Roustabout (2)

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X:0 T: No Score C: The Traditional Tune Archive M: K: x



ROUSTABOUT [2]. American, Banjo Song & Tune (4/4 time). G Minor. This minor-mode version (banjo tuned eAEGB) is from the playing of African American Josh Thomas (Hollins, Virginia, near Roanoke), recorded in the field by Cilff Endress in 1970 when Thomas was aged nearly 80. Mike Seegar was of the opinion that "This piece is a 19th century African banjo song becoming the blues..." Words to Thomas's version go:

Oh you banjo roustabout, when you goin’ to the shore?
I’ve got a good gal on the other side. Baby don't you want to go?

If I'd listened to what my momma said, I wouldn't have been here today.
But me being young and foolish too, women lead me astray.

My old missus had a dog, blind as he could be.
Every night about suppertime, that old dog could see.

My old missus had a hen, black as any crow,
Laid three eggs every day, on Sunday she laid four.

My old missus had a cow, I know the day she was born.
Took an old Jaybird 18 years, fly from horn to horn.

If I had a needle and thread, fine as I could sew,
I’d sew my good gal to my side and down the road I’d go.


Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: - Smithsonian Folkways SFW 40107, Mike Seegar - "Southern Banjo Sounds" (1998). Smithsonian Folkways SFW 40209, Mike Seegar - "Classic Banjo from Smithsonian Folkways." Voyager Records VRCD368, Adam Hart - "Old Time Banjo".



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