926, the reporter makes mention of the following tunes. Because radio was just beginning to appear on the Island at this time, this list offers a glimpse of what the fiddle repertoire was like prior to the media age.
Miss McLeod’s Reel (i.e., Mrs. McLeod of Rasay)
Queens Marriage (an alternative name for Pride of the Ball)
Scoldin’ Wife (possibly Growlin’ Old Man & Cacklin’ Old Woman)
Speed the Plow
In a hand-written document now stored at the PEI Archives, fiddler George Chappelle listed some of the tunes he played regularly on his radio show in the late 1930s, just prior to the Don Messer era. Because Messer had such a strong influence on Island repertoire after 1939, it is important to know which tunes were in circulation before that date. Here are the tunes Chappelle listed:
The Don Messer Legacy
Here are some of the many tunes introduced to the PEI repertoire as a result of Don Messer’s live performances, broadcasts, and recordings.
Blue Mountain Hornpipe by Cec MacEachern
Bowin’ the Strings by Ned Landry
Dawn Waltz, The by Don Messer
Rippling Water Jig, The
Smile a While by Don Messer
The Cape Breton Influence
Here are some tunes that were first introduced to the PEI repertoire through Cape Breton recordings and broadcasts.
Anne MacQuarrie's Reel by Donald Angus Beaton
Anne Marie MacDonald's Jig by Joey Beaton
Brenda Stubbert. by Jerry Holland
Cape Breton Symphony's Welcome to the Shetlands, The by Willie Hunter
Dismissal, The by Sandy MacLean.
Donald Cameron’s Reel by Dan R MacDonald
Fr. Francis Cameron by John Campbell
Garmot Smiddy by Dan R. MacDonald
Glennfiddich Strathspey by Carl MacKenzie
Glencoe March, The by Dan R MacDonald
Goldenrod Jig by Wilfred Gillis
Heather on the Hill by Dan R MacDonald
Hughie Shortie's Reel by Johnny Wilmot
John Angus Beaton Strathspey by Kinnon Beaton
Johnny Muise's Reel by Jerry Holland
Mortgage Burn, The Gordon MacLean
Miss Mary Stephanie MacLean by Dan R. MacDonald
My Great Friend John Morris by Brenda Stubbert
Mrs. Beattie Wallace by Dan R MacDonald
Regina Stubbert's Jig by Brenda Stubbert
Robert Stubbert by Jerry Holland
Sandy MacIntyre's March by Donald Angus Beaton
Sandy MacIntyre’s Trip to Boston by John Campbell
Sister Dolena Beaton by Howie MacDonald
Space Available by Marcel Doucet
Stan's Jig by Stan Chapman
Stella’s Trip to Kamloops by Patricia Chafe.
Sweetness of Mary, The by Joan MacDonald Boes
Theresa MacLellan Reel by Elmer Briand
Trip to Windsor by Dan R MacDonald