Lyr Add: Just an Old Fiddler (Jerry Rasmussen)
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Lyr Add: Just an Old Fiddler (Jerry Rasmussen)


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Wolfgang 11 Dec 01 - 09:19 AM
Jeri 11 Dec 01 - 09:46 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM
Mary in Kentucky 11 Dec 01 - 02:56 PM
Art Thieme 12 Dec 01 - 07:29 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Dec 01 - 10:27 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: JUST AN OLD FIDDLER (Jerry Rasmussen)^^
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 09:19 AM

This is the first song on Jerry Rasmussen's LP 'Handful of songs' I fell in love with when I first heard the record. It is a timeless song about loneliness and about music. When someone dies alone all the stories and music in that head die as well. Let us all hope we'll not be alone when we'll die.

This is my transcription so there might be errors left, minor I hope. Jerry has helped me when I was stuck with the last line of verse one.


(Jerry Rasmussen)

There's wood by the cook-stove long stacked and forgotten,
split log and split log, placed there with care.
And a tin cup and saucer set out on the table
All dented and chipped from the long years of wear

Chorus: He was just an old fiddler come back to the homestead
As old as the cabin that stood in the woods,
almost forgotten from times I've remembered
of nights by the fire with friends gone for good

Not many noticed when the fiddler came back,
just the squirrels in the rafters and the mice in the bin
and when the fire inside finally took him away
it just read in the paper no known next of kin.

There's nothing as long as a cold winter's night,
nothing as welcome as friends at the door
and nothing as useless as stories to tell
or a tune to be played when there's no one to hear.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Just an old fiddler
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 09:46 AM

My Uncle Charlie.
We went to visit him once when I was just a little kid. He lived in a two-room cabin, heated with an old Franklin stove. The only electric devices he had (which, according to my parents, was a recent development) were a couple of bare light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. There was a fiddle on the wall. I asked him to play, and he showed me his hands - all mis-shapen and crippled with arthritis. He was a member of a group of old "liars" called, I believe, "The Horse Thieves," and one of his cronies was Lawrence Older, an Adirondack fiddler, recorded on Folk Legacy.

As far as I know, he'd never lived away from that cabin. There were stories of him chopping firewood in the snow - in bare feet. I wish I'd been old enough to have heard him play. I wish I could have seen him more often and heard some of his stories.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Just an old fiddler
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM

Hello again, Wolfgang and Jeri:

Just one minor change... you're getting real good at this, Wolfgang.. it's "from times hard remembered." Probably not the best English, but it's the way that it came to me. Like many other songs I've written, this one came from a dream. The first verse was complete, as was the chorus when I woke up. One thing that is great about songs coming from dreams is that they are very visual (obviously.) In the dream, I walked into the old cabin, and found a yellowed newspaper clipping about the old fiddler. When I was a kid, I used to explore a wooded area out in the country, and came across an old cabin. When we were horsing around on the roof, I ooked down into the chimney, and there plastered into the chimney lining was a corner of a harmonica sticking out. I got out my jacknife (never travel without a jacknife) and slowly gouged away the plaster until I got the harmonica out. Getting the holes unplugged and the reeds loosened up was another matter. But, with a lot of careful poking around, and soaking the harmonica in a bowl, I finally got it loosened up so most of the notes played. It was worth it, just to feel that connection with whoever played it, years ago. I have no idea why he would have plastered into the chimney, up on the roof. It made for a good story, though, and may have led to this song..


Thanks for posting this, Wolgang. Looks like I'd better send you a new batch of songs..

Have a Merry Christmas..^^

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Just an old fiddler
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 02:56 PM

Speaking of dying alone, just last week someone mentioned the obituaries in the newspaper that ended..."seeking next of kin." I had never noticed this before. Unfortunately there are quite a few of them.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Just an old fiddler
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 07:29 PM

Oh, Jerry, Wolgang has an "f" in his name.

Art ;-)

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Just an old fiddler
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 10:27 PM

Hi, Art:

Hey, I got it right, one out of two... that's as good as I get. You know us singer-slash-songwriters...


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