Stacked Them Up in Piles

As played by Melvin Wine from the West Virginia region

March in A mixolydian

From the Melvin Wine Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)


Field recording available on the CD/DVD set "One More Time": The Life and Music of Melvin Wine from the Augusta Heritage Center


I really like this Civil War tune, though I don’t know whether it commemorates a Confederate or Union victory. The pronoun in the title refers to the bodies of dead enemy soldiers. Apparently the slaughter was so great that afterwards the bodies were stacked up in piles, “besides what got drowned in the river.” Fiddler Jim Taylor investigated the tune and couldn’t match it up to a known engagement, but surmises that it was probably a Confederate song.

You could do different things with this tune depending on your speed, phrasing, and level of ornamentation. You could play it slowly as a song, almost a lament. You could play it a little faster and with some moderate drive and use it as a march. Or you could speed it up, add in some ornamentation, and call it a breakdown. I am calling it as a march, as it may have been used as a march during the war.

This tune is crooked, with two extra beats showing up here and there.

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Dr. Fiddle's Favorite Breakdowns and Reels

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