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Source (if known): Quince Dillon (? See Notes)
Other Tunes in Set:
Region: USA, Texas (Yeah, I know it’s a long way from the North Atlantic, but it’s a great tune anyway, with maybe a slight Irish connection. See Notes below)
Notes: This tune’s lineage appears to be better documented that most old tunes. We learned it from Alan Jabbour* who learned it in 1966 from the elderly Henry Reed, who learned it as a young man from Quince Dillon who was present as Santa Ana’s Mexican army retreated from Texas and who probably composed it.
There were Irish troops involved on both sides. Quince Dillon’s name sounds Irish although his family seems to have been in North America since before the American Revolution.
From Dillon Music’s website:
Quince Dillon…was a fifer in both the Mexican War and American Civil War. Quince also was an accomplished fiddler. Quince’s unit, the 166th Virginia Militia, was eventually incorporated into the 59th Virginia Infantry, which along with other Confederate units, was captured at the Battle of Roanoke Island, North Carolina on February 8, 1862. As the story goes, the Yankee commander of the prison where Dillon was imprisoned held a fiddle contest. The prize was that the fiddler who played the best original composition would be set free. Quince Dillon played a song he composed on the spot and won the contest!
Elbert Ebb Dillon, Great-Great-Great Grandson of William, along with his brother John and Uncle Quince, helped to influence the Fiddling of Henry Reed, the renowned country fiddler.
Quoting Alan Jabbour: “Henry Reed learned this march from Quince Dillion of Monroe county WV who was both a fiddler and fifer. It is associated with the Mexican War in which Santa Anna was the commanding general of the Mexican army.”