Ward Allen Plays Maple Sugar

Ward Allen Tribute 2- Ward played with Wilf Carter, appeared on the Grand Ole Oprey and had a radio show with Frank Ryan on CFRA in Ottawa Canada. He played with his band the Happy Wanderers with Joe Brown on base who later created (literally the Brown family). I love Ward because he represents the high point of Canadian fiddling, based on the farming life in the 50s, 60 as opposed to the nouveau fiddling of today aka Celtic or Cape Bretonish. He played more single string, as opposed to the double bowing by our friend south of the border and never used the infamous jerkoff bowing methods. He made the fiddle ring but had a real sweet real note that came from his being. A special person who I never met but I understand through his music.I go overboard stressing the fact that this was a unique tune composed by Ward Allen in the best tradition of old timey music. Often people here in the US will play variations of the the song and say 'Hey this was a song brought over from the old country' but that is not true. The fact is old time music is still evolving as it is a people's music, work music and dance and fun music, like real folk music. Yes play it anyway you like but remember it is Ward Allen not you know what. It really bugs me when people absorb things liek this without really knowing or caring about the history. I went to Washington DC and checked out the Library of Congress to prove my point on this one. They would not classify it with Ward's name on it if it wasn't true ad Lomax etc who were out in the field recording this type of music always noted if it was 'traditional'. This is a unique peak on the old time music, or people's music as I all it.
thanks for all the comments. I appreciate it.

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Author Trevor Bacelli (9 days)
Mr Ward Allen, was in my opinion ,the greatest fiddle Player that Canada
ever produced, a Icon of his native Canada, God bless him he left a
Beautiful Legacy to all Man Kind, On this note I wish to thank you for a
jolly Tune , Merry Christmas to one and All and Happy New Year 2015,
Trevor.W.Bacelli ,Biloela Qld Australia, Im a Country Boy Through and

Author GORD SUE Paton (4 months)
Ward Allen is our hero too...Not only was Ward & his wife Ann, one of our
Father's good friend, "Hank LaRiviere/River's", he inspired our Father
Hank, to write the words of this great fiddle tune & call it Maple Sugar
Sweetheart...I have a picture of Ward Allen holding fiddle in one arm, &
his..."Canadian Championship Fiddle Trophy" in the other...I would like to
post it for your viewing...
I will get more info on how and where I can do that...thank you For
uploading one of their great songs...sincerely, Hank's daughter...Suzanne

Author Tommy M (10 months)
My grandfather ,Ventrice Thomas bought a maple fiddle in 1915 for $5[a
months wages then, he told me] and him and my Uncle Donald, on guitar used
to play dances around the Interlake district in Manitoba during the 30's
to help put food on the table.I remember him playing this and St Annes reel
when I was young and we'd watch Don Messer on Monday nights having bannock
with homemade jam and tea.Sure miss those days..Always remember you

Author Louis Georges Deschênes (9 months)
In my opinion, this is probably the definite canadian anthem of fiddle
playing. Just the title makes it our own // À mon avis, c'est probablement
l'hymne canadien par excellence de la pièce de violon traditionnelle. Le
titre en lui-même rappelle son enracinement au pays.

Author Fern Dauth (9 months)
What great memories this brings, I had the privilege to work with Ward as a
young singer with The Happy Wanderers in the Ottawa Valley, back in the
50s, so many try to imitate Ward but no one can play like he did 

Author Rejean Olivier (8 months)

Author John Miller (1 year)
Check out this video on YouTube:

Author iza31011 (4 years)
I just relised that I danced to this in the openig ceremonies ! Canada has
some of THE BEST fiddling music !

Author Madi Shay (2 years)
One of the greatest Canadian fiddle tunes ever written and played by a
great Canadian fiddler, Ward Allen!! Every fiddler that I know tries to
replicate the wonderful style of Ward Allen!! I think that is one the most
beautiful compliments that can be bestowed to an artist.. Thanks Mr. Allen

Author notthebrightestbulb (4 years)
You know, it's interesting what you say about this not being a tune "from
the old country." I remember my great-grandmother talking in her thick
accent about the old country, and assuming that she must have been from
Ireland, or something. I later found out that she was actually from across
the river in Windsor, ON. For some of us, this is the music our families
brought over from the "old country."

Author lotsofcases (4 years)
My Dad (who lived near there in the late '30's and most of the '40's) told
me this tune was composed by Ward at a kitchen party at a house (now gone)
west of Staffa Ont. "First house on the Hibbert side of the townline on the
Staffa road" is what he said.

Author Dabs222 (1 year)
Nice tune I found it first in Aly Bains 50 fiddle tunes book

Author Jethromcsheepherder (1 year)
Thanks for posting. This song always brings a smile to my face.

Author Tom Towle (6 years)
Would that be Donny Gilchrist the dancer.Now there is another valley
legend. Calumet island is great. Is Dunraven near the old mine on the south
side looking over at Byrson? tell us more. thx

Author Spartreeman (4 years)
Been a long time since I been up da line with number nine binder twine,
dontcha know, but this brings back a few memories! Setting out for
goldeneyes on the Ottawa with the northern lights dancing overhead, Deer
hunting in Torbolton, mountain biking in Kanata lakes, where has the time

Author Len Hjelmeland (2 years)
@wardalien Your lack of class, and weak command of the English language is
only matched by your total ignorance. Your "assumption " that I have any
envy of anything that came . .or comes from Ontario is more proof of that.
I just happen to know obviously a lot more about music history, and origins
than you. But carry on with your little bit of glory on this little bitty
spot here . .and . .another place you really need to research is the dif
tween polka and reel sir

Author dilltoe (4 years)
I bought my ex a fiddle and made him learn this tune, I didn't care what
else he learned as long as this was the first tune he learned on the fiddle

Author Mandolin1944 (2 years)
You are completely wrong!! If go back and listen to those Don Messer
recordings Dan always clearly stated it was written by Ward Allen. Don
considered Ward one of the greatest fiddlers ever. And he was.

Author groseliers (1 year)
You are truly a "big" man to to apologize although it really wasn't
necessary. Yes, I think I did make a mistake once in my 72 years; it had
something to do with church and vows.

Author yabbut51 (2 years)
Does anyone know where I can download this tune so I can put it on a disc
and send it to my Mother.

Author sunshinejoys (6 years)
I love chording to this song. :-) It's so much fun, especially when you
have a good fiddler playing it.

Author justforever96 (1 year)
I know I've heard this, or at least the intro and the name are familiar....

Author Carolyn Ann Vaughan (2 years)
You all still gotta love maple sugar, I can play a painfully slow rendition
on a fiddle, thanks to a sweet young gal from Eastern Shore

Author Delore1946 (6 years)
Back in the good old days we spemt many a night on the Quebec side drinking
and dancing at the Forest Inn, The Maple Leaf and many other hotels to
numerous to mention. Also did you ever attend the Dance Halls throughtout
the Valley and March 17th at "The Douglas Hotel" I could tell you about
many fun times all of Us had in the back seat outside the hotels and dance
halls. Get me started and I could go on for hours LOL

Author scott cunningham (4 years)
the ottawa valley seemed to produce prob the finest crop of fiddlers of
anywere must have been something in the maple sugar.

Author atomicbolt (4 years)
They did a cover of this at the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics!

Author riverunner17 (4 years)
@shackster49 actually it is not the film maker playing the song supoosed to
be ward allen

Author Tom Towle (6 years)
Hey I am up in the valley occasionlly myself. Shawville, Pontiac County.
That is the Ottawa Valley or heaven on earth. I been all over Canada and
you can take your Fraser river vallye and stuff it. The mighty Ottawa is
King and Ward Allen played often in Gavan's hotel in Quio. NOw I like his
daughter but Gail tried to cash in on it but Ward was a sweet soul.

Author Delore1946 (6 years)
I'm from The Ottawa Valley and I heard Ward Allen play Maple Sugar so many
times one Sunday afternoon at the Lakeside Hotel in Portage du Fort You
could smell the Maple Sugar, Everyone who dropped in for a drink requested
Maple Sugar and that day there were many who had a thirst for Ward's Fiddle
music and a cold beer God Bless You Ward You were "The Greatest"

Author smhebb79 (4 years)
I grew up listening to my grandmother play this awesome song & she did it
justice!!!! SHe never did learn to read music,she played always by ear!
Amazing song...

Author theoldlefthander (6 years)
I haven't heard Ward in a while. They just had a groove that is really

Author M MISSOURI CLEM (5 years)
Hi, Thanks for this wondreful video! We lived in Vermont 7 years, and
tapped a few trees behind our house. We loved the sugaring, and the
fiddling there, this tune especially. M. MISSOUIRI CLEM

Author james miller (2 years)
Still like the tune.the fiddling speaks volumes. The arguers are separated
by states provinces & countries . Probably don't even know each other .none
of your comments read like you have sense

Author lonesomelefty (2 years)
wow, a "fiddle troll"...

Author kitsilanogal (5 years)
Wow, thanks for posting! This is my very favourite fiddle tune. I heard it
many times at kitchen parties while growing up back in Montreal and Gaspe
area. It's the best!

Author mjgilch (6 years)
my grandmother was one of 11 kids born at Dunraven on Calumet island in
1900. She married J.J. Gilchrist from Vinton. P.Q. in 1925 and had five
children by 1934 the middle of the depression. His name was known as Shanty
Jack Gilchristand he was a walking boss for the GILISS LUMBER company at
27yrs of age in 1907 responsible for over three hundred men. Why I'm
telling you this I'm not completely sure but I'm from the valley myself.

Author Len Hjelmeland (2 years)
@groseliers And you forgot to bring what little class you were born with
along as well. The opinion of people like you stay with me about as long as
water stays on a ducks back you pitiful little wanna be. My heart goes out
to the people that have to endure your presence in the real world . . they
are saints for sure :-)

Author vin brother (2 years)
there was a semi vocal version what happened to that one

Author Len Hjelmeland (3 years)
Yer ignorant slur of Celtic and Cape Breton music also shows a complete
lack of knowledge . Both styles were.around long before Mr Allen,and you .
And what the hell would yer " US Library of Congress " know about Eastern
Canadian folk music history ? It's one thing to be a fan but another to
purposely mislead. Like I said he is a mighty fine musician and I am sure a
real gentleman but to say he " wrote" the song and that he is a 'great man"
. but never met . lol . .well . .get real pardner !

Author Testaview (1 year)
Beautiful! I love it! Love the lyrics too! Tess & Lewonarde

Author Don Paden (4 years)
Hearing Ward Allen play his own fiddle tune is just delightful. It's gotta
be one of the happiest sounding tunes I've ever heard. Who could ever frown
while listening to Maple Sugar? lol

Author riverunner17 (4 years)
great song, i liked this growing up my grandpa used to play in for me, my
dad did to, both great fiddlers, great vid and great music!

Author Mandolin1944 (4 years)
@Delore1946 I'm not from the Ottawa Valley but I grew up on a sheep ranch
in western North Dakota along the Sasketchewan boarder. The music was
different but I can identify with your story --- I can tell that the people
were the about the same. Take comfort, at least you seem to been able to
save some of your cultural heritage up there. Can't really say the same
applies anymore south of the boarder. I like playing Maple Sugar on the
mandolin and I think I'll post it in a few days (<:

Author Ed Cappis (3 years)
Such a great Canadian classic. Nobody plays it like Ward Allen. It was a
sad day in music when he passed away. Many have tried to copy, but none
have mastered.

Author Tom Towle (3 years)
Great - send me the link. i would like to hear it. thx for visiting. I want
to start an International Maple Sugar day celebrating the sweetness of life
and good fiddling. Any ideas are helpful :)

Author Len Hjelmeland (1 year)
Please read my apology , and retraction of my previous comment that you
rightfully responded to here. That is, unless you are one of those 'special
people' .. that has never made an error that needed corrected ;-) Thanks
... from the bush.

Author Joshua Zero (1 year)
This song is mentioned several times in a novel I'm reading so I thought
I'd look it up. Lovely. It's amazing how much of a presence the fiddle has
had in the cultures of The United States and Canada.

Author Ed Sabot (4 years)
Thank you so much for posting this. I am a 60 year old from Winnipeg and I
have heard many fine fiddle players from Winnipeg play this great tune, but
I must say that your version is probably the best I have ever heard. You
are a true craftsman and a great musician.

Author Bobladavies (2 years)
I just started learning this tune for a classic country band. Hard to
believe you guys are so punk about it. Rock and Roll!

Author scott cunningham (4 years)
i want to say how much i apreciate the playing of people like ward allen
graham townsend and edgyurki i think most of todays players have to much
classical influence in there music and therin lose the snap that the
oldtimers had.

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