On "Old Rosin the Beau" - (2017)   

for piano


A Wikipedia entry for this title tells that the tune was first published in Philadelphia in 1838, and is "probably" of English or Irish origin. Tunes travel as do musicians, of course. The article notes:  Early versions of 'Old Rosin the Beau' relate the story of a man who was popular in his youth, then in late life, the ladies refer to him as 'Old Rosin, the beau', as he prepares for the grave. As a drinking song, the chorus chimes, 'Take a drink for Old Rosin the Beau' and uses dark comedy, with jests about his grave or tombstone, taken in stride while repeating the sing-song melody. The song is structured where soloists can sing a verse, and then the group can join the chorus/refrain portion after each verse.


When sung, the song begins:  "I've always been cheerful and easy, / And scarce have I needed a foe. / While some after money run crazy, / I merrily Rosin'd the Bow" Thus the song for a singer sings of a fiddle player, and this essay on the tune is for piano.



2 pages, circa 2' 45" - an MP3 demo is here: 


The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano score.


On "Old Rosin the Beau"