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Good Songs Page

       This is just a collection of music, mostly simple songs, that I like and would like to make available to anyone else who might be interested. I have many songs in "lead sheet" form (meaning notes, words and chords) on my computer as a result of several decades of being part, off and on, of several amateur musician groups. These are mostly folk songs or old songs, suitable for amateur musicians to enjoy. At present I am taking part in a group that meets once a month to enjoy making music. We are mostly guitar players and singers. So most of these songs are suitable for a group such as that. In the past I was active in a polka band, so I will add music of that type now and then.

      I will not intentionally violate any copyright laws. So I'll mostly post old songs, or songs that seem traditional, or somehow "in the culture."

       My plan is to add interesting songs every now and then. However that was also my plan on my "guitar page" (which you can find by going to my home page on the link above), and I have totally neglected that for several years.

      My plan is to post the newest songs on the top of the list. And my plan is to post songs as pdf files, as that seems to be the most universal way. I could also easily post these songs as midi files, but will not plan to do that until somebody asks for it. A midi file is not very useful unless you know what to do with it.

       I don't understand computers very well. In the past I would click on a link to a pdf file and up it would come. My present computer balks at that. To bring up a pdf file I have to right click on the link and then click on "save target as". So if the links don't work you might try that. And if anyone knows how to tell my computer to quit that irritation, I'm all ears.


Sept 12, 2011

Clancy Lowered The Boom I heard this as a kid, but it was in recent years that I got these verses, though I can't remember just where I got them. As I understand it this "Irish" song is a product of Tin Pan Alley. I imagine there is nothing authentically Irish about it. It presents a fun loving tough fighting view of Irish culture. I would guess it it is meant to represent Irish American immigrant culture at one time in history, but I am only guessing.

Cruiscin Lan I got this a few years ago when I was part of an Irish band. We had three or four singers, me on accordion, and a guitar player or two. I probably transcribed this from a record or tape, but I don't quite remember. Maybe I had printed music of some sort. I don't know how else I would get the phonetic words. It's an Irish drinking song, and I think it's authentically Irish, as opposed to Tin Pan Alley Irish. I don't know if cruiscin lan is a kind of drink, or a kind of glass. I think it's a nice melody, going back and forth between minor and major.

I'll Be All Smiles Tonight I got this from about half a dozen U Tube videos. One of those videos mentioned it was written in the 1870's. The different versions in the videos have some variations of the melody, so I chose the notes that sounded best to me, though it's not the exact melody of any of the videos.

Maid Of Amersterdam This comes from an old record of sailing and whaling songs that I may or may not still have somewhere. I think I've seen variations of it in folk song books, but I can't remember where.

Oklahoma Hills by Woody and Jack Guthrie. I have no memory of where I got this song. Did Woody Guthrie grow up in Oklahoma?

Paper Of Pins A simple song but kind of nice. Again I have no idea where I got it. I'll guess that it's English and goes back a few centuries.

Streets Of Loredo I've seen this in a number of folk song books, or campfire song books, but I don't think the second section is in many of them. I think the second section really adds to the song.


August 15, 2011

Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie    A fun song, nice and simple. Polkas are seldom serious, and this one is about as frivolous as you can get.

Dear Hearts And Gentle People   I suppose this is from a movie, maybe from the forties. Nice tune and nice thoughts.

Dubleska Polka    Don't know any words for this. It's totally a dance tune, and a good one, very simple, two chords.

El Charro    I found this in a sixth grade song book.

In My Merry Oldsmobile A Tin Pan Alley song, from early in the twentieth century I presume. I think Oldsmobile used this song for a number of years.

Little Green Valley    I heard this a decade or so ago on the Prairie Home Companion. Luckily I was recording and therefore was able to write it out. I've never heard it before or since. It seems very much a gospel song, though there's nothing in the words to make it so.

Lorena    This is from the Civil War, was popular both north and south. I don't know much more about it than that. The words are awfully sad, if you look closely.

Red Wing    Kerry Mills wrote a lot of nice stuff, from the 1890's I think, or maybe early in the twentieth century. I've heard lots of slight variations of the melody, so I doubt if this is exactly the way it was written. I've heard it as a polka, with the melody jazzed up a little to make it more of an instrumental idiom. I like it best as a song.

San Antonio Rose    This was done by Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys. I think it was written by Bob Wills


July 11, 2011

Bill's Dream.pdf    A nice little guitar picking tune. It was brought by one of the members of the group I mentioned. I like to record some of the songs we sing, and from this informal recording I was able to transcribe it into notes. I'm not at all sure I transcribed it correctly, but it's kind of nice the way it is.

Cruising Down The River.pdf I would call this a "Tin Pan Alley Song", though I am not at all sure I am using the term correctly. It doesn't seem to be a folk song, or a campfire song, etc, but I like it.

Fox, The    I think I got this out of an old long lost folk song book. It's not great music, but very suitable for those learning to play guitar.

Friendly World.pdf I heard this on television when I was a boy. That would have to be sometime in the late 1950's. I didn't give it much thought at the time. It was a "goody spot". I suppose it was played by stations just to fill a little time when needed. It had some simple cartoon pictures. It was obviously played many times. I would remember nothing if I heard it only once. It always stayed in my head, both words and the tune. When I finally got around to putting it down on paper, perhaps ten or twenty years ago, I was pleasantly surprised that I remembered it all. At least I think I remember it all. If there is a third verse, it totally has slipped my mind.

Have I Told You Lately.pdf The guitar accompaniment is written precisely, for those who read notes and take their guitar playing seriously. However that 's no big deal. A somewhat skilled guitar player playing by ear could easily play it exactly the same way.

Hupaj Siupaj.pdf A pretty simple Polish polka, definitely a fun tune. I have no idea what the words mean in Polish. I made up some words that seemed to fit.

I've Got Spurs.pdf Definitely a cowboy song. There are some really nice cowboy songs, and in the past there have been some really good cowboy groups. The Sons Of The Pioneers were not amateurs, in my humble opinion. They did good music, and they did it well. I don't think this song is in that league, but it's kind of nice.

Little Burnt Potato.pdf A fiddle tune. I like to play fiddle tunes on accordion, or at least I like to try. Nice tune. I first heard it on an old record. I tried to transcribe it into notes but was unsuccessful. Finally I looked up several versions of on UTube, and I found one version in sheet music. Of course each version is a little different. So this is what I came up with. We need more fiddle players in the world.

Minka.pdf I found these two verses somewhere, but it's two short. Someone needs to write a couple more versus. I find it pretty much impossible to sing. There's no place to take a breath. I suppose good singers know how to deal with that, but I don't.

Oh, Bury Me Not.pdf I've always know this song, but only one verse. I can't remember where the other verses come from. It's pretty simple, just two chords.

Ragtime Annie.pdf This is probably my favorite fiddle tune. Again it exists in various forms, and this form is only one possibility. I try to play it on accordion, but I don't think I do a very good job.

Shalom To You.pdf Nice harmonies. Nice thoughts. "Shalom" means . . . . well, I'm not sure now, peace, greetings . . .anyway it's Jewish.

Still, Still, Still.pdf A really lovely Christmas song. We should hear it a lot more.

When You And I Were Young.pdf An old one, out of the 1800's I presume. I like it.