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Thread: Two Chord Songs

  1. #1
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    Hi y'all,
    Grass Valley Festival is coming up next month and this year there's gonna be a mini music camp for kids. #Since I've got young boys (3 and 5) interested in going, I'm going to donate a little time and a few instruments. #The organizers are basically looking to introduce BG/Traditional music and instruments by teaching two chords (G and D) on various instruments for strum along/sing alongs. #

    Can you guys and gals give me a hand with some addional material? #Most likely #I-V-I songs in G, but I guess we could try I-IV-I in D. And of course, one-chord songs could work too! #

    All I could come up with off the top of my head was: I'm Working on a Building and Jimmy Brown the Newsboy (my first song BTW when I was 7), and Pretty Polly--not sure about murder ballads with this age group though!

    TIA, cheers, mmm

  2. #2
    Registered User Bruce Evans's Avatar
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    These all work with either C and G7 or D and A7
    Jambalaya
    He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
    Skip to My Lou
    This is a ukulele site, but she has a whole list of two chord songs.
    http://www.alohayall.net/Magic%202-chord%20Songs.htm

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    Hot corn cold corn. This is a great tune for kids (even though it's a moonshine song) because they love the "toenails are a' flyin" line.

    Sally Goodin
    Handsome Molly

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    Crazy Heart (I wish I didn't Love you)
    Row, Row, Row, Your Boat
    Sourwood Mountain

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Bonaparte's March (not to be confused with other "Bonaparte" titles)
    U.S. March
    The Open Sea (Andy Statman)
    Lady of the Lake
    John Lovers Gone
    Ebeneezer
    Flying Indian
    Martha Campbell
    Wolf Creek

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    London Bridge
    Polly Wolly Doodle
    Buffalo Gals

    Check out: http://guitar-primer.com/Folk/
    mandollusional Mike

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    One of my favorites...."I`ll Just Go Away"....Willie

  8. #8
    Mark Jones Flowerpot's Avatar
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    I second the Hot Corn, Cold Corn. I also like Polly Wolly Doodle -- good words (Behind the barn, down on my knees/I thought I heard a chicken sneeze...). It's another two-chorder.

    For another three-chord song, Turkey in the Straw has some fun lyrics too (Well, I went out to milk but didn't know how/Milked the horse instead of the cow/Monkey sitting on a pile of straw/Winking at his mother-in-law/ Turkey in the hay...). I also like Camptown Races. I don't know about age ranges, cause I'm calibrated for two year olds; they like everything just as well as something else, as long as it's got a beat.

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    Thanks folks, I appreciate the help!
    I've got a good list now, but if you think of any more fell free to throw um out there!

    I also came up with "ain't no bugs on me" re-popularized by Grisman/Garcia (if indeed it ever was popular)--I seem to rembember hearing it on one of my dad's old greenbriar boys ablums (mayber the new lost city ramblers).

    one things for sure, the "quirkier" the lyrics, the more kids like um.

    Thanks again, mmm

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    I'm Going Back to Old Kentucky... the entire thing is just A and E. Good times.
    "wait until someday, 'cause when I know what to say, I'll say it in the best way you've ever heard..." ~nickel creek

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    sally goodin is just A and E
    "A mando is a terrible thing to waste."

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    "Take Me Back To Tulsa" is a I - V and has funny words kids might like.

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    ..nope..Sally Goodin is actually a three chord song...A D & E....there is a quick D in there....Ive heard oldtimers do it the 3 chord way as well as Rice and the boys...somewhere thru time the D has gotten lost..sounds good both ways but I prefer the 3 chord thing..sorta adds some swing sound to it..

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    Someone mentioned Buffalo Gals, Aubrey burns it on one of his records. Each instrument break modulates keys.

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    How about "Rubin's Train"?
    Cabin Fever String Band, National Pike Pickers

  16. #16
    Registered User Jay Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Chord Songs

    Two Cord Songs: Back from the Dead
    "Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope." - Mahalia Jackson

  17. #17
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Chord Songs

    Speaking of The Dead - "Franklin's Tower" (Roll Away The Dew) is a I - IV.

    Plenty of I - V Cajun songs, if you want to go there. "Bayou Pompon" is a great tune, easily done bluegrass style. Someone said "Jambalaya," but there is also the song that was based on, "Grand Texas."
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  18. #18
    Registered User Fstpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Chord Songs

    Angelina Baker

    Jeff

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Two Chord Songs

    Check out Pete Wernick's website, I think he's got a list of 50-60 or so of them.

  20. #20
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Chord Songs

    Instrumental whiz Harvey Reid, along with Joyce Andersen, did a project called The Song Train a while ago. It's a four-CD boxed set and 80-page booklet, covering 56 songs that use one or two chords. Here's the Song Train website; it's also up on iTunes, I understand.
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    Default Re: Two Chord Songs

    Peter Rowan's "I'm gonna love you like there's no tomorrow".

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Two Chord Songs

    "Ashes Of Love" by Hot Rize or anybody. I know some people like to throw in a passing chord between the I and the V, but I don't know if it was written that way.

    Thought of a one chord song if you want to go there - "When The Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin, not the original by Memphis Minnie, which is a standard blues.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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