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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Shady Grove versions


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/15750

Learner - Posted - 07/13/2010:  17:49:13


I was listening to internet radio today, and heard a version of Shady Grove done by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. It was very upbeat, and sounded to be played in a major key (mode).

However, previous versions I've heard were definitely in a minor key. Does anyone have insight as to what is the "original" version? Or are there different songs named "Shady Grove"?

Thanks

layne - Posted - 07/13/2010:  19:29:09


Mostly done in a minor key or some modal key or another, but there are major versions apparently. Five versions listed here: ibiblio.org/fiddlers/SG_SHA.htm
Lord knows which came first.

I do it slowly and in B minor just 'cause that's the way I like it.... One of my all time favorites!

Ron Owens - Posted - 07/13/2010:  19:34:12


Rickey Scaggs does Shady Grove in B major, at least every time I seem him do it live and or video. I'm not sure about other versions. I'm guessing it would be a slow version if it were in a minor.
Ron


Edited by - Ron Owens on 07/13/2010 19:42:10

Chuck Naill - Posted - 07/13/2010:  20:08:38


Shady Grove came from Mattie Groves, youtube.com/watch?v=p2YYJEmDRhI

chuck

ChickenMan - Posted - 07/13/2010:  21:09:08


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matty_Groves

That was where I had to go from your post, Chuck, otherwise, who knows what with that particular video/recording

fiddlepogo - Posted - 07/13/2010:  21:34:21


A lot of clawhammer banjo players play i in a minor mode in what they call "Sawmill" tuning, in either G modal or A modal.

On fiddle, I play in in D modal, and it's also easier for my baritone voice.

There is also a 2 part fiddle tune version, where the low part is similar to the banjo song except the first phrase.
It is also in A modal.

I've never heard of a major version, but that doesn't mean there aren't any.
The first time I heard a version of Old Joe Clark, it was a major version by Homer and Jethro.
I've never heard it since, and every other version I've heard has been "mixolydian" mode- flatted seventh, otherwise major.
I kind of get the idea that bluegrass singers are uncomfortable getting away from major keys for singing harmony,
and that might be the reason for these oddball "major" versions of normally minor mode songs.

bosco - Posted - 07/14/2010:  01:25:23


Kilby Snow sung this song with all major chords on his autoharp.
Bosco

RobBob - Posted - 07/14/2010:  03:48:01


The Shady Grove that bluegrassers play is related to the Blue Eyed Gal/Western Country, Susananna Gal/Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss melody in old time.

Don't know that it is related to Matty Groves other than in some academic's mind.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 07/14/2010:  04:46:25


RobBob beat me to it... I've heard Blue-eyed Gal... Fly Around, PLM, done with the words to Shady Grove... or very similar.

One of the old B & W Andy Griffiths has the Darlings doing Shady Grove this way... I think the snigglet of that is somewhere on youtube, if anybody has the time or feels like bothering with that.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 07/14/2010:  04:53:48


OK, well I found it from the Andy Griffith episode: youtube.com/watch?v=W2nEgYiqQUk

That was just bugging me so I had to do a qucik erh

mudbug - Posted - 07/14/2010:  05:57:32


I had only heard it as a minor or tune, till I just recently got a copy of a CD by Connie Dover ( born in Arkansas, raised in Missouri and living in Wyoming), "If Ever I Return" which she recorded in Scotland, which features Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham. It's the first time I had heard it done in a major key (C). I like her version, as I do the rest of the CD, which also has Duncan Chisholm on fiddle, Manus Lunny on guitar and bouzouki, Iain MacDonald on Scottish highland bagpipes, wooden flute and pennywhistle, James MacIntosh on percussion, Christy O"leary on Uileann pipes and David Paton on bass. Phil Cunningham plays keys, accordian, penny whistles, does vocal harmonies and plays trump. I have no idea what a trump is, but with Phil playing it, I'm sure it sounds good. I got the CD used, not knowing that Aly was on it. What a treat! Deffinitely worth full price.

mudbug - Posted - 07/14/2010:  06:03:12


Apparently in England, the jaw-harp is known as a trump.

forestabri - Posted - 07/14/2010:  09:10:26


I've done the Doc Watson version with guitar and also the clawhammer banjo version in G modal tuning, I think from Hedy West. The Doc Watson version we did in Em. Doc did it in Ebm. Hedy West did it in B (modal banjo, 4th fret capo). Mike Seeger did it in G modal on banjo.


Edited by - forestabri on 07/14/2010 09:16:40

layne - Posted - 07/14/2010:  09:44:32


quote:
Originally posted by Chuck Naill

Shady Grove came from Mattie Groves, youtube.com/watch?v=p2YYJEmDRhI

chuck



.....and Mattie Groves came from Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard
sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch081.htm Your turn Chuck LOL!

BanjoBrad - Posted - 07/14/2010:  09:51:43


I'd have to see some other authority confirm that Shady Grove is a derivative of Mattie Groves - I haven't found anything in the versions of the two songs that seem to be similar.

Shady Grove is more of a love song than a murder ballad.

I never rely on Wikipedia, and seldom find an entry without major errors or distortions.

(Incidentally, I can't get any of the YT's to load, I get an error about loading.)

-B-


Edited by - BanjoBrad on 07/14/2010 09:52:09

DougD - Posted - 07/14/2010:  10:07:28


It's not the text, Brad - they have nothing in common. But the tune of the Fairport Convention recording of "Matty Groves" is the same as or at least similar to "Shady Grove." Thing is, I'm not sure that's the only tune for "Matty Groves," or whether it even predates Fairport Convention's recording. The original Child ballad collection doesn't contain tunes, IIRC, and I think Joan Baez sang it to another tune, and I know I've heard at least one person around here sing it (she learned it from her grandmother) and I don't remember thinking the tune was "Shady Grove."

DougD - Posted - 07/14/2010:  10:47:31


I've just been looking at some of the versions of "Little Musgrove and Lady Barnard" collected by Cecil Sharp in this area, and the tune is not the same as "Shady Grove," although there are some similarities.

scrubber - Posted - 07/14/2010:  10:55:24


quote:
Originally posted by bosco

Kilby Snow sung this song with all major chords on his autoharp.
Bosco



I heard that version (played on the banjo at a MBOTMA 'showcase' last August) -- VERY INTERESTING! What a brillant solution to a (seemingly) unsolvable problem!

dave



scrubber - Posted - 07/14/2010:  10:58:33


ON THE OTHER HAND...

My OT group (fiddle, hammered dulcimer and guitar) gets 'bored' playing this tune! We just can't seem to find a way to make it 'interesting'...

dave


Edited by - scrubber on 07/14/2010 11:22:31

BanjoBrad - Posted - 07/14/2010:  12:48:47


Doug -

Joan's version was my first intro to "Mattie Groves," and the tune is similar to most of the other versions I've heard of it. No connection to Shady Grove in my mind.

Scrubber - try singing it, you can probably go for an hour or more without repeating a verse!

forestabri - Posted - 07/14/2010:  13:06:24


"On fiddle, I play in in D modal, and it's also easier for my baritone voice."
fiddlepogo, Curious what tuning on the fiddle for key of D? ADAE? DDAD?

BanjoBrad - Posted - 07/14/2010:  13:12:09


Oh, I just remembered! Shady Grove is also very close, melodically, to "Fair Margaret and Sweet William" (Child 74).

Humbled by this instrument - Posted - 07/16/2010:  05:41:42


I usually play it as a jig, really, a jig within the Dorian Em mode. Quite haunting and beautiful.

coelhoe - Posted - 07/17/2010:  08:53:31


If you want to pursue the older melodies, have your library find for you "The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads" by Bertrand Bronson; Or....It has recently (2209) been republished in paperback, two volumes, $40 each from Amazon. Hundreds of melodies. There were a few melodies, mostly as examples of variability, in the original Child collection, but Bronson is the standard academic source.

Learner - Posted - 07/17/2010:  10:55:40


quote:
Originally posted by coelhoe

If you want to pursue the older melodies, have your library find for you "The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads" by Bertrand Bronson; Or....It has recently (2209) been republished in paperback, two volumes, $40 each from Amazon. Hundreds of melodies. There were a few melodies, mostly as examples of variability, in the original Child collection, but Bronson is the standard academic source.


Thanks. Dennis. Great information for us newbies.

Frank

DougD - Posted - 07/17/2010:  11:00:53


You can also view the contents of two of Cecil Sharp's collections at this site, which also has many other useful books: traditionalmusic.co.uk/

Shawn Craver - Posted - 07/21/2010:  08:30:45


I agree with Rob Bob on the major version.
The "minor" version is quite old and I agree that Matty Grove uses part of the tune.

Shady Grove was also known in the central Appalachians (PA West MD WV) but usually not under the title "Shady Grove." It came in two parts (the southern Shady Grove was sang to nonsense words in one part.) Henry Reed played a great 2 part version memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D...mem_Wwn5::

I learned a two part version of this tune from western Maryland fiddler Grover Broadwater and he didnt call it anything. Samuel Bayard collected versions of it in two parts as "Boyne Water." The tune was also sometimes used for the ballad "Barbara Allen." (Bayard collected one under that title too.)

Alan Jabbour, who recorded Henry Reed's excellent version also recognized the "Boyne Water" connection.

BanjoBrad - Posted - 07/21/2010:  10:29:24


Dennis -

"..It has recently (2209) been republished in paperback,. . ."

Where can I find your time machine so I can go ahead in time to find the new edition?"

-B-

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