Tune You've Had The Most Fun Playing?

Sean Ruprecht-Belt
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
@sean-belt
4 years ago
32 posts

Luann,

Of course I remember you now that you sparked my synapses. That was a fun weekend. Pretty much any time spent with Don is a fun time.

Truth is, I have a love for old traditional jazz and novelty songs, but I am not all that knowledgeable. Fortunately almost everything I want to know is just a Google search away.

Cheers,

Sean

DulcimerJones
DulcimerJones
@dulcimerjones
4 years ago
19 posts

Thx, what a fun history lesson. U are quite knowledgeable re: jazz & ragtime-I love 1940's swing stuff-Andrews sisters, gene krupa, benny goodman, but also earlier Stephane Grapelli & Django Reinhardt-if i could just translate it to dulcimer.    U can call me jonesie (or RayJay for that matter) if you wanna:), but my name is Luann.

BTW, it just occurred to me that we know each other.  We met at one of Don Pedi's retreats at Wildacres, what, a year or so ago-or 2?-that was a fun one-Randall McKinnon was there too, remember?

Sean Ruprecht-Belt
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
@sean-belt
4 years ago
32 posts

DulcimerJones (or can I just call you "Jonesie"?),

It holds a lot of memories for me, too. My mom used to sing it to me when I was but a little shaver. I forgot about it completely until recently when I started playing it again with a ragtime pianist of my acquaintance. He plays the original 3-part tune "Iola" from 1904.

Then in 1940, a fella named Saxie Dowell stole the middle part for his song, "Playmates". Johnson sued over the plagarism and won. However, at the time "Playmates" became popular. Kay Kyser had a hit with it with Sully Mason and His Playmates on vocals, as did a few other people.

In 1955, Which is probably the version that you and I are familiar with, the record was a hit for The Fontane Sisters.

Even more recently, it was used in The Addams Family movie with vocals by The Kipper Kids.

And there you have more than you ever needed to know about "Iola: A Ragtime Intermezzo".

DulcimerJones
DulcimerJones
@dulcimerjones
4 years ago
19 posts

Sean, Wow, that song is dredging up memories from the long, long ago of my aging brain.  Was this recorded by the Andrews Sisters or Shirley Temple?  The lyrics are so familiar, but I'm having trouble placing the tune, even w/youtube...

Jim Fawcett
Jim Fawcett
@jim-fawcett
4 years ago
90 posts

I like playing Time Has Made A Change In Me, and Red River Valley pops to mind, too.




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Site Moderator
James Phillips
James Phillips
@james-phillips
4 years ago
87 posts

This one is a doozy but my most fun to play would either be Wildwood Flower or Ode to Joy.

Sean Ruprecht-Belt
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
@sean-belt
4 years ago
32 posts

Spent some time this weekend working on "Iola" from 1906 by Charles L. Johnson, who also wrote "Dill Pickle Rag". It's a sweet tune. The chorus was stolen for a more recent (1940) pop song, "Playmates" with the lyric

 

Say, say, oh playmate,
Come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three,
Climb up my apple tree.
Shout down my rain barrel,
Slide down my cellar door,

And we'll be jolly friends forevermore. 

Terry Wilson
Terry Wilson
@terry-wilson
4 years ago
296 posts
Thank you.😊 very much.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
2,013 posts

Me too, so happy to hear this Terry!  nod




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
4 years ago
1,227 posts

Terry, I'm happy for you!  

Terry Wilson
Terry Wilson
@terry-wilson
4 years ago
296 posts

Wildwood Flower.  By far my favorite.  Haven't played the dulcimer this whole year, due to health reasons, until yesterday morning.  What's the first song I attempt to play?  Wildwood Flower.  Like I had not missed a beat.  In fact, I didn't miss a beat, up and down the fret board,  two octaves.   I says to myself, "wow, I need to take it easy and get my body and heart back to playing regularly".  

robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
4 years ago
247 posts
Saint Ann's Reel. I play it all over the place!... Robert.
jcurtis55
@jcurtis55
4 years ago
1 posts

Having played (and I use that term loosely) for about a month, the selection is pretty small, but outside of the standard beginner selections I have managed to learn Aragon Mill. Pretty easy to play and lots of versions on You Tube to get a feel for the song.   It's interesting to hear the number of arrangements, from full blown string band to folk singers.  And many like to tweak the lyrics.   You know, if a song contains the word, 'ain't' is it really that big of a deal to sing it that way?

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 years ago
1,859 posts

I'll see what I can do about recording Lay The Bend...   and post it here.  I got the tune from Mark Gilston, who posted it on YouTube a few months ago; it's in Ionian Mode.


updated by @ken-hulme: 07/19/17 09:05:30AM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
2,013 posts

I've gotten a lot of mileage and fun lately out of a tune that I learned from an 1800s banjo instruction book-   Old Dan Emmett's Waltz .  It took me forever to learn to play it on the banjo- has three different parts and the 3rd part is wildly syncopated on banjo... Brian learned to play a fiddle part he made up, and it took us months to get the tune together on fiddle and banjo, but it's sooo fun to play and so pretty.
And now for the past couple of weeks I'm trying to learn to play harmony parts for it on my epinette, with Brian playing the melody on fiddle.  It means a whole NEW bunch of learning, like a whole different tune to learn now, on epinette as harmony.

But again, it's such a pretty 3-part waltz, and when we manage to play it without too many mistakes, it's a grand feeling. pimento

Between my playing it on the banjo in melody, and playing it on the epinette in harmony, I'd say this particular tune is giving Brian and me a whole lot of fun !




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 07/19/17 08:24:22AM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
2,013 posts

KenH- that sounds like a song I would really enjoy hearing.  Very old fashioned.  Modern songs would just have it that the person "locked the door"... but the old songs always made things unusual, with special meaning or emphasis-  she "locked the door with a silver pin".  To me it implies that the door was a metaphor for her heart or her favors.  I really love that they would put such wonderful rich details into little bits of the story.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
IRENE
IRENE
@irene
4 years ago
177 posts

I read this early this morning and got right to my dulcimer and played it right smack up.  I love that song and had not sang it in years.....I used to have my pile of kids in a big van and we'd sing going down our bumpy, muddy road to Kamahamaha Hwy.  Kids can't argue when they're singing so we sang all the time in our big van.  aloha, irene

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
4 years ago
27 posts

yes

DulcimerJones
DulcimerJones
@dulcimerjones
4 years ago
19 posts

Jan, I got Steve Smith tab for Sarasponda.  It IS a Hoot to play!

DulcimerJones
DulcimerJones
@dulcimerjones
4 years ago
19 posts

Thx again @hewalker, got it!

Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
4 years ago
418 posts

Another one that I really enjoy playing--if people will play it with a lively tempo--is "Boatmen".  After all, they're dancing but I imagine it's a jig sort of dance, not an end-of-the-night slow waltz!




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Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 years ago
1,859 posts

Getting ready for my "opening" concert on August 5th, and I'm having a blast playing the 17th century version of Child Ballad #1 -- Lay The Bend To The Bonnie Broom. The title is also the first of two refrains, and no one has a clue to what it means (well, there are several theories...).  Most think it's evolved into a nonsense line like Fa la la la la  lah lah lah lah.  The second refrain is equally obscure -- in the song is the women who beguile the man, not the other way around.  The old meaning of 'beguile' was "to help pass time pleasantly"...

There were three sisters in the North.
Lay the bend to the bonnie broom.
An they live-d in their mothers huse.
And you'll beguile an lady soon.

There came an knight one evening late.
Lay the bend to the bonnie broom.
An he came knocking at the gate.
And you'll beguile a lady soon.

The eldest sister she let him in.
Lay the bend to the bonnie broom.
An locked the door with a silver pin.
And you'll beguile a lady soon.

...  plus another 16 verses

This song is the forerunner of the late 1800s  The Riddle Song -- "I gave me love a cherry..."

 


updated by @ken-hulme: 07/16/17 09:38:11AM
HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
4 years ago
27 posts

 I can't get the link to post properly so here....wncdc.org/Tab_Index.php  Just search for this one and Sarasponda tab is there!

DulcimerJones
DulcimerJones
@dulcimerjones
4 years ago
19 posts

Thx, @hewalker, that would be great!

Jan, Yes, let's do it at Nicholasville!!!

Kusani
Kusani
@kusani
4 years ago
134 posts

Well, we've, my family, has had a lot of fun with the old 'bug the bus driver and chaparones song' called 99 bottles of beer on the wall; and I really enjoy playing 'Nobody Knows the Trouble I See' but retitled it, 'Nobody Knows the Trouble I'm In'.  On a more serious note, I really like playing 'May the Circle Be Unbroken', and 'Blowing In the Wind'.

 dulcimer


updated by @kusani: 07/15/17 05:56:42PM
Brian G.
Brian G.
@brian-g
4 years ago
93 posts

I have a lot of fun with Arkansas Traveler.  It's ridiculously fun to play, in fact - a simple tune you can do so much with.  Great sections for hammer-ons and pull-offs, stumming, cross-picking...it's one of those tunes that can take a lot of abuse and still come out sounding really good. (And it's just fun physically to play.)  It also seems to be one of the first tunes to come out of any new dulcimer I pick up for the first time.  :)

Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
4 years ago
418 posts

Do you want to learn Sarasponda next Saturday at the library?




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Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
4 years ago
27 posts

DulcimerJones:

 @hewalker, Is that perhaps the old Sarasponda, Sarasponda, Sarasponda, ret set set that I remember so fondly from 4-H days?  Do you have tab for that?  I would love to play it!  I'm currently obsessing 'Old Yeller Dog' & 'Ruffles', but love John Stinson #2.  Also currently learning John Stinson #1-didn't know it existed.

I  do....I will get it together and send to you tomorrow-I am not home but I think it is in my notebook of tabs

DulcimerJones
DulcimerJones
@dulcimerjones
4 years ago
19 posts

 @hewalker, Is that perhaps the old Sarasponda, Sarasponda, Sarasponda, ret set set that I remember so fondly from 4-H days?  Do you have tab for that?  I would love to play it!  I'm currently obsessing 'Old Yeller Dog' & 'Ruffles', but love John Stinson #2.  Also currently learning John Stinson #1-didn't know it existed.

Sean Ruprecht-Belt
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
@sean-belt
4 years ago
32 posts

John Keane:

Karen and I both keep coming back to John Stinson's #2 because there are so many cool things to do with the chords.  We usually keep the same song structure each time, but we make subtle voicing and chord changes pretty much every single time that we play it.  Bing Futch taught me that tune a few years ago in Palestine, TX.  I'm really glad that he did. 

Stinson's (or Stenson's) #2 is a great tune and fun to play. Do you play it in the key of D or in A as most fiddlers do? After years of playing it D ~ I learned it from a dulcimer player ~ I have mostly switched to playing it in A, since that's what local fiddlers want it in and I'm, of course, happy to oblige.

BJ Jordan
BJ Jordan
@betty-bj-jordan
4 years ago
10 posts

Gee there's just so many that are fun to play. Sugar Hill is fun if you try to do it in both 4/4 and then 3/4 time.

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
4 years ago
27 posts

Currently Sarasponda is my go to (quick song) for warming up and it is so happy!

John Keane
John Keane
@john-keane
4 years ago
182 posts

Dusty Turtle:

John Keane: Karen and I both keep coming back to John Stinson's #2 because there are so many cool things to do with the chords.  We usually keep the same song structure each time, but we make subtle voicing and chord changes pretty much every single time that we play it.  Bing Futch taught me that tune a few years ago in Palestine, TX.  I'm really glad that he did. 

 

And I learned that song from your videos, John! Thanks so much!  It is indeed a fun one to play; the rhythmic possibilities alone are remarkable.

Thank YOU!  There's always a trail behind the path a song takes to people.  My introduction from Bing went something like "You should learn this tune...we're playing it on the set Monday."  This was on the Friday night before lol.

 

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
4 years ago
1,485 posts

John Keane: Karen and I both keep coming back to John Stinson's #2 because there are so many cool things to do with the chords.  We usually keep the same song structure each time, but we make subtle voicing and chord changes pretty much every single time that we play it.  Bing Futch taught me that tune a few years ago in Palestine, TX.  I'm really glad that he did. 

And I learned that song from your videos, John! Thanks so much!  It is indeed a fun one to play; the rhythmic possibilities alone are remarkable.




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Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/15/17 12:51:02PM
jeffrey charles foster
jeffrey charles foster
@jeffrey-charles-foster
4 years ago
8 posts

Like a river glorious is a favorite of mine

 

John Keane
John Keane
@john-keane
4 years ago
182 posts

Karen and I both keep coming back to John Stinson's #2 because there are so many cool things to do with the chords.  We usually keep the same song structure each time, but we make subtle voicing and chord changes pretty much every single time that we play it.  Bing Futch taught me that tune a few years ago in Palestine, TX.  I'm really glad that he did. 

D. chitwood
D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
4 years ago
139 posts

Most 'fun' I would have to say 'Nut factory shuffle'. Anytime my playing partner and I get into a 'kerfuffle' with a challenging song, we'll look at each other, grin, and tear into Nutfactory with a vigor, laughing at our confident bravado. I love how loud and in your face this song is and it is a hoot to play! 

Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
4 years ago
418 posts

Spotted Pony is one I like to play--but there are so many!




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Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
4 years ago
1,485 posts

I've had fun with lots of tunes, but one I keep coming back to on the dulcimer, both individually and with my local group, is Southwind.  Something about it just fits the dulcimer so well.




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Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Sheryl St. Clare
Sheryl St. Clare
@sheryl-st-clare
4 years ago
258 posts

 Gershwin's Summertime arranged by Larry Conger. Nice and slow, sweet tea with free refills. Bluesy like.

 

Matthew Andrew
Matthew Andrew
@matthew-andrew
4 years ago
3 posts

Right now it's "Over the Waterfall". A right snappy tune!

Randy Adams
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
4 years ago
89 posts
I've been playing Henry Reed's British Field March for a week or so. Every time I think I'm about done with it I find another challenging thing or two to put in there.
I played it with my fingers a few years back but this noter thing is a different deal.
updated by @randy-adams: 06/14/17 05:19:42PM
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
@sean-belt
4 years ago
32 posts

I'll have to look up Poplar Pole. I don't know it, but I've never met a Henry Reed tune I didn't like.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
4 years ago
1,227 posts

Right now, it's Poplar Pole.  The original sourse for old-time musician Chris Via was Mr Henry Reed of Glen Lyn VA.  And I believe the Black Twig Pickers, an old-time band who also recorded the tune, acknowledged both Mr Reed and Chris Via. 

JenniferC
JenniferC
@jenniferc
4 years ago
36 posts
I derive immense pleasure from learning a new tune, whether from ear or from tab, that process brings me great joy, especially if it challenges me to reach further than I have before. Right now, I'm working on King of the Fairies and Fisher's Hornpipe, and I'm having a blast with those!
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
@sean-belt
4 years ago
32 posts

LOL. Rob, I'm not over thinking this. I just mean fun. Sometimes the fun comes from working out a complex tune and the good feel in in the fingers that induces. Sometimes it's just a tune that makes me smile or laugh any time I play it. Fun for you can mean anything you want it to.

As I always told my daughter when she was a kid, "It's all fun until somebody loses a finger. Just ask Jerry Garcia."

Kusani
Kusani
@kusani
4 years ago
134 posts

"No Body Knows the Trouble I've Seen", but I have retitled it to: "No Body Knows the Trouble I'm In". dulcimer

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
4 years ago
413 posts

Boy, that's a loaded question and it can depend on when you mean.  When (I think it was) John Keane set up the "Cluck Ole Hen" variants I had a blast working it out as a waltz kind of in the style of Carruli or Carcassi and playing it in other ways.  But for long time instrumental fun on the dulcimer it would have to be "Soldier's Joy."  Vocal fun, maybe "Me and Bobbie McGee" or (here's one for morbidity when talking fun) "Desperadoes Waiting for a Train."

 

hugssandi
@hugssandi
4 years ago
254 posts

Right now I love playing "Silver Dagger" with my girls singin' with me.  That's kinda morbid, huh?  LOL

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 years ago
1,859 posts

Lately I've been having fun playing Lay The Bend To The Bonnie Broom, a 19th century forerunner of The Riddle Song.

Steven Berger
Steven Berger
@steven-berger
4 years ago
148 posts

For a while now, I've really enjoyed playing the "Tavern Song" from the Israeli movie "Sallah Shabati"...it's quite a workout playing it noter/drone.

 

Steven

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Ruprecht-Belt
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
@sean-belt
4 years ago
32 posts

Just throwing this out for the crowd. 

What's the tune you've had the most fun playing? 

For me, of course, and I'm sure for you, it changes all the time. Right now, I'd have to say that I'm having a ton of fun playing Charlie Poole's "If The River Was Whiskey", a sort of old-time country version of "Hesitation Blues". I hadn't played if for years and years, but heard someone playing it on the excellent AMERICAN EPIC series on PBS. Now I can't get it out of my head or my fingers.


updated by @sean-belt: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM