Little Stream of Whiskey

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LITTLE STREAM OF WHISKEY. AKA and see "Dying Hobo (The)." Old-Time, Song Tune. USA; western N.C., Ky. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Phillips): AA'BB' (Kuntz). Charles Wolfe believes the song was a parody of Caroline Norton's poem "Bingen on the Rhine." It was a famous selection of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, fiddler Tommy Jarrell. Stacy Phillips (1995) notes the second section of his version is attributed to Tommy Hunter. North Georgia band The Swamp Rooters with Lowe Stokes and Bert Layne on fiddles recorded a rewording of the lyric using the same tune called "Prohibition is a Failure" in 1930. Burnet & Rutherford's (1926) lyric begins:

Leonard Rutherford & Dick Burnett

By a western water tank on a cold November day,
Beside an empty boxcar a dying hobo lay;
His pal sat there before him with a low and drooping head,
Listening to the last words the dying hobo said.

Source for notated version: Doug Phillips [Phillips].

Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 2, 1995; p. 79.

Recorded sources: Columbia 15133-D (78 RPM), Burnett and Rutherford (1926. Learned "from somebody in Somerset County," Ky.). Mountain 310, Tommy Jarrell - "Joke on the Puppy" (1976. Learned from Pate Martin). Rounder 0036, Fields Ward. Rounder 1004, "The Songs of Dick Burnett and Leonard Rutherford."

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Burnett & Rutherford's 1926 recording at the Internet Archive [2]




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