I was going through some music looking for something new to play, and landed on General Burnside's Jig.
It only took a couple of bars to realize that I already knew it. It was a version of the tune that's also called The Octaroon Jig, and Emancipation Jig in a couple of other books - only a few notes different. (not any of the important ones)
Boston Jig aka Modoc Reel is another tune with multiple titles (there's at least one more for that too) It would be interesting to do a survey of the tunes that have multiple names. My current theory — fueled by early morning toast and coffee is that these tunes might have been ones that were "out there" and being played before this music started being formalized. "Hey we should put this one in the book - the one that goes twanka-twank-twankety-bong" "Good idea. What's it called?" "I dunno. What do you want to call it?"
Anyone looking for a topic for their ethno-musicology term paper?