musical lives, remembered in story & sound

songs to learn.

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so, the year draws to a close, and i am determined to be inspired.

tonight's song, little maggie. i was picking my banjo, two finger style, and it sort of came out.

so, a listen to a great version, here's frank proffit, with his guitar. a man from laurel bloomery, says wikipedia. i remember tim eriksen talking a bit about him, and being inspired by him, but i admit i've never really sat down to listen to him. now, though, i will. (i think this project will prove a great reason to explore some musicians, the long list of them, that i've been too overwhelmed to start.)

his lyrics:

oh yonder stands little maggie
with a dram glass in her hand
she's passing by her troubles
and courting some other man
 
pretty flowers were made for blooming
bright stars they were made to shine
pretty girls were made for boys love
just as maggie was made for mine (or wine
 
well i'm going down to the station
with my suitcase in my hand.
i'm going away for to leave you
i'm going to some far and distant land
 
sometimes i have a nickel
sometimes i have a dime
sometimes i have ten dollars
just to pay little maggies fine
 
i'd rather be in a lonesome holler
where the sun would never shine
then to know you was another's darling
when you promised to be mine
 
so yonder stands little maggie
with a dram glass in her hand
she's passing by her troubles
and courting some other man.
 
a familiar tale, as his lyrics go, of a man scorned.
 
came accross these, on the internet:
Oh where is little Maggie?
      On yonder hill she stands,
      With her rifle crost her bosom
      And her dram-glass in her hand.

Well the flowers were made for bloomin'
And the sun was made for to shine
Little girls were made for boys to love
Little Maggie was made for wine.

Sometimes I got a nickel,
And sometimes I got a dime.
Sometimes I've got five dollars
For to pay little Maggie's fine.

Oh how can I ever stand it?
Jes' ta see them two blue eyes
They're shinin' like some diamon'
Like some diamon' in the skies.

Well there stan's little Maggie
With her dram glass in her han'
She's drinkin' down her troubles
And foolin' some other man.

Oh where is little Maggie?
On yonder hill she lies.
With her rifle crost her bosom
An' two pennies on her eyes.

I like that last verse. the song's a story of a woman ruined by alcohol; in that light, the song is much more about her, and her crazy character, than about the guy narrating it and his broken heart. i do wonder where that second version comes from. both, for that matter. wonder if it's a child ballad, from england, or one inspired in america.

Comments

as i learn it...

as i learn this song, off of the recording, i'm struck by the way frank proffit plays around with the words, and the timing of it.

i think there is something valuable to be learned, in learning from a recording as close to the original as possible. i have no dreams of being him, nor do i want to sing like him. in the end, i want to sing like me. but to grow as a singer, to try to learn more about how to sing and how to effectively tell stories and bring songs to life, i want to learn as much as i can from those singers i admire. and on a basic level, that means imitation, an attempt to decode and explain some of the things they're doing. an extra beat here, a quck phrase there.

with my fiddling, some of these lessons have crept their way into my playing, a bowing, a grace note, a phrasing that i once learned painstakingly from a recording, of a particular song and fiddler. gave me a reason and the chance to explore that approach. i did, and it stuck and became a part of my vocabulary.

i want to get that serious with my singing, banjo playing and guitar playing.
back to learning this song....

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How is this going?? A

How is this going?? A song-a-day. Quite an undertaking!

Reply to comment | musical lives, remembered in story & sound

I have read so many articles or reviews regarding the blogger lovers except this piece of writing is in fact a fastidious paragraph,
keep it up.

Boy your voice has gotten low...

So are you going to post songs you record? Or just versions of the songs you are learning?
How's it going because it's day 14...

pops and J.C.

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