The Marching Quadrille
& Nolan the Soldier

“The Marching Quadrille” comes from Bob Walters of Decatur, Neb., as recorded by R.P. Christeson and published in his Old Time Fiddler's Repertory. According to Christeson, the Walters family believed the tune was used during the Civil War , and he suggests it is derived from the Scottish tune, “The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre.”

The second tune is from Francis O'Neill, the Chicago police superintendent who published the famous collection Music of Ireland in 1903. O'Neill taught school for a time in Edina, Mo., regularly attended dances there and tried to learn the tunes played by local fiddlers. “Nolan the Soldier” is a quickstep which O'Neill named for a man who had been a fifer in the Confederate army and who often played (whether a fife or a fiddle is not made clear) on the square in Edina, accompanied on the drum by his son. O'Neill does not report when or where Nolan learned the tune. We learned the tune from Dennis Pash of the Kansas-based Etcetera String Band.

Fiddler and folklorist Howard Marshall has studied Irish migration in Missouri in the 18th Century and has sorted out "Nolan" of the jig "Nolan the Soldier" It turns out O'Neill spelled the name Nolan rather than Noland. Sidney Noland joined the Confederate Army in Horsehead, Ark., in 1863; a year later his son, Sidney B. Noland, joined up (also enrolling in Horsehead). They served in the 9th Missouri Infantry as "Musicians" and were privates. At the end of the war, the muster roll gives Sidney's residence as Jackson County, Missouri. Howard is "99% sure" that these are the "Nolans" in Edina.

© Big Canoe Records, 1995