One Horse Open Sleigh


h1 December 1st, 2016

Inspired by the sleigh races in Medford Massachusetts during the mid 19th century, James Pierpont penned this song at 19 High Street in the center of Medford Square at what was then the Simpson Tavern. It has since become a popular Christmas song.

My wife Camilla and I have added new lyrics to reflect what it’s like to celebrate Christmas in Florida. Note the “Miami Vice” TV show was on the air (in the 1980s) when we came up with the new words. It’s in reruns now but there is still plenty of vice in Miami.

Merry Christmas 2016!

Lyrics:

[G] Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open [C] sleigh
O’er the fields we [D] go
Laughing all the [G] way

[G] Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits [C] bright
Oh what fun to [D] ride and sing
A sleighing song [G] tonight!

[G] Jingle bells, [Bm] jingle bells,
[Em] Jangle all the [G] way.
[C] Oh! what fun [G] it is to ride
[Am] In a one-horse open [D] sleigh.

[G] Jingle bells, [Bm] jingle bells,
[Em] Jangle all the [G] way.
[C] Oh! what fun [G] it is to ride
[D] In a one-horse open [G] sleigh.

BREAK

Oh Miami Vice, Disney’s nice
Alligators all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
On a fishing boat today

Oh Astronauts, swamp land lots
Big bugs all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
On a racing sloop today

Here we are in Florida
Without a hope of snow
Under swaying palms
Hurricanes sure to blow

But Santa Clause will know
How Florida will agree
Instead of coming from the North
He’ll come from the Florida Keys

Oh Miami Vice, Disney’s nice
Alligators all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
On a fishing boat today

Oh Astronauts, swamp land lots
Big bugs all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
On a racing sloop today X2

(c) McGuinn Music / April First Music 2016
New Lyrics By Roger McGuinn/Camilla McGuinn

The Farmer In The Dell


h1 November 1st, 2016

This is a classic children’s song and game brought to the United States by German immigrants in the mid 1820s. It has been translated into many languages around the world. In the game the players form a circle and hold hands. One person is selected to be the farmer. The people in the circle move around and the farmer chooses a wife. The wife joins the farmer in the center and chooses the child. They all choose someone until the cheese is left standing alone. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 6306.

My wife Camilla remembers playing this game when she was a little girl in Beaufort South Carolina.

Lyrics:

[G] The farmer in the dell (2x)
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer [D] in the [G] dell

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The farmer takes a wife (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The farmer takes a wife

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The wife takes the child (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The wife takes the child

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The child takes the maid (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The child takes the maid

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The maid takes the cow (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The nurse takes the cow

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The cow takes the dog (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The cow takes the dog

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The dog takes the cat (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The dog takes the cat

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The cat takes the mouse (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The cat takes the mouse

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The mouse takes the cheese (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The mouse takes the cheese

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The cheese stands alone (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The cheese stands alone

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The farmer in the dell (2x)
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

Instrumental: X3
[Em] [D] [G]

(c) McGuinn Music 2016
New Music By Roger McGuinn

Blue Tail Fly


h1 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.

Lonesome Valley


h1 September 1st, 2016

Classic 19th century spiritual, perhaps referring to the 4th verse of the 23rd Psalm: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. The song is on page 53 of John Wesley Work’s treasure trove of old songs published in 1915. My favorite recording of it is by Pete Seeger.

Lyrics:

[G] You gotta walk that lonesome valley
You gotta [D] walk it by [G] yourself
[C] Ain’t nobody else gonna walk it [G] for you
You gotta walk that lonesome [D] valley by [G] yourself

My mother walked that lonesome valley
She had to walk it by herself
Ain’t nobody else could walk it for her
She had to walk that lonesome valley by herself

Oh you gotta walk that lonesome valley
You gotta walk it by yourself
Ain’t nobody else can walk it for you
You gotta walk that lonesome valley by yourself

My father walked that lonesome valley
He had to walk it by himself
Ain’t nobody else could walk it for him
He had to walk that lonesome valley by himself

You gotta walk that lonesome valley
You gotta walk it by yourself
Ain’t nobody else can walk it for you
You gotta walk that lonesome valley by yourself

Oh Jesus walked that lonesome valley
He had to walk it by himself
Ain’t nobody else could walk it for him
He had to walk that lonesome valley by himself

Oh you gotta to walk that lonesome valley
You gotta walk it by yourself
Ain’t nobody else can walk it for you
You gotta walk that lonesome valley by yourself

Oh you gotta walk that lonesome valley
You gotta walk it by yourself
Ain’t nobody else can walk it for you
You gotta walk that lonesome valley by yourself

Deep Blue Sea


h1 August 1st, 2016

These lyrics can be found in many traditional songs. They may be from an old English ballad. The tune suggests West Indian origin. In any case it’s a woman who has lost her loved one to the sea and hopes he will return.

Lyrics:

[G] Deep [C] Blue [G] Sea, Baby, [C] Deep Blue [G] Sea
[G] Deep [C] Blue [G] Sea, Baby, [Am] Deep Blue [D] Sea
[G] Deep [C] Blue [G] Sea, Baby, [C] Deep Blue [G] Sea
It was [Em] Willy [G] what got [Em] drowned in the [G] Deep [D] Blue [G] Sea

Dig his grave with a silver spade (3x)

It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

Lower him down with a golden chain (3x)

It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

Wrap him up with a silken shroud (3x)

It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

Deep Blue Sea, Baby, Deep Blue Sea (3x)

It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

The Belle of Belfast City


h1 July 1st, 2016

This is a well known children’s song from the 19th century. It is in the Roud Folk Song Index as number 2649. It’s been collected in various parts of England and Ireland. When sung in Northern Ireland it’s known as “The Belle of Belfast City.” There is a game associated with this song. Children form a ring by joining hands while one child stands in the middle. When asked “Please tell me who they be?” The child in the middle gives the name or initials of a child in the ring and after the rest of the lyrics are sung the named child goes in the middle.

Lyrics:
[G] I’ll tell my ma [C] when I get home,
[G] The boys won’t leave [D] the girls alone
[G] They pull my hair and [C] stole my comb
[D] But that’s all right [G] till I go home

[G] She is handsome, [C] she is pretty,
[G] She is the Belle of [D] Belfast city
[G] She is a courtin’ [C] one, two, three,
[D] Please won’t you tell me [G] who is she

Albert Mooney says he loves her,
All the boys are fightin’ for her
Knock at the door and ring at the bell,
Saying oh my true love, are you well

Out she comes as white as snow,
Rings on her fingers, bells on her toes
Ould Johnny Morrissey says she’ll die
If she doesn’t get the fella with the roving eye

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high
And the snow come travellin’ through the sky
She’s as sweet as apple pie,
She’ll get her own lad by and by

When she gets a lad of her own
She won’t tell her ma when she gets home
Let them all come as they will
For it’s Albert Mooney she loves still

The Dodger Song


h1 June 1st, 2016

“The Dodger Song” was used in the presidential election of 1884 by Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland against Republican James Blane who was portrayed as a crooked politician.

Lyrics:
[E] Oh, the candidate’s a dodger, yes, a well-known dodger,
Oh, the candidate’s a dodger, yes, [B7] and I’m a dodger [E] too.
He’ll meet you and treat you and ask you for your vote,
[B7] But look out, boys, he’s a-dodgin’ for your [E] vote.

We’re all a-dodgin’,
Dodgin’, dodgin’, dodgin’,
Oh, we’re all a-dodgin’ out the [B7] way through the [E] world.

Oh, the lawyer, he’s a dodger, yes, a well-known dodger,
Oh, the lawyer, he’s a dodger, yes, and I’m a dodger, too.
He’ll plead your case and claim you for a friend,
But look out, boys, he’s easy for to bend.

Oh, the merchant, he’s a dodger, yes, a well-known dodger,
Oh, the merchant, he’s a dodger, yes, and I’m a dodger, too.
He’ll sell you goods at double the price,
But when you go to pay him you’ll have to pay him twice.

Oh, the sheriff, he’s a dodger, yes, a well-known dodger,
Oh, the sheriff, he’s a dodger, yes, and I’m a dodger, too.
He’ll act like a friend and a mighty fine man,
But look out, boys, he’ll put you in the can.

Oh, the general, he’s a dodger, yes, a well-known dodger,
Oh the general, he’s a dodger, yes, and I’m a dodger, too.
He’ll march you up and he’ll march you down,
But look out, boys, he’ll put you under ground.

Oh, the lover is a dodger, yes, a well-known dodger,
Oh, the lover is a dodger, yes, and I’m a dodger, too.
He’ll hug you and kiss you and call you his bride,
But look out, girls, he’s telling you a lie.

My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean


h1 May 1st, 2016

The subject of this song was probably Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) who was defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. He was forced into exile in Europe, changing aliases and disguises for the rest of his life. His supporters could have pretended it was simply a love song.

I was unable to sing today because of a cold I caught on our last concert tour so I used the other voice I’m known for (that of the Rickenbacker 12-string.)

Lyrics:
[G] My Bonnie lies [C] over the [G] ocean
My Bonnie lies over the [D] sea
[G] My Bonnie lies [C] over the [G] ocean
[C] Oh, bring back my [D] Bonnie to [G] me

Chorus:
[G] Bring back, [C] bring back
[D] O,Bring back my Bonnie [G] to me, to me
[G] Bring back, [C] bring back
[D] O,Bring back my Bonnie to [G] me

Last night as I lay on my pillow
Last night as I lay on my bed
Last night as I lay on my pillow
I dreamt that my Bonnie was dead

Oh blow the winds o’er the ocean
And blow the winds o’er the sea
Oh blow the winds o’er the ocean
And bring back my Bonnie to me

Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Down In My Heart


h1 April 1st, 2016

A popular children’s gospel song. I got a lot of joy on April 1, 1978. I married Camilla.

Lyrics:
G POSITION CAPO ON SECOND FRET
[G] I’ve got a Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart
[D] Down in my heart, [G] down in my heart
I’ve got a Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart
[D] Down in my heart [G] today

I’ve got a beautiful wonderful happy feeling down in my heart
Down in my heart, down in my heart
I’ve got a beautiful wonderful happy feeling down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay

[Bm] It’s a whole new way of [Em] living, [Bm] far from the dark of [Em] night
[Bm] I’ll tell you the joy it’s [Em] giving me
[A7] Just walking in the [D] light

I’ve got a peace that passes understanding down in my heart
Down in my heart, down in my heart
I’ve got a peace that passes understanding down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay

It’s a whole new way of living far from the dark of night
I’ll tell you the joy it’s giving me
Just walking in the light

New Lyrics and Music By Roger McGuinn

This Old Man


h1 March 1st, 2016

This is an English language children’s counting, nursery rhyme listed in the Roud Folk Song Index: number 3550. Nobody knows who composed it but it was said to have been learned from a Welsh nurse in the 1870s.

Lyrics:
[G] This old man, he played one,
[C] He played knick-knack on my [D] thumb;
[G] With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
[D] This old man came [G] rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick-knack on my door;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my hive;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick-knack on my sticks;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick-knack up in heaven;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick-knack on my gate;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played nine,
He played knick-knack on my spine;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played ten,
He played knick-knack once again;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.