What is/are your favorite folk song/s?

Home Forums Repertoire What is/are your favorite folk song/s?

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #61379
    Allison Stevick

    I love playing Celtic folk songs! My favorite “standbys” are “The Orange Rogue” (though I change it to be more like a slow air than a dance), and “Brian Boru’s March.”
    Right now, I’m trying to get both “Morrison’s Jig” and “The Butterfly” up to speed.

    Who else out there loves folk music? What are your favorites?


    As far as Celtic goes I like Banish Misfortune for instrumental and Farewell But Whenever You Welcome The Hour for songs.

    I’m also currently trying to work out an arrangement of the Scottish folk song Tam Lin. And I am rather fond of the Ballad of Matty Groves, although I prefer the older, slower versions of it rather than the more upbeat, faster version that was popularized by Fairport Convention.

    But I’m also very fond of American folk music. Having grown up in the Hudson Valley I have always been fond of songs about and related to the river. Good Morning Brother Hudson by Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick is my favorite:

    Good mornin’ Brother Hudson
    I hate to see you die
    I can hear you cryin’
    Deep way down in side
    They have conspired to kill you
    I know it is true
    They can tell there little white lies
    Till they know not what they do

    followed by the classic traditional folk tune Erie Canal (aka Fifteen years on the Erie Canal, aka Low Bridge, Everybody Down):

    I’ve got a mule, her name is Sal
    Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
    She’s a good old worker and a good old pal
    Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
    We’ve hauled some barges in our day
    Filled with lumber, coal, and hay
    And we know every inch of the way
    From Albany to Buffalo

    Low bridge, everybody down
    Low bridge cause we’re coming to a town
    And you’ll always know your neighbor
    And you’ll always know your pal
    If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal


    Yay folk music! It’s all I play really and mostly Irish as well. At the risk of sounding pedantic, in Irish and Scottish music, it’s only a song if it has words, the rest are airs and tunes (jigs, hornpipes, reels, polkas, slides, slipjigs, srathespeys, etc. etc.) and if it’s O’Carolan it’s usually referred to as a piece or an air, for the most part.
    At the moment a few of my favorites are the slow air Amhran na Leabhar (Song of the Books) and two hornpipes I play as a set; Cooley’s and The Tailor’s Twist, the song Black is the Colour (I hear the Christy Moore version in my head when I play it), two jigs I play as a set The Mist Covered Mountain and The Cliffs of Moher.

    Allison Stevick

    Haha ok, point taken. 🙂 I knew the whole song/tune difference, but tend to use them (incorrectly) interchangeably… I should say, then, that most of what I do is sans voice, so they are tunes or airs. Though, my 3-yr-old is obsessed with “Lark in the Morning” and insists that I sing and play it for him every time I practice… It’s good, though not my favorite, but he is so cute when he asks that I can’t resist!
    I want to learn Cooley’s, that may be next up for me. 🙂

    Tony- I also likeTam Lin and Farewell but whenever…! And I like to listen to some American folk music, too, but I don’t play it on the harp. Sometimes I do on the guitar, though.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.