Week #367 ~ Angeline the Baker (Angelina Baker)

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Angeline the Baker, also known as Angelina Baker.

    From Wikipedia:

    Angelina Baker, sometimes sung as Angeline the Baker (Roud 18341) is a song written by Stephen Foster for the Christy Minstrels, and published in 1850.[1] The original laments the loss of a woman slave, sent away by her owner.[2] The lyrics have been subjected to the folk process, and some versions have become examples of the "Ugly Girl" or Dinah song.


    1 Fiddle tune
    2 Lyrics
    3 Notable performers
    4 References
    5 External links

    Fiddle tune

    An instrumental version, as collected by John A. Lomax under the title "Angelina the Baker"[3] is a popular fiddle or banjo tune, and differs from the Stephen Foster melody. It is part of the old time fiddle canon, but is also played by bluegrass musicians.[4] This old time tune was also played as bluegrass by Stuart Duncan at the 2007 Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival.[5]

    According to Lyle Lofgren, writing for Inside Bluegrass, publication of the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association, "Foster published Angelina Baker in 1850, and it was featured on stage by the original Christy Minstrels."[6] The melody and lyrics is as follows:

    Angeline the baker lives in our village green,
    The way I always loved her beats all you ever seen.

    Angeline the baker, her age is forty-three,
    I bought her candy by the peck, and she won't marry me.

    Her father is the miller, they call him Uncle Sam.
    I never will forget her, unless I take a dram.

    Angeline is handsome, Angeline is tall,
    They say she sprained her ankle a-dancing at the ball.

    She can't do hard work because she is not stout,
    She bakes her biscuits every day, and pours the coffee out.

    I'll never marry no other girl, no matter where I go.
    I said I'd marry Angeline just twenty years ago.

    The last time I saw her was at the county fair.
    Her father run me almost home and told me to stay there.

    Here's a link to bare bones notation on abcnotation.com

    This tune had a run as an "Other Tune" a few years back, but, it seems that many of those videos were embedded in a way that site upgrades along the way, has made it so they don't show up! Here's a link to that discussion!

    And, here are some videos!

  2. Bob Michel
    Bob Michel
    Here's a version I recorded this rainy morning, with (as usual) some other instruments in the mix:

    Bob Michel
    Near Philly
  3. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Wonderful Bob. I love the banjo backing - real old time feel - and the accordion coming into the mix.
    Mine is an altogether simpler production - straight through twice in two octaves with no embellishments. This is the way I learnt this tune, one of the very few old time tunes I know.

  4. Bob Michel
    Bob Michel
    Thanks, James. Your production may be "simpler," but it hits the sweet spot for me. And you're certainly coaxing a great sound out of that Eastman.

    Bob Michel
    Near Philly
  5. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Great stuff Bob and James; two fine versions.
    I learnt to play using Rich DelGrosso's Hal Leonard method where this tune appears four times; the last being an exercise in double stops. Kenny Hall also has a version in his book which he says he learnt from Dave Ricker and is not the Stephen Foster tune.
    So here is the double stop arrangement followed by KennyHall's by way of comparison.
  6. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    It's music practice today with my friends, and we just happen to play Angeline the Baker! I grabbed my iphone and recorded this; we play it along with Susannah Gal. I'm playing my Collings MT2-O mandolin, Scott Ross is playing his banjo, and Donna Ritchie is playing her Martin guitar. I think we have some tuning issues.... but I'm blaming it on the banjo ;-)

  7. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nice job Bob, very nice picking James and good solid picking maudlin.

    Barbara, what a pleasure to hear you pick again (and your friends too!) Very well done!
  8. jonny250
    I love the crooked still version of this song, but i also enjoyed the different versions posted above. here is my effort on my weber octave:
  9. fatt-dad
    finally got around to making a video of this fiddle tune. It gets called a lot around here (Richmond, Virginia). I play it often and always enjoy Angelina Baker/Angeline the Baker. . . ?

  10. dustyamps
    You're making the A-3 sound mighty fine fd.
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