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Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?

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harpgirl 02 May 99 - 06:32 AM
Sandy Paton 02 May 99 - 04:13 PM
Night Owl 02 May 99 - 11:36 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 02 May 99 - 11:40 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 02 May 99 - 11:54 PM
GutBucketeer 03 May 99 - 01:12 AM
Joe Offer 03 May 99 - 02:51 AM
Helen 03 May 99 - 04:08 AM
Helen 03 May 99 - 04:09 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 03 May 99 - 07:39 AM
harpgirl 03 May 99 - 08:30 AM
harpgirl 03 May 99 - 09:20 AM
harpgirl 03 May 99 - 09:31 AM
Pete peterson 03 May 99 - 10:45 AM
harpgirl 03 May 99 - 11:18 AM
Night Owl 03 May 99 - 12:40 PM
harpgirl 03 May 99 - 01:30 PM
GutBucketeer 03 May 99 - 10:48 PM
harpgirl 03 May 99 - 11:38 PM
ddw in windsor 04 May 99 - 11:40 PM
harpgirl 04 May 99 - 11:58 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 05 May 99 - 12:23 AM
ddw in windsor 05 May 99 - 12:58 AM
Helen 05 May 99 - 08:52 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 05 May 99 - 10:41 PM
harpgirl 05 May 99 - 10:55 PM
ddw in windsor 06 May 99 - 01:32 AM
Night Owl 06 May 99 - 01:33 AM
Night Owl 06 May 99 - 01:36 AM
Tom on Comfort 06 May 99 - 02:10 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 06 May 99 - 06:50 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 06 May 99 - 06:52 AM
ddw in windsor 06 May 99 - 09:29 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 06 May 99 - 10:22 PM
harpgirl 06 May 99 - 11:08 PM
DonMeixner 06 May 99 - 11:44 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 May 99 - 12:01 AM
ddw in windsor 07 May 99 - 12:29 AM
Night Owl 07 May 99 - 01:13 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 May 99 - 03:06 AM
Banjer 07 May 99 - 04:57 AM
Pete Peterson 07 May 99 - 12:33 PM
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bseed(charleskratz) 11 May 99 - 03:23 AM
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Subject: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 02 May 99 - 06:32 AM

Good morning all,
For various reasons I couldn't sleep so I thought I'd get up and start some new song threads. It would be great to have some fresh material for the Florida Folk Festival this year, specially for the campground. What do the closet (and outed) players like to to do? (It's no secret that I like Carter tunes.) Today I'm going to work some more on Red is the Rose...harpy .


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 02 May 99 - 04:13 PM

Caroline's autoharp seems to love "You've Been a Friend to Me." It also seems to like "Bye, Bye, Sweet Roseanna." One Carter Family outa two ain't bad, I reckon.

Sandy formerly of Palatka, Putnam County


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 02 May 99 - 11:36 PM

It's difficult to pick out favorites...."Keep On The Sunny Side" is joyous to play for me, both because of the chord changes and the rhythm; I think the prettiest for me may be "Sweet Fern" because of the "echo" in the chorus.....and "White Choral Bells" played as a round with another autoharp player....and....and....and....


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 02 May 99 - 11:40 PM

Our autoharp player--who also hosts our sessions--does a great job with anything from fiddle tunes ("Old Joe Clark," "Soldier's Joy," "Cripple Creek," etc., to spirituals ("Amazing Grace," "I'll Fly Away," "Free Grace") to Tom Paxton numbers: "The Last Thing On My Mind," "Ramblin' Boy," etc. The only kinds of songs she can't do are circle of fifths numbers and the blues because her custom made harps don't have enough chords: They're made to play in two keys each: She has one for C and G and another for A and D. They can also do the relative minors. Her harps are beautiful to look and and sound fantastic: limiting the keys allows doubling key notes for richer sounds. --seed (Okay, Sally, you don't need to kill me. I didn't call you an autoharpy.) --seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 02 May 99 - 11:54 PM

Sentimental old ballads are also great for the autoharp: "My Grandfather's Clock" and "Hard Times Come Again No More" are two of favorites of "The Born Once Gospel Singers" (aka to those of us without imagination as "The Poodle Players"). On an Appalachian I can do things like "The San Francisco Bay Blues" and "Salty Dog": The circle of fifths and a lot of good seventh chords helps. --seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 03 May 99 - 01:12 AM

"Hard Times Come Again No More" sends goosebumps up and down my spine since I heard Bryan Bowers lead a round robin of autoharpers play it at the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering two years ago. Midnight on the Water, Texola Walz, Southwind, and.... All are beautiful on the Autoharp. The list goes on and on.

Jim in Silver Spring

If you like Autoharps you really shouldn't miss the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering which takes place the first week of July every year outside Harrisburg PA.

Also, If you live in the Washington D.C. area the Capital Harpers Autoharp group meets once a month. We usually have 15 to 20 people for a potluck and then song swap. The food is great and so is the music!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 May 99 - 02:51 AM

John Mccutcheon does wonderful renditions of "Satisfied Mind" and Bob Franke's "THE GREAT STORM IS OVER" with an autoharp. He must be some sort of tech freak - he has wireless mikes on every instrument he plays. He makes great music, but I could stand a little less amplification.
-Joe Offer, who also admits to playing with microphones-


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Helen
Date: 03 May 99 - 04:08 AM

Hi harpgirl

I don't know a lot about autoharps but I imagine that all of the O'Carolan tunes would sound good. They usually have no accidentals so they can be played on instruments like the Celtic harp (because they were composed on the Celtic harp, of course). Once you start learning O'Carolan's tunes I'd be surprised if you didn't like them. They have a feeling of simplicity but they are very beautifully constructed so it's hard to find any of his tunes which I don't like, or which I can get tired of.

The well known ones are Planxty Irwin, Fanny Power (Or Frances Poer, or combinations thereof), Si Beag Si Mor, etc etc. If yo look on Lesley Nelson's fantastic site
My first attempt at a blue clicky thingy

you can listen to the tunes on midi files to find the ones you like.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Helen
Date: 03 May 99 - 04:09 AM

Hey, my blue clicky thingy worked. Thanks Joe for the html code.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 03 May 99 - 07:39 AM

Don't forget to listen to records of Kilby Snow. He played left handed in his own style, and he played on a modified harp (a bass string added and a few extra chords, as I remember); but he has really fine versions of some old songs he learned from his family like "The Wind and the Rain" up to Merle Haggard's "From Now On All My Friends Will Be Strangers."

I haven't had my hands on an autoharp for a long time, and I never really learned to play it; but I think it has no minor chords. A lot of the Carolan stuff needs them; but there is certainly a good selection of them in major chords. "Blind Mary" is in a major key and might be very effective on an autoharp.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 May 99 - 08:30 AM

Sandy,
Both those tunes are new to me. Thank you. I will scout them and practice up. I am the master autoharp teacher at the Sunshine State Music Camp in Florida in October this year and I would like to have some tunes for classes with a range of difficulty that students will find interesting which are also new to me.Linda and I stick to Irish in the DoneyGals but I need to return to my roots!

Did you ever see Woody Guthrie in Florida? He used to visit with family friends in the Switzerland/Hastings area and my dear departed friend Marty Schuman, whose family lived on the land would sit at his feet and listen to him play. Marty was about 14 then so it was in the early fifties. Harp (aka Abby Z)


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 May 99 - 09:20 AM

Seed I think you have passed old cootage and are heading into dottage! I do like the name Sally. In fact Sally is the name of my girl partner in one of my old Arkansas bands. But darlin', it ain't ma name!

I am sooo lazy now though that Mark Fackeldy does my bar changes for me. I did all my own harps diatonically in the 70's. Blues songs do ring out on the chromatic setups with lots of 7th chords. For my money the best blues autoharp player in Florida is Jan Milner! I have never been satisfied with my blues style on 'harp so I don't subject many folks to it! You and Joe have permission to call me harpy! But no one else except maybe Art and Sandy...demurely, the lambent harp


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 May 99 - 09:31 AM

hooooo NightOwl...is Sweet Fern in the DT? Where did you learn it and what is its origin? hootharp


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Pete peterson
Date: 03 May 99 - 10:45 AM

I can send you the words to Sweet Fern if you still need them, if they ever get email at work fixed. Hope you are well Pete


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 May 99 - 11:18 AM

Hello dear Dr. Peterson,
I would love to have the words or better yet to hear you sweetly sing them...harp


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Subject: Lyr Add: SWEET FERN^^^
From: Night Owl
Date: 03 May 99 - 12:40 PM

harpgirl...I just realized that I know nothing about "Sweet Fern's origins....I have been playing the song forever and ass-u-med it was done by Maybelle Carter because of the style I learned. Remembered today that I've never heard it recorded and learned it from an autoharp player at a festival years ago. I also tend to improvise words due to poor memory sometimes....so the following is not gospel!!!!

SWEET FERN
VERSE
"Springtime is coming sweet lonesome fern
Your echo in the woodland I hear
Down in the meadow so lonesome your singing
And the moonlight is shining so clear
But I know he's away
In a far distant land
A land that's over the sea
So fly to him singing
Your sweet little song
And tell him to come home to me.

CHORUS
Sweet fern (sweet fern)
Sweet fern (sweet fern)
Oh tell me is my darlin still true
Sweet fern (sweet fern)
Sweet fern (sweet fern)
I'll be just as happy as new."


Whoops....brain drain...can't remember the next verse ..and I don't have time now to ask the autoharp for the rest!! (I was just checking on Catspaw before going to work and...well,...you know....just had to check this thread). Curious myself to know the song's history and author. And then there's also...."Storms Are On The Ocean"; "Simple Gifts"; "Hobo's Lullabye"; "O Come Angel Band"; "Pack Up Your Sorrows" ( Sorrows is FUN on the Autoharp with a Carter picking style!!)All of which are my favorites to play...and....and....and....!!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 May 99 - 01:30 PM

Jim,
I would like the words to Texola Waltz if you have them handy. Who taught it to you?
I was at MLAG two years ago. Mostly hung with Mark and Linda. I missed the group picture because I was doing a lightening round of Carter tunes with Dr. Peterson and Banjo Bob! They were checking my memory stores to make sure they still know the most tunes of anybody on the north american continent! Do you s'pose they dooooo??? regards... Abby


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 03 May 99 - 10:48 PM

Harpgirl

2 years ago I made it to MLAG for 1 day. Last year I made it for two. This year I am hoping for three. Its a balancing act between family (2 kids 7 and 9) and music.

Anyway Texola Waltz is a wonderful little tune by Nancy Blake. I have the melody and Autoharp arrangement from A Carole Outwater class at of all places MLAG (even though I first heard and learned it at a Capital Harpers meeting). As far as I know it doesn't have any words. I can fax you the tab if you send me a fax number off line. (my e-mail is jabunch@cais.com).

Mark and Linda are increadable. Everytime I see him fingerpick the autoharp I just get quiet and listen.

Jim in Silver Spring


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 03 May 99 - 11:38 PM

Hi Helen,
The Carolan tunes do sound great on harp! I learned many by ear and then got a hold of Stephen Young's book of Carolan tunes for autoharp. Lesley's site is fantastic isn't it? Oh and Murray, Marty Schuman used to do a beautiful version of Blind Mary... thanks everyone..harp


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 04 May 99 - 11:40 PM

Hi Harpgirl....

I don't pretend to be at your level of playing, but there are several tunes I love to do on the 'harp, almost always to good response.

Wreck of the Old 97 and The FFV are pretty standard, I think, but listeners really like Spinning Wheel and a Pop Stoneman instrumental called Stoney's Rag. I also do several old squaredance numbers, but get best reaction from The Irish Washerwoman.

BTW -- are you familiar with a harp player from the Tidewater area of VA named Brian Bowers? He used to perform at a bluegrass festival I was involved with and I always felt sorry for the five-piece band that had to follow him. He wore thin after a while because he did the same songs over and over, but if he ever got into a recording studio and put any of them down they would be worth listening to. I did find one album by him in a thrift store, but when I got it home it was grossly overproduced and I think I only listened to it once. If he did anything before they were willing to spend that much money on production, there might be something good out there.

Cheers, ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 04 May 99 - 11:58 PM

hey ddw,
Mark Fackeldy will be happy to tell you I am just a rank amachur! I would like to learn Spinning Wheel. I have heard Stoney's Rag but don't remember it. Where might it be?
I do know Bryan. Which album did you think was overproduced? thanks for the song tips!(harp of the late nights) BTW my grandaddy used to run rum across the Detroit River from Windsor!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 05 May 99 - 12:23 AM

Harpgirl, While I have to admit that this old coot yearns for you tragically, it wasn't you I was talking about. Sally is one of the original poodle owners whose chance meeting at the dog park got our group going. She gives some autoharp lessons and does repairs and is a very good player--who nonetheless forces us to limit our repertoire because of the limitations of her harps (and her abject refusal to learn any music theory, despite my gift to her of David Harp's book and tape on the subject) (David Harp--for any uninformed eavesdroppers--teaches folk, country, and blues harmonica [that kind of harp] as well as the use of the harmonica in zen meditation). (I tend to overuse parentheses, it seems.) (--seed)


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 05 May 99 - 12:58 AM

Harpgirl,

I'm not at home, so I can't tell you the name of the album or what's on it for sure, but I think it was just self-titled.

Spinning Wheel is dead easy (must me, if I can do it) and I have fond memories of doing it with a Scottish friend, Anne Leckie, back in the days when I was hanging out at Campbell's Coffeehouse in Hamilton, Ont. A bunch of us used to sing as a package at Fiddler's Green in Toronto and that song was always well received.

As for Stoney's Rag, I learned it from another guy in the CC group and I think he played the Pop Stoneman version for me once, but I have no idea what album it might be on.

Something that strikes me about the Mudcat is that no one seems to be online from around Asheville, NC, where there are loads of fantastic musicians -- including some fine 'harp players. I heard one guy there (didn't get his name -- the night got pretty fuzzy -- who I try to immitate on Wreck of the Old 97; he could get a good train-wheel sound going and overlay a whistle sound in the treble strings. I don't think I do it nearly as well as he did, but audiences seem to like it.

Anyway, I'll look up the Bryan Bowers disk I've got and get back to you about which one it is. I'll even listen to it again tomorrow and see if I'm still of the opinion it's overproduced.

cheers, ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Helen
Date: 05 May 99 - 08:52 AM

Hiya, again, harpgirl

I still know zip about autoharps, but reading the list of songs on this thread I'm thinking of Wildwood Flower "I will twine with my mingles of raven black hair...etc"

I just heard a local busker doing it on banjo on Monday and it doesn't matter how often I hear it, or what instrument it is played on, or who sings it (so far) and what arrangement it is, I really like that song. I was wondering if it would work on autoharp.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 05 May 99 - 10:41 PM

Helen, sorry for answering for Harpgirl but of course it works: Maybelle Carter, whose grandmother first confused the words of the first verse, often performed it on autoharp--as does my friend Sally-who-is-not-Harpgirl. --seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 05 May 99 - 10:55 PM

Hey seed,
Ooops! I do remember you saying Sally was walking her dog and that's how your song circle began...I must be the one marching towards dottage! harp .


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:32 AM

Hi Harpgirl....

Sorry, couldn't locate the Bryan Bowers album. Dare I admit I suspect it went bye-bye in the last roundup of things that I'll never use again and got taken to a shop where I swap records sometimes. My recollection of the cover is that it was dark and reddish, but that may be wrong.

Anyway, while I was digging around for it, I came across something else I hadn't had out for a while -- a cassette called simply Autoharps, featuring one Ron Wall on harp and Mark Howard on guitar. Don't know if you've heard it, but he has a pretty light touch on the harp and does some nice tunes:
Majestic Waltz
Bonapart's Crossing The Alps
Cuckoo's Nest
Gift To Be Simple
Carolan's Ramble to Cashel
Swedish Fiddle Tune
South Wind
Rights of Man Hornpipe
Morning Bells
Gary Owen
Bells of St. Mary's
Not Far Away.

If any of this sounds interesting, let me know and I'll post what info I have about the album. I think it's about 10 years old and looks to be a shoe-string operation, so it might be hard to find.

Cheers....

ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:33 AM

Helen....I think you're absolutely right about "Wildwood Flower" it IS fun on the Autoharp (Same tune but different words="Reuben James")


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:36 AM

ddw...could you post the info on the album...please???


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Tom on Comfort
Date: 06 May 99 - 02:10 AM

My very favorite tune to play on the autoharp is "Bread and Roses" and you want to make it all triumphant & glorious. Other favorites would include "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight," Bill Staines' "River," Butch Hancock's "West Texas Waltz" (I like waltzes).

Hey we could come up with some playlist, wouldn't we?

--Tom


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 06 May 99 - 06:50 AM

I just ran into an autoharp site (ouch!). Click here.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 06 May 99 - 06:52 AM

Oops, I went too far into the heirarchy of the site. this will send you to the top page.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 06 May 99 - 09:29 PM

Hi Night Owl,

Here's the info on that cassette:

Autoharps (Ron Wall & Mark Howard) on the Cumberland label.

Distributed in the U.S. by Benson Music Group Inc., 365 Great Circle Road, Nashville, TN, 37228.

In Canada, by R.G. Mitchell Family Books, 565 Gordon Baker Road, Willowdale, ON, M2H 2W2

As mentioned in the earlier posting, it's about 10 years old (if I'm reading the Roman numerals right), so I'm not sure if any of that is still current.

cheers.....ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 06 May 99 - 10:22 PM

I was just listing to my Folk Legacy tape of Hedy West's "Old Times and Hard Times".

There are a number of songs on that which would go well on the autoharp. In particular the songs "Gamblin Man" and "Brother Ephus"

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 06 May 99 - 11:08 PM

Murray,
I have that album and that is a good idea. I used to play both those tunes on banjo. But my banjo playing was the butt of too many jokes...I haven't ever done them on the buttonharp but great idea...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 06 May 99 - 11:44 PM

Hello Harpgirl

I think that Four Strong Winds is a perfect tune for the autoharp. Ian Tyson's Wild Geese is also excellent as far a instrumentals I would pick Greensleaves and a tune I wrote called Dr. Walter Shorts Reel as a thank you for his sewing my fingers back on and in the right order with no leftovers.

Don.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 May 99 - 12:01 AM

Some I liked to play back before I returned to the banjo:

"When First Unto This Country"

"San Francisco Bay Blues"

"We Shall Overcome"

"Dona Dona Dona"

"Saint James Infirmary"

"Battle Hymn of the Republic"

"Don't Think Twice"

--seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 07 May 99 - 12:29 AM

Harpgirl, you surprise me. I thought the prerequisite for playing banjo was a long left arm and a concave chest. :-)

ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 07 May 99 - 01:13 AM

ddw...thanks for posting the info...appreciate it.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 May 99 - 03:06 AM

ddw, I (--seed) have gone back mostly to banjo. My left arm is very long as it has to be to match my right arm (37 inch sleeves on both sides). But I play an open back banjo so my lack of concavity doesn't handicap me (only my slow fingers, my even slower kinesthetic memory, my lack of rhythm, and my tin ear do). --seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Banjer
Date: 07 May 99 - 04:57 AM

Ah Seed, it seems you have all the prerequisites for banjo playing. (At least the same ones I have) I too play an open back most of the time, and in spite of my "qualifications" (the ones you listed) I enjoy the heck out of my playing and them as don't like it can go to another part of the house!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 07 May 99 - 12:33 PM

another really grat autoharp tune is the Shepherds' Wife's Waltz-- is that an O'Carolan tune or does it simply sound like one?! Stone's Waltz (which is not a waltz!) is another one of Pop Stoneman's favorites. In choosing autoharp tunes I find myself going to the old rather uncomplicated choices; course this is becvause Drew Smith and the late wonderful Marty Schuman do the more complicated ones so well. Harpgirl, do you agree? Pete


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 07 May 99 - 10:32 PM

The late Marty Schuman????

Don


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 May 99 - 11:31 AM

Hi Don,
Marty passed away in 1994. He was with many of his friends and family in a clinic in Beckley, West Virginia and Mike Herr was his physician. His memorial service was at Don Grooms' home in Gainesville when Don was still alive. Marty's daughter is about to have her first baby. I am going to Gainesville tomorrow from down here in North Palm Beach to see her and hope to see the baby before I get home to Tallahassee....harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Tucker
Date: 08 May 99 - 06:52 PM

Sorry Harpgirl and I know I am showing my butt and ignorance here. I once talked a guy into buying an autoharp because he didn't want to take the time to learn to play a guitar. Well, I played around with it and I thought it was too complicated for all the trouble it saved (make sense?) I saw folks (folkies) in the 60's play em' but not since then. Not trying to be insulting either, love you all, but I just haven't seen any!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 May 99 - 11:49 PM

Hi Harpgirl. What a wonderful thread. I've really been enjoying this. Wanted to ask a question. Did your friend Marty tell you any stories about Woody, or just the scene in general there. I'm fascinated finding out what peoples' impressions of Woody were. Thanks
rick


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: manylodges
Date: 09 May 99 - 11:09 PM

one of the sweetest songs we sing at rendezvous is very nice for the autoharp, it is called "two little boys". It gives me chills each time I hear it. also you might do "bringing mary home" its an old appilation song.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Sonoma Steve
Date: 10 May 99 - 08:29 PM

For what their worth, here are some of my favorite autoharp tunes. "Home Sweet Home" is a fine piece, playing it as simple or as complicated as you wish and it goes well with a guitar. I sometimes play with a (an?) harmonica on a rack. The Ian Tyson song, "The Coyote" sounds really fine on the harp as does "Simple Gifts", especially when it is slowed down a bit. The first song I learned was "Sailor on the Deep Blue Sea" and I still get real pleasure from it.

My especial recent favorite is "Acony Bell". I don't know who wrote it but it goes so well with the words and lyric and is great with simple harmonies.

"The Fairest flower the mountain knows Is not an iris or a wild rose. The sweetest flower of which I'll tell Known as the brave Acony Bell."

However, that's not why I entered the thread. I am looking for the lyrics to Railroading on the Great Divide. I was at the Sonoma County Folk Festival playing on the lawn with pickup groups when someone sang it. It was not the time to get words so I turned to Mudcat hoping to find it. No luck.

Any suggestions?

Steve Petaluma, California


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp? Sweet Fern
From: Fern
Date: 10 May 99 - 11:23 PM

I'm an autoharp player named Fern. It would be great to add "Sweet Fern" to my repetoire. Can someone recommend a songbook or album it's on so I can learn the tune? I use my autoharp mostly for accompaniment--there are only a few songs I actually pick out all the notes. I mostly do folk and traditional music for kids, since kids nowadays just learn Barney and Disney. I teach them the good stuff! I like how you can teach history by singing the songs the people of the time sang.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 11 May 99 - 12:30 AM

Hey, Seed....

I hadn't checked this thread in a while, so didn't see your posting on your attributes for playing the possum skin. Sounds like you'd fit right in with my band! We could do a musical Mutt & Jeff act, since your sleeve length seems to be about 8 inches longer than the inseam on my pants. And your slow fingers would have plenty of time to keep up with my fat little stubbies trying to hit one string without damping two others. Hell, I'll bet we could plug in and make a helluva punk rock act, whadda ya think?

cheers, ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 11 May 99 - 03:23 AM

Sounds good to me, Deedeedoubleyou. I'm open for jams whenever and wherever (except my mommy won't let me cross the street without an adult holding my hand [I think Meg Ryan would make a nice baby sitter]). --seed


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp? Sweet Fern
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 11 May 99 - 05:35 AM

Fern. You will find the Carter Family version (the original?) of "Sweet Fern" on the album "The Carter Family, My Clinch Mountain Home." It is part of Rounder Records' compplete Carter Family Victor recordings series. The cassette bears the cat. no. C 1065.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 11 May 99 - 09:41 AM

The elderly man playing amnplified autoharp in Bracknell shopping centre two Saturdays ago should have read this thread: it was awful whiny muzakky stuff that I couldn't recognise. Sorely tempted to unplug him but the amp was on batteries! Peggy Seeger he wasn't!(For the benefit of non-locals Bracknell is a 1960s "New Town" of the type that must have inspired Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes", and is full of "interesting" office blocks of computer companies). An earlier week there was someone on amplified concert harpplaying light classics. I prefer the usual guitar or sax buskers!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Pete peterson
Date: 11 May 99 - 01:48 PM

not to pick nits, but it was Malvina Reynolds who wrote Little Boxes; she said she used to write a song a day; Pete S did the definitive recording (and was the only time he had a Top 40 hit!) Can't imagine anything worse than an out of tune poorly played autoharp


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:07 PM

This is a very interesting and enjoyable thread. I have a lot of BryanB

at it has a tendency to sound a bit technical, yet he's a master and in person he is awesome. Another great is Harvey Reid; his recording of an original called, "The Coming Of Winter", with him on autoharp and Brian Silber on fiddle is a classic. Also I'd like to answer Sonoma Steve. The song Acony Bell was written and performed by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on her ALM CD "REVIVAL"


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:12 PM

This is real fun Thread and many great contributions by everyone. My two favorites are Harvey Reid and of course Bryan Bowers. I tend to think that Bryan plays so well with all his fingers a blazin' that, at times it does sound like he's over-produced. In concert he is absolutely awesome...If you get a chance listen to Harvey Reid's recording of 'The Coming Of Winter" with autoharp by Harvey and violin by Brian Silber. On his Woodpecker CD "Overview".....


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:50 PM

's OK, Pete, if you don't pick my nits, how will I ever learn? ...and I might stop scratching my head and wearing my hair too thin!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Judy and Micky
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:52 PM

...right here in the barn


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 May 99 - 11:00 PM

Dr. Peterson,
I'm still hoping you'll call again and sing me Sweet Fern over the telephone...sorry I missed your last call...I'll be at the orifice tomorrow (hint,hint)...harpgirl

PS Tucker, When you begin to see autoharps, pay attention! Buy one and write me back!


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: fern
Date: 12 May 99 - 10:01 PM

Many thanks, Murray. I'll check it out. Fern


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 14 May 99 - 12:57 PM

harpgirl...did you recieve the correct lyrics for "Sweet Fern"? If so, could you post them and any history of the song you may have learned...is the Carter family recording the original?? You also mentioned "Stephan Young's book of Carolan tunes" do you know if its still available?


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Jim in Silver Spring
Date: 14 May 99 - 02:18 PM

I was surprised to find all of the interest in Autoharps at the MudCat.

I am sure that most of you are aware, but for those of you that are not there is a thriving Autoharp virtual world and community on the net.

This includes

The Autoharp Page at http://www.fmp.com/harppage/

The Cyberpluckers e-mail list which can be subscribed to from the Autoharp page

and the Autoharp Web Ring at http://pages.prodigy.net/cah/autoharp/

(Sorry I don't do blue icky things)

If you are interested in Autoharps and their music check these sites out.

(I would have posted this sooner but the Autoharp page was out due to storms in Dallas TX.)

Jim in Silver Spring


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 14 May 99 - 06:05 PM

NightOwl,

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Subject: Lyr Add: SWEET FERN^^
From: CarterNut
Date: 14 May 99 - 08:45 PM

Hey guys and gals, here are the Carter Family words to "Sweet Fern". As I am kind of a small scale Carter historian and a large scale Carter music enthusiast, I could only find that A.P. found the song on one of his song hunting trips. This was a common song around that area (Eastern Tennessee/Southwestern Virginia) and was usually called "Sweet Birds". Actually, the song was written and copyrighted under the latter title in 1876 by Thomas Westendorf and George Persley. However, A.P. Carter is given credit for writing the song by Ralph S. Peer- A.P. essentially changed the original wording and perhaps even the tune while adding the yodel after each chorus.

SWEET FERN
Springtime is coming sweet lonesome bird,
Your echo in the woodland I hear;
Down in the meadow so lonesome you're singing,
While the moonlight is shining so clear.
Chorus:
But I know he's away in a far distant land,
A land that's far over the sea;
Go fly to him singing your sweet little song,
And tell him to come back to me.
Sweet Fern, Sweet Fern,
Oh, tell me is my darling still true;
Sweet Fern, Sweet Fern,
I'll be just as happy as you.

Yodel: O-dell-eeho-eeho-layhee, edell-leo-leo-layhee,
Ay-leo-lay-dee-hee-oh-leolayhee.

2. Oh tell me sweet fern is he thinking of me and the promise we made long ago;
He said he'd return from far over the sea oh why do the years go so slow. Chorus/Yodel

3. And upon my finger he placed a small ring on the day he was leaving his home;
I said I would be his own dear little girl and would love him wherever he'd roam. Chorus/Yodel

The Carter Family recorded this song on February 14, 1929 and over the years many of the members have played the song on the autoharp, for instance Mother Maybelle, Sara, Janette(Sara and A.P.'s daughter), as well as Helen, June, and Anita. Each has there distinctive way of playing it.

Hope I have been some help.
John J.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 14 May 99 - 11:41 PM

Night Owl,
I see my post didn't make it! But carternut must have read my mind because I wondered if he would know the words! I have Stephen Young's address in my fake book which is locked in the truck in the garage for the night but I will post it tomorrow...harpgirl thanks John J


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Night Owl
Date: 14 May 99 - 11:55 PM

John J. Thanks for the words and information on Sweet Fern...AND the web sites....I'm also surprised at the number of Autoharp players here....a welcome surprise!!! harpgirl..THANK YOU for starting this thread....lots of great information for me in it. The "fakebook" you mentioned wouldn"t happen to be an Autoharp Fakebook?? (I have the Guitar fakebook.)


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 15 May 99 - 10:11 AM

NO
'mornin'. Steve's address is Stephen J. Young - 6500 Nancy Road - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. I just cvalled him and ordered it directly. But the phone number is not handy...In addition to the Carolan book he has published a book called Old Time Fiddle and Dance Tunes for Autoharp which is excellent. (I meant fiddle fakebook which I write notes in and use to keep up with my fiddling friends..this has been a wonderful thread and I hope to learn lots of new songs...thanks all...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 17 May 99 - 12:24 AM

Reading this thread I find myself thinking maybe I'll try to put all those buttons and bars back on mine. I took 'em off and tuned the instrument to some mysterioso minor modally mutated kind of tuning, so folks who claim they're "not musical" can pick it up and tinker with it. Anything plucked on it sounds deep and contemplative. Hard to put it down. But now I want to play some folk music on it again! Hmmmm, I wonder where all those little parts go...a bunch of springs flew out of the bars when I first took it apart....

Mark


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: harpgirl
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 12:10 AM

reconjure for SINSULL


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 09:24 AM

Thanks again Harpgirl. I am shutting myself away with my harp and shutting out the world. More trouble than it's worth today.

Just listened to some Bryan Bowers' recordings and all is right with this corner of the world.

SS.


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: threelegsoman
Date: 25 May 11 - 08:26 AM

Some songs that I have uploaded accompanied on the autoharp


Some songs that I have uploaded accompanied on the autoharp


These are two autoharp playlists on my channel which itself is at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/threelegsoman?feature=mhee


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: threelegsoman
Date: 25 May 11 - 08:29 AM

Apologies for my stupidity, I seem to have created the same blue clicky twice, the first one should have been:

Autoharp players, songs and tunes I have liked


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: GUEST,felicia
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 09:32 AM

The first songs I strummed and sang on my new Chromaharp were Monty Python's 'Eric the Half-a-Bee' and 'Riding Free' from the soundtrack of 'Psychomania' (look it up on Youtube, the lyrics are priceless!)


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Subject: RE: Songs and Tunes for Autoharp?
From: GUEST,Fred Bailey
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 03:37 PM

I've always "warmed up" with the Australian version of The Girl With the Black Velvet Band


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