Week #486 ~ Downfall of Paris

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This weeks winner is Downfall of Paris. Im on the road, and posting this from my phone, so if someone could help me out by linking to the notation, an some videos, I would certainly appreciate it!!
  2. Dick Dery
    Dick Dery
  3. Frithjof
    Nice picking by our very own Barbara.

    There were an Other Tune threads in 2009 and 2010. But unfortunately most of the videos are no longer available.

    We find sheet music also on The Session.
  4. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    There are 4 settings as a hornpipe on The Session and versions in 2/4 march time on 8 notes and ABC. This is the ABC march on a Gremlin.
  5. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Nice playing, Maudlin!

    I've also now recorded my own version. The tune felt familiar when I learned it, and I realised why when I looked it up at the Fiddler's Companion -- it's the original version of Mississippi Sawyer, which we had in Week #318.

    This tune has an interesting history. Originally a French cotillion dance tune, it was adopted by the French revolutionaries as "a Ira", the great call to arms during the early revolution and terror eras. As early as 1793, the tune was then adopted by the British army under the new name " The Downfall Of Paris" -- some 20 years before the actual fall of Paris in 1814! After the Napoleonic Wars, the tune gradually lost its military character and became a dance tune again. American old-time/bluegrass versions are more commonly called "Mississippi Sawyer".

    The version I have recorded is Irish, in a setting I found on Nigel Gatherer's website, in standard notation or mandolin tab:


    Nigel calls it a "set dance", but The Session describes a similar version as a hornpipe -- it has a hornpipe feel to me. Also played as a march, harking back to the military roots. In a rare experience for me, I noticed that I play it slightly faster than most professional recordings, e.g. the Chieftains.

    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  6. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Fine versions, Barbara, Maudlin and Martin. An interesting tune with a very interesting history in all its incarnations. My slightly different offering is played on mandolin, tenor and acoustic guitar and I have altered the rhythm too, I realise!

    The visuals are all of a piece of driftwood I came across while walking along a beach at home.
    No connection to the tune, but I just wanted to do something with this lump of wood when I saw it.

  7. Jess L.
    Jess L.
    Fine versions all.

    Martin Jonas wrote: "... American old-time/bluegrass versions are more commonly called "Mississippi Sawyer"."

    Thanks Martin for the historical info, good stuff. I'd always wondered about the origins of Mississippi Sawyer, it was one of the very first tunes I learned as a kid but I never knew of its ancestry. Quite fascinating!
  8. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    Nicely played, everyone, and I, for one, always appreciate the extra info about the tunes. I've always enjoyed hornpipes and after listening to everyone's submission just realized why: no matter the tempo, they are always sufficiently jivey for my taste.
  9. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Another revisited tune -- this one is played slightly slower than my 2018 recording and uses a different setting. This one is by Peter C Davie and uses different chords and somewhat different triplets from Nigel Gatherer's version:


    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar


  10. Gelsenbury
    Ah oui, another one of those I've been meaning to learn for a long time! Thank you for reviving this thread and reminding me. You play it exactly as I remember it, so I'll learn by playing along with your video.
Results 1 to 10 of 10