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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Freight Train...warning, no fiddlin'

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:

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 08/28/2022:  13:36:51

One of these days I might mess around with it on the fiddle... for I could do today...

NCnotes - Posted - 08/28/2022:  14:25:48

So good, Peggy!!

This was actually written by a local lady (My guitar teacher said her name was "Elizabeth Cotton" when I learned it, I like "Libba Cotton" better! ) Anyway I learned it by being handed a page of sheet music...if you learned and play this by ear, that's impressive!! :-)

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 08/28/2022:  17:07:54

Thanks, NC. Yes, Libba Cotton was from N. Carolina I believe??? Did you learn it on guitar or on the fiddle? It's so guitar picky, ya know...but sometmes i wonder how it would be on the fiddle too. Have never heard anybody do it anway except guitar.

NCnotes - Posted - 08/28/2022:  19:58:32

Yep she was from around here!

I just read an article about her and Libba (Elizabeth) composed "Freight Train" on the guitar, which is probably why it's usually played on guitar. There's an interesting (and a little sad) article about how talented she was, how popular Freight Train got, and how as an African-American woman, she did not get much credit or money from the success of her song:

Interesting bits from article:

- she was left-handed, self-taught and she strung her guitar with the low strings on the bottom, high strings on top. She played the melody with her thumb and bass notes with her fingers.

- she worked as housekeeper for the Seeger family, which is how her music became publicized/known to the world.

Anyway when learning classical guitar, I think one of the first pieces I got from my teacher was "Freight Train"! In my case, it was written out on sheet music/staff with bass notes and melody notes. I never got any itch to play it on the fiddle, but I bet you would make it sound good! :-)

loy - Posted - 08/29/2022:  04:04:44

That’s some good pickin right there, great job Peggy!

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 08/29/2022:  04:10:35

Thanks for that, NC. It is very sad she was so great and got so little. I think one of the reasons nobody can play it like she can (besides her musical greatness) is that upsidedown guitar just can't get that combo of rhythm and melody notes by playing it rightsideup. I also really enjoy playing her tune, Oh Babe it ain't no Lie...have you heard that one? Oh my gosh it's so much fun to sing and play. (sorry to keep linking my ). I heard her say her mother wouldn't allow her to sing the song because of some of the

Amazing musician, she was. North Carolina has certainly had their share of greats too. And you have to wonder, since she came close to being in obscurity, how many other Libba Cottons or other good folk musicians got lost through the ages? How much good music has history kept from us? anyway, glad there's Libba...growing up playing guitar...hers were among the picker's classics that everybody just wanted to play. I have loved playing them throughout my life.

banjopaolo - Posted - 08/29/2022:  09:39:51

I love everything Libba Cotton did!

Your version is very nice, very good guitar picking...

I love to play this song on banjo, here's a video I did many years ago on tenor, the intro is played slow with chord melody style then fester in cross picking


groundhogpeggy - Posted - 08/29/2022:  10:14:04

Thanks, Paolo...wonderful job on the banjo...very nice. Thanks for the link...I enjoyed that.

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