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Songs about Banjoes

thespionage 08 Jul 05 - 11:33 PM
Peace 08 Jul 05 - 11:35 PM
Peace 08 Jul 05 - 11:39 PM
GUEST,Dale 09 Jul 05 - 12:24 AM
Dave Hanson 09 Jul 05 - 12:49 AM
Matt R 09 Jul 05 - 02:25 AM
Leadfingers 09 Jul 05 - 02:30 AM
Bunnahabhain 09 Jul 05 - 02:49 AM
Neighmond 09 Jul 05 - 03:19 AM
Charley Noble 09 Jul 05 - 09:51 AM
Abby Sale 09 Jul 05 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Dale 09 Jul 05 - 11:31 AM
Rapparee 09 Jul 05 - 01:05 PM
thespionage 09 Jul 05 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Jul 05 - 01:57 PM
Genie 09 Jul 05 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,julia 09 Jul 05 - 08:32 PM
Bob Bolton 09 Jul 05 - 09:27 PM
Padre 09 Jul 05 - 09:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 05 - 10:49 PM
Genie 10 Jul 05 - 03:48 AM
Genie 10 Jul 05 - 03:50 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jul 05 - 04:15 AM
dick greenhaus 10 Jul 05 - 06:03 PM
Margret RoadKnight 10 Jul 05 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 11 Jul 05 - 12:48 AM
Splott Man 11 Jul 05 - 05:41 AM
Charley Noble 11 Jul 05 - 05:03 PM
PoohBear 11 Jul 05 - 06:14 PM
thespionage 11 Jul 05 - 08:29 PM
Amos 12 Jul 05 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 08 Feb 07 - 11:02 AM
bfdk 08 Feb 07 - 11:37 AM
kendall 08 Feb 07 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Jim 08 Feb 07 - 06:10 PM
Charley Noble 08 Feb 07 - 06:35 PM
Gulliver 08 Feb 07 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,Scoville at Dad's 08 Feb 07 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,mg 08 Feb 07 - 08:14 PM
Joe_F 08 Feb 07 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,Pamela in Ithaca 08 Feb 07 - 10:56 PM
Geoff the Duck 09 Feb 07 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,banjoman 09 Feb 07 - 07:02 AM
Geoff the Duck 09 Feb 07 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 09 Feb 07 - 08:44 AM
GUEST 09 Feb 07 - 08:55 AM
Songster Bob 09 Feb 07 - 04:02 PM
Willie-O 09 Feb 07 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,mickburke 09 Feb 07 - 09:29 PM
Ferrara 09 Feb 07 - 10:52 PM
Charley Noble 10 Feb 07 - 10:04 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 07 - 07:11 PM
Charley Noble 10 Feb 07 - 07:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 07 - 01:38 PM
Geoff the Duck 11 Feb 07 - 02:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 07 - 02:29 PM
Ferrara 11 Feb 07 - 03:31 PM
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Subject: Songs about Banjoes
From: thespionage
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 11:33 PM

What are some songs about banjoes? I think I'll accept songs of the "banjo on his/her/my knee" variety, such as "Oh Susannah" and "Darlin' Corey." Let's try not to have an overwhelming amount of anti-banjo songs.

Russ


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 11:35 PM

Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 11:39 PM

Next time read the title--message to self. Thaout it was Songs BY Banjos.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 12:24 AM

Grandpa Jones - Banjo Sam
The Dillards - Banjo In The Hollow
The Coon Creek Girls (and many others)- Banjo Pickin' Girl


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 12:49 AM

The Old Moke Pickin on a Banjo, [ shanty ]

eric


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Matt R
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 02:25 AM

Epistle to Derrol - Donovan


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 02:30 AM

Roseville Fair - Bill Staines


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 02:49 AM

A poem close enough?

"The Song of the Banjo", Rudyard Kipling.

You can always fit it to a tune if you like.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Neighmond
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 03:19 AM

"Why the possum's tail is (am) bare"


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 09:51 AM

Les Barker's parody of "Roseville Fair" entitled "Roseville Chair" in which the less than faithful banjo picker has his head smashed through his banjo head by a rosewood chair but still gamely dances on.

Back in the early 19th century Charles Dibden, in DIBDEN'S SEA SONGS, pp. 218-219, composed a curious dialect song entitled "The Negro and His Banja." The first verse runs:

One negro wi my banjer,
Me from Jenny come,
Wid cunning yiei
Me savez spy
De buckra world one hum,
As troo a street a stranger
Me my banjer strum.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Abby Sale
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 10:22 AM

Rose of Alabama - http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=8508 is.

Try banjo in the Search thingy


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 11:31 AM

Golden Slippers    My old banjo hangs on the wall, cause it ain't been tuned since way last fall . . .

Hope that isn't too anti-banjo!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 01:05 PM

The Banjo Connection
(with sincere apologies to Kermit the Frog)

Why are there so many songs about banjoes
and joining the other side?
Banjoes are visions, but only illusions,
and banjoes have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the banjo connection.
Gonzo, the oddballs, and me.

Have you been half asleep and heard voices?
I've heard them calling your name.
Is this the odd sound that called the young folkies?
The sound might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times but ignored it.
It's something that I'm s'posed to play.
Someday we'll find it, the banjo connection.
Gonzo, the oddballs, and me.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: thespionage
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 01:31 PM

That's funny. I was about to write a parody of "Rainbow Connection" about why there are so few songs about banjoes, still meant to be comic. I'm still going to write it.

Russ


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 01:57 PM

Steve Tilston has a compositon called I think - " Let your banjo ring".


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Genie
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 05:40 PM

"Ring, Ring The Banjo" -- US Civil War era song -- Stephen Foster (?)


Sorry, but I've just gotta mention one anti-banjo song. It's a parody of Bill Staines's "The Roseville Fair" called "The Rosewood Chair."   I can't recall who did the parody. (I learned it from Jean Smith, of the Seattle Folklore (Folklife?) Society, and she writes scads of parodies but I don't think she penned this one.)   Anyway, in the song the wife finds her man flirting too much with a young thing at the Roseville Fair so she hits him over the head with a rosewood chair and his banjo.
The chorus goes:
"And his head went right through the middle of the banjo
...
And the old folks said, 'That's the way to treat a banjo!'
She whacked his haid with a rosewood chair."

(Bill's original song is in the DT.)

Genie


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,julia
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 08:32 PM

Here's a poem I recently found in an old book I picked up at Hay-on-Wye in Wales. Amazing! harps and banjoes in the same poem- and Merlin,too!

A CASTLE IN WALES 1895   by Ernest Rhys
^^
I.
This is the castle of old romance!
This is the hill where the muses sang,
When Merlin's harp, from the sea's expanse
Called the cold sea-maids from the dance
And the echo in the sea-walls rang.

II.
And of later time, hark, the living word!
Like a trumpet rouse the castle-close,—
Then the voice of Elias o Von was heard;
And to the heart the hills were stirred,
When a thousand sang, and the psalm arose.

III.
But now is the hour of other things;
Another note fills the castle square,
Where a motley minstrel sprawls and sings,
And his harp is strung with banjo strings,
While the patchouli swoons on the sea-salt air!

IV.
(Banjo Obligato: Cockney Cadence:—
You may hear the girls declare,
As I walk around the square,
There's the man that broke the bank at Monte Carlo.)

V.
This is the hour of the destined man,
Him that the elements winged and shod,—
The conquering cosmopolitan!
Behold, oh ancient mountain clan,
Behold the new hero, the new-found god!

VI.
And hark to his different litany,
And learn his Cockney's better part,
Who serves his maker by the sea,
With banjo and with patchouli,
So far beyond your Merlin's art!

VII.
(Banjo Obligato: Cockney Cadence:—
You may hear the girls declare,
As I walk around the square,
There's the man that broke the bank at Monte Carlo.)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 09:27 PM

G'day thespionage,

The banjo became quite popular in Australia in the Goldrush period (1851 -18800. Since it stood up better than the guitar to the extreme dry weather of the inland it was a popular dance instrument and associated with good fun. Two Australian songs that immediately come to mind are:

Augathella Station, The Drover's Song or Brisbane Ladies (written as The Drover by storekeeper Saul Mendelsohn "after the model of "True British Sailors", between 1881 and 1897), which has this verse, in version based on AL Lloyd's rework:

Th girls of Toomancey, they look so entrancing,
Thos bawling young heifers are out for their fun!
With the waltz and the polka and all kinds of dancing,
To the racketty old banjo of Bob Anderson.

although most other versions mention: "the old concertina of (whoever comes to mind)" ... and

The Drover's Dream, a song, to the tune Killalloe, about a social gathering of the bush animals ... dreamed while said drover's mob of sheep all wander off! At one point:

Three frogs from out the swamp, where the atmosphere is damp,
Came bouncing in and sat upon some stones.
They each unrolled their swags, and produced from little bags,
The violin, the banjo and the bones.

There are a number of other passing references to banjos ... but they don't spring to mind immediately. I don't know of any songs in our tradition where the banjo is the principal subject.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Padre
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 09:52 PM

"Fod" ...'Woodchuck sang a banjo song, too ra,etc...'

Padre


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 10:49 PM

THE SONG OF THE BANJO (from here)

^^ You couldn't pack a Broadwood half a mile -
You mustn't leave a fiddle in the damp -
You couldn't raft an organ up the Nile,
And play it in an Equatorial swamp.
I travel with the cooking-pots and pails -
I'm sandwiched 'tween the coffee and the pork -
And when the dusty column checks and tails,
You should hear me spur the rear-guard to a walk!
    With my "Pilly-willy-winky-winky popp!"
       (Oh, it's any tune that comes into my head!)
    So I keep 'em moving forward till they drop;
       So I play 'em up to water and to bed.

In the silence of the camp before the fight,
When it's good to make your will and say your prayer,
You can hear my strumpty-tumpty overnight
Explaining ten to one was always fair.
I'm the Prophet of the Utterly Absurd,
Of the Patently Impossible and Vain -
And when the Thing that Couldn't has occurred,
Give me time to change my leg and go again.
    With my "Tumpa-tumpa-tumpa-tum-pa tump!"
       In the desert where the dung-fed camp-smoke curled
    There was never voice before us till I led our lonely chorus,
       I - the war-drum of the White Man round the world!

By the bitter road the Younger Son must tread,
Ere he win to hearth and saddle of his own, -
'Mid the riot of the shearers at the shed,
In the silence of the herder's hut alone -
In the twilight, on a bucket upside down,
Hear me babble what the weakest won't confess -
I am Memory and Torment - I am Town!
I am all that ever went with evening dress!
    With my "Tunk-a tunka-tunka-tunka-tunk!"
       (So the lights - the London Lights - grow near and plain!)
    So I rowel 'em afresh towards the Devil and the Flesh,
       Till I bring my broken rankers home again.

In desire of many marvels over sea,
Where the new-raised tropic city sweats and roars,
I have sailed with Young Ulysses from the quay
Till the anchor rumbled down on stranger shores.
He is blooded to the open and the sky,
He is taken in a snare that shall not fail,
He shall hear me singing strongly, till he die,
Like the shouting of a backstay in a gale.
    With my "Hya! Heeya! Heeya! Hullah! Haul!"
       (O the green that thunders aft along the deck!)
    Are you sick o' towns and men? You must sign and sail again,
       For it's "Johnny Bowlegs, pack your kit and trek!"

Through the gorge that gives the stars at noon-day clear -
Up the pass that packs the scud beneath our wheel -
Round the bluff that sinks her thousand fathom sheer -
Down the valley with our guttering brakes asqueal:
Where the trestle groans and quivers in the snow,
Where the many-shedded levels loop and twine,
So I lead my reckless children from below
Till we sing the Song of Roland to the pine.
    With my "Tinka-tinka-tinka-tinka-tink!"
       (And the axe has cleared the mountain, croup and crest!)
    So we ride the iron stallions down to drink,
       Through the canons to the waters of the West!

And the tunes that mean so much to you alone -
Common tunes that make you choke and blow your nose,
Vulgar tunes that bring the laugh that brings the groan -
I can rip your very heartstrings out with those;
With the feasting, and the folly, and the fun -
And the lying, and the lusting, and the drink,
And the merry play that drops you, when you're done,
To the thoughts that burn like irons if you think.
    With my "Plunka-lunka-lunka-lunka-lunk!"
       Here's a trifle on account of pleasure past,
    Ere the wit that made you win gives you eyes to see your sin
       And the heavier repentance at the last!

Let the organ moan her sorrow to the roof -
I have told the naked stars the Grief of Man!
Let the trumpets snare the foeman to the proof -
I have known Defeat, and mocked it as we ran!
My bray ye may not alter nor mistake
When I stand to jeer the fatted Soul of Things,
But the Song of Lost Endeavour that I make,
Is it hidden in the twanging of the strings?
    With my "Ta-ra-rara-rara-ra-ra-rrrp!"
       (Is it naught to you that hear and pass me by?)
    But the word - the word is mine, when the order moves the line
       And the lean, locked ranks go roaring down to die.

Of the driven dust of speech I make a flame
And a scourge of broken withes that men let fall:
For the words that had no honour till I came -
Lo! I raise them into honour over all!
By the wisdom of the centuries I speak -
To the tune of yestermorn I set the truth -
I, the joy of life unquestioned - I, the Greek -
I, the everlasting Wonder Song of Youth!
    With my "(Tinka-tinka-tinka-tinka-tink!"
       (What d'ye lack, my noble masters? What d'ye lack?
    So I draw the world together link by link:
       Yea, from Delos up to Limerick and back!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Genie
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 03:48 AM

Then there's "The Man With The Banjo." (Remade, I think, in the 1950s.)


And the song "Missouri Waltz" contains the lines,

"... The banjos were strummin',
The men were alll hummin' ..."*


*I think the original line may have been "... the darkies were hummin'..." but I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Genie
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 03:50 AM

And how about "Dueling Banjos?"


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 04:15 AM

good idea - I'll take a howitzer....


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 06:03 PM

I thought I had posted this, but it seems to have gotten lost.

If you search on " banjo" in the blue box above, you get about 100 hits.
I put a space in front of Banjo in the request to eliminate the keyword @banjo, which contains songs that don't necessarily mention banjos, but are rather tunes played primarily on the banjo.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 08:25 PM

WELL MAY THE WORLD GO (Pete Seeger)
(...Sweet may the fiddles sound, the banjoes play the old hoedown....")


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 12:48 AM

Lyric Added: "Hey Mr. Banjo" - midi sent to joe.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Splott Man
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 05:41 AM

Banjo Man - Billy Joel


Plus this one, can't remember where I got it, the "diddlediddle" represents flapping your tongue on your lips to imitate the banjo:

I u(diddlediddle)sed to pla(diddlediddle)y the o(diddlediddle)ld banjo(diddlediddle)o
I pla(diddlediddle)yed it o(diddlediddle)n my kne(diddlediddle)e
But no(diddlediddle)w the stri(diddlediddle)ngs are bro(diddlediddle)ken a(diddlediddle)nd
It's no(diddlediddle) more u(diddlediddle)se to me(diddlediddle)e

continue in th same vein...

I took it to te mender's shop
To see what he could do
He said the strings are broken and
It's no more use to you.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 05:03 PM

Here's a wonderful quote from S. S. Stewart, famous late 19th century master banjo manufacturer, on the inappropriate use of a banjo:

If you must use your banjo as a snow shovel, do so;
Only don't wonder if it sounds dull afterwards.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: PoohBear
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 06:14 PM

Bob Bolton - I grew up listening to, among other things, the 2 songs you mentioned. They are part of why I had to go to Australia for a while . . . just had to see the country that was immortalized. . .
Cheers
PB


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: thespionage
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 08:29 PM

I'll add one myself. Pete Seeger used "Quite Early Morning" to open his 5-string banjo video (Margret, I'm happy you added "Well May the World Go"):

And so we keep on while we live
Until we have no, no more to give
And when these fingers can strum no longer
Hand the old banjo to young ones stronger


Russ


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Amos
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 09:45 AM

One I learned as a young lad, from the early 1900's, which I think is called the Banjo SOng, but may have some other name:

I plays the banjo better now
Than him what taught me do
Because he plays for all the world
An' I just plays for you

He learns his chunes, I jes' lets down
A banjo string or two
Into the deepest of my heart
An' draws up chunes for you!

An' slowly they come swinging up
A-quiverin' through and through
'Til with a rush of tingling notes
They reaches light -- and you!

Oh, I never knows
If dey will shine
Wet with tears or dew;
I only knows that dew, or tears,
They shine because of you --
Of you!


A


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 11:02 AM

In 1957 or '58 a news item appeared about how a banjo player had slain his wife, or maybe girlfriend, by whacking her over the head with a banjo. This seemed to me an unbeatable song challenge, so I wrote the following, which I've spent the decades since busily suppressing. Mudcatters will no doubt feel I should have continued doing so, but what the heck, it's a bright sunny morning and here goes.

This is a song that raises the ultimate question: what instrument DOES the Lord like? I was sorta wondering ... harmonica? ... but nah. -- Bob

^^
THE MASTERTONE MURDER, or,
An Address to All Concerning Death by Banjo
by Bob Coltman
Tune: I Am a Roving Cowboy (basically Pike Country Breakdown, but done slower)

Come all of you young people, and listen to my song,
It is of poor Betty Sadler, and a foul and dreadful wrong,
It was in Cincinnati, eighteen-eighty was the year,
That Betty Sadler met her doom in the way that you shall hear.

It was a banjo player, Frank Jackson was his name,
He thought to marry Betty, and keep her just the same,
He played his banjo at the dances all around the town,
But one night they did argue and he knocked that poor girl down.

She swore he was unfaithful, and he said he was not,
He picked up his banjo, and he struck her on the spot,
He struck her with his banjo, on a place behind her ear,
And killed his darling Betty, the girl he loved so dear.

The policemen searched for Jackson, they looked both up and down,
They found him with his banjo, a-wand'ring round the town,
They put him in the jailhouse, and brought him to the trial,
Saying, You're the man killed Betty in that clawhammer style.

Yes, I'm the man killed Betty, and my banjo's been my doom,
Put me in the dungeon, in that dirty jailhouse room,
Hang me to the scaffold, and let my spirit fly,
For banjo-playing's been my fall, and for that I must die.

Come all you banjo players, the moral I will tell,
Don't play upon the banjo, or your soul will burn in Hell,
For the Lord don't like the banjo, and you'll end up like me,
Hung for killin' the girl you love, at the age of twenty-three.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: bfdk
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 11:37 AM

"Bodhrans and Banjos" by Ian McCalman (from the CD "Tangled Web").

Bodhrans and banjos, here we go again
An instrumental nightmare that never seems to end
There's singing in the kitchen and there's fiddling in the hall
But bodhrans and banjos massacre them all
Bodhrans and banjos massacre them all


;-))

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: kendall
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 12:34 PM

My pretty quadroon.

..while the banjo so sweetly I would play. How do you play the banjo "sweetly"?

..someone's in the kitchen with Dinah strumming on the old banjo.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 06:10 PM

Trouble On My Mind

Once I had an old banjo, head was strung with twine,
Only tune I could play was Trouble On My Mind.

Trouble, trouble, Trouble on My Mind,
If trouble don't kill me boys I'll live a long, long time,
I'll live a long, long time.

I went down to Lynchburg town to buy me a bottle of wine,
They tied me to the whippin' post and give me ninety-nine, boys,
Give me ninety-nine.

A few more verses i'll supply if you're interested - no more that mention banjos.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 06:35 PM

Bob-

That is truly a tragic song but shouldn't there be a verse about the injury to the banjo?

Cheerily,
Charley "Banjo" Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Gulliver
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 07:53 PM

Yes, more. My (banjo) heart bleeds...


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,Scoville at Dad's
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 07:55 PM

Grandpa Jones, "Fix Me a Pallet":

Lazy woman can never keep a man,
Lazy woman can never keep a man,
If he plays the banjo, she'll keep him if she can.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 08:14 PM

Swannee river..can't you hear the bees a humming
Can't you hear the banjo strumming down by a good old home.

I think in Nellie Bly someone takes down the banjo while Nellie sweeps..mg


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 08:48 PM

In the Evening by the Moonlight
I've Been Working on the Railroad


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,Pamela in Ithaca
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 10:56 PM

There's the anti-slavery song Poor Nellie Gray

first "We'd float down the river in my litte red canoe
while my banjo sweetly I did play"

Then after she's "taken away"
"my canoe is under water and my banjo is unstrung
I'm tired of living any more..."


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 06:17 AM

Amos - I recently chanced across the sheet music online for A Banjo Song. I recall you once quoting the first verse in a thread and thinking it was a wonderful sentiment.
A Banjo Song - at "Duke"
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 07:02 AM

Most of the ones I know have been mentioned, but there is one mistake - The words of Oh Sushanna are always misquoted as the original was "off to Alabama with a washboard on my knee"
sorry to spoil the party


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 07:32 AM

It's not one I'm sorry to lose!
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 08:44 AM

Charley, you have stirringly recalled me to My Sacred Duty as a Banjo Picker. Herewith, off the bottom of my head -- Bob

THE MASTERTONE MURDER -- Coda
(Played in a minor key -- oh, any old minor key.)

They confiscated his banjo, with gentle loving hands,
They took it to the luthier, who dealt in prominent brands,
He carefully repaired the dent in the tone ring just like new,
You should get such medical care, paid for by taxes too.

And now it rests in a glass case in the Mastertone Museum,
But to its former owner, no reference to him,
Merely a glowing tribute to a quality banjo
That, when used for murdering, kills at a single blow.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 08:55 AM

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folk-song-lyrics/Roseville_Fair(Banjo_Parody).htm


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Subject: Lyr Add: CLEAR AWAY, LET THE BANJO RING (Clayton)
From: Songster Bob
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 04:02 PM

Clear Away, Let the Banjo Ring


Let it ring, high and sweet,
Listen to the notes and the tappin' feet.
Get so happy that I want to shout
As the old time tunes come pouring out.

Chorus:

Get so happy, pickin' on the banjo,
Get so happy that I want to sing
Makes me forget all about my troubles;
Clear away, let the banjo ring.


Tune it up, check the head,
Gonna pick the banjo till I'm dead.
Nothin' else makes me feel this way,
That's why the banjo's what I play.

Chorus:

Get so happy, pickin' on the banjo,
Get so happy that I want to shout.
Never gonna make a lot of money,
But the feelin's what it's all about.


Old time songs or mountain tunes,
Good John Henry or Dan'l Boone.
Bluegrass pickin' or the old time style,
It's guaranteed to make me smile.

Chorus:

Listen to the rhythm, pickin' on the banjo,
Listen to the sound of the old thumb string.
Makes a body want to live forever;
Clear away, let the banjo ring.


Copyright © 1981, Bob Clayton.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Willie-O
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 04:31 PM

"Banjo Girl" by my pal Jenny Whiteley. On her latest CD "Dear".


"Banjo girl (stole my heart)
Banjo girl (right from the start)
Banjo girl (stole my heart)
She's the girl that stole my heart!"


Jenny does not, to my knowledge, play banjo. Maybe she should.
W-O


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: GUEST,mickburke
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 09:29 PM

saro saro push your broom along
I'll take down my banjo sing you a little song .....Stephen Foster ?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Ferrara
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 10:52 PM

Before They Close the Minstrel Show: "Banjo's got a broken string, Don't guess I'll get to fix it now..."

A Civil War song called Going Across the Mountain whose chorus was:

Goin' across the mountain,
Oh fare thee well
Goin' across the mountain
You can hear my banjo tell

These days it often gets changed so that both couplets end in "Oh fare thee well," I guess because a lot of people sing it who aren't banjo pickers.

Here are the lines from S. Foster's Nellie Bly:

Nelly Bly, Nellie Bly, bring the broom along,
Sweep the kitchen clean my dear and then we'll have a song.
Poke the wood, my lady love, and make the fire burn
And I'll get down the banjer while you give the mush a turn.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 10:04 AM

Bob Coltman-

Lovely, truly lovely verses! It is comforting to think of that much abused banjo finally at rest at the Mastertone Museum. Was it murder in the first degree? Was it murder in the third? No, it was unpremeditated banjo slaughter!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:11 PM

I like that song Amos posted (back in 2005, but I've only just read the post):

I plays the banjo better now
Than him what taught me do
Because he plays for all the world
An' I just plays for you...


Any idea of who wrote it or where it comes from?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:18 PM

And they played all night,
The fiddles and the banjos;
Their drifting tunes seemed to fill the air;
So long ago, I still rememember,
How we fell in love at the Roseville Fair.


I'll have to dig up a few sea shanties which mention banjos.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 01:38 PM

I puit in Kipling's Song of the Banjo up the thread. Here is Robert Services spin-off (he's a little scornful of the "jammy banjo" in one verse - but he used to play one anyway):

The Song of the Mouth-Organ

(With apologies to the singer of the "Song of the Banjo".)

      I'm a homely little bit of tin and bone;
          I'm beloved by the Legion of the Lost;
      I haven't got a "vox humana" tone,
          And a dime or two will satisfy my cost.
      I don't attempt your high-falutin' flights;
          I am more or less uncertain on the key;
      But I tell you, boys, there's lots and lots of nights
          When you've taken mighty comfort out of me.

      I weigh an ounce or two, and I'm so small
          You can pack me in the pocket of your vest;
      And when at night so wearily you crawl
          Into your bunk and stretch your limbs to rest,
      You take me out and play me soft and low,
          The simple songs that trouble your heartstrings;
      The tunes you used to fancy long ago,
          Before you made a rotten mess of things.

      Then a dreamy look will come into your eyes,
          And you break off in the middle of a note;
      And then, with just the dreariest of sighs,
          You drop me in the pocket of your coat.
      But somehow I have bucked you up a bit;
          And, as you turn around and face the wall,
      You don't feel quite so spineless and unfit --
          You're not so bad a fellow after all.

      Do you recollect the bitter Arctic night;
          Your camp beside the canyon on the trail;
      Your tent a tiny square of orange light;
          The moon above consumptive-like and pale;
      Your supper cooked, your little stove aglow;
          You tired, but snug and happy as a child?
      Then 'twas "Turkey in the Straw" till your lips were nearly raw,
          And you hurled your bold defiance at the Wild.

      Do you recollect the flashing, lashing pain;
          The gulf of humid blackness overhead;
      The lightning making rapiers of the rain;
          The cattle-horns like candles of the dead
      You sitting on your bronco there alone,
          In your slicker, saddle-sore and sick with cold?
      Do you think the silent herd did not hear "The Mocking Bird",
          Or relish "Silver Threads among the Gold"?

      Do you recollect the wild Magellan coast;
          The head-winds and the icy, roaring seas;
      The nights you thought that everything was lost;
          The days you toiled in water to your knees;
      The frozen ratlines shrieking in the gale;
          The hissing steeps and gulfs of livid foam:
      When you cheered your messmates nine with "Ben Bolt" and "Clementine",
          And "Dixie Land" and "Seeing Nellie Home"?

      Let the jammy banjo voice the Younger Son,
          Who waits for his remittance to arrive;
      I represent the grimy, gritty one,
          Who sweats his bones to keep himself alive;
      Who's up against the real thing from his birth;
          Whose heritage is hard and bitter toil;
      I voice the weary, smeary ones of earth,
          The helots of the sea and of the soil.

      I'm the Steinway of strange mischief and mischance;
          I'm the Stradivarius of blank defeat;
      In the down-world, when the devil leads the dance,
          I am simply and symbolically meet;
      I'm the irrepressive spirit of mankind;
          I'm the small boy playing knuckle down with Death;
      At the end of all things known, where God's rubbish-heap is thrown,
          I shrill impudent triumph at a breath.

      I'm a humble little bit of tin and horn;
          I'm a byword, I'm a plaything, I'm a jest;
      The virtuoso looks on me with scorn;
          But there's times when I am better than the best.
      Ask the stoker and the sailor of the sea;
          Ask the mucker and the hewer of the pine;
      Ask the herder of the plain, ask the gleaner of the grain --
          There's a lowly, loving kingdom -- and it's mine.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 02:04 PM

McGrath - the song from Amos is called A Banjo Song. I recently chanced across it online here - http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/n/n06/n0640/n0640-2-72dpi.html.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 02:29 PM

That Robert Service opus comes from Ballads of a Cheechako , and from this site.
......
Thanks Geoff - I see its by "Howard Weedon". Here's a site about her Maria Howard Weeden (1846-1905) Sounds an interesting lady - here is another banjo song I found by her (from this site). Somewhat questionable lyrics, but here goes:

The Banjo of the Past

By Howard Weeden

YOU ax about dat music made        
On banjos long ago,        
An' wants to know why it ain't played        
By niggers any mo'.        

Dem banjos b'longed to by-gone days               5
When times an' chunes was rare,        
When we was gay as children—'case        
We did n't have a care.        

But when we got our freedom, we        
Found projeckin' was done;               10
Our livin' was to make—you see,        
An' dat lef' out de fun.        

We learned to vote an' read an' spell,        
We learned de taste ob tears—        
An' when you gets dat 'sponsible,               15
De banjo disappears!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Banjoes
From: Ferrara
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 03:31 PM

Sigh... "A Banjo Song" by Maria Howard Weeden is a tiny jewel, but "The Banjo of the Past" is worse than "questionable" from my point of view.   I know it was a view advanced by a lot of people in Reconstruction days. Arghhhh! " We learned de taste ob tears [after emancipation]" indeed! Well it was a long time ago and it is characteristic of a certain place and time. Apparently most of her other artistic endeavors also featured saccharine sentiments. I still like "A Banjo Song." It might be interesting to see a bit of Howard Weeden's writings, or some of her art work.


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