Tag: instruction

Irish Pub Song Of The Day – Flower Of Scotland Frailing Banjo Lesson

I used to sing today’s Irish Pub Song Of The Day, Flower Of Scotland with some Scottish friends when I lived in Michigan. We never planned it, but after a few drinks one of us would start off with it and we would all sing it at the top of our lungs. Every time I sing it, I can’t help but think of those good days.

Flower Of Scotland [Download]

Flower Of Scotland(PDF)



Oh Flower of [G]Scotland, when will we [D7]see your likes [G]again

That [C]fought and [G]died for your [D7]wee bit hill and [G]glen

And [D7]stood [G]against them, Proud [C]Edward’s [G]army

And [C]sent them [G]homeward to [F]think [G]again

The hills are bare now and autumn leaves lie thick and still
O’er land that is lost now which those so dearly held
That stood against him proud Edward’s army and sent him homeward to think again

Those days are past now and in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now and be the nation again
That stood against him proud Edward’s army and sent him homeward to think again.

Oh Flower of Scotland when will we see your like again
That fought and died for your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward to think again

Frequently Asked Questions – Double Thumb, Drop Thumb and ASPO’s

I had a lot of emails about why I don’t teach double thumb, drop thumb and alternate string pull-offs. At first I was going to reply to everyone with a long-winded email but I decided to just create this video so it can be out there for everyone to see. My goal as a teacher is to help and instruct those that have just started their journey on frailing / clawhammer banjo. If you can do the basic frailing strum and change chords, then I can show you how to find a simple melody so you can sit at home and have fun.

Enough with the long-winded explanation, here’s the video. 🙂

Folk Song Of The Week – I Took My Gal Out Walkin’

The Folk Song Of The Week is I Took My Gal Out Walkin’. It’s a fun song on frailing / clawhammer banjo. I have simplified it down to the bare essentials and it still has a kick to it!

Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to sing it!



I Took My Gal Out Walkin’ MP3 [Download]

I Took My Gal Out Walkin’ (PDF)


I [G]took my gal out walkin ‘twas on a Saturday night

I took my gal out walkin’ and the [A]moon was shinin’ [D]bright

[C]I asked her if she’d [G]kiss me and [C]this is what she [D7]said

[G]She said she would not kiss me so [D7]I kissed her [G]instead


Oh I ain’t got nobody [D7]I’m as blue as can be

I ain’t got nobody to [G]make a big fuss over me

If I don’t get somebody [D7]I’m goin’ back to the farm’

Milk those cows and chickens and [G]I don’t give a golly gosh darn

I took my gal out walkin ‘twas on a Saturday night
I took my gal out walkin’ and the moon was shinin’ bright
I asked her if she’d marry me and this is what she said
She said she would not marry me if the rest of the world was dead!

Irish Pub Song Of The Day – The Rose Of Allendale

I fell in love with this song back in the mid-90’s when I traveled from Champaign, IL to the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago to see The Makem Brothers perform. I was in the “market” for a new ballad and this one hit the spot. The only problem was that everyone else started playing it as well. I tucked it away and went back to it now and again. It’s a great song and fun and easy to play on frailing / clawhammer banjo.



Rose Of Allendale MP3 [Download]

Rose Of Allendale (PDF)

The Rose of Allendale

The[G] morning was fair,the[C] sky’s were[G] clear
No breath came o;re the[D] sea
When[G] Mary left her[C] highland[G] home
And[C] wandered[D] forth with[G] me
Though[D] flowers decked the[G] mountain side
And[C] fragrance[G] filled the[D] vale
By[G] far the sweetest[C] flower[G] there
Was the[C] rose of[D] Allen[G]dale

Was[G] the rose of Allen[C]dale,was the[Am] rose of Allen[D]dale
By[C] far the sweetest[G] flower there,was the[C] rose of [D7]Allen[G]dale

Where’er I wandered east or west,
Tho’faith began to lour
A solace still she was to me
In sorrow’s lonely hour
When tempest lashed our lonely barque
And rent her shivring sail
One maiden form withstood the storm
‘Twas the rose of Allendale

And when my fever’d lips were parched
On Afrie’s burning sands
She whispered hopes of happiness
And tales of distant lands
My life has been a wilderness
Unbiest by fortune’s gale
Had faith not linked my lot to hers
The rose of Allendale

Folk Song Of The Week – Sweet Sunny South

The Folk Song Of The Week this time around is Sweet Sunny South. There are many more verses than what I sang on the video and it’s a great, great song. This is a mainstay at our monthly jams and I love to make it as long as possible.

Have fun with it and don’t forget to sing!

Sweet Sunny South MP3 [Download]

Sweet Sunny South (PDF)


[G]Take me back to the place where I first saw the light

To the sweet sunny south take me [C]home

[G]Where the mockingbirds sang me to rest ev’ry night

Oh, why was I [D7]tempted to [G]roam

I think with regret of the dear home I left
Of the warm hearts that sheltered me there
Of the wife and the dear ones of whom I’m bereft
For the old place again do I sigh

Take me back to the place where the orange trees grew
To my cot’ in the evergreen shade
Where the flow’rs on the river’s green margin may blow
And spread their sweet scent o’er the glade

The path to our cottage they say has grown green
And the place is quite lonely around
And I know that the smiles and the forms I have seen
Now lie ‘neath the dark mossy ground

Take me back, let me see what is left that I knew
Can it be that the old house is gone?
Dear friends of my childhood indeed must be few
And now I must face death all alone

But yet I’ll return to the place of my birth
Where the children have played ’round the door
Where they gathered wild blossoms that grew on the bank
That will echo our footsteps no more

Take me back to the place where I first saw the light
To The sweet sunny south take me home
Where the mockingbirds sang me to rest ev’ry night
Oh, why was I tempted to roam

Irish Pub Song Of The Day – A Nation Once Again

The request came in to do one from Irish Pub Songs For The 5-String Banjo Vol 1, so here it is. This time around the Irish Pub Song Of The Day is A Nation Once Again.

This is a great one to play on frailing / clawhammer banjo. Play along and have fun!

A Nation Once Again MP3 [Download]

A Nation Once Again (PDF)


When [G]boyhood’s fire was in my blood

I [C]read of [D7]ancient [G]freemen,

Of Greece and Rome who [Em]bravely stood,

Three [A]hundred men and [D7]three men;

And then I prayed I yet might see

Our [Em]fetters rent in [Bm]twain,

And [C]Ireland long a [Am]province [D7]be

[G]A Nation [D7]once [G]again.


A nation once [C]again,

A [Am]nation once [D7]again,

And [G]Ireland, long a [C]province [D7]be

A [G]Nation [D7]once [G]again.

And from that time, through wildest woe, That hope has shown a far light,
Nor could love’s brightest summer glow Outshine that solemn starlight;
It seemed to watch above my head In forum, field and fame,
Its angel voice sang round my bed, A Nation once again.

It whisper’d too, that freedom’s ark, And service high and holy,
Would be profaned by feeling dark And passions vain or lowly;
For, Freedom comes from God’s right hand, And needs a godly train;
And righteous men must make our land A nation once again.

So as I grew from boy to man I bent me to my bidding
The spirit of each selfish plan And cruel passions ridding
For thus I hoped some day to aid Oh, can such hope be vain?
When my dear country shall be made A nation once again.

Folk Song Of The Week – Frailing Banjo Lesson: If I Lose, I Don’t Care

It was a frustrating experience trying not to be distracted by Sandy and Amber while I was recording this, but it was fun at the same time!

If I Lose, I Don’t Care follows the same melody as White House Blues on the verse so today you get a two for one special.

Have fun with it!

If I Lose, I Don’t Care MP3 [Download]

If I Lose, I Don’t Care (PDF)


[C]I can’t walk, neither can I talk

[F]Just gettin’ back from the [C]state of old New York

One [G]morning before [C]day

Flossie, oh Flossie, now what is the matter
Walked all the way from old Cincinatta
One morning before day


[C]If I lose, let me lose

I don’t [G]care how much I [C]lose

If I lose a hundred dollars while I’m [F]tryin’ to win a dime

For my [G]baby, she needs money all the [C]time

The blood was a-runnin’, and I was runnin’ too
Give my feet some exercise, I had nothing else to do
One morning before day

The peas was so greasy, the meat was so fat
The boys was fightin’ the Spaniards while I was fightin’ gnats
One morning before day

See them girls settin’ at the tank
Ready to catch a freight train they call old Nancy Hanks
One morning before day

Irish Pub Song Of The Day – Frailing Banjo Lesson: Donegal Danny

I’m back after getting my butt kicked by DDP! Donegal Danny was a request and I had fun doing it, even though my family thought that it would be funny to try to throw me off by showing me pictures of Karen Gillan while I was recording.

Have fun with it and remember that all of the melody notes are in the first four frets.

Donegal Danny MP3 [Download]

Donegal Danny (PDF)

Donegal Danny

I [G]remember the night when [C]he came [G]in from the [C]wintry cold and [G]damp

A giant of a man in an [Em]oilskin coat and a [Am]bundle which showed he was a [D7]tramp

He [G]stood at the bar and [C]called for a [G]pint and [C]turned to gaze into the [G]fire

On a night like this to be [Em]safe and warm Is my [Am]one and only [D7]desire


So [G]here’s to those that are [C]dead and [G]gone The friends that I left [D7]here

And [G]here’s to you then I’ll [C]bid you [G]adieu

Since Donegal [D7]Danny’s been [G]here me [Em]boys, [G]Donegal [D7]Danny’s been [G]here

Then in a voice that was hushed and low he said: listen I’ll tell you a tale
How a man of the sea became a man of the road and never more will set sail
I’ve fished out of Howth and Killybegs, Ardglass and Baltimore
But the cruel sea has beaten me and I’ll end me days on the shore

One fateful night in the wind and the rain we set sail from Killybeys town,
There were five of us from sweet Donegal and one from County Down,
We were fishermen who worked the sea and never counted the cost
But I never thought’ere that night was done that my fine friends would all be lost

Then the storm it broke and drove the boat to the rocks about ten miles from shore,
As we fought the tide we hoped inside to see our homes once more
Than we struck a rock and holed the bow and all of us knew that she’d go down
So we jumped right into the icy sea and prayed to God we wouldn’t drown

But the raging sea was rising still as we struck out for the land
And she fought with all her cruelty to claim that brilliant band
By St John’s point in the early dawn I dragged myself to the shore
And I cursed the sea for what she’d done and vowed to sail her never more

Ever since that night I’ve been on the road travelling and trying to forget
That awful night I lost all my friends, I see their faces yet
And oft times at night when the sea is high and the rain is tearing at me skin
I hear the cries of drowning men floating on the wind

Folk Song Of The Week – Frailing Banjo Lesson: Oh, Susanna!

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, Susanna MP3 [Download]

Oh, Susanna (PDF)


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.

Irish Pub Song Of The Day – Frailing Banjo Lesson: Brennan On The Moor

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!

Brennan On The Moor MP3 [Download]

Brennan On The Moor (PDF)


‘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