Archive for the 'Mountain/southern us' Category



Freight Train


h1 Sunday, September 1st, 2019

Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten composed “Freight Train” as a teenager (sometime between 1906 and 1912), inspired by the sound of the trains rolling in on the tracks near her home in North Carolina.

The song has been recorded by Joan Baez, Peter Paul and Mary and countless others.

Lyrics:
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don’t tell what train I’m on
They won’t know what route I’m going

When I’m dead and in my grave
No more good times here I crave
Place the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all I’ve gone to sleep

When I die, oh bury me deep
Down at the end of old Chestnut Street
So I can hear old Number Nine
As she comes rolling by

When I die, oh bury me deep
Down at the end of old Chestnut Street
Place the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all I’ve gone to sleep

Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don’t tell what train I’m on
They won’t know what route I’m going

Buffalo Boy


h1 Thursday, August 1st, 2019

This is an Appalachian courting song I learned at the Old Town School of Folk Music in 1957
Lyrics:
[E] When are we going to get married
[B7] Get married, [E] get married
When are we going to get married
[B7] My dear old Buffalo [E] Boy

Guess we’ll marry in the Fall
In the Fall, in the Fall
Guess we’ll marry in the Fall
That is if the weather is good

What you going to bring to the wedding
To the wedding, to the wedding
What you going to bring to the wedding
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Guess I’ll bring my ox cart
My ox cart, my ox cart
Guess I’ll bring my ox cart
That is if the weather is good

Why don’t you bring your buggy
Your buggy, your buggy
Why don’t you bring your buggy
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Ox won’t fit in the buggy
In the buggy, in the buggy
Ox won’t fit in the buggy
Not even if the weather is good

Who you going to bring to the wedding
To the wedding, to the wedding
Who you going to bring to the wedding
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Guess I’ll bring my children
My children, my children
Guess I’ll bring my children
That is if the weather is good

Didn’t know you had no children
No children, no children
Didn’t know you had no children
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Yes I got two children
Two children, two children
Yes I got two children
Because the weather was good

There ain’t gonna be no wedding
No wedding, no wedding
There ain’t gonna be no wedding
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Not even if the weather is good?

Not even if the weather is good!

Miles High Maggie


h1 Monday, April 1st, 2019

This is based on a bluegrass standard “Little Maggie” recorded by Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Lester Flatt, Ricky Scaggs and almost every banjo player in the world.

I have fond memories of standing around the fountain in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village on Sunday afternoons in the 60s playing guitar along with Roger Sprung and Eric Weissberg.

Everybody did this song about the same way. I decided to add a little “Eight Miles High” Rickenbacker to it for spice and in so doing a new genre: “JazzGrass” Ha!

Lyrics:

[A] Oh yonder stands little [G] Maggie
[A] With a dram glass [E7] in her [A] hands
She’s drinking away her [G] troubles
[A] She’s a courting some [E7] other [A] man

Oh how can I ever stand it
Just to see them two blue eyes
A shining in the moonlight
Like two diamonds in the sky

Last time a saw little Maggie
She was down on the banks of the sea
With a forty-four around her Waste
And a banjo on her knee

Lay down your last gold dollar
Lay down your gold watch and chain
Little Maggie’s gonna dance for daddy
Listen to that old banjo ring

Pretty flowers were made for blooming
Pretty stars were made to shine
Pretty women were made for loving
Little Maggie was made for mine

Ain’t Nobody Gonna Turn Us Around


h1 Sunday, April 1st, 2018

This is an old hymn from the 1800s about walking up to Calvary.
Lyrics:
[Dm] Well there ain’t nobody gonna turn us around
[A] Turn us around
[Dm]Turn us around
Well there ain’t nobody gonna turn us around
We’re gonna [G] keep on a-walking Lord
[Dm] Keep on a-talking Lord
[G] Walking up to [A] Calvary [Dm]

Well there ain’t no sinner gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Well there ain’t no sinner gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

Ain’t no unbeliver gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Ain’t no unbeliver gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

Well there ain’t no demon gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Well there ain’t no demon gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

Well there ain’t no devil gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Well there ain’t no devil gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

There ain’t nobody gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Well there ain’t nobody gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

The A B C Song


h1 Thursday, March 1st, 2018

It’s hard to imagine a song about the “ABC’s” without the tune to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” The song only uses eight of the letters of the alphabet. But that’s how I learned it from the John Quincy Wolf Collection OZARK FOLKSONGS. You can listen to the original version there. Not sure if there were verses for the rest of the letters and the guy just forgot them or that’s all they had to say. In any case I modulated keys on this to make it more musically interesting.
Lyrics:

[A] Oh, A was an archer,
And he shot a big frog.

[E] B was a butcher,
And he had a big [A] dog.

[A] And C was a carpenter
All covered with lace,

[E] And D was a drunkard,
And he had a red [A] face.

[D] Oh, E was a squire (Maybe that was originally Esquire)
With pride on his brow.

[E] And F was a farmer,
And he [D] followed the [A] plow.

[A] And G was a gamester,
And he had good luck.

[E] And H was a hunter,
And he hunted the [A] buck.

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.”