Saddle up the Grey

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X:1 % T:Saddle Up the Grey L:1/8 M:2/4 B:Kuntz – Ragged but Right K:G (D/|G/)B/d/e/ dB|d/=f/e/d/ B/G/G/(D/|G/)B/d/e/ dc/B/|A/c/B/A/ G>D| G/B/d/e/ dB|d/=f/e/d/ B/G/G/D/|G/B/d/e/ dc/B/|A/c/B/A/ G2|| B/c/B/A/ B/c/B/A/|G/B/A/G/ E>(A|c)c/B/ c/d/c/B/|A/c/B/A/ G2| B/c/B/A/ B/c/B/A/|G/B/A/G/ E>A|cc/B/ c/d/c/B/|A/c/B/A/ G2||



SADDLE UP THE GREY. Old-Time, Breakdown & Song (2/4 or cut time). G Major. Standard or GDad tuning (fiddle). AB (Kuntz, Silberberg): AABB (Phillips). The tune/song is sourced to the group Carter Brothers and Son [1], consisting of fiddler and vocalist George Carter, fiddler Andrew Carter and guitarist Jimmie Carter, who hailed from near Harley, northeast Mississippi. George and Andrew were the elder Carters; George was born about 1869, and Andrew probably in 1878, and they made their living farming cotton, although little is known about them. They recorded the piece (and twelve others) for OKeh records in Memphis, Tennessee, in February, 1928.

Saddle Up the Grey better get away,
Ain't gonna get no supper here today;
Fill up the jug and blow out the light,
Ain't gonna get no dinner here tonight.

Saddle Up the Grey better get away,
- Ain't gonna get no supper here today;
Fill up the jug and blow out the light,
Ain't gonna get no dinner here tonight.
Riding of the goat, leading of the sheep;
Won't be back till the middle of the week;
Di-del-i-dee-i, di-del-i-dee-oh,
Di-del-dee, i-di-del, i-dee-i-dee-oh. .....[NLCR]

The New Lost City Ramblers note that the 'di-del-i' etc. at the end of the ditty associated with the tune is reminiscent of Gaelic mouth-music, associated with singing for dancing in the absence of instruments. Vocalist and fiddler George Carter employed this kind of mouth music on most of their recorded 1928 sides.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - The Carter Brothers and Son via the New Lost City Ramblers [Kuntz, Phillips].

Printed sources : - Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1987; pp. 351-352. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 206. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 136.

Recorded sources: - County 3513, Carter Brothers and Son – “Mississippi String Bands” (1998). Document CD DOCD 8009, Carter Brothers and Son - "Mississippi String Bands vol. 1" (various artists). Flying Fish 102, New Lost City Ramblers - "20 Years/Concert Performances" (1978). Folkways 2492, New Lost City Ramblers - "String Band Instrumentals" (1964). OKeh 45202 (78 RPM), The Carter Brothers and Son (1928).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Hear the Carter Brothers and Son recording on youtube.com [3][4] and at Slippery Hill [5]
Hear the New Lost City Ramblers recording at the Old Towne School of Folk Music Fiddle Tune Archive [6]
Hear Paul Tyler's slow learning version at the Old Towne School of Folk Music Fiddle Tune Archive [7]
See banjo tab at taterjoes.com [8]



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