Hell Among the Yearlings

As played by Clark Kessinger from the West Virginia region

Reel or Breakdown in D

From the Clark Kessinger Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


78rpm Record


This is a widespread tune, one that is popular in Texas. West Virginia fiddler Clark Kessinger played a really nice version of it. The B part contains a pizzicato passage where you will have to stop the strings while plucking them with your stopping hand. It is hard to get a clear tone from this, and indeed, it is faint in the recording. (The nonsense dance calls certainly didn’t aid the transcription process, either.) Kessinger used some vibrato in this piece, which is denoted by squiggly lines to the left of notes in the transcription that are to be played vibrato. You will notice that the A part is crooked, featuring an extra measure (four beats). (In the terminal A part, Kessinger appears to have inadvertently omitted two beats.) The A part also has a G# accidental that is so consistent that I believe it to be an intentional accidental. (Okay, I’ll try to refrain from further corny music theory puns.)

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