View Full Version : follow the drinking gourd

Apr-02-2006, 10:46pm
my daughter's class sang this as part of a choral representation of america (really nice tie in to curriculum btw).
i think thats the name and it came under the civil war years heading- chords anyone?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif? i know there are some civil war music folk out there. sounded alot like a spiritual.

Apr-02-2006, 10:47pm
ps-thanks for your anticipated help in helping me play this excellent old tune.

Apr-03-2006, 7:13am
So, it's not from Life of Brian? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Apr-03-2006, 9:19pm
This was a song sung on the southern plantations while the slaves were working in the fields. So under the noses of their owners and masters, they inserted, encoded so speak, in the lyrics of the song, instructions to the next safe house in the Underground Railway. Thus, each plantation had it's own variation which was particular to the directions that needed to be passed along.

I learned it in Em on the guitar, Richie Havens recorded it but I am not sure which key he used and I cannot remember which video I saw with him playing, but it was on PBS years ago.

A great song.....I have not tried it on mando as of yet, but now I thinks I will !!!

When The Sun comes up and the first quail calls
Follow the drinking gourd
G D Em Bm
For the old man is waiting to carry you to freedom

Em Bm Em
Follow the drinking gourd
Em Am Em
Fol ------Lowwwwwwwwww The Drinking Gourd
Em Am Em
Fol--------lowwwwwwww the drinking gourd

G D Em Bm
For the old man is waiting for to carry you to freedom
Em Bm Em
Follow the Drinking Gourd

Apr-04-2006, 8:52am
thanks so much harwilli- i'll give it a shot tonight!!!!!
didn't know richie h. had done it. will need to look that one up. thanks as wel for the background info.

willie g
Apr-04-2006, 5:15pm
...for those of you who remember the late 50's, Theodore Bikel had an excellent version of this song.
-willie g

May-10-2006, 8:30am
looked up additional lyrics and played this out for the first time a coupla weeks ago. really went well- what a powerful tune, and the fact that it played such an important role in history and the battle for freedom makes it that much better. thanks for the help and info.:)