Nathan Hicks playing "Pretty Polly" in 1939 - Alternative pre-revival tuning?

Flint Hill
10/17/11 04:47:19PM

Nathan Hicks recorded a version of Pretty Polly with dulcimer accompaniment in 1939.

Pretty Polly's a minor-key song, right? I've never heard a major-key version. Has anyone here heard Pretty Polly played in a major key?

The versions I hear most often are Dorian-Aeolian hexatonic and Dorian-Aeolian-Phrygian pentatonic (4), both of which are minor with a vengeance.

I've heard the major-key tune Miss Rose's Strathspey called Pretty Polly, but it's chromatic and it seems unlikely that Nathan Hicks would have been playing that tune on any instrument, let alone on a dulcimer.

Here's a Library of Congress catalog card for a tape that Herbert Halpert made of Nathan HIcks singing Pretty Polly in 1939. The description says "with dulcimer & Rena Hicks in background".

And here's the link

I just wonder if anyone here has heard this tape? It seems like a worthwhile lead in the search for an alternative pre-revival tuning. DAC, DAG or whatever.