Happy Eighth of January!

Happy Eighth of January! If old-time has a holiday, this is it.

Long before Jimmy Driftwood made up the words to describe the Battle of New Orleans to his high school history students, or Homer and Jethro camped it up with lyrics about Camp Kookamonga, Eighth of January was a fiddle standard all over the country.

Here is a sampling of Missouri versions to whet your appetite for a little celebration this Eighth of January. And just in case you miss the eighth of January, Ozarks fiddler Bob Holt offers up his “Ninth of January”, complete with dancing feet.

Eighth of January

Players: Bob Walters, fiddle

Bob Walters recorded this tune in Nebraska and sent it to Dwight Lamb who was stationed in France with the U.S. Army at the time.

Eighth of January

Players: Leroy Canaday, fiddle; Norman Canaday, guitar; Howard Marshall, banjo; Forrest Rose, bass

This recording comes from the CD “Old Dan Tucker Was a Fine Old Man” produced by Voyager Records.

Eighth of January

Players: John White, fiddle; Jim Ruth, banjo; David Cavins, guitar

Recorded January 6, 2012 at the Columbia, Missouri contra dance, out of Sam Griffin’s PA.

Ninth of January

Players: Bob Holt, fiddle; Alvie Dooms, guitar; Jim Beeler, rhythm banjo; Patty Beeler, bass; Ted Heavner, guitar

Excerpted from “Got a Little Home To Go To” produced by Rounder Records. The story goes that Bob played this tune for a square dance and was asked what tune it was. Bob said it was “The Eighth of January.” The person who asked the question shook his head and said, “That’s not the ‘Eighth of January’.” Bob replied, “Well, then, it’s the ‘Ninth of January’!”