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The story behind the tune!

This page is dedicated to the history of old tunes. Iíll start out with a disclaimer by saying that just because Iíve been playing it for over 25 years I am far from an expert on the subject of old time music. These are stories and tales that I have heard from other people at jam sessions, recordings, and other musical material. Please donít quote me as fact!

When I think of Old Time Traditional Music I think of music that was played in the Appalachian Mountains or backwoods of Arkansas, Missouri and across the American frontier from the 16th to 19th centuries. Even some early 20th century.Ē

A long time ago when folks emigrated over here from England, Scotland, Ireland, and many other countries one of the many things they brought with them was their music. Back then there wasnít radio or television so they entertained themselves by playing music. Now youíve got these people all gathering around from different backgrounds playing their music and one says to the other, ďHey! I like that tune! Show me how to play it.Ē Iím thinking there wasnít a lot of sheet music around so most of the learning of those tunes would have been by ear.

Here is where I think the stories get interesting and the tunes get all twisted up and why there are so many tunes that sound the same but have different titles. You have a Scotsman teaching a Swede to play a ballad or an Irishman teaching Frenchman a jig and each of these people putting their own twist to the tune you get a very interesting sound. Maybe not like it was or was not originally written. The bottom line to me is the song was passed on and that makes it traditional.

I hope you enjoy and find this page entertaining and useful. Please feel free to send me your comments and corrections.


Angelina baker or Angeline the Baker

Arkansas Traveler, The

Billy in the Lowground

Buffalo Gals

Girl I left Behind, The

Lorena

Lost Indian

Old Joe Clark

Run Johnny Run