Growling Old Man | Bowing Down Home

About this tune

This tune - known as La Marmotteuse (the [female] complainer) to the Island's Acadians - is played all over the Island, but prized particularly among fiddlers west of Charlottetown. The farther west in the Island one travels, the more ornate the high-turn grows, and the more more insistent and syncopated the rhythms of the low turn get.

Growling Old Man has probably been circulating on PEI for generations (the Guardian makes note of a tune called The Scoldin’ Wife – very possibly an alternative title that was played at the Great Fiddle Contest of 1926). Don Messer and the Islanders recorded it in the 1940s as Growling Old Man and Woman.

Notation for a version of this tune as played by Jim MacDougall is available here. Notation for this tune as played by Edward P Arsenault is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.