Posts Tagged 'percussion'

Sail Away Ladies

The version from Tom, Brad & Alice’s Holly Ding CD, with some, er, experimental percussion (darbuka, a Middle Eastern goblet-shaped drum). Recorded when I hadn’t played darbuka for 8 years so it’s a little rough.

The banjo is tuned eDGDE but is capoed at the 3rd fret to be in tune with the drum. I capo at the second fret to get into eDGDE, so moving the capo to the 3rd fret makes the open strings fD#G#D#F. The “Sail Away” part of the melody (high part) starts on the open first string: open first, first at the 3rd fret, open first again, third string at the 4th fret.

This is a very different “Sail Away Ladies” that Tommy Jarrell said he learned from a Civil War veteran in 1916 or ’17. I’ve also heard the tune on The Young Fogies, played by the Plank Road String Band.

I love the lyrics that Tom, Brad, and Alice found in “Negro Folk Rhymes” and put to this tune:

Never you mind what the rich folks say
May the Mighty bless you, sail away

Sail away, sail away, sail away ladies, sail away.

Never you mind what your daddy say
Shake your little foot and fly away

Never you mind if your mama say,
“Devil’s gonna take you,” sail away

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