Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?

DigiTrad:
CRIPPLE CREEK


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Up on Cripple Creek (The Band) (3)
Lyr Req: Children's version Cripple Creek Girls? (5)


GUEST,Jon W. 23 Jun 05 - 12:15 PM
GUEST 23 Jun 05 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 23 Jun 05 - 12:35 PM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Jun 05 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Jon W. 23 Jun 05 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 23 Jun 05 - 01:03 PM
Franz S. 23 Jun 05 - 01:04 PM
Franz S. 23 Jun 05 - 01:06 PM
PoppaGator 23 Jun 05 - 01:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jun 05 - 01:45 PM
Gern 23 Jun 05 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Uncle DaveO 23 Jun 05 - 02:29 PM
sapper82 23 Jun 05 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Jun 05 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Jun 05 - 05:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jun 05 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Jun 05 - 05:47 PM
nutty 23 Jun 05 - 06:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jun 05 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Jun 05 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Jun 05 - 08:30 PM
Abby Sale 23 Jun 05 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 23 Jun 05 - 09:26 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Jun 05 - 12:18 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Jun 05 - 12:22 AM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 05 - 11:59 PM
Abby Sale 30 Jun 05 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,tennessee white lightening 08 Nov 07 - 12:32 PM
john f weldon 08 Nov 07 - 01:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Nov 07 - 04:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Nov 07 - 07:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Nov 07 - 08:02 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,Jon W.
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 12:15 PM

Been a long time since I've posted here - I seem to have lost my cookie. Anyway, I've been wondering about the song Cripple Creek - specifically, would it have been played or sung in mid-19th century (that is, the 1850's - 1860's? Is it based on a tune from that era?
    Welcome back, Jon! E-mail me if you need login information.
    -Joe Offer-
    joe@mudcat.org

Cripple Creek in the Digital Tradition


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 12:26 PM

Whcih "Cripple Creek"

Chances are given the imagery in the older versions that this comes from the 1890's - after the gold strike in Cripple Creek Colorado


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 12:35 PM

Thanks for making me go and listen to the Bands self titled second album again "Up On Cripple Creek" is one of my favourite songs ever.Oh! and good luck with your quest.

Best Wishes

Sidewinder.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 12:47 PM

Much the same song is also called "Shootin' Creek", but my guess is that that's a somewhat later development.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,Jon W.
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 01:01 PM

I'm talking about the regular old Cripple Creek - "I've got a gal at the head of the creek, goin' up to see her 'bout half past the week/Cripple Creek wide and Cripple Creek deep, goin' wade Cripple Creek 'fore I sleep..."

I'm more curious about the tune than any set of words - even if the words date to the Colorado gold rush, was the tune in use before that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 01:03 PM

"Shootin' Creek" is a creek local to Spray, North Carolina's Charlie Poole, who did it that way first. Charlie may have been amused to syllabify the thing because it came out on his record sounding like "Shit Creek," a place all oldtime singers have found themselves voyaging on, paddleless, at times, particular when in liquor and trying to make excuses to the wife.

My opinion is that the tune probably is earlier than the Cripple Creek gold strike, but that the words, and thus the song title, could have been put to it afterward, say at the turn of the century.

According to the late Gus Meade in his magnificent book "Country Music Sources," the first reference to the tune as "Cripple Creek" is in the Journal of Am. Folklore, 1915. That of course predates any known recording.

First recording issued was by a black one-man band, Stovepipe No. 1, August 20, 1924.   The day before that, Fiddlin' Powers of Dungannon, VA recorded it.

But note this: Land Norris of Georgia recorded it in the mid-20s as "Red Creek." Milton Brown and his Brownies recorded it as "Goin' Up Brushy Fork."

My take on all this is that there was an old fiddle tune named "(your local waterway here) Creek" or "Fork" or whatever, and that the fun syllables and aliteration of Cripple Creek (and its wide publicity during the gold fever) attached that name to the old tune and gave it new impetus. Not long after that, folklorists were collecting the song, along with a few pickup verses referring to Cripple Creek, and that's how it became standard under its present name.

Wouldn't surprise me if a good few other old tunes may have acquired their present names and lyrics in much the same multistage way.

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Franz S.
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 01:04 PM

Thought I'd beat Joe Offer to the punch this time. Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Cripple Creek (I)

DESCRIPTION: Often found as a fiddle tune with words: "I got a gal at the head of the creek, Goin' up to see her 'bout the middle of the week...." "Goin' up to Cripple Creek, Goin' at a run, Goin' up to Cripple Creek to have a little fun." Most verses involve courting
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection); +1913 (JAFL28)
KEYWORDS: fiddle courting river nonballad
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
BrownIII 299, "Cripple Creek" (1 short text plus mention of 1 more)
SharpAp 247, "Gone to Cripple Creek" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 118, "Cripple Creek" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 898-899, "Cripple Creek" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rorrer, p. 83, "Shootin' Creek" (1 text, with recitation and verses partly derived from "Ida Red (I)")
Silber-FSWB, p. 37, "Cripple Creek" (1 text)
BrownIII 43, "Old Corn Licker" (a 2-line fragment, unclassifiable but with similarities to some texts of this song)
DT, CRIPLCRK
ADDITIONAL: James P. Leary, Compiler and Annotator, _Wisconsin Folklore_ University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, article "Kentucky Folksong in Northern Wisconsin" by Asher E. Treat, pp. 245-246, "Goin' Up Cripple Creek" (1 text, 1 tune, sung by Mrs. M. G. Jabobs)

Roud #3434
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Going Down to Cripple Creek" (OKeh 45214, 1928)
Charlie Higgins, Wade Ward & Dale Poe, "Cripple Creek" [instrumental] (on LomaxCD1701)
The Hillbillies, "Cripple Creek" (OKeh 40336, 1925) (Vocalion 15367, 1926/Vocalion 5115, c. 1927)
Roscoe Holcomb, "Cripple Creek" (on MMOKCD)
Doc Hopkins, "Cripple Creek" (Radio 1410B, n.d., prob. late 1940s - early 1950s)
Land Norris, "Red Creek" (OKeh 40433, 1925)
Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, "Shootin' Creek" (composite with "Ida Red (I)"; Columbia15286-D, 1928; on CPoole01, CPoole05)
Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, "Cripple Creek" (Gennett 6336, 1927)
Ernest Stoneman, "Going Up Cripple Creek" (Victor 20294, 1926)
Stove Pipe No. 1 [pseud. for Sam Jones], "Cripple Creek & Sourwood Mountain" (Columbia 201-D, 1924)
Tweedy Brothers, "Cripple Creek" (Silvertone 4008, c. 1925)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Sally Goodin" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Ida Red (I)" (floating verses)
cf. "Ida Red (III)" (floating verses)
NOTES: The notes in Brown say that there was a gold rush at Cripple Creek, producing this song. But it's worth noting that the sources can't agree on the state in which Cripple Creek is located (Colorado, Virginia). - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
File: San320

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

That obly dates it back to 1922.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Franz S.
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 01:06 PM

Only, not obly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 01:11 PM

The Band's "[Up On] Cripple Creek" is a recent composition, but there is at least one much older and completely different "Cripple Creek." In fact, there 's a good one on a Buffy Ste. Marie album from the mid-1960s ~ I believe she recorded it accompanied only by mouth-bow, very minimal instrumentation.

As GUEST mentioned, the town of Cripple Creek Colorado became notable only during the 1890s gold rush and probably didn't exist much earlier than that, so the song is very unlikely to have existed earlier than that. I suppose it's possible that the tune existed with different lyrics, but then that wouldn't be the same song, would it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 01:45 PM

The Bluegrass Messengers have a rather extensive listing of recordings of "Shooting Creek"- "Cripple Creek" etc. at their website. Cripple Creek
Also several lyrics.
Bob Cotman's 'take' is probably as close as we can get to the answer. No 19th c. evidence yet.

The variant title "Cripple Creek" probably comes from Cripple Creek, Virginia. Much coal was mined in Wythe Co.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Gern
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 02:07 PM

Ernest 'Pop' Stoneman, one of country music's first recording stars, claims that he wrote this song, in between siring 23 offspring. Pop didn't claim too many things that weren't true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,Uncle DaveO
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 02:29 PM

That Cripple Creek, Virginia seems much more likely to me.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: sapper82
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 03:25 PM

Ought it not be renamed "Differently Abled Creek"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 03:34 PM

Throwing my hat into the ring, the two earliest recordings seem to be both by Virginians from the Galax area, Stoneman and the Hopkins Brothers (Hillbillies). Cripple Creek isn't that far west from Galax up in Wythe County. However according to a friend of mine from Cripple Creek Va. it was iron and not coal that was mined there. It's a quiet little back country community now.
Nothing to do with the origin or date of the tune to which it is sung but I would think that Ernest Stoneman is as good a bet as any for being the originator.
According to a collector and researcher friend of mine Shootin' Creek in Poole's time was where much of the local moonshine originated.
There is another Shooting Creek in the very south west of NC but that's miles away from Poole's Shootin'Creek.

Hoot


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 05:35 PM

The Frank C. Brown Collection of NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE Vol 5,"The Music of the Folk Song," Chapter VIII, "Folk Lyric" Duke University, #299, p212.

"Cripple Creek." Sung by Mrs. Arthur Moore, Lenoir, Caldwell county in 1922.

"Cripple Creek." Sung by Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Turkey Creek, Buncombe county, in 1921.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Click to play (the way I sing it)


Click to play (Brown - Mrs. Moore, 1922, P. 214)


Click to play Brown, Lunsford, 1921, P. 214)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 05:35 PM

According to notes in Brown, North Carolina Folklore, "Cripple Creek" was sung by Bascomb Lamar Lunsford in 1921; text of verse and music, p. 214, "The Music of the Folk Songs," Brown, North Carolina Folklore vol. Five. Also sung by Mrs. Arthur Moore, 1922, music also given. Stoneman would have been about 28 years old at this time, so it is possible, but Lunsford active at the same time, age about 50.

Note post above that the song was known in 1915.

Iron was mined in Wythe County, but lead was the most important mineral. Lead mined in Confederate times contributed to the Southern war effort. Lead was discovered in 1756 by John Chiswell and mining continued well into the 20th c. Coal was mined, but quantities were minor (my geographic error in post above) in Wythe Co. (Bland Co. was formed in part from Wythe and Tazewell Cos. about 1860, not sure of how boundaries changed).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 05:47 PM

Just now gave them a try.

The two tunes given in Brown - are not the Scruggs tune I've always associated with the song.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: nutty
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 06:25 PM

An audio recording of the tune with info can be found HERE on the American Memory site


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 06:42 PM

Hmmm! Checked "Cripple Creek" in Lomax FSNA, not the same as the tunes in Brown.
In addition to Brown, Lomax also credits Sharp II- English Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians- (not seen) for his version. This seems to be Cripple Creek II (Buck Creek Girls, Somerset) of The Traditional Ballad Index because they reference Sharp with this tune. (The usual Lomax sloppiness?)

Lomax music is 4/4
Some fiddlers list two different tunes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 08:26 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 08:30 PM

THREE versions in midi have been sent to joe-offer@email.msn.com

The first cripcrk1 = how I have heard it remember it

The second cripck2= the Brown p.214 version Mrs. Moore 1922

The third cripcrk3 = the Brown p.214 version Bascom Lunsford 1921

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 09:08 PM

Yes, the Sharp versions of "Cripple Creek" are subtitled "Buck Creek Girls." (Song #241) He collected them 1917 but I see no relation at all, text or tune, to the usual version.

HOWEVER, song #247, "Gone to Cripple Creek" (1 version) was also collected 1917 and is the usual version. One verse only from Mrs Wilson, Pineville, Bell Co., KY. In the notes, he sites a text without tune in Journal of American Folk-Lore, xxviii. 180.

I don't have that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 09:26 PM

Alan Lomax said the Colorado creek supplied the title, but I don't see how he could know that. I've also been skeptical because the tune (or at least the title) seems to be better known in the Southeast. So if there's a Cripple Creek in Virginia, and nowhere else in the South, it gets my vote.

I've always thought there was a strong resemblance between the usual "Cripple Creek" tune and that of "Sourwood Mountain."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 12:18 AM

Sourwood Mountain? It progresses to higher notes ... CC progresses downward.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 12:22 AM

Sourwood Mountain? Criple Creek? One is a peak, the other is a valley. One is high; the other is low. However, they both deal with the subject-matter of chasing young, pretty women.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 11:59 PM

MIDI files added, thanks to Gargoyle:

Click to play (the way gargoyle sings it)


Click to play (Brown - Mrs. Moore, 1922, P. 214)


Click to play Brown, Lunsford, 1921, P. 214)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 08:48 AM

Aren't they the same? I mean, with variations.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: GUEST,tennessee white lightening
Date: 08 Nov 07 - 12:32 PM

Pop Stoneman wrote it or someone from his neighborhood.
My Grandparents used to live on cedar springs road at Camp , Virginia. Its just up the road.
Pop Stoneman was from Fries , Va. Fries is just up the road from Cripple Creek. That area is the "craddle of country music" and i have driven past that cripple creek sign on highway 21 ( or maybe it's on hwy. 58 ) a hundred times and wondered the same thing.
I have a cousin who still owns an 750 acre farm along the New River. He raises beef cattle , christmas trees but his cash crop is corn whiskey. They take it straight to Atlanta every week. So there you go...some things never change.

go to yahoo maps and type in Cripple Creek Va and you wil see what I'm saying.

Ive been to cripple creek ,Co. Fun place and all but it's probably named after the one in Va.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: john f weldon
Date: 08 Nov 07 - 01:56 PM

This tune was first played on the one-string banjo by Ooongh Poo in 35,000 BC. I know this through psychic chanelling.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Nov 07 - 04:04 PM

Article in JAFL mentioned by Abby Sale, but not seen by him.

Two fragments of "Cripple Creek" were collected by E. C. Perrow, and published in JAFL, 1915, vol. 28, , "Songs and Rhymes of the South," Part VIII, no. 42. No musical score.

42. CRIPPLE CREEK (1)
A
"(From East Tennessee; mountain whites; from memory; 1909)"

Goin' to Cripple Creek, goin' ter Rome [roam?]
Goin' ter Cripple Creek, goin' back home.

See them women layin' in the shade,
Waitin' fer the money them men have made.

Roll my breeches ter my knees
En wade ol' Cripple Creek when I please.

"(1) A well-known mining district in Virginia." (2)
(2) Probably Rome, Tennessee; also a Rome in Georgia.

B.
"(From South Carolina; country whites, MS. of Mr. Bryan; 1909)"

Goin' to Cripple Creek, going in a run;
Goin' to Cripple Creek to have my fun.

Nothing in early collections that would suggest connection to Cripple Creek, CO.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Nov 07 - 07:50 PM

Cripple Creek on banjo- Youtube:
Cripple Creek
Brief fiddle Cripple Creek- Youtube:
Fiddle

A bit of 1940 WHAS nostalgia from Digital Library of Appalachia:
Cripple Creek square dance
(Does anyone you know have this map?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: How old is the song 'Cripple Creek'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Nov 07 - 08:02 PM

?restricted?

Go to Digital Library of Appalachia, Enter in Search "Cripple Creek"
Index


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 7 August 11:59 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.