The tune has its own special tuning which is only used for this tune
I cant remember it myself but I know the A is tuned to C#
the story goes that a man was in jail and sentenced to hang
he was given a fiddle and told to tune it and write a tune.
As he didnt really know the tuning of a fiddle he tuned to what seemed right to him and composed the hanged mans reel..
and supposedly he didnt hang..
I have heard somewhere - that there is a connection to Macphersons Rant or Lament - a Scottish song about a fiddler (and Highwayman?) who is betrayed by a woman and sentenced to hang -
and also one other cd I have which plays this tune (sorry I cant remember the name either) but Ill try to look it up, says that there is a connection between the Hanged Mans reel and the old time fiddle tune the Lost Indian (they do have similarities).