Monday, June 14, 2010

Giraffes and, well, fiddle songs about drugs

What's the best way to learn a fiddle song? Listen and play, Suzuki style, or sheet music? Either way, I'm not very fast, so this time I will try both for a fiddle tune called Soldier's Joy. Here is a very simple youtube version, broken down for folks like me. Then there is the sheet music.

The song has off-color lyrics to it, that can be heard on the 1929 recording by Gid Tanner & The Skillet Lickers:
Grasshopper sitting on a sweet potate vine (repeat)
Along comes a chicken and says you're mine

I'm a gonna get a drink don't you want to go ?
All for soldier's joy

Well it's twenty-five cents for the morphine
Fifteen cents for the beer
Twenty-five cents for the morphine
Gonna take me away from here

I am my momma's darling boy
Singing 'bout soldier's joy

The tune may date back to the 18th century and became very popular in the English speaking world, according to this website.

On the painting front, I spent the evening finishing a painting of a baby giraffe licking it's nose.

For more of my posts on fiddle tunes: Improving on the Fiddle, Ashokan Fall, and House Sings Saint James Infirmary

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