Rye Whiskey

As played by Daniel Dix Hollis from the Alabama region

Waltz in A

From the Daniel Dix Hollis Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


78rpm record (MP3 here)


I almost didn’t bother transcribing this tune. It was released under a title honoring a notorious war criminal, but when I gave it a listen anyway I discovered it was actually the well-known tune Rye Whiskey. A bizarre rendition of Rye Whiskey, perhaps, but still Rye Whiskey. I call it bizarre because, even though this is a waltz, you couldn’t dance to it due to its incredible crookedness. (I have to wonder whether Dr. Hollis or the record company named it after the war criminal. And if it was Hollis, could he have done it out of a sense of irony?)

Dr. Hollis’ rendition does not consist of well-defined repetitions of the tune; rather, it features four distinct strains that are mixed and matched. I have labeled the strains with Roman numerals. Strain I only appears at the very beginning of the recording, and is crooked. Strain II is always crooked. Strain III is usually, but not always, crooked. Strain IV features pizzicato notes played over a bowed done on a low A, and is always crooked.


This tune is a member of the following groups:


Rye Whiskey, Drunkard's Hiccups

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