Fire on the Mountain, Fire Medley Part One

As played by Clayton McMichen from the Georgia region

Reel or Breakdown in A and D

From the Clayton McMichen Collection

5 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)
Melody-Only Transcription of Entire Medley (PDF)
Full Transcription of Entire Medley (PDF)


78rpm Record


This transcription is sponsored by Dr. Fiddle contributor Patrick Towell.

Clayton McMichen recorded a medley of the fiddle tunes Fire on the Mountain, Ida Red, and Sally Goodin, in that order, in 1939. This transcription is of the first tune of the medley, Fire on the Mountain. I am also including a transcription of the entire medley, so each part can be seen in context. I think that McMichen played this medley in standard tuning, due to what appear to be unison Ds during Fire on the Mountain.

I find McMichen’s version of Fire to be very interesting. He played it crooked, and with a key change. The A part is straight and in the key of A. The B part, however, is crooked: it consists of two lines in the key of D, followed by two measures in the key of A.

You will notice an eight measure rest in the transcription. During this rest, someone (presumably McMichen, since he stopped fiddling during the rest) sang the following doggerel lyrics:

Fire on the hillside, run boys run
Fire on the hillside, run boys run
Fire on the mountain, run boys run
Fire on the hillside, run boys run

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