Archive for the 'Mountain/southern us' Category



Rock A My Soul


h1 Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Rock A My Soul is a classic African-American spiritual originating in the southern United States. It refers to a parable in Gospel of Luke of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man had his reward in life but the poor beggar Lazarus suffered greatly. In death Lazarus went to enjoy the comfort of the bosom of Abraham and the rich man was tortured in Hades.

The counterpoint of the two choruses is just for fun. You gotta go in through the door.

Lyrics:

CH 1)

[E] Rock a my soul in the bosom of Abraham
[B7] Rock a my soul in the bosom of Abraham
[E] Rock a my soul in the bosom of Abraham
[B7] Lord rock a my [E] soul

CH 2) Overlap

[E] So high you can’t get over it
[B7] So low you can’t get under it
[E] So wide you can’t get around it
[B7] You gotta go in through the [E] door

[E] I would not be a sinner
And I’ll tell you the reason [B7] why
If by chance my Lord should [A] call me
[B7] Then I wouldn’t be ready to [E] die

Why don’t you rock a my soul
In the bosom of Abraham
Rock a my soul in the bosom of Abraham
Rock a my soul in the bosom of Abraham
Oh rock a my soul
Why don’t you rock a my soul

I went down in the valley
To find me and place to pray
I felt my soul so happy
That I sang my prayers all day

CH out

(c) 2017 McGuinn Music /
New Lyrics By Roger McGuinn

All The Good Times Are Past And Gone


h1 Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Another favorite traditional bluegrass standard.

Lyrics:

[A] All the good times are [D] past and [A] gone
All the good times are [E] o’er
[A] All the good times are [D] past and gone
[A] Little darlin’ don’t you [E] weep no [A] more.

Now don’t you see that turtle dove
Flyin from pine to pine
It’s mournin’ for It’s own true love
Just like I mourn for mine.

All the good times are past and gone
All the good times are o’er
All the good times are past and gone
Little darlin’ don’t you weep no more.

Now don’t you see that passenger train
Coming around the bend
It’s taking me from this lonesome old town
Never to return again

All the good times are past and gone
All the good times are o’er
All the good times are past and gone
Little darlin’ don’t you weep no more.

Come back, come back my own true love
And stay with me a while
If ever I’ve had a friend in this world
You’ve been a friend for many a mile

(c) McGuinn Music /
New Lyrics By Roger McGuinn

Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms


h1 Sunday, January 1st, 2017

“Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms” is a traditional folk song often recorded by bluegrass and country artists. It was derived from a cowboy song titled “My Lula Gal” which was taken from an old British song “Bang Bang Rosie.”

Lyrics:

[G] Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s [D] arms
[G] Lay around the shack ’til the [C] coal train comes back
[D] And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s [G] arms

[G] I ain’t gonna work in the city
I ain’t gonna work on the [D] farm
[G] Lay around the shack ’til the [C] coal train comes back
[D] And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s [G] arms

Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack ’til the coal train comes back
And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms

Now you ought a see my baby
She’s so sweet and kind
I take her every place I go
I never would leave her behind

Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack ’til the coal train comes back
And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms

I know her parents they like me
They welcome me in their door
Invite me to a real fine meal
And ask if I want any more

Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack ’til the coal train comes back
And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms

Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack ’til the coal train comes back
And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms

(c) McGuinn Music /
New Lyrics By Roger McGuinn

Blue Tail Fly


h1 Saturday, October 1st, 2016

This is an authentic version of a classic song once sung by minstrel groups in the 19th century.

Lyrics:

[G] Oh when you come in [C] summer time,
[G] To South Carlina’s [D] sultry clime,
[G] If in the shade you [C] chance to lie,
[D] You’ll soon find out the [G] blue tail fly,

CH: [G] And scratch him with a [D] brier too
And scratch him with a [G] brier too
And scratch him with a [C] brier too
[D] The old man’s gone [G] away

There’s many kind of these here things,
From diff’rent sort of insects springs;
Some hatch in June, and some July,
But August fetches the blue tail fly,

When I was young, I used to wait
On the old man’s table and hand the plate;
I’d pass the bottle when he got dry,
And brush away the blue tail fly.

Then after dinner when the old man’d sleep,
He bid me vigilance to keep;
And when he going to shut his eye,
He’d tell me watch the blue tail fly.

When he’d ride in the afternoon,
I follow with a hickory broom;
The poney being very shy,
When bitten by the blue tail fly.

One day he rode around the farm,
The flies so numerous did swarm;
One chanced to bite him on the thigh,
The devil take that blue tail fly.

The pony run, he jump, and pitch,
And tumble the old man in the ditch;
He died, and the Jury wondered why,
The verdict was, the “blue tail fly.”

They laid him under a simmon tree,
His epitaph is there to see;
Beneath this stone I’m forced to lie,
All by the means of the blue tail fly.

The old man’s gone, now let him rest,
They say all things are for the best;
I never shall forget till the day I die,
The old man and the blue tail fly.

The hornet gets in your eyes and nose,
The skeeter bites you through your clothes,
The gallinipper sweet and high,
But ‘worser’ yet the blue tail fly.

The Fatal Flower Garden


h1 Friday, January 1st, 2016

This is Child Ballad 155, a good warning not to let your children talk to strangers!

Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year 2016!!!

Lyrics:
[E] It rained, it poured, [B7] it rained so hard,
It rained so hard [E] all day,
That all the boys in [A] our school
[B7] Came out to toss and [E] play.

They tossed a ball again so high,
Then again, so low;
They tossed it into a flower garden
Where no-one was allowed to go.

Up stepped a gypsy lady,
All dressed in yellow and green;
“Come in, come in, my pretty little boy,
And get your ball again.”

“I can’t come in, I shan’t come in
Without my playmates all;
I’ll go to my father and tell him about it,
That’ll cause his tears to fall.”

She first showed him an apple seed,
Then again gold rings,
Then she showed him a diamond,
And that enticed him in.

She took him by his lily-white hand,
She led him through the hall;
She put him into

an upper room,
Where no-one could hear him call.

“Oh, take these finger rings off my finger,
Smoke them with your breath;
If any of my friends should call for me,
Tell them that I’m at rest.”

There’s A Meetin’ Here Tonight


h1 Sunday, November 1st, 2015

In 1960 The Limeliters hired me as an accompanist on banjo and guitar. One of the songs in their setlist was “There’s A Meetin’ Here Tonight.” Bob Gibson had rearranged and sanitized an old Methodist camp meeting song by taking the words “sinner” and “Satan” out. This is the original version as would have been sung in the nineteenth century in rural North America.

I thought this would be an appropriate way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Folk Den with one of the first songs I played professionally over 55 years ago.

Lyrics:
[E] There’s a meetin’ here tonight, [B7] There’s a meetin’ here tonight
[E] I know you by your [A] daily walk There’s a [E] meetin’ [B7] here [E] tonight

There’s a meetin’ here tonight, There’s a meetin’ here tonight
I know you by your daily walk There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ out in the wilderness, a meetin’ here tonight
We ain’t gonna give that sinner no chance There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ here tonight, There’s a meetin’ here tonight
I know you by your daily walk There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ here tonight, There’s a meetin’ here tonight
I know you by your daily walk There’s a meetin’ here tonight

That gamblin’ man just cannot stand There’s a meetin’ here tonight
We’re gonna drive Satan from this land There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ here tonight, There’s a meetin’ here tonight
I know you by your daily walk There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ here tonight, There’s a meetin’ here tonight
I know you by your daily walk There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ out in the wilderness a meetin’ here tonight
We ain’t gonna give that sinner no chance There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ here tonight, There’s a meetin’ here tonight
I know you by your daily walk There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ here tonight, There’s a meetin’ here tonight
I know you by your daily walk There’s a meetin’ here tonight

There’s a meetin’ here tonight

Nine Pound Hammer


h1 Thursday, October 1st, 2015

“Nine Pound Hammer” is a traditional work song used by railroad laborers in the post Civil War South of the United States. Much in the same way a sea chantey aided sailors, the rhythm of the song helped the workers keep a steady pace pounding spikes for railroad ties. Many of the verses can be found in other “Hammer” songs such as “John Henry.”

Lyrics:
[A] This nine pound hammer [D] is a little too heavy
[A] Honey for my size [E] buddy for my size.
[A] Honey for my size buddy for my size.

[A] So roll on buddy [D] don’t you roll so slow
[E] How can I roll [A] when the wheels won’t go

I’m going on the mountain for to see my baby
But I ain’t coming back no I ain’t coming back

So roll on buddy don’t you roll so slow
How can I roll when the wheels won’t go

There ain’t one hammer in this here tunnel
That’ll ring like mine that’ll ring like mine

So roll on buddy don’t you roll so slow
How can I roll when the wheels won’t go X 2

The Blackest Crow


h1 Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Possibly a 17th century English broadside that made its way to North America. Found in the Appalachian and Ozark mountains. A bittersweet ballad of love and loss.

Lyrics:
[D] As time draws [C] near my [G] dearest dear when you and I must [Em] part[D]
How little you [C] know of the [G] grief and woe in my poor aching [Em] heart[G]
Each night I suffer for your sake, you’re the [C] girl I [G] love so [Em] dear[D]
I wish that [C] I was [G] going with you or you were staying [Em] here

[D] The blackest [C] crow that [G] ever flew would surely turn to [Em] white[D]
If ever[C]I prove[G]false to you bright day will turn to [Em] night
[G] Bright day will turn to night my love, [C] the ele [G] ments will [Em] mourn[D]
If ever [C] I prove [G] false to you the seas will rage and [Em] burn[D]

And when you’re [C] on some [G] distant shore think of your absent [Em] friend[D]
And when the [C] wind blows [G] high and clear a light to me pray [Em] send[G]
And when the wind blows high and clear [C] pray send [G] your love to [Em] me[D]
That I might [C] know by [G] your hand wright how time has gone with [Em] thee

[D] As time draws [C] near my [G] dearest dear when you and I must [Em] part[D]
How little you [C] know of the [G] grief and woe in my poor aching [Em] heart[G]
Each night I suffer for your sake, you’re the [C] girl I [G] love so [Em] dear[D]
I wish that [C] I was [G] going with you or you were staying [Em] here

Cold Rain and Snow


h1 Saturday, August 1st, 2015

The Cold Rain and Snow is a traditional folk song which is included in Cecil Sharp’s book English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, as sung in 1916 by Mrs. Tom Rice. It was also performed live in the 60s by bluegrass groups such as Bill Monroe’s and Del McCoury’s.

Lyrics:
[Gm] Well I married me a wife
She give me trouble all my life
Ran me out in the [F] cold [Gm] rain and snow
Rain and snow, [F] rain and snow
[Gm] Ran me out in the [F] cold [Gm] rain and snow

She come a running on down the stairs
Combing back her long yellow hair
And her cheeks were as red as a rose
As a rose, as a rose
And her cheeks were as red as a rose

Well she went up to her room where she sang her faithful tune
I’m goin where them chilly winds don`t blow
Winds don`t blow, winds don`t blow
I’m goin where them chilly winds don`t blow

I see her sitting in the shade
Counting every dime I’ve made
I’m so broke and I am hungry too
Hungry too, hungry too
I’m so broke and I am hungry too
I’m so broke and I am hungry too

I done everything I could do
Just to get along with you
I ain’t a-gonna be treated this way
This way this way
I ain’t a-gonna be treated this way

Yellow Rose of Texas


h1 Monday, June 1st, 2015

“The Yellow Rose of Texas” was part of the repertoire of the Christie Minstrels in the 1850s. The song was also used as a marching tune in the American War between the States in the 1860s. This is a completely new version, based on the original lyrics that I wrote especially for the Folk Den.

Lyrics:
[A] There’s a lovely girl in Texas
That I am going to see;
[D] No other man has [A] kissed her
[F#m] No other man but [E] me;
[A] She cried so when I left her
That it really broke my heart,
[D] And I know that when I find her,
We [E] never more shall [A] part.

CH:
She’s the sweetest little rosebud
Anybody ever knew;
Her eyes are bright as diamonds,
They sparkle like the dew.
You may talk about your April Rose,
And sing of Rosa Lee,
But the yellow Rose of Texas
Is the only Rose for me.

Where the Rio Grande is flowing,
And the starry skies are bright,
She walks along the river
In the quiet summer night;
And she thinks if I remember
When we parted long ago,
I promised to come back again,
And never leave her so.

BREAK

Oh, I’m going down to find her,
For my heart is full of woe,
And we’ll sing the songs together
That we sang so long ago.
We’ll play the banjo every night,
And sing our sorrows o’er,
And the yellow Rose of Texas
shall be mine forever more.