All journal quotations from
THE JOURNALS OF THE LEWIS & CLARK
Gary Moulton, ed., University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001.
1. LA BASTRINGUE
"The Men then prepared one of the Rooms, and commenced dancing, we having with us Two Violins & plenty of Musicians in our party." Private Joseph Whitehouse, Christmas Day, 1804. What did those other musicians play? The journals do not tell us, so here are some possibilities.2. V'LA BON VENT
"[F]rom his integrity knowledge and skill as a waterman [Cruzatte] had acquired the confidence of every individual of the party." Captain Meriwether Lewis, June 9, 1805. The French-Canadian boatmen, the Voyageurs, were known for their exuberant and joyful work songs. Here is one of the best known.3. FISHER'S HORNPIPE
"our Captains...Gave them all Some Marchandize.... they Received them verry thankfully divided them out among themselves, & play on their juze harps...." Whitehouse, August 30, 1804. The expedition carried approximately 150 jew's harps as presents for the Indians. The Metis also call this tune the "La Double Gigue."4. SHENANDOAH
"he expired, with a great deel of composure, haveing Said to me before his death that he was going away and wished me to write a letter.... This Man at all times gave us proofs of his firmness and Deturmined resolution to doe Service to his Countrey and honor to himself...." Captain William Clark, August 20, 1804. The expedition lost only one member. If Cruzatte played at all on the day Sergeant Charles Floyd died, perhaps it was this melancholy tune.5. SOLDIER'S JOY
"...gave each man a small dram.... several of them were considerably effected by it; such is the effects of abstaining for some time from the uce of sperituous liquors; they were all very merry." Captain Lewis, May 29, 1805. Members of the expedition would have probably made up verses to common melodies. Here are some standard verses, as well as two written for the occasion.6. IRISH WASHERWOMAN / ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN THE MORNING / TOP OF CORK ROAD
"Gees and Ducks pass up the river. all the party in high Sperits they pass but fiew nights without amuseing themselves danceing possessing perfect harmony and good understanding towards each other...." Captain Clark, March 31, 1805. Human sounds would not have been though only ones contributing to the Voyage of Discovery orchestra.7. OVER THE HILLS & FAR AWAY
"...Peter Crusat & Gibson played on the violin which delighted [the Indians] greatly...." Captain Clark, October 19, 1805. Another expedition member, Private George Gibson, also played the fiddle, but the journals only put the instrument in his hands once.8. HASTE TO THE WEDDING
"...they requested us to remain one night & see them dance &c.... Several men with Tamborens highly Decorated with Der & Cabra Hoofs to make the rattle, assembled and began to Sing & Beat...." Captain Clark, September, 1804, among the Teton Sioux. Expedition members and their Indian hosts probably had few qualms about playing together or borrowing instruments from each other.9. J'ENTEND LA MOULIN
"In the evening Cruzatte gave us some music on the violin and the men passed the evening in dancing singing &c and were extreemly cheerfull." Captain Lewis, June 9, 1805. Another Voyageur song. Many of the expedition's boatmen were French or Metis.10. AMAZING GRACE
"...the head chief told our officers that they Should be lonesome when we left them and they wished to hear once of our meddicine Songs and try to learn it and wished us to learn one of theirs and it would make them glad." Sergeant John Ordway, April 28, 1806.
Expedition members sang two medicine songs that night, but we can only guess at what they might have been.11. BREAKIN' UP CHRISTMAS
"we fired the Swivels at day break & each man fired one round. our officers Gave the party a drink of Taffee. we had the Best to eat that could be had, & continued firing dancing & frolicking dureing the whole day." Sergeant John Ordway, Christmas Day, 1804. Holiday celebrations, and Cruzatte's fiddling, played an important role in maintaining high spirits during the almost 2 1/2 years of the expedition.12. O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
"...carried with us a fiddle & a Tambereen & a Sounden horn. as we arived at the entrence of the vil. we fired one round then the music played. loaded again. then marched to the center of the vil, fired again. then commenced dancing. a frenchman danced on his head and all danced round him for a Short time then went in to a lodge & danced a while, which pleased them verry much...." Sergeant John Ordway, New Year's Day, 1805, among the Mandan Indians.13. RED RIVER JIG
"...such as were able to shake a foot amused themselves in dancing on the green to the music of the violin which Cruzatte plays extreemly well...." Captain Lewis, June 25, 1805. Some refer to the "Red River Jig" as the Metis national anthem.14. YANKEE DOODLE
"it being the 4th of Independence we drank the last of our ardent Spirits except a little reserved for Sickness. the fiddle put in order and the party amused themselves dancing all the evening untill about 10 oClock in a Sivel & jovil manner." Sergeant John Ordway, July 4, 1805. The new verses here highlight members of the expedition and some of their contributions, both positive and negative, to the expedition.15. CUCKOO'S NEST / FLOWERS OF EDINBURGH
"...after dark we had the violin played and danced for the amusement of ourselves and the indians...." Captain Lewis, June 8, 1806. That is last journal entry about music. Cruzatte returns to St. Louis with the expedition, then disappears back up the river where he presumably shares his music with new fellow travelers.
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