I would like to wish everyone a very, very merry Christmas! It’s been a great year and I am very touched by all the messages and the great time I’ve had with all of the people who check out my small efforts to help people play folk banjo.
Since it’s Christmas, I thought that I would give everyone a little gift of banjo Christmas music.
Here is a video of Luke Abbott playing some Christmas tunes on the banjo. You should really check out his family’s website at Toneway.com. They have a great system to help people learn how to play a variety of instruments.
I am really sorry that I’ve been silent since last week. I was dared or perhaps the word is challenged to start a couple of new projects and I figured that these two weeks would be the best time to get started.
For once, these are banjo related and I’m having fun with them. As soon as they are near completion, I’ll let everyone in on the fun.
Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I was glad to get this request since it’s a song that every banjo player should play at least once in their lives. Oh, Susanna is a great song on frailing banjo, so here goes the Folk Song Of The Week.
Remember, have fun no matter what!
Oh I [G]come from Alabama with a banjo on my [D7]knee,
I’m [G]going to Louisiana, my true love [D7]for to [G]see
It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was [D7]dry
The [G]sun so hot I froze to death; Susanna, [D7]don’t you [G]cry.
[C]Oh, Susanna, [G]don’t you cry for [D7]me
For I [G]come from Alabama with my banjo [D7]on my [G]knee.
I had a dream the other night when everything was still,
I thought I saw Susanna coming up the hill,
The buckwheat cake was in her mouth, the tear was in her eye,
I said I’m coming from Dixieland, Susanna don’t you cry.
I soon will be in New Orleans
And then I’ll look around
And when I find my gal Susanne,
I’ll fall upon the ground.
Brennan On The Moor is the Irish Pub Song Of The Day this time around. This is a fun song, especially if you have three or four people to help you out in singing the refrain!
Have fun with it and remember to sing the song, play the song, love the song, do the song and then repeat, repeat, repeat!
‘Tis [G]of a brave young highwayman, this story I will tell
His name was Willie Brennan and in [C]Ireland he did [G]dwell
It was on the Kilwood Mountain that he [C]commenced his wild [G]career
And [C]many a wealthy nobleman [G]before him shook with [D7]fear.
It was [G]Brennan on the moor, [Bm]Brennan on the moor.
Bold,[C] brave and [G]undaunted, was young [D7]Brennan on the [G]moor.
One day upon the highway as young Willie he went down,
He met the mayor of Cashiell, a mile outside of town.
The mayor he knew his features, and he said, “Young man”, said he
Your name is Willie Brennan, you must come along with me.
Now Brennan’s wife had gone to town, provisions for to buy;
And when she saw her Willie, she commenced to weep and cry.
He said, “Hand to me that tenpenny”, as soon as Willie spoke,
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak.
Now with this loaded blunderbuss, the truth I will unfold
He made the mayor to tremble, and he robbed him of his gold.
One hundred pounds was offered for his apprehension there
So he, with horse and saddle to the mountains did repair.
Now Brennan being an outlaw, upon the mountains high.
With cavalry and infantry to take him they did try.
He laughed at them with scorn until at last ’twas said:
By a false-hearted woman, he was cruelly betrayed.
They took Brennan to the crossroads and there he hung and died
And still they say that in the night that some can see him ride
They see him with his blunderbuss all in the midnight still
And all along the King’s Highway rides Willie Brennan still
I got caught up in a small project and I don’t have time to record any videos. I did have enough time to re-mix this video that was requested last month.
John Hardy is a great song and it’s a blast to play on frailing banjo! Take your time, have fun with it and remember that it’s fun!
John [C]Hardy was a [G]desperate little man,
he [C]carried two razors every [G]day.
He [C]went down to that [G]West Virginia line,
and you [D7]should have seen John Hardy getting away, Lord, Lord.
You should have seen John Hardy getting [G]away
John Hardy, he got to the East Stone Bridge,
he thought that he would be free.
And up stepped a man and took him by the arm,
saying, “Johnny, walk along with me !”
He sent for his poppy and his mommy, too,
to come to go his bail.
But money wont go a murdering case,
and they locked John Hardy back in jail.
John Hardy, he had a pretty little girl,
the dress that she wore was blue,
as she came skipping through the old jail hall,
saying, “Poppy, I’ve been true to you!”
John Hardy, he had another little girl,
the dress that she wore was red.
She followed John Hardy to the hanging ground,
saying Poppy, “I would rather be dead !”
I’ve been to the East, and I’ve been to the West ,
I’ve been this wide world around,
I’ve been to the river and I’ve been baptized,
and now I’m on my hanging ground.
John Hardy walked out on his scaffold high,
with his loving little wife by his side.
And the last word she heard poor John-o say,
“I’ll meet you in that sweet bye and bye. “
The Folk Song Of The Week this time around is Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down. The funniest part of the video is really not that evident unless I point it out. I had exactly 15 minutes to get this video done before I had to give a lesson over Skype. I was near the finish and I see that the camera that is recording my right hand is about to run out of battery power. I got it done, but just barely and you can see the look on my face as I try to figure out if I am going to make it!!
Have fun with the song and remember it’s only frailing banjo, everything about it should be fun!
Now, I’ve [D]been all around this [G]whole wide world,
I’ve [C]been down to Memphis, [F]Tennessee;
And it’s [D]any old place I [G]hang my hat
[C]Is home, sweet home to [F]me.
Don’t let your deal go down (x3)
‘Fore my last gold dollar is gone.
Now, I left my little girl crying,
Standing in the door;
She throwed her arms around my neck,
Saying, “Honey, don’t you go.”
Now, I’ve been all around this whole wide world,
Done most everything;
I’ve played cards with the King and the Queen,
The ace, the eight, or the trey.
Now, where did you get them high-top shoes,
Dress you wear so fine?
I got my shoes from a railroad man,
And my dress from a driver in the mine.
Who’s gonna shoe your pretty white feet;
Who’s gonna glove your hand;
Who’s gonna kiss your lily white cheeks;
Who’s gonna be your man?
Now, Papa may shoe my pretty white feet;
Mama can glove my hand;
She can kiss my lily white cheeks
Till you come back again.