Tag Archives: fiddle tunes

Not all train songs have lyrics…

….although many recount stories of famous train wrecks and engineers and so on. I found a great version of Railroading through the Rocky Mountains – a wonderful fiddle tune –  on the YouTube machine. Here are Hopping Jenny.

Of course if you’re not into Old Time Music but you still want to take an imaginary trip through the Rocky’s, you can do it by building a model railroad…

Soldier’s Joy

Soldier’s Joy is well known as an Old Time fiddle tune, but I read that it goes way back, possibly to the 1700s in Scotland and Ireland. It has a fantastically catchy melody. I can tell you it’s a fun one to play on clawhammer banjo.

Here’s the Flying Folk Army, having a great time with it…

Now here’s Doc Watson with David Holt on clawhammer…

Soldier’s Joy is also a great square dance tune….the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys

Finally, here’s Fred Coon with a lovely solo clawhammer version

Mississippi Sawyer

Mississippi Sawyer is an old fiddle tune that has been around since the mid-19th Century, but I don’t know much about its origins. I’ve only heard it as an instrumental and I don’t know if there are any lyrics kicking around for this one. I know a sawyer is someone who cuts wood but I read that Mark Twain describes sawyers as treacherous snags in the river that can spell disaster for a boat.

Here it is on fiddle performed by Rex McGee

Here’s Cathy Moore on clawhammer, messing with this one. Ms Moore posted a number of videos quite a while back then disappeared from the YouTube machine. I like her playing a lot.

Here’s a lovely version performed by Annie and Mac on guitar and clawhammer.

And one more…..a version featuring the hammered dulcimer…Ken Ward and Bob Bence

Soldier’s Joy

Soldier’s Joy is an old tune that has been performed in every way imaginable and recorded countless times. It’s one I enjoy playing on my triple row button accordion. Here’s some interesting versions I found on YouTube.

This version makes me want to have a couple beers, immediately if not sooner.

Here’s a tasty version by the Crawdad Wranglers

And on clawhammer banjo…

Around here, I’ll use almost any excuse to feature Doc Watson



Train Song of the Day

Orange Blossom Special

I couldn’t post a series of train songs without getting around to the Orange Blossom Special. There are about 500 Squillion versions of this song, and almost all of them are pretty good. It’s hard to go wrong with this one.

Let’s start with Buck Owens and his Buckeroos, featuring Don Rich. You know a lot of bands these days go up to the stage wearing jeans and old t-shirts as if it really doesn’t matter. The Buckeroos on the other hand, they understood the value of excellent outfits. For this video, you’ll have to click and then click again to watch it directly from YouTube. The YouTube mandarins have rejected my attempt to embed this baby. I bet YouTube mandarins don’t wear awesome outfits like Buck, Rich and the boys.

Here’s Vassar Clements with the Del McCoury Band with loads of fiddling friends. The fiddle player’s national anthem.

And now, Johnny Cash at San Quentin

And finally, here’s the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain… I love these guys.

I know some folks are mighty particular about the way this tune is played. Feel free to post your favourite version in the comments.