View Full Version : names and links for 3 old time tunes

Oct-21-2005, 11:46am
hi, i've been thinking of expanding my repertiore of tunes, and don't want to go bg, i do like that old time feel. if i were gonna start trying out playing, singing, 3 old time tunes. which 3 standards should i begin to work with, and where could i find links for lyrics/chords (as i understand it, though i may be wrong- not many solos/breaks in old time tunes so don't think i need tab).

thanks so much for your anticipated help...

Oct-21-2005, 12:40pm

Here we maybe see how enormously broad the what one could mean by "old time" . Are you interested more in playing along to sung old-time songs? Or are you interested in learning old-time tunes, many of which also have lyrics? The latter category, imo, is a lot richer and more fun. It may be right to say these tunes don't have solo breaks, but what they generally do is alternate between a sung verse and chorus, and one or more instrumental go-rounds. It is great fun to be at an old-time jam where someone, often a fiddler, will break into a couple of sung verses or choruses.

Here are a couple suggestions of the countless "tunes with lyrics": (I'm just scrolling through some of my CD library which is downloaded to ITunes on my PC)

Cluck old hen
Georgia Railroad
Fly around pretty little miss
Rock that Cradle Lucy
June Apple
Sandy Boys
Sail away ladies/Sally Ann
Lonesome Dove
Goodbye girls I'm going to Boston
Train on the Island

And a few songs that are also nice instrumentally:
Storms are on the Ocean
Adieu false heart
Sugar Babe/Short life of trouble
Little Sadie
Hard Times

So where to look for these and other tunes - One suggestion might be to hunt back for recommendations in the "Old Time" thread section. A few groups I like that do a combination of old-time tunes and songs:

Freight Hoppers
Reel Time Travelers
Rayna Gellert & Susie Goehring
Foghorn String Band
Crooked Jades
Tim O'Brien/Dirk Powell

Oct-21-2005, 1:12pm
Hi ira
You may want to start with Mike Seeger´s Old Time Mandolin Method... I play Hawkins Rag and it´s an uptempo fun tune...

Personally in the moment I am going for waltzes. Allways good to have some dance tunes in your repertoire. Homespun has an Oldtime Fiddle Method you can easily adapt to mandolin . "My own home waltz" is one of my favorits.

Other OT songs that come to my mind :
Vicksburg Stomp , Alabama Jubilee , Wabash Cannonball , Liberty , Sailors Hornpipe , All the good times are past and gone, East Tennessee Blues ( not a real Blues but more Ragtime alike ).

Did you try http://alltabs.com/ they have plenty OT !

Enjoy whatever you choose http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif


Oct-21-2005, 1:15pm
Angeline the Baker is another old-time standard with lyrics. Just be careful calling The Cuckoo's Nest (http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/cuckoo.html) 'cause the lyrics are not necessarily for mixed company - ha.

HERE's (http://www.bluegrassworld.com/lyrics/) another web page you can explore for lyrics - hope it helps.


David M.
Oct-21-2005, 2:09pm
sugarinthegourd.com is streaming old time music. good thing to listen to if you're getting into the tunes.

another good site I just found out about today is:


It's got alot of old timey string band stuff recorded mostly from 78's from the 20's/30's. very cool and lots of good fiddle and fiddle tunes.

tunes: Over the Waterfall (in D)
St. Anne's Reel (also D)
Soldiers Joy

Down in the Willow Garden
Handsome Molly
Devilish Mary

Listen to the Skillet Lickers.

Mike Buesseler
Oct-23-2005, 12:10pm
I just found and learned a great tune called "John Barleycorn." I found it at AllTabs.com, I think. Three parts, a few tricks, but pretty straightforward, I thought. One of the most satisfying tunes to play that I know.

Oct-23-2005, 1:08pm
is this the same tune that traffic/steve winwood did???

Oct-23-2005, 2:38pm
What about the Pizza Tapes version of Shady Grove? (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/wma-pop-up/-/B00004SBZ6001006/103-7115850-7262248)

John Flynn
Oct-23-2005, 2:51pm
I go to fair number of OT jams and I am affilated with a school that teaches OT music. The top ones I hear called over and over are:
Soldier's Joy
Angeline the Baker
Cluck Old Hen
Julianne Johnson
Cold Frosty Morning
Cumberland Gap
Eighth of January
Horse and Buggy-O
June Apple
Mississippi Sawyer
Lazy John
Little Dutch Girl
Miss McLeod's Reel
Nail That Catfish to a Tree
Robinson County
Sandy Boys
Greasy Coat
Tippin Back the Corn

Of those, the first three are probably the easiest to learn and the most often called.

Oct-25-2005, 4:00pm
ira, Yea Steve Winwood and Traffic did John Barleycorn. Its an old English folk tune. . . .FYI.

Oct-31-2005, 9:15am
pickin a bit on overthewaterfall- loads of fun!

Oct-31-2005, 11:37am
East Tennessee Blues ( not a real Blues but more Ragtime alike ).

Not "real blues" ? Suh, them ah fightin' wuhds! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

I happen to live in the Piedmont region of NC, where the Piedmont Blues are an important part of our musical heritage and yes, they have a ragtime feel to them.

Here is a description lifted from a page on my local blues org's web site:
Exactly what are the Piedmont Blues? Piedmont Blues music originated in NC (and other Mid-Atlantic States) during the early 1900's. African-American guitarists incorporated ragtime piano rhythms and chord changes using the piano's left hand rhythm with their thumbs and the right hand's syncopated rhythms with their forefingers. Many cities and towns in NC attracted Piedmont blues artists, but the most influential musicians worked in Durham, Artists such as Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee are the best known. Currently performers such as George Higgs, Etta Baker, and John Dee Holman play this style of music.

Here are a couple of streaming video shows about the Piedmont Blues (the first has more music, the second more history; they are about a half hour each):


Nov-02-2005, 2:22pm
What a great Video with Etta James ! Thanks for providing the Link http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Please explain what "Suh, them ah fightin' wuhds!" means. Keep in mind that I am not a native english speaker. Maybe that´s the reason why "not real blues" was misleading in some way. I just wanted to point out the Ragtime feel ...

Thanks again.

Nov-02-2005, 3:05pm
Etta Baker makes it look so easy, doesn't she? George Higgs is a fine bluesman, but he looked like he was working a lot harder than Etta and not getting quite the fullness of sound that Etta does. I was phonetically spelling some Southern slang (in the South, we don't speak the king's English; we speak God's English http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif ) It meant "Sir, those are fighting words". I was joking as if I were insulted that you didn't know about our regional music (lots of people don't).

Nov-08-2005, 1:54pm
Maybe some Carter Family tunes?

There's the old standard Wildwood Flower.

You might check out "Cannonball Blues". Gotta be my favorite APCarter tune. Real old-timey bluesy song. I've heard versions both with and without lyrics. There's Jerry version floating the net from like 1963.

I kinda like Natalie Merchant's The House Carpenter's Daughter album. Maybe check out the songs on that??

Just some ideas...

Keep on pickin'.

Nov-08-2005, 2:00pm
For inspiration, maybe go out to www.bluegrassbox.com and download jg1962-06-11...

Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers
Boar's Head Coffee House
Jewish Community Center
San Carlos, CA

Master Audience (?) Reel (Scotch 150) >
playback on Technics RS 1520 @ 7-1/2 ips
no dolby > Barry Glassberg's first gen
reel (Scotch 207 recorded via Otari MX5050
@ 7-1/2 ips no dolby) > playback on Technics
RS1506 > Tascam DA-40 DAT > Tascam CD-RW700
master CD > CDs > HP 9350i extraction using
EAC > .shn encoding using mkwACT. Source
discs from Jay Jurina, extraction and .shn
encoding by Joe Jupille. Sector boundary
alignment confirmed using shntool.

Single Disc (18) 62:52
--Set I--
1. Tuning [0:23]
2. Run Mountain [4:50]
3. Billy Grimes The Rover [3:51]
4. Cannonball Blues [4:06]
5. Devilish Mary [4:05]
6. Buck Dancer's Choice [2:16
7. Little Birdie [3:56]
8. Sally Goodin' [2:32]
9. Hold The Woodpile Down [4:08]
--Set II--
10. Crow Black Chicken [4:05]
11. The Johnson Boys [3:57]
12. Shady Grove [5:22]
13. Hop High Ladies [3:34]
14. Sweet Sunny South [4:28]
15. All Go Hungry Hash House [3:37]
16. Man Of Constant Sorrow (1) [2:25]
17. Rabbit Chase [3:00]
18. Three Men Went A-Hunting [2:10]

(1) Garcia acapella
Times given are for tracks, not songs.
According to Deadlists, the band consists of
Jerry Garcia (guitar and banjo), Marshall Leicester
(banjo and guitar), and Dick Arnold (fiddle). The
performance took place at the 'new' Boar's Head
Coffeehouse, relocated in the San Carlos Jewish
Community Center. Deadlists also hypothesizes
that this is an audience recording, possibly with
onstage mics.

Nov-09-2005, 2:15pm

This is five meg so I can't leave it up that long but check out this mp3-- http://users.rcn.com/kvk/jg1962-06-11t04.mp3

It's the 1962 Jer version on Cannonball Blues. My idea of a good old-timey blues tune.

Here's the lyrics and chords best as I can figger 'em--



(I was gonna email this stuff but my work PC dies and I lost all my saved email addresses)