Week #251 Footprints in the Snow

  1. Marcelyn
    Barbara's away from her computer but asked me to let y'all know the song of the week. By the slimmest of margins, the winner came out to be a classic Monroe tune entitled Footprints in the Snow.
    Here's an interesting write-up on the song's origin from Bluegrass Today.

    Here it is performed by Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys....

    And here it is from Lester Flatt...

    If anyone has tab or ABC notation, please help us out and post it here.
  2. Killian King
    Killian King
    I cannot vouch for its accuracy, but a google search turned up the following.

    There is also a tabledit version on mandozine.
  3. OldSausage
    This is my favorite anecdote about Bill Monroe and this song: http://bluegrasstoday.com/those-old-songs/
  4. Sasquatch
    David, I have often wondered some of the same questions concerning this song.
  5. Marcelyn
    I'd be the first to agree with Monroe that some of those old songs don't make much sense, but to hear just the verses that are sung by Bill and Lester would leave even an old-time ballad connoisseur like myself pretty confused as to what was going on. If you look at these lyrics, it seems to me that she didn't die in the woods and that the narrator is grateful for the snow because that's the day he rescued her and consequently earned her love.

    Some lovers like the summer time when they can stroll about
    Spooning in the meadows may be grand without a doubt
    But give me the winter time, for the girl I have made mine
    Was captured while the snow was on the ground.

    I traced her little footmarks in the snow,
    I traced her little footmarks in the snow.
    I bless that winter’s day when Nelly lost her way
    And I traced her little footmarks in the snow.

    I called to see the girl I love one winter’s afternoon,
    That she had gone out walking they informed me very soon,
    They said she’d strolled away, but where they could not say,
    So I started off to find her in the snow.

    I saw her little footprint just outside the cottage door,
    I traced it down a country lane, I traced it to the moor,
    I found she’d lost her way, there she stood in blank dismay,
    Not knowing where to steer for in the snow.

    I called her, she saw me, and as we were walking home,
    She promised me that never more without me would she roam,
    I’m happy now for life, for her I’ve made my wife,
    Whose footmarks I traced plainly in the snow.

    The verse about heaven in the videos above seems to come after a long life of living together as husband and wife and now he's looking forward to meeting her again.
  6. OldSausage
    Well I suppose somebody better post something here:

  7. luurtie
    That was brilliant David!
  8. Obiwan
    That was great OS
  9. OldSausage
    Thanks guys - looking forward to yours!
  10. Sasquatch
    David, great stuff as always.
    I feel that I rushed this one a bit but had to get it done tonight. Busy week ahead. I think a person too busy to play the mandolin is busier than the good Lord intended for them to be!
  11. OldSausage
    Enjoyed that!
  12. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Very nice offerings from David and Sasquatch. I wish I'd been able to listen to these two breaks way back when I was playing in my first bluegrass band... I do remember that this tune my first exposure to the key of E on the mandolin and as a beginner I found it a bit of a struggle to think of things to play...
  13. OldSausage
    Indeed. And I'm still happy to steal Saquatch's ideas today!
  14. Sasquatch
    Steal all the ideas you want boys! I have stolen (or tried! ) plenty from you guys!! As I have said before: I milk a lot of cows, but make my own butter!
    All jokes aside, that is what is so cool about these weekly offerings from such a vast array of sources. We all can glean ideas and concepts from one another to add to our musical quivers. I have been watching some clips on here of the Bach stuff and am currently attempting to build the courage to dive in. The tortoise wins the race so I will be taking it SLOW & STEADY! THanks guys!!
  15. Obiwan
    Just in time
    Sasquatch sounds awesome love ure style, I definitely pick up alto from listening to you guys.
    This is from parking lot pickers solos book for the most part.

    Looking forward to others
  16. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Excellent stuff from O S, Sasquatch and Obiwan.
    The original lyrics make as little sense as Bill Monroe's. How could she be lost if he could trace her footprints? She could have turned around and followed her own tracks back home. Ry Cooder has expressed his dissatisfaction with this situation by completely rewriting most of of the words.
    Here is his version
  17. OldSausage
    This is going to need even more explaining than the original when the kids ask "what was a union?"
  18. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Superb sound from David's mando.
    Great bluegrassy playing by Sasquatch.
    And Obiwan playing the Dix Bruce solo I wanted to show off with at lightning speed.
    Hard acts to follow. But I will try to post later this weekend.
  19. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Here is my version in the key of d with some guitar backing.
  20. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Good effort, maudlin.
    Finally! I have tried to play the melody once through and then the solo I learned from the Dix Bruce book - at a moderate tempo, though

  21. GKWilson
    Manfred. You're right. David's new mando sounds real good. I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet.
    Looks like a Kentucky 950. I think he got it about the 'Eighth of January'. Hope he gives us a review.
    Your mandolin always sounds great. It's a tone monster. I really liked your solo also. Is that from Dix's new
    'Parking Lot Solo' book? I haven't seen one yet. Someone at Wintergrass next week-end will probably
    have one.
  22. Obiwan
    Maudlin nice job ... Looks like the snow has melted in those pictures .
    Manfred love it ....for obvious resons. And I like that tempo alot.
  23. OldSausage
    Gary - it's actually a KM900 that I bought second hand off the classifieds here. It's pretty much what people usually say about it, has a kind of Gibson sound without the Gibson price tag. It's a mandolin you could jam and gig with successfully, is dependable and well made. It just about has the volume you need - not more than you need, but it's there. It's very nice for recording, but you have to push it just a little too hard for it to sound really nice in a jam situation. In a stage situation where you have some control over the sound, I would be totally confident with this mandolin. Mine could possibly be improved with a better set up, so I was kind of delaying saying too much until I did the work it needs. Everyone says this about this model, but for good reason: you can't do better for the money, especially if you buy used.

    I enjoyed those versions from Maudlin and Manfred. You'd have to be quite the picker to play that Dix Bruce version up to speed in a parking lot jam, IMHO.
  24. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Thanks, guys.
    Gary, as I have the Parking Lot Picker's Songbook, I also got the PLP Solo Book. I like it. The CD is nice, with two different speeds (of course I also use the Amazing Slowdowner). And you can turn down the mandolin part and just use the guitar backup track, which I did for my recording.
    The solos are mostly in the same key as the pieces in the songbook - but not always. I have practiced quite a few solos and have also been able to use a couple in jams. They go from easy to very challenging, closed position up the fretboard, etc., but also include nice double stop accompaniment suggestions for slower tunes.
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