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Lyr Req: Five Little Fiddlers

Ma Fazoo 04 May 01 - 09:54 PM
Jeri 04 May 01 - 10:29 PM
Allan C. 04 May 01 - 11:00 PM
GUEST 12 May 10 - 10:56 PM
IowaBoy 24 Nov 10 - 07:42 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Oct 11 - 11:54 PM
GUEST,Tom G (guest) 01 Jul 18 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Julia L 04 Jul 18 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Julia L 04 Jul 18 - 09:40 AM
leeneia 06 Jul 18 - 05:27 PM
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Subject: Has anyone heard this song?
From: Ma Fazoo
Date: 04 May 01 - 09:54 PM

I mentioned this once in another thread, but unfortunately compressed two verses, so the song wasn't qite right. I would pretty much bet on it being from the Limerick area, as that's where my g.grandmother was from, and I've never heard anyone else sing it. It;s a lullaby, and the wordss go like this:

Five little fiddlers lived by the sea,
Long John, Ginger John, and Pepper Johns' three
They went to the mill on a very fine night
Stole a bag of barley and they hurried out of sight.

But the miller from his tower these thieves did see
And called to the Long John and Pepper Johns' three
"If ye don"t bring that barley graing right straight back
I'll tie you all together in a great big sack.

So the miller, he chased them, mad as he could be,
Put them in a great big sack and pushed them out to sea,
But they all clung together and they played a little tune
And it busted all to pieces and it sent them to the moon.

Now, if you take the trouble on a very fine night
To look up in the heavens when the moon is shining bright
These five little fiddlers you are very sure to see

I've always thought this might refer ro a constellation. I've been asking folk musicians for thirty years if they know the song, and so far no one has. I figure if the answer is anyplace , it's here.


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Subject: RE: Has anyone heard this song?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 May 01 - 10:29 PM

Could it be the Pleides? ("The Seven Sisters," but 2 appear less visible than the other 5.)


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Subject: RE: Has anyone heard this song?
From: Allan C.
Date: 04 May 01 - 11:00 PM

The song says "it sent them to the moon" and "when the moon is shining bright...These five little fiddlers you are very sure to see" so it seems that there is the place to look.

I don't know much at all about moon topography. Maybe someone else knows of something there that might match up with the five figures.


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Subject: RE: Has anyone heard this song?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 10 - 10:56 PM

My mother sang the "Five Little Fiddlers" to me...her mother passed it down...Welsh ancestry for sure.


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Subject: RE: Has anyone heard this song? 5 Little Fiddlers?
From: IowaBoy
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 07:42 PM

My mother sang this song to me, she had Welsh ancestry, but the words are a little different:

Five little fiddlers lived by the sea
Long John, Ginger John and Peppers John were three
They went to the mill on a very fine day,
Stole a bag of barley and they all ran away.

Now the miller he espied them,
Mad as he could be,
Tied 'em all up in a sack and pushed 'em in the sea.
They all clung together and they played a little tune.
Sack busted all to smash, sent 'em flying to the moon.

Now if you're ever walkin' on a clear cool night,
Just look upin the heavens when the moon is shining bright.
Five little fiddlers you'll be sure to see,
Long John, Ginger John, and Pepper John are three.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FIVE LITTLE FIDDLERS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Oct 11 - 11:54 PM

This poem is quoted in Southern Folklore Quarterly, Volume 24 (University of Florida, 1960), page 294:


FIVE LITTLE FIDDLERS

Five little fiddlers lived by the sea.
Long John, Pepper John, and Ginger John are three.
They went to the mill on a very fine day;
They stole a bag of barley and they all ran away.

The miller from his tower these thieves did see;
He called to the two Johns and Pepper John are three:
"If you don't bring my barley grain right straight back,
I'll take you and I'll put you in a great big sack."

The miller came down just as mad as he could be.
He put them in a big sack and shoved them out to sea.
They all came together and they played a little tune.
The sack it bursted all to smash and sent them to the moon.

Did you ever take the trouble on a very fine night
To peep into the heavens when the moon shines bright?
Those five little fiddlers you are very sure to see —
Long John and Pepper John and Ginger John are three.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Five Little Fiddlers
From: GUEST,Tom G (guest)
Date: 01 Jul 18 - 02:57 PM

When I was a kid in the 1950s, I had a record by Jerry Glenn singing "Three Little Fiddlers" which is obviously a version of the song in question. It was recorded c. 1951. You can find this recording on youtube. Enjoy! I have learned a lot about this song via Mudcat - thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Five Little Fiddlers
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 09:25 AM

Hmmm so it mentions the three, who are the other two?

BTW what is the tune? - love this- J


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Five Little Fiddlers
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 09:40 AM

It seems it was popular among the old time country singers- just found this
Five Little Fiddlers
The Country Show Band feat. June Carter, Grandpa Jones, George Morgan, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves
        from
The Country Show - Country Show Classics Volume 1


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Five Little Fiddlers
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 05:27 PM

I wonder if the five little fiddlers are fiddler crabs. That would explain why there are three pepper Johns - they are three crabs of the same color.


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