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Tune History

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The Stories Behind Your Favorite Tunes


New Five Cents

Buffalo Nickel, Ruffled Drawers, etc.

New Five Cents. This fiddle tune is a jam standard, but do you know the history? After reading this, it will all be crystal clear. On second thought... no it won't.

Also known as "Five Cents," "New Five Cent Piece," and "Brand New Five Cents", this tune is also known as "Buffalo Nickel.” in the Midwest. It is also known as "Ruffled Drawers," not to be confused with “Ruffled Britches.” What are drawers? Editor's note: I thought you would never ask.

Several sources attempt to tie the tune, or at least the title, to the issuance of the 1913 “Buffalo” or “Indian Head” nickel, but there is not much agreement on that matter. As expected, some researchers date the tune to around 1913, although the melody is thought to be be older.  Slippery Hill says “New Five Cents” is from the playing of Kentucky fiddler Isham Monday, but that is a different tune.


The earliest recording of the tune appears to be by Paul Warmack and his Gully Jumpers, from White’s Creek, TN, who recorded it in 1928 as "New Five Cents”. The Kentucky group Walker's Corbin Ramblers recorded a version of the tune as "Ruffles and Bustles" in 1934. Texas fiddler Eck Robertson  recorded "New Five Cent Piece", although he reportedly called the tune “Chadwick”. New Five Cents is also closely related to (virtually the same as)  "Robinson County" that has its own interesting history and name variations.

Eck Robertson

New Five Cent Piece

Walker's Corbin Ramblers

Ruffles and Bustles

Ruffled DrawersThe Bucking Mules
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