Walking in My Sleep (1)

Find traditional instrumental music
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Walking in My Sleep (1)[edit]


WALKING IN MY SLEEP [1]. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; western North Carolina, southwest Virginia, east Kentucky. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB (Phillips). The tune has been called a Blue Ridge area standard, albeit Tom Carter and Barry Poss (1977) believe it was a relatively late addition to the traditional fiddler's repertoire of Patrick County, Va., "though one which most of the older fiddlers learned." It is known as a Surry County, North Carolina, regional tune, and was, for example, in the repertoire of Otis Burris; a rather "powerful and pretty" version was collected from Esker Hutchins of Dobson, North Carolina. Hillsville, fiddler Glenn Smith (1888-1973) played the tune at the 1935 Galax fiddler's convention.

Pain in my fingers, pain in my toes;
Pain in my ankle bone, I ain't a-gonna work no more.
Walkin' in my sleep, baby, walkin' in my sleep;
Just down the Dixie line, just walkin'in my sleep.
When you see that gal of mine, just tell her if you can,
..............pick up bread, and wash those dirty hands.
When you see that gal of mine, just tell her if you please,
Its whener'd you go to make up dough, roll those dirty sleeves. .... (Tommy Jarrell, 1981)

Composition of “Walking in My Sleep” has been credited to Tennessee’s Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith (e.g. S. Songer), who recorded it in 1930, but the song was recorded by several performers in the 78 RPM era. Mark Wilson is of the opinion “Walking in My Sleep” may have been derived from a Missouri tune called “Brown Leaf Rag.” Other related melodies (listed by Jane Keefer) include Snuffy Jenkins & Pappy Shirrell’s “Boggy Road to Texas,” Ohio musician Cecil Plum’s “Trumpey’s Hornpipe,” Tommy Jackson’s “When the Leaves Begin to Turn Brown,” and Herman Johnson’s generically-titled “Just an Old Rag in G.”

Source for notated version: Dudley Spangler (Va.) [Phillips].

Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 160. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 165.

Recorded sources: Bluebird BB B-7043 (78 RPM),Arthur Smith Trio (1937). Chubby Dragon CD1008, Brad Leftwich, Bruce Molsky et al – “Mountairy.usa” (2001). County 201, The Old Virginia Fiddlers "Rare Recordings 1948 49." County 778, Tommy Jarrell - "Pickin' on Tommy's Porch" (1984. Learned from Pate Martin in the late 1920's or early 30's). County CO-CD-2711, Kirk Sutphin - "Old Roots and New Branches" (1994). Heritage 054, J.P. Fraley "Brandywine '83: Music of French America" (1984). Mountain 301, Kyle Creed "Blue Ridge Style Square Dance Time." Rebel 1498, Curly Ray Cline "Chicken Reel."

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Kyle Creed's recording [2]




Back to Walking in My Sleep (1)[edit]